TV SHOW REVIEW: Girls Incarcerated, Season 1

MV5BNzQ0MTA2YTgtNTE2YS00NDg2LTk0NDYtMWQ2MGYyNzEyYzgzXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMTMxODk2OTU@._V1_UY268_CR4,0,182,268_AL_Title: Girls Incarcerated: Young and Locked Up

Year: 2018

Genre: Documentary

My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

Platform: Netflix

Date Watched: July 3, 2019 to July 5, 2019

Brief Summary of Plot from IMDb: A documentary show about troubled girls who are are juvenile delinquents in Madison Juvenile Center

Episode Name Episode # Date Watched
Chapter 1: The Girls of Madison 1 3-Jul-19
Chapter 2: Until We Meet Again 2 3-Jul-19
Chapter 3: Mean Girls 3 3-Jul-19
Chapter 4: Where the Story Begins 4 4-Jul-19
Chapter 5: Love in Lockup 5 4-Jul-19
Chapter 6: High Expectations 6 5-Jul-19
Chapter 7: My Life Story 7 5-Jul-19
Chapter 8: Moving Mountains 8 5-Jul-19

My Review: In the first episode we meet the girls of Madison, a juvenile detention center in Indiana. They are not sentenced to serve a particular time, but are rather sentenced to complete a program, which includes high school classes. Each girl is different, but seems to come from the same background: broken homes, addicted or incarcerated parents, no fathers, etc. Due to their abandonment issues, parents who aren’t around or on drugs, etc. these girls lash out in anger, because they are really hurting inside.

Some of these girls are actually really smart — they just have walked down the wrong path.

As I continued to watch the show, I started to feel really bad for these girls, and listening to the stories of physical, mental, and sexual abuse some of these girls have gone through in their short lives really broke my heart.

My sister lives in Indiana, about 30 minutes north of Indianapolis. I did not realize that Indianapolis was the 10th most dangerous city in the entire US. These girl had to grow up and survive in a really dangerous place, and often, when they are released, they go right back into their old environments.

This documentary is really well done and really brings another perspective to the life of being a juvenile delinquent. These girls do not do drugs, commit crimes, etc., because they like it, but they are doing it because they are deeply hurting and do not know how to handle their emotions, so they lash out and do destructive things.

If you are a fan of prison shows / documentaries, I would recommend this one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TV SHOW REVIEW: Delhi Crime, Season 1

MV5BODg1MTYyZjYtMzJhZi00ZjI3LWI3MTItZTFhZDNhZmYwMjYwXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyODE5NzE3OTE@._V1_UX182_CR0,0,182,268_AL_Title: Delhi Crime

Year: 2019

Genre: Crime, Drama, History

My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

Platform: Netflix

Date Watched: May 17, 2019 to May 18, 2019

Brief Summary of Plot from IMDbBased on the Nirbhaya case, Delhi Crime follows the Delhi Police investigation into the finding of the men who perpetrated this crime.

Episode Name Episode # Date Watched
Episode 1 1 17-May-19
Episode 2 2 17-May-19
Episode 3 3 17-May-19
Episode 4 4 17-May-19
Episode 5 5 18-May-19
Episode 6 6 18-May-19
Episode 7 7 18-May-19

My Review: In the first few minutes of the episode, we are introduced to a very vicious and heinous crime: two people are found on the side of the road in a ditch in Delhi, naked and sexually abused. The man has been beaten with an iron rod, and the woman has been gang raped, beaten, and penetrated with the same iron road. What’s worse, and far more gruesome, is the fact that her intestines have been ripped out through her vagina, and parts of it are missing. Worse still — this show is based upon a real story. The series follows the investigation and the tireless efforts of the police to find the perpetrators.

I have been to India 4 times for work, and was watching this show on the plane back from Kolkata. I have to say that this show was really well done, especially because of the gruesome and stomach twisting subject matter. The acting was superb. For example, the actor who plays the ring leader did a very good job at displaying the apathy, callousness, and evilness of the man who did this to the young girl. It was chilling, because it seemed like he just did not care — or that the woman deserved it. He showed no remorse at all. Additionally, the actress playing the lead detective also did a fantastic job.

In the background of the investigation to find the suspects, the political scene in Delhi is exploding. People are sick and tired of the crime in Delhi and take to the streets to protest the understaffed, underpaid, and overworked police — as if crime were the fault of the police. It paints a picture of a city, a country, in turmoil, where the rich keep getting richer, the poor getting poorer, and tensions rising.

Although this show was disturbing, I found it to be really well done, and interesting, because you get to see how policing is done in India. For an American like me, several things / differences caught my attention, i.e., the prisoners were not handcuffed. Rather the policeman would hold the criminals hand; and hitting prisoners to get confessions seemed to be normal and accepted. This made the show fascinating to watch. I am usually a big fan of crime dramas, and this had all the elements: terrible crime, suspects in the wind, pressure from the boss, dedicated officers willing to do anything it takes, and political tension.

A brilliant binge worthy show that is definitely worth the watch!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TV SHOW REVIEW: Jailbirds, Season 1

MV5BMGEyYjNlYzUtMWU2MC00ZjNkLWJlZTMtM2YxZTZmZjQyM2JiXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMTMxODk2OTU@._V1_UY268_CR4,0,182,268_AL_Title: Jailbirds

Year: 2019

Genre: Reality TV, True Crime

My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Platform: Netflix

Date Watched: May 11, 2019 to May 12, 2019

Brief Summary of Plot from IMDbAt the Sacramento County Jail, incarcerated women fight the power and one another as they try to make the best of life – and love – on the inside.

Episode Name Episode # Date Watched
Dressed into Orange 1 11-May-19
Ima Be That Phatt B*tch 2 11-May-19
We’re All Criminals 3 12-May-19
Swimmin’ in Sh*t, Bruh! 4 12-May-19
It’s a Crazy Beautiful Kinda Love 5 12-May-19
She Swung at Me, I Swung Back 6 12-May-19

My Review: In the first episode we meet several women incarcerated at the jail. Probably my favorite line of the entire first episode is when Gaylon Beason, a 36 year old woman who is a convicted armed robber with two strikes, arrested for violating her parole, stated that she was excited to be finishing up her 90 days in jail, so that she could use the bathroom without having people around her and it “smelling like booboo”. I mean, I guess I can understand. Who doesn’t want some privacy when they go “booboo”? Ms. Beason later goes on to say that she flirts with the other women in the jail, but she is married so she is going to keep “her spit in her mouth and her hands to herself.” Wow. That’s so nice of her!

I do not know why I am so fascinated with these types of shows, but I am basically addicted. It is interesting, yet somehow also disturbing, to listen to how these criminals think. Most are not remorseful, and talk about their crimes like I would talk about how I went shopping or got my hair cut. They seem thrilled to be on camera telling their stories, and most hold nothing back, even if it could influence their court case.

I am also fascinated by the tattoos that the prisoners have. Most of the time while they are in prison, they get even more. Megan Hawkins (a.k.a. “Monster”), arrested for grand theft auto and transportation of narcotics, used to run a successful tattoo business back in New York, that is before she was arrested for selling drugs. She did three months in jail back in New York, before moving to California to change her life around. Unfortunately for her, she started dating a real winner (not), and they both (!) ended back in jail on domestic abuse charges. She claims to have tattoos over 50% of her body. Her ex was on the show also (he was in jail for the same incident).

I always wonder what possesses a person to get such a tattoo? As much as tattoos are considered art, it is still the harsh reality that people with such noticeable tattoos are kept out of the conventional job market. The most noticeable tattoo is the one on her face, over her left eyebrow, which says “Monster”. Her ex, “A1” also had several tattoos on his face. I just don’t get it.

I am often saddened by how normal these women seem; how they have real life dreams, but then mess it up for themselves by turning to a life of crime. Najla Jones (“Noonie”), a self proclaimed “nice ass real bitch”, thinks of Megan Hawkins, as the “lighter to her cigarette”. Nice imagery, right? She was arrested for pimping and pandering, and has a $1,000,000 bail, which of course she cannot afford. As of the filming, she spent more than one year in jail. Noonie grew up in the foster care system, but has dreams of becoming a social worker when she gets out of jail.  Sadly, this dream is probably out of reach for her now that she has a record.

This show also introduces us to male inmates (not just female ones). During the first season the male and female inmates form relationships with each other (often developing messy love triangles), by talking and sending long love letters to each other through the toilet. Yes, you have read correctly. They use the toilets like telephones and the postal service. See, the jail is 8 stories high, and the plumbing is all connected. The inmates can “bail” out their toilets (remove all the water) and then talk into the toilet. I mean, they put their whole face inside that nasty bowl and confess their love through the drains. Gross. To send messages they make lines out of t-shirts, which gets snagged together when they simultaneously flush the toilets. Then one prisoner pulls the line and out comes a plastic baggie with the letter inside. If the prisoners put as much effort into staying out of trouble as they do thinking about how to talk through toilets, there would be no more crime!

I don’t mean to trivialize the plight of these inmates, because let’s face it, jail is no joke, but sometime I can’t help but to think, “whaaaat?” I don’t want to spoil any of these crazy moments, so I will just say, that if you are like me and like true crime and reality TV, then this show is for you and you should totally watch it! Since there are only 6 episodes it’s easy to binge watch it in a weekend, or even in one day.

Happy Watching!

 

 

 

 

MOVIE REVIEW: Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile

389637-extremely-wicked-shockingly-evil-and-vile-0-230-0-345-cropTitle: Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile

Year: 2019

Genre: Thriller, Drama, Crime

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Watch Time: 1 hours 50 minutes

Platform: Netflix

Date Watched: May 4, 2019

Recognized Actors: Zac Efron plays the infamous Ted Bundy. Efron’s performance in this movie is fantastic and I was very impressed. I have only ever seen Efron play the dumb jock, or other unserious roles. In this movie Efron breaks from his former characters and really shows that he has true potential as a versatile actor.

Brief Summary of Plot from LetterboxdTHE STORY BEHIND AMERICA’S MOST NOTORIOUS SERIAL KILLER. A chronicle of the crimes of Ted Bundy, from the perspective of his longtime girlfriend, Elizabeth Kloepfer, who refused to believe the truth about him for years. A courtroom frenzy ensues and sweeps 1970s America when a young single mother reluctantly tips the attention of a widespread manhunt toward her longtime boyfriend, Ted Bundy.

My Review: My impression after the first 15 minutes of the movie: All around really good start to the movie! The scenes where Kloepfer meets and falls in love with Bundy were so well done that I forgot for just a moment that Bundy was one of the most prolific serial killers in recent times. The interplay of the scenes where Bundy is acting as a family man and the news reports of his heinous crimes is artfully done and spine chilling. At the end of the 15 minutes, the story begins to dive into the beginning of Bundy’s downfall; arrested for the kidnapping of a woman in Utah, Bundy arrives back in Seattle spinning a tall tale that he is being set up; and Kloepfer buys it…for the moment.

I am giving this movie 5 stars because it was just so well done. I watch a lot of true crime shows / movies, and this one is on par with Monster, the movie about America’s first female serial killer, Aileen Wuornos  (played by Charlize Theron). The thing that I like about this movie, is that it really portrayed Bundy in the way most people thought of him at the time. I could feel myself feeling sorry for him at some points…and then I remembered what he did. I really have to congratulate Zac Efron on a really good job. I have seen Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes on Netflix, and I think Efron portrayed Bundy down to the letter.

If you like true crime, and want to never trust a stranger again, you must watch this movie.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MOVIE REVIEW: Slender Man

371792-slender-man-0-230-0-345-cropTitle: Slender Man

Year: 2018

Genre: Thriller, Horror, Mystery

My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Watch Time: 1 hours 33 minutes

Platform: Netflix

Date Watched: May 1, 2019

Recognized Actors: The only actor I recognized was Jaz Sinclair. I recognized her from The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (which is a really good show that I would recommend).

Brief Summary of Plot from LetterboxdCAN YOU SEE HIM? In a small town in Massachusetts, four high school girls perform a ritual in an attempt to debunk the lore of Slender Man. When one of the girls goes mysteriously missing, they begin to suspect that she is, in fact, his latest victim.

My Review: My impression after the first 15 minutes of the movie: So far the movie seems to be very similar to the plot of The Ring, i.e., watch a video and within seven days something terrible happens to you. All that is missing is the phone call with Samara’s creepy voice whispering “Seven days”. I have failed to jump or be scared in anyway so far, although there is some tension beginning to build.

As the movie progressed, the “attempted” scares were obvious, and you knew that they were coming. Music would build up and then there was a music explosion at the point where you are supposed to be scared, etc. This style of scare tactic plagues most modern horror movies, and in my opinion detracts from the scare affect. Most of the time it was hard to see the Slender Man himself or the scenes of the movie that took place in the dark, but this might have had something to do with watching it on the ipad during the daytime.

Will this movie win any awards? Of course not, but it’s not supposed to. The goal of this movie is to entertain, and it certainly entertained me.

Despite the fact that the ending was totally lame “ya know?”, I still give it a solid 3 out of 5 stars.