My performance of the week ending 8/3/19 on TV goes to…

The cast of  Netflix’s Orange Is the New Black season 7.  The cast of OITNB is so incredibly talented and I honestly cannot narrow it down to one standout performance.  I really can’t even narrow it down to a top 3 because they are all so compelling.  One of the reasons why I love this show so much is because it’s truly about the characters.  Everyone has a past and sometimes these characters learn from their previous mistakes and really grow, while others spiral out of control, but that’s what makes these performances so incredibly real and heart-wrenching.  **Please note that spoilers have been left out for your convenience so feel free to read on.

I have been a fan of the series for seven seasons and it’s honestly really difficult for me to say goodbye to it, but I think that these episodes will continue to stand the test of time.  Each reflection into a different character’s past makes you see them in a whole new light, as you start to really sympathize with characters that perhaps seemed horrible in earlier seasons and maybe you even start to root for them.

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Season 7 certainly jam-packs a lot into the final season of OITNB, as we get to see some favorite characters return and explore some new plot points as well.  Perhaps what I found the most interesting was seeing certain characters truly understanding one another and bonding now, where we used to witness some pretty ruthless feuds between them before.  In the earlier seasons, many of these characters were guarded and divided, but they are now all coming together, recognizing the importance of loyalty and friendship even when all hope seems lost.

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What’s next for the characters of OITNB?  Well not much since this is the final season of the show, but I am planning on re-watching the entire series in the near future because I was so incredibly moved by all of the performances and I really started to think about each individual journey.  It truly was amazing to see how much some of these characters have grown and how scary the world can be outside these four constricting walls.

Even though it seems like freedom is the obvious goal, some of our characters end up facing even more struggles outside of prison, reminding us that the journey of self-discovery is far from over, but it’s important to have the love and support of those around you, even though it may come from an unlikely source.  I fell in love with this show when it first aired and each season continued to inspire me.  We got a mixed bag of hilarious, heartbreaking, romantic, and tense moments, which kept us entertained until the very end.

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At the end of the day, it’s about each and every one of these characters…these strong women who have to continue fighting even when the world is against them.  Each character has so many layers and even if you think you have them figured out, they may surprise you, reminding us that it’s never too late to change and that it’s about the small moments in between that sometimes have the biggest impact on us in the end.

Stay tuned for a recognized performance on TV each week!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

Have a performance on TV that you think is simply outstanding? Feel free to contact me with your nomination for the week by Friday at midnight! 

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Throw-back Sunday: “Lost” ranking the top 5 characters

It’s Throw-Back Sunday TV viewers, otherwise known as my favorite day to catch up on other series or re-watch some of my past favorites in cozy pajamas with my dog!  For today’s Throw-Back Sunday, I am re-watching some of my favorite Lost episodes.  After re-watching the series 16 times, yes 16, my favorite characters have shifted over the years.  I think it has to do more with me as a person watching since the character story-lines haven’t changed.  Each time I watch, something new is happening in my life and I connect with the characters in a different way.  While some stay ranked the same, others have shifted in and out of my top 5.  Jacob got it right when he revealed to the candidates that none of them were doing fine before they crashed on the island.  They were all looking for something or some way to connect and the island sparked that in each of them.  This holds true for me as well, as I find myself connecting to different characters and empathizing with them over the years.  Please note spoilers are below in case you have not watched all of the episodes by now and if you haven’t, I strongly recommend that you get to that immediately!  My top 5 characters from Lost are:

5

Juliet Burke

For me, Juliet is the character that reminds me of myself the most.  She is loving, smart, and strong; but is guarded with her emotions.  When Juliet is introduced in season 3, her flashbacks were so interesting to me.  She was clearly looking for some way to make a difference and help; only it takes her leaving the others and coming to help the Losties to truly find a sense of purpose.  For me, Juliet has always been selfless.  Sure she makes mistakes just like the rest of us, but that’s what makes her so complex as a character.  Her love with Sawyer is beautiful and when she tells him that “just because two people love each other, doesn’t mean they have to be together,” it shows that she is used to disappointment and pain, but she is all right with it, as long as something good comes out of it.

4

Desmond Hume

Desmond has always been somewhere on my top 5 ranking.  The introduction of him in season 2 was brilliant.  My favorite episodes of the show all feature Desmond and it’s because he brings something elevated and real to the show.  Desmond desperately wants to prove his self-worth and later realizes that Penny already saw it in him from the start.  She mentions that he is a “good man which she finds that is hard to come by.”  I think that sums up Desmond perfectly.  He is a good man, but he is also a coward, which shows his weakness.  He screams that he wants to go back and he’ll do it right this time in “Flashes Before Your Eyes,” which touches my heart with each re-watch.

3

Kate Austen

Kate has probably shifted the most throughout my list and used to not even make my top 5.  From what I see, Kate gets the most hate from online forums and fan sites.  Viewers often refer to her as annoying and useless.  However, I find Kate to be smart, courageous, and loving.  Similar to the other characters, she crashes on the island and it is revealed that she is a fugitive and was always born to run.  Like Sawyer says to her, “You run, I con.  Tiger don’t change their stripes.”  Kate, like Jack, was always keeping busy to help others.  She was always the first to volunteer to go on a hike or get caught up in whatever drama was going on because she was so used to running away from everything and everyone, avoiding herself in the process.  When Kate begins raising Aaron off island, she finds her new identity as a mother.  Even when she leaves him to go back to the island, it’s not to run away, but to find Claire so she can reunite her with Aaron, a truly selfless act.  Kate also gets a bad rep for getting caught in the middle of a love triangle, or maybe love rhombus is more accurate, with Jack, Sawyer, and Juliet.  However, I don’t fault her for this.  She has conflicting feelings for both Jack and Sawyer because they represent different things to her.  I think both are right for her at different points in her life, but it’s her love for Aaron that truly helps her find out who she is.

2

James Ford aka “Sawyer”

From cruising through polls and Lost forums, Sawyer is the favorite character of many and used to be mine before Jack surpassed him.  Sawyer represents a redeemed hero, which also shows his own transformation.  In the first season, Sawyer is very much out for himself and wants others to hate him.  He is his own worst enemy; however, as he reveals hints of goodness along the way.  While Sawyer has shown signs of selfless behavior over the seasons, him jumping off the chopper so that the others could make it to the freighter was more out of fear of what might happen if he didn’t, as Cassidy so eloquently put it when talking to Kate.  It’s not until Sawyer remains on the island and embraces his con-man smarts in order to protect everyone that he finds his way.  When he falls in love with Juliet, Sawyer reaches his full potential, putting his past baggage behind him.  His snarky humor and beloved nicknames lighten up the show as well, making him an excellent candidate for rank #2.

1

Jack Shephard

You may be thinking that this is the obvious number one character since Jack is presented as the lead character in Lost for the most part.  For me, Jack’s quest to overcome his need to “fix everything” along with him realizing that he has had his father’s approval the whole time, makes him stand out as a real and true hero.  The series opens with Jack’s eye opening and from the minute he is awake, he is playing hero and trying to help everyone he can.  You may think that he has been a selfless hero from the start, but that’s not the whole story.  Sure, I do find Jack to be a selfless hero, but he didn’t start off that way for me.  I took the opening episodes with a grain of salt, as it seemed like he was trying to keep busy and distract himself from his own inner demons by helping everyone else.  It’s not until we get to the “White Rabbit” episode that we see Jack truly vulnerable.  The empty coffin at the end of this episode reveals that Jack has not found what he is looking for just yet.  Jack makes it his mission to get everyone off of the island, only to later find out that this is a mistake.  The island gave him a sense of purpose and he was finally able to step into the leadership role, rather than being in his father’s shadow.  “We have to go back!”  Yes, you do Jack.  The island is not done with you yet and it is your destiny.  The last episode of the series brings tears to my eyes each time and this is mostly because I have come to adore Jack Shephard over years of watching.  When he comes to terms with what is happening his words, “Live together, die alone,” stay true as the dog, Vincent, lies down next to him so that he is not alone.  The series ends with his eye closing and I cannot think of a better way to end the show.  When Jack’s eye opens, he is in desperate need of finding himself and when his eyes finally close, he has found it.

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to post thoughts on your own favorite characters.  Enjoy your throw-back Sunday!  Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl