Current Obsession: Nailed It

For a long time, I basically stopped watching stuff online. No more streaming Netflix at odd hours, playing an episode of Midsomer Murders while I was cooking dinner (an unhappy combination) or folding laundry while watching yet another season of Parks & Recreation just because the real-life Leslie Knope inside me was being destroyed by the many real-life Jeremy Jamms, and I needed the fictional Leslie Knope to cheer me up.

It was nice to take a break from wasting enormous amounts of time watching stuff on screens, and I was a better person for it. But now that break from Netflix is over (and I am back to being a terrible person again) and I am once more watching shows online. Right now I’m watching in small doses, and I hope I can keep it that way but probably not.

Here is one of my current Netflix picks:

Nailed It

A stupid, stupid concept based on an Internet meme (which is redundant) in which regular folks try to recreate a baking masterpiece they have seen on the Internet. Usually such inspiration comes from Pinterest, the site where people organize photos they discover online. The site is dominated by recipes, crafts, interior design – that sort of thing. Everyone acknowledges the inspirational nature of Pinterest, but it also must be acknowledged that most of us are complete failures when it comes to implementing any of the ideas we find online.

Nailed It invites three of these Pinterest-style losers to compete in recreating one of these Internet-photo masterpieces in real life. The show, as stupid as it is, is surprisingly charming, thanks mostly to its very weird host. Her name is Nicole Byer, and I’m not even going to google her to find out where she came from, but I had never heard of her until this show. Which makes it feel like I discovered her and I, alone, find her hilarious. She is truly a weirdo. Do you know how rare it is to see a bona fide weirdo (who is also funny, self-aware and smart, I should qualify, as run-of-the-mill weirdos are plentiful) on TV? It is rare indeed. It also means that the whole show is fully aware that its entire existence is a joke. But it is a good-natured joke, which makes Nailed It a sweet show.

Real life Nailed It. Source: The Internet.

Viewers root for the rotating roster of losers to pull off the challenge, because we relate to them, because we are most likely losers ourselves. There is money involved, however: a $10,000 cash prize, so in that sense the show is a serious endeavor indeed.

I’ve noticed that American reality shows always have money involved. Mabye Americans don’t compete unless money is at stake. Meanwhile over on The Best British Baking Show, winners of that grueling 10-week competition get a silver embossed plate or an etched glass cake stand or something. This is probably the basic difference between Americans and British people, and why we won the Revolution.

I have a few more shows I’m wasting time on, which I’ll share with you over the next few weeks, assuming I can tear myself away from a screen.

Rapunzel cakes. Netflix nailed it. Source: Netflix

Nights with Netflix: Jack Lemmon’s Bachelor Pad

First of all, Jack Lemmon can do no wrong, even when he’s at his schtick-iest – and he often comes pretty close to that line.   (That is, when he’s not stomping on it.)  He’s just a very funny man.  So when I’m perusing the offerings on Netflix and encounter a movie featuring Jack Lemmon, I usually check it out.  Even if the film is atrocious I’ll have a good time with Jack, laughing it up.  This is how I stumbled across his movie “How to Murder Your Wife”.  This 1965 movie has a catchy title and a compelling and relentlessly dated plot to recommend it. What’s not to like?

It’s not the idea of murdering the wife (a lovely Virna Lisi)  that gives the movie’s age away, it’s the reasons Jack Lemmon gives for doing away with her.  Marrying her was a mistake that he considers correcting, as it utterly cramps his revered bachelor lifestyle.   And not only his lifestyle, but that of his personal valet.   The two of them have a chaste love affair that centers around their deep and abiding fondness for domestic order and civility.  A woman, as a matter of course, interrupts this domestic order with her penchant for cooking elaborate dishes, talking at length with her interfering mother, and washing her stockings and unmentionables in the bathroom sink. Continue reading