A Journey Through Prime Day Anxiety

Welcome to Prime Day! Both 7/11/17 and the Amazon Prime shopping event when members are treated to 30 hours of slashed prices and special deals. If you’re a carefree online shopper this is right up your alley. If you’re a cautious spender but have been waiting to make a very specific purchase, you’re probably feeling pretty good, too.

But if you’re one of those people who both insists on buying everything on sale, but also frets and fusses about spending any unplanned cash, this is just nerve-wracking. Let’s talk about Prime Day Anxiety.

Phase 1: I’m Not Buying Anything

Maybe the right answer is not even going on Amazon today.

Phase 2: Well. Maybe I could just window shop.

The Prime Day Anxiety is creeping in: I don’t want to buy anything, but I also don’t want to not buy something I’ll just end up buying later, but for more money… right?

Phase 3: Confusion and dismay.

The real Prime Day anxiety starts when you surf over to Amazon (surf? as in surf the web? I’m elderly). There are THOUSANDS of deals and unless you spend your whole workday on there, you’ll never get through them all.

Wait… and there are upcoming deals? Yeah. They don’t just dump all of the deals into your lap at midnight. They open up on a rolling basis. You can set alerts. It’s a lot.

Oh. And after a certain number of deals are claimed, they go away. If you really want something, you have to act on it.

If you’re serious about this you either have to check Prime all day or hire some kind of a Prime Day Nanny to watch the internet for you.

Phase 4: Regrouping

It’s time for a list. I figured out the things I really need or have been wanting for a long time. It’s a hodgepodge ranging from a 6-month supply of flea and tick preventative for my dog (this year has been exceptionally tick-y) to a Fitbit Charge to a standing mixer. I use the Prime Day field to do a specific search for these items, bypassing any tempting deals I don’t need to be exposed to.

Phase 5: Shopping Cart Shuffle

Just a lot of putting things in my shopping cart “in case,” giving some of the satisfaction of shopping without actually buying anything. I basically treat it like one of those Toys R Us shopping sprees kids would win on Nickelodeon back in the day, but without getting anything at the end. (Childhood Shopping-Related Anxiety: how stressed I’d get about the terrible, inefficient choices those kids would always make.)

Of course, this is Prime Day and nothing can be easy. In the time between adding a $14 pair of sneakers to my cart and going to my cart to possibly check out, the sneakers were gone.

Other things I put in my cart: a set of knives for my parents, a $5 nightshirt for some reason, some retinol I guess, a watch (??). I buy none of them.

Phase 6: Comparison Shopping

To the people who can casually shop – in store or online – without checking to see if there’s a better price: I envy you. I had to check my trusty Google Shopping to find out if these were even the best deals. The knife set wasn’t, although it turns out the nightshirt was really very cheap. It was also a nightshirt.

Phase 7: Prime Day Deep Dive

I couldn’t stop myself. I looked at deals for things I didn’t need, which – when on sale – somehow become things I COULD need. I really don’t have to drop $30 on an Amazon Fire, but what if my laptop beaks this year? And I could have had a tablet for $30? On the other hand, what if I really need $30 this year and I have an Amazon Fire instead?

Phase 8: Checkout

Mentally, not literally. The best way not to get frazzled about Prime Day is not to do Prime Day.

Except for that flea and tick stuff. I did end up buying that. Only $12!

** This post is in no way sponsored by Amazon, I just get stressed about spending money **

Pilot You Should Watch If You Haven’t Already: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Get ready to add another show to your list in this golden age of television!

If you’re one of those Gilmore Girls fans who also watched Bunheads for Amy Sherman-Palladino’s writing style, and continued to watch despite the fact the show had its flaws, we have a new show for you! OR if you didn’t watch either of those shows and have no idea who Amy Sherman-Palladino is, we have a new show for you! The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel pilot was released on Friday, and transports us back to 1958 in New York City, where a woman (the titular Mrs. Maisel played by Rachel Brosnahan) goes from “uptown housewife to stand-up comic in Greenwich Village.”

Like all Amazon pilots, the company bosses determine which shows they’ll pick up based on what the viewers want. You can currently watch the pilot for free (even without an Amazon Prime subscription), but if you need some convincing (or watched it already and want to relive it), read on to see why you need to add Mrs. Maisel to your queue.

Rachel Brosnahan!

I appreciated her as a prostitute in House of Cards, but TBH when I heard she got cast in this show, I had some hesitation – solely based on her playing Rachel in HoC, which I understand is unreasonable. But boy oh boy did she impress me in Maisel. She completely inhabits Midge Maisel’s New York housewife persona, and I felt like “House of Cards Rachel Brosnahan” and “Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Rachel Brosnahan” are two completely different human beings. Her performance is not forced – it’s honest, hilarious, and heartbreaking all at the same time. It’s one of those things where you think, “My god, she’s going to be a star.”

Mrs. Maisel!

The character of Miriam “Midge” Maisel is strong right from the get-go, as we see her giving a toast – more like a stand-up act complete with upright mic – at her wedding reception. She’s a loving and doting wife, but doesn’t let the “Mrs.” in front of her name define her. She has gumption but isn’t overbearing and annoying, and you find yourself rooting for her throughout the entire episode. She’s a character not to be slept on.

Mad Men Fix!

One of the things I loved most about Mad Men was just being in that world of 1960s New York. If you miss having that period piece in your life too, Maisel will definitely feed your addiction. The costumes (more on that next), sets, props, etc. are Matthew Weiner level detailed.

Costumes!

If you were to ask me what decade I’d like to live in, I will one hundred percent say the 1960s. Besides, like, the environment of segregation and racism that I’d have to endure, take me back. The music, the arts, the clothes – oh the clothes. In Maisel, every person on the screen is wearing an outfit that transports you back a few decades, and I am so here for it. And speaking of Mad Men, Midge even rocks a flowing blue nightgown that is v Betty Draper Francis. I loved it.

Cameos!

Amy is like the Christopher Guest or Ryan Murphy of reparatory players. She has an arsenal of actors she likes to work with, and they keep coming back for more. In Maisel, there were two Gilmore Girls alums – Alex Borstein, who played OG Sookie, Drella, and Ms. Celine and Brian Tarantina, who played Bootsy. Plus Bunheads ballerina (and GG: AYITL 30-Something) Bailey DeYoung aka Ginny has a lovely scene with Midge. And also Gilbert Godfried, because, comedy.

Amazon!

I’ve never watched anything on AmazonPrime but if you hover over the screen, it’ll give you a brief IMDb-type breakdown of the cast plus, details of the song that’s playing. Brilliant! Is this something they do all the time?

Music!

One of ASP’s off-screen rep players is musician Sam Phillips, who you know better as the woman who sings all the “La Las” in GG. She serves as Maisel’s music supervisor and while there are thankfully no La Las in this, she did curate an amazing soundtrack which in the pilot alone features ’60s staples Johnny Mathis, Barbra Streisand, and Peggy Lee, among others.

Classic Amy Sherman-Palladino!

ASP’s trademark is her fast-paced dialogue and it does not slow down in the ’60s. If you didn’t like the fact that Lorelai and Rory spoke “too fast” on GG, don’t bother wasting your time on Maisel, because the swift, quirky, borderline over-the-top scripts are back. And with that comes some of Amy’s Palladino-isms, that only a crazy person like me would notice. For instance, characters frequently use sarcasm to get their point across, or use it to hide behind real emotion or confrontation (see: Lorelai/Emily). Then there’s giving inanimate objects names: in Maisel, Midge says Ted the Moth ruined her husband’s sweater, just like Luke kept forgetting Bert the Toolbox and Lorelai’s house.

bye bye bert

In Maisel, there are odd tertiary characters like the one spoken word poet who just kept saying the city “Spokane” over and over again, which is something Kirk would totally do on open mic night. At one point, Midge says the phrase, “Goodnight, Gracie”, which is a) the name of a GG episode S3, E20 “Say Goodnight, Gracie”, b) is an exchange Luke and Lor have and c) all of the above are a ref to a George Burns and Gracie Allen play. Another Palladinoism in both GG and Bunheads are pop culture references up the wahzoo, but luckily, not many pop culture references (besides Ed Sullivan and Bob Newhart) in Maisel. However, there are some questionable lines (“You get chick raped?”).

Then there are character parallels that stood out to me between Maisel and Gilmore, and it’s probably because I know GG so well. To regular viewers, this won’t be a thing. And TBH, it’s not a thing to me either, but I’m just saying I see Richard and Emily in Midge’s parents, Abe and Rose. It’s not as blatant as it was in Bunheads, and I think that’s what makes this show 10xs better than Bunheads both in the pilot and entire series.

All this being said, what I think makes this show different is that this era is the era that ASP was born to write for (or born to live in), and it hits all the right notes the entire episode.

Bottom Line:

Watch this pilot! (and tell Amazon you want it picked up for an entire season). I dare say it’s as strong, if not stronger than the Gilmore Girls pilot. I was impressed with Amy’s next level writing and storytelling, and how she’s managed to create (hopefully) another hit.

Notable Quotes:

“Did we have kids?” Joel inquring about his children’s whereabouts when he comes home after work

“Your daddy is crazy… Now let’s measure your forehead.” Midge

“I’m just afraid she’s not a pretty girl.”

Show You Should Be Watching If You Aren’t Already: Catastrophe

It’s summer (technically almost the end of summer, but let’s be in denial of that for a while), which means new and quality TV programs are slim pickings. If you’ve already caught up with Orange is the New Black, rewatched all of Seinfeld on Hulu, and want a short binge to fill your extra time before you head back to the beach, I’ve got a show for you. Let Catastrophe take over your life.

Basic Plot

Boston executive Rob (Rob Delaney) visits London on a business trip and he meets Irish schoolteacher Sharon (Sharon Hogan). They hook up – and hook up and hook up – and he heads back home to America after the sex-filled weekend. She later finds out she’s pregnant and he heads back to the UK to attempt to figure out where to go from there.

But why exactly should I watch?? WELL LET ME TELL YOU.

Rob Delaney Out Of Twitter

I personally was introduced to Rob on Twitter, like thousands of other people. He’s a comedian, but that doesn’t necessarily mean those skills always transfer over on Twitter. It is 140 characters after all. Rob has the skill of not only being extremely funny, but an accessible type of funny which make his followers want to favorite and retweet to their own followers – thus becoming a Twitter sensation. In 2012 he was literally named the Funniest Person on Twitter at Comedy Central’s Comedy Awards. So in saying all this, would his comedy also translate onto the small screen? The answer is yes. He co-created and co-wrote Catastrophe with Sharon, who, ironically, he met over Twitter. If you go through his timeline and enjoy his comedy samplings, you’ll enjoy a whole script by him.

Introducing Sharon Hogan

In America, Sharon Hogan is a relative newcomer ( The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret, anyone?). At home in the UK, she’s been referred to as the “Tina Fey of British TV”. Like Tina, she acts, writes, produces, and directs (unlike Tina). Her “30 Rock” was a sitcom called Pulling, about three single female friends in London. The show was nominated for Best Sitcom at the TV BAFTAS (the UK Emmys), and she was nominated as an actress for the show as well. Needless to say, she’s hilarious, and together with Rob it makes the perfect comedy ‘marriage’.

A Rom Com for Non Rom Com Folk

If you hate rom coms because they’re so predictable, you’re going to love this show. Without spoiling too much, let’s just say that their shotgun relationship actually works in a weird way. The writing by Rob and Sharon is so clever and funny that it’s unpredictably delightful. Just when you think the other person is going to be offended by something, they find it endearing. If you think the storyline is going one way, it does, but not in the exact manner you thought it would. And although we’re introduced to these two as folks who can’t stop having sex, the rest of the season shows them as people in the ‘real world’ who are sweet to each other and romantic and a normal couple who seem like they’ve been together forever, but not. You believe that they could be not only romantic partners but best friends, and that’s also a testament to the chemistry Rob and Sharon have together.

Realistic Pregnancy

Now I’ve never been pregnant, so I have no idea if I’m right on this or not. But often times in TV and movies, pregnancy is treated like something that is just akin to a food baby for nine months, like everything goes well and all of a sudden a baby is produced. But Sharon keeps it real on Catastrophe. Not only is she pregnant with a baby from a guy she just met, but she’s also older than the average new mom. She discusses this on the show, as well as the higher risks that are involved if you’re over a certain age. Again, this aspect adds to the overall reality factor of the show as a whole, and yet another reason to love it even more.

It’s Short

There are six episodes. Each is 24 minutes. I had to stop myself from watching all of them in one night. So I watched them in two nights. You can fit this in your schedule.

Catastrophe is streaming now on Amazon

Saturday Spotlight: Transparent. Free. Amazon. Today.

Something a lot of us have in common: (1) we ended the Golden Globes knowing that we should probably watch Transparent, and (2) we don’t have Amazon video. Good news – for one day only, you can watch the whole series for free! If your Saturday sched doesn’t allow for binge watching, Amazon Prime memberships are also discounted for the day.

That has nothing to do with anything we blogged about this week, and nobody asked us to say it – it just seemed like a tidbit worth passing along! On to the post wrap-up: