Reviewed! Netflix’s ‘Orange Is the New Black’; Wonderly’s ‘Edge of Normal’; WSJ’s ‘Startup of the Year’

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Netflix has ordered a third season of the show, 10 days before the second season debuts on the streaming service. It’s likely that the third season, as with the other full seasons of “House of Cards” and other Netflix originals, will also consist of 13 hour-long episodes. The news was first announced by actress Robin Wright, who stars opposite Spacey as a Washington, DC power couple, at a press event for the show. She told TheWrap, “We start shooting season three soon” — a statement that was later confirmed by a Netflix rep.

The show is financed, produced, and packaged by Media Rights Capital, and is produced by Kevin Spacey’s Trigger Street Productions.

This marks the first renewal for “House of Cards,” which was originally picked up by Netflix for two seasons and 26 episodes. It also continues Netflix’s streak of renewing every original series it has ordered to date (outside of “Arrested Development,” which it is also interested in bringing back).

As superhuman sagas go, “The Edge of Normal” is a clever but sometimes clunky web series that centers on a group of L.A. teenagers who take care of each by unleashing their secret powers which seem very au courant as secret powers go. Natalie, the central character, is barista by day, bearer of telepathic gifts by night (well, daytime too). Evey, the brooding blonde who wanders onto the scene fresh from a schoolyard disaster, can change the course of events by uttering what amounts to a power of suggestion. Gretchen can remotely control electrical devices (great for Radio Shack work), Riley is a shapeshifter (which I think is way cool), Kris is a human transducer (she shoots off electrical current) and young Kimmi can see the future. A fun group we have here. Teenage girls who swoon and stand in line to see Twilight and other video things that go bump in the (day and) night will find “The Edge of Normal” must-see TV.

Harming or emasculating abusive men (and boys) seems to be the common theme of “The Edge of Normal.” Gretchen’s dad, a trio of schoolyard bullies, and a gang of menacing street thugs are the targets of these normal-on-outsides, slightly crazed-on-the-insides young women. Each of the six episodes, about six-ish minutes each, has its own mini plot culminating in the gang banding together to rid the world of one badly behaved, evil guy.

“The Edge of Normal”, which launches July 16th on Big Frame’s Wonderly site and YouTube channel, is low-budget in the kindest sense in that the show’s rough-cut feel and somewhat illogical storyline entertains and rarely seems to take itself seriously. The young female actors bring their own energy and style to the series, while most of the men are a tad wooden, bullyish, and not very believable. There’s a bit of an MIB plot twist at the end suggesting there may be more to come for these usual crime fighters.

Wonderly, which calls itself “a place for innovative, female creators and audiences to meet, collaborate, and celebrate each other’s creations” is the series distributor. There is a website for the series where each character is introduced and some of them post to a blog and the usual social media accoutrements. “The Edge of Normal” is by no means “The Avengers”, nor does it claim to be. Heck, I’ll take a woman who can see into the future over The Hulk any day.

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