How I came to appreciate Gravity
(And never missed the chance for a good pun.)
There has to be something said about TV shows with names that are words and phrases we use all the time. For instance, a show like Better Off Ted or Veronica Mars is pretty unusual and if you search for it online via search engines or twitter – you’ll get pretty specific results. But a show named Modern Family or Brothers & Sisters has a good chance of being mixed up with other phrases when it comes to the internet. Another casualty of this is “Gravity”. What you believe is “just” some force that keeps you down is also now a new series on Starz.
I’ve now watched the first two episodes of Gravity, and after accidentally spilling a ton of essential oil perfume all over myself (in “asian plum” – yum!), I went to twitter to see what people were saying about “Krysten Ritter” and “#gravity”. The problem with the hashtag is that too many people have claimed the word first. So, while I want to know important TV insights, I end up finding stuff like, “Easy (german) explanation of most important formulas for calculating #gravity”. Sorry, maybe another time? I know I’d look cute in a lab coat, but science isn’t so much my thing. But TV? That’s my thing.
You know, normally I hear about TV shows before my friends ever get around to recommending them to me. But Gravity is something my friend Martin, and then Kourtney, both suggested before I’d heard anything about it. At first I had my initial jerk reaction when it comes to making room for MORE TV in my life. Ahem: “I CAN’T, my schedule is FULL, there is no way to possibly cram another show in my life! They’re going to send me to TV rehab and I’ll look like Amy Winehouse!” I had truly planned to stay ignorant of the show. If I didn’t know anything, then I couldn’t be compelled… And after all, one girl can’t watch every good TV show…OR CAN SHE? Dun. dun. dun. Oh, the drama.
Inevitably, (because I am so, so weak, and TV is so, so good) I caved into watching the show because I was told Krysten Ritter was part of the cast. And Krysten Ritter is amazing. Turning your back to her is like turning your back on the realm of infinite awkward, hipster coolness. It’s also turning your back on an actress who always picks wonderful projects.
Gravity is a dark comedy about people who have tried to commit suicide, and now meet in a support group. Not just because of the themes of death, Gravity reminded me of Dead Like Me. The characters are all basically misfits who try to care for each other. They’re in a particular place that other people can’t (and don’t really want to) understand.
One of the things I love about the show is the opening credits. It sets the tone, and it’s not at all boring. (Another credit sequence I love is Damages.) I am also loving on the white curtains that flank a doorway in Lily’s (Ritter) apartment (good job, set designers!). Whoever drew for the character of Lily character is very talented, because I thought those sketches were amazing and looked like someone with an actual viewpoint and personality drew them. These little details always matter. They pile up into this layered reality that you happily sit down to watch and enter.
What didn’t I love about Gravity? Those things are a bit hazy in my mind, because the stuff I liked overpowered the rest. But I remember feeling that a scene with a character interviewing herself in the mirror, as she was on the toilet, didn’t quite work. Instead of feeling like a genuinely subversive scene the way you’d see on Weeds, it felt forced and out of place. But it definitely gave me the sense that the writer’s aren’t going to make this a by-the-books show. And they don’t have to, because this isn’t network TV. They can more fully show the weirdness that is reality. Cable TV shows may be the closest thing we have to actual reality television shows.
Anyway, I highly recommend you add Gravity to your TV list. If I could make room for it, so can you. This is a show that’s trying to do something different. And isn’t it time to change things up? Whether or not Gravity can find a large audience, it has “cult hit” written all over its bell jar.
Gravity Trailer on Youtube: A show about life when death doesn’t work out. Starring Krysten Ritter, Ivan Sergei, Ving Rhames, Rachel Hunter, Eric Schaeffer, Robyn Cohen, James Martinez, and Seth Numrich.
Gravity Clip: Ep 101 ‘Suicide Dummies’ – Lily Champagne (Krysten Ritter) explains to Detective Christian Miller (Eric Schaeffer) how she sketched a man she has never met.
Behind the scenes with the cast: A behind the scenes look at the characters in the new Starz original series, Gravity.
Learn more at the Starz website | Gravity
Gravity airs on Starz, Friday nights at 10:30.