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  1. I like JoJo Siwa's hairbows, but her success will always be a mystery to me. She can't sing! Why do kids like her? Why???? So I'm glad she's off the show.
  2. Twins are genetic clones of each other, so I don't think Ray's father being a Palpatine clone would make Rey his daughter in the general way we talk about father/daughters. But it would make her his genetic daughter, which actually would have been useful to have in the film. This is the first time I've ever looked forward to a novelization to get clarity on the official canon! I actually wouldn't mind seeing that supposed initial 3-hour cut either.
  3. I do not understand Kenny's reaction to the camera person. If he and Kelly had a mutual agreement that they weren't even staying engaged, much less getting married, why was he so mad at the camera person? I think Kelly was simply not attracted to him, and that's part of why things didn't work. I don't think that means it's a loss on her part or that she has a bad picker per se. Attraction isn't something you can sum up. I do think based on the statements about her past sexual history that she has some deeper intimacy issues that she needs to work through with a good therapist. Mark came across to me like he had decided in the pods that Jessica was his trophy, and he could never engage with her on a person to person level. He didn't actually seem emotionally available to me. He seemed fake. When she brought up issues, he never actually engaged with them. He just dismissed them as not important. What I read in an interview with him is that he did know Jessica planned to say no, but he also thought she wasn't going to be in a wedding dress. So he got caught up in the moment when he saw her in the dress. That's just weird. Damian's reaction of "heck no, I'm not making a legal commitment to you at this point" to Giannina after Giannina ran hot and cold makes so much more sense to me.
  4. Yeah, I was shocked that this storyline didn't come up in more detail before. I was also shocked that she said she couldn't take her eyes off Barnett. Barnett? Really? He's obviously not ugly, but he just seems pleasantly fine.
  5. Oh man... this is a tough one to explain to those who don't see it and I'm not sure if I can. But Diamond had a LOT to apologize for, IMHO. When Carlton first told Diamond, he was very obviously nervous and vulnerable. And Diamond reacted with seeming disgust. She gave him no reassurance or understanding. So just on the person-to-person level of what do we owe people we care about, to me, she failed completely. In a post-show interview that I read with her, she acknowledged that her response could have been much better: "Maybe I should have been more encouraging and maybe start off saying, “I’m happy you were able to open up to me. I’m happy you’re able to bring this to my attention at this moment in time.” Or, “I’m happy you came out. I know this is very hard for you to do that.” That possibly could have changed that whole outcome of how we were aggressive toward each other." So she's definitely learned, and I think she gets it now. Because she's totally right that either of those would have been a great way to respond that wouldn't invalidate her own need for space, time to process, and the ability to ask respectful questions. Coming out as bisexual to a potential romantic interest is also just hard in terms of timing. It's really different from being gay or heterosexual because it feels like this very relevant thing but it also isn't relevant at all (at least, for monogamous people... it's a little different for poly). If you're monogamous, the person you're interested in potentially being with is the person you're potentially interested in being with. All bisexuality means is that some of your exes may be of a different gender. And so what? Sometimes there can be conversations where that fact naturally comes up. If Carlton and Diamond had a traditional dating relationship and Carlton's bisexuality never naturally came up, I would think it was weird. But they didn't have a traditional dating relationship, so I don't think it's any weirder than that Barnett and Amber got engaged without Amber's student loan debt coming up. Carlton told Diamond on one of their first (if not their first) extended nights in face-to-face contact.
  6. To be fair to Jessica, we don't actually know whether Barnett would have picked her or LC as a top 2 since Jessica broke things off. But I think it's clear that Amber was always going to be the #1. Barnett has very distanced body language with Jessica and does not seem to have any regrets at all. Mark is coming across very poorly with his focus on Jessica. Whatever worked or didn't work in the pods, she is clearly not physically into him. She was indirectly communicating that pretty clearly, but then she womaned up and told him flat out this ep. And instead of doing the thing any mentally healthy person would do and accepting that, Mark is acting like this is some kind of diplomatic situation where he can convince her to change her feelings. I am so confused why Jessica is not able to break things off as she CLEARLY wants to when Diamond and Carlton were able to. Maybe both participants in the relationship have to agree? I'm worried for Jessica's liver as she's already been drinking waaaaaaay too much. I really liked Giannina and Damien in previous eps, but they took a turn for the weird this ep. I feel like reality may hit more of these couples than just Jessica and Mark. I wish I had a better idea of the rules of the show.
  7. I feel in opposite land of most of the people here. I could not believe how cruel and biphobic Diamond was. From reading interviews, I gather that she had no understanding of LGB+ issues. But I guess it's just hard for me to understand how someone in 2020 can live in a major metro city and have so little understanding of what LGB stereotypes are hurtful to throw at a person or not. (Especially a professional dancer!) Anyway, I don't think either of them covered themselves in glory at the poolside chat. However, since she threw a drink on him, I don't think she was particularly more wronged than he was (and his call out of her wig was something she really needed to know). I do agree with Diamond that it would have been optimal for Carlton to have told her prior to the engagement, though. But Carlton did tell her at what must have been one of their first extended times together in person. I thought Jessica and Mark weren't in a great place but may have a chance until I saw Jessica's reaction to Barnett. Jessica is not over him. Barnett's kind of a dork, so there's something really funny about him being the big heartbreaker. I loved Lauren's comment to him. He and Amber come across as solid to me. They seem to have very similar approaches to life. They're both just a lot. I didn't think it was odd the Kenny and Kelly were cuddling and taking things slow until the group conversation and now I'm like... hmm... maybe Kelly's not actually that into him (or maybe they're not actually that into each other).
  8. This show has made me feel that trans teens in general need more, or maybe just better, therapy than they are currently getting. Puberty is a confusing time for everyone. It's painful even when everything is healthy and marks growing towards adulthood when people are not necessarily ready to stop being kids. It's a delicate task to separate out typical puberty feels from trans feels. But it doesn't seem like anyone is trying to do that work. Jeanette also should probably be in therapy to figure out how to define herself as a separate being from Jazz's advocate. Jeanette and Jazz seem unhealthily entangled. I don't think Jazz should have been pushed into being a trans activist so young. I think it forced Jazz into a certainty that denied her the chance to freely explore all possible options for herself.
  9. I've been inspired by the TV show to read the books, and it's really making me wonder how the upcoming seasons are going to work. The source material for s1 had some dark stuff in it, but it was mainly to one-off characters. So I was very surprised by how much brutal content the books had for our mains. It was an unexpected tonal shift. I'm also wondering how the show is going to get Vilgefortz and Cahir from their s1 characterizations to their book plots.
  10. If only they'd had an overall outline for the trilogy, they may have planned a payoff like that.
  11. Zuleikha

    The Star Wars Saga

    Oh, I didn't mean guarded and interrogated! I meant guarded as in watched over and pumped for military information as in interviewed. The movie has Finn wake up and wander around in some kind of bag thing leaking fluids. I think, there would have been someone with him 24/7 to take care of him when he woke up and let Leia know that he was awake. He would have been briefed, interviewed, and probably given a formal rank and role in the Resistance. He was a valuable military asset, and the movie treats him like he's just some schmoe who got caught up in the fighting and rescued. (also sorry my posts have been so long. I'm a fast typer, so I don't always realize how much I've written!)
  12. Zuleikha

    The Star Wars Saga

    You know, that's a really good question. It's been a while since I saw TFA, so I could be remembering wrong. My memory is that it's established in the scenes at Maz Kanata. Maz helps Rey free herself from the obligation of waiting for parents' return to Jakku, and Rey cares because the First Order is evil. This contrasts with Finn, who also cares but believes they have no chance at a direct fight with the First Order. But I think you're right that this is all murkier than it should have been because we don't really know what the contrast is between life under the New Republic and life under the First Order. That's my one significant criticism of TFA... it cut the subplot that would have established this but then didn't work the information back into the story. Finn says that... and then prioritizes the plan of using Phasma to lower the shields for the Resistance over finding Rey. We are shown that he clearly cares about the greater fight as well as helping Rey. Poe's crazy plan wasn't mutiny, but it was concealing information from a superior officer and taking a soldier from her post without any authorization or notice to her commanding officer, which left key resources undefended (remember, Rose has said she'd stopped multiple people from stealing escape pods before she stopped Finn). IMHO, Finn as a former career soldier, should have had a lot more questions and concerns about whether it was really necessary to do everything so secretly. (and I don't buy that Rose would have gone along with it given the little we saw of her characterization and that Poe's previous act of disobedience resulted in Paije's death) But also, I would take a step back earlier and say the whole thing with him trying to go on the escape pod to protect Rey is already a sign of Finn's character arc going off the rails. Johnson writes him like he was just some a random injured person that the Resistance picked up. But Finn is the only one on board that ship with first-hand experience of First Order military capabilities... experience that had directly led to the successful mission against Starkiller Base (and IIRC, no one knew that Finn was only a janitor on the base. Finn revealed that to Han, but Han is dead.). Finn should have been guarded and then pumped for military information as soon as he woke up and was healthy enough. If the First Order attack disrupted that (which IIRC, it would have), Holdo and D'arcy should have been trying to find Finn and finish that and with new urgency. Finn should never have been just wandering around the ship.
  13. Zuleikha

    The Star Wars Saga

    Now I am going to sound like a broken record, but it was TLJ. TFA progressed the characters so that by the end Finn and Rey had decided to stop hiding/running and embrace their role as part of the direct fight against the First Order. The characters are in a perfectly logical place for the protagonists at the end of the first move in a trilogy. But then TLJ doesn't grow them from there. It regresses them, or maybe takes them sideways Johnson has Rey trying to bring Luke back so that she doesn't have to be the Force user... but also, she's trying to get him to train her to use the Force... and then there's this weird, icky Reylo element. So her character motivation, her challenges, and her goals all became really muddy. The storyline was almost there--there should have been tension out of Rey NEEDING the reluctant, bitter Luke to train her so that she's able to fight a full-strength Kylo. But IMHO, Johnson never gave us the feeling that Rey actually needed or even cared about Luke teaching her. Heck, he doesn't even bother to tell us why she stole the Jedi manuals. Was it because she'd given up on Luke's help and planned to use them to teach herself? Was it because she felt they belonged with her as the next Jedi? Was it because she thought Leia could get something useful out of them? Was it guidance from the Force calling her to do it in a manner similar to when she went to the cave or to Anakin's lightsaber? Finn's storyline in TLJ is even worse. Johnson didn't seem to have any idea what to do with him or who he is. Finn doesn't question Poe at all about Holdo, even though what Poe is telling him and Rose to do is a huge thing. Finn gets lectured about the evils of the First Order from Rose, as though we weren't introduced to Finn with him breaking his brainwashing after having to partake in a massacring a village! Finn's big moment is defeating Phasma and declaring himself to be Rebel Scum... but he already defeated Phasma at the end of TFA and she's been off screen the whole time and Finn has had no direct conflict with the Stormtroopers and Finn is actually partaking in a mutiny against Resistance leadership (that is going to result in the devastation of the remaining Resistance) and Phasma's defeat is going to be absolutely meaningless for the First Order vs. Resistance storyline anyway. TFA left Finn in an interesting place as an ex-Stormtrooper who would be looking to find his place with the enemy side. We should have seen him struggle with the differing culture, political system, assumed beliefs. That, in turn, would have let him serve as a POV character to flesh out that political worldbuilding, which was the weakest part of TFA. Instead, we got Canto Bight.
  14. Zuleikha

    The Star Wars Saga

    I agree and disagree with this. I agree that we can look back at the trilogy as a whole and say there was a problem with Rey's character motivation. However, I don't think that started in TFA. I also think that's an issue with how Finn was developed over the course of the trilogy.
  15. Zuleikha

    The Star Wars Saga

    I don't think that's true in a way that's a problem. She may not have a goal for herself per se, but she has active wants in a way that creates conflict for her. She wants to be reunited with her parents--which she believes requires staying on Jakku--and she also wants to escape the scavenger lifestyle and pilot in space*. Then once she resolves that, she has another set of tension between her fear of Anakin's lightsaber and her desire to help, which turns into fear of the lightsaber and need to escape Kylo Ren. * this conflict is also why TLJ's specific story for Rey's parentage doesn't work, but I'll save you all hearing me rant about that again 🙂
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