Thursday, December 5, 2019     Volume: 20, Issue: 40
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Santa Maria Sun / Film

This weeks review
A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD
AD ASTRA
AVENGERS: ENDGAME
BINGEABLE: Barry
BINGEABLE: CASA DE LAS FLORES
BINGEABLE: FLEABAG
BINGEABLE: GRACE AND FRANKIE
BINGEABLE: INTO THE DARK
BINGEABLE: NATHAN FOR YOU
BINGEABLE: RUSSIAN DOLL
BINGEABLE: STRANGER THINGS 3
BINGEABLE: THE PEOPLE V. O.J. SIMPSON: AMERICAN CRIME STORY
BINGEABLE: THE SINNER (SEASON 2)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: FRIENDS
BLAST FROM THE PAST: HOUSE
BLAST FROM THE PAST: LONE WOLF MCQUADE
BLAST FROM THE PAST: OLDBOY
BLAST FROM THE PAST: RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK
BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE MATRIX
BLAST FROM THE PAST: UNDER SIEGE 2: DARK TERRITORY
BLAST FROM THE PAST: WILD AT HEART
BLAST FROM THE PAST: YOU’VE GOT MAIL
BRITTANY RUNS A MARATHON
CHARLIE’S ANGELS
CRAWL
DARK WATERS
DOCTOR SLEEP
DOWNTON ABBEY
FORD V FERRARI
FROZEN II
GUILTY PLEASURE: THE HANGOVER
GUILTY PLEASURES: BARBIE LIFE IN THE DREAMHOUSE
HATEWATCH: CHOPPED
HATEWATCH: FRANKENSTEIN’S MONSTER’S MONSTER, FRANKENSTEIN
HATEWATCH: NAILED IT!
HEARST CASTLE: BUILDING THE DREAM
JOJO RABBIT
JOKER
LAST CHRISTMAS
MALEFICENT: MISTRESS OF EVIL
MIDWAY
MILES DAVIS: BIRTH OF THE COOL
MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN
ONCE UPON A TIME … IN HOLLYWOOD
PLAYING WITH FIRE
SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME (EXTENDED CUT)
TERMINATOR: DARK FATE
THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN
THE BIGGEST LITTLE FARM
THE CURRENT WAR: DIRECTOR’S CUT
THE GOOD LIAR
THE LIGHTHOUSE
THE PEANUT BUTTER FALCON
UNDERRATED: BATMAN BEGINS
UNDERRATED: INSOMNIA
UNDERRATED: SHUTTER ISLAND
UNDERRATED: THE BATTERED BASTARDS OF BASEBALL
UNDERRATED: THE FALLING
YESTERDAY
ZOMBIELAND: DOUBLE TAP

GUILTY PLEASURES: BARBIE LIFE IN THE DREAMHOUSE

PHOTO BY PHOTO COURTESY OF NETFLIX

GUILTY PLEASURES: BARBIE LIFE IN THE DREAMHOUSE


Where is it playing?: Netflix

What's it rated?: TV-G

User Rating: 0.00 (0 Votes)

The world of kids shows doesn’t have to be mind-numbingly joyless for adults. There are scores of shows that don’t talk down to kids, and thus to parents by extension. Barbie Life in the Dreamhouse is one of those gems that is stinkin’ hilarious every time I watch it. With my girls, that is. Though I would totally watch this show if I was the one home sick for a whole day having juice delivered to my face.

(For clarification, this show is not to be confused with Barbie Dreamhouse Adventures, which is not nearly as enjoyable.)

Yes, I had a Barbie Dreamhouse when I was a kid, and yes, I loved that thing. I still love Barbies, I have to confess. Though I always thought they were a little ridiculous but also a lot of fun—and that’s what this show is.

Is it my nostalgia speaking? Maybe. Is it the greasy-haired delirium of spending an entire day tending to the needs of a sick fifth-grade girl? Probably.

But Life in the Dreamhouse is a confidently self-aware and delightfully silly take on the excessive materialism of all things Barbie. And yet the main character’s, ahem, character is the best part of this show, and she’s the reason I keep watching it with my kiddos. Seriously, I’m watching it right now.

This Barbie doll—complete with visible joints and shiny synthetic-looking hair—is innocent without being totally naive. She’s kind. And she’s just savvy enough to not be straight-up ditsy. And her sisters and friends all love her.

“Barbie is like the coolest person ever. She’s fun, generous, and exactly my size,” her friend Teresa gushes while searching the main character’s dream closet.

The closet is a character of its own, by the way, complete with an “evil” setting that makes for a fun plot twist in one episode. Plus, this closet holds Barbie’s outfits from every one of her 135 careers (a factoid revealed during one of the mockumentary-style interviews).

Of all the characters—including Barbie’s three sisters, Chelsea, Stacy, and Skipper—her friend Midge is my favorite. Midge’s debut on the show, “A Smidge of Midge,” is one of the best moments. She’s an adorably retro, nerdy gal with freckles who arrives at Barbie’s house in black and white. She’s accompanied by a laugh track that’s activated with each of her outdated puns and bewildered snorts at the Dreamhouse’s modern-doll technology.

In the ensuing makeover, Midge is transformed from “flash back to flash fabulous.” She looks trendy as a redhead in a layered miniskirt and navy-blue heels, but she’s still a throwback at heart whose favorite hobbies are knitting, jigsaw puzzles, and macrame. And she’s often reminding her Malibu friends that she’s a retro model and not as bendable as they are.

“I’m not articulated for high speed!” Midge screams while running for her life in the house’s industrial-sized washing machine.

I also laugh at every one of the innumerable nods to the Dreamhouse’s being a plastic toy—it’s especially fun to watch the Barbie family redecorate on a whim with instant furniture, rotating appliances, and stick-on decor. Plus, there are Star Trek, Indiana Jones, Star Wars, and 2001: A Space Odyssey references for all of us grown-ups. (One season on Netflix; 12 episodes, 24 min. each) 

—Andrea Rooks




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