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I thought Ruth expressed some skepticism about continuing the story further.

If she had the same contracts as the other stars, that would mean they dismissed her early as opposed to renewing a deal that ran out.

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On 10/29/2019 at 9:31 PM, T Summer said:

Is You Tube media?

This lady just couldn't stick it out, like we have. 😄

If that's what she thought of Season 4, I shudder to think what she would think of Season 5.

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Just read Deadline's interview with Sarah Treem.  What she said regarding Ben getting away with murder is actually true.  She said nobody pays for their crimes on this show.

- Cole and his brothers were never arrested for dealing coke.

- Helen/Alison were never arrested for taking part in Scotty's death.

- Ben was never arrested for Alison's murder.

- Luisa was never deported for being undocumented.

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3 hours ago, MaggieG said:

Wow Treem comes off looking so bad.  Looks like she didn’t have control of the set with that POS director complaining about actresses not showing “tits” and “vag.”

Then she wrote “rapey” scenes for Alison, like Noah pushing her up against a tree and having sex with her.

But even more despicably, Ben sexually assaults her, which she fights off, then he kills her. Wilson objected to the scene and got the executives to remove the sexual assault.

Wilson refused to act if Treem was on the set in the last season and wanted Alison to have a happy ending.

So the official ending about Alison “inviting” being murdered, always being the victim, is all Treem, who claims she’s such a feminist.

Treem’s reputation is going to be in the gutter, deservedly so.

 

A lot of turmoil around Showtime shows, which generally are inferior to HBO shows.

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This is horrible, but I was certain there was a lot more going on with why Ruth left so suddenly.  I've said many times before that I absolutely hated the sex scenes in this show.  They were NEVER hot & almost always made me cringe & squirm with discomfort -- & I'm no prude.  But it seemed like Treem felt the need to put at least one sex scene in every ep, no matter how awful & uncomfortable it was to watch it.  They often seemed gratuitous & for shock value only.  Ugh, Treem, ugh.

Maura was shown so many times this last season with her legs in the air, it made me wonder if they had to put this in her contract to get her to do it so often.  And in one sex scene, her breasts were shown prominently, which I thought was ridiculously gratuitous & unnecessary.

The Noah-forcing-himself-on-Alison scene was memorable for its awfulness.  And it was even more awful that this was never addressed in the show.  But it speaks volumes about Treem's POV.

Despite the NDA Ruth signed, I hope the truth of this situation eventually comes out fully.  Nobody should assume a woman as a show-runner is a guarantee of an environment without sexual harassment.  Treem's career should be stained because of this.

Edited by ScoobieDoobs
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7 hours ago, ScoobieDoobs said:

I've said many times before that I absolutely hated the sex scenes in this show.  They were NEVER hot & almost always made me cringe & squirm with discomfort -- & I'm no prude. 

All of this. 

7 hours ago, ScoobieDoobs said:

The Noah-forcing-himself-on-Alison scene was memorable for its awfulness.  And it was even more awful that this was never addressed in the show.  But it speaks volumes about Treem's POV.

And like once wasn't bad enough, there was the even more disturbing one with Noah and Helen in Season 3 I believe. Where Helen at one point even says "Noah stop" multiple times. 

I don't often pay attention to what showrunners have to say, even when I watch a show. But I remember many times when some would use her interviews and comments she made as proof that yes, viewers were supposed to think Noah and Alison was some great love story.

And yet, most of the time, when I read many of the things Treem would say, it just made me side eye her really hard. Especially some of her comments about Noah and a lot of the character's actions. 

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I'm not surprised to hear that Lena Dunham is tangentially involved in this. She and Treem seem very similar - obsessed with provoking viewers by shoving controversial themes down their throats, without having much to actually say.

Of course Treem wanted as much nudity as possible. Anything that might make the show seem "edgy" has to be wildly overdone, regardless of whether it makes sense for the plot!

 

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Oh, let's not forget co-creator Hagi Levi and co-showrunner Ryan Kate Selzer also left the show under Sarah's watch.

Toxic environment alright.

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Treem has been consistent with her denials.  I don’t trust a fucking thing she says.  The sex scenes were uncomfortable to watch & mostly just plain awful & unnecessary for any of the storylines.  

The interesting part of this is how this mess got tossed around internally at CBS, which Showtime is part of.  Man, the shit these big TV networks ignored (and/or tried hard to keep quiet) for so many years!  Well, no more!  OK, Treem, live with the label of being a female Weinstein, and let’s see how your career progresses.  That horrible director should be shamed out of the industry too.

Edited by ScoobieDoobs
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I wonder if there's more pressure at Showtime to put in nudity.  Remember that SMILF got canceled partly because the female showrunner there tried to pressure an actress into doing nudity, tried to bully her if the accounts are to be believed.

Then there was the sexual harassment on The Chi.

Showtime doesn't have the big hits that HBO has.  The first couple of seasons of Homeland maybe.

But otherwise they've been perpetual underdogs compared to HBO and probably now Netflix and other sources of prestige TV shows.

So maybe they feel the need to push more to have content unique to premium cable, which mainly means nudity.  Older Showtime originals like Weeds and Californication were replete with nude scenes.

 

IMDB shows Treem is working on some "untitled Hedy Lamarr project" targeted for 2020.  Suppose to be a mini-series.

But there's no word on which network or when it would premier.

And if IMDB is accurate, it looks like Gal Gadot would be in at least one episode?  Or maybe she'd be the star and the one episode is just the pilot that they're planning.

If she does star in this mini series, no doubt some network will pick it up.

 

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7 hours ago, scrb said:

IMDB shows Treem is working on some "untitled Hedy Lamarr project" targeted for 2020.  Suppose to be a mini-series.

In light of what's being reported, that's really ironic given that Hedy Lamarr was opposed to doing a nude scene; stripped down only because the director lied to her that her nudity wouldn't actually be visible in the film; and on premiere night, when she finally saw the finished film, burst into tears and screamed at the director. She later got married and her husband tried to buy up all extant copies of the film, probably with her encouragement given her feelings about it.

So sure, Sarah Treem is exactly the person who should be doing a Hedy Lamarr project.

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So Lena knew about this awful shit & the best she could do is a tip-off for a blind item?  Really, Lena?  Why didn’t she give Ronan a call?  Lena doesn’t suck as badly as Treem does, but she sucks too.

OK, I know DM is sleazy as hell, but Jeez-

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-7814639/Ruth-Wilsons-sex-scenes-hit-TV-drama-Affair-decreased.html

Edited by ScoobieDoobs
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It really says a lot that WIlson left because of discomfort over creepy, rapey sex scenes, and Treem decided to have her character raped before being murdered.

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6 hours ago, Blakeston said:

It really says a lot that WIlson left because of discomfort over creepy, rapey sex scenes, and Treem decided to have her character raped before being murdered.

It may be that the original script called for an attempted rape which Alison fights off and then gets killed.

If they depicted a rape and then a murder on camera, that would change the whole tone of the series, even though there's been a death on the show of a minor character.

Even the murder of Alison without the sexual assault was kind of intense compared to the rest of the show.

But whether or not there was a supposed rape, to have a even a rape attempt followed by a murder would have cast a pall over the show.

Not sure waiting another season for their dancing happy ending finale would have been sufficient to shake the gruesome scene that would have been.

 

One could say Ruth by objecting and the network by vetoing did Treem a favor, protecting her from her worst instincts.

Edited by scrb

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What a self-serving article. The biggest evidence against is everything Wilson got - leaving the series, and the conditions for filming her final season: Her part of the season filmed separately and ahead of everyone else, without Treem allowed on the set. Wilson didn't get these things if she didn't have very powerful, damaging allegations she could substantiate for which Showtime really, really wanted to get her to sign a NDA.

And Treem's choice to write, for Wilson's final scenes, a scenario in which Alison has to fight off a brutal rape before then being murdered, which she knew Wilson would hate? That's just flat out malice. Fortunately for Wilson, and viewers, Wilson had the power with the network to get the sexual assault nixed, so Treem's payback mostly didn't work. Alison didn't get the ending Wilson would have liked, but nor did Wilson have to film the sexual assault.

This part of Treem's statement addressing that is just ridiculous:

Quote

At that point, I absolutely fought back because I didn’t want to write a script where a veteran just goes insane and kills a woman with no impetus. If I had known I wouldn’t have been able to follow through on a storyline I had been setting up since the beginning of the season, I would not have made the character of Ben a veteran. To this day, I hate that the storyline seems to suggest that veterans suffering from PTSD are so crazy they might murder women at any point.

So it's problematic to have a veteran murder a woman, but it's not problematic to have a veteran sexually assault a woman? Does she even hear herself? She can GTFO with that. This is her attempt to muddy the waters by trying to turn a harassment issue into a "disrespect of veterans" issue to hide that she really just did it to try to force Wilson to film a sexual assault as part of her final scenes, knowing how much Wilson would hate that. That writing choice on her part substantiates the hostile working environment and disproves her claims that she cares about the comfort level of her actors.

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6 minutes ago, Stad15 said:

Bullshit.  Ruth can't speak or defend herself due to the NDA.

That may be so, but I can't see that it impinges on the truth or falsity of what Treem is saying. 

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Wilson can't speak, but a number of other sources have. So right now, it's a she-said/they-said situation. Treem claims in her article that there were still other people's voices who weren't included, but if so, they have yet to step forward to support Treem's claims about how she ran her set. And, note this telling omission from the following quote:

Quote

Unfortunately, not much of my perspective made it into the story, nor the perspectives of many of the half dozen senior level producers, director and other key crew members who spoke up.

No actors. Imagine that. All her supporters are from the group on the show that would have helped perpetuate the hostile working environment and toxic culture.

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I don’t see the symmetry that Treem claims between Noah and Alison having sex and the attempted rape by Ben that Alison fights off.

So Alison shouldn’t have given into Noah and it would have been a triumph for her to reject and fight off Ben?

But that feminist triumphant moment was going to be followed by her being murdered?

So Alison didn’t have the confidence or emotional strength or whatever to say no to Noah.  

But she later marries him, maybe even thought she’d have another child with him?

Then she says she tried to develop Alison the way Ruth seemed to want.  

Highly doubtful Ruth liked how Alison’s story unfolded in season 4, even without the attempted rape.

 

Treem says that there is no objective reality in the show, that the audience interprets what happens through their own biases and experiences.  The contrasting POVs in the first couple of seasons are often gimmicky, where the differences are superficial like clothing.

It would be easy to dismiss her claim as a license for lazy writing.  After all they could just shoot the same scenes twice with random differences.  Or not be bothered to have coherent stories or characters.

But she does seem to have these fringe-y ideas, like the whole inherited trauma thing and the therapy that Ben promoted.

So maybe the writing was a reflection of trying to incorporate these unconventional concepts.

Yet when you dig below the surface, she can’t be consistent.  She says That Noah is an unreliable narrator, that it was a mistake for Alison to get with him.   Maybe she believes in some of the things Whitney was screeching at him before the finale.

So why did Treem give Noah a happy ending?  He outlives both Alison — and he didn’t seem too traumatized by her death — and Helen and he gets Helen back.  

Like I said, a happy ending is problematic after the brutal murder of one of the leads of the show, especially so if there was a rape attempt.

Maybe you can excuse the inconsistency due to network meddling.   Showtime messed up Homeland, made them keep Brody far too long.  Treem said after season 3 to write out Ruth.

She says that she couldn’t let Alison walk off into the sunset, that she had to die.  Even if that were so, she made a choice to have her murdered.  Again, Treem claims as originally written, it would have been a triumphant ending for Alison.

So much for no objective reality and everyone interpreting things with their own biases.  Could there have been a little animus on Treem’s part in writing out Ruth the way she did, given the way they clashed repeatedly, including Treem not being allowed on set with Ruth?

Maybe she did have to jump through hoops to accommodate Ruth and the Showtime executives.  But Treem can’t really blame Ruth for that last scene can she?  Ruth didn’t make her write filler episodes with random POV segments from minor characters.  Or the whole adult Joanie segments in the future.  Or the dumb #MeToo story line dropped in at the end which ended up being nothing.

If Treem had her way, she would have had Alison subject to a rape attempt (and the only reason she wasn’t was that Ben was impotent?) followed by a brutal murder.  Instead, Alison is accidentally hit on the head while she and Ben tussled?

Then she’d have followed that up with the suddenly happy Galloways dancing off into the sunset, with Noah dancing on top of everyone else.

Tone deaf.

In truth, the series should have ended a couple of seasons ago.  They should not have had the after prison season.  They should not have expanded the show to so many characters but they wanted to keep the show on the air as long as it made money.

The way Showtime marketed the show, you’d think it was some great romance.  It wasn’t a big deal that both of them cheated because first season Helen and Cole were not sympathetically portrayed.

But we come to learn that Treem thinks it was a mistake for Alison to get involved with Noah, who’s not a great guy but whom Treem gives a long, happy life.

My guess is that she didn’t pitch the show this way, as a show about an affair between a wounded, weak-willed woman and a lout.

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11 hours ago, Milburn Stone said:

I believe that Sarah very much believes her own point of view and choices and articulates them well in this article. But I don’t believe she communicated them well in the show itself - at least not to me, to many other viewers, or to at least some of the actors. If I have to read an after-the-fact article to understand her intentions, the series was not a success in my opinion.

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Not to defend Treem, she's the only mentioned in the original article as pressuring actors to do scenes that make them uncomfortable and she's the one that Ruth specifically got barred from the set when filming her final scenes, meaning she was definitely the main problem during filming. 

But I still wonder how much of this is institutional. The same issues popped up with SMILF, a show on Showtime that also had a female showrunner. And considering the laundry list of sexism issues that have been exposed at CBS, Showtime's parent company, I wonder if the execs at Showtimes are forcing this stuff on showrunners, who in turn are forcing it on the actors. And it might not just be a Showtime problem as every premium cable network usually have ridiculous amounts of nudity on their shows.  

I still remember an interview that Neil Marshall did after directing an episode of GoT, talking about a producer coming up to him and saying he represented the pervert side of the audience and not to be afraid to zoom in a prostitute character's genitals. 

 

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21 hours ago, Babalu said:

I believe that Sarah very much believes her own point of view and choices and articulates them well in this article. But I don’t believe she communicated them well in the show itself - at least not to me, to many other viewers, or to at least some of the actors. If I have to read an after-the-fact article to understand her intentions, the series was not a success in my opinion.

I generally agree with you that "if it's not in the show, it's not in the show," and artist intentions shouldn't enter into our evaluation of the art. But one thing Treem's piece makes clear is how very much she had to alter her show from her intentions because of Wilson's demands. (You can deem Wilson's demands reasonable or unreasonable as you wish, but it does seem that either way she forced Treem into story decisions she wouldn't have made otherwise.) I think Treem did a creditable job of keeping the show coherent under those circumstances, and she has a right to defend herself against rumors and allegations in the public sphere. 

One thing the brouhaha makes me realize is that Noah was a surrogate for Treem in the storyline involving unfair (if not baseless) allegations against him.

Edited by Milburn Stone

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I think from the very beginning - both Noah and Alison were written as very unsympathetic characters. Eventually there was really no one to "root" for on the show.  I feel like Alison was dismissed of in a very abrupt manner and the fallout was an unbelievable, unsalvageable storyline.  I'm sorry of Ms. Wilson was made to feel uncomfortable - but in a sense what did she think was going to happen on a show that is about an "affair?" I mean from the very beginning there was always pretty graphic gratuitous sex on this show. 

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7 hours ago, chabelisaywow said:

I think from the very beginning - both Noah and Alison were written as very unsympathetic characters. Eventually there was really no one to "root" for on the show.  I feel like Alison was dismissed of in a very abrupt manner and the fallout was an unbelievable, unsalvageable storyline.  I'm sorry of Ms. Wilson was made to feel uncomfortable - but in a sense what did she think was going to happen on a show that is about an "affair?" I mean from the very beginning there was always pretty graphic gratuitous sex on this show. 

I think I read an article where it was mentioned that Wilson knew and expected nudity was going to be involved based on the title of the series as you mentioned above.  I think she got fed up with the lack of equality when it came to the nudity (why was she always naked and not her male co-stars as much) and the gratuitous nudity where it didn’t make sense for the scene (i.e. if we’re having a conversation why do my breasts need to be out).

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As much as everyone appears to hate Treem I do think that her job was made  very tough.

By the sounds of it RW wasn’t happy from the get go and a lot of the reason for that was the gratuitous scenes but also the fact that she was playing a character that she didn’t like. She wanted the character to be completely different and while I get that she wasn’t the writer or showrunner so I don’t know that I agree the character needed to be retooled into whatever version Ruth agreed with. 

honestly I just don’t get why Ruth took the part when she seemed to hate everything about the show and character from day one. 

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On 12/22/2019 at 9:37 AM, Milburn Stone said:

One thing the brouhaha makes me realize is that Noah was a surrogate for Treem in the storyline involving unfair (if not baseless) allegations against him.

I don't think that we were supposed to view the allegations against Noah as baseless. In that airplane scene with the confrontation between Whitney and Noah's accuser, the accuser won the argument. It seemed like Treem was siding with women who speak up about awful men, and that she felt that Noah had brought this on himself.

As for whether Treem pitched the show accurately to the actors during casting - my guess is that she didn't. Early in the series, Treem made public statements over and over again that this was a show about what happens when two good people(!) fall in love, and they happen to be married to other people.

And then over the course of several seasons, she proceeded to show us how vile those supposedly "good people" were. Noah's gross misdeeds were innumerable. And Allison was a straight-up loon!

In the beginning, Allison seemed like a basically decent person who was behaving selfishly and recklessly out of grief. But over time, Treem convinced us that she'd always been a complete wackjob, even before her son died. She had a whole host of personality disorders that made her unbearable. After the first half of season one, I never would have guessed how much she'd be dragged through the mud.

So I don't blame Ruth Wilson if she was unhappy with where Treem took the character. And I don't blame her if she didn't want to film sex scenes like the one against the tree. Agreeing to film consensual sex scenes doesn't mean you're okay with filming creepy-ass borderline rape scenes. 

Edited by Blakeston
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2 hours ago, Blakeston said:

So I don't blame Ruth Wilson if she was unhappy with where Treem took the character. And I don't blame her if she didn't want to film sex scenes like the one against the tree. Agreeing to film consensual sex scenes doesn't mean you're okay with filming creepy-ass borderline rape scenes. 

You raise a lot of good points. Re the tree scene, however...If we take Treem at her word (and I don't see why we shouldn't--it sounds plausible to me), the only reason that the scene read as rapey is that this is how Wilson played it. Treem's idea was that the sex was fully consensual. A bit violent, yes, but fully consensual in its violence. If Wilson had played it that way, no one would describe it as creepy-ass borderline rape. (And no one would think the less of the character.) But she wouldn't, and didn't.

Edited by Milburn Stone

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Are we really questioning why Ruth Wilson would have reason to question Treem's choices?

We discussed a lot of headscratching scenes in the series.  So if we have doubts, what must she thought of a first-time showrunner?

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The four people on the right departed the show by Season 5.  The woman next to Ruth is former co-showrunner Ryan Kate Selzer.

IMG_0477.jpg

Edited by Stad15

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1 hour ago, scrb said:

Are we really questioning why Ruth Wilson would have reason to question Treem's choices?

Speaking for me, I'm not. I don't know if anybody else is.

I'm saying Ruth Wilson had a different subjective take on the character than Sarah Treem did, and that didn't make either one of them villains.

 

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4 hours ago, Milburn Stone said:

You raise a lot of good points. Re the tree scene, however...If we take Treem at her word (and I don't see why we shouldn't--it sounds plausible to me), the only reason that the scene read as rapey is that this is how Wilson played it. Treem's idea was that the sex was fully consensual. A bit violent, yes, but fully consensual in its violence. If Wilson had played it that way, no one would describe it as creepy-ass borderline rape. (And no one would think the less of the character.) But she wouldn't, and didn't.

It's honestly been a while since I watched the tree scene. Wasn't the issue that Allison never actually said yes? They were arguing, and then Noah started angrily pounding her, without Allison saying a word, right? I feel like that would have seemed pretty rapey no matter what.

Mad Men had a similar blowup about a rapey scene, and that showrunner also insisted it was all because an actress insisted on playing it a certain way. It seems like a convenient excuse.

Edited by Blakeston
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I think she got fed up with the lack of equality when it came to the nudity (why was she always naked and not her male co-stars as much) and the gratuitous nudity where it didn’t make sense for the scene (i.e. if we’re having a conversation why do my breasts need to be out).

That made me think of "Shameless" which is another Showtime show - has no problem with male nudity. 

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I feel so much for Ruth Wilson. I can't help wondering how much she had to endure before she decided she'd had enough. I mean, Tremm was the one in a position of power here. So when Tremm says "I accepted this demand and that demand from Wilson", my take is: she accepted two or three demands (showing the script before, really? I think that's mandatory, not something she did to make the actress comfortable), and ignored all the rest. Because she had a "vision".

To be fair, I think Tremm believes in what she says. She truly thinks she's defending her art. And she is really trying to write about things she experienced in real life. That's important to her. But I don't think she realizes there's a fine line between being true to your vision and being ethical at work, between working out a trauma and being disrespectful to the people around you, between creating a fragile character and telling a story that degrades women.

The tree scene, for instance. There's a context for that. Alison was getting free from Noah's influence. She had gone to this retreat with her mother and she was feeling stronger, more independent, more herself. It seemed like an important development for the character. Then Noah gets there, dismisses everything she says and tries to force himself on her in a very aggressive way. In Tremm's version, Alison ends up giving herself to Noah and willingly having sex with him. But why would she, when giving herself to Noah goes against everything she's feeling in that moment? When having sex with him will make her feel defenseless and worthless all over again?

So Wilson fought for Alison. In her opinion, if that scene was filmed as a rape, at least Alison would not be willingly giving herself to Noah. She would be fighting for her dignity, her new found freedom, her mental health. Noah is the monster there. She's trying to fight back.

Tremm did the scene the way Wilson asked her to, but it didn't matter in the end, because the rape was never mentioned and Alison got back with Noah, feeling again like a shadow of herself.

Because, let's be clear, in Tremm's vision, Alison never wins. She's forever this weak, disturbed, submissive woman, who can't show any signs of strength, and will forever be punished if she does. And her punishment almost always involves degrading, sad, aggressive sex.

I'm pretty sure there's not what Tremm pitched to Wilson in the beginning. But that's all she got. And that's all we got: endless scenes of a disturbed woman being humiliated, manhandled, raped and finally murdered.

No wonder Wilson was unhappy. Along with many members of the audience. I would also sue, if I could.

Edited by maddie965
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