Reviewed! Netflix’s ‘Orange Is the New Black’; Wonderly’s ‘Edge of Normal’; WSJ’s ‘Startup of the Year’

/ Jul 16, 2013

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Netflix: “Orange Is the New Black”

A-

Orange Is the New Black,” the latest addition to the growing roster of original programming from Netflix, is the sort of transformational milestone that takes a medium in a new direction. For the emerging class of “TV shows” being distributed via the internet (technically referred to as over the top), “Orange Is the New Black” will be celebrated as the watershed moment when the best of what (used to be called) TV has to offer can only be seen via such new, unwired video distributors as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, YouTube, and (perhaps) Apple. Man the lifeboats — a sea-change has arrived. Continue reading…

Wonderly: “Edge of Normal”

B-

As superhuman sagas go, “The Edge of Normal” is a clever but sometimes clunky web series that centers on a group of L.A. teenagers who take care of each by unleashing their secret powers which seem very au courant as secret powers go. Natalie, the central character, is barista by day, bearer of telepathic gifts by night (well, daytime too). Evey, the brooding blonde who wanders onto the scene fresh from a schoolyard disaster, can change the course of events by uttering what amounts to a power of suggestion. Gretchen can remotely control electrical devices (great for Radio Shack work), Riley is a shapeshifter (which I think is way cool), Kris is a human transducer (she shoots off electrical current) and young Kimmi can see the future. A fun group we have here. Teenage girls who swoon and stand in line to see Twilight and other video things that go bump in the (day and) night will find “The Edge of Normal” must-see TV. Continue reading…

Wall Street Journal: “Startup of the Year”

F

After sorting through the mismatched puzzle pieces of The Wall Street Journal’s new transmedia reality series, “Startup of the Year,” I had to triple-check my often-shaky memory to verify News Corporation was truly still owner of the business rag dubbed “the daily diary of the American dream.” It is almost blasphemous to link this stale effort to the folks who own FX (network of my beloved “Justified”), Fox, and other big-ticket network TV programming. This crazy-quilt of a rather boring contest among 24 startups lacks polish, continuity, and an overall sense of purpose. Continue reading…

 

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