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tennisgurl

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Everything posted by tennisgurl

  1. RIP Kriegers van. Again. I missed mission episodes, they always take so many ridiculous turns, so it was fun to get one again, even though I am curious if they are going to keep the "everyone is doing ok then Archer screws everything up and everyone regresses" story going. I do like that Archer isn't just back and everything is like it was, him being around again is still awkward and kind of weird. So now we are also reminded why Pam and Krieger dont do a lot of field work, even if they did bring their turtlenecks. I am sure that the school AJ was sent to is nice, but isn't she still really little? Did Lana really just want to get rid of her now that she has a new husband? She did see how things went for Archer after he went to boarding school right? Like, she has met the guy before?
  2. I had the same clear phone, around 2002! I thought it was the coolest thing ever!
  3. Considering Madi was apparently rendered brain dead and Clarke almost had to mercy kill her, in one of the last few episodes of the whole series, its amazing how not invested I am. The only parts I was really interested in was the fight to save Emori, because I still love her and she and Murphy are some of the few characters I still care about, the rest was just shockingly boring. More running through boring halls, more boring bad guys doing boring bad guy monologues, more of "MADI! MADI! MADI!" over and over, I just want this show to end so I can enjoy my memories of when this show didn't suck. We are really going to end not with a bang, but with a whimper arent we? So everyone in Bardo gets the fight training, even the med tech guys! So I think it finally officially got through to Octavia's boyfriend that his side might just be the bad guys, which is good because he is pretty much the only person we actually know from Bardo. Really, thats a big issue with all of the new factions introduced this season, we dont really know them, so how can we care about them and what happens to them? I know I shouldn't complain about spending more time on random idiots instead of our actual main characters, but if we are spending so much time on all of these new people and their drama, couldn't they at least make us care about them or establish anything really about them? I dont hate Madi, and I think the actress is doing a good job, but she suffers from a problem that happens when shows add a new kid/teen character, they are given this really undeserved sense of importance by both the narrative and the characters. Suddenly its all about protecting the kid character and everyone running around bending over backwards for the kid character and the kid character is now the key to everything, and the new chosen one, and now cousin Oliver is the new main character and the center of the world for the actual main character. I dont hate the idea of giving Clarke a kid exactly, but I dont really like how its played out. The best things about Clarke are her strengths as a leader, that she is willing to make terrible hard choices for the greater good, that she tries to put the needs of the many over the needs of the few, even if the few is her or the people she loves, its what makes her so compelling. She cares deeply for her people and will do anything to protect them, while trying to hold onto a moral core. Now, while she does still care about people, its all MADI MADI MADI and Madi always comes first and she will sacrifice anyone for Madi and she talks about Madi all of the time and while Clarke used to have complicated motivations, now her motivations are basically "Save Madi and yell her name over and over" and cry about Madi and maybe get some other stuff done too. And its not just Clarke, everyone is all about Madi and Madi is what everyone will give everything up for, its just this intense level of importance given to this one character, when no one else has ever really been given that treatment. I mean, way back in season one, pretty much all of our characters were teens in a constant state of danger, some even younger than Madi, and no one was endlessly fretting about them. Hell, the whole reason they got dumped on Earth in the first place was to be used as the radioactive equivalent of those birds they sent into mines to see if there was anything toxic in them. I guess maybe thats the point, that our gang want to do better than the generation before them, but its really annoying how its all playing out. So Clarke finally gets an idea of what Abby went through whenever Clarke would throw herself into danger because now Madi is doing the same thing and the cats in the cradle and the silver spoon... So with Madi running off to give herself up to Bill the Boring, this just makes Bellamys death even more pointless. It would be hilarious if it wasn't so sad. I am hoping that, now that Murphy and Emori have almost died about twelve times this season, they are in the free and clear for the finale, but you never can tell with this show. Their plot was decently intense, and I usually spent most scenes away from them hoping to get back to them.
  4. I finally got to see Tell Me a Story, which is quite good and does a pretty solid job at the whole "fairy tale but in the real world and no magic" story, and I was surprised to see Murderella herself, Dania Ramirez, as one of the main characters. Even more surprising to me though is that she is actually pretty good. She isn't delivering, like, an amazing Emmy worthy performance or anything, but she is perfectly solid as a badass with a dark past and all that stuff that I think they might have been going for here, certainly miles better than on Once, and, unlike when she was Murderella, she is perfectly capable of showing emotions beyond bland and pissy. It retroactively makes me feel bad for her, I dont think that she is really a bad actress, but she got stuck playing a terribly written role. I can imagine that an actress, especially a working actress not especially famous, would be thrilled to take a leading lady role on a show on a major network, and especially one as iconic as Cinderella, and it really sucks that the show fell apart as soon as she joined, and that her character was so poorly written. Maybe a really great actress could have sold the part more (a lot of the shows success was based on how their first main cast was so good they could raise above the less than great material) but I lean towards either her being miscast or the writing basically tanking the character. I was really unsure, watching the show, if it was the writing or the acting that made her such a crappy character, but now I lean more towards it being the writing. Very few actors could make a character with such inconsistent and awful writing any good.
  5. I am only a few years younger than Anna and Maya, so this really hit that nostalgia button for me! The first few episodes might have actually been a bit too cringy for me, but I really liked the back half of the season, even if seven episodes seems like kind of a weird number of episodes. The slumber party was so alternately hilarious in how awkward it got, but in really recognizable ways, and uncomfortable in how you could see how Maura was throwing off the dynamics between Anna and Maya. I like that, while Anna and Maya are certainly likable and are basically nice kids, they could also been mean and petty, mostly out of awkwardness and insecurity, the way that lots of kids that age are. Middle school "relationships" are so weird, no wonder all of Anna and Mayas are so messy. Kids that age are often really just starting to hit puberty and get interested in dating, but arent really sure what dating looks like. Really funny and heartfelt, even with all the awkwardness.
  6. This is super Ryan Murphy, just so very Ryan Murphy, so it had the good and bad aspects of most of his work. The production was lavish and beautiful, taking full advantage of the late 40s/early 50s setting, lots of reds that really pop especially and sets that seem almost surreal in how they are both colorful and exotic. The plot frequently goes from frantically paced to slow, with tons of characters and subplots that appear and disappear at random, the camp is mostly fun but can sometimes go so over the top that it hurts the shows emotional investment and requires too much suspension of disbelief, and is filled with morally ambiguous characters mixed in with derraged monsters. For the most part I thought this worked quite well and while it fell into some of the aforementioned Ryan Murphy problems, especially in how many subplots and characters kind of just disappeared or were just randomly tossed in, but I still had a lot of fun watching it. I am certainly curious about how Ratched goes from the person we see here, who is certainly scheming, manipulative, and alright with a certain amount of collateral damage to get what she wants but isn't at all the terrifying sadist from the book/movie. I am guessing that Gwen dies at some point in the near future and that makes her snap, or its something to do with her brother coming back for her. The puppet show where they explained the horrible backstory of Ratched and Edmund really used the stylized Ryan Murphy story telling really well, and was probably my favorite episode. Super super creepy. I wish that in the back half of the show they had focused more on the mental health field of the time, it really was really interesting as well as horrifying, as we saw in the first half of the show, especially in the lobotomy episode. I didn't expect to like Nurse Bucket as much as I did, and I liked seeing her and Ratched become friends. I was shocked when Huck got shot, the poor guy. He was such a decent person and he ended up being collateral damage in the middle of a number of schemes of other characters and increasingly tragic circumstances.
  7. You gotta love a show that requires me to spell check the word orifice more than once.
  8. I suspected that it might have been the mom that had the affair and not the dad, and he was keeping it from his daughter to preserve the memory she had of her mother, but I so did not see it being the teacher who is stalking Kayla coming. Not only was he having an affair with Kayla's mom, but he murdered her and has now followed her to New York! Really did not see that one coming.
  9. See, this is why you always have to be super careful when it comes to making any kind of deal with a supernatural entity, there is always some kind of catch or ironic twist or some such thing, you gotta go over those magical contracts with a whole legal team before you sign a single thing, make sure you know exactly what your getting into before you've accidentally sold you first born or something. This is why I said no to that two for one deal on monkeys paws!
  10. Watched the first episode, and it was very Ryan Murphy, to the point that it almost felt more like a sequel to American Horror Story: Asylum than a prequel to One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest. Its very lavish and high melodrama and mixes camp with horror, with themes surrounding LGBTQ issues, violence, corruption in society, bright colors contrasted with creepy stuff going on. In a way, a lot of his horror based work reminds me of a modern version of old Hammer Horror films, with all of the bright colors, campy atmosphere, queer subtext (although in Ryan Murphy stuff its just text), tons of sex and violence, often intertwined together, Gothic atmosphere, combining societal issues and trends with supernatural creatures and bloodthirsty killers, a reoccurring stable of actors who show up over and over in different roles, weird religious imagery, and actors all trying to see who can chew the most scenery.
  11. I was a bit unsure about this one going in, mostly because I was worried that I would spend most of the episode missing everyone back in Chicago or that it would hurt the momentum of the main story, but I ended up being quite fascinated by this episode, and I ended up being invested in Ji-Ah and in the romance between her and Tick. So not only did Tick have a thing going with a Korean nurse he met during the war, she ALSO happens to be a Kumiho, a Korean fox spirit that has to eat the souls of 100 people to become human, because thats just kind of how Ticks life is going these days. I always like Jamie Chung, and she carried this episode really well, and I am excited to see if she comes to the US and gets more involved in the story, as it looks like she will. I have been all about Tic/Leti so far, but Tic has a ton of chemistry with Ji-Ah as well. As much as Ji-Ah’s mother said that she is incapable of real love or feelings because she isn't a human, that is clearly not true. She can very much love, and have feelings of happiness, sadness, and remorse, so I was glad that both Ji Ah and her mother seemed to finally realize that. So the Ji-Ah that we met is the Kumiho who was summoned to kill the abusive step father of the "original" Ji-Ah, while the first Ji-Ah is basically laying dormant inside of her. So what happens if she does take that last soul, will the Kumiho take another form, or essentially stop existing, at least on this plane of existence, or lose all of her memories of her life? Its not fair that the original Ji-Ah is gone for now, but the Kumiho Ji-Ah deserves to live as well, its not her fault that she took this form and entered this body because of the deal Ji-Ah’s mom made, so what will happen? Really, there has to be an easier way to kill a person that doesn’t involve magic. I wonder if Ji-Ah will end up taking her last soul to save Tic, and will give up her existence to save him? Kumihos are a pretty well known creature from Korean mythology, and nine tail fox spirits in general are common across east Asia, with one of their most famous in the west being the Japanese Kitsune, who often pop up in video games and anime, and has also shown up in a number of western stories, although how much they have in common with the mythological creature is often all over the place. Interestingly, in most stories, the Kumiho is rather on the bloodthirsty and murderous side and enjoy eating human hearts, while the Kitsune is more likely to be more playful, intelligent and lovelorn, some are good and some are bad, and often end up marrying a human and settling down. They usually appear as young beautiful women, although not always, and almost all of the fox spirits have been known to possess women in folk tales, and seduce men, so there is a lot of the mythology in this, although I dont think I have heard many stories where their tails come out of all their orifices and they tear people apart and eat their souls. I felt sad for Ji-Ah when that guy she seemed to connect with wasn't interested in her, but it did turn out to be for the best for him at least. I echo the comments above, was speed dating a thing in 1940s Korea? We also get a look at Tic in the war, and its not pretty at all. War really can bring out the worst in people, with Tic involved in horrible things like executing innocent nurses and torturing Ji-Ah’s best friend, and that while he is terribly torn up about it, it still happened. It gives a lot of context to Tic now and his memories of the war, and maybe even how, while he was furious with his father for killing the scroll guardian, he could at least understand how a person can do such a terrible thing for what seemed like the right reasons at the time. Even as Tic gave Ji-Ah the old "I was just following orders" excuse, he seemed to know how lame it sounded, and that while, again, while he might have tried to justify it at the time, he already knows what he participated in was terrible. Possibly it’s one of the reasons why he and Ji-Ah seemed to connect so deeply, even if he was unaware of that connection, because she too did terrible things because she thought it was necessary or justified at the time for a greater goal, and now feels remorse for what she did. You could even say that she too was following orders, be it from a superior officer or from the mother she desperately wanted the love of, and that helped her to understand and forgive him for what he did. A lot of really lovely camera work this week, like Tic and Ji-Ah at the little home made theater holding hands as the movie plays over them, and the old mountain sage moving the flowers through the air with the snow in the background. This show also manages to be number one when it comes to body horror, always upping the ante every week. The flesh falling off of people as they change shape not creepy enough? Enjoy giant tail tentacles coming out of a woman during sex from every orifice of her body (including her eyes!) and them tearing someone up by taking them through their own orifices. I wonder if the talk about how the film version of The Count of Monte Cristo had a different ending than the book is foreshadowing that this show will have a different ending than the book it was based on. From what I understand it has already changed a lot, so a change in ending wouldn't surprise me.
  12. You haven't seen the last of Conway Stern! Oh Archer, everyone else had three years of character development while he is just the way he was when he went into a coma, and now his presence is throwing everything off and going back three years. Really, its amazing its taken us this long to get to an underground martial arts tournament on a secret karate island.
  13. Grimm probably hit its stride about midway through season one and managed to be consistently good (well, mostly) for a few more seasons before it went totally off the rails. Its funny that a show that was initially compared to Once so much at first, even if they didn't really have much in common, they ended up falling apart in similar ways. Both become obsessed with a female villain who became a hero despite her terrible deeds and rape of a major character (which neither show considered to be a big deal), both pretty much collapsed their own mythology, both started to overly rely on soap opera antics with long lost relatives, convoluted villains schemes, and god awful love triangles. I would say that Once got worse, with its ret-cons and bizarre morality and Regina conquering the multiverse being the happy ending, but it was sad watching Grimm fall into so many of the same traps. Grimm was also one of those shows that did much better in case of the week episodes with the greater serialized story happening in the background for the most part, and when the serialized stuff went to the foreground, it started to fall apart, as it was clear they didn't have much of a plan. Its too bad, because it was a fun show with a lot of likable characters and interesting mysteries, they did a good job exploring the world through the cases that Nick solved. I really think that Once needed to spend more time on individual cases and stories for Emma to solve more often, them abandoning that to focus on big plots that drag out forever was a terrible idea. One off stories can be used to keep the show from spinning its wheels, develop characters, and world build, but when a show becomes too obsessed with serialization (especially without a well thought out plan) it runs the risk becoming a bogged down mess where everyone is frantically running from plot point to plot point, never giving the characters, or the audience, the chance to breath. Also, much like in season one of Once, the show did a great job of creating a fairy tale like atmosphere, contrasting the regular world that the main character is used to with the supernatural goings on right underneath, especially using the woods around Portland to recreate a Black Forrest style fairytale world right around a major city, which just made for a greater contrast. Also like Once, it lost that magical feel eventually and just become a generic city/town without any feeling of magic underneath.
  14. Really glad to see the show back, and while I enjoyed the coma seasons, I am glad that we are back to the gang doing spy stuff again. It was awesome seeing everyone actually being competent and badass and that they have actually grown in the last few years...and that of course the team dynamic immediately starts falling back into old habits the second Archer returns. I am liking seeing how the team dynamic has changed, and how Archer being back affects things. As soon as the person in the mask with Lana didnt get his mask pulled off, I was like "oh shit, its totally Cyril who has become way more badass during the coma! Archer is gonna be so annoyed!" Called it! It seems inevitable that everyone will revert back to normal pretty soon, especially Cheryl, but its nice to see that Pam is still Pam. She and Archer probably have the closest thing anyone on this show has to a healthy relationship.
  15. I just love (and by love I mean hate with the power of a thousand suns) that Bellamy was killed for basically no reason after becoming a pod person and no one, not even his sister or girlfriend, can even pretend to give a shit. I guess I am happy that we arent getting another "Everybody Hates Clarke" story, especially among a group of people that really gave no business throwing a single stone, but the total lack of reaction that Clarke killed her brainwashed best friend over a sketch book that she didn't even manage to grab is pretty terrible. Its so obvious that this is all because someone running this show is a petty ass dickhead who wanted to just get rid of Bellamy in the fastest, most undignified way that also allowed him to die without anyone even taking longer than five seconds to mourn. Even Gabriel, a character we have only met this season, got a better death than Bellamy, one of the main characters of this show since the very first episode. Look, I am a long time Clarke apologist, and I hate how people have treated her like crap for making choices that were hard, but did seem like the best option at the time, but her killing Bellamy wasn't one of those "I had to for the greater good" moments, and its amazing that the one time people probably could be at least a little upset, or ask if she couldn't have gone for a leg shot at least, everyone is totally cool. I guess I dont really blame Clarke either, it wasn't her fault, it was the terrible writing. I guess they just wrote Bellamy off already, they were just relieved that Clarke killed him so that they can just be over him already! Speaking of Clarke's questionable life choices, her destroying the helmet was so obviously a bad idea, so much that even Clarke realized it was stupid by the end of the episode. I often find Maddis whineiness to be annoying, but I dont cant blame her for being pissed off about Clarke taking her from her new friends and making all of these choices all to protect Maddi without even asking her what she wants. Maddi wants to be with her dog, just let her! I never want to hear people running around screaming "MADDI!!" ever again. Oh yeah, theres a great use of your time in the last few episodes of your show, people running around hallways yelling. I cant even decide which villain is lamer, and the fact that neither of them are dead, despite plenty of opportunities for the gang to kill them, just screams of writers who think these losers are more interesting than they are. I was at least happy to see so much of the cast together again and interacting, and we actually got some screen time for characters that I actually care about! Its really cool seeing Murphy in more of a heroic leadership role (and that even he is surprised by himself) and he and Emori, with the addition of Raven, are really highlights of every episode. They add so much life to the show in the midst of the never ending angst. And then, of course, the show drops a bunch of rocks on them, because we arent allowed to have nice things. Of course, I am trying to be hopeful that if they keep putting Murphy and Emori in danger with lots of fake outs so that they will actually make it out alright, but you never know with this show. At least this episode, with much of the cast back together and in an old location, ruminating on their past and various events from the shows history, actually did feel like it was one the last few episodes of the last season, and not just some random season full of random people in a random location.
  16. So I have been re-watching the first few seasons of Arrow, after not having seen them in awhile (the show wrapped up earlier this year) and its really interesting how the show dealt with its lead character, Oliver, and his habit of killing tons of people in the first season in the name of justice, and how and why he changed his ways. It made me think of this show and its sudden stance of "heroes dont kill ever ever and if you do your soul is stained!!!!!" stance in the second season and how poorly handled this issue of killing in general was handled in the show. I dont know if Arrow (and its various spin off properties) totally nailed the whole issue and they did fall into some of the same traps that this show did (especially letting murderous bad guys still doing bad guy stuff live because they happen to share genes with a good guy) but it was a subject that was discussed quite a lot with a lot of different viewpoints and was treated as a complex issue with a lot of moral grayness, instead of just "killing is bad because heroes dont kill and thats bad because this ten year old said so." In the first season of Arrow, our hero Oliver is basically on a massive crusade to save his piece of crap of a home city, which is riddled with crime and corruption and even an evil conspiracy of rich weirdos with an Evil Plan after five years doing through all kinds of crap while he was missing presumed dead. He got amazing super badass fighting skills, which he uses to fight corrupt rich guys and drug dealers and various bad guys, often leaving a trail of bodies (usually random mooks) behind and generally being extremely brutal towards his enemies, and the show doesn't exactly treat his methods as bad at first. However, as the season goes on, we also see that he has massive levels of untreated PTSD, struggles with connecting to people, either the people he left behind when he disappeared or people he meets now, and while his crusade is out of a very real desire to help the people of his city, its also out of a LOT of anger and grief at everything that happened to him and others who have died on his journey, his massive levels of guilt and self loathing, and its clear that he is mentally in a really terrible place and that his brutal methods, including killing people, is taking a real toll on him. Eventually, after some character development and having to deal more with the consequences of his actions, to make a long story short, his best friend finds out about his secret identity...and is seriously freaked out, because he has heard of this vigilante guy and seen pictures of the crime scenes he has left behind, and while the people he killed were certainly bad guys, the amount of lives taken is really freaking brutal when its all laid out, and as Oliver tries to justify himself, he realizes how bad all of this sounds. Then his friend ends up dying soon after, and Oliver decides to stop with all the killing people to honor his memory. After that, Oliver had to learn how to take bad guys out without killing them (although still doing a lot of damage) and this also coincided with him becoming a much more well adjusted person, who opens up to people more, who starts working to help people in ways beyond just shooting bad guys up with arrows, and finding more in life than just being a brooding vigilante. He really worked to stop killing people (which really was kind of hard, dude is REALLY good at it) and in general tone the violence down, and while later he went more into the direction of "I dont want to kill people and will try to find a non lethal way to deal with bad guys but will if its absolutely necessary" than No Killing Ever, I think they did a lot of interesting stuff with the idea of a hero who doesn't want to kill. Later on, the show would at times I think go a bit too hard on Oliver, probably because Oliver never fully kicked that whole "I am such a bad guy no matter how many lives I save because I have a massive batch of complexes" heroic self deprecation thing that angsty heroes love to do, but I think a lot of what they did was really interesting and complex and how many ways they looked at how killing affects a person and when it is or is not appropriate for a person who is trying to do right to take lives. Thats I think the key if a show wants to go hard on the "Heroes Dont Kill" thing, it needs to have context, and there has to be a concrete reason as to why the hero wont just kill the bad guy who is about to blow up that bus full of school children and their puppies when they have the chance. It can be a philosophical issue, like if your hero is a pacifist, it can be fear of what that can do to a person and how that can hurt them mentally and emotionally, which especially can be important when establishing motive for killing (usually killing someone for revenge is much more morally questionable than killing someone in defense or because they are such a huge threat) it can be a religious issue, when their religion prohibits the taking of a life, it can be about a traumatic incident, usually seeing a person die or killing someone accidentally, there are any number of ways to deal with this issue and to explore the complexities, and that can be a really compelling story to tell. Unfortunately, Once handled it in a really stupid, confusing, and even insulting way. It was also painfully inconsistent, so when Emma kills Cruella to save her son its considered a Bad Thing and the start of her falling into darkness, but when Charming killed Percival, even when he could have easily been disarmed, its not a big deal at all. Snow killing Cora was Very Bad, and I think they were trying to do the "she killed her for revenge so its bad" thing, but its all so muddled because Cora was very much an active threat and was about to probably destroy the town, and the actual angst is mostly just about Snow killing her and the narrative is just so hard on her, way more than, say, Regina or Rumple, despite her many murders of innocent people, we end up just being confused as to what lesson we are supposed to take. Worse, there is no real reason why killing is considered bad besides "heroes dont kill" because reasons. We dont know why killing is so bad, no one has any tragic backstory as to why they dont want to kill people, no one has expressed any philosophical or religious views that make them want to avoid killing, they dont want to avoid it because they believe so strongly in the importance of life (or they would be a tad bit more salty at the various semi reformed villains), no one is worried about becoming evil or jumping off a slippery slope, the closest we get is Emma slipping into the Dark One territory, which is more about her magic than her as a person (and that was deep into the Emma Must Suffer plots) we just never get any real examination of why people have this mantra. Plenty of fictional heroes kill and dont angst about it! In classical mythology, heroes were pretty much heroes BECAUSE of their battle prowess! Its not like I think good guys should kill people, I think that they should at least TRY to avoid casualties, but sometimes the fight against evil gets bloody, and sometimes killing someone who is a massive threat can save more lives than saving this one life. How many people are dead now because Snow didnt execute Regina when she had the chance and instead let her go with a slap on the wrist? Thats actually a decently interesting moral question, but its never explored.
  17. That was super cute, I am really glad I decided to check this out on a whim! I agree about it having a lot of the aesthetics of a Disney sitcom, but it had enough emotion and sharp enough writing to make it a show with a broader appeal. Its all wacky ghost shenanigans and songs about believing in yourself one moment, and then heartbreaking flashbacks to parents finding out their teenage son died the next. I really wasn't expecting to get so many Feels from this show, but damn it they got me. The acting was all really good, and the songs really were quite catchy. They managed to end on a good note and give us some closure for a lot of the seasons plots, but there are still a lot of balls up in their air for a possible season two, which I really hope that we get. Their fourth band member now knows that something is up with his dead band-mates, and that confrontation seems inevitable, and while the guys got away from Cheyenne Jackson for now, he has now possessed Julies school crush, and is still trying to trap the guys in his Lounge Act of the Damned! Speaking of, Cheyenne Jackson is clearly having an absolute blast chewing the scenery as the bad guy, even taking time to laugh evilly a few times and twirl his metaphorical mustache. Hoping for a season two! My only real complaint is that there were only nine episodes, hopefully we get a few more next season.
  18. First of all, the Pat Boone version of Tutti Frutti that the white employees at the store were dancing to is just ugh. Taking such a fun song and making it so aggressively bland and awful is a crime against music. Never a dull moment on this show! We get lots of focus on Ruby this week, and on gore. Lots and lots of gore. The effects of the transformation look amazing, and also amazingly nasty. Ruby's whole journey was really interesting, going from enjoying the privileges of being a white woman, getting a job easily that she was just as qualified for as a black woman, taking out her frustration on Tamara (as wrongly focused as that anger is), being increasingly annoyed at her white co-workers who talk about black people like they're the dirt under their heels but still fetish black people and black spaces as exotic and exciting, especially her creep boss, and finally goes back to her true self when she goes after creep boss. He might be a loathsome bastard, but I dont see this ending well for Ruby. Not that I think he will be running to the cops to explain this whole situation, but Ruby getting in deeper into magic and the magic cult just screams trouble. So William/Christina is confirmed! So is William just a construct that Christina made up as a disguise like Hilary is for Ruby, or are William and Christina two different people that share a body? The most obvious reference of the night was, of course, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, which the episode is named after, which is about a man who drinks a potion to become another person. Of course, that was about repression in Victorian society and the duality of all people, while I am still trying to figure out what all this means for Ruby and her changes. Not much of Tic and Leti, but its nice to see them developing as a couple, even if we also see that Tic, as much of a nice guy as he is, has a real temper. Not too surprisingly considering how he grew up and having just come back from war, but I hope that it doesent pop up so much that it becomes a problem.
  19. The character assassinations! The nonsensical plots! The pointless character deaths! The padding! It all makes sense now! I guess this makes Bellamy our Daenerys?
  20. tennisgurl

    Away

    I would prefer less soap and more science, but this was a fun watch. The acting was all really strong and I liked most of the characters and their interactions (with some issues, see below) and seeing what goes into a massive space launch from multiple perspectives. Really, one of my disappointments was that we ended up getting more of TVs inexplicable favorite thing, teenage angst, than actual space stuff at times! The actress playing Lex is really good, and I liked her at first and really felt for her, but as the season went on she went full on teen girl angst and I just got fed up with her. The second she meets a cute boy it was like she decided that right now, with her mom going to Mars and her dad recently in a wheelchair and struggling, was the right time to start sneaking out and doing teenage rebellious stuff and lying to her father. I know that part of the premise is on the people left behind in the space mission, but could they give her a better story than this? Speaking of bad timing, when Melissa was like "you dont even see it" I laughed because I never saw any attraction between her and Matt until that very moment! Like, yeah maybe Matt didn't have time to notice your crush in between dealing with his wife going on a super dangerous space mission, basically running NASA in secret to keep her and her crew alive, having a stroke, being in a wheelchair and adjusting to that and to physical therapy to maybe walk again, and his teenage daughter choosing now to start lying and doing dangerous stunts and sneaking off with her new boyfriend! I cant put my finger on why, but I find Melissa to be unlikable and bland, even if the actress is fine. I am glad that they didn't do a thing with Matt being resentful of Emma for going to Mars and its some kind of thing where he feels emasculated by his wife doing this big thing in a male dominated field while he is having health problems and is doing behind the scenes stuff, they didn't really do that. I really hope they dont go there with Matt and Melissa, but I fear they will. It is kind of hilarious that both Emma and Matt got totally thrown by a friend/co-worker announcing their attraction to them at a really stressful moment, to their total bafflement. In general, it was shocking how under-prepared everyone seemed to be. No one seemed to have many back up plans, the crew seemed like they hardly knew each other or could work together until about part way through, and its just nuts that they would send someone to Mars who had zero space experience. I know that they wanted interpersonal conflict and lots of problems to solve for the sake of drama, but it made it seem like everyone they sent to space had no respect for the chain of command and were emotionally unprepared for everything, and that the ship was being held together by duck tape and luck. I thought that I would find the flashbacks to everyone's pasts would be kind of stupid and on the nose, but they actually worked pretty well. Misha and his puppets and his email emojis (oh my God, its like when I taught my dad what texting was) and Lu were my favorites, but everyone had their moments. You know, as much as Hilary Swank is a talented actress who had convey a lot of strength and intensity, I ended up almost agreeing with the almost constant insubordination, because Emma so often seemed like a pretty bad commander. She was so weepy and quick to give up or sit in her room and cry and angst about what was going on at home, I can get why the rest of the crew was worried that she wasn't fully committed and why she had so many problems with group cohesion. Her using some of her water rations to water a plant was probably her most questionable move, she had to know what a bad idea that was and this could lead to her getting dehydrated and compromising the integrity of the mission as the leader, and she did it just to feel better? Maybe she would feel better and more in control by doing captain stuff? She had her moments, but I hope that later on we see her toughen up. The ending was very strong, they really built a lot of tension with mission control being totally silent and the families all watching, until they got confirmation that they landed, and I am glad that Lu didn't go through with having to hide behind her visor, and instead everyone took the picture together with their visors up, although I hope her government doesn't take it out on Mei or her family. I am glad they made it to Mars, and while this show has a lot of problems (save us all from love triangles) I am excited to see what happens in season two now that they made it.
  21. Just when you think this show cant go any lower, someone finds a shovel... I just...I just could not believe that any writer could possibly be this incompetent, this stupid, this uncaring about their own characters and their own fans...but then I remembered every other show that has come up with increasingly cruel and hateful endings for its main characters for the sake of cheap drama, and I remembered what a general shit show this show has become, and then it all came together. This is seriously the end of Bellamy, one of the main characters and biggest driving forces of the show since the pilot? He gets indoctrinated into some lame ass cult in five seconds, betrays everyone who he cares about, and then gets shot by Clarke? What a massive fuck you to Bellamy, Bob, and to all of us poor schmucks still watching. I dont know the whole story, but I did hear some stuff about issues between Bob and some of the writers/show runner (who has certainly had a vindictive streak in the past) so its hard not to see this half assed death as some kind of screw you to Bob. Or possibly as a fuck you to Bellaclarke fans, who the show runner has never really been a fan of from what I have picked up, or just to the fans in general, who they clearly hold in contempt and are annoyed by. Stupid fans, wanting a well written show, the nerve! Bellamy as a character has always been pretty up and down depending on what was going on with the writing, but he has long been one of my favorite characters, with a story that I found really rich and complicated, and to see this as his end, getting brainwashed shockingly easy and as a puppet to this seasons lamest Big Bad and the gunned down by his best friend after getting no closure with anyone, even Octavia, is just so unsatisfying. How exactly does this seem consistent with his story? He never got even a tiny bit of closure with anyone, even Octavia, never really finished dealing with his issues, and even on a show that has killing its characters as its bread and butter, this is just shocking in its senselessness. I kind of suspected that Bellamy might not survive this season, but I thought he would die saving everyone, having made peace with Octavia or something, not like this. This is just so lame, even in the middle of this increasingly lame final season. I cant even cry or be sad that one of my favorite characters just shot and killed one of my other favorite characters, I am just really pissed off and annoyed that a show I used to love could treat its audience and characters so poorly, and is so clearly running on fumes. Like, how does this end Bellamys arc as a character? Or his complicated relationship with Clarke? Its hard to see this as an end to his or their story when he is clearly brainwashed (or else he would certainly tell that the guys holding his closest friends hostage to force his best friend to do work for him are the bad guys) and hasn't acted like himself since he got back from the mountain. Its like he was some kind of clone, but now the clone was killed so we will never get to see real Bellamy again. Bellamy died when he supposedly died earlier (and dont you love that he got a fake out death, was around for a few more episodes, than died for real?) in the season more or less, and both his deaths sucked. I mean, this could maybe have worked as the tragic end to Bellamy's story, maybe, if they had really sold him being brainwashed, if they had really managed to make it so we bought that he thought that working with these people would save the lives of the people he loved, that he was doing this to protect them, even if they hated him for it, and they had him doing something more dramatic than holding a coloring book before Clarke killed him, where it really was Clarke having to choose between him and Madi or him and everyone else, or he really went off the deep end and tried to kill Madi or everyone else to help them "transcend" or whatever, but this? This has all been so rushed, that I cant buy it. I just hate that, after everything, Bellamy died as a brainwashed weirdo in that stupid robe who betrayed everyone and never even got a chance to hash things out with any of the many people in his life he has unresolved issues with, its just such a terrible waste of such a major character. I could buy an ending where Bellamy is driven to extremes in what he thinks will protect his people (as that been his driving motivation since the very start) and that leads to his downfall, even by way of Clarke, that it wasnt brainwashing even but that he really did think this could protect the people he loves, but there just hasn't been enough time to make me buy this at all. Plus, its just another pile of misery to dump on Clarke, who at this point I am just hoping manages to die with some dignity (unlike Bellamy) and can finally end her suffering. Besides, it didnt even matter! Clarke still didnt get the stupid book, now nothing has changed except Bellamy is dead and everyone get to be even more miserable than usual as they try to deal with this next mess. Its really too bad, because, before one of the stupidest things this show has done in a long history of stupid things happened, I was thinking that this episode was a bit better than the last few have been. A lot of the characters are back together, we got lots of great Raven and Murphy banter, who have one of the best relationships on the show and who are always great for some snarky comic relief (loved them making fun of each other for how much things have gone to crap on both their sides) we got some closure for Ravens story and her guilt about letting those people die of radiation, and the group hug between her, Clarke, Murphy, and Emori was one of the best and most emotionally impacting moments the show has had in ages, and we got to see the cute puppy being cute! And more mocking of those stupid all white outfits, which is always correct. The reason they probably kept Raven and Murphy away from Bill and Bellamy was probably half because they knew that Bill couldn't give his boring ass speeches while Raven and Murphy are heckling him. But of course, we also have tons of scenes with boring new characters who I dont like or care about instead of focusing on the characters we have followed for years (and in the final episodes!) and we have a show down between Bill and Sheidheda where, tragically, neither of them die. I was hoping that they would kill each other and some better villain would show up to be an actual threat to our heroes, but of course not, we have to keep these two idiots around to be non threatening even longer. I cant believe that Indra didnt kill Sheidheda, it seems so out of character that she wouldn't take out this threat when she had the chance to, yet again! It reeks of writers who want to keep him around and have to come up with contrived reasons to keep him around, forcing people to act out of character, although why they want him so badly is beyond me. I have no idea why we are stuck with so many randos instead of giving screen time to characters who have been around for several seasons, who we might actually want to see, but I guess the show is bored with them, and they want us to be interested in the new shinys. I would think we want to spend time ending the many year spanning extremely complex arcs of our MAIN CHARACTERS in the last few episodes after seven seasons but apparently not! After seeing the end they wrote for Bellamy, arguably the male lead of the show, its pretty clear how much this show cares about its main characters.
  22. We had our road trip episodes with the creepy small town, the haunted house, and now the Goonies style underground cavern treasure map episode! I am liking the tour through different types of genres, which all lead to different vibes and styles but are all also thematically connected enough that it never seems random. The room full of mummies and the scroll keeper coming to life was super creepy to me, even more creepy than the ghost shenanigans last week. Of course, Leti is the MVP, as always, grabbing the scroll as the tomb caved in, telling Tick to stop keeping stuff from her, especially when it totally concerns her, swimming down the corridor, and just generally being awesome. No wait, Leti might be tied for MVP this week with that kid at the library who kept shushing Tic and Leti, and then stormed off in a huff when they wouldn't be quiet. That kid gets what libraries are for! Its hard to know what to make of Montrose. He can be such a dick, but he also seems to be at least somewhat mentally unwell and is clearly deeply unhappy, and while he seems to be constantly criticizing Tick, he did actually show some pride in him too this week...and then he murdered the scroll keeper (who is just having the worst time of it) for some unknown reason. I think that he did it to protect Tic in some way, to stop him from going into this any further and get himself killed, but god dang. So William survived like Christina...or William actually is Christina? I have no idea, these people are all kinds of strange. I actually wondered, with all the scars, that he might be some kind of magical artificial construct that Christina made to follow her orders or something. He just seems super off, in a way that not even Christina is. The subtext with Ruby and her resentment towards Leti was really interesting this week. She sees her sister, who is skinnier and has a lighter complexion, as someone who has all of these opportunities that she will never have, being curvaceous and darker skinned, and more outside of what mainstream society deemed attractive at the time (which is nonsense, as Ruby is clearly all kinds of beautiful) and is rather bitter about that. I really hope that she does not get dragged too far into whatever plans are having with the magic cult. Also, applaud the women when she sings damn it! Some of the anachronistic music works for me, but when its used too much, or when its really obviously modern, it really takes me out of the show. It can feel really jarring.
  23. That could have been fun, I love the idea of bringing in some more unique characters. I dont know how the seventh season could have worked with no new characters, but I think its possible that it could have worked. Have it be set in the same multiverse, and maybe begin and end the season with some of the Once characters commenting on how wacky it is that these people look like them but are from a different universe, or something like that. It worked for American Horror Story and a lot of the anthology series that followed, so why not here? I always wished that they used more of the talking animal characters. Make some of them shape shifters so that they can be mostly human but also have animal forms, if its budget that they are worried about, or have it be like Gus, who was a mouse who was turned into a human by the curse. That would actually be a pretty interesting, would a talking animal who became a human in Storeybrooke want to go back to their animal form, or would they want to stay human, and want to stay in Storebrooke to keep their human form? Did Jiminey/Archie like being a human again when he got his memories back in Storybrooke? Did he ever expect to be human again before the curse? He was a cricket for a long time after all, did he just decide he liked that better than being a human? Talking animals are such a big part of Disney, it always felt weird not to have any around.
  24. Thats what I really hope happens in the third season, it seems like its almost the inevitable conclusion for Johnny and Daniel and their whole pointless feud. They team up to take down Kreese and realize that they need each other to find the balance that they have been missing, yin and yang style, and combine dojos. They might be rivals, but they're also the only people that can really understand each other, and taking the best of Kobra Cai and Miyagi-do, they can finally make peace with the past.
  25. Peacemaker, you came home! So that was our mid-season finale huh? Sadly I thought it was pretty underwhelming, especially if that is really the end of Ma Clanton and the Clanton clan. What a lame and disappointing end to what seemed like a really good and threatening villain who was really tied into the shows mythos, Waverly just uses her angel powers and thats that? Really? It was that easy? I know this show has had more than a few lame endings to villains, as well as major and minor characters, but ouch. All of this stuff with Doc and Wynonna getting all weird about Wyatt being a dick back in the day...on the one hand, I get why they are ruminating on Wyatt, and Earp legacy, and everything that happened in the past, with the Clantons showing up to re-start the family feud. I am still hoping we get more of that, its a really good idea and way to tie the show back into what it was based on from way back when, and I dont dislike the idea of Doc ruminating on his life from back now that he is being reminded of the OK Corral and everything. On the other hand, this all seems really weird and random, like, none of this is old news to them. Maybe Doc is salty about what Wyatt said about him after his "death" but he always knew that Wyatt could be a trigger happy asshole, but he was his best friend no matter what, and the fact that he sometimes killed and cursed people who didnt deserve it is also something the show has touched on before (thats Rositas whole backstory) so why all of the "uggg what a dick" stuff now? Speaking of Rosita, I am really glad that they brought her back to give her a better ending, and some degree of closure with Wynonna and redemption. I really liked her and was always really annoyed by the crappy ending they gave her, so I am really happy to see her again and see her getting a much better story. At least Nedley was gold as always, and WayHaught got engaged and were super cute, and I was happy with all of that at least! "Astral Projection" "Like after my third heart attack. I found the remote control on top of the refrigerator."
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