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  1. rue721

    The Duggalos: Jinger and the Holy Goalie

    These are prosperity-gospel-adjacent folks. The point is to show themselves living the good life, because it reinforces that they're favored by God. Look how blessed they are! They're a beautiful family, wearing beautiful clothes, living in a beautiful house, going to fun events with the glitterati and stuffing their faces with the yummiest food. And people will act like them and listen to what they preach because they want to be blessed by God, too, just like the Vuolos are. That's their ministry. And I'd guess that it's pretty heavily subsidized by the people who want to draw "converts" (especially young people) into their particular kind of fundamentalism. For example, I'd guess that the house they're living in is owned by someone associated with their religious "fellowship" and who is giving them a deep discount on rent. Given the Vuolos' reach, subsidized rent and tuition scholarships is actually a pretty cheap investment. They need to seem like shiny happy people because that not only is essentially the crux of their ministry it's also how they stay in their patrons'/"fellowship's" good graces and keeping les bons temps rouler. Jinger's much more professional and less cheesy about it than Jeremy is because she's been doing this her whole life. She was literally born to it. In addition, though, I think they do probably have some TV money in their pockets. Jill is certainly not the face of any brand but she's been able to buy a suburban house and put her husband through a ministry program, just like Jinger apparently is. So I would guess that the girls do each have some sort of trust or stipend or something. Meanwhile, Jessa is being a cheapskate just like she was with her wedding, but I think that's just her personality -- she's a very practical woman in her own way.
  2. rue721

    Jill & Derick Dullard: Counting On (Donations)

    I think the fundamental issue lies with Derrick, not Jill. A woman terrified by every sound, who seems extremely isolated and unhappy (as do her kids), whose smiles always seem strained and who always seems burdened (but by what burden?), who seems disconnected even from her own children and disconcertingly, unshakably focused on her husband’s every move, whose cheerful disposition has vanished with marriage and who now seems like a shadow of herself...It honestly makes me suspicious of domestic violence. I don’t want to cast aspersions on Derrick — but I don’t want to cast them on Jill, either. Frankly, I doubt that her problems are all in her head. I doubt that it would take mental illness to feel desperate and fearful in that gloomy household. The children seem to feel it, too. We joke about Izzy seeming distressed and anxious and Sam’s angry, subdued expressions, so bizarre on a baby...but I mean, maybe there’s a real reason for that? Something is “off” about their family. Of course, I say that from instinct, not from knowledge. But something seems very wrong. And it makes me sad for her as well as for her children.
  3. rue721

    Jill & Derick Dullard: Counting On (Donations)

    That video is weird. It's strange how whenever the Dillards try to show some wholesome moment, it comes off so spooky. Everyone looks like they need a shower and clean clothes, their apartment is so bleak there's an echo, "wrestling" is basically just Izzy clinging to his father, and then Israel is talking and thinking up games while everyone pretends he doesn't exist and he becomes progressively more distressed. I really don't know what it is about this family but there's just this spooky, eerie vibe to them. Which I don't think is *only* the horrible lighting!
  4. rue721

    Jill & Derick Dullard: Counting On (Donations)

    Izzy looks a lot like Jill in these pics. I think he takes after his mother in temperament, too. Ridiculous to say about some random little boy, but I have such a soft spot for that kid, there’s something so expressive and delicate about him and it makes me feel protective.
  5. rue721

    Joy and Austin: This One Time At Family Camp

    The thing about Austin defending the Pearls is that he himself was raised in a household where their teachings were undoubtably considered A-OK. Attacks on the Pearls might have felt like attacks on his parents’ choices, and not defending them might have felt to him like it would be dangerously close to disobedience. Austin clearly works hard to be a “good son,” I’m sure he would never put his parents on blast in public (even implicitly). He seems like the kind of man who wouldn’t even want to entertain a disobedient thought, honestly. Very much a straight arrow. That said, it’s one thing to waive away anything from your own childhood as being for the best or coming from a place of love on the part of your parents or whatever, it’s another thing to actually take a piece of tubing or a piece of wood to your own little son (or to use any of the other heinous, abusive “disciplinary methods” that the Pearls recommend). Austin defending practices or ideas that were probably a part of his upbringing seems to me like him defending his parents and his own childhood, I don’t think it means that he’s actually going to want or even be willing to repeat the same things with his kids.
  6. rue721

    S01.E06: The Next Episode

    I think McKay is a fundamentally decent person, but he’s been shaped by a toxic, misogynistic, macho culture. Like when he first got with Cassie — he was falling for her, his attraction to her was very sweet, but he still tried to choke her as soon as they got intimate because he’s been so influenced by porn. In this episode, there was a lot going on in terms of his masculinity and how he wanted his relationship with Cassie to enhance/reflect his masculinity. He wanted her to look a certain way at the party, he wanted to know that other men were looking at her in a way that would make them want to be him, and then he used her as a sex toy to try and recover from his traumatic hazing. And Cassie was getting (IMO understandably) confused and upset that he kept relating to her like she was just his “gf” prop, some kind of symbol or tool for his own masculinity, rather than a human being who he had an actual, personal connection to. It’s sad because I think that if they weren’t soaking in such a nasty stew of toxic cultural bullshit, they could be a wonderful couple. Same thing for Kat and Ethan. I mean, these are kids who just straight up like each other and are probably good matches for each other, but they’re too fucked up by the world they’re living in to drop all the artifice and connect. Kind of horrible and bizarre that the heterosexual couple most suited to surviving the fucked up gender stuff is arguably Mandy and Nate! I agree with people upthread saying that Fezzco is an interesting character. Honestly, I don’t find his ambivalence toward selling drugs that unusual, though. It’s not like he’s living the dream, he seems like just some guy who was familiar with drugs for whatever reason and needed to make money, so he’s a dealer. I hope that we learn more about him, because he seems like he’s got a story. Why is he always so disengaged and flat, even when he’s clearly freaking out (like when his supplier was coming over and forced Rue to take the Fentanyl)? It’s like the volume on him is turned down way too low and he can’t crank it up again even when he tries. Anyhow, I think that the characters are divided between the ones that respond to their circumstances by trying to mold themselves to suit them, and the ones who try to reshape their circumstances instead. Mandy, Nate, Cassie, McKay, and Fezzco all define themselves by their circumstances. Kat and Jukes have tried to transform theirs, though, rather than transforming themselves. Rue sort of totters in between the groups. I don’t think one path is “better” than another, but I think that whether they define themselves by their circumstances or whether they try to transform their circumstances to suit themselves is a defining trait of each of the characters.
  7. What's weird is that Dax is already a traditional name -- it's literally ancient, from pre-Roman France (and the name of a city). It's not super common, but off the top of my head, there's Dax Shepard. I actually really like the name Dax, but being familiar with it makes Daxton sound especially bizarre. Like naming your kid Davidton or Brandonton. Oh well. I'm happy with how happy Amy looks, in any case. She's really glowing and seems to be having the time of her life.
  8. rue721

    S1.03: Made You Look

    I think that Rue's obsession with Jules is just that she's trying to use infatuation as a replacement for drugs. She uses Jules to get the rush that she would otherwise get from getting high. That's why whenever Jules isn't around or acts distant, Rue freaks out and goes looking for drugs immediately. Honestly, though Jules is cool and all, I think that she could be basically anyone -- Rue is after that rush of infatuation and obsession, it's not about Jules as a person. I think that Rue has that thing that all drunks and addicts have, where when they're at their worst, they're also so drunk/high that they're not that conscious of what they're doing and don't remember it clearly afterward. So they're able to brush it off like it was nothing, because it's some hazy experience that wasn't intense for them at all, when meanwhile everyone around them was fucked the hell up by it. At least Ali talked to her about thinking about how her behavior was affecting her sister. Obviously her mother, sister, and old friends like Lexi are the ones who she's affecting the most. But I think that Fezco's issues with her are coming from basically the same thing. He said in the pilot that he was really scared and upset when Rue OD'ed, he keeps refusing to sell her drugs and told her he wouldn't help her kill herself, he told his supplier he won't sell Fentanyl to anyone because it causes too many ODs, when his supplier made Rue take Fentanyl, he immediately made his brother (?) flush the patches and get the Narcom in case she OD'ed again, he flat out wouldn't let her in the house again once he was the one answering the door instead of the kid, etc. Rue had some legitimate points when she was yelling at him that he doesn't have the moral high ground while he's dealing to teenagers and helping them get addicted. But I think he's in a tough spot because while it seems like he really is taking that to heart, I really doubt that he started dealing drugs because he had SO many options and just picked his favorite one. I mean, I don't really know that there's a path out of dealing for him, you know? Honestly, I think Kat getting validation and a "piggy bank" is kind of best case scenario for her, and I'm happy that she's landed on her feet. She's bound to get a big head and screw things up somehow, but in the meantime... Oh, I did find it funny that the drug dealing kid was like, "we don't fuck with human trafficking," and then immediately took a cut for himself from Kat's underage porn earnings. LOL I mean, that's not human trafficking per se, he's not her pimp or anything, but taking a cut from her like that was...close enough that it made me laugh, anyway. That said, for all of how "edgy" this show is supposed to be, there is a lot of stuff that I think is just not as brutal or exploitative as in real life, mostly because the adults in the show are just a bunch of jokes or are absent altogether and the kids sort of exist in their own little Lord of the Flies bubble. I mean, no, most of the time when you pass out at some guy's house while a bunch of freaks are there, nobody is going to pay $600 to keep you safe. Etc. Who knows what the future will bring, though.
  9. rue721

    S01.E02: Stuntin' Like My Daddy

    I think so, mostly based on how they acted after -- the way Tyler was looking at Nate, and how Nate was strutting around. Honestly, I was pretty shocked. I felt pretty terrible for Fezco in that. You could see him freaking the fuck out and nobody was listening to him, he couldn't stop anything. Thank god he had enough money to pay off the supplier. And fuck Rue for getting in that position in the first place. She's so naive, it's exhausting. And then Fezco's kid brother or cousin or nephew or whatever was eyeing the dealer's gun, like he was going to start a shootout? Wtf. Why?! That little kid is looney tunes. And on CDs, in a special little case? The whole thing is so weird. I dunno, I don't feel like his anger is really that justified. What his dad is doing is gross, but he's basically just any womanizer. I get why Nate doesn't like that, but it really has nothing to do with him, so *shrug* It seems to me that Nate seems to have a very black-and-white view of things, and since he doesn't want to be the victim, he's going to be the bully. Because of course the whole world is just victims and bullies, natch. But that just makes him a garden variety asshole, pushing people around all the time. And what's especially weird is that he himself never gets pushed around. So it just ends up seeming like a big ego trip, to me. I dunno, I think that Nate is a pretty dull character. But maybe he'll get in over his head and have to grow up a little or something.
  10. rue721

    Joy and Austin: This One Time At Family Camp

    Yes. I haven't had a miscarriage, but I imagine I'd feel the same way. It's reassuring and comforting to go through those rituals -- doing the hair, putting on the makeup -- especially with a friend. Joy was about to take very vulnerable, difficult photos. She probably needed that ritual to help gird her for them. Not everyone would feel that way, but it's not unusual. Of course, I'm not in Joy's head. But in my opinion, the reason Joy would do this is to express herself. Joy isn't a poet or a painter or a singer; these photos are the most eloquent way she can express what's happening and what she's feeling right now. Her feelings are bound to be incredibly intense, and the compulsion to express feelings like that can be incredibly strong. I don't think that's a bad thing or even generational; not everything can or should be stifled inside and left to fester. I think she's probably showing these pictures to the world for the same reason that a poet publishes poetry or a painter exhibits a painting or a musician pours herself into a song on stage. Yes, it's catharsis, but it's also just plain old emotional expression.
  11. rue721

    Josiah and Lauren: He Has To Marry Somebody

    I think that Josiah likes strong personalities. He used to have one himself! Lauren is a trip. I think she's got a lot of emotions going on and spilling out all over, but there's not really a good outlet for them in her world. If she were a brittle, sensitive, and theatrical college freshmen trying to create an adult identity for herself, she would probably be fine. That's perfectly healthy and normal, albeit annoying! But people like that don't do so well in stifling environments like this one. It seems like, usually, the first identity they pick isn't the best one for them, and they have to run through a few -- crashing and burning a few times even -- before they find themselves and a good outlet for all that emotion and energy. These two make me sad because I think they've been especially damaged by their environment (because it's such a bad mismatch for their personalities). And now that they're adults, instead of clawing their way out, they're digging in deeper. Which just makes them seem more damaged and hopeless. Honestly, I think that Lauren will be a pretty terrible mother. Incredibly intense and solipsistic. But that's why babies having babies is a bad thing! And I hate that their baby is basically being conceived as a ball and chain. What a burden this child is going to have.
  12. rue721

    Josiah and Lauren: He Has To Marry Somebody

    In this case, Josiah is probably under immense familial/religious/social pressure to "prove" his righteousness by being "blessed" with a child, so it's a complicated situation. He and Lauren are probably racked with fear right now that they haven't had a baby because they aren't right with God, that Lauren has failed to "save" Josiah from himself, that Josiah is still a sinner, etc. From what we've seen of this crowd, I think their childlessness is probably like a scarlet letter, so by making a public statement that basically declares Lauren a mother despite that apparent lack of children, I think he's probably trying to defend Lauren, their marriage, himself (like someone else said up-thread). I don't think that's the case for all of these couples, but I think it's the case for Josiah and Lauren in particular. Like, I don't think that anybody was thinking that Jinger wasn't right with God when she didn't get pregnant right away, etc, but it seems like Josiah has had different problems with his family than Jinger did and got married for different reasons. Of course, what do I know! This is just based on my intuition.
  13. rue721

    S14 E19: Jack in the Box

    I liked this episode, because there were so many creepy/unsettling scenes. The scene when Sam and Dean lure Jack in the box, of course. The scene when Sam asks Dean to talk about Mary, and Dean brushes him off and says "isn't that what we just did" (from memory -- may have gotten that quote slightly wrong). The scene when Jack mesmerizes all those churchgoers and curses their group leader to be "eaten by worms" (everything about that curse was horrifying). All-in-all, this was a legitimately scary episode, which I always appreciate from this show. I was very confused by Jack making angels out of people, too. The interaction between Jack and Duma was interesting to me in general, because Jack was completely obedient and seemed happy/relieved to be following her orders. The thing that I think is most interesting about angels is that they're made to be obedient in a way that humans aren't, and I wonder how that comes into play with Jack. He seemed really obedient in this episode in a way he hasn't been before, but maybe that's just because he's at loose ends. Anyway, that was clearly actual!Lucifer that was talking to Jack, and not some figment of Jack's imagination. There is no way that Jack would know Lucifer well enough to have him behave so true to character, and some of the things that Lucifer was saying just aren't things that I think would occur to Jack anyway. That said, I don't think that Lucifer is controlling Jack or even manipulating him that much -- he seems like he's just sort of harassing him. So I don't really know why he's there, aside from as a dramatic device to give Jack a conversation partner. Jack seems totally lacking in compassion/empathy now, which is a fairly new thing for him. Dunno how anyone can come back from that. I think that he (and the bit of Lucifer that's hitched a ride in him) will have to get sent to the Empty. I'm unspoiled, that's just apparently where angels go when they need to be locked up permanently, aka, killed. Anyhow, putting Jack in the box wasn't a bad idea, although how Sam and Dean did it was uncomfortable and creepy as hell (and interesting/fun to watch because of that hahaha). I don't buy that Jack would be able to bust out of the box so easily, either, because I would think that without a soul to supercharge his grace, Jack would be just at regular angel strength (if that). But whatever, this is how the show is playing it, so I'll roll with the punches. It's interesting that Sam and Dean have now "betrayed" Jack by telling him the exact same pack of lies that Jack wanted Mary to tell him (that everything would be OK, basically). I think it's possible that after Jack killed Nick, Lucifer possessed him and that possession was a factor in Mary getting killed. But at this point, after Jack's weird confession/apology about Mary's death being an accident, I don't think that Jack can be absolved. He openly accepted at least some responsibility for it and wasn't remorseful enough, so there ya go. You know, I had actually been thinking that at least some of why Jack was so upset about killing her was because he felt guilty, missed her, etc. But this episode made it clear that he really didn't feel any of that. He just wanted to be back in Sam and Dean's good graces, he apparently didn't care about Mary in her own right at all? That's pretty chilling. Honestly, I thought Cas was the most relatable (to me personally) out of the characters in this episode, though. I mean, he took Mary's death seriously, but he couldn't shut off his love for Jack like a light switch. I think that all their reactions were true to character and made sense, but I thought Cas was pretty sympathetic in this one. WTF was up with that bizarrely well-attended wake at the beginning, though? And Bobby's entrance with the ax-throwing and the guitar riff? LOL terrible. Also, just not the right tone for the rest of the episode at all. It makes me laugh thinking back on it.
  14. rue721

    Jill & Derick Dullard: Counting On (Donations)

    Wow, those Bible verses scribbled all over the walls creep me out. Very spooky.
  15. rue721

    Supernatural Ending

    I'm sad about it. I think it's probably the best choice and not a total surprise. But still, sad. It does seem like the end of an era. So many memories of watching and sharing this show over the years.