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Zuleikha

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  1. Well, now I've finished, and I remain disappointed in part 2. There were good ideas in there but the execution was really bad. Was this half rushed? It felt like they had no time to figure out the overall pacing, so everything got crammed into the end. The show needs to lean into the camp next year to deal with the fact that they have no internal logic in worldbuilding or characterization. I continue to hate Harvey, Roz, and Theo's presence in the show. The writing has to be so contrived to justify their continued existence. Yes, I'm sure Roz's self-taught witch-curse-given psychic power could let her see the locks to the Gates of Hell at all, and it definitely wouldn't drive her insane or otherwise seriously harm her. I'm sure the demon that grabbed Theo would have done so ineffectively instead of vaporizing Theo at touch, and of course, the lock to the Gates of Hell would conveniently be a sigil that can be drawn on paper by someone with no magical ability at all. And definitely it would be hot enough to cinematically cause discomfort and sweat but not so hot that it would burn up the paper or burn Roz's hand when she touched the Gates (much less, burn up Harvey, Roz, and Theo!) I know Ambrose was always intended to be pansexual, but I am a bit disturbed that Luke was savagely murdered and now Ambrose is apparently hooked up with Prudence. I guess it's unclear how significant of a relationship that will be, and they'll presumably be a very open relationship even if significant, so he could still get a boyfriend. But it's all just a little too tropey. I wish all the characters had done more to earn their victories. Sabrina had some active moments but none of her active moments ever ended up meaning anything. Mostly, she was Lilith's manipulated puppet. Even at the end, Lilith and Nicholas saved them all while Sabrina's plan failed. Zelda gets a high priestess position because she's the healthiest one in the coven alive at the end after Lilith topples everything.
  2. This show... The unwitting fulfilling of the prophecy to start the Apocalypse is a nice drawing together of all of the various Wardwell manipulations, but it's not even clear that Wardwell actually knew about the prophecy when she did those things (since she thought she was done after Sabrina signed the Book of the Beast). Also, having good Sabrina be tricked into the prophecy but still saccharine good just isn't as interesting as if all of these dark deeds--some of them genuinely, unambiguously dark--were taking a clear toll on her and changing her. The show is so close to being clever but then it keeps failing! Nick's character seems totally changed from his first, much more interesting introduction. Who even is he anymore besides Sabrina's boyfriend? I liked the slutty, amoral, sweet scholar we first met. At this point, Theo feels like a PSA more than a character. The show is trying to have its cake and eat it, too, and it just doesn't work. Also, Theo is not magical. Why is his dead ancestor able to communicate with him. Faustus's misogyny has gotten to cartoon levels. Why is he such a misogynist? If these were the old ways, what are the new ways? Why isn't there more signs of the misogyny in the rest of the coven instead of just in Faustus and his Judas Boys? Why wouldn't the Council care about Faustus's heresy? And again, given the multiple manifestations of the actual Dark Lord that we've seen casually happen, why does the Council seem so indifferent to actually trying to understand and serve the Dark Lord's will and/or understanding the miraculous resurrection of Sabrina? Another missed opportunity to be IMHO more interesting is to have Prudence's break with Faustus be about belief. We know Prudence is a true believer. I wish she had broken with Faustus because she saw that he was betraying the tenets of the Church of Darkness for his own vaingloriousness rather than because he intended to marry Judas and Leticia to each other.
  3. This show has so many pieces in place to be really good but the sloppy arc building is getting in the way. Sabrina using her powers to advance her father's philosophies while secretly being puppeted by the Dark Lord could have been an interesting thing, but Sabrina using magical powers with no cost and then panicking because a mural says she's the Herald of Hell is not nearly as interesting. Also, with only two episodes left of the season and no real signs that she's evil, I don't expect the show to actually go with her being evil. (OTOH, the ENTIRE REST OF THE COVEN IS ACTUALLY FREAKING EVIL, so it would be nice to see Sabrina and the show wrestle with the morality of THAT!) The Dark Lord making semi-regular visitations also cuts some of the suspense. We know the Dark Lord has plans for Sabrina, so if things ever got really bad with the Council and Church of Darkness, presumably the Dark Lord would just intervene.
  4. Zuleikha

    Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019)

    I don't think that's where the story will go, but I would love it if they do (and are able to make it non-cheesy). This is a response to a discussion literally no one was having. Rey uses the Force intentionally multiple times prior to the Rey/Kylo fight. There's a lot to talk about how TFA and TLJ portrayed Rey's Force abilities that aren't about that single fight. The child trainees were not in the tent with Kylo and Luke. Mind wipes and brainwashing are part of canon, so it wouldn't be particularly hard to explain why Rey didn't remember Kylo. Jakku would be no more or less of a coincidence than it already is. There also was a hint that Kylo knew a Force-sensitive girl was out in the world in TFA in his reaction to hearing about a girl on Jakku. (I also disagree that Abrams laid out a mystery between Luke/Kylo's interactions specifically--to me the mystery was how Snoke got his hooks into Kylo and what exactly the Knights of Ren are. Neither of which Johnson addressed.) Yes, this exactly. I like your substitution of "over developed" and will use that from now on for clarity's sake. Untrained Force-sensitive children using the Force intuitively in certain situations is canon. Untrained Force-sensitive children intentionally using the Force with the control and power that Rey showed is not.
  5. I need this show to pick a POV and keep it. I'm not sure how I'm supposed to both see the Dark Lord as this fount of truly evil, evilness AND see the Witchhunters as horrible evil for treating the Satanic witches as the... well, in fact actually evil Satanic witches and warlocks that they are. Also, if these Witchhunters are angels, why were they taken down so easily by Dorian/Nick and Hilda/incubus? I didn't buy for a second that they would have recited the devil's prayer because they're true believers/literal angels, and obviously they were just going to be killed anyway! I'm assuming future episodes will explain why Sabrina came back to life and resurrected other people, but I don't love that she has god-like abilities out of the blue. Still uninterested in Sabrina's mortal friends. I also think Theo has very questionable morality. I love how he thinks Sabrina non-consensually using magic is a sign of her being good just because he likes the results. And the whole basketball thing remains ridiculous given how petite Lachlan is. I also found it kind of weird how it didn't seem to occur to any of them--even Theo--that they could reach out to Sabrina instead of just waiting for her to show up at Baxter. (and why wouldn't Roz think to ask Sabrina about removing the Walker woman curse? Why wouldn't Sabrina have thought to look into that?)
  6. Zuleikha

    Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019)

    Her ability to mimic and outdo Kylo Ren at everything IMHO is genuinely Mary Sue like if it's just her innate ability. Kylo Ren was portrayed as already atypically strong. Canon has it that Force-sensitive people can use the Force intuitively for small things, but it is supposed to take multiple years for control and power. All of Luke's power-ups were after an extended period of formal training. Rey's closest thing to that was her incredibly brief time with Luke in TLJ, and that's portrayed as barely real training. Presumably, this will be a non-issue in Rise of Skywalker because she has the books and some amount of time.
  7. Zuleikha

    Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019)

    That is and always has been the canon. TLJ didn't add anything to that, other than to remind people of it. Luke's only lineage based specialness was that Darth Vader had an emotional investment in Luke. But that was about father/son blood ties and not anything specific to being Skywalkers. I wouldn't care about Rey having a blood connection EXCEPT that this is supposed to be episodes 7-9 of the Skywalker saga. It's not supposed to be an independent story, so I would like the main character to have some kind of real tie to what went before. As it is, it's a stretch to even call her Luke's apprentice or protogee. She also is overpowered if she truly didn't have training prior to TFA. Personally, I don't find it any more inspiring to have a random person become a beacon of hope because of being born so unusually gifted that they don't need to work or train. Which is why I will never understand why Johnson didn't have Rey be a student at Luke's academy who Kylo saved from the massacre. That fan spec seemed so logical and and for me would have addressed all the issues with the Rey/Kylo plot in TLJ.
  8. Yeah, I do get that there's a distinction, but it seems weird for her to care so much when she'd already slept with him multiple times. And even if she cared about Lupercalia specifically because of Wyrd Sisters reasons, the tackling part still doesn't work, IMHO. That's not her getting to have him for the Lupercalia ritual, so why both? And why not just work with her sisters to mind control, as already established they can? It would have made much more sense for them to have used mind control at the original May Pole dance than for Dorcas to physically tackle Sabrina. If Dorcas were actually developed as a character and if the multiple consent violations that happen over and over in the witch world were developed thematically, there could be something interesting. As it is, it feels like poorly thought out, lazy writing to me.
  9. I thought I would love this episode because I loved the dream one, but I just didn't understand it. The only reading that had clear plot relevance was Ambrose's. Roz's was ridiculous because it introduced a conflict that had never been hinted at before and developed it in an unbelievable way. Also, on the literal level, were the characters really just believing that a random Tarot card reading gave them visions and that was just... normal? Not something to talk about? Sabrina wouldn't immediately go to Hilda and investigate why a Tarot reader had that kind of disturbing magical ability? Theo and Roz wouldn't go to Sabrina and be all freaked out and confused? I also wish Nick had pointed out that they Wyrd Sisters have mind control when Sabrina asked him to stay away from them because I badly want exposition on their powers and limitations.
  10. When Nick was first introduced as a character, he said that he dated all of the Wyrd Sisters (or maybe it was that he was formally dating Prudence but was sexually involved with all three of them--I forget the wording exactly, but it was explicit). Also, I'm pretty sure Dorcas was present in the witch orgy scene.
  11. See this is where I thought they were going with Suzie and Dorothea in the first part: from the interview, " "It is still seen as rebellion, as anarchy against the system to be anything other than the perfect gender binary person," Watson says. But at least in the episodes I'm in, Theo is still a perfect gender binary person. He's simply flipped from girl to boy. And the slowed down trajectory didn't do anything to give us great insight into Theo's POV. If this is where they were taking him, I wish they would have shown him uncomfortable with the creation of W.I.C.C.A. and all the girl-power framing Sabrina, Roz, and Ms. Wardwell included him in. Instead, he was only shown as made uncomfortable by other people's reaction to his (in reality, not particularly unconventional!) look and the compulsory femininity of dresses. It all seemed very external rather than internal.
  12. Zuleikha

    Captain Marvel (2019)

    Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel are also the two female-led movies. Okoye and Nakia were supporting characters in a male-led movie.
  13. Given the orgy scene last season and general attempt at LGBTQ+ inclusivity, I was surprised by how heteronormative the Lupercalia ritual was. What if Luke had been there? Would he and Ambrose have happily split up for respective witches? Are they all pan with no gay or lesbian witches/warlocks? The Dorcas subplot didn't make sense. We know that Dorcas already had Nick. We also know the Wyrd Sisters have mind control as one of their powers. So why would Dorcas feel so strongly about having him when she already has had him and then, if she did feel so strongly, why didn't they just mind control him into letting her choose him? I would really like Theo to have a personality beyond trans. The haircut scene was a little weird since it was presented like a big transformation but Theo's hair already read as a male haircut.
  14. In s1, the coven's sexism was less overt. It popped up every now and then in relationship to the Dark Lord or Father Blackwood, but it seemed like in the general day to day, it was more egalitarian/feminine power supporting. It didn't seem like the type of place where only boys would be allowed a top student position. It was a contrast with Baxter High--not the exact same crap. Now it's the exact same crap. It's just tiring. There are other ways to tell this type of story. I don't mind Sabrina's faux-outrage about cheating because Blackwood was cheating with the questions he asked her. I also still don't understand what happened in the bubble contest. I realized what annoys me most about the way Theo's story has developed is that when we left off Suzie last season, Suzie was connecting with the ghost of Dorothea. As far as we saw, Dorothea was not a transman. She was a gender role non-conforming cis-woman. Suzie's conflict was also portrayed as being about expression--she was mocked for not dressing girlishly enough. But even though the defense of Suzie was explicitly tied to girl power and sisterhood with the whole W.I.C.C.A. thing, Suzie was never shown to have discomfort with her gender identity. So it feels like a weird leap. It felt like at most Suzie was going to explore a non-binary identity, but then all of a sudden Suzie's transitioned to Theo and always felt like a boy. I have no idea how Theo got from where we left off to where we are now, or what Dorothea's history and ghost had to do with any of it.
  15. IIRC, the first two seasons were originally pitched and purchased as one full season. So what some media is referring to as the second season is really the back half of season one. The Suzie/Theo character arc has been poorly done, and it's disappointing. Suzie had no character development, which makes the decision to transition to Theo (and sorry, I have no idea how to handle names and pronouns in this fictional situation) mystifying. But more mystifying is both why he wanted to try out for basketball and why we're expected as viewers to support him over the coach and team. Theo's demonstrated no athletic ability or interest, and it's established canon that he can't actually play without Sabrina's witchcraft. I feel like there was a plot/character development that could have been interesting with Theo initially trying out for basketball as part of a stereotyped notion of what being a man means and then realizing/accepting that he doesn't need to be a jock to be his true man self. Instead, we get Sabrina cheating for him and this being shown as progressive. I really wish the show would be less heavy handed on its sexism storylines. Somehow, it's all ending up muddled instead of inspiring. I'm sure they hired a real bellydancer to portray Salome because why on earth wouldn't they? But that was some non-sexy, non-inspired dancing. And an all-male club doesn't seem like a great environment for the non-gay warlocks to engage in keep-it-secret debauchery. Again, I feel like the script writers aren't really thinking their scripts through.
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