Where is the summer going??
As another warm weather month winds down, I have selected, as I did last month, my favorite pop culture experiences from the last 30 days. (See my picks for June here.) Here we go…
BEST NEW TELEVISION SHOW
I’m enjoying Showtime’s Ray Donovan, but I’ve got to give this one to the new Netflix series Orange is the New Black. Like, it seems, most of the internet, I have completely fallen under the spell of this funny, strange, dark, disturbing and brilliant dramedy from the creator of Weeds. I refuse to binge watch it because I don’t want it to ever end.
READ: Lock Me Up: I Love Orange is the New Black
READ: Will Pilots From HBO, Showtime, AMC and FX Get Picked Up?
BEST REALITY TELEVISION SHOW
I am embarrassingly behind on So You Think You Can Dance, and have been watching Big Brother through my hands because of the disgusting racism on display, so I’ve got to say (gulp) The Challenge on MTV has been my favorite reality show this month. Yes, yes, it takes trashy tactlessness to a whole new level, but it’s so damn fun to watch!
Summer movie season is never really my cup of tea, but I’m so glad I hit BAM Rose Cinema to see The Way, Way Back, a charming, hysterical, heart-warming coming of age comedy.
As always, I spent a lot of time in the theater this month, but the best straight play I saw was actually on the very first day of July. A Kid Like Jake, produced by Lincoln Center Theater as part of its LCT3 program, was thought-provoking, moving and incredibly well-acted, particularly by a searing Carla Gugino. I loved it.
Not only was Encore’s one-night concert production of Jeanine Tesori’s Violet the best musical I saw this month, it was also one of the Top 10 theatrical experiences I’ve had since living in New York. Sutton Foster and company were absolutely thrilling in this layered, soulful musical about a young woman seeking spiritual and physical salvation. Brilliant.
After years of staring at it sitting on my bookshelf, I finally picked up Richard Russo’s Pulitzer Prize-winner Empire Falls, and boy am I glad I did. A warm, funny, sad, far-reaching tale of a beaten up small town, I soaked up every single beautifully written word.
What were your favorite TV show, movie, book and play in the month of July? Let me know!