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The Crazed Spruce

S01.E03: The Lines Between Us

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When the governor of New Hampshire closes Greylock's borders, Sarah calls on Bella, Tyler and Maya to help her solve the problem; Corinne pushes Danny to reveal a secret that he's been keeping from everyone.

 

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Well, they did it. They name-checked Sylvia Rivera and now they've got me. The show's premise is ambitious but the execution is... thin. But I see what they are doing now. It's like they will sprinkle their oversimplifications and optimistic delusions with just enough representation, tantalizing historical references, and hints about important organizing principles and signposts of recovery, so that anyone who hangs around will get bits to run with.

I was going to give up because I kept laughing at how they were rushing from checkbox to checkbox and it was just too simplistic and obvious.

But: Sylvia Rivera, people! Not everyone knows that reference, and more people should. And they put her right there in lights. And then the fiancee slammed the door in the face of the abusive mother and nobody gave her a second of sympathy or enabling and I thought: well, yes! Hold the line, my friends!

This show lacks subtlety. It is played out like an outline more than fleshed out as a story. But they bought me off with a Sylvia Rivera reference, so I applaud them for that, and I appreciate the effort. 

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I'm not an American and not an expert on international relations, but if Greylock is now an independent country would the governer of New Hampshire really be in charge of border control? Wouldn't that be something that would be dealt with by the federal government?

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2 hours ago, possibilities said:

Well, they did it. They name-checked Sylvia Rivera and now they've got me. The show's premise is ambitious but the execution is... thin. But I see what they are doing now. It's like they will sprinkle their oversimplifications and optimistic delusions with just enough representation, tantalizing historical references, and hints about important organizing principles and signposts of recovery, so that anyone who hangs around will get bits to run with.

I was going to give up because I kept laughing at how they were rushing from checkbox to checkbox and it was just too simplistic and obvious.

But: Sylvia Rivera, people! Not everyone knows that reference, and more people should. And they put her right there in lights. And then the fiancee slammed the door in the face of the abusive mother and nobody gave her a second of sympathy or enabling and I thought: well, yes! Hold the line, my friends!

This show lacks subtlety. It is played out like an outline more than fleshed out as a story. But they bought me off with a Sylvia Rivera reference, so I applaud them for that, and I appreciate the effort. 

Yeah, at first I was kinda bored, but then when they brought up Alice Paul, Mother Jones and Sylvia Rivera, they got my attention with that. I was impressed that they didn't go for the obvious answers there.

Then there was the scene with Grover burning his house down and I'm not gonna lie, I respected that. If I built a house with my own hands and then the land was taken from me and someone was going to tear the house down, yes, I would burn that shit to the ground first.

The scene with Danny and his mom was really good, not something you see on TV. I like that no one was giving the mom an inch, not even Sarah. She thought one call and one good deed was enough to entitle her to a relationship and that got shut down real quick.

This show is cliche, but the writers can slip some gems in.

Edited by Diapason Untuned
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I mean, the show is really trying to give me SOME things to work with and keep me watching. It's a good sign that I keep tuning in, at least, because I could have easily quit after the pilot. But...I guess I'm still in, for the moment. The show is still not executing their plots well, but there's a little promise there to keep me going.

I mean...I can't blame Grover for burning down his house. And he's right; if anyone's going to destroy his house, it should be the person who built it. And it was going to be destroyed regardless, but hopefully he thought things through before he did it. It does seem like he's struggling still, but it's good that him and Sarah finally had some sort of conversation to start patching things up.

Ok, so I loved that Danny's fiancée Piper called Ellen out on her bullshit. This is exactly why I'm going to be sad when Danny/Piper break up. In one episode, they managed to convince me to love Piper. Her being super protective over Danny and standing up to her (potential) future mother-in-law was awesome. It's good to see everyone not take Ellen's crap seriously and tell her to go get help, but there's something about Piper standing up to the woman she doesn't know and tell her to get lost that is so satisfying to me. I HATE the idea of fully redeeming Ellen. I'm fine with her getting better for herself, but I'd hate a scenario in the near future where Danny and Ellen make amends and start having family dinners together. They've made it clear that Ellen was physically and verbally abusive up until Danny left six years ago, and she STILL showed very blatant signs of anger issues and abuse when she was banging on Danny's door. Poor guy was traumatized in that moment, and it was a good acting moment from Luke Mitchell to show how he quickly turned back into that scared little boy. 

I also did like Corrine calling out Danny, though, on his behaviour with Sarah. He HAS been treating her like he's been treating their mother, with him leaving and breaking all contact with her as well, so it's good that Corrine stepped up to call him out and that he recognized that and went to Sarah in the end. I recognize that Corrine/Danny will likely get together in a potential next season, so they're setting it up decently...but again, they made me really respect Piper and I hope she doesn't turn out to be a horrible person just for Danny/Corrine.

The teens' plot this episode was much better. LA Teen Brat was a lot better in this episode. But poor Bella; she has to deal with her dad now threatening to send her away. Of course, we all know she won't be going to that boarding school next week so I'm curious to how Bella's dad changes his mind. He seems insistent on taking the town over and his daughter being pro-Sarah and pro-town doesn't bode well for him. 

I wish I knew history more, because then I'd understand some of these historical references. 

At least the governor is finally somewhat on Sarah's side. I'm fine with them ending that rivalry at this point; there's only so many directions they could have taken it and now it's time to move on to more pressing matters within the town.

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It's easy to google the references that pique your interest. I love that they're sprinkling things in that might lead to folks finding things out that they didn't get taught in school.

I am not sure that it matters whether or not in reality it would be the feds vs the states closing borders, because it looks to me like there isn't much law happening in this show, but it's a good point about setting up the NH governor vs people from DC as rivals. My guess is that they thought it would be less politically polarizing to set up a local conflict rather than bringing in whoever the president is on the show. But I do think it's a good point to make, about how the show is kind of making up a lot of transparently unrealistic stuff for convenience.

I mean, why did the boat sink? Was it just a shitty boat? Did border control sink it? Stuff like that makes the show bordering on SNL-type cartoonishness, sometimes.

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I did kind of get a kick out of how apparently all of the grocery stories and whatnot were running out of stuff and causing panic, but the diner seemed to be fully stocked and everyone in there still chill as always throughout it all.  I guess Maya's dad made sure to always have extra supplies on hand in case there town ever got turned into it's own country and lost its supply chain due to a petty governor!

Glad Glover is going to talk to someone about still not being over his deceased wife, but I actually think him burning down his/their own house made sense on some levels.  It was going to be demolished no matter what, so this was one of the only things he could do on his own accord.  And since he built it with his own hands, it is fitting it would be destroyed by his actions as well.  I can see why Sarah found it to be a slippery slope (and, again, I'm glad he's seeking out help), but I think it might have actually helped him out emotionally somewhat.

It is good that Ellen is finally taking the first step with attending the AA meeting, but she really needs to be prepared for the fact that Danny might not ever forgive her for what she did: especially since it did get physical.  And no matter what her intentions where, her continuing to bang on the hotel room door and cause him to relive that trauma shows how easy it is for her to slip back into that role.  At least Piper was there to tell her off.  Piper is coming off pretty awesome so far (and not just because she's Luisa d'Oliveira), so I'm really hoping she's not just here as a placeholder while Danny ends up reconnecting with Corinne.

I'm sure something is going to happen to prevent Bella from being shipped to boarding school.  Either her father will relent (willingly or not) or they'll find some reason to have her emancipate, I guess.

I think the show has settled in as decent "summer fare" more or less, so I'll probably stick with it.

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