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Margo Leadbetter

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  1. Margo Leadbetter

    CBS This Morning

    I don't follow news about the news so these latest developments are a bit of an unwelcome surprise to me. I do agree that there are too many anchors and was baffled when Bianna—who I like a lot—joined the team. If her contract stipulated that she'd be an anchor, then TPTB should have waited until they actually had an opening. I'd be very sorry to see Norah go but I'm kind of ambivalent about John Dickerson. In general I like him but I don't think he's a good fit for the morning show. When they needed to fill Charlie's spot, I thought it would go to Jeff Glor or Anthony Mason. Gayle doesn't bother me in the least and I'm okay with her being a bit more of a personality than a straight news person. She good with the fluffier stuff and she's really come into her own with harder news. Her connections don't bother me either. Her friendship with Oprah (who I've never watched or followed in anything) may have given her a start but I don't think it would keep her in the position she has if she sucked at it. Overall though, I like the current team (the trio—again, Bianna was just an unnecessary addition) and think they work well together but whatever moves the network makes, pleeeease don't turn away for the current, more serious news format.
  2. Margo Leadbetter

    Tidying Up With Marie Kondo

    Woo boy, where to begin. I will admit at the outset that I’m not a Marie Kondo fan. I get that she’s helped thousands of people but I’m not one of them. I began decluttering and minimizing a year ago (probably got rid of close to 80% of my belongings, useless, duplicate, never used or worn-out stuff, and I couldn’t be happier) and when I started the process I did a lot of reading. Her book was one of the first—I listened to the audiobook and the narrator was one of the best I’ve ever heard—and my main takeaway was that she needed help, stat. Throwing away her family members’ possessions without their permission? Spending recess inside the classroom tidying up the supply closet rather than join her classmates on the playground? TEARING PAGES OUT OF BOOKS AND THROWING THEM OUT?!? That’s not normal, that’s obsessive. I was still interested in checking out the show, if only to see her process in real life. Three episodes in and I’m still not a fan. For one thing, if she’s on-screen for 10 minutes total, that’s a lot. She giggles, drops a couple of little airy-fairy comments about sparking joy and thanking your stuff, giggles some more and then disappears only to pop back in a couple of times, still giggling, to discover that putting junk in little boxes and following her folding method has saved a marriage, kept the kids from a life of drugs and debauchery and possibly cured cancer. It’s way too simplistic and free of substance. She never seems to address the emotional aspects of decluttering (I remember Peter Walsh on Clean Sweep and how he would gently confront people and get them to realize that getting rid of things didn’t mean getting rid of the memories and meaning behind them). But even if she did try to address those things, the language barrier would be a huge impediment. It’s not easy opening up the emotional floodgates when you’re filtering it through a translator. The biggest no for me though, was that in the end, the afters didn’t look much different from the befores. Yes, the people did get rid of a lot but even so, they ended up just organizing their still-overwhelming clutter, which is kind of a no-no in decluttering/minimizing circles. Yes, she’s non-threatening, cute and adorable, hopping around and giggling like a pre-teen, and I get that a lot of people respond to that approach but she’s not for me. I got far more out of Fumio Sasaki’s “Goodbye Things” than I ever could from Marie Kondo. Of course, YMMV. :D
  3. Margo Leadbetter

    Things We Hate About The Handmaid's Tale

    I had some major issues with the first series and didn’t know if I’d bother with the second, but I gave it a try. I quit watching after the third episode and cancelled Hulu but I check in here every so often to see if I made a mistake. Nothing I’ve read makes me regret my decision. There were so many things wrong with this that I don’t even know where to start. I just need to remember this next time I’m tempted to watch something that was adapted from a favorite book.
  4. Margo Leadbetter

    The Royals and Company: The Cast Thread

    I saw Darkest Hour today and was happy to recognize Pip Torrens in a blink-and-you-missed-it role as a BBC producer.
  5. Margo Leadbetter

    S01.E08: Jezebels

    Regarding Moira and the other women at Jezebel's and possible pregnancies...
  6. Margo Leadbetter

    Mrs. Waterford: The gender traitor

    To the bolded, I'm not so sure about that. Status- and comfort-wise, yes, which is a lot but… She serves no purpose other than ceremonial. In fact, some wives like Serena might even be considered burdonsome by their commanders, because they did hold powerful positions pre-Gilead and must struggle with their roles now. They're pretty much un-Women, just of a different sort. Handmaids are the breeders. Marthas run the homes. Wives…do what exactly? Participate in ritual rape once a month? They've been stripped of whatever they had in their former lives, household tasks are turned over to the Marthas, they're sterile and only a very few of them have a Handmaid's child to raise. In the book, the wives go to endless tea parties, gossip, and knit endlessly, providing hats and scarves to the soldiers on the front. And that's about it. Handmaids have it the worst, but Wives aren't far behind. Marthas probably have it best; it may be drudgery, but it gives them day-to-day purpose.
  7. Margo Leadbetter

    S01.E06: A Woman's Place

    I don't think the assistant was in the dark about the life the Handmaids led, but he couldn't exactly come clean about it and protect his connection to the underground. He had to play along. I'm also not surprised that he knew Offred's real name and information about Luke, or that that information still existed in Gilead. The nazis, for example, were meticulous records keepers, as are many totalitarian regimes. The underground has most likely infiltrated the government exists, they've most likely been able to access it. This episode was definitely more dimly lit than others, but that's typical of the director.
  8. Margo Leadbetter

    S01.E06: A Woman's Place

    I don't think that was what they were implying. Gilead was desperate to find some way to keep their currency afloat, as Fred told Serena Joy. Apparently Mexico has been greatly affected by the fertility crisis as well and they are now desperate enough to find any way possible to start producing their own children again. Obviously Gilead saw this as an opportunity to take advantage of. I get that but exporting handmaids is still a very weak plot device. First, how many could Gilead possibly trade without depleting their own human resources? Certainly, not enough to make a dent in Mexico's fertility problem. Second, even though Gilead has forbidden all scientific intervention regarding fertility, non-Gilead regimes certainly haven't. Given that we now know for sure this takes place in present day (Luke's birth year was given as 1980), all kinds of fertility and genetic treatments do exist. Why isn't Mexico investing in those? It certainly makes more sense to harvest the eggs and sperm of fertile men and women, create test-tube embryos, and implant them in surrogates. The odds of achieving viable pregnancies and full-term births (and aborting non-viable or "damaged" fetuses) are greater than hoping to impregnate a few imported handmaids. Handmaids as a cash crop just doesn't work for me.
  9. Margo Leadbetter

    S01.E06: A Woman's Place

    Initially, I really liked this episode but the more I think about it, the less I like it. I think I was wowed by the visual look of it than anything else, so I was surprised/not surprised to see that it was directed by Floria Sigismondi, who's known mostly for her music videos (including this one by Girls Aloud—a bit of things to come, what with all the red… ) The ep really was a cut above visually, but otherwise, there was a lot wrong with it, first and foremost the whole human trafficking trade wrangling. Generally, you trade surplus or goods and services created for trade, but suddenly Gilead has an overabundance of fertile women they can supply to other countries? It just didn't make sense and since it seems to be a major plot point, it didn't hold up. Neither did the scene in the movie theater. Not their discussion about the upcoming bloodbath—nothing like hiding in plain sight to avoid detection—just the idea that they would have been in a movie theater in the first place. Prior to the coup, there had already been book burnings and other suppression of worldly entertainment so the idea that key figures in the revolution would have chosen to indulge in pop culture didn't ring true. Small thing, but it stood out for me.
  10. Margo Leadbetter

    S01.E02: Birth Day

    In the book it wasn't rape. The particicution takes place much later in the story--close to the end and Ofglen is still around. He was a member of the resistance and the rape charge was trumped up. Ofglen deliberately stuns him before he's torn apart. I can see why a man would still be prosecuted for rape, even if the blame is placed on the woman for "asking for it." It's still a sin of the flesh and a violation of another's property, but certainly not a crime against a woman.
  11. Margo Leadbetter

    Palimpsest: Novel vs. Show

    No, I think you're correct. The Econowives were the lower-tier women whose families were allowed to remain intact.
  12. Margo Leadbetter

    S01.E02: Birth Day

    I think the issue was not just infertility but that many of the babies that made it to birth were considered defective—"unbabies" or "shredders" as they were called—which leads me to believe that eugenics was part of the Gilead plan and the shredders were disposed of. Didn't Offred say that only 1 in 5 babies was born okay? She was tremendously relieved when Hannah passed her genetic testing shortly after birth.
  13. Margo Leadbetter

    Palimpsest: Novel vs. Show

    Not sure if I should spoiler tag this so I will just in case.
  14. Margo Leadbetter

    S01.E03: Late

    I was chilled to the bone when they were talking about how, after Congress was assassinated, the constitution was suspended and martial law declared to protect everyone from "the terrorists." I'm not sure if I'm watching a fictional TV show or a playbook for the current administration. I have to say that this is a rare case where changes to a beloved and often-read book don't bother me. They've done an excellent job of opening up the story without trashing it. (I'm looking at you, Syfy's "Childhood's End.) The musical coda is taking some getting used to for me. I get why they've done it and it's definitely jarring but I'm starting to come around.