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S01.E06: Belly of the Beast

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Beaten up and distraught, Plum seeks refuge in Calliope House, fighting to come to terms with who she really is.

 

 

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I didn't like this episode that much. I don't have a clue what is going on when it comes to Jennifer and Calliope house.

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15 minutes ago, SimoneS said:

I didn't like this episode that much. I don't have a clue what is going on when it comes to Jennifer and Calliope house.

Me either both about not really liking this episode and being clueless.

My other thoughts are: Kitty is still awful, the bosses at Austin media are really making Jennifer's point for them--it's a sausage fest, the tattoo was the only surprising thing about Julia's transformation, I knew Dominic cared about Plum, and it's sad that Plum hasn't had any physical touch in years, but she thinks she doesn't deserve it (she doesn't even masturbate).

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By the time they rolled us into the porn-room, I realized I felt a bit like Alex in Clockwork Orange during his forced-film watch.  I also realized that, as opposed to the Malcolm McDowell character, I wasn't being compelled to watch this.  So I switched over to a Barney Miller rerun.

With a couple of exceptions, I don't like any of these people.  Hard to invest in a series when you feel that way.  I still don't get why Kitty fired Plum -- seems just like a plot thing -- and even dumping Julia seemed overkill.  And Verbena (sorry, but now it's stuck) is still trashing other people (like Dominic) for behavior she appears to be practicing.

It's a David Fincher movie!  And I hate those.

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2 hours ago, voiceover said:

By the time they rolled us into the porn-room, I realized I felt a bit like Alex in Clockwork Orange during his forced-film watch.  I also realized that, as opposed to the Malcolm McDowell character, I wasn't being compelled to watch this.  So I switched over to a Barney Miller rerun.

I think this show jumped the shark last night.  The episode itself was heck a boring but the idea that the "porn-room" would do anything to change anyone's mind -- was absurd and like some bad cult fairy tale.  I wanted Plumb to point out that thin and pretty thin people get married to princes and in general have very happy fulfilling lives. Where was the Megan Markel gets married room? Scar lady had drunk the cool aid.  None of this was convincing that it would get Plumb to see differently.  Plumb has had 24+ years to inform her brain washing that thin =s good life and your going to change it with watching porn? 

Plumb disappointed me last night. When she didn't leave after realizing she had been locked in, when she got such a thrill out of touching Julia, when she seemed to get motivated by the porn room... speaks to an immature sensibility. If in fact, she goes off on a woman power tirade next week being brainwashed then she was the perfect target and not a character I relate to at all. 

Kitty is also a increasingly unbelievable. After being demoted she is going around firing 1/2 the staff? Seems that would put her at even greater risk of being fired.  I still don't understand what Julia's motivation was in working at Austin. Seems to me she had very little impact.  It was great that they had her strip and all but why didn't Plumb ask the obvious question about what she was doing there?

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Kitty is a terrible person but she is fun to watch. When she told her assistant to order a pastrami sandwich, french fries, and a regular (not diet) soda and to say it was for him, I just laughed. Even when Kitty is rebelling, she still has to keep up her image.

In contrast, I loved Julia's relief at being able to eat carbs after being fired.

The food/body issues in this episode reminded me of an interview with Gwen Stefani years ago. The interviewer talked about her amazing abs and asked how she kept herself in such great shape. Gwen said, "I'm hungry all the time."

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It sure does seem like Julia is involved with Jennifer.  She was terrified about leaving things behind after being fired.

Plum was always a doormat, now she is just a different type of doormat.  Now she is being used/controlled by Verena  (Calliope House). 

Plum needs to take control of her own life, and no one can do that for her.  She needs to do that for herself. 

Kitty's "cock and dick" language reeks of trying too hard.  I am not offended by the language, just annoyed that it seems to be just about the only language she uses other than telling people they are fired.

1 hour ago, BooBear said:

Plumb disappointed me last night. When she didn't leave after realizing she had been locked in, when she got such a thrill out of touching Julia, when she seemed to get motivated by the porn room... speaks to an immature sensibility.

The whole porn thing didn't make any sense to me.  There are overweight men and women in porn.  There are also milfs and gilfs in porn.  It isn't just about the thin, and pretty.

ETA:  It should have been Plum's decision whether to talk to the detective or not. 

Edited by icemiser69
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4 hours ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

Kitty is a terrible person but she is fun to watch. When she told her assistant to order a pastrami sandwich, french fries, and a regular (not diet) soda and to say it was for him, I just laughed. Even when Kitty is rebelling, she still has to keep up her image.

The kicker was when she told him he had to sit in her office while she ate it.

3 hours ago, icemiser69 said:

The whole porn thing didn't make any sense to me.  There are overweight men and women in porn.  There are also milfs and gilfs in porn.  It isn't just about the thin, and pretty.

 

I rolled my eyes at the "They're the precious ones. How's that working out for them," line because it just isn't true. A lot of the people I  see in porn look like regular people with really bad makeup and stripper shoes. Pornhub offers a huge variety of it (or so I've heard....). I knew a guy that liked elderly porn (didn't even know that was a thing) so there's really no restrictions on what makes a great porn star. So that scene really missed its mark.

8 hours ago, voiceover said:

With a couple of exceptions, I don't like any of these people.  Hard to invest in a series when you feel that way.  I still don't get why Kitty fired Plum -- seems just like a plot thing -- and even dumping Julia seemed overkill.  And Verbena (sorry, but now it's stuck) is still trashing other people (like Dominic) for behavior she appears to be practicing.

I think this is why I've lost interest in this show. I don't really like anyone except for Prue's friend. I  might like the guy that works at the coffee shop, but we really don't know enough about him. And I'm not sure if I like Julia for Julia or Tamara Tunie.

Edited by Jodie Landon
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5 hours ago, BooBear said:

wanted Plumb to point out that thin and pretty thin people get married to princes and in general have very happy fulfilling lives. Where was the Megan Markel gets married room? Scar lady had drunk the cool aid.  None of this was convincing that it would get Plumb to see differently.  Plumb has had 24+ years to inform her brain washing that thin =s good life and your going to change it with watching porn? 

I think everyone in the world is well aware that thin women get the man, get married, etc. People of all sizes have fulfilling lives and fat people also are loved, and get married.  I don't think it's something that would have to be pointed out. This episode was very flat for me overall and was the main reason I disliked the book in the end. If the show concentrated on Plum learning to love herself, she would realize she has a place in the world, someone will love her for who she is as a person.  

I did like it when Julia took off her 'costume' because she looked beautiful. The show is taking too long to show a link between the beauty closet and the Jennifers, and/or the connection with Calliope house. I also would really freak out if I was locked in a room for any reason. I could get behind Verena showing Plum that beauty fixes are not personality fixes, but it also feels like she is in someways holding the women in the house as hostages and not helping them to be independent.

The porn room was annoying. There is all kinds of porn, not all of it is rapist fantasy stuff, and the majority of it consensual not forced on anyone. I really don't see a connection between the porn and what is going on in Plum's life, but I do understand many feminists object to porn of any sort. Not to get too off topic, but I recently read something saying young men are not having relationships or sex with women as much because it cannot compete with porn, and that is a shame, but again no connection to what Plum is experiencing.

There were some good moments: Plum realizes how good it is to be touched and how her fears may have kept that touch from happening. I do hope Plum ends up having some self confidence and uses that confidence to work on her writing and pursue relationships that are healthy. Whether she gets surgery or not, it won't magically fix her life, she needs to do that herself. 

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I've enjoyed reading the comments here.  I'm still watching, but, I really have trouble figuring out what they are trying to say.  I'm  a pretty analytical person and so this is really not my thing.  Still, there are some things about it that I like.  Not the characters though.  I don't really like any of the characters. Not even Plum.  She's just frustrating to me.   So, I'm not sure why I keep watching.  Maybe, something amusing will be done with it.......?

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11 hours ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

The food/body issues in this episode reminded me of an interview with Gwen Stefani years ago. The interviewer talked about her amazing abs and asked how she kept herself in such great shape. Gwen said, "I'm hungry all the time."

Yeah.  In Notting Hill, Julia Roberts' Anna confessed to being on a diet since she was 18.

Sorry, but I can't enjoy Kitty's bitchdom, because I'm...not getting it.   And I hate that wig even more than Meryl Streep's Miranda Priestly 'do, and that's saying something.  Agree that the Dominic grope, etc., was overkill and frankly, out of character.  Early ep-Kitty didn't trade in vulgarity.

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Plum doesn't seem like the type of person that can be torn down emotionally and rebuilt into a stronger human being.  I don't think she has any constructive fight in her.  Destructive fight?  Yes.  Constructive?  No.

If anything, Plum seems like the type of person that once torn down, that she would continue to spiral down into a deeper depression.

She dumped her anti-depressants.  I would assume that she was receiving some sort of psychological counseling or therapy.  Did she quit that too?  It seems like a really bad idea to dump all of that and go all in with Verena  (Calliope House). 

I am beginning to wonder if Plum could be bipolar.

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I feel like the porn room was too much. I just couldn't with that.

But Julia's reveal was incredible. Tamara Tunie was FANTASTIC in that scene.

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I don't understand something about the big Julia reveal. Were we supposed to think that she was masquerading as a white person? I thought she was a black lady all along and that she just wore a blonde wig and used tons of highlighter on her face like all those contouring videos.

What I suspected from the very first episode is really clear to me now. I have no clue who Plum is. There's just not a person there. I'd say all the characters are really flatly written. And I don't get the whole  Calliope House deal and I guess maybe I never will. It screams cult to me in every way even though supposedly they give YOU the money but still whatever. What is their deal? Why do all these relatively slim women care what a fat woman thinks let alone investing all this convoluted stuff into it. It doesn't make any sense.

Dominick spent the whole episode trying to find Plum to see if she's ok. Another whatever.

I had high hopes for this show. Things are going downhill for me faster and faster.

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3 hours ago, DiabLOL said:

don't understand something about the big Julia reveal. Were we supposed to think that she was masquerading as a white person?

It sounded like that. I don't know the actress, but there was never any doubt in my mind that she was a black woman.  I just thought she colored her hair like so many women do.  Another thing lots of women do is wear padded bras.  That whole scene just didn't work for me.

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3 hours ago, DiabLOL said:

I have no clue who Plum is. There's just not a person there. I'd say all the characters are really flatly written. And I don't get the whole  Calliope House deal and I guess maybe I never will. It screams cult to me in every way even though supposedly they give YOU the money but still whatever. What is their deal? Why do all these relatively slim women care what a fat woman thinks let alone investing all this convoluted stuff into it. It doesn't make any sense.

It doesn't make any sense. Plumb has clearly told us a zillion times who she is and what she wants. She wants to be thin, she wants to have a boyfriend, she wants to be in a real relationship...  she stared off pretty strong too - questioning calliope house and not buying what they are selling.  I know this show / book was based on "Fight Club" or inspired after the author saw the movie. I have to say it is so disappointing. Fight Club was clever and empowering for men. For example in FC the Edward Norton character gets his Kitty to pay him for not working when his boss looked like he was going to fire him. Plumb just rolls over to the cult when Kitty fires her. Now I agree that it is harder for large women to get jobs but there are other writing jobs out there. 

For me, I have grown to dislike Plumb. If this show is to believed she is weak and foolish.  I guess I will still watch just to see if Plumb recovers or this show has some clever trick like Verena is Tyler Durden is Plumb, but I doubt it. 

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55 minutes ago, BooBear said:

Plumb just rolls over to the cult when Kitty fires her.

At one point, I thought Plum sunk to her lowest when she was begging and pleading to keep her job.  I was embarrassed for her.   No matter how much she was shit on, she wanted that job.   As soon as I think she hits "bottom", she manages to continue to fall into deeper and deeper depths of despair.  She isn't even likable anymore.  She wants to be thin and have a stud boyfriend.  She wants to live in the superficial world where thin and pretty is all that matters.  And yet, it is that superficial world that she is allowing to destroy her.

There are only four episodes left.  I hope it has a satisfying conclusion.  The ratings continue to slide.

http://www.showbuzzdaily.com/articles/showbuzzdailys-top-150-monday-cable-originals-network-finals-7-2-2018.html

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Julia’s big reveal wasn’t a reveal at all. I guess the double mastectomy was a reveal but that was it. She looks beautiful either way but to think that she was “masquerading” as something she’s not was ridiculous. Julia looked like a beautiful (black) woman working in the beauty closet. Oy this show....

And the porn room-has anyone here watched porn? I have and many of these people are FAR from thin, good looking folks. Lots of regular, chunky guys and gals. 

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I agree about Julia.  I never even thought about race being an issue with her....hmm....I did think that she was going to reveal that she was transgender, but, with the mastectomy, I thought....ok.  I do feel for her, as cancer is a horrible thing, but, I was still confused as to what her story really is.  Was she so devastated by her surgery that she would not let anyone near her?  Did men avoid her, since she had no breast?  Is this what she was saying?  Did she not consider reconstruction surgery?  She seems to still be hiding something. 

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8 hours ago, DiabLOL said:

What is their deal? Why do all these relatively slim women care what a fat woman thinks let alone investing all this convoluted stuff into it. It doesn't make any sense.

Maybe because a fat woman has thoughts which are just as valuable and intelligent as a thin woman's ?  I hope you are not suggesting that a fat woman is not worthy of friendship and caring?

As for Julia, I don't think she was trying to be white. I think she was trying to be the supposed ideal of lighter skin, blond, hair, big boobs etc. Of course, she is much more beautiful as her natural self, which is kind of the point. 

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6 hours ago, AngelKitty said:

I never thought she was white. Actually when she started taking off her clothes and make up, I thought she was going to reveal she was a man.

Me too, yes!

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But, Julia did say to Plum as she she was taking off her wig and makeup, that she confessed to going "incognegro."   I think as a play on the word "incognito."  Which meant that she was trying to conceal her true features.  

I actually watched this episode a second time AND watched the behind the scenes video on the AMC website.  The actors who play Plum, Julia and Verbena speak as well as the creator.  Didn't help me understand it more at all. 

If the girl with the burned face is okay with her face, then, why is she hiding in someone's basement? And if she's not, then, why not seek surgery.  When you have a burn like that, it can cause the skin to become so tight that it's very uncomfortable.  A person may need surgery for medical reasons, not just cosmetic.  So, why watching porn helps her is not clear to me, regardless of what she says. 

Edited by SunnyBeBe
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If Calliope House is setting Plum up (as that string of suspiciously consistently horrific dates last week might suggest) that’s one thing, but if the show is attempting to present stuff like the porn room as at all reflective of reality that’s another.

We’re told that the Porn Room consists of streaming the top 100 videos currently running on Pornhub, and when Plum goes in there’s all these brutal rape-like videos playing all over the place.  Well, what’s popular on Pornhub is easy enough to check (I’d joke “oh, the sacrifices I go through for Previously TV,”  but as a gay man for whom straight porn does nothing I’m genuinely curious about whether Dietland is being accurate about this, so consider this an anthropological project :-) )

As far as I can tell, there are essentially two ways Pornhub ranks videos, “Top Rated” and “Most Viewed.”  “Top Rated” doesn’t look on first impression anything at all like Dietland’s Porn Room, and many of the top rated videos appear to be solo videos of women.  “Most Viewed” of all time leads to the predictable Kim Kardashian sex tape and then a lot of various stuff like MILFs, lesbians, and standard variety.  I didn’t see a significant amount of BDSM or rough stuff, and what appears to be more popular than that appears to be women in control narratives, particularly MILFs, CFNM, etc.  (If anything, the question someone might be asking if genuinely going into a Pornhub Room like Dietland’s is “what the heck’s up with all Pornhub’s step-this and step-that fantasies?”— if I were Plum and I came out of a room like that I’d be less likely to be in a righteous rampage and more likely to go up to the kitchen and see if Verena would pull a mask off her face like on Scooby Doo and be revealed as the reincarnation of Sigmund Freud).

All this is to say, I’m still questioning whether Dietland itself is being disingenuous (and not a little sexphobic) in how it portrayed this, or whether we’re meant to again be questioining whether Calliope House is slanting everything to push Plum towards radicalism.

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2 hours ago, SunnyBeBe said:

 

If the girl with the burned face is okay with her face, then, why is she hiding in someone's basement? And if she's not, then, why not seek surgery.  When you have a burn like that, it can cause the skin to become so tight that it's very uncomfortable.  A person may need surgery for medical reasons, not just cosmetic.  So, why watching porn helps her is not clear to me, regardless of what she says. 

 

Right.  Why is  she hiding in the basement?  Why not have at least enough plastic surgery to remove the piece of scar tissue that's pulling her eye down? And why would she need to watch porn to see how cruelly the precious one's are treated, when she and her mother used to be  precious ones themselves and had acid thrown on them?

@BobbyJoe, -- thanks for the research, but please tell, what are the "step-this and step that," fantasies?

Edited by JudyObscure
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6 hours ago, Madding crowd said:

Maybe because a fat woman has thoughts which are just as valuable and intelligent as a thin woman's ?  I hope you are not suggesting that a fat woman is not worthy of friendship and caring?

I really don't know where you got the idea that I believe of those things but I guess I need to declare that for the record I most certainly do not. What I said was that I do not believe that women who aren't fat are going to devote their lives to helping someone like Plum. Given plenty of unfortunate and deeply painful anecdotal evidence I can say with great confidence that most thin people do not understand how a fat person feels to the degree that they will say any number of startlingly insensitive and downright offensive comments both in front of and behind the back of a fat person. Just come to some dinner parties with me.

A mere glance at studies about the infuriating and dangerous anti-fat bias in healthcare workers tells me all I need to know about how shockingly rare empathy and basic decency is. Plum has a few kind people on her side but we see over and over again that they don't inhabit her body in her world. Also how many terrorist organizations can you think of who formed out of deep empathy for someone else's cause? I can think of none. Yet here we have both Jennifer and Verbena Veranda. 

Which brings me to a huge flaw in the show that I never addressed before. There's a fatal muddling of Jennifer and all that drives them to do what they do which is to say that it is not just about fat women like Plum. Jennifer is coming from a deep rage about a whole variety of feminist issues so why such an unlikely investment in Plum who really just wants to wear that red dress and have a boyfriend?

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1 hour ago, bobbyjoe said:

All this is to say, I’m still questioning whether Dietland itself is being disingenuous (and not a little sexphobic) in how it portrayed this, or whether we’re meant to again be questioining whether Calliope House is slanting everything to push Plum towards radicalism.

I too took it upon myself to study porn habits of the heterosexual male and I have to say forced sex is very unpopular. So this whole porn room thing seemed like it was from a prude who really didn't know much about anything. The recapper on Vulture has pointed out many times that whomever writes this stuff seems to have like an outdated sensibility that isn't meshing with the current times audience.   It has occurred to me that perhaps this is all some sort of Plumb daydream / Tyler Durden thing (like in Fight Club Edward Norton kept losing time)  so Plumb's immaturity is what is forming this daydream. I guess I will have to throw myself on the mercy of someone who has read the book to see if there is something more interesting going on here than what we are seeing at the moment. 

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 so why such an unlikely investment in Plum who really just wants to wear that red dress and have a boyfriend?

I see what you are are saying here. Most people are obsessed with themselves and hardly notice anyone else at all. So how did Plumb, who by her own admission, was hiding from the world come to their attention and why are they trying so hard. You might think Kitty would be a better target as turning a former Daisy Chain editor would be a big win and might even allow them to kill Stanley and wreck the market. Kitty actually seemed like she wanted to be recruited when she went on tv. What exactly does Plumb -- large girl or not -- offer the cause? 

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Add me to the list of people confused by Julia's 'reveal' that seemed to surprise Kitty.  Julia did use the work incognegro and Kitty seemed surprised to see a "black woman" in the picture of Julia that Dominic showed her.  Which is strange because I always saw her as a black woman.  I don't understand how Kitty thought anything otherwise.  The 'reveal' was ridiculous.  What surprised me was the mastectomy.... how did they do that?  Because the actress has breasts.  The magic of TV!

I'm not shocked that Plum doesn't have much of a personality.  I've admitted in this forum previously that I am an obese woman and have been though what Plum has been through.  I don't have much of a personality either.  I've been blessed with plenty of intelligence but no grit whatsoever in my life.  I'm like beige, but in personality!  I make very little conversation.  I don't really have interests and find it hard to talk about myself.  The worst question someone can ask me.... so, what do you like to do, what are your interests, what do you do for fun?  Those questions make me break out into a sweat.  I think people like Plum and I just try and fade into the background and not attract attention.  It's s very sad existence.  I'm always hopeful of change, but I haven't found a way yet to change.

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6 minutes ago, Token said:

  The worst question someone can ask me.... so, what do you like to do, what are your interests, what do you do for fun? 

You can tell them you engage in discussions on the internet, contributing interesting, intelligent viewpoints, often making Judy Obscure  think and sometimes making her laugh out loud.  You have a great personality, Token.  All the beige personalities are on Facebook posting pictures of their lunch.

Come to think of it, I like Plum, too and in the real world would rather have someone like Plum for a friend than any of the other women in the show.  Kitty is cruel, Burn-girl is self-involved, Verena is pushy and far too sure she has all the answers figured out for everyone else.   I'm not sure where Plum is going with all this, but I kind of enjoy fumbling along with her and I really don't think I want to see her burst into flames of rage anymore.

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17 hours ago, DiabLOL said:

I don't understand something about the big Julia reveal. Were we supposed to think that she was masquerading as a white person? I thought she was a black lady all along and that she just wore a blonde wig and used tons of highlighter on her face like all those contouring videos.

I think the reveal was supposed to be that there is no such thing as the perfect Plum is striving for. It doesn't exist. Every woman that Plum sees as perfectly pretty (and therefore happy, in her opinion) is really pulling off the ultimate con job. Julia was the magical Beauty Fairy of Daisy Chain, and in the end she was wearing a wig, fake lashes, falsies, heavy makeup and Spanx to create that image. Kitty, with her dyed hair, starvation diet, and tons of makeup, goes almost daily to the beauty closet for another cream, eyeliner or whatever to make her feel beautiful. Julia's reveal was the rewind of every Cinderella story - yeah, you can feel like a princess for a little while, but it takes a lot of work, and in the end you're still just the same girl with dust in her hair that you were before. Plum will still be Plum, which means she likely won't be happy even in a thinner body because then she'll have to worry about all the other things she'll then find imperfect about herself.

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1 minute ago, Zanne said:

I think the reveal was supposed to be that there is no such thing as the perfect Plum is striving for. It doesn't exist. Every woman that Plum sees as perfectly pretty (and therefore happy, in her opinion) is really pulling off the ultimate con job. Julia was the magical Beauty Fairy of Daisy Chain, and in the end she was wearing a wig, fake lashes, falsies, heavy makeup and Spanx to create that image. Kitty, with her dyed hair, starvation diet, and tons of makeup, goes almost daily to the beauty closet for another cream, eyeliner or whatever to make her feel beautiful. Julia's reveal was the rewind of every Cinderella story - yeah, you can feel like a princess for a little while, but it takes a lot of work, and in the end you're still just the same girl with dust in her hair that you were before. Plum will still be Plum, which means she likely won't be happy even in a thinner body because then she'll have to worry about all the other things she'll then find imperfect about herself.

That's an excellent summary. I was really thrown by her mention of "inconegro".

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1 hour ago, Zanne said:

I think the reveal was supposed to be that there is no such thing as the perfect Plum is striving for. It doesn't exist. Every woman that Plum sees as perfectly pretty (and therefore happy, in her opinion) is really pulling off the ultimate con job.

Yep, when I mentioned "Julia's reveal" last night, I was referring to the scene where she stripped down to her 'true' self - taking the wig off, the eyelashes, stripping to show the tattoo and her masectomy.

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5 hours ago, DiabLOL said:

I really don't know where you got the idea that I believe of those things but I guess I need to declare that for the record I most certainly do not. What I said was that I do not believe that women who aren't fat are going to devote their lives to helping someone like Plum. Given plenty of unfortunate and deeply painful anecdotal evidence I can say with great confidence that most thin people do not understand how a fat person feels to the degree that they will say any number of startlingly insensitive and downright offensive comments both in front of and behind the back of a fat person. Just come to some dinner parties with me.

A mere glance at studies about the infuriating and dangerous anti-fat bias in healthcare workers tells me all I need to know about how shockingly rare empathy and basic decency is. Plum has a few kind people on her side but we see over and over again that they don't inhabit her body in her world. Also how many terrorist organizations can you think of who formed out of deep empathy for someone else's cause? I can think of none. Yet here we have both Jennifer and Verbena Veranda. 

Which brings me to a huge flaw in the show that I never addressed before. There's a fatal muddling of Jennifer and all that drives them to do what they do which is to say that it is not just about fat women like Plum. Jennifer is coming from a deep rage about a whole variety of feminist issues so why such an unlikely investment in Plum who really just wants to wear that red dress and have a boyfriend?

I apologize if I read you wrong. There is so much fat shaming in this forum that I thought you were suggesting a fat woman couldn’t be interesting. Also, I’m a fat woman myself and have many thin friends who care about me and what I have to say.I think Plum went looking for Verena because she was once on the Baptist diet, and Verena wanted to take her on as a project.

I remember wanting to give up on the book because there were so many story lines and they never came together in a way that made sense. 

Edited by Madding crowd
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2 hours ago, Madding crowd said:

I apologize if I read you wrong. There is so much fat shaming in this forum that I thought you were suggesting a fat woman couldn’t be interesting. Also, I’m a fat woman myself and have many thin friends who care about me and what I have to say.I think Plum went looking for Verena because she was once on the Baptist diet, and Verena wanted to take her on as a project.

I remember wanting to give up on the book because there were so many story lines and they never came together in a way that made sense. 

 

Thank you so much for this your reply, it really means a lot to me. This is such a major issue to me and has been through any size that  I was mortified by the idea that I came across otherwise. Of course our thin friends care about what we think and feel. I've never seen fat shaming on this forum -that seriously shocks and disappoints me. I must not have been in specific threads? 

I just started the book and what you say about the many story lines makes me think the writers are in over their heads.

Edited by DiabLOL
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13 hours ago, JudyObscure said:

You can tell them you engage in discussions on the internet, contributing interesting, intelligent viewpoints, often making Judy Obscure  think and sometimes making her laugh out loud.  You have a great personality, Token.  All the beige personalities are on Facebook posting pictures of their lunch.

Come to think of it, I like Plum, too and in the real world would rather have someone like Plum for a friend than any of the other women in the show.  Kitty is cruel, Burn-girl is self-involved, Verena is pushy and far too sure she has all the answers figured out for everyone else.   I'm not sure where Plum is going with all this, but I kind of enjoy fumbling along with her and I really don't think I want to see her burst into flames of rage anymore.

AMEN!   Great points in boldface above.

I also agree about how odd it is that Julia thought that she was somehow fooling Kitty with her hair and makeup, if she truly thought that she was not perceived as a black woman.  Just odd, imo.  I never for a second thought of her as anything else and I can't imagine how Kitty would have either. 

I also agree with the comments on how the show seems to be ill informed or just somehow off on their presentation of porn.  I thought the comment that Verbena made to Plum, when Plum asked her what was in the room was disingenuous. She said something like it was hard to describe. Well, not really. It's porn video on the walls.  What's hard about that?  I just think this show may be trying too hard to be clever and it's not succeeding.  

OH, another thing occurred to me and perhaps, it was addressed previously, but, I didn't see it.  When the Det. was talking to Steven, he seemed to imply to the Det. that Plum was a virgin.  Did anyone catch that?  Something he said about her never have been there before.  And, he made another comment comparing her to 14 year-old.  So, are we to believe that Plum has never had an intimate relationship (sex)?  Her first exposure to sex is the porn in the porn room?  

I just hope that at the end of this thing, I don't regret it. I really hope that I will have learned something from the time investment. 

Edited by SunnyBeBe
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On 7/3/2018 at 7:40 AM, icemiser69 said:

There are overweight men and women in porn.  There are also milfs and gilfs in porn.

According to Rule 34, if a thing exists, there is porn of/for it. :)  But that's not the point of the room. The installation was specifically streaming the worldwide-top clips, not the whole-in-all-its-categories porn. Consequently, it's not going to have the more fetish-y categories. 

 

18 hours ago, SunnyBeBe said:

But, Julia did say to Plum as she she was taking off her wig and makeup, that she confessed to going "incognegro."   I think as a play on the word "incognito."  Which meant that she was trying to conceal her true features.  

Yes, she's masking her true self in mainstream white-beauty standards, not trying to pass as white. (As an aside, I first encountered the word 'incognegro' on Larry Wilmore's show, in their discussion of Rachel Dolezal.) But I'm a white person, so it would not surprise me to know it's been in use way before.)  I liked the scene here, but its power was blunted for me having seen Viola Davis do a similar unmasking in How to Get Away with Murder, S1. For different dramatic reasons, but still, same unwigging et al.

 

27 minutes ago, SunnyBeBe said:

When the Det. was talking to Steven, he seemed to imply to the Det. that Plum was a virgin.  Did anyone catch that?  Something he said about her never have been there before.  And, he made another comment comparing her to 14 year-old.  So, are we to believe that Plum has never had an intimate relationship (sex)?  Her first exposure to sex is the porn in the porn room?  

Plum admitted as much to Verena in their first meeting, that her pass at her college crush went, um, uncaught. But not having had PIV sex isn't the same thing as being 'unexposed' to sex. Not even close.

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I think the porn scenes are to emphasize the point that many porn actors work hard and spend time and money to look perfect in accordance with the entertainment industry's standard of perfection, and then are treated like garbage. Physical ideals don't guarantee respect.

But they could have made the point in a much simpler way.

Edited by pasdetrois
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So, what was Plum supposed to do in that little room? It had a small bed and desk, but, I didn't see anything to read or write with.  So, just sit and self reflect? I didn't see a tv, radio, phone, paints, paper, etc.   Are the other rooms empty or full of other women who are similarly situated? 

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1 hour ago, pasdetrois said:

I think the porn scenes are to emphasize the point that many porn actors work hard and spend time and money to look perfect in accordance with the entertainment industry's standard of perfection, and then are treated like garbage. Physical ideals don't guarantee respect.

But they could have made the point in a much simpler way.

That would be nice but I believe it is a continuation of scapegoating sex workers as either bad or victims. Recent laws such as SESTA and FOSTA are supposedly in place to prevent sex-trafficing and instead are preventing adult sex workers from effectively screening clients. https://www.thedailybeast.com/sex-workers-fear-for-their-future-how-sesta-is-putting-many-prostitutes-in-peril  Just one example. The most popular pornhub categories appear to update live, right now the top three are Lesbian, Bondage and Hentai. Bondage looks equally divided between men and women being the dominant one in the video. Gay is 7th.  Rough Sex is in 30th place.  A poster on the FB group postulated that the Porn Room in the series is reflecting series reality, and that the surge in popularity/curiousity would be due to Stella's murder.

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19 hours ago, JudyObscure said:

You can tell them you engage in discussions on the internet, contributing interesting, intelligent viewpoints, often making Judy Obscure  think and sometimes making her laugh out loud.  You have a great personality, Token.  All the beige personalities are on Facebook posting pictures of their lunch.

Come to think of it, I like Plum, too and in the real world would rather have someone like Plum for a friend than any of the other women in the show.  Kitty is cruel, Burn-girl is self-involved, Verena is pushy and far too sure she has all the answers figured out for everyone else.   I'm not sure where Plum is going with all this, but I kind of enjoy fumbling along with her and I really don't think I want to see her burst into flames of rage anymore.

Aww, well you just made me tear up.  Thank you.  I guess I find it easier to voice things online, rather than in person.  I don't really get taken seriously in person, unless I'm in a rare talkative (i.e. argumentative, lol) mood.  Sometimes I think about starting a blog, but I have no idea what to write about and, when I tried in the past, it just fizzled out from lack of ideas and kind of morphed into one big negative bitching session.  Not very entertaining to read!  lol

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On 7/3/2018 at 6:13 AM, BooBear said:

 thin and pretty thin people get married to princes and in general have very happy fulfilling lives. Where was the Megan Markel gets married room? 

Right beside the Diana Spencer gets married room? ; ) 

(I watched the Meg & Harry wedding and loved every minute -- and dearly hope Markel has a fulfilling and empowered life -- but she won't succeed because she's thin and pretty, but because of the strength/identity she's gained from working in an industry that repeatedly rejected her for not being black enough/too black/black in the wrong way -- that, and having been raised by an apparently badass feminist mother ;)

I think the point of the porn room scene was (in part) to negate the idea that one physical shape determines happiness and value, which is exactly the lie sold to women (in many packages: if you're X, you will be happy -- X being smaller nosed, fuller lipped,  tighter-chinned, lighter-skinned, bigger breasted -- as well as the supernova of them all, thin). Plum's been thinking slender = happiness/a wonderful man/perfect life (and has been willing to have surgery rather than continue what she's doing; slowly losing weight. I loved that point -- made in passing -- but made, nonetheless. Hurry up and be OUR kind of woman, not go at your own pace).  But Plum's sense of things is completely false.  Thin = less overt mockery and external rejection and self hatred brought on by that wholesale rejection (been there, done that, no small thing)  but it doesn't guarantee or deliver self love,  self acceptance, happiness or a life that has depth and value.  That's an ad for weight loss products, not a metaphysical truth.

The second part of the porn room, imo, ties into one of Kitty's lines ("Men would rather destroy the world than let us run it") in that insecure men have a love/hate relationship with women who are physically beautiful  -- especially if they're smart and have agency -- those women are threats, and misogynist men would rather control /debase those women then let them be unto themselves;  rather rape (via fantasy) the perfect porn star, than have joyful consensual sex with her.

 

On 7/4/2018 at 9:21 PM, Zanne said:

I think the reveal was supposed to be that there is no such thing as the perfect Plum is striving for. It doesn't exist. Every woman that Plum sees as perfectly pretty (and therefore happy, in her opinion) is really pulling off the ultimate con job. Julia was the magical Beauty Fairy of Daisy Chain, and in the end she was wearing a wig, fake lashes, falsies, heavy makeup and Spanx to create that image. Kitty, with her dyed hair, starvation diet, and tons of makeup, goes almost daily to the beauty closet for another cream, eyeliner or whatever to make her feel beautiful. Julia's reveal was the rewind of every Cinderella story - yeah, you can feel like a princess for a little while, but it takes a lot of work, and in the end you're still just the same girl with dust in her hair that you were before. Plum will still be Plum, which means she likely won't be happy even in a thinner body because then she'll have to worry about all the other things she'll then find imperfect about herself.

Beautiful description.

 

16 hours ago, SunnyBeBe said:

I also agree about how odd it is that Julia thought that she was somehow fooling Kitty with her hair and makeup, if she truly thought that she was not perceived as a black woman.  Just odd, imo.  I never for a second thought of her as anything else and I can't imagine how Kitty would have either. 

Hey, Sunny! (Different forum ;)

I think Julia's unveiling might tie into visiblity. Just as Kitty doesn't see the real Plum (nor even much notice her, until Plum changes her hair & makeup, whereupon Kitty offers the biggest compliment possible: "You look like you've lost weight") Kitty also doesn't "see" Julia. She only notices/registers the totems of aspirational beauty (long hair, make-up, figure, etc) and status (beauty closet keeper) but the woman herself - Julia -- completely escapes being seen. She is invisible;  incognegro. 

Such a beautiful moment (I've loved Tamara Tunie since her soap days -- I'd watch her read a menu, never mind stand there in all her magnificent, stripped-down glory).

Edited by film noire
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Yes, I've always liked Tamara. (As the World Turns and Law&Order). I wonder what she thought of this role.  I mean, really.  She does offer some thoughts on the AMC website videos. 

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12 hours ago, attica said:

According to Rule 34, if a thing exists, there is porn of/for it. :)  But that's not the point of the room. The installation was specifically streaming the worldwide-top clips, not the whole-in-all-its-categories porn. Consequently, it's not going to have the more fetish-y categories. 

 

Yes, she's masking her true self in mainstream white-beauty standards, not trying to pass as white. (As an aside, I first encountered the word 'incognegro' on Larry Wilmore's show, in their discussion of Rachel Dolezal.) But I'm a white person, so it would not surprise me to know it's been in use way before.)  I liked the scene here, but its power was blunted for me having seen Viola Davis do a similar unmasking in How to Get Away with Murder, S1. For different dramatic reasons, but still, same unwigging et al.

 

Plum admitted as much to Verena in their first meeting, that her pass at her college crush went, um, uncaught. But not having had PIV sex isn't the same thing as being 'unexposed' to sex. Not even close.

There are loads of black women weaved up 24/7 with Indian hair to their butts, wearing green or blue contacts etc. and wearing foundation two shades too light. It seems the reveal scene and Kitty's inability to recognize Julia doesn't make much sense if it's only about white beauty standards. That issue isn't even in Plum's orbit right now. Note that Julia was also doing an exaggerated Southern accent prior to her reveal.  I really think she was supposed to be passing. However Tunie, my favorite SVU coroner, doesn't look like a white women even though she is fair skinned.

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Are they actually saying that Julia was passing as a white woman? Because, no way does she look like a white woman. She looks like a lovely woman of color, both with her fake boobs and wig, and without. But if the point is that even this beautiful, slender woman is a facade, and that what Plum wants is a lie, even to the people who have achieved it, then that works just fine. 

I like Plum, and I think she has a lot going for her, but she has issues that go way beyond her unhealthy body imagine. She seems to struggle with depression, anxiety, and maybe even something like bipolar disorder, and generally seems to struggle with a warped world view. Granted, there are clearly a whole host of assholes who treat her like shit for not being skinny, but you also had scenes like when she was getting waxed, and she went on about how she "knew" the skinny women were talking about how fat and gross she was in another language, when the subtitles showed that they were just talking about their boyfriends or something else that had nothing to do with Plum. I also would like to think that a woman as smart as Plum would notice that this place screams CULT. I mean, they're practically handing out Kool-Aid and sneakers and the door at this point.

So, what the hell was the point of the rape porn room? To tell us again that sex and sex workers are bad and part of the patriarchy? To tell women who arent physically perfect "hey, you might not have men all over you, but at least no one is jerking off to you being raped on camera!"? That even lovely women are treated like shit, so why should Plum try to look skinnier in a society where nothing she ever does will give her the life she wants, so try to fight it instead of getting skinny? And, I dont watch porn, nor do I ask people about their porn habits, but I cant imagine its all sexy hard bodies getting raped by men. From what I remember from some stuff I studied in a gender studies class in college, there is a pretty wide variety of porn out there, and rape porn is a lot less popular than "people have sex and seem to all be into it" kinds of porn. I know thats totally a thing, and its super gross, but why does this show seem to think thats the only kind of porn there is? WHY IS THIS SHOW MAKING ME KIND OF DEFEND PORN?!?! I dont know, I think it was a metaphor for how even physically perfect women are abused by the patriarchy, and are sometimes even treated worse, but it just came off as...questionable. 

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16 hours ago, Iguessnot said:

 I really think she was supposed to be passing. 

The phrase used by Julia was "somewhat incognegro" (I think if she were trying to pass, that "somewhat" wouldn't be there, she'd be full-on incognegro, no qualifiers) and Tunie mentions nothing about passing when asked about that moment:

Q; Is it freeing for Julia to reveal her true self?

A: It’s absolutely freeing. Julia’s been wearing a mask – the hair, the makeup, the clothes. I also think she’s demonstrating how constricting and imprisoning this idea of beauty can be. Her agenda is to conquer from the inside out. Her thought is that you have to be in it to win it, so she goes into the belly of the beast at Austen Media to deprogram and tear down the facade....”

https://www.amc.com/shows/dietland/talk/2018/07/spoilers-dietland-qa-tamara-tunie-julia

Edited by film noire
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6 hours ago, tennisgurl said:

. I also would like to think that a woman as smart as Plum would notice that this place screams CULT. I mean, they're practically handing out Kool-Aid and sneakers and the door at this point.

IMHO Plumb started off smart. But she has been getting more daft every episode. The issue for me is that the audience lives in the real world and when the show tries to suggest their fake world we can't really go for it. There is no way that Julia had to dress like that or talk like that to be accepted. Again maybe this is 1999 dating from the book but a woman like Julia in her natural state is all the rage in fashion right now. Plumb does not seem like the type that wouldn't bolt immediately when she found herself in a basement compound locked in.  Especially now that she isn't doing this for Dominic anymore. 

Quote

I think the reveal was supposed to be that there is no such thing as the perfect Plum is striving for. 

Agreed but I think the show or book is doing a poor job of executing that message. What lengths to go to. Just have someone who had the surgery sit down with Plumb tell her how it didn't magically change their life. Actually a LOT of surgery programs won't let you have it without therapy first. 

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 think it was a metaphor for how even physically perfect women are abused by the patriarchy, 

It just seems so lame. Also isn't porn... um.. fake? So it is acting. So is it abuse?  If it is supposed to be a symbol for how physically perfect women get raped you can say that about non physically perfect as well.  If we wanted a symbol of how physically perfect women are abused by the patriarchy isn't Kitty a great example of that? After years of loyalty and as she puts it.. sucking dick... she is demoted the first time she takes an action that her male boss told her he was ok with? Plumb should see these messages all around her if she truly was smart or perceptive.  But even there, I call shenanigans as there are plenty of women VPs in every industry that didn't engage in sex to get ahead and plenty of male VPs that get demoted for much less. 

I have loved Robin Weigert since Deadwood but on this show I want to strangle Verena. She is such a putz with her two husbands and ridiculous  white sweater and glass of wine. 

Edited by BooBear
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On 7/3/2018 at 10:11 PM, saoirse said:

I feel like the porn room was too much. I just couldn't with that.

But Julia's reveal was incredible. Tamara Tunie was FANTASTIC in that scene.

I knew I knew the actress but I just could not place her.  I was way too lazy to look it up on IMDB, but when she took off all that stuff I was like "oooooohhh".  

On 7/4/2018 at 3:20 AM, DiabLOL said:

I don't understand something about the big Julia reveal. Were we supposed to think that she was masquerading as a white person? I thought she was a black lady all along and that she just wore a blonde wig and used tons of highlighter on her face like all those contouring videos.

The way that Kitty responded to the picture, I thought that was what they were saying too, but I like the explanations many have stated here about how even the "perfect" are not perfect. 

 

On 7/4/2018 at 7:16 AM, AngelKitty said:

I never thought she was white. Actually when she started taking off her clothes and make up, I thought she was going to reveal she was a man.

I did too!!

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