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ElectricBoogaloo

S01.E08: Find a Way

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On 4/23/2020 at 1:31 PM, Ms Blue Jay said:

When Pearl says to Mia, "Where did I come from?" Mia has a pretty good answer or can supply that to Pearl or put her in touch with the people who can answer that for her. 

Wait but a big issue with Mia was that she didn’t answer any of those questions when Pearl asked, and the vague answers she did give were lies. 

20 hours ago, Slovenly Muse said:

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.

I might agree if she had stuck around long enough to make sure someone opened the door and the baby didn’t freeze to death. Or called 911 from a pay phone to report it, or anything like that. Leaving the baby alone in the cold and not making sure someone got her is definitely dangerous behavior, and was not the best thing to do. The postpartum mental illness argument can work here, but not the argument that it was actually the best choice to leave the baby getting frostbite and possibly freezing to death. 

 

19 hours ago, OtterMommy said:

But one thing stood out to me as a flub that really bugged me.  So, Elena told Pearl that her mother had told the Ryans that Pearl had died--but how did Elena know that?  She only spoke to Mia's parents and they didn't know that Mia had done that.  All they knew was that Pearl was being paid to be a surrogate and then she left their lives.

So, this was either really bad storytelling or there are some crucial scenes missing that explains that, which is really bad editing.

Probably the Ryans contacted Mia’s parents when looking for her, but I agree the show did not specifically say that. 
 

On 4/23/2020 at 1:43 PM, kimchiarancini said:

Mark's most memorable scene to me is at the birthday party when he was trying to lure Bill in another room to watch sports. 

 I think his most memorable scene was when he told Linda not to check on the crying baby and then it turned out to be kidnapped. Will she ever forgive him for that? 

Edited by LeGrandElephant
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I don’t like a system that encourages people to bond with a baby and then takes the baby away. I’m not sure what the best solution is when there will be heartbreak either way, but Linda didn’t do anything wrong. The baby had been abandoned and presumably they had no way to know her Chinese name (why did no one point that out in court?) or what was going on with BeBe. They were told the baby was unwanted and would be theirs and bonded with her for a year. And now they being called evil baby thieves? 

I do have a lot of empathy for Bebe too but maybe I feel less need to argue it here because the show seemed to be on her side. She was in a really bad position, largely due to unfairness in society, and while I can think of better choices she could have made, she wasn’t in a state to think of them or know about them. But what is the solution? Leave kids with no known parents unable to be adopted or bonded with anyone for years because a birth parent might come back? 

Did Bebe say that she recovered from her postpartum depression after a week and immediately asked about getting the baby back but was told no? If so, the people (doctors? Social workers?) who blew her off then might be the ones in the wrong (it shouldn’t have been hard to connect her with the Asian baby abandoned at the same time), but that wasn’t Linda and Mark who did that. 

 

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So after all the episodes, why does that fireman guy think Izzie did it? It can’t be because she disappeared / ran away that night, because he asks to speak with her. 

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7 hours ago, ShellsandCheese said:

My best friend has been a surrogate twice. Unless the Ryan's drew up a legal agreement and Mia gave up her parental rights, she is Pearl's mother. It doesn't matter that she agreed to have the baby for the Ryan's. Unless she gave up her parental rights legal, when Pearl was conceived, she is Pearl's mother not only biologically but in the eye's of the law. When my friend was a surrogate, even though her eggs were not used - she still had to have any parental rights terminated legally.

While I have empathy for the Ryan's, I don't really feel sorry for them. They took advantage of a desperate 18 year old girl and did not do everything above board. An 18 year old who had never even had sex. In most cases, you cannot even legally be a surrogate unless you've already given birth to at least one child. It's not surprising that things went belly up. 

On that note, did they ever explain why the Ryans took such a sketchy route to surrogacy?  I imagine there were surrogacy agencies or other formal ways to make arrangements in NYC by the 90s, but maybe I'm off on that?  I know they wanted someone who looked like Mrs. Ryan, but there are ways for agencies to set that up.  What made following a teenager off the subway and handing her a turkey baster seem like a good idea?  

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33 minutes ago, AnythingCanBe said:

On that note, did they ever explain why the Ryans took such a sketchy route to surrogacy?  I imagine there were surrogacy agencies or other formal ways to make arrangements in NYC by the 90s, but maybe I'm off on that?  I know they wanted someone who looked like Mrs. Ryan, but there are ways for agencies to set that up.  What made following a teenager off the subway and handing her a turkey baster seem like a good idea?  

Exactly. I think they were trying to do it cheaply? Or maybe the couldn't afford to do it the right way. Or maybe they were denied or there was stigma? No idea. But I had a hard time feeling sorry for them because what they did was gross and creepy. When Mrs. Ryan found out that Mia hadn't even had sex before, she should have put a stop to the whole thing right then and there instead of offering to inseminate a clearly desperate teen who just told she'd never even inserted a tampon. You know what else that means? No physical exams or pap smear, what if the pregnancy was ectopic or something went horribly wrong and she died? What if it left her unable to later carry or bear her own children? I found them both gross. 

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I don’t know if there were surrogacy agencies in the 90s or not but either way they never should have been soliciting random women on the subway or gone ahead with it once Mia said she’d never even used a tampon. Recipe for disaster on so many levels. 

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5 hours ago, AnythingCanBe said:

On that note, did they ever explain why the Ryans took such a sketchy route to surrogacy?  I imagine there were surrogacy agencies or other formal ways to make arrangements in NYC by the 90s, but maybe I'm off on that?  I know they wanted someone who looked like Mrs. Ryan, but there are ways for agencies to set that up.  What made following a teenager off the subway and handing her a turkey baster seem like a good idea?  

 

4 hours ago, ShellsandCheese said:

Exactly. I think they were trying to do it cheaply? Or maybe the couldn't afford to do it the right way. Or maybe they were denied or there was stigma? No idea. But I had a hard time feeling sorry for them because what they did was gross and creepy. When Mrs. Ryan found out that Mia hadn't even had sex before, she should have put a stop to the whole thing right then and there instead of offering to inseminate a clearly desperate teen who just told she'd never even inserted a tampon. You know what else that means? No physical exams or pap smear, what if the pregnancy was ectopic or something went horribly wrong and she died? What if it left her unable to later carry or bear her own children? I found them both gross. 

 

3 hours ago, LeGrandElephant said:

I don’t know if there were surrogacy agencies in the 90s or not but either way they never should have been soliciting random women on the subway or gone ahead with it once Mia said she’d never even used a tampon. Recipe for disaster on so many levels. 

The bulk of the series took place in the 90s, but Mia got pregnant in 1981/1982. Back then, a surrogate pregnancy consisted of the surrogate woman's egg being fertilized with either the father's sperm or donor sperm.

The first baby born through a gestational surrogacy via IVF (where an egg is removed from a woman, fertilized, and then implanted in the surrogate) didn't happen until 1986.

In the 80s, fertility clinics would place ads in the newspaper seeking surrogates. It was very different from now where surrogacy agencies are much more common.

I thought it was creepy the way that Mr. Ryan just stared at Mia, a complete stranger on a train and then approached her to become a surrogate by following a teenage girl at night but the options for finding a surrogate in the early 80s were not nearly as abundant as they were less than 20 years later (in the late 90s when the rest of the show takes place). I'm not defending what he did because I still think that he found the creepiest way possible to approach her short of kidnapping her but again, it was 1981. They didn't have the internet and surrogacy wasn't as common, so he saw Mia and decided to take it as a sign.

Technically Mia was an adult but she was a very sheltered kid. She really needed an advocate or any kind of responsible adult to help her through the process. Phoebe's mom on Friends didn't do a great job talking her out of being a surrogate but at least she tried to explain how hard it would be for her to carry a baby and then give it up.

Re: the possibility of ectopic pregnancy/medical care brought up above - while it's true that the Ryans should been a lot more thorough before the actual insemination, Mia did see a doctor while she was pregnant. In the note she wrote to them, she said that she would pay them back for the doctor's visits.

One last thing on surrogacy - the Baby M case was the most prominent court case about surrogacy in the 80s. It was all over the news at the time. I don't think it's any coincidence that the baby playing May Ling/Mirabelle was listed as Baby M in the credits for the show!

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4 hours ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

 

 

The bulk of the series took place in the 90s, but Mia got pregnant in 1981/1982. Back then, a surrogate pregnancy consisted of the surrogate woman's egg being fertilized with either the father's sperm or donor sperm.

The first baby born through a gestational surrogacy via IVF (where an egg is removed from a woman, fertilized, and then implanted in the surrogate) didn't happen until 1986.

In the 80s, fertility clinics would place ads in the newspaper seeking surrogates. It was very different from now where surrogacy agencies are much more common.

I thought it was creepy the way that Mr. Ryan just stared at Mia, a complete stranger on a train and then approached her to become a surrogate by following a teenage girl at night but the options for finding a surrogate in the early 80s were not nearly as abundant as they were less than 20 years later (in the late 90s when the rest of the show takes place). I'm not defending what he did because I still think that he found the creepiest way possible to approach her short of kidnapping her but again, it was 1981. They didn't have the internet and surrogacy wasn't as common, so he saw Mia and decided to take it as a sign.

Technically Mia was an adult but she was a very sheltered kid. She really needed an advocate or any kind of responsible adult to help her through the process. Phoebe's mom on Friends didn't do a great job talking her out of being a surrogate but at least she tried to explain how hard it would be for her to carry a baby and then give it up.

Re: the possibility of ectopic pregnancy/medical care brought up above - while it's true that the Ryans should been a lot more thorough before the actual insemination, Mia did see a doctor while she was pregnant. In the note she wrote to them, she said that she would pay them back for the doctor's visits.

One last thing on surrogacy - the Baby M case was the most prominent court case about surrogacy in the 80s. It was all over the news at the time. I don't think it's any coincidence that the baby playing May Ling/Mirabelle was listed as Baby M in the credits for the show!

Whoops!  I forgot we have to go back 16-ish years from when the show was set to get to Pearl's conception.  Duh.  Still a terrible arrangement, but it makes a bit more sense. 

The law still hasn't completely caught up to all the ways people become parents these days.  I can't imagine how much uncharted territory there was in the 80s.

Edited by AnythingCanBe
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An ad in the newspaper still probably would have been a better choice than following a teenager on the subway at night. And regardless of who answered the ad, it would have been smart to insist on someone who was a bit older and ideally had already had a baby. But, perhaps the Ryans had already tried all that and not made any progress for some time and were getting desperate. 

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Was this show perfect? No. I know that. Were some scenes over the top? Yes.

But I'm coming out and saying it. I loved it. I saved the show for Friday nights after a long week of work (nonessential, but still things have been more stressful workwise). I thought the acting was great, and I was just really into it. I'm sorry it's over. All the main actresses were good (I agree about some of KW's weird mouth choices though), and the kids were really good. Before this show started. I saw the actress who played Lexie in a movie called Girl Flu, but I didn't even realize it was the same actress.

Oh, and I loved the opening credits with the music and fires as well.

I've heard the book is different, but I'm going to be ordering it shortly. And I need to find some show to take its place.

Edited by Steph Sometimes
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On 4/25/2020 at 5:31 AM, ElectricBoogaloo said:

I thought it was creepy the way that Mr. Ryan just stared at Mia, a complete stranger on a train and then approached her to become a surrogate

And I think the show made the whole thing too overdramatic with Mia's overreaction when she had the dreams about the guy. She didn't seem so paranoid about being found during the day, only when she had the dreams. I think it was inconsistent. Fear does come easier in the silence of the night but real fear doesn't simply vanish during the day.

 

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On 4/24/2020 at 3:15 PM, ShellsandCheese said:

My best friend has been a surrogate twice. Unless the Ryan's drew up a legal agreement and Mia gave up her parental rights, she is Pearl's mother. It doesn't matter that she agreed to have the baby for the Ryan's. Unless she gave up her parental rights legal, when Pearl was conceived, she is Pearl's mother not only biologically but in the eye's of the law. When my friend was a surrogate, even though her eggs were not used - she still had to have any parental rights terminated legally.

While I have empathy for the Ryan's, I don't really feel sorry for them. They took advantage of a desperate 18 year old girl and did not do everything above board. An 18 year old who had never even had sex. In most cases, you cannot even legally be a surrogate unless you've already given birth to at least one child. It's not surprising that things went belly up. 

I understand the legality of it all. And yes, the Ryan's did do this in a very creepy way. However, legally Mia was 18 and ultimately this was her decision. I just feel that she agreed to have the baby for them and she should have followed through on this. Especially since it seemed like the Ryan's paid her and they had a contract, but the show did not make this very clear, so maybe nothing was in writing yet and if that's true then legally only Mr. Ryan would have rights to Pearl since it was his sperm. It was all murky territory. I'm just saying the biology doesn't make a family, love does. So in my eyes since Mia agreed to be a surrogate for the Ryan's, that made the Ryan's her parents, not Mia. I understand the biology and legality of it though.

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On 4/24/2020 at 8:25 PM, LeGrandElephant said:

I don’t like a system that encourages people to bond with a baby and then takes the baby away. I’m not sure what the best solution is when there will be heartbreak either way, but Linda didn’t do anything wrong. The baby had been abandoned and presumably they had no way to know her Chinese name (why did no one point that out in court?) or what was going on with BeBe. They were told the baby was unwanted and would be theirs and bonded with her for a year. And now they being called evil baby thieves? 

I do have a lot of empathy for Bebe too but maybe I feel less need to argue it here because the show seemed to be on her side. She was in a really bad position, largely due to unfairness in society, and while I can think of better choices she could have made, she wasn’t in a state to think of them or know about them. But what is the solution? Leave kids with no known parents unable to be adopted or bonded with anyone for years because a birth parent might come back? 

Did Bebe say that she recovered from her postpartum depression after a week and immediately asked about getting the baby back but was told no? If so, the people (doctors? Social workers?) who blew her off then might be the ones in the wrong (it shouldn’t have been hard to connect her with the Asian baby abandoned at the same time), but that wasn’t Linda and Mark who did that. 

 

100% agree. Does the author of the book have a backstory in relation to adoption, surrogacy, etc.? I thought the framing was odd. Almost like adoption is a bad thing and parents who adopt are akin to thieves.  For me, it’s not about single Chinese mother v. rich, white couple. Both can give their kids a great life or both could end up being horrible parents. But this wasn’t a matter of someone swooping in and trying to take a baby from Bebe involuntarily. She abandoned her child and the child was placed with and bonded with a family. If the child had been placed with a Chinese family, what argument would her lawyer have had? None...which shows that he didn’t really have one in the first place, IMO. With that said, I had still had sympathy for Bebe up until the end. If the show wants me to cheer for kidnapping, well, that’s a hard pass! 

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On 4/23/2020 at 10:33 AM, kimchiarancini said:

Thank you for saying this - I haven't seen this brought up in any other thread. The lack of empathy for Bebe really shattered me when I started reading comments. This may be in part because I read the book last weekend and then immediately binge watched the show (the portrayal differs and important details are left out). Also, my kids are still little, so I'm only a year out from the last time I had a newborn.

I'm privileged in that I didn't want for food or heat and I have a supportive family. I also had no issues breastfeeding, but if I did I had the means to buy formula. But I still suffered PPA along with pretty common but very powerful postpartum issues (lack of sleep, colicky baby, hormonal fluctuations, etc. etc.). I cannot imagine facing that on top of not being able to provide food for my child and being totally alone with no support. I could easily see how she'd make that desperate decision to ensure her baby was fed and then later regret it. 

It made me really uncomfortable how the show set up the situation to perpetuate the idea that biology is everything - it's obviously not, and I can see how this would tick off a lot of viewers. I think they totally missed the opportunity to put a spotlight on PPD/PPA (tragically under diagnosed) and the lack of postpartum support/care in this country. 

As far as race is concerned and comments on how the lawyer set up his argument - I think he was so direct in hammering the race issue home because unfortunately a lot of viewers would see zero problem with a white family using fortune cookies/panda bears to celebrate a one-year old Asian baby's birthday party as a "nod to the culture" (I may have misquoted Linda, but this was the essence of her testimony on it). And it IS problematic. Much of the court battle seemed to me to be a commentary on the b.s. notion of "colorblindness" that some white people use to signal that they are inclusive (Lexie uses the term when she's having the breakup fight with Brian in her bedroom; Linda basically says it doesn't matter that May Ling is Chinese). There are a lot better and more qualified sources than me who can describe why "colorblindness" contributes to racism. I applaud the show for acknowledging it, but I think using the lawyer to illuminate the issue is the reason there are multiple comments on here saying that his only argument for Bebe getting custody is that she is Chinese. 

 

 

This is essentially Elena's argument. And it doesn't address the question or issues surrounding why would a mother be driven to do this in the first place. 

I disagree that elenas argument is that The couple that adopted baby M should only be the parents because Bebe made a choice to abandon the baby . Elenas argument ( and I agree with it ) is that they should be her parents because they took her in when she was abandoned and raised her for the first year of her life . All that child knows is them as parents , and it would be horrible for the couple who adopted the baby and the baby herself  if she was taken away from all that she knows , and the people who have raised her. It was not Bebe’s fault that she couldn’t provide for the baby and was struggling as we saw ... and watching it made me really sad for Bebe ... But she is wrong to try to rip that child away from all that she knows .. and for the people who stepped in when she couldn’t be a parent And for those that are saying that the judge only gave them custody because they have money and can provide better for mirabelle, does that mean that you can’t have money AND be a good parent ? It just sounds ridiculous to make that assumption . From what we saw , the parents did not just simply provide a nice house for mirabelle to live in , they also showed her love . 

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One of my pet peeves in shows or movies is when someone wants to investigate something about someone , so they wait Exactly one second after the worker leaves the office to log onto their computer , and they instantly find what they need . No password , no hardships.. just finds What they need right away . 

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7 hours ago, Jaclyn88 said:

I disagree that elenas argument is that The couple that adopted baby M should only be the parents because Bebe made a choice to abandon the baby . Elenas argument ( and I agree with it ) is that they should be her parents because they took her in when she was abandoned and raised her for the first year of her life . All that child knows is them as parents , and it would be horrible for the couple who adopted the baby and the baby herself  if she was taken away from all that she knows , and the people who have raised her. It was not Bebe’s fault that she couldn’t provide for the baby and was struggling as we saw ... and watching it made me really sad for Bebe ... But she is wrong to try to rip that child away from all that she knows .. and for the people who stepped in when she couldn’t be a parent And for those that are saying that the judge only gave them custody because they have money and can provide better for mirabelle, does that mean that you can’t have money AND be a good parent ? It just sounds ridiculous to make that assumption . From what we saw , the parents did not just simply provide a nice house for mirabelle to live in , they also showed her love . 

You make good points. The problem with this story is that it was poorly written, with no real background on people's lives, and with poor arguments from the characters, so there is no real agreement on why should one character be better than the other as a parent because while some of us are more sympathetic to Bebe, recognizing how she was lost and alone, without supports, on top of being an undocumented immigrant who is not white, some of us see the other couple as loving, despite their racism - which was shown but in a cheap shot type of way, without showing us if they would reflect on what was said about race and privilege.

But the main take on this whole plot is how Mia interfered and disrupted all those lives because she wanted to deal with her own guilt and reassure herself about her actions related to Pearl. She didn't do it for Bebe, or to get back at Elena. It was all about Mia.

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On 4/23/2020 at 10:33 AM, kimchiarancini said:

As far as race is concerned and comments on how the lawyer set up his argument - I think he was so direct in hammering the race issue home because unfortunately a lot of viewers would see zero problem with a white family using fortune cookies/panda bears to celebrate a one-year old Asian baby's birthday party as a "nod to the culture" (I may have misquoted Linda, but this was the essence of her testimony on it). And it IS problematic. Much of the court battle seemed to me to be a commentary on the b.s. notion of "colorblindness" that some white people use to signal that they are inclusive (Lexie uses the term when she's having the breakup fight with Brian in her bedroom; Linda basically says it doesn't matter that May Ling is Chinese).

Very true.

Selfishness and Self Centeredness passed down from one generation to another.

Mia's parents did not care that Mia was mourning her brother, they only cared about themselves and how would they "explain" Mia's condition, they were like, "don't come to your brother's funeral."  That was awful.  You have a child who's grieving, care about her feelings.  So Mia picked up the selfishness by lying to the Ryan's and taking the baby and also not calling her girlfriend, and dragging her daughter all over without even considering what her daughter wanted.  Pearl then picked up the selfishness when, in her zeal to be popular, she hurt Moody, because it was all about what SHE wanted.  She learned that from her mother.  Mia realized in the end how her selfishness hurt her daughter, which was why she finally came clean to her.

Elena's mother was also selfish.  When Elena told her mother that she could not deal with a fourth baby, the mother was like, "people like US (white, married women with means) don't have abortions," those things are only for unwed mothers and poor women, not US.  Elena then picked up that selfishness by making her home and everybody's lives about HER.  She never cared about anybody else's feelings.  Even her helping Mia was about HER, so she could tell her friends, "I helped this poor, black single mother."  Then Lexie selfishly stole Pearl's story and made it about HER so SHE could get into Yale, talk about cultural appropriation!  The sad part was that Lexie didn't even see that what she did was wrong.

The problem with this episode is that everything was thrown at it in an hour.  They should have had one more episode IMO.

Lastly Bebe and Mirabelle/May Ling.  Her stealing Mirabelle/May Ling was a parallel to what Mia did.  Bebe selfishly took the baby, not because she was doing right by the baby, but because it was about HER.  So selfishness continues.

The entire series also highlighted microaggressions that many of us who are not white experience on a daily basis.  The episode "70 Cents" really highlighted that.  The store clerk, despite seeing a desperate woman with a crying baby in her arms told Bebe to "get the fuck out of my store" because she was short 70 cents to purchase formula.  All she saw in front of her was an Asian woman, she probably thought, though correctly, that she was illegal.  The store clerk did not really SEE Bebe.  Contrast that to when Izzy got on the bus after the dance and was short 70 cents.  The bus driver let her get on the bus, because he saw a young, white girl, he saw her as a human being.

Another scene got to me, when Mia was in the supermarket shopping, a white woman passes Mia and immediately pulls her pocketbook close to her.  Why did she do that?  She didn't see Mia as a person, all she saw was "black person."  I've had that happen to me countless times.  People not seeing ME, just seeing, "black person."  And that sucks because it dehumanizes people.

Edited by Neurochick
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On 4/28/2020 at 11:48 AM, Jess14 said:

100% agree. Does the author of the book have a backstory in relation to adoption, surrogacy, etc.? I thought the framing was odd. Almost like adoption is a bad thing and parents who adopt are akin to thieves.

Part of me feels this way.  Another part feels the show was trying to highlight how poor women are often victims in this.  If Mia had the $12k she never would have agreed to be a surrogate; if Bebe had a job that paid a fair wage she would not have left her daughter in front of a firehouse.

 

Quote

Reese Witherspoon's character is the ultimate Karen 

What does that even mean?  You know, there are A LOT of people named Karen who aren't privileged white women.

Edited by Neurochick

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Regarding Bebe: In Illinois, once the baby was abandoned, DCFS would be contacted and would take protective custody of the baby. The State would have an unknown baby with unknown parents. The State would publish to the unknown parents in the newspaper that their parental rights could be terminated. The State would have grounds to terminate for abandonment (a three month period is all that is required under the law) and lack of concern, interest and responsibility. This hearing in the show would be what was in the best interest of the child. Where the baby felt love, who had been taking care the the child's needs, who read to the child, met the child's needs, etc. There have been many studies that a child's attachments between the ages of 0-3 are more critical than a child that is older. Primarily because a child between the ages of 0-3 cannot comprehend what is happening to them and why their entire world is being disrupted. May Ling has already had the trauma of being separated from her biological mother. Another separation from the only parents she has known would cause another significant trauma that could lead to reactive attachment disorder. You have to weigh that with being raised by parents of a different race. 

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Never in a bazillion years did I expect this absurd of an ending. I had started getting really frustrated with this show about half way through, but the finale took the cake. The idea that the three older kids would on the spur of the moment decide to burn down their house in some kind of fucked up last minute unity was so outrageously absurd I almost shut it off right there.

And then the kids are sitting in the car acting among themselves as if Izzy had quite possibly set the fire instead of their own boneheaded absurdly destructive act? 

Also who exactly did Mia take Pearl to see? Her bio parents? (I never quite knew if Mrs. Ryan's sperm was used or Mia's). Because it looked to me like Mia dropped her off at the house of Mia's parents, not the Ryans house. And was Izzy still in the car at that point? I couldn't tell. 

Very disappointing and it all had so much promise.

 

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On 4/22/2020 at 6:32 AM, paulvdb said:

Her getting in Mia's car was a dream sequence. After she woke up it seems that she was in a bus.

I totally missed that! My video crapped out and it must have skipped over that part. So she was dreaming that she got picked up by them? At least that's better than the highly unlikely alternative that they'd just happen upon her on the road.

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On 4/22/2020 at 2:26 PM, archer1267 said:

Yeesh. While I'm glad the arsonist wasn't the obvious choice of Izzy or Mia, it's beyond imagination that three teenaged kids - who lack for nothing - would suddenly set their rooms on fire, destroy their things and render themselves homeless, just to get back at a controlling mom. It would have been one thing if we'd seen them come to the conclusion on their own over time, reaching a simmering boil (and even then it would have stretched credibility). I never saw any of them have any special connection to Izzy, except maybe Moody. And then suddenly Lexie's grabbing the gas container? Lexie, who always hated her sister? Yeah, that came out of nowhere.

 

Absolutely. This is exactly what I was thinking and made me hate these privileged little shits. 

On 4/22/2020 at 2:26 PM, archer1267 said:

It just seemed to be like the writer knew she needed to answer the "who lit the fire" question and just rushed towards a random conclusion. 

 

I didn't read the book so I don't know for sure but I have heard that the arsonist in the book is not the same arsonist(s) in the tv show.

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On 4/22/2020 at 5:18 PM, Akinimod said:

It looked like she used him when she had no other friends, but as soon as someone more popular came along, it was bye bye Moody the loner, hello the high society of Lexie and Trip.

 

It is rather interesting that the two oldest kids Lexie and Trip were the more popular and socially successful ones with the younger Moody and Izzy more awkward and troubled (?). This seems to mirror the breakdown perhaps in Elena and Bill's happiness as young parents getting more disillusioned with their lives and then foisting their emot

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On 4/22/2020 at 11:07 PM, SlovakPrincess said:

 

I felt terribly for both Linda and Bebe (and Mia and Ryans), but the show seemed to be hammering us with the message that the connection between biological mom and child was the only one that ultimately mattered.  Which is kind of an unnecessary "screw you" to adoptive parents or parents that use surrogates.  

Well it could be said that the Ryans were the biological parents as they had Mr. Ryan's sperm and possibly but I'm not sure Mrs. Ryan's egg implanted into Mia, so technically Mia is not the biological mom.

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5 hours ago, ReviewX said:

Well it could be said that the Ryans were the biological parents as they had Mr. Ryan's sperm and possibly but I'm not sure Mrs. Ryan's egg implanted into Mia, so technically Mia is not the biological mom.

I'm not sure if they explicitly stated it, but it seemed obvious imo that Pearl was biologically Joe Ryan and Mia's child.

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1 hour ago, peachmangosteen said:

 

I'm not sure if they explicitly stated it, but it seemed obvious imo that Pearl was biologically Joe Ryan and Mia's child.

Yes, the way the insemination was done, it would be impossible for Mrs Ryan to be the mother. They wouldn't be able to harvest the eggs and inseminate it themselves, then implant it inside Mia.

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On 4/23/2020 at 11:16 AM, marshmallows said:

I wish Izzy hadn't run away and we got to see a reconciliation between Elena/Izzy. It would have been nice to see Elena apologize to Izzy and show her that she is important and she is heard.

I think possibly when Elena admitted to the fire chief that she had set the fire that was her way of 'reconciling" or "apologizing" to Izzy as she knew that she was going to be blamed for it.

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On 4/23/2020 at 12:39 PM, PepSinger said:

My goodness, when she yelled, "YES, YOU ARE!!!!!" even *I* was scared. 

I think that was quite possibly the most impactful line of dialogue in the entire series.

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On 4/24/2020 at 4:22 AM, ElectricBoogaloo said:

Yes, she served as the surrogate but Mia is also Pearl's biological mother. The Ryans didn't extract Mrs. Ryan's eggs, fertilize them with Mr. Ryan's sperm, and have a doctor implant the embryo into Mia. They squirted a turkey baster of his jizz into Mia in the bedroom of their apartment. They chose Mia to be the biological mother because she (supposedly) looked like Mrs. Ryan and they wanted their baby to look like them.

I didn't think it was Mia's egg that was used. Wouldn't they have to know what time of the month was going to be the best time to try this? If so, they would have likely had a lengthy discussion about timing and Mia's virginity would most probably be brought up at that time and not discovered minutes before the injection.

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On 4/24/2020 at 11:34 PM, ShellsandCheese said:

Exactly. I think they were trying to do it cheaply? Or maybe the couldn't afford to do it the right way. 

I think we were supposed to think the Ryans were quite well off. As i recall they quoted a price and Mia upped it and they were happy to oblige. They had an upscale home and didn't look like they could not afford the best. I think the reason they did it this way was simply a plot device. Though they could have thrown in a comment or two as to why they chose this route to make it more realistic.

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8 hours ago, ReviewX said:

I didn't think it was Mia's egg that was used. Wouldn't they have to know what time of the month was going to be the best time to try this? If so, they would have likely had a lengthy discussion about timing and Mia's virginity would most probably be brought up at that time and not discovered minutes before the injection.

But there was no doctor involved. How would they harvest anyone's egg without a doctor? Mia used a turkey baster to "release" Ryan's sperm inside here. If this is possible, I have no idea so bad writing. But I am 100% sure that they would not be able to harvest an egg, inseminate it, and implant it on Mia without a doctor and with a baster.

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9 hours ago, ReviewX said:

I didn't think it was Mia's egg that was used. Wouldn't they have to know what time of the month was going to be the best time to try this? If so, they would have likely had a lengthy discussion about timing and Mia's virginity would most probably be brought up at that time and not discovered minutes before the injection.

There is no way that Mrs. Ryan is Pearl's biological mother. As I explained in my previous post:

On 4/25/2020 at 2:31 AM, ElectricBoogaloo said:

The bulk of the series took place in the 90s, but Mia got pregnant in 1981/1982. Back then, a surrogate pregnancy consisted of the surrogate woman's egg being fertilized with either the father's sperm or donor sperm.

The first baby born through a gestational surrogacy via IVF (where an egg is removed from a woman, fertilized, and then implanted in the surrogate) didn't happen until 1986.

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Wait, is that why people on this forum are so absurdly nasty about Mia? They misunderstood the visual shorthand to mistakenly believe Pearl was biologically Mrs. Ryan's?

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18 hours ago, ReviewX said:

I didn't think it was Mia's egg that was used. Wouldn't they have to know what time of the month was going to be the best time to try this? If so, they would have likely had a lengthy discussion about timing and Mia's virginity would most probably be brought up at that time and not discovered minutes before the injection.

Harvesting her eggs would have involved far more discussion of timing, with doctors, etc. 
 

It was very clear that they used Mr Ryan’s sperm and put it in Mia using a turkey baster, meaning the egg was hers. Some things in this show were unclear, but not that. 
 

But yes, they should have talked it through more, involved some kind of counselors or professionals of some type, etc, and that kind of due diligence probably would have resulted in them not using an 18 year old virgin as their surrogate. 

Edited by LeGrandElephant
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On 5/10/2020 at 2:52 AM, ReviewX said:

Also who exactly did Mia take Pearl to see? Her bio parents? (I never quite knew if Mrs. Ryan's sperm was used or Mia's). Because it looked to me like Mia dropped her off at the house of Mia's parents, not the Ryans house. And was Izzy still in the car at that point? I couldn't tell. 

Mia drove to her parent's home.  Pearl went inside.  Mia sat in the car, then she got out and went into her parents' home.  They showed the outside of that house several times. 

Izzy was never in Mia's car.  Izzy was on the bus going somewhere.

Mia was Pearl's biological mother.  That's how surrogacy was done in the early 80's, turkey baster time. #ElectricBoogaloo is correct.

Edited by Neurochick
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Other proof that Pearl was created with Mia’s egg is the fact that Mr. Ryan was looking for a woman who looked like his wife to have their baby. If Mia was just a womb with no biological connection to the baby, it wouldn’t matter what she looked like. 

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12 hours ago, marny said:

Other proof that Pearl was created with Mia’s egg is the fact that Mr. Ryan was looking for a woman who looked like his wife to have their baby. If Mia was just a womb with no biological connection to the baby, it wouldn’t matter what she looked like. 

If this had been a situation with a donor egg, the "procedure" would not have happened in the Ryans' guest bedroom.  It would have been IVF and it would have been done by a doctor.

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On 5/3/2020 at 7:18 AM, Neurochick said:

 

The entire series also highlighted microaggressions that many of us who are not white experience on a daily basis.  The episode "70 Cents" really highlighted that.  The store clerk, despite seeing a desperate woman with a crying baby in her arms told Bebe to "get the fuck out of my store" because she was short 70 cents to purchase formula.  All she saw in front of her was an Asian woman, she probably thought, though correctly, that she was illegal.  The store clerk did not really SEE Bebe.  Contrast that to when Izzy got on the bus after the dance and was short 70 cents.  The bus driver let her get on the bus, because he saw a young, white girl, he saw her as a human being.

 

I noticed this immediately and it has stuck with me, more than anything in this series. That terrible cashier and a lack of 70 cents changed the entire course of Bebe's and May Ling's life.  

Yet, the white girl's lack of 70 cents made no impact, really.

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Bebe kidnaps little Mirabelle and is now going to live with her out of a car until the next time she decides parenting is too much work and abandons her baby yet again.

THIS 100 times!!!

I enjoyed this series, but the ending was very unsatisfying.

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On 4/22/2020 at 3:48 PM, Sharper2002 said:

Completely agree as well. I also think by the end of the series, she realized how negatively her actions really impacted Pearl and she was starting to make some amends. Her love for Pearl remained no matter what and I think she realized she needed to make some changes out of that love for Pearl. Old Mia wouldn’t have gone to her parents house in a million years and she’s been really shitty in the past, but it’s time to face the truth.

I think Elena is an ignorant, racist (you’ll find someone that’s a better fit, my ass) wench and her kids had to live in her image. Even if Izzy ran back home, it’s likely not without conditions of conforming her personality and image to fit in with the rest of the family to be fully accepted. 

Yeah Elena ticked me off with that line about  Lexie finding a better fit. I know exactly what she meant my that.

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On 4/22/2020 at 2:26 PM, archer1267 said:

I hope Bebe is caught and May-Ling returned to the McCulloughs. 

I hope she is caught and the baby is taken away from all of those assholes. I mean if the McCulloughs were providing foster care for May-Ling wouldn't there be a general assumption that it was a temporary thing. So why would they ever assume that they would automatically get to keep the baby. Hell what would have happened if Mai-Lings bio father had shown up, didn't realize he had a kid until it made the news and was rich. 

On 4/23/2020 at 11:16 AM, marshmallows said:

Should she have taken the time to get to know Izzy better? Yes. But in Elena's defense, Izzy was a very difficult child. It 

Was she difficult though? Other than the school baby protest thing just about everything thing else was fairly minor. Mostly it was shit like how she wanted to be called Izzy, wanted a different hair style, didn't want to be in orchestra and didn't want to wear tartan Keds. Elena not being able to let any of that go is generally what escalated things. I can't imagine getting upset or irritated if either of my kids told me they wanted to go by a different nickname, because who the fuck cares. You would hope that a mother of 4 kids who colour codes paper lunch bags to save the hassle of mix ups would be way better at choosing her battles.

Edited by Kel Varnsen
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Just watched the finale and lots of thoughts.

No one here has commented that Elena confessed to arson. The fire dept knows it was arson and even with Elena being their friend, they can't ignore that. They won't get an insurance payout for torching her own house, so now they're out hundreds of thousands of dollars. 

Elena will have to go to jail, again, no one mentioned that. Izzy is gone and Lexie is off to Yale, so Bill and the boys will have to live in their rental. Lucky it's vacant but still has a bit of furniture.

I think Elena was a decent mother to the first three kids. She just resented Izzy because she was unplanned and Izzy felt that unwantedness all her life. I know lots of women who had unplanned pregnancies, which derailed big plans for careers and finances as well a second lesser plans for travel and lifestyle. Yet, they didn't treat the surprise kid so terribly. Elena wouldn't have had a big time journalism career even if Izzy hadn't been born; she still had three small kids.

We never found out Tripp's real name. Izzy commented that her Mom used nicknames for all her sibs, but refused to say Izzy. Moody was Michael and Lexie was Alexandra. Tripp?

Lots of commentary about what the show had to say about motherhood, but I guess the message about fathers is that they are irrelevant. Mia lied to and about Pearl's father. May Ling's father wasn't even an issue, who was he, where was he? Mirabelle's custody issue was only argued through the lens of the mothers. Bill was unhelpful when the kids were young but seemed supportive as they got older, but Izzy was only focused on her mother's opinions. Elena and Mia's mother's opinions affected them but their fathers were also irrelevant. Even Lexie's abortion didn't account for telling the father, which she doesn't have to do but it reinforces my "father's are irrelevant" point.

Finally, regarding an adopted child's culture. How far does this go? If you adopt a white child, should that child's heritage be explored, or is it assumed that white people dont have cultural heritages? There's a huge difference between having a background from Scotland or Holland or Russia or Australia? If a Canadian adopts an American baby, do they have to learn American culture, and what would that be exactly?

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2 hours ago, Shermie said:

I think Elena was a decent mother to the first three kids. She just resented Izzy because she was unplanned and Izzy felt that unwantedness all her life. I know lots of women who had unplanned pregnancies, which derailed big plans for careers and finances as well a second lesser plans for travel and lifestyle. Yet, they didn't treat the surprise kid so terribly. Elena wouldn't have had a big time journalism career even if Izzy hadn't been born; she still had three small kids.

That is sort of one thing I don't get about Elena hating Izzy because she was unplanned. Because even before she was born she had 3 kids within about 3 years. That by itself seems like a ridiculous amount of work especially if both parents expect to have jobs. To the point where I would be surprised that she planned to have Moodie or even Tripp that quickly.

Edited by Kel Varnsen

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And it all comes down to........Mother doesn’t always 

know what’s best!

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On 5/28/2020 at 8:04 AM, Shermie said:

Just watched the finale and lots of thoughts.

No one here has commented that Elena confessed to arson. The fire dept knows it was arson and even with Elena being their friend, they can't ignore that. They won't get an insurance payout for torching her own house, so now they're out hundreds of thousands of dollars. 

Elena will have to go to jail, again, no one mentioned that. Izzy is gone and Lexie is off to Yale, so Bill and the boys will have to live in their rental. Lucky it's vacant but still has a bit of furniture.

I think Elena was a decent mother to the first three kids. She just resented Izzy because she was unplanned and Izzy felt that unwantedness all her life. I know lots of women who had unplanned pregnancies, which derailed big plans for careers and finances as well a second lesser plans for travel and lifestyle. Yet, they didn't treat the surprise kid so terribly. Elena wouldn't have had a big time journalism career even if Izzy hadn't been born; she still had three small kids.

We never found out Tripp's real name. Izzy commented that her Mom used nicknames for all her sibs, but refused to say Izzy. Moody was Michael and Lexie was Alexandra. Tripp?

Lots of commentary about what the show had to say about motherhood, but I guess the message about fathers is that they are irrelevant. Mia lied to and about Pearl's father. May Ling's father wasn't even an issue, who was he, where was he? Mirabelle's custody issue was only argued through the lens of the mothers. Bill was unhelpful when the kids were young but seemed supportive as they got older, but Izzy was only focused on her mother's opinions. Elena and Mia's mother's opinions affected them but their fathers were also irrelevant. Even Lexie's abortion didn't account for telling the father, which she doesn't have to do but it reinforces my "father's are irrelevant" point.

Finally, regarding an adopted child's culture. How far does this go? If you adopt a white child, should that child's heritage be explored, or is it assumed that white people dont have cultural heritages? There's a huge difference between having a background from Scotland or Holland or Russia or Australia? If a Canadian adopts an American baby, do they have to learn American culture, and what would that be exactly?

Tripps real name is possibly the same as his father’s......often its a nickname for third generation names like junior is to second generation.

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Maybe if there’s a second season Bebe (kidnapper) and Elena (arsonist) will be inmates together 🤔

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It would be interesting to rewatch the show now that more people have been exposed to what being a "Karen" is and what systemic racism looks like.

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So none of  the kids thought "hey our stuff?" or "hey we'd be homeless" Now what? Where did they intend to live? They expect their parents to give them a new home?  The parents should be done with them all.

I don't think I've disliked every character on a show before. Not sure if it's good or bad. All of them are flawed and have issues. 

Mia is the worst, stealing the baby and telling her father she was dead. Then driving around basically living on the run. Pearl got over that way to fast, there should have been major fallout from that and I saw nothing. They packed up and left together and go home to her parents. 

 

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On 6/11/2020 at 12:04 PM, Artsda said:

So none of  the kids thought "hey our stuff?" or "hey we'd be homeless" Now what? Where did they intend to live? They expect their parents to give them a new home?  The parents should be done with them all.

It didn't make much sense to me.  I thought Izzy had the most legitimate beef with Elena, given Elena made clear to Izzy how much she was not wanted and how much Elena resented her.  Further, I can see how the idea of destroying something dear to Elena, like her perfectly maintained home, would appeal to a 14 year old.  I didn't think the situation was such where it made any sense the other three kids would be the ones to burn the place down.  After all, do they hate their father too?  They just left him homeless.  And given it is arson, where the homeowner has admitted to setting the fire, insurance won't be paying anything and their mom may even be going to jail.  I get it was a plan concocted by teenagers, but it was a really stupid, extremely dangerous plan. 

I honestly would have liked it more if Elena had actually been the one to set the fire in some moment of insanity caused by her entire world collapsing in on itself between her husband and the children confronting her, and she realizing that how messed up her life actually was.

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