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S03.E04: Being Kara

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I liked this Kara centric episode. It's the whole "can a woman really have it all?" debate. I'm not so sure that's possible unless you have a lot of money and you're able to afford outside help. Eventually, something has to take a backseat. Either you're going to lose out on pivotal family time, your relationship will suffer, or your career is going to slow down. I still want to know what exactly her husband brings to table, financially. Everything seems to be resting on Kara and that's not fair.

 

I'm tired of CeCe. I can't with her platitudes about the struggle, yet in the next breath, she's shaking down MJ.  I still can't with MJ's stupidity, either. I was hoping that MJ called CeCe out on her bluff and told her to call SNC. The show better have a good explanation as to why MJ hasn't contacted her lawyer about this.

 

Her sex buddy is beyond that now.  Dude must be her personal gigolo. He was over there for days!

 

 

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I enjoyed Kara's story; I'm not married nor do I have children, but the episode allow me to understand the struggles of having a successful, yet highly stressful career and being a parent. I liked the scene when she had an emotional meltdown at MJ's and finally admits that "having it all" isn't what it's cracked up to be. This scene made MJ likeable for a change because she was actually being sympathetic, and was a friend to Kara the time she needed her the most, plus, I think it gave her harsh and realistic glimpse of motherhood through Kara.

 

I just wish she would keep the custody agreement with her ex-husband; the boys seemed to be happy there---it doesn't make her a bad mother, just an honest one. Besides, I don't know how I feel about him moving in with her, maybe it'll work, I don't know. I also wonder if he has a job. It sounds like she was the breadwinner in the relationship. I did like her with Gael (?) though.

 

How, was MJ able to access CeCe's bank account? Especially since she's been paying her with cash. I agree, that she should call her bluff, or just go to SNC herself and admit that she has been drinking. Either way, at least she'll have the upper hand and stop CC from extorting---I'm sorry--giving her "blessings".

Edited by sereion1
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I liked this Kara centric episode. It's the whole "can a woman really have it all?" debate. I'm not so sure that's possible unless you have a lot of money and you're able to afford outside help. Eventually, something has to take a backseat. Either you're going to lose out on pivotal family time, your relationship will suffer, or your career is going to slow down.

I liked it  a lot too and I guess it depends on what having it all means to each woman.  So I always think that yes, some women do end up having it all because their "all" can be realistically obtained simultaneously even if they aren't wealthy and  can't hire help.

 

Kara loves her kids, but if she had to do it all again, she would have had just a significant other, with no marriage (i.e. Oprah/Stedman) and her career and skip the white picket fence and kids. That would have been having it all but she bought into society's longtime conventional definition of what it means for a woman to have it all. She let "something" else dictate what her having it all should be.

 

Besides, I don't know how I feel about him moving in with her, maybe it'll work, I don't know. I also wonder if he has a job.

 

No actually, she was going to move back into their house, the house that she basically bought for their family. I thought that was just a no, no. She seemed manic, I missed the first ten to fifteen minutes of the episode. But I saw her popping pills? 

But she was in a complete hysteria, making rash decisions to feel like she was in control and being the "good mom". Poor thing, I felt for her, when those brownies burned I knew, that would be it, a total flip out was next.

 

Oh, and I don't think he works because I think I remember her on the phone with him last season telling him to get a job and help out because the private school for the boys was becoming too expensive for her to carry on her own. 

Edited by represent
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I liked this Kara centric episode.

 

I loved this ep. Actually, this is probably my favorite episode ever. Not only because Kara's story felt authentic, reality-based, and raw (kudos to Vidal's acting) - but because NOW I realize this show isn't compelling when it revolves around only MJ. I'm here for Kara and CeCe all day and night. Gabrielle can't carry this series alone, she needs to be part of an ensemble cast.

 

Kara's story played out so taut, I felt like reaching for a Xanax MYSELF. Being a working mother, the everyday stressors, the balance act, the guilt, exhaustion, tirades, breakdowns. It was all captured perfectly. Especially Kara's admission that she should've just stayed single and married to her career, but caved into all the societal pressure about "what it means to be a woman." The whole damn checklist - house, hubby, 2.5 kids, career, baking homemade brownies; the whole pretty (unrealistic) picture. I'm glad Kara's honesty (with herself) allowed MJ to see another side to the "fairy tale." Because THAT struggle is real. So real. 

 

"It's broke, Mary Jane. You broke it."

 

Ha. Cut buddy is alright. 

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I cried with Kara last night. I am single and child-free, not by choice. I cannot have children because of the medication I am on for my bipolar disorder. I struggled emotionally with the whole "not a complete woman"

"what man is going to want me if I cannot have kids?" thing to the point where I let a man that I could have loved get away without knowing my feelings bc I didn't want to ask him to give up on having kids. (He is now marrying someone else.). I also went through the "I will probably screw my kids up" (bc of my emotional and mental health issues and bc I don't know if I would be a good mother). Now after some honesty, im glad I'm not having kids. I'm 42, don't want any BABY, and I won't fuck anybody up. So yeah, I went through all of it with Kara last night.

And, while I'm single, can I get me a cutty buddy to "break"? What if I promise NOT to break him and treat him fairly gently?

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This episode was interesting because it wasn't centered on MJ, but Kara's manic behavior began to get on my nerves towards the end.  

 

I like Broke Dick Guy.  Was MJ looking at birth control pills when she was in the bathroom?  Is she thinking about not taking them so she can get pregnant by BDG?

 

I'm just waiting to cackle with glee when MJ or her lawyer finally busts CeCe's ass for good.  I want her to go to jail so she can preach about her blessings all day long.

Edited by Ohwell

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While it is true that "having it all" has a different meaning for every one, you also have to set boundaries early on. Once you take on too much, it'll be impossible to divide your time. There's nothing wrong with loving your career.  It's a privilege that not a lot of people have, but, at least for me, it shouldn't be all what you're about, either. Kara needed to prioritize what was the most important, and then go from there. She's obviously trying, and she definitely loves her family, but although it's too late, I'm glad she had that freaked out conversation with Mary Jane about how hard it is to juggle everything.

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And, while I'm single, can I get me a cutty buddy to "break"? What if I promise NOT to break him and treat him fairly gently?

 

Yaasss, I could use one too! Especially the one like MJ's-- we can screw...and be very good friends without the romantic involvement--intact penis and all!

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I like Broke Dick Guy.  Was MJ looking at birth control pills when she was in the bathroom?  Is she thinking about not taking them so she can get pregnant by BDG?

No, she was looking at L Hudson listed on the label, which is the name of her GYN doctor who prescribed the birth control pills, as in her friend that just died Lisa Hudson. Because after she focuses on it she immediately has a flashback to Lisa being with her during one of their many heart to hearts that seemed to happen in her bathroom if not in her kitchen throughout the last two seasons. 

 

I'm just waiting to cackle with glee when MJ or her lawyer finally busts CeCe's ass for good.  I want her to go to jail so she can preach about her blessings all day long.

 

LOL, quite frankly MJ has something stuck up her ass but she is not an angry black woman IMO, which is why CeCe's there, because she to me is an example of angry black woman.  This episode sealed it for me, I was like oh, she's what they call an angry black woman, it ain't MJ. 

 

MJ's got a lot of problems, for one trying to keep up appearances but that shit was passed down from mommy dearest. Yeah, I remember that mother riding the back of her husband to buy a table that they really couldn't afford at the gala. Trying to guilt trip him because she's stuck up and likes to keep up appearances, MJ is the same way and so are a lot of other women who aren't black. It's makes them stuck up, narcissistic, shallow, not angry at the world and I don't see that with MJ, but I do see it with CeCe. 

 

MJ still believes in love and I think she can be a good friend, and she's a good aunt, well she was this episode, she just needs to learn to help, if she's gonna help, without being so judgmental. But her mother is the same damn way so...She has highs and lows, just like most. 

Edited by represent
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Kara's body was absolutely BANGINGGGGG and I LOVE her in that black and white skirt!  Does anyone happen to know the designer?  I'm going to do some Googling.

 

As usual the music on this show is always good.

 

I had absolutely no appetite to revisit the show after last week's episode which kind of rocked me to my core.  I guess I hated watching it but at the same time I found it really enlightening in some ways -- I feel like it opened my mind , or warped it, depending on how you look at things.  But god, it was way too depressing for the type of show I like to watch.

 

I don't find MJ's Fuck Buddy attractive in the face at all...   Is that by design

 

The boy who played Max (?) Kara's older son was one of the worst actors I have ever experienced.  Finding a vaguely Latino looking teenager should not be that difficult.

Edited by Ms Blue Jay
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I don't find MJ's Fuck Buddy attractive in the face at all...   Is that by design

 

I don't find him all that attractive in the face, either, but I was too focused on the rest of him, LOL.   I don't know if he's just a fuck buddy or if he's also a gigolo but I did like how he seems to be a calming influence on MJ, and how he came and sat beside her and tried to soothe her when she had her breakdown.    

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I don't think even MJ is desparate to pay for booty so I'm thinking just cut buddy/friend. I think he cares for her enough to be her friend when she is in need of emotional support. I hope she remembers that when she gets her mind back to normal. She was a little selfish trying to keep him from getting his. A man laying pipe like that...hell, you get me mine, please get yours!

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I forgot about the fact that MJ wouldn't let him get his.  This is one selfish chick, even in bed.  I mean, he literally wore his dick out trying to please her.  She really does need to get her mind together.

 

Speaking of getting one's mind together, is there even one "normal" woman on this show?  We all have issues of one kind or another, but this is the most high-strung bunch of women I've seen.  We have poor, messed up, deceased Lisa; mean, messed up Mary Jane; frantic, messed up Kara.  Niecy's the only one who at least seems calm and centered most of the time.  Did the writers do this on purpose?

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Did the writers do this on purpose?

 

This is what I've been wondering since I started watching the series. MJ certainly isn't one to be aspired to, in my book..

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I really hope that Lisa Vidal wins an award (or two!) for her performance in this episode. She was spectacular. I hope that Kara's confessions about being a working mother sunk in with Mary Jane. MJ needs to see that the life she was wants is going to require more work and effort than she realizes.

 

I'm sorry to see Gael go. I really admired how accepting he was of Kara - he never expected her to give more than she could. It seems that she's harder on herself than any of the men in her life are.

 

 

I don't know if he's just a fuck buddy or if he's also a gigolo but I did like how he seems to be a calming influence on MJ, and how he came and sat beside her and tried to soothe her when she had her breakdown.

 

IIRC, he is a professional athlete. I'm really torn about their relationship. Of all the men we've seen her with, he's the only one who is: 1) completely available, 2) has feelings for her, and 3) is willing to show it. He told her last season that he wanted a real relationship with her, but she turned down the offer. After the accident, he was the only non-family member who offered to come stay with her. I think he actually loves her and is just accepting his role as fuck buddy because that's all she'll give him. That being said, he's not intellectual enough to roll with her and her crew. The two of them can't really have deep conversations, and I think she'd prefer a man who's her equal in that regard. I think she should date him, but I understand her hesitation.

 

 

MJ still believes in love and I think she can be a good friend, and she's a good aunt, well she was this episode, she just needs to learn to help, if she's gonna help, without being so judgmental. But her mother is the same damn way so...She has highs and lows, just like most.

 

It just hit me in this episode how much MJ is like her mother. I pity any children MJ has because she'll probably treat them the way that her mom treats her. I couldn't believe she was actually pissed at her fuck buddy for "getting his." Bitch-face and everything. Seriously? Unbelieveable.

Edited by mrsbagnet
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No, she was looking at L Hudson listed on the label, which is the name of her GYN doctor who prescribed the birth control pills, as in her friend that just died Lisa Hudson. Because after she focuses on it she immediately has a flashback to Lisa being with her during one of their many heart to hearts that seemed to happen in her bathroom if not in her kitchen throughout the last two seasons.

 

Ah, ok thanks.  I wasn't paying close attention when she was in the bathroom, all I saw were the birth control pills.  Although in Mary Jane's case, she's so messed up that I wouldn't put it past her to get pregnant, just because.

 

IIRC, he is a professional athlete. I'm really torn about their relationship. Of all the men we've seen her with, he's the only one who is: 1) completely available, 2) has feelings for her, and 3) is willing to show it. He told her last season that he wanted a real relationship with her, but she turned down the offer. After the accident, he was the only non-family member who offered to come stay with her. I think he actually loves her and is just accepting his role as fuck buddy because that's all she'll give him. That being said, he's not intellectual enough to roll with her and her crew. The two of them can't really have deep conversations, and I think she'd prefer a man who's her equal in that regard. I think she should date him, but I understand her hesitation.

 

I had forgotten he was the pro athlete from last season.  He might not be the sharpest knife in the drawer but he seems like a nice guy.   I agree, however, that he and MJ probably wouldn't be a good match, long term.  (Although it's funny that she's married to Dwayne Wade and I never got the impression that he was an intellectual heavyweight either.)

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IIRC, he is a professional athlete. I'm really torn about their relationship. Of all the men we've seen her with, he's the only one who is: 1) completely available, 2) has feelings for her, and 3) is willing to show it. He told her last season that he wanted a real relationship with her, but she turned down the offer. After the accident, he was the only non-family member who offered to come stay with her. I think he actually loves her and is just accepting his role as fuck buddy because that's all she'll give him. That being said, he's not intellectual enough to roll with her and her crew. The two of them can't really have deep conversations, and I think she'd prefer a man who's her equal in that regard. I think she should date him, but I understand her hesitation.

 

 

But I also remember last season both of them having the relationship discussion and she asked him what's up? As in whether he's interested in a committed relationship and she didn't mean with her, and he said that right now he was just focusing on his career and getting himself together. 

MJ needs to see that the life she was wants is going to require more work and effort than she realizes.

 

I've gotten the impression that MJ isn't sure she actually wants that life. She's so hung up on what her parents have and trying to obtain that, and I remember her dad telling her to stop focusing on what he and her mother have. He said to her that he wasn't even sure she wanted kids because there is nothing that he has knowm her to set her mind to that she has not obtained. So he questioned to her whether or not she really wanted kids and that she needed to really figure out what she wants, what makes her happy and go after it. 

 

So the 2.5 kids, white picket fence and husband were all left in the air with a question mark for me after that discussion.  What I did kinda buy was that she did want a significant other to share all parts of her life with and that was kind of clear to me when she broke up with Sheldon. It was a nice break up and she told him that basically the distance he needs in a relationship was not what she was looking for that she wanted to go to sleep and wake up with someone etc...

Edited by represent
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Speaking of getting one's mind together, is there even one "normal" woman on this show?  We all have issues of one kind or another, but this is the most high-strung bunch of women I've seen.  We have poor, messed up, deceased Lisa; mean, messed up Mary Jane; frantic, messed up Kara.  Niecy's the only one who at least seems calm and centered most of the time.  Did the writers do this on purpose?

I think the show's creator and the writers purposely want us to see portrayals of people, especially women, that are more raw and more real than what we're used to seeing on TV. Perhaps the characters are a little extreme, but IRL, women do struggle with mental illness, face the challenges of being working mothers, or have to cope with the positives and negatives of being a single, professional woman. It's not often that we explore these topics in-depth, especially with women of color.

 

--MJ can still be selfish, but she was a good friend to Kara in this episode. And a good aunt to Niecy. I'm glad Niecy got the job, despite being late to the interview and being a little rude with the HR person. 

 

--And I'm still not liking the CeCe storyline. MJ, call your lawyer, please!!!! 

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I think the show's creator and the writers purposely want us to see portrayals of people, especially women, that are more raw and more real than what we're used to seeing on TV. Perhaps the characters are a little extreme, but IRL, women do struggle with mental illness, face the challenges of being working mothers, or have to cope with the positives and negatives of being a single, professional woman. It's not often that we explore these topics in-depth, especially with women of color.

 

Exactly, well said. I mean why not show women like MJ, Kara and Lisa?  Their stories should also be told. 

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And with all of my defense of the show, I wouldn't want to be friends with any of these women!!! Except maybe Shanelle. And Niecy. But my like for Niecy could also be because I liked the character Raven Goodwin played on the kids' show, "Good Luck, Charlie."

 

Come to think of it, is there anyone on this show I'd really want to hang around or have as a friend? 

 

--the dad? It would be weird because he's an older, married man,. And I think he accepts and indulges his wife's snobbery and rudeness far too much. 

 

--D'Asia? She's cute and sweet and can play basketball, but she doesn't like to have her hair combed. That would grate my nerves

 

--Trayvon? Very cute and seems sweet, but every time I'd say his name, I'd think about Trayvon Martin and get sad. 

 

I'm just kidding, but this is a show made up of annoying but realistic people with believable flaws, strengths, and weaknesses. It makes me love the show but dislike almost every character on the screen. How is that possible?

Edited by topanga
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I think the show's creator and the writers purposely want us to see portrayals of people, especially women, that are more raw and more real than what we're used to seeing on TV. Perhaps the characters are a little extreme, but IRL, women do struggle with mental illness, face the challenges of being working mothers, or have to cope with the positives and negatives of being a single, professional woman. It's not often that we explore these topics in-depth, especially with women of color.

 

 

 

This is why I enjoy this show so much; the characters are very flawed, but very real people. MJ, for instance, is not a likeable person, but I can relate to her struggles a single woman. I'm quite sure Kara's situation resonated with women  who are trying to balance a family and a career.

Edited by sereion1
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This is somewhat OT, but one thing I don't like about this show (and Scandal), is the constant wine-drinking among the women, particularly the women of color.  She's usually alone or with her girlfriends with a big ol' glass of wine.  I am not against having a drink.  I mean, I drink, too, but I get the feeling that MJ (and Olivia Pope) drink every day.  And I never have that much wine in a glass.  I guess the writers think it's something sophisticated for black women to do, but to me it's just unnecessary.  Given the fact that there is a link between consuming alcohol and breast cancer, and the increase in breast cancer among black women, I just think it sends a bad message.    

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All I have to say is Lisa Vidal hit it out of the park in this episode. So real, so honest, so raw. I really like Gab in the MJ role, but Lisa outshined her by far in her scenes. This was overall a great episode. MJ got me thinking about a house with a pool!

Edited by damalanop
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This was my favorite episode in recent memory.

 

I do not believe women can "have it all."  The "all" part is usually defined by what men have traditionally had--which they achieved because they had wives at home.

 

It would be ideal if there were enough hours in the day to pursue a stellar career without missing a step on the homefront, but there just aren't.

 

So what I would say to Kara is:  fuck those homemade brownies.

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

 

Sometimes I get tired of watching women who sacrifice so much taking care of everyone, they feel guilty if they spend a few minutes on themselves.  Boy, that's not one of MJ's problems--she really knows how to take care of herself!

 

Gimme a pull on that Cuban.

 

.

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