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ElectricBoogaloo

S01.E07: Picture Perfect

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On 4/15/2020 at 11:53 AM, dmc said:

Its not shitty but not great

20% is what people should be tipping even in 1997

15%  is you have to leave something

18% is just mediocre but in a restaurant like that you would expect more

 

 

depends if you're tipping on top of tax, which I always thought one didn't do.

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On 4/15/2020 at 7:51 AM, ElectricBoogaloo said:

I don't think Pearl owes it to Moody to date him just because he likes her, but it was shitty that she's been lying to him for a MONTH straight so that she can sneak off with Trip.

This was exactly my issue when I read the book. No, Pearl was under no obligation to return Moody's romantic interest in her. However, she certainly did give the impression that they were good friends. Hell practically best friends. 

And instead, the second she started fucking his brother, she gave no regard to lying to him repeatedly and felt zero guilt about it. How is that friendship, when you're essentially lying to the other person all the time?

Hell, after awhile, I felt like Pearl was not even interested in Moody as a friend and rather she kept the ruse up because their "friendship" was her line to the Richardsons and kept her connection with them. And by extension, her connection to Tripp and her psuedo-friendship with Lexie who was mostly using her anyway. 

It also didn't help that I found Tripp to be a complete dick - as a person and a dick of a brother to Moody. Well that is the few times he wasn't being a Gary Stu and nothing but a blank space as a character.

And the attempted "he had real feelings for Pearl" was a complete whatever to me. Because at that point he was such a wallpaper of a character, existing mainly to be a dick towards his younger brother and later to bang his younger brother's best friend. Dude was a complete "who" in the story to me. 

On 4/15/2020 at 8:24 AM, blondiec0332 said:

When Mia was going on and on about Bebe being the baby's mother it was a slap in the face to every mother who came to be a mother without giving birth.

Well that's not a surprise because I felt like that's exactly the message the author of the book was sending. Which is just one of the many reasons I loathed this book with the fire of a thousand suns and have had zero desire to watch the adaptation, though I enjoy most of the actors. 

On 4/15/2020 at 9:26 AM, dmc said:

I hate Mia and Elena equally.  

This.

On 4/15/2020 at 11:07 AM, Empress1 said:

Just a boatload of selfish-ass people.

And this. That was my main take-away when I read this book a year or so ago. That was I supposed to like or be rooting for any of these people? Because if so, the writer failed BIG TIME in getting that across. 

Mia was a selfish, self-righteous thief who stole a couple's baby. Elena was a vindictive and manipulative bitch, Lexie was a younger version of her mother, Moody was the classic "nice guy" who expected that a girl would like him back because he was the "nice brother", Tripp like I said was a complete Gary Stu when he wasn't being a major dick to Moody, Izzy was an annoying as fuck brat,  Pearl was okay but again, once she started banging Tripp, just became a selfish, obnoxious twat and Bebe was a shit mother who did not deserve to get her daughter back, IMO.

About the only semi-tolerable people were Bill, who wasn't in the story enough to annoy me and the adoptive parents who seemed more like air heads than anything else but at their core genuinely good people who just wanted a baby. 

On 4/15/2020 at 12:11 PM, dmc said:

It's weird they are keeping it a secret.  I initially thought it was because of their mothers but Mia knows.  Agreed, Pearl doesn't need to like to Moody nor does she need to relay any of her personal life to him but she doesn't need to lie either

The impression I got from reading the book was that they both tried to convince themselves that they were keeping it a secret because it was obvious to any and all that Moody liked Pearl and so they didn't want to hurt his feelings. How magnanimous of them.

However, the real truth as far as I was concerned was that Pearl didn't want to lose her cushy position with the Richardsons who she clearly idolized. And she knew it being known that she was banging Tripp would do so, especially because Tripp and Moody already had such a complicated/love-hate relationship even before she came into the picture.

And at the end of the day the family would obviously side with their own, i.e. Moody, meaning Lexie would probably not want her around and the parents as well. Tripp was going along because again he was a Gary Stu and so it's not like he was ever given any real motivations. My fanwanking though is that it was easier on him to keep it a secret. He got to bang Pearl without any of the weight of dealing with Moody's hurt feelings and the drama that would come from it. 

On 4/15/2020 at 6:29 PM, peachmangosteen said:

This episode just made it clear how deeply unlikable pretty much every character is and I'm not sure that was the writer's intention.

I honestly ended that book wondering if that was indeed her intention. Because the alternative was to think it wasn't, that I was seriously supposed to like or root for any of these people and that's a scary thought because WOW, did she miss the mark there.

I stayed up until 1:30 a.m. on weeknight to finish the book, only because I was so determined to be done with it and take myself out of the misery.

I've kept up with the comments to see if anything significant was altered from the book to the series but doesn't sound like it was. Which only furthers my resolve to not watch because reading it was bad enough. I imagine my rage at all these characters and this shitty ass story would be exponentially worse if I have to watch it play out onscreen. 

Edited by truthaboutluv
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Hell, after awhile, I felt like Pearl was not even interested in Moody as a friend and rather she kept the ruse up because their "friendship" was her line to the Richardsons and kept her connection with them. And by extension, her connection to Tripp and her psuedo-friendship with Lexie who was mostly using her anyway. 

I think this as well, which is why I gave up liking Pearl with this ep. She's just like her mother.

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On 4/16/2020 at 11:22 AM, marny said:

I disagree that Mia paid for Bebe’s lawyers to spite Elena. She’s doing it because she’s projecting her own insecurity about the righteousness of her decision to take Pearl away from a wealthy couple onto Bebe’s situation.  Even if Elena hadn’t been Mia’s conduit to locating Mai Lin, I don’t think Mia’s actions would be different as far as helping Bebe. Elena being a part of the conflict is just icing on the cake. 

No, she did it to to get at Elena because she is a spiteful and ungrateful person who fucked with the wrong person. Glad, Elena told Pearl what a POS her mother is.

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After watching that ep my hatred for Mia, Bebe, Izzy, and the annoying boyfriend of Lexie has boiled over. Mia showed in this ep that she never puts her daughter first, Bebe is a pathological lair, Izzy is a narcissistic, ungrateful little bitch, and Brian is self righteous, guilt tripping scumbag who uses the color of his skin to get over on people.

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6 hours ago, peachmangosteen said:

I think this as well, which is why I gave up liking Pearl with this ep. She's just like her mother.

Eh, I disagree. At least Pearl is self-aware. Her mother, on the other hand, is not.

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16 hours ago, PepSinger said:

She seems to be a fully-realized, 3-dimensional character.

I agre with you and about Reeses acting being superior. I am not a huge fan, I like some of her stuff but she does this kind of character really well, so it is almost impossible to hate the character all the time. 

16 hours ago, PepSinger said:

Yes, Elena could've just let Izzy wear the white shoes. However, Elena (and Bill) is the one paying for the photographer, the printing, the postage, etc... If *she* is paying for it, then she has every right to tell Izzy to "put on the fucking [tartan] keds."

I don't think it is because ht parents are paying that they have the right to damand what the kids need to wear. I was never part of this kind of tradition but even if it sounds a little silly to me, it is something that kids grow with in families. On the other hand, Izzy is a rebel, she is 14, she feels like she is not loved, wanted or understood. She is finding her sexuality and she is gay, she sees Mia as her hero. The whole story was a bit OTT top to me. The photographer was so bad that he couldn't find ONE good photo the first time, than things need to be rushed? 

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14 hours ago, truthaboutluv said:

And instead, the second she started fucking his brother, she gave no regard to lying to him repeatedly and felt zero guilt about it. How is that friendship, when you're essentially lying to the other person all the time?

Just remind me, please: the place where Pearl was with Tripp, wasn't that the place where Moody took her to begin with? Wasn't it Moody's "cave"? Or am I imagining this? Because all of a sudden it is Pearl's and Tripp's sex den?

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3 hours ago, alexvillage said:

Just remind me, please: the place where Pearl was with Tripp, wasn't that the place where Moody took her to begin with? Wasn't it Moody's "cave"? Or am I imagining this? Because all of a sudden it is Pearl's and Tripp's sex den?

Yes, it is the place Moody took Pearl, which makes Pearl secretly fucking his brother there about 100 times worse than it already was.

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21 hours ago, PepSinger said:

I have lots of thoughts. 

This show has set up this whole Elena vs. Mia dynamic. What's interesting to me is that as much as I hate Elena's actions this episode (telling Pearl the truth, telling Izzy that it's hard to be her mother) and her passive aggressive racist comments ("you didn't fill a quota"), I at least don't hate to see her on my screen. She seems to be a fully-realized, 3-dimensional character. I've been trying to figure out my feelings for Elena vs. Mia and why they're different. Why when they both do terrible things, I somehow hate Mia more than Elena. I think I've finally figured it out: As much as I don't like Elena as a person, I at least *understand* her. I think credit goes to Reese's acting. There's a nuance to her performance. She's not playing every scene the same way, and I see the moments where she is genuinely apologetic and realizes she's overstepped.

It's the opposite for me with Mia. Mia thinks she has done NOTHING wrong! She thinks she was right to keep Pearl away from her biological father. She thinks it's fine to live out of a run-down car while sitting on a photo worth $400,000! And when she does sell the photo, it's on behalf of a person she's known for 3 months instead of her own damn daughter! Then, in the bedroom scene, she has the nerve to cop an attitude with Pearl and tell her, "Oh, so what I gave you wasn't good enough?" No! It wasn't! I felt such a cathartic release when Pearl yelled at her to get out of her room. Finally, Kerry Washington is playing her with such a smug, morally superior attitude. This is the first episode where I saw something else on her face other than smugness and sneering, and it's because Elena finally took her down a peg. I also don't understand why she is so angry. I have *no* sympathy for Mia. I wonder if my feelings would be different if she were played by a different actor.

Also, as much as Izzy hates Elena, Izzy has always had a roof over her head. She has everything she's ever needed. When I look at Izzy's life versus Pearl's, I find it hard to have a lot of sympathy for Izzy. The whole Christmas card debacle is a prime example. Yes, Elena could've just let Izzy wear the white shoes. However, Elena (and Bill) is the one paying for the photographer, the printing, the postage, etc... If *she* is paying for it, then she has every right to tell Izzy to "put on the fucking [tartan] keds." My aunt and uncle and their kids take pictures for a Christmas card every year, and you can bet that their outfits are chosen and approved by my aunt and uncle. You know why? Cause they are the parents, and they are the ones paying for the card/picture. I bet you Pearl would love to take a yearly Christmas picture in front of a warm fireplace in a nice house. 

This episode showed how Joshua Jackson has been criminally underused on this show. He was great this episode. I particularly loved his, "Sit. Down." moment. 

That's what I was saying about Mia and Izzy: They're both self-righteous assholes who think that they can do no wrong. They're both narcissists.

I loved it when Elena finally yelled at her spoiled brat of a daughter at the Christmas photo shoot, she needs to continue to put Izzy in her place. 

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Save Pacey and the kids.

Love that you called him Pacey.....swoon 🙂 

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Finally, Kerry Washington is playing her with such a smug, morally superior attitude……I wonder if my feelings would be different if she were played by a different actor.

I condensed your post but I give it two thumbs up and have been left feeling this exact same way.  Kerry Washington did an absolutely TERRIBLE job with this role.  I have to think who I'm really hating is Kerry and maybe not Mia so much.  I mean, I believe Mia is still a pretty hard to swallow character, but I would have loved to have seen her played by an actress who was more subtle and explored the different sides of the character.  Like the woman who played her in her college years.  All we've been treated to is Kerry's mouth acting and preventing the character she's supposed to be playing from showing through.      

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I didn't find a unpopular opinions thread so I will say it here: I like Izzy. She is a young teen dealing with things she can barely understand, in a family that does not understand her, parents who don't allow her to be who she is and want her to express herself in a way that pleases them, she probably feels like they never wanted her, she probably sees her siblings as "perfect" while she is a failure. Then she finds an outlet, she finds someone she thinks is just like her, an artist, "different", rebellious. She acts on this. But she is still a young teenager who will fuck things up a lot and maybe learn her lessons. 

Anyway, I like Izzy. It is the only one of the kids I am interested in watching. the one I can't stand is Pearl. 

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On 4/19/2020 at 4:20 PM, Alexander Pope said:

depends if you're tipping on top of tax, which I always thought one didn't do.

I tip on top of tax are people including tax?

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On 4/15/2020 at 2:36 PM, TheOtherOne said:

18% was hardly a "shitty" tip in 1997, when 15% likely would have been considered the norm. (Heck, an episode of Friends that year had Monica using the old "double the tax" method of tip calculating, which usually worked out to far less than 20.)

I worked in a jazz club in NYC in the early nineties and 20% was the standard tip that was expected.

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On 4/17/2020 at 5:16 PM, Maysie said:

The thing that really got me was how loathsome Elena was to her own child. First of all, the whole fight over the keds was ridiculous and it was telling that Elena would not tolerate the smallest bit of individuality from Izzy. But that bitch actively cut her child out of the photographs and was actually going to mail the family Christmas card with one member literally sliced out of it! What kind of message does that send to the eliminated child, the rest of the family, and everyone who receives it? She may love her child, but she clearly does not like her.

 

Yes but truthfully Izzy did destroy the family photo by giving the finger. There is no way they could send that out and I can understand Elena's anger and frustration especially since this was the second time the photo was taken. That said, cutting her daughter out was obviously not much better than sending it with the F you finger. I am not sure really what she could have done here.

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On 4/15/2020 at 8:22 PM, Slovenly Muse said:

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.

Totally agree about Mia and Elena. Mia is flawed but I can see her humanity, Elena just seems to be a strait up bitch. 

I think the only character I liked 100 percent is Brian. I liked seeing him gradually wake up when it comes to Lexie.

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On 4/16/2020 at 11:47 AM, tennisgurl said:

 Not that kids from poor families should be taken from their parents, but if she was that desperate that she was leave her daughter at a fire station alone in the snow, whats to say that wont happen again, as nothing has really changed?  

One huge thing that changed is that there is a lot more options for things you can feed a one year old compared to things you can feed a newborn. The problem Bebe had was that her daughter wouldn't nurse and she didn't have enough money for formula (that shit is expensive) so her baby was literally starving at a time when gaining weight is super important. With a one year old you can pretty much feed them anything you can eat so there are a lot more options to keep them from starving, especially if you work in a restaurant.

On 4/20/2020 at 12:42 PM, Hiacios said:

I loved it when Elena finally yelled at her spoiled brat of a daughter at the Christmas photo shoot, she needs to continue to put Izzy in her place. 

Alternatively she could have just let it go rather than escalating the situation to a ridiculous degree. Since she knows her daughter is already dealing with shit at school, and really of the probably small percentage of people who actually look at the picture only a tiny number of them would probably care about the stupid shoes.

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I'm impressed with all the characters, how their positive and negative sides are shown. Few people are all good or all bad, so it's interesting to see these clearly flawed people who still try to do their best. It's an fascinating look at what motherhood is, who is a mother, and who is a good mother.

Theres a lot of negative reference to Kerry Washington's "mouth acting", but so what? Some people act with their eyes or their gestures, KW expresses so much with her mouth. Not sure why that's so terrible. The actress playing her younger self did a fab job of imitating that. 

The tiping discussion is weird to me. 18% is cheap? I don't tip always that now, but where I live servers make $14/hr. Wasn't the 18% from the 80s right after Izzy was born? I was a server then and was happy if I got 10%. 

I haven't read the book, so I'm unspoiled as to the custody outcome and who set the fire. At this point, both could go in any direction.

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On 5/27/2020 at 2:39 PM, Shermie said:

The tiping discussion is weird to me. 18% is cheap? I don't tip always that now, but where I live servers make $14/hr. Wasn't the 18% from the 80s right after Izzy was born? I was a server then and was happy if I got 10%. 

Are you in the US? Typically servers here make under $3 an hour before tips. In the 80s, most people tipped at least 15% and usually more in major cities. I don’t think there was anything wrong with an 18% tip at that time in NY — there are plenty of reasons Elena sucks but her tip wasn’t one of them, in my opinion. 

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Are you in the US? Typically servers here make under $3 an hour before tips

Hell, no. You couldn't pay me to live in the US. Especially for $3 an hour, what kind of medieval bullshit is that? 

As I posted, minimum wage where I live is $14 an hour, so tips are on top of that. 15% is considered good.

Americans need to learn that their experiences are not necessarily right and everyone else is wrong. Sometimes things in different places are actually different. (And often better, just sayin')

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On 4/17/2020 at 5:46 PM, Ms Blue Jay said:

I have a personal fondness for when celebs are referred to by the most known/adored role that they played 😁

Hee, I'm so biased towards him that when people say they've expressed racist sentiments, my whole brain goes, WHAT?? PACEY IS NOT RACIST WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?

On 5/10/2020 at 9:10 AM, ReviewX said:

Yes but truthfully Izzy did destroy the family photo by giving the finger. There is no way they could send that out and I can understand Elena's anger and frustration especially since this was the second time the photo was taken. That said, cutting her daughter out was obviously not much better than sending it with the F you finger. I am not sure really what she could have done here.

She could have cut out the hand flipping people off... it's not like the photo was well framed to begin with, so not much of a difference.


This episode had me agreeing with Izzy and Mia: I really hate Elena. What she did to Pearl was so vicious... I hope Pacey divorces her. And that Izzy goes to live with him.  


The Keds thing was absurd, I really hate it when people bring up the argument "if you want to live in this house, you have to do everything a say". Children don't have a choice in that, and it DOESN'T mean they can't have any kind of decision making or personality. They get to be individuals. It was petty. She is a terrible mom to Izzy. They provide for her physically, but look up the experiment with the fuzzy mom and the monkey to see how important having your mother's love is - more important than almost anything else. Pearl may have had it hard in her upbriging, and Mia is messed up in several ways but she always loved her child. Although it seems like Pacey loves her, he doesn't actually protect her from Elena, so it's not enough. If he did, maybe she wouldn't feel so alone. 

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