Lana Banana

Why do I find this woman…american.horror.story.s02e13.madness.ends.720p.web.dl.x264-mrs.mkv_snapshot_40.38_[2016.01.24_10.48.03]

… far more attractive than this one…American Horror Story - 02x13 - Madness Ends.mkv_snapshot_15.18_[2016.01.24_20.57.07]

…?????

Padahal kan ya mereka itu orangnya sama, aktornya sama, karakternya sama.

Saya tertarik sama American Horror Story memang karena lagi penasaran sama aktris ini (I first noticed her on Julianne Moore’s Game Change). Dan juga karena Jessica Lange (how far her beauty stretched after Tootsie. Fuck was she pretty back then). Dan Kathy Bates (meski dia ternyata nggak main di season dua ini).

Sepanjang season saya mikir, “Ya, biasa aja sih Sarah Paulson. Aktingnya sih oke, tapi ceritanya AHS kok ya agak malesin sih. Tapi ya udah deh, betah-betahin bagian dia aja,”
Eh, pas nonton finale, dan udah fast forward 30an tahun ke masa depan, dan muncul versi tuanya, I was like 😱😱😱

“Daaaamnnn…” batin saya setelah nge-capture gambar yang paling atas.

What the fuck is wrong with me?

New Obsession: The Underwoods!

Good bye, Ben Wyatt and Leslie Knope. I have a new political couple that I’m going to worship from now on. Well, it’s not a permanent good bye. It’s just now you two won’t be my number one favorite anymore.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present you, from the Netflix original series House of Cards, the abhorrent pairing: Francis and Claire Underwood.

Claire. I love that name. If The Underwoods lived in the land and time of Game of Thrones, they would bestow her the name Ice Queen of House Underwoods. She’s one of the most enchanting and my favorite female characters. It’s almost a crime to dislike her.

Claire was 48 when the show started two years ago, yet still strikingly beautiful with chick wardrobe and pixie haircut (shows her sense of simplicity and practicality, plus her power and terror).
She doesn’t talk much, but when she does, she does it slowly, calmly, gracefully. So when she raises her voice or changes her expression even slightly, you would definitely notice (I guess Claire thinks that she’s surrounded by a bunch of petulant kids, so she mainly holds her tongue and calms herself before opening her mouth).
She’s pragmatic, like her husband. She knows what to do when needed and she’s willing to do whatever it takes to live and survive and achieve what she wants in that side of the world. And by that side of the world, of course I mean the darkest and dirtiest side of government when you happen to be the wife of a congressman of United States.

Francis Underwood is the epitome of a Machiavellian in planet Earth. What can I tell you about him? Well, he was promised by the president-elect of the United States a position in his cabinet as secretary of state (if you need an example in real life, just know and remember that Hillary Clinton once had this title). But right before the president-elect’s being sworn, he changed his mind and Francis stayed in the congress. Francis then swore to get his revenge on the president-elect and those people who screwed him up. He worked days and nights, with his wife, to conduct an epic revenge to throw the president-elect out of his office.
You name every single thing that comes out of your mind about the things Francis and Claire might do. They’ve done it. You won’t believe it, but I swear it is a grandeur orchestra.

The paragraph above is basically the prologue of the series. So there, you got the basic story of House of Cards.

So here’s a bit of their journey throughout season one and two. It’s not that often they shared screen, but sometimes when they did, it’s rather sweet (by my standard). Even their “hey” to one another sounds like a 28-year-old marriage. :)
Why yes, I’m that sensitive over reading things, sometimes.

Warning: These pictures, of course, contain spoilers.

First time seeing them together in the pilot. This where it all began.
First time seeing them together in the pilot. This where it all began.
Having casual night talk about Claire's old affair who's in town.
Having casual night talk about Claire’s old affair who’s in town.
Another very casual morning discussion. Now was about Francis' current affair with a reporter, just when he entered his house (yes, that's a walk of shame).
Another very casual morning discussion. Now was about Francis’ current affair, just when he entered his house (yes, that’s a walk of shame).
Dutifully powdered her husband's face. Just because.
Dutifully powdered Francis’ face before his appearance on TV. Because God forbid anyone else did that to her husband.
Aside from their (kind of) open marriage, they do love each other. Here was Francis, consoling his wife about her nightmare. If there's one person that Francis could empathize with, I think it's Claire. Wait.. if it's kind of an open marriage, then what they had wasn't really an affair, right? Hmm...
Aside from their (kind of) open marriage, they do love each other. Here was Francis, consoling his wife about her nightmare. If there’s one single creature that Francis can empathize with or be considerate to, I think it’s Claire. Wait.. if it’s an open marriage, then what they had wasn’t really an affair, right? Hmm…
Another sweet late night talk. If my life was a fiction, I wouldn't mind my husband murdered someone out of love for me. I'd dig that.
Another sweet late night talk. If my life was a fiction and there’s no heaven or hell, I wouldn’t mind my husband murdered someone out of love for me.
Quietly celebrating birthday. That's the dream.
Quietly celebrating birthday. That’s the dream.
Turning an affair into a romantic gesture. Well, Claire's still being condemned by the conservatives and I loved how the show didn't focus on that.
Turning an affair into a romantic gesture. Well, Claire’s sure being condemned by the conservatives and I loved how the show didn’t focus on that. We, especially me, don’t need to see her wallowing in regret, nor parading her self-pride, or justifying her act. Let her and her husband be a perfect pair of corrupted souls that they are.
Just exactly how I pictured my morning with Mamas. Eh? :P
Just exactly how I pictured my morning with Mamas. Eh? :P
This is their intimate time. After work, before bed. Sitting by the side of the window. Smoking, sharing their day, plotting their next day.
Their intimate time. After work, before bed. Sitting by the side of the window. Smoking, drinking, sharing their day, plotting their next day.
Another picture of a perfect quiet morning with Mamas. EH?? :P
Another picture of a perfect quiet morning with Mamas. EH?? :P
One of relationship goals. Nooo.. not about Mamas being a president, but you know.. being there at the most important day of his life. Something like that. :))
One of relationship goals. Nooo.. not about Mamas being the most powerful man in the world, but you know.. being there by his side at the most important moments of his life. Something like that. :))
This is one of those couples that just were clearly made for each other. I don't mind the conniving part, I dig that. That's what makes them strong and glued together. But I just couldn't help but sometimes yelled on my screen, "WHYYY DO YOU WANT THIS?? WHY DOES ANYONE EVEN WANT TO BE THE MOST POWERFUL PERSON IN THE WORLD?? WHY?? GAK ELING MATI TA?? DUUUH..."
This is one of those couples that were clearly made for each other. I don’t mind the conniving part at all (I’m seriously questioning my own moral judgment right now), that’s what makes them strong and glued together. In a way, they deserve each other. They’re already with the best partner they could ever have. But I just couldn’t help but sometimes yelled on my screen, “WHYYY DO YOU WANT THIS?? WHYYY DOES ANYONE EVEN WANT TO BE THE MOST POWERFUL PERSON IN THE WORLD?? WHYYY?? GAK ELING MATI TA??? DUUUH…”

 

Saya barusan ngehapus tulisan panjang tentang pasangan ini di season tiga, season terbaru House of Cards yang tuntas saya tonton seharian kemaren (yap, another 13 hours). But fuck that. And fuck season three! I’m going to pretend that it doesn’t exist until the writers stop butchering the story and Claire’s character in season four next year.
It’s definitely a sin to turn a dearly impeccable stoic calculated cold goddess into a nagging petty short-sighted hormonal wife! I won’t have Claire be that kind of person.

If we never saw this kind of scene again, then I don’t know, man. I guess love is only a myth. Because even then Rihanna would be deadly wrong. We did not find love even in a hopeless place (and these two being the most hopeless form of human being). Bye.

Leslie and Ben

In my time working for the state government, my job sent me to 46 cities in 11 years. I lived in villages with eight people, rural farming communities, college towns. I was sent to every corner in Indiana. And then, I came here. And I realized that this whole time… I was just wandering around everywhere, just looking for you.”

-Ben Wyatt

Sepertinya saya nggak pernah nggak terharu tiap denger Ben Wyatt ngucapin wedding vow-nya ke Leslie di episode 14 season 5 Parks and Recreation. Pas Ben ngomong begitu, ada flashback in black and white tentang waktu pertama kali Ben dateng ke Pawnee dan kerja sama Leslie, sampai mereka pacaran diem-diem karena takut dipecat, terus Ben dukung Leslie maju kampanye, dsb, dsb.

Kalau ada yang nonton Parks and Recreation mulai awal pasti deh ngerasain roller coaster-nya hubungan Ben dan Leslie. Kisah cinta mereka bukan tipe yang drama menye-menye penuh derita dan airmata, tapi lebih ke hubungan yang dewasa, penuh kompromi dan sikap suportif karena berkisar sama profesi mereka juga (ditambah Parks and Rec kan komedi, hehehe). Dan saya selalu luluh tiap Ben bilang, ‘I was just wandering around everywhere, just looking for you,’

You need to see the previous four and a half seasons to really grasp the meaning of that sentence. :’)

Oh, ditambah saya baru aja ngeh kalau lagu yang dinyanyikan Donna waktu Leslie dan Ron berjalan menuju altar adalah Flower Duet. Dari opera Lakmé-nya Delibes. It’s one of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard in my life. Coba dengerin deh. ;)

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Cougar Town (2009 – present)


Satu lagi tv series Amerika yang menggugah selera. Tapi tunggu dulu, jangan terkecoh sama judulnya. Bisa jadi orang malas melirik serial ini karena judulnya yang terkesan bitchy. Tidak mengapa. Awalnya aku juga begitu. Tapi setelah menonton dan jatuh hati pada Courteney Cox di serial lawas Friends, aku jadi penasaran dengan aktingnya di luar peran Monica Geller. Makanya aku memutuskan untuk mengikuti Cougar Town, yang untungnya baru dua season, jadi download-nya nggak perlu ngoyo… :P

Cougar Town adalah series with ensemble cast. Mirip dengan Friends, How I Met Your Mother, dan Modern Family. Semua karakternya merupakan tokoh utama yang tidak bisa dipisahkan atau lebih ditonjolkan dari yang lain.
Ceritanya berseting di sebuah kota fiksi di negara bagian Florida, Cougar Town.

Jules Cobb

Awalnya cerita di serial ini berpusat pada karakter Jules Cobb (Courteney Cox), seorang wanita karir yang baru bercerai dan menjadi single mother dari seorang anak remaja, dan memutuskan untuk re-live masa mudanya yang hilang karena menikah dan punya anak di usianya yang kini berkepala empat. Cukup menjelaskan makna tagline series ini: 40 is the new 20. :D
Jules sendiri digambarkan (entah sengaja atau tidak atau memang tidak ada kaitannya) kurang lebih mirip dengan Monica Geller. Mereka sama-sama obsesif dengan sesuatu, bossy, neurotik, dianggap sebagai ibu di peer group mereka.

Beberapa episode pertama di season satu berkutat pada Jules yang berganti-ganti pasangan (yang mana mereka adalah berondong), dan bagaimana coping strategy-nya untuk mengatasi pandangan negatif orang-orang di sekitarnya. Namun setelah itu, kita akan merasakan pergeseran fokus cerita di serial ini.  Dimana bukan lagi Jules dan brondong-brondongnya yang jadi pusat cerita, tapi tentang Jules dan sahabat-sahabatnya, yang disebut dengan Culdesac Crew (yang notebene adalah tetangga, pegawai, anak dan bahkan mantan suaminya). :D
Creator serial ini bilang sayang sekali apabila sahabat-sahabat Jules itu terpinggirkan, padahal masing-masing dari mereka punya keunikan dan disfungsionalitas yang layak untuk ditonjolkan.

Ellie Torres (Christa Miller, istri Bill Lawrence, creator serial ini), salah satu anggota Culdesac Crew ini merupakan (mengaku) sahabat terbaik Jules. Dia sudah kenal dengan Jules sejak mereka masih muda. Ibu dari satu anak yang masih berumur setahun ini dulunya adalah pengacara (tapi berhenti bekerja setelah punya anak), terkenal sarkastik dan berkuasa penuh atas suaminya. Meski terkesan nggak pedulian dan selalu mengritik semua hal di Culdesac Crew, Ellie sebenarnya perhatian.

Laurie Keller (Busy Phillipps) adalah pegawai sekaligus asisten Jules di kantor real estate-nya. Usianya masih sekitar 25 tahun. Laurie ini sangat spontan, ceplas-ceplos dan apa adanya. Jiwa mudanya lah membuat serial ini tidak terasa hanya ditujukan bagi penonton usia di atas 30 tahun.
Tipikal blondie, dia ini agak-agak bego. Dia juga merupakan ‘musuh besar’ Ellie. Mereka sering berdebat siapa di antara mereka yang merupakan sahabat terbaik Jules. Dan menurutku, pertengkaran mereka itulah yang membuat serial ini lucu. :)

Travis Cobb (Dan Byrd). Anak tunggal Jules yang mulai masuk bangku kuliah. Meski kadang jengah, jengkel, dan segalanya pada kedua orangtuanya yang benar-benar disfungsional, toh aslinya Travis sangat peduli dan sayang pada mereka. Pemuda ini berusaha keras agar lepas dari jeratan ibunya yang terlalu memanjakan dan menganggapnya belum dewasa. Tanpa dia sadari bahwa perlakuan ibunya padanya itulah yang membuat dia sulit bertahan dari goncangan yang menerpa di hidupnya.

Grayson Ellis

Grayson Ellis (Josh Hopkins), personel Culdesac Crew yang merupakan seorang duda tanpa anak, gemar berganti-ganti cewek pasca perceraiannya, antisosial, sering berseteru dengan Jules.  Tapi semua itu berubah saat dia mulai dekat dengan Culdesac Crew, grup kecil itu akhirnya jadi teman sekaligus keluarganya. Terlebih lagi ketika dia akhirnya pacaran sama Jules. :)
Dia juga pemilik bar dan musisi dadakan. Dia sering bikin lagu dan nyanyi di depan Culdesac Crew dengan gitar kecilnya yang punya stiker mawar di sisi-sisinya. :))

Bobby Cobb

Bobby Cobb (Brian Van Holt) adalah mantan suami Jules. Jules menceraikan dia karena dia dulu doyan selingkuh dan tidak pernah ada bagi keluarganya. Pria ini dulunya adalah atlet golf profesional. Tapi sekarang dia bangkrut, bekerja sebagai pelatih golf, tidak punya rumah, dan tinggal di sebuah kapal yang diparkir di sebuah parking lot. He’s a lazybones. And seems like a loser. Tapi dia bangga dengan apa yang dia miliki sekarang. Dia tidak pernah merasa terpuruk karena dia yakin dia harus jadi role model bagi Travis. Overall, he’s a good father. Despite those things, he becomes someone who Travis can count on and look up to.

Andy Torres

Andy Torres (Ian Gomez) ini jelas suaminya Ellie. Pria ini, saat di kantor, bisa benar-benar galak dan berkuasa. Tapi saat sudah di rumah, dan di antara Culdesac Crew dia benar-benar jadi pria yang berbeda. Dia supernurut dan bertekuk lutut sama Ellie. Dia juga sering jadi sasaran olokan Jules dkk. Dan dia adalah penggemar berat Bobby. Obsesinya terhadap Bobby jugalah yang menjadikan karakternya begitu kocak. :D

Serial ini diproduseri oleh Courteney Cox dan David Arquette melalui rumah produksi mereka, Coquette Productions. Merasa bahwa judul serial ini tidak lagi relevan dengan konsep keseluruhan cerita, Bill Lawrence dan mereka-mereka ini merasa bahwa perlu ada penggantian judul. Kita lihat saja nanti.

Setelah melalui berbagai macam kritik pedas di season 1, serial ini menggebrak di season 2 dan jadi salah satu comedy hit di stasiun tv ABC, selain serial Modern Family. Sempat masuk nominasi Golden Globe tahun ini sebagai best comedy series, namun tidak menang, sudah merupakan prestasi besar tersendiri bagi Cougar Town. Kita tunggu kelanjutan kisah Culdesac Crew di season 3 yang rencananya akan tayang sekitar November 2011 nanti. :)