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Slovenly Muse

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  1. Thanks! Just to clarify, are these hits or misses? Ooooh, good questions! I generally prefer mytharc, but I love a good MOTW if it's done well and not just filler. For characters, I'm flexible. I guess I would say Dean's my favourite, followed by Cas, then Sam, but the most important aspect for me is seeing the characters' strengths. What are they super good at, or what are their moments of awesome. The episodes that highlight the reasons WHY fans love them. (Sam's third on my list, but if you're a Sam girl, curate some episodes to get me on board!) I also love the relationships - when characters have each other's backs, or it's stupid obvious how much they care about each other. I imagine that's what a lot of fandom appreciates about the show, so I'm hoping to find some good points of commonality there. Kickass women are always a plus. 😉
  2. I know! It's so hard to pick, and everyone will have a different opinion, but I'm hoping at least it might generate some interesting discussion! (and 5 is just a suggested number, definitely not a hard limit! If there are 10 in a season that shouldn't be missed? Bring it on!) And honestly, I would be fine to get a different list from everyone! Even just to start eliminating the "skippables" and comparing what people feel passionately about. I'm good to read summaries of whatever I don't watch to follow the story. I'm just interested in hearing from you what episodes you think really bring out the show's strengths! Maybe it would be a help, too, for anyone else wanting to rewatch before the finale, but being daunted by having 15 seasons to get through. It could be fun! Or a complete mess! I guess we'll see 🙂
  3. Hey friends! Primetimer has set up a forum for Curated Binges (awesome idea) and I immediately thought of this show. Actually, I'm here because rather than post a curated binge on the forum, what I would actually like to do is REQUEST a curated binge from you! Here is my SPN history: I was a fan in the early seasons, and really quite a big fan. I've been active on the boards for this show since the distant past, when it was on TWoP and Damien was recapping it alongside Raoul, the Big Gay Supernatural Dragon (I miss them so). But as the show ran on, I got impatient with it, and became really frustrated by its patterns (especially killing off every single female character, and then lampshading it instead of FIXING it!). I started letting it go, letting a season or two slip by at a time before getting drawn back in and catching up. Finally, I managed to break up with the show completely a few years ago. I'm not sure which season, but I think it was getting toward the end of the single-digits. ANYWAY, I was recently going through some old bookmarks and stumbled across some early-seasons SPN fanfic that I had completely adored at the time, and started doing a bit of re-reading, and it reminded me how much I really cared about these characters and their story. It's bringing up that old desire to delve back in to this show. But I was so soured on it by the time I quit that I really don't want to set myself up for a miserable experience wading through the stuff I disliked to get to the stuff I actually really loved. Here's what I'm hoping someone will be able to help me with: Since there is so damn much of this show, if you're a superfan who knows it really well, would you be willing to recommend the best, say, 5 episodes in each season? (Could be more or less depending on the season, of course - use your judgment!) I'd really love to get the highs, the episodes that bring the feels, and highlight the characters' strengths (and the storytelling strengths), as well as the strong relationships between the characters (not just Sam and Dean, but mainly them probably, given the nature/structure of the show), and skip right over the pointless filler, or the painfully awkward/sloppily-written episodes that drove me away. It turns out I really CAN'T quit this show! And just in time for the end (whenever that will air), I can't resist catching up one last time. Anyone willing to take a stroll down memory lane and throw me a few suggestions?
  4. I've had the last season saved up for awhile - I couldn't bring myself to watch it and for the show to really be over! But I finally finished it this month. Really lovely stuff, and the "sestrahood" is just what I needed in quarantine. I'm so glad they're having a reunion!
  5. I think you're exactly right, and I think period pieces like this that incorporate violence and oppression into their stories are MEANT to be viewed through a modern lens. That's why they work. Women may not have been considered "people" throughout the entire span of human history, but the fact is that they HAVE been "people" all along. There was never a time or culture in which women were in fact naturally inferior to men, or didn't have the same intellectual/emotional capacities. Their stories have always been valuable, and their experiences always worthy of examination. Domestic violence has always been "wrong" regardless of how it was viewed at the time. What we see in the way women were treated in the past is a reflection of how well or poorly people understood that, or to what degree they were willing to acknowledge it at the cost of their own comfort and convenience. (The same is true of the treatment of minorities.) The people in Lila's town might all see her as "deserving" whatever she gets because so few can imagine a life for women that doesn't involve submission, but through our modern lens, we can understand, and are MEANT to understand, the pain and the vast untapped human potential in Lila, and with that understanding, we can see how dismal her fate is. It is not possible to understand her story, or what this show is trying to say about her life and the power she is denied, without that modern point of view. It's not anachronistic to view a period piece through a modern lens, because to put yourself into the mindset of the period in which it's set is only to relinquish your belief that women and minorities are full people who deserve opportunity and respect, and that can only cheapen (rather than enrich) your understanding of the story and what it means for all the characters. So, here's my radical belief: Every individual that has ever lived has always had the ability and chance to understand that women are people, because it's always been true. History is full of men who didn't beat their wives, or who treated their wives as partners rather than slaves. I don't give present-day racists or abusers a pass because "they were raised in a culture of abuse" or "they don't believe/understand that what they are doing is wrong." I don't blame "historical context" for an abuser's decision to inflict harm on another human being, even though we are living in a society today where inequality is rampant. Why would I give that pass to someone from an earlier generation?
  6. Yes. I am so glad they're really hitting this issue. I don't know if I would say "hypocrisy" though, since the systems of resistance at the time developed this way for a reason. It reminds me of another historical docu-drama, "When We Rise," about the evolution of the LGBTQ-rights movement in America. Something they did extremely effectively was show the separate bubbles that all these different groups were working in at the time. Women, blacks, lesbians, gays... even though they all had the same oppressor (a patriarchy made up of straight, white men), they had almost no solidarity or understanding of their common cause. Everyone was so caught up in their own movement, they couldn't see how groups that should be their allies were being used against them by The Powers That Be to keep everyone separate and minimize the change they could effect. Groups of feminists dedicated to advancing women in the workplace would eject lesbians from their organization, because the presence of even one lesbian on the roster meant the entire group could be discredited as "a bunch of man-hating lesbians who want to disrupt the good, healthy, natural order of American life." Which left the lesbian feminists to form their own groups whose goals were more in line with becoming self-sufficient women-only groups who had no reliance on men whatsoever, which made them a completely different movement from the gay rights groups, made up of gay men who were dealing with the entirely different problem of having their bars and clubs raided and getting arrested and beaten every night. Trans rights were basically invisible, not really represented in any of the other groups. This show, thankfully, delves into people like Shirley Chisolm, prominent black women who were not supported by black men, because it's expected that she'll fight for EITHER women's rights OR black rights (and for that same reason, not supported by white women). That's just how it was done at the time. It was a tactical maneuver to focus exclusively on your group's particular issue, and it was thought to delegitimize you or undercut your message if you cooperated or organized with other groups. There wasn't much of an understanding of the political need to address the undertones of racism, sexism, homophobia, or transphobia that might be present in your organization. It's an alien mindset to us now, but this show has done a pretty admirable job of putting us back in that setting, and letting us see how discrimination between different groups prevented the full cooperation that was needed to mount a meaningful resistance against these disparate groups' singular oppressor.
  7. I agree the show's message about parenthood and adoption is muddled, but I do think we are supposed to agree that the judge unfairly favoured the rich, white people, as always. I would think that in a custody battle like this, when the adoption hasn't even been finalized, the judge would need a VERY compelling reason to keep the child away from its birth mother. Just thinking that she wouldn't be AS good as a rich family, because of their resources, isn't enough. The question isn't who is the "better" mother, or who could give May Ling/Mirabelle the "best" life, but rather who has the LEGAL RIGHT to raise this child, and that is a different issue. If there was evidence that Bebe was abusive, or an addict, or posed a danger to the child's safety, that would make sense. Abandoning her at a fire station doesn't establish a pattern of dangerous behaviour. It WAS the best thing for her to do when she couldn't care for her child, or present herself to the authorities to ask for help. Does Bebe still live in poverty? Yes, but even in America, where there is a strong tendency to commit minority children to foster care at an alarmingly inflated rate compared to white children in similar circumstances, poverty in and of itself is not a strong enough legal reason to separate parents and children. So, was Bebe right to kidnap May Ling? No! But she'll have to live with her choice, and its consequences, just as Mia did, and I think, rather than focusing on who's "right" or "wrong," the show is inviting us to live in the grey area a little, in the messiest parts of humanity, where we can disagree with someone's choices, but still empathize with why they made them. I think Mia's statement to Elena is a pretty strong thesis statement for this show: "You didn't MAKE good choices. You HAD good choices." Bebe was out of choices. It's not "right," but it's the natural consequence of an unjust system.
  8. I don't agree. Mia wanted to help Bebe because Bebe reminded her of her own situation (the child she birthed being truly "hers" even though others might not see it that way). Hurting the adoptive parents wasn't the GOAL, it was just the consequence. And Mia has not taken May Ling/Mirabelle out of her home. She has given Bebe the chance to argue her fitness in court, which she has every right to do. Ultimately, it's the court's decision where the baby goes.
  9. I am so glad I stuck with this show. I considered bailing after about episode 3, not wanting to watch a bunch of oblivious white rich people continue to take brutal advantage of the new black family, but it really has found interesting ways to explore the race/class/sexual orientation issues it has raised. I do take issue with the comparisons between Mia and Elena, though. I don't think they are equal assholes. Mia is abrupt and off-putting, but that's not a character flaw, it's just her. Same with her advice that you can't challenge someone without expecting to be challenged back. That IS good advice, and something Izzy needed to hear, and I don't think it's particularly hypocritical of Mia to say it. She stands up to being challenged very well. She may not have made the best choices, but she stands behind them. She wouldn't be intimidated off the witness stand, even though she knew her own past was about to be detonated in her face. She was ready to meet that challenge and face the consequences. She doesn't like to talk about difficult things (who does?) but she is prepared to defend herself. She is selfish, sure, and it was wrong of her to take Pearl away and not let her have a relationship with her biological father. But even though she makes mistakes, and does things for selfish reasons, there really is an undercurrent of reasonable goodness in the things she has done. She sold that photograph in order to give Bebe a fighting chance in court. She could have spent that money on her own child, but she spent it on someone who was in greater need. Pearl has a right to be upset, but that's not a morally unjustifiable action. She takes in Elena's kids when they come to her, because she can see that they need something they're not getting at home, and even then she doesn't nurture them, she just gives them hard advice that they need to hear. She acts out of selfish fear, but it's a fear that stems from the possibility of losing Pearl if the truth about her parentage came out. It may not be morally right, but it is emotionally understandable. At the very least, Mia demonstrates the courage it takes to stand behind her convictions. Elena, on the other hand, seems to act predominantly vindictively. Her actions stem not from a fear of LOSING her children, but of having to accept them as they are, not what she wants them to be. She resents the way her life turned out, due to the way her parents' expectations shaped her decisions, but then she heaps those same expectations on her own children. When she involves herself in the court case, it's not actually to help the adoptive parents: She threatens Mia, uses underhanded tactics, and risks exposing her husband to charges of witness tampering so that, in her own words, SHE wouldn't be responsible for her friends losing their child. She investigates Mia, tells Pearl her mother's secrets, and involves herself way too much in Mia's business in order to PUNISH Mia for... what? Helping a mother go to court to fight for her child? Even when she acts motherly towards Pearl, it seems to stem not from a genuine care for Pearl's interests, but an ingrained belief that Mia is not a good mother, and looking after Pearl makes her feel superior. It's like she has to justify her own ingrained racism by proving that the People of Color in her life really ARE bad by some standard or other. Elena makes the easy choices, the ones that DON'T take courage, and I respect her less and less with each passing episode. And thinking of.... Lexi is so much like her mother. I actually think, rather than because she knew she had screwed Pearl over, she didn't tell Brian about the abortion because while she was about to try to justify her "I'm a victim" mindset with her abortion story, some little part of her realized that if she told Brian the truth, she WOULD actually experience some real suffering (though still not as much as an actual victim). She would be opening herself up to being called on her actions, and if he was upset with her for lying to him or not telling him, she might have to confront the idea that she had done the wrong thing by keeping him in the dark (and I'm not saying she had any obligation to consult him, I'm only reflecting on the guilt she might feel for terminating the pregnancy behind his back), and so, just like her mother, she did the cowardly thing and protected herself. I love how complicated the situation is between Mia and Elena, and how it really does put some meat on the bones of the question "what makes a good mother?" Certainly, Elena and Mia are both good and bad in different ways. Focusing on the way the OTHER is a bad parent, rather than on the way THEY are bad parents, is hypocritical, but still not equally so. Mia is afraid to tell Pearl the truth and knows it's wrong to lie to her, but continues to do so out of fear. Elena seems absolutely blind to her own faults, and lashes out against others to avoid facing them. They are both motivated by selfishness, but not to the same outcomes. I can't tell if the show KNOWS there's an imbalance in the way their selfishness manifests, or if it really thinks it's putting them on equal footing, but I'll definitely be interested to see how it ends.
  10. My impression is that this attraction between them is more about intellect/class than an actual longstanding crush. Nino may have admired her intelligence when they were children, but then she left school and they each took very different paths. I think for Lila, it was being at the party and hearing Nino talk that rattled her and sparked something. She realized she was so far out of their sphere, she was missing out on so much, and the boy who SHE could make feel dumb is now making HER feel dumb, and Elena, who had always been a step behind Lila, is able to impress him. I think she was attracted not so much to him as a person at first, but to the life he represented, the academic life she wanted to have, and that her feelings got all tangled up with the idea that if she could somehow "win" him, then she could still be worthy, and valuable, and intellectually impressive, and not just chattel to be sold by her family for creature comforts. Whereas for Nino, I think this crush ignited for him when Lila started talking about Samuel Beckett on the beach. She revealed herself to be an intellectual peer who was very mysterious to him. And, unfortunately, I think Nino has more of his father in him than he would like to admit, because he seemed fairly attracted by her unpredictable temperament, and her unattainability as a married woman. He shares his father's desires for what he can't have. And once things got started, yeah, Lila fell hard. I mean, being with a lover who is so astonishingly considerate as to offer to wear a CONDOM (Oh my stars!) has to be worlds away from what she was experiencing with Stephano, if their wedding night was any indication. Add to that the fact that this is a summer vacation romance, which can ignite fast, and burn hot (but not sustainably), it doesn't surprise me at all that things got as serious as they did, as quickly as they did, even though we hadn't seen much going on between them previously. But, UGH, that scene on the beach was one of the most agonizingly unpleasant sex scenes I've ever witnessed. I've watched violent rape scenes that didn't make me cringe like that. I know there is a complex stew of feelings boiling around in Elena, leading to complicated reasons for feeling like that was an appropriate action to take, and she tells us afterward that she didn't regret consenting, but that man was wholly repugnant and he preyed upon her. All I want is for everyone in his life to see and understand what a disgusting predator he is, so he can lose everything forever and die in a gutter. I want to say that everyone in this episode is on a path that won't end well, but I do think that Elena, if she can really manage to stay out from between Lila and Nino, has turned an important corner in her life, and might actually come out of all of this better for it.
  11. Oooh, good call! I'll see if a Mod can migrate it over. Yes! The way the zombies are conceptualized differently makes a big impact on the tension and the storytelling. I believe this is based on an idea that's more in line with a Korean-folklore-influenced version of the resurrected dead, which makes it different from the zombies we see all over the place in American media. It's really interesting and refreshing! I love the way the zombies can move fast enough to actually get you, as well as the built-in "rest periods" where the characters can regroup, drum up suspense, and vary the action/tone so it's not all zombie danger all the time. I normally HATE the trope of "dumb new people are told there's a supernatural threat, but don't believe it and stupidly bumble into danger they were warned about," but it works deliciously well in this show. And the political machinations on top of it is dynamite!
  12. I couldn't find a topic for this show, so here we go! I watched season one last year and have just started season two. Holy cow, is this show ever good! It's such an interesting twist on the typical zombie myth, with a hefty dollop of political intrigue to keep things interesting. And on top of that, it's absolutely gorgeous. The costumes, the visuals, the TEXTURES, gaah! If any scene is boring (not that any are) I can get lost just staring at the way the light catches those elaborate silk robes. Every new hat is a delight. I can't remember the last time a show gave me so much consistent costume-based joy! I'm actually surprised more Game of Thrones fans aren't into this show, because they have a lot in common! Disparate factions vying for the throne, period setting, insanely gorgeous costumes, monarchy and class/wealth disparity, an army of the undead advancing on the capital... This show is on Netflix, so I know lots of people have access to it. I'm surprised to find so few people talking about it! (Metacritic doesn't even have a page for it. That's how bad.) If you're sick and tired of The Walking Dead, but feel in the mood for some Zombie outbreak entertainment while you're in self-quarantine, don't sleep on this show! Seriously. Give the first episode 5 minutes, and see if I'm wrong. Anyone else watching? Let's spread the word!
  13. I noticed that too. I feel like this does not deserve this level of scrutiny, but it was bothering me too, so I did a bit of exploring, because what the heck. What is the internet for if not satisfying idle curiosities? Here's what we (probably) noticed: This seemed to be a feature of the jacket, so when I noticed a similar strip of colour down by David's knees, I assumed the jacket was long in the back, and that coloured strip started at the collar and ran down the inside of the jacket on either side: But on closer inspection, the jacket is in fact a normal length, so that other strip has to be part of the skirt. I did also notice it again on the skirt in the final "next morning" scene when David is not wearing the jacket. So, put together with seaELare's post above, my conclusion is that David's jacket and skirt were made by the same designer (same collection?) and that is a design feature of the outfit. The whole outfit is so very David. All the costuming this episode was amazing.
  14. Awww, so sweet. Typically it would be way too sweet for me, but for this show, and these characters, it was just perfect. Both Jazzagals numbers were beautiful, as was Moira just barely holding it together to give her speech. And Patrick being a super cheeseball and singing his vows. I took it all and I wanted more! As soon as David pointed out that it would look like he and Alexis would be marrying each other, I thought of that town sign and "Don't worry, it's his sister!" So glad we got a callback! A lovely way to say goodbye. Not that it needs to be said, but every single Moira Rose look in this episode was spectacular. I won't describe the sound that came out of my throat when the curtain parted to reveal her officiant garb. Absolute perfection. I'll miss this weird, sweet show, but I think I'll miss Moira most of all.
  15. I hope so! I have to say, the treatment of Carole was one of the things that really bothered me about this series. The show seemed to want to draw a comparison between what she is doing and what Joe and Doc (and others) are doing (I guess in the interests of appearing balanced?), but it completely fails to explain the details that would clarify how Big Cat Rescue REALLY compares to Joe's operation. From what we were told, it seems like she really is running a legitimate sanctuary that provides a home for big cats that come from places like Joe's zoo, and protects them from abuse. Those tigers bred and born in captivity CAN'T be released into the wild, so where else are they supposed to go? Yes, tour groups can see the cats, but not nearly as intrusively, and we know how much it costs to feed and care for animals like that. Many animal rescue and rehabilitation centres charge admission and let visitors see the animals (from a non-intrusive distance) for just this reason. In terms of treatment of the animals, Joe's zoo breeds and sells cubs. It has cub-petting and has humans interacting with the animals. Carole is leading a political campaign to nationally BAN cub-petting, breeding, and other abusive practices, and her sanctuary does not allow any interactions between humans and cats. From the framing in the series, they are made to look comparable, but the show has really failed to explain the conditions in which the cats were kept in the private zoos versus Carole's sanctuary. We didn't see or hear much about the specific acts of abuse taking place, or about cub-petting and why it's abusive, but surely taking wild animals to shopping malls and government buildings (or in suitcases to visit luxury hotels!!) is OBVIOUSLY more abusive and exploitative than the tours happening at Big Cat Rescue. The fact that the series failed to adequately explain these details, but just framed them side-by-side to make them look comparable was unfortunate. Then there's the treatment of the employees. Doc Antle is running a sex cult, where he ropes in attractive teenage interns and "marries" them, then uses them as practically slave labour. Carole has a staff of volunteers who she doesn't even really know (and is clearly not extorting work or sex out of them through use of manipulation or drugs). How are these things comparable? Yes, big cats are exciting and wonderful, and people are passionate about them and WANT to work with them, and will make personal sacrifices for the chance to do so! But Joe and Doc are using this fact to exploit vulnerable people for cheap labour (and sex), while Carole has volunteers - people with free time who DO NOT depend upon her at all for income and basic needs, and whose treatment by her is never shown (or even suggested) to be unethical. This is not the same thing in the slightest! Did she murder her husband? I'm inclined to say no! It seems preposterous to me to say that Carole killing him and feeding him to the tigers is the simplest or most likely explanation. The man was involved in the illegal world of international exotic animal breeding/buying/selling, he flew a plane without a licence, and had Alzheimer's. She was the LEAST dangerous thing about his life. Not saying she definitely didn't do it, but I'd need some MUCH more compelling evidence to believe there is an argument to be made that she did it. Besides, it is very difficult for one person to kill a grown man, then move and dispose of a body, even with tigers conveniently nearby, all on her own, without leaving any evidence. I don't think the practicalities of this were considered at all in the series, which just seems intentionally misleading. It was all gossip, based on speculation and VERY thin circumstantial evidence. Did she take advantage of his disappearance to take charge of his estate, enrich herself, and cut off family members who might be entitled to a share? Sure looks like it! But that's a completely different issue from MURDER. I needed more than salacious gossip to make that idea seem legitimate. Not to mention, her comment in the article linked above that she was misled about the nature of the documentary (that it would be primarily about animal rights and exposing abuses in the animals-for-entertainment industry) COMPLETELY tracks with what the filmmakers have said they wanted this project to be about, before Netflix pushed them to recentre on the outrageous personalities involved. Why do we not consider her other comments credible? I finished this series feeling like Carole was a wackadoo, a bit self-serving (or at least not as altruistic as she wanted to appear), something of an egomaniac (nearly everyone we see in the big cat world is), and potentially greedy and opportunistic based on what happened with her late husband's estate, but at least it seemed clear that she was a genuine advocate for animal rights and was actively working to ban and criminalize operations like Joe's. I've found it quite shocking, actually, to come online and see that so many people's takeaway from the series is "Carole is the worst person on this show," or "Carole definitely killed her husband," or "Carole is as bad as Joe if not worse." I find all the vitriol surprising and perplexing! And it's definitely a failure of the filmmakers if the audience spends nearly seven hours watching a man hurl misogynistic vitriol at a woman, abusing and SHOOTING a blow-up sex doll stand-in of her, and comes away thinking, "SHE'S the real villain of the story!" especially without any concrete evidence that she is acting wrongly. If I were her, I would sue Netflix for failing to include clarifying details about her life and work, as much as for framing what they DID include in such a way. I'm really appalled by the viewer reactions to her portrayal, and I really feel for her, and especially for the cats in her care and the legislative work she is doing to protect animals, because they will surely be impacted by the hit her reputation has taken. As much as I enjoyed the series, seeing these comments online has really ended my experience of Tiger King on a sour note.
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