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  1. I started out hopeful with this episode and Sarah vowing to get every woman she recruited for DOS out. I was instantly hooked. Then they moved subjects and the different stories found to be unsympathetic. I think I don't resonate with the stories the directors are trying to tell. Maybe 2020 and white privilege has left me unsympathetic with the plight of rich white women. I'm not sure. I checked out as soon as they gave India's background. I'm not going to finish the series. I admire those who do. God speed.
  2. I completely agree. I think Bonnie still had a level head because she had a job outside of the cult, making money through her Star Wars connection. In general, I think this is the case for humans. When we live in a bubble and become surrounded in an echo chamber, we're instinctively tribal creatures and are very susceptible to group think.
  3. I'll have to agree to disagree. They seem to be focusing on two members, Lauren and Allison, and not the organization as a whole, for now. They're being far too generous to Keith Raniere. They haven't refuted any of Keith's claims about his intelligence, education, or virtuoso skills, and they haven't profiled his past at all like they have the other prominent members. That may be yet to come in future episodes, but so far, I think the profiles of the perpetrators and the victims are woefully incomplete.
  4. Behind the Bastards podcast has three episodes devoted to NXIVM and Keith Raniere. The first two episodes were recorded shortly after the scandal broke but before the trials. The third episode summarizes the trial and aftermath of the charges against Raniere and Mack. Warning: if you're unfamiliar with this podcast, it can be very explicit in graphic details and language. Part 1: https://www.iheart.com/podcast/105-behind-the-bastards-29236323/episode/part-one-the-child-molester-whose-29483421/ Part 2: https://www.iheart.com/podcast/105-behind-the-bastards-29236323/episode/part-two-the-child-molester-whose-29494273/ Epilogue: https://www.iheart.com/podcast/105-behind-the-bastards-29236323/episode/keith-raniere-the-end-of-a-49170938/ I agree with the posters above that the episodes are not clear on what is actual footage and what is a re-enactment. I also had to research why the cult has so many recorded sessions dating back over a decade. I wish they would have explained that information in episode 1 when they were summarizing the cult's behavior. So far, I find Keith Raniere to be an uncompelling person with a word-salad-esque vocabulary of very watered down new-ageisms. The documentary hasn't captured what was compelling about the group or Raniere specifically IMO. Finally as with the Tiger King and Wild, Wild Country "documentaries", I worry that this one is attempting to be too one-sided in the favor of the cult itself. One of the directors of the documentary completed a NXIVM course in 2017 shortly before the scandal broke. According to this LA Times article, this was their mission: the nine-part docuseries also offers a sympathetic portrait of the spiritual seekers who were duped by the alleged con man. And, as Amer and Noujaim say, that was a key part of their mission. https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/tv/story/2020-09-06/the-vow-nxivm-cult-directors Sorry for the soap box, but it really bothers me when an opinion piece masquerades as factual.
  5. I didn't notice this in the show but am glad the podcast point them out. Below are beautiful visual comparisons between Gordon Parks's iconic pictures and the show's homages to them. More episode 1 Easter eggs: https://decider.com/2020/08/17/lovecraft-country-episode-1-easter-eggs/
  6. I just discovered this show this weekend and am still getting caught up. So far, I think it's great for many of the reasons already provided, and I'm hooked from the first episode. Since there was some discussion on the locations of Sundown Towns in the US, here's a link to a database from sociologist James Loewen cataloging Sundown Towns in the US: https://sundown.tougaloo.edu/sundowntowns.php He's most famous for the book, Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong. This database stems from his book, Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension of American Racism. I've read the former, it's excellent. I also found this article that summarizes the shrinking African-American population in New England in the late 19th century. For a short article, it's got some pretty compelling information. https://www.newenglandhistoricalsociety.com/secret-history-new-englands-sundown-towns/
  7. I agree. I'm not a book purist, but I thought this show was too action driven and I would have preferred a slow burn. In general, I prefer more world-building and character-driven plots. I was one of those folks who loved early Game of Thrones when the Internet was complaining the pacing was too slow. I loved the music, wardrobe, and sets. The cast was especially excellent. I think this show suffered because Peacock forced a cliff hanger after the second episode to get people to subscribe. I would have preferred the first half of the season show New London as it was then have the uprising in episode 5. What a shame; greed ruins everything.
  8. I don't understand the logistics of where John stays. I assumed John and Lenina were meeting at Bernard's apartment (where John was staying) when Bernard was out at parties. It looks like he stayed with Bernard and now he has his own apartment, but Gary helps both of them?
  9. Agreed. I loved John and Bernard teaming up to regain popularity. I'm just sad John lied to him about Lenina; you know that one is going to come back and bite him. The last few episodes have done a good job of adding a bit of comedy in with the drama. ETA: The new plot about Indra's designers and the founders of New London is intriguing to me.
  10. Bernard, "If we live through this, I'll be monogamous with you." I admit it; I laughed. I agree. John was sympathetic to me from the first episode. I didn't realize this was the same actor in the Solo movie. I think he's excellent in this, and it's obvious he was miscast in Solo. Comparing the show to the book so I'll use spoiler quotes.
  11. I agree. I really enjoy world-building in television and movies. There's alot of information in the book they could have used as a foundation and built upward from there. I still hope they do.
  12. I'm sorry I'm late to the party. I had no idea this show existed until a couple of days ago. Reading Brave New World in high school was the most influential experience on how I chose to be the adult I am now. The cautionary tale and societal messages in the book spoke to me on a deeper level than anything else I had read, watched, or participated up to that point in my life. I still see shades in our current society that are exactly the things Huxley warned against in the book even though it was written in 1931. To me, this book is truly prophetic and also shows how humans have always had these baser needs and we really haven't changed even though our technology and ways of life have. I checked IMDB, and I've seen every iteration of this book on television prior to this show. Each iteration has been a disappointment that has failed to capture the essence of the book and its messages. I've just watched the first episode of this show, but so far, I'm hopeful. I think the television series format will lend itself better than a movie and allow the writers to delve deeper into this universe which I find so horrifying, prophetic, sad, and utterly fascinating. I really enjoyed the cast and am looking forward to watching the remaining episodes. I'll put the rest of my post as it relates to book details in spoiler quotes so I don't potentially spoil anything for folks who haven't read the book.
  13. I agree on all points. When I think about this season as a whole, I loved the world-building the most. We got to see a good mix of inside "Upload" and in the real world. Dystopian sci-fi is my jam, and I loved seeing a humorous take on it which doesn't really happen to the genre. I thought Nora was a more interesting main character than Nathan, but maybe that was kind of the point. The supporting characters were interesting, the actors who portrayed them were excellent, and I think I enjoyed their stories more than Nathan's. However story-wise, this season felt more like a prologue to a show than a fully-formed season to a show. I think it's because I was more interested in Nora's story than Nathan's. To me, Nathan's mystery served as the catalyst to change Nora's situation and outlook on life with Nora actually being the main character. That's probably not what's going to happen in season 2, but from a story-telling perspective, this was how I felt about the show's progression.
  14. As soon as the show introduced Ari's kids to give her automatic sympathy, I knew she was going to win. I'm sure she needs the money more than Zach and seems like a genuinely nice person, but good gravy, she's ridiculously obnoxious. This was the first non-celebrity season I've watched and there were definitely some good points. I really enjoy Alex's personality. I know she's not popular here, but she seems super knowledgeable and down to earth to me. This is the only show I like Anne on. She seems like a good teacher who can break down complex techniques into smaller, digestible lessons. (Pun intended.) Overall, I think I like the celebrity version better. I think I'd rather see a paid professional be a buffoon on tv. There's something sad about a private citizen going on a reality competition show to act like a clown for the possibility of winning money. My favorite part of this show continues to be the editing. I'm glad it doesn't take itself seriously. I'm not a fan when a reality show thinks it's some high art. After all, a reality competition show is a glorified game show for goodness sakes.
  15. As soon as I saw the goat, I knew it was going to be witches so I was giddy! Then, I figured it would be a semen-stealing plot as predicted by the always amazing Nadja so that brought me down a little bit. I would say overall, this episode was middle of the road for me by this show's high quality standards. My favorite parts: The montage of Nadja blaming witches for everything and then ultimately being correct as usual. How saucy Nandor was about his erection. So far, we've only seen two sides of Nandor: (1) the goofy, yet thoughtful old soul and (2) the warrior. Seeing another side of Nandor was really fun. Everything involving Guillermo. His dialogue delivery and looks to the camera were always exceptional, funny, and well-timed. I, too, have an escape room story with a Colin Robinson. In my last job, the owner thought it would be a good team-building exercise after bringing in a new business development director. The new guy ended up being Colin Robinson, and he was ultimately the reason why I left that job.
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