Orange Review (2016)

Contains spoilers.

Orange is a high school/romance story of both happiness and sadness, moments make you want to both weep and smile. The narrative centres on Neho and her love interest Kakeru. But they are just one element of a beautiful and intricate story, the narrative is told mostly from Neho’s school years with occasional flashbacks from her future self. She communicates with the high school version of herself via letters. Although Neho seems content with her current life, she and the rest of her friends all hold regrets, wishing they had done more for their dear friend Kakeru who sadly is no longer with them.

Orange is bittersweet, so many moments can bring both a smile and a tear, I had my doubts when I decided to watch this series, usually romance drama’s are something I steer away from but it surprisingly handles some very sensitive subjects such as depression, anxiety and loneliness, the characters are all relatable, so many of us would be able to see ourselves in them and that’s what makes Orange so special.

The most important aspect of the show has to be the tight nit friendship of all the characters, how they love and support one another and their desperation to save Kakeru. The show captures issues such as depression in a rather realistic way and handles the subject with care, it doesn’t show that there is some magic way to cure depression, instead it focuses on how important support from others can be, how they act as a safety net and more importantly the show teaches us how to try and be better to those that we love and be there for them in times of need.

Another important character who deserves a mention would be Suwa, his love for Neho is clear but no matter what, he will do whatever it takes to make her happy, even though it may mean that he has to give up his potential future with Neho and their son. Not only this but he also cares for their mutual friend Kakeru and wants to rectify mistakes of the past. Surprisingly rectifying mistakes, even when you know what the right thing is to do, isn’t that easy, everything is better with hindsight and no matter what, everyone makes mistakes sometimes, we’re only human after all.

unfortunately the latter half of the series does get bogged down with trying to explain how the letters are transported to the past. The whole idea is rather far-fetched and trying to make sense of the whole situation seemed unnecessary. But luckily the show manages to pick up in the final episodes and manages to end on a high note with the final episode.

Orange is a series which stands out for me and I’d even be tempted to call one of my favorites, it made me laugh, cry, smile and contemplate. Yes, there are moments where the pace slows down and it perhaps has a couple more episodes than required but it beautifully captures moments of hardship, life and most importantly friendship. All the characters were enjoyable and they all felt like they had purpose. My main issue certainly has to be that the ending seemed to be missing something, the future versions of themselves, can they ever be content, happy? And what about this new time line, how do these characters turn out now that they have altered history? Maybe in some ways it’s better not to know, but it does seem like something is left unsaid.


True Detective Season One Review (2014).

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This post will contain spoilers.

Air Date: 12/01/14
Nic Pizzolatto
Cary Fukunaga
Matthew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson, Michelle Monaghan

True Detective deserves every bit of praise it’s ever received, it’s stylish, poetic and an absolute pleasure to watch from start to finish, the only bad part? That it’s only eight episodes long.

Season one of True Detective follows the lives of Rustin Chole (Matthew McConaughey) a smart profiler and Marty Hart (Woody Harrelson) an old style cop; we’re shown their story over the course of a 17 year period, making use of flashbacks to cover this large timescale. Originally the pair were brought together to work on a high profile case which appeared to have occult underpinnings, their lives become intertwined as they attempt to uncover the culprit in the hot murky swamps of Louisiana which seems to get more complicated as the season continues.

As the season progresses the case becomes complicated, Rust believes it goes higher than they first imagined, possibly involving law enforcement and elite members of society. He eventually convinces his partner but nobody else is keen to agree, Rust later uncovers evidence that links a well-known and prominent family to cult murders which have been happening during this 17 year period; the Tuttles, but catching them is the hard part.

True Detective is a mini-series (also called an anthology), each is eight episodes long; seasons will move onto different detectives (season two is currently airing and stars Vince Vaughn, Colin Farrell and Rachel McAdams). The episodes are approximately one hour long, all written by nic Pizzolatto and directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga. Everyone involved seem to have a clear creative goal and it makes for a beautifully crafted series. Everything about this season fits perfectly, the style, the setting, the opening credits and the music all come together so well to craft this intriguing crime thriller which will have you on the end of your seat until the very last minutes.

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Out of the two leads, McConaughy’s Cohle is certainly the more intriguing of the two lead characters, which is due partly of course to the writing of Nic Pizzolatto, as he created such a unique and layered character, Cohle is opinionated and has strange ideas about the world we live in, but, in some ways, he speaks the truth; this goes completely against the grain in this Louisiana setting, especially with his partner; Marty Hart. Cohle has a troubled past and a dark persona; which he himself is well aware of and practically revels in, but he’s not alone; his partner, Hart is also battling his own demons which is starting to take its toll on himself and those around him: mainly, his family.

True detective is slow paced, nothing is rushed, everyone gets their fair share of screen time, Pizzolatto has given the characters room to breathe, we spend enough time with them to almost feel as if we know them. Sometimes Cohle does seem rather ‘out there’ statements such as “I don’t sleep, I just dream” or his remarks on how an area scattered with broken down buildings reminds him of someone’s a faded memory. Harrelson’s Hart manages to bring the tone back down to earth, they’re well suited and the acting from both is phenomenal; they manage to bounce off one another well which in turn adds some much needed laughter into an otherwise serious programme, Harrelson and McConaughey real life friendship certainly helped on this part as they work together magnificently.

In some ways what we’re seeing is nothing new to the other cop shows on TV; what makes it stand out from the crowd is the acting of both Harrelson and McConnaughy alongside a terrific script paired with some beautiful direction by Fukunaga. All this combined makes season one of True Detective one to remember which also begs for multiple viewings.