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Tara Ariano

S01.E03: Navy SEALs For Christ

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The girls move on to their next convent in Chicago where Christie and Claire excel, issues that have haunted Francesca and Stacey deepen, and a surprise visitor makes Eseni reconsider everything.
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I REALLY had a problem with Sister Mary Beth pulling Christie and Stacy aside to ask them about Eseni and whether she had a boyfriend. She shouldn't have put them in the position to have to gossip or betray confidences. Since she overheard Eseni talking about Darnell the night before, why didn't she just ask Eseni directly? She complains that the girls are immature but them doesn't treat them with the respect due to adults.

Also: I just really can not stand Claire. Not one little bit.

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I REALLY had a problem with Sister Mary Beth pulling Christie and Stacy aside to ask them about Eseni and whether she had a boyfriend. She shouldn't have put them in the position to have to gossip or betray confidences. Since she overheard Eseni talking about Darnell the night before, why didn't she just ask Eseni directly?

 

Perfectly said! This bothered me so much as well.

 

If you had told me even just one or two episodes ago that I'd find Christie the most likable of the discerners, I'd never have believed you. I like Stacy as well and still have a bizarre soft spot for Francesca despite the fact that she's way too immature, alarmingly high strung and makes me cringe whenever she uses the word "yo." 

 

I'm kind of over Eseni's Darnell-related angst. Every time she brings up how hurt she is over her childhood, I can't help but feel like she's in that category of people who's just 'running away' from outside life and outside relationships rather than running to a calling. 

 

I don't know that I've ever loved any reality show as much as this one. I'm totally obsessed with it! 

Edited by amensisterfriend
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I'm with you, amensisterfriend! I was ridiculously excited all day, knowing that there would be TWO episodes on tonight.

I love Francesca. Yes, she's emotional and volatile, but she seems so endearingly real and honest. She and Stacy are my faves.

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What is wrong with these “girls”, “Oh no! I have to go to CHICAGO! It’s far from home! It’s dangerous!” I put the word girls in quotes because these aren’t girls, they’re women in their 20s, why do they seem like they’re in their early teens?

 

Francesca is having a nervous breakdown, she obviously can’t be away from her mother, & I can’t understand what her problem is. She’s basically just visiting these convents & getting an idea of what the life is like, it’s a 6 week visit, not a lifetime commitment. Why is everything a crisis with her?

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I REALLY had a problem with Sister Mary Beth pulling Christie and Stacy aside to ask them about Eseni and whether she had a boyfriend.

I agree.  And it seemed out of place for the type of woman she had shown herself to be.  That incident aside, she cracked me up and I liked her spunky attitude!

 

 

I'm kind of over Eseni's Darnell-related angst. Every time she brings up how hurt she is over her childhood, I can't help but feel like she's in that category of people who's just 'running away' from outside life and outside relationships rather than running to a calling.

This x 1,000.  I keep listening for it but I have yet to hear Eseni mention one single time that she wants to be a sister to help others or dedicate herself to a life of service.  It's only about running away and protecting herself from having a man lie, cheat on and hurt her.  I'm waiting for a nun to call her out on it and tell her to move along.  The snotty/removed/disconnected attitude didn't help the situation.

 

When Sister Beth, Christie and Stacy were having their discussion on the bridge over the river while the others finished handing out their bags, it was confirmed they were downtown, most likely in the Loop.  And while yes, there are homeless people no matter where you are in Chicago, it is absolutely not an unsafe or ghetto area (it's laughable to think of it that way).  Pretty ridiculous the way Francesca especially was freaking out.  They should have dropped her off at Macy's while they did their business. 

 

Mild dramas aside....I am in love with this show!  How refreshing to see a "reality" show with young women searching to do something valuable and meaningful with their lives.  Overall, I think it's pretty quality, family-friendly t.v.  Not as an advertisement necessarily for becoming a nun, but how about just to spark a conversation of being kind to others and becoming a quality human being?  I'm not a Catholic, but I found myself looking up more about what perpetual adornment was as it was mentioned on the show.  Not many reality shows make me do that.

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I need a blood pressure cuff to shoot out of my television when this show comes on.  I'm really hoping this is just reality show casting, because if this is the gene pool for future nuns, the sisterhood is doomed.

 

Darnell:   "I'm getting the feeling you're picking this over me." 

 

Francesca:  "There's too much God and praying and stuff!"

***************************

 

Interesting observation about "juvenilization," Little Dog.  My parents started shipping me off to camp for the summer when I was eight.  By the time I was 15, I was overseas on my own.  (The "Hostel" movies had not been made.)  I guess cell phones form a virtual umbilical cord these days, judging by how bereft these girls are without them. 

 

Recently I was asked to take "the afternoon shift" sitting with a 20-something cousin in the hospital for a minor medical situation.  Yep, hospitals are scary, but it's possible for someone to survive a couple of hours alone, even in a hospital, yes?  No.  So I drove the four hours and sat there. . .while she texted and talked on her cell.

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I haven't watched the fourth episode yet, but the people who drove me crazy in *this* one -- they keep taking turns over the course of the show -- are Francesca, Eseni, and Darnell.

 

Like some of you, I am absolutely amazed at how sheltered Francesca must be to be so frightened of walking down a city street or be without her mommy. If it wasn't for the fact that she has let us know that there's too much God and prayer in investigating whether she wants to be a nun, I would guess that she was actually *from* a convent rather than seeking to enter one.

 

As for the lovers, they're just trying my patience. Clearly, this is not a serious possibility for Eseni. She doesn't seem to look beyond herself at all, unless it's towards Darnell, who calls her baby. (He had to go all the way to Chicago to get his baby. Not his grown, adult girlfriend who has a right to seek out a calling if she so desires.) I think she's doing these nuns and Darnell a disservice, since she clearly didn't level with him and tell him exactly what all this entailed. How long she would be gone, etc. And since she didn't level with him, I don't think she's leveling with herself or the nuns. Plus, the girl is still slathered with make-up. Why does she get to wear it and not Francesca?

 

Ugh.

Edited by Nidratime

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I wondered about the makeup, too. Maybe it was just a requirement at the first convent? Eseni is still sporting her 2-inch orange nails as well.

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Again, I am never, ever going to be Catholic, but this show continues to make me smile. There have to be people watching who are comparing the whining/bitchiness/drama of the girls to the chill of the nuns and siding with the sisters. And that is something new and awesome in reality tv. Plus, there are all sorts of positive messages about service -- not just "you should do this," but "if you do this, it will feel great."

The Darnell business: I was amazed that no one but Francesca seemed to clearly articulate to Eseni that no man should be so clingy that he can't allow her 6 weeks of exploration and independence. (Maybe Sister Beth Ann, too, but not clearly enough for me.) I'm getting old and crotchety because I desperately wanted Eseni to kick him to the curb for being such a dick and could not empathize with her unawareness of his dickishness.

I liked Stacey more in this episode, seeing her joy in the service. No idea if her decision will stick, and heaven help her when she finds out Jesus didn't really look like a white surfer dude, but her heart was in the right place.

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I get a big kick out of this show, but man, the whole Eseni thing is driving me crazy. I believe she has real issues and that her spirituality is sincere, but ... she is not going to become a nun. She needs counseling and healing (maybe from a nun?) but ... there's just no way this calling is right for her. She makes me want to yell at the tv.

And Francesca ... wow, that voice makes me want to hit the mute button every time.

Still, I love seeing the different convents and the sisters are all pretty cool. I love hearing them talk about their missions and I kind of liked how Sister Beth Ann was gossiping and name dropping. Nuns are people too!

Also, it was really surreal hearing these girls say that they were scared of going to Chicago, like it was a super scary place.

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I love Sister Beth Ann! I loved the dancing Carmelites too.

When Francesca was whining to her Mommy that they went to a "place," I said to the TV, "it's called a church, bitch." Seriously? Geeze, Claire is right about one thing -- Francesca is a drama queen.

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I'm thinking Francesca's issues go far beyond being sheltered and way into unmedicated anxiety/panic disorder.  Maybe her parents have been able to curb it by keeping her within her comfort zone, but now she's flailing as her peers leave the nest.  Her mother seemed perfectly reasonable, though, telling her she never had to do it again (left unsaid was "but you're going to see this out, kid.")  That leads me to believe she probably does this a lot, has meltdowns, then has wonderful experiences, and says "boy, I'm glad I did that!"  But can you imagine the exhaustion of dealing with that?

 

I watch a lot of reality tv, and yet this is the first show which has made me feel ancient.  I mean, most everybody I know left home at 17-18.  We didn't have cell phones, so we called home on the land line once or twice a week, and sent actual letters!  For months at a time!   At 21 I went overseas for 10 months by myself (school-related, but I didn't know anybody there, and only minimally spoke the language).  I spoke to my parents once a month.  I wrote actual letters!  

 

Maybe we all were equally immature, just more independent.  But my advice to you young parents now is to seize their cell phones for a weekend or week now and then, because these girls are basket cases without their phones, and I need this generation to be able to see my old self through the zombie apocalypse, and that isn't going to be happening if they're stumbling around whining that they no longer have phones.

Edited by kassa
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I didn't think anything was wrong with Sister Beth Ann to ask about Eseni.  She didn't want to confront the girl and maybe scare her.  Besides, she'd heard Eseni talking to the producers about Darnell.  I think Eseni and Darnell are super co dependent, but they're also both very young, so that could be it.

 

They also represent to me the juvenilization of young people that has been happening over the last decade or so.  Not that long ago young people wanted to get out, live their lives, get started on their own lives apart from their parents.

 

 

I agree, but I get why.  About two years ago I went to a dinner party where all of us had gone to elementary/junior high/high school together.  This was during the 60's-70's.  We talked about all the wild stuff that we did.  Back then I'm sure a lot of bad stuff went on, but people were very innocent, we didn't hear about all types of bad crimes.  Now young people are exposed to everything, they hear everything, all the ugliness of the world.  And I think that scares them.  In the 70's regular people didn't have automatic weapons and I never heard about drive by shootings, where babies were killed.  It might have happened once in awhile, but not as much as it happens now.

 

I have a question about Darnell though.  How did he know where they were?   Did the producers tell him?  If so why, just for the drama?  I thought it was disgusting how he just showed up.  He showed ZERO respect for anybody by doing that.  What he did was abusive, denying Eseni her personhood.  The sad thing is how so many young women want controlling assholes like Darnell, they're so afraid to "end up alone."  I tell women who say that to me, to read statistics; women outlive men. 9 times out of 10, if you're a woman, you will end up alone.

Edited by Neurochick
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What is wrong with these “girls”, “Oh no! I have to go to CHICAGO! It’s far from home! It’s dangerous!” I put the word girls in quotes because these aren’t girls, they’re women in their 20s, why do they seem like they’re in their early teens?

 

Francesca is having a nervous breakdown, she obviously can’t be away from her mother, & I can’t understand what her problem is. She’s basically just visiting these convents & getting an idea of what the life is like, it’s a 6 week visit, not a lifetime commitment. Why is everything a crisis with her?

I was shaking my head too. All the squeezing and ew-ing over the relic. Jeez, these girls are Catholic, right? why are they so squicked by relics and acting like they've never heard of such a thing? And the drama over Chicago! They do realize that if they become nuns, they go where the church says to go? And they've never heard of silence from dusk to dawn? I know all this stuff and I'm not even Catholic! 

 

Poor little Francesca should not be there. That child is a mess. She kept talking about being closed in, trapped. She's a germaphobe and can't talk to people. What does she think nuns do? She doesn't seem cut out for a contemplative order, so service is it. I feel bad for her, she needs therapy, not a convent field trip. 

 

Eseni, I can't even. Girl, go home. 

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I'm thoroughly confused by the whole Darnell thing and the phone conversation at the airport.  Why are the women surprised when they're told they're moving on to a new convent, and where it will be?  And her boyfriend has no idea how long she'll be away, is shocked that she's gone so long (TWO WHOLE WEEKS SO FAR!), and is sooooooo far from home (as a grown up.  New York to Chicago.  Really?!)  What did they tell them they were signing up for?  It's truly as if they had no idea where they were going or what they'd  be doing.  

 

They also represent to me the juvenilization of young people that has been happening over the last decade or so.  Not that long ago young people wanted to get out, live their lives, get started on their own lives apart from their parents.  You turned eighteen and got a job or went to college or something.  I realize the economy has made a lot of young people live at home longer, my own kids did too. But they lived at home as a matter of necessity only. They still grew up, got a start on their lives, went to school, worked, had serious relationships, made independent decisions....They grew up.  These young women on this show are so juvenile about life in general it is really like they are seventeen not twenty-seven. I mean Francesca is twenty-one. She seems like she's fourteen half the time. She is a grown woman yet simply cannot function on her own at all. That is a failure of parenting IMO and it's everywhere.  MTV did a show a couple years ago called Underage Marriage or some such thing. The couples were in in their early twenties!!!  Seriously?  Ridiculous.  

My thoughts exactly.  I have to keep reminding myself that these WOMEN are in their 20's and not young teenagers.  I can understand having a close relationship with your mom and loving your family, but to be so paralyzed and unable to function without speaking to them constantly, having a panic attack when you're not in the same state or don't have instant access to them by text or phone, is just mind boggling.  Have none of them gone to college, studied abroad, or traveled at this point in their lives?!  

 

I think it's totally possible to need to live at home out of financial necessity, and still behave as an adult.  These women, esp. Francesca, appear to be completely infantalized and hobbled by their relationships with their parents.  I totally agree that it's a failure of parenting- sheltering and "helping" your children to the point that they're incapacitated and scared to death to be away from you, sleep away from home, be in a city, or interact with people they don't know, is crippling and not doing them any favors in helping them to grow into mature adults.

 

All of these women need much, much more life experience before they should even contemplate religious life!   

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I am not excusing Darnell AT ALL for showing up, but I feel for him. His girlfriend isn't just leaving for six weeks, she is potentially leaving him to become a nun. That has to feel really weird on so many levels that I can't blame him for feeling freaked out. And on another level, she seems to be doing it more for the sake of running away. This has to be messing with him a lot.

Stacey is my favorite so far. Love all the nuns. Francesca needs to go home, I don't care if her generation is overly juvenilized, 21 is really young to be making that decision.

I wanted to smack Claire multiple times this episode, particularly when she was going on about how the girls were using their looks for godly uses, and anything else was women being instruments of the devil.

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