shadowkat: (tv slut)
[personal profile] shadowkat
1. For my emotional, physical and mental health and well-being, I've decided to stop discussing and reading about political issues on social media. (Will most likely read them in the NY Times or via political action emails or tweets that have been pre-set.) Besides, I don't think this is something that can be won on the internet, if anything, I'm beginning to think social media and the internet may be part of the problem or exacerbating the issue. I do however find it sort of interesting that what the journal publishers, librarians, copyright specialists, were all so worried about in the 1990s, has come to pass -- the continuous spread and proliferation of false information, without any regulations or supervisory checks in place. I remember being on two list serves in the 1990s, one with the America Library Association - who wanted free access to information, and one a copyright list serve with publishers, journalists, and content providers. The only thing they agreed on was that we had to find some way of overseeing the exchange of content, to ensure intellectual property rights were protected, and validity. Which, I kept thinking was impossible without curtailing free speech. That was the other worry - - could we do it without curtailing free expression? But I could already tell way back in the 1990s and then in 2002, on fan discussion and spoiler boards, that was going to be a big problem in the future. Mainly due to the fact that if you had a web site stationed in say Germany, you could post whatever you damn well pleased about a television series in the US, without fear of violating copyright law, because Germany at that time was not quite willing to go along with the Digital Copyright Act. (That's since changed). I remember one spoiler site was able to use content and spoilers in spite of Fox's threats, because his IPO address was in another country.

When it comes to content -- the internet is the wild wild west. (Uhm I began to rant and deleted it, aren't you lucky?)

2. Finished watching the first three episodes of Victoria -- was quite pleased with it. Granted, probably not a good idea to watch it right after watching the superior The Crown. But if you haven't watched the Crown in a while, it improves. I'd advise watching Victoria first and saving the Crown til later. The Crown is more in the style of say, Wolf Hall? While "Victoria" is more in the style of "Downton Abbey" or "Poldark". It's a tad on the melodramatic side, so, if melodrama bugs you, and you don't like soap opera, this may not be your thing. I'm enjoying it, but I also tend to enjoy melodrama and soap operas. (I just despise sentimentality and preachiness, which this doesn't fall into.) Jenna Coleman grew on me, and I actually rather like her in the role, as does Tom Hughes as Albert, who is rather compelling. My mother has a crush on him, and I'm beginning to join her. Although I've always been a fan of Rufus Sewall, and love Lord Melbourn, I knew going in there was no way Victoria and Melbourne would end up together. And he'll most likely be gone by the end of the second season if not before. (Apparently there are people shipping Melbourn and Victoria? Weird. Shipping against the narrative on dramatizations of actual historical people and just plain masochistic. (Of course I always thought shipping against a fictional narrative was masochistic.) But that's even more so. You are torturing yourself for no reason. I think some people just like to torture themselves -- ie. masochistic.)

Anyhow, I'm enjoying it. In some ways it's a lot more fun than The Crown and less depressing.

3. Also finished watching the Winter Finale of Lucifer. Okay, how many finales does this show need? It had a fall finale, then a winter finale, and soon it will come back in the spring with a spring finale. Oh well, at least it's trying for closure, before going on hiatus for six - eight weeks. Makes it easier to sell DVDs or stream, I suspect.

Anyhow, I enjoyed the episode quite a bit and like where they are going with the series. They managed to surprise me in a good way. I was a bit worried about where they were going earlier in the season, but they jumped in another direction.

* Hell was rather interesting and reminded me a little of The Good Place -- the person who ends up in hell, creates their own hell. They are put in cell and are tormented by their own guilt. They'll be stuck in that cell as long as their guilt keeps them there. If for instance, you killed your brother, your hell is re-enacting that crime over and over and over again. Until you stop feeling guilty about it. You trap yourself. You torture yourself. It's your own mind that does you in or your own ego.

I like the metaphor a great deal. Because I think that's what we do on earth. We can either treat it as hell or heaven, all a matter of perspective. Our own minds torture us more than anyone else can or does. A concept that basically permeates literature and stories.

Here, Lucy and his mother are tortured by their guilt over Uriel's death. Lucy for killing him, his mother for abandoning him.

* Lucifier finds out that his father played him, using his brother to create a woman and set her in his path. He does not take it well. Also discovers his mother has been manipulating him. Doesn't take that well either, although I think he's known that from the beginning. Anyhow, he decides that his relationship with Chloe is not real, as a result of this. That's what is important to Lucifier - truth or reality. He sheds light on things, and never lies. His name means Light-Bringer, or Truth Teller -- nice twist on the concept of "the Lord of Lies", he's actually the only person telling the truth. And his special gift is to get people to reveal their true selves, or what they desire most.
He can see their souls.

Also, everyone he meets desires him. He can make anyone want him, if he desires. That is except Chloe. So he thinks maybe when she falls for him and he falls for her -- it's real, it's love, it's not something made up. But when it is revealed that his father set it up, then, it's no longer real.

* The whole series seems to be about hard truths or uncovering truth from fiction, which is an interesting take.

* I love all the characters in this show, and I adore how they've plowed past the love-triangle, so that it is non-existent. Providing Chloe's ex-husband with a role, without having him be competition for Lucifier any longer. Also love how they've worked both Maize and the pyschologist into the mix.

4. And I watched the season finale of Crazy Ex-Girl Friend -- which is one disturbing little satire. It really does lampoon our culture's concept of Romantic love. I'm starting to feel sorry for Rebecca Bunch's therapist. The woman has serious issues and her friends are enabling them.
What's disturbing about the series an odd way, it pokes fun at mental illness. And, I'm not entirely sure how I feel about that. I've met people like Rebecca Bunch, hence the reason I'm on the fence about the show at the moment. She reminds me a bit too much of a friend that I broke up with in 2009, after 25 years of friendship. Because...she was exhibiting similar behavior patterns and it was starting to drive me crazy. There is a term for it -- Borderline Personality Disorder -- where the individual's self-esteem is so low that they require someone else to build it up. They are very charming,

I looked up Borderline Personality Disorder, and under the Free Diagnosis section, found this:

"Limitations of Self-Diagnosis
Self-diagnosis of this disorder is often inaccurate. Accurate diagnosis of this disorder requires assessment by a qualified practitioner trained in psychiatric diagnosis and evidence-based treatment.

However, if no such professional is available, our free computerized diagnosis is usually accurate when completed by an informant who knows the patient well. Computerized diagnosis is less accurate when done by patients (because they often lack insight)."

This made me laugh out loud, because a close friend ages ago, told me never to try and diagnose myself -- it would be inaccurate. Because we tend to generalize about ourselves and lack insight.
Sort of like looking up a diagnosis on a pain you feel in your side, and thinking, wait -- it must be appendicitis or gall bladder, when in actuality it's just gas? I had that happen once, I took a fibercon, and felt weird afterwards, all tingly, couldn't breath, and the nurse online thought I was having a heart-attack. It turned out to be an angina attack or gatrointestinal attack. It's so easy to misdiagnosis ourselves.

Anyhow, Rebecca Bunch exhibits all the signs of Borderline Personality Disorder, as did that friend I had. Which is why I find the series deeply disturbing. At the same time, I think it is a rather accurate social satire/critique of our culture.

But I keep watching it...not for the characters, or the jokes, but the song and dance numbers. Pretty much the same reason I stuck with Glee. What can I say, I'm a sucker for a musical.

That did a surprising and rather twisty ending. All I can say is poor Joss Chen, not sure what he did to deserve Rebecca Bunch. But it's a good thing he decided to join the priesthood, because he's going to need all the help he can get. Although, I've decided the friend who became a priest, and his confident, probably did it because he's gay and didn't realize it.

[Ow, ow, ow...note to self, do not stretch legs out in front of you with no bend in knee for lengthy periods of time while typing on lap-top, they will lock, cramp and hurt. Which is what my right leg is doing at the moment. Laptops can be bad for one's health, who knew?]

4. Grey's Anatomy -- still going strong, and heck a lot better written than some freshman serials. Actually it has improved in some respects since it started. The writing is sharper in places, there's more focus on minority characters and/or supporting. It's more of an ensemble and less of a soapy romance. They also are focusing on more complex issues. The opening episode of the Winter season was about three of the surgeons entering a female prison to operate on a 16 year old inmate having a baby. The girl was in the prison for 20 years to life, and in solitary to protect others. We didn't know why she was there, but her mother refused to see her, and it was clear she'd done something horrid. The episode did a good job of telling the story without preaching, or making judgements, and showing all sides. It was also one of the more realistic depictions of prisons that I've seen on television. (I used to visit one while working with the Kansas Defender Project in the 1990s). I was rather impressed.

The second episode did a good job of getting across hospital/work place politics and how it can interfere with the job.

5. Nashville -- now on CMT, and much improved from previous years. No longer a soap opera about the country music industry, it's more of an ensemble drama about the music industry, and is handling far more complex themes, without falling into cliche. I've been surprised by it. The new writing team is from Thirty-Something, and you can sort of tell the difference. It's less emotionally manipulative and plot-twisty. Better episode structure and more character driven.
Also, the music is more diversified. Less pop country, and more folk, and some gospel. One episode had five different sub-genres...which was impressive.

So if you gave up on this, it's greatly improved. Rayna is actually likable.

Date: 2017-02-06 08:11 am (UTC)
atpo_onm: (chicken_why)
From: [personal profile] atpo_onm
What's disturbing about the series an odd way, it pokes fun at mental illness.

I couldn't disagree more strongly-- my perception is that the show uses the humorous aspects to allow us to understand just how painfully human and screwed up people can be while at the same time maintaining sympathy for them, and a degree of understanding how they became the way they are.

If I get a chance later this week, I want to review the show myself and offer what I think are some additional insights, but for now, I'd note that the show's title itself was one that could have easily been taken ironically, especially in the first season, when Rebecca's thoughts and actions suggested she wasn't, really "crazy", just a little eccentric. After all, as the Season 2 title song states, she "Just a girl in love!"

Season 2 then proceeded to show us that it's not that simple, that Rebecca is deeply damaged emotionally on several levels, and as you correctly noted, her well-meaning friends are enabling her problems, and naturally are equally mostly blind to their own issues.

Back in the last episode of Buffy Season 1, there is the scene where Buffy accidentally finds out from Giles that she is going to die in just one more day. The way Whedon and Gellar handled that scene was proof for me as I watched it that there was genius behind the show.

In the CEx-G finale, there was the scene where Rebecca walks down a path towards the ocean on a brilliantly sunny day, singing that everything will now be great with her life going forward and that she will finally-- finally-- be happy. How the director and actress handled that scene left me similarly awe-struck, in that she's singing this happy song on this gorgeous day while the emotions on her face are plainly ones of the deepest pain and despair, just barely masked over with this desperate hope her wedding to Josh will make everything right.

You, the viewer, know-- just know-- that it's not going to happen, and for myself I can't help but feel profoundly sympathetic for Rebecca and that way one can try our best over and over again, and yet end up close to powerless to correct the traumas life has thrown at us.

I don't know anything more effective than humor, when skillfully employed as this series has done, with only occasional weaknesses or failures, that serves as a better tool to promote greater understanding of human frailty. The old cliche is true-- we often laugh to keep from crying.

( Mm... there's a perfect cartoon for this, but doggone Dreamwidth doesn't make it easy to post 'em. I'll see if I can put it up over at LJ. )

Lsstly-- I think it's a good idea to pull back from the net and social media a fair amount. I totally agree that they've been as much or more of a cause as they've been a solution to humanity's trend towards greater mental instability and illness over the last half-century.

For my tiny part-- I still read a daily newspaper, where the news gets at least partially digested before being metabolized.

Take care,



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