Orange Is the New Black is back and it’s better than I imagined. The Netflix
series centered on a women’s prison premiered its second season Friday and,
despite my earnest intentions to pace myself, I couldn’t help but get through
12 of the 13 episodes (Thanks a lot, autoplay).
One of the striking differences this season is the fact that this is no longer The Piper Show. Yes, our blonde convict is still a major player, the thread throughout the series. But as Piper becomes more acclimated to prison life, she begins to share much more in common with her fellow prisoners, and we get a look into those women’s backstories — in such a fulfilling way. If you weren’t already invested in Red, Poussey, Morello and the other inmates, you will be after learning the very different and often surprising reasons they ended up in Litchfield. As for Piper, she’s hardened (perfectly if not cheesily represented by her selection of a 40 over a bottle of champagne on a night out during her furlough)— but not to the point where last season’s character is unrecognizable. If anything, the shift makes her more likable. For now, I’m holding off on the finale. I don’t want it to end!
Photographer Jeff Friesen has shot series of fun images using LEGOs for what’s culminated in an upcoming book, The United States of LEGO, available this September. In the series, each state is depicted in a scene full of colorful bricks and plastic yellow people (See Ohio here). Another, titled “Bricksy,” uses the popular toy to recreate various Banksy pieces.
Poet and thespian of our generation James Franco basically recounted Lindsay Lohan’s pursuit of him for Vice’s Fiction Issue. This “work of creative writing” that I’m just going to assume is completely true claims LiLo shamelessly came after Franco while they were both staying at Beverly Hills’ Chateau Marmont. In the end, she settled for a bedtime story reading of A Perfect Day for a Bananafish.
I’m not sure which part crushes my childhood memories the most: The fact that the Parent Trap ginge has fully blossomed into a desperate trash monster; or that Daniel Desario is actually a pseudo-intellectual douche/tattletale; or that I now have to burn my entire Salinger collection.
Nicolas Cage may have done his share of shitastic films in recent years, but you have to hand it to him: dude has a sense of humor about himself. This fact was illustrated recently in a photo of Cage, at a Guns N’ Roses concert with Andrew Dice Clay, dressed to the nines in a T-shirt with his meme-face on it.
Anyone remember Clone High?
The MTV toon depicted a
high school for clones of historical figures throughout time, was weirdly
hilarious and, thus, was cancelled after one season in 2003. The creators, Phil
Lord and Chris Miller, have since put out a successful string of productions: 21 Jump Street (and its sequel, 22 Jump Street, in theaters tomorrow), Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and The LEGO Movie. They talked recently of
revisiting Clone High as either a
show or movie — read more here.
Lil' Kim welcomed a baby girl this week, Lil' Lil' Kim. Sorry. But seriously, Blue Ivy, North West, Jermajesty, all y’all epic-named babies watch out. Royal Reign is in the house.
In things that are making me feel feelings this week: the Dumb and Dumber To trailer.
It turns out we did pretty well, though, winning first-place
in six non-daily categories, including the Best in
Ohio: Alternatives contest. Our staff photographer Jesse Fox earned second-place for Best in Ohio: Photographer, a high honor as she was up against all the big
papers and magazines in the state.
Here's a full list of winners and finalists in the statewide competition. CityBeat's work that earned recognition is listed below. Congrats to all, including our former colleagues who now work for the Cincinnati Business Courier and Vox Media. (Missu guys!)
FIRST PLACE: “Spill It” by Mike Breen
FIRST PLACE: “The Linguistics of Legislation: Reviewing the outdated, overly conservative and just plain funny laws still on the books” by Hannah
McCartney and Maija Zummo
FIRST PLACE: "From the Inside: Inmates told CityBeat about violence, staff ineptitude and unsanitary conditions inside Ohio's private prison. Then came the surprise inspections." by
Arts & Entertainment
FIRST PLACE: "Legally Banned: The secret complaints and controversial characters behind the firing of Loveland High School's drama instructor" by Danny Cross
Community / Local Coverage
FIRST PLACE: “Streetcar Coverage” by German Lopez
Best in Ohio: Alternatives
FIRST PLACE: Cincinnati CityBeat Staff
Best in Ohio: Photographer
SECOND PLACE: "Body of Work" by Jesse Fox (See images below.)
The Cincinnati Rollergirls close their season with the third annual Crosstown Knockdown Saturday. The double-header opens with a mixed game featuring CRG’s Black Sheep team and the Battering Rams, Cincy’s men’s team. During the main event, CRG’s Violent Lambs face-off with the Black-n-Bluegrass Rollergirls’ Blackouts. CRG’s home rink is at the Cincinnati Gardens; with the arena for sale, it might be the crew’s last game there. Gates open at 5 p.m. and the first bout begins at 6 p.m. The game is also Fan Appreciation Night — the first 500 fans through the door will receive CGR cowbells and the girls will be handing out gifts to fans throughout the games. Tailgating is encouraged, parking is free and dollar beers are available from 5-6 p.m. Tickets are $12 at the door.
Enjoy a taste of the Middle East this weekend with St. James’ Mediterranean Food Fest. Guests can binge on traditional fare including hummus and falafel, stuffed cabbage and grape leaves, varieties of kebabs, gyros, baklava and more. There will also be live entertainment and plenty of traditional carnival fare for the kids. The fest runs daily Friday through Sunday. Go here for directions and more info.
Concours d’Elegance returns to Ault Park for another summer day of classic cars displayed in one of Cincinnati’s most beautiful parks. More than 200 collector rides will be showcased, with a spotlight on Mustangs and microcars and the 100th anniversary of Maserati. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 day-of. The show runs from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday.
Here’s a twist on the typical summer yard sale: Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park opens its scenery shop to the public for a big sale Saturday morning. Furniture, glassware, china, costumes, and other items seen onstage in popular Playhouse productions will all be priced to sell from 8 a.m.-noon. Bring cash or a check; all proceeds benefit the not-for-profit Playhouse.
The MidPoint Indie Summer Series continues Friday with a great lineup of local acts. The Mason School of Rock opens the night at 7 p.m., followed by Honey & Houston, The Tigerlilies and Wussy at 10 p.m. Advance tickets to MidPoint Music Festival ($69 all music access and $179 VIP) will be on sale at Fountain Square. Check out the full Indie Summer Series schedule here.
Second Sunday on Main kicks off this weekend, bringing more than 80 local vendors, food trucks, street performers, live music and specials at Main Street business to the street, between 13th and Liberty streets. This “Main Street Block Party” runs noon- 5 p.m., featuring music by The Hot Magnolias, a celebrity chef demo, a dog parade and contest, a clothing swap and community yard sale, entertainment at the Rock Paper Scissors performance tent and much more.
FX biker drama Sons of Anarchy will embark in its final ride this fall, after a game-changing penultimate season. The show has featured a few guest stars from the music world, including Henry Rollins and Dave Navarro. Next on that list is a surprising name — Marilyn Manson.