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    Reading, writing, gaming, TV, astronomy, music (pop and classical)


    Doctor Who, Magicians, Deadwood, Hannibal, Justified, Arrested Development, Angel, Americans, Penny Dreadful, Homeland, Galavant, Mozart in the Jungle, Veronica Mars, Sopranos, Mad Men, Game of Thrones, Face Off, The Wire, Sports Night, Outlander, Battlestar Galactica (reboot), Chopped, Project Runway, MasterChef Jr, Parks & Rec, Buffy
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    Overall? Hannibal, Doctor Who (RTD years), Veronica Mars, The Sopranos, or Deadwood

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  1. I liked this, although I felt that it almost went too dark overall -- poor Cole. Was anyone else distracted by how much the actress cast as Miss Stacy looks like Anne? I mean, to a really remarkable degree? For the first few minutes she was onscreen, I actually thought she WAS Anne (literally until she passed her on the road). I hope Cole and Anne reconcile soon -- I hate them being estranged, especially when Anne did nothing wrong.
  2. Split (2016)

    The new GLASS trailer, to the sequel to this (and UNBREAKABLE) is out, and it's fantastic! I seriously have fingers crossed that this is as good as it appears to be.
  3. I just cannot agree, at all. It's a gentle portrait of lives lived on the fringe... those who had to hide in plain sight. It's not like LGBTQIA+ lives suddenly occurred in the past 20 years. Instead, the party recognized those who needed the love in all these lovely subtle ways, and they went home happy and fulfilled by the realization they were not alone. Those who did not, left feeling smug and not much changed. I just can't see this as anathema to Anne or her story, and loved how it incorporated Anne, Diana, Aunt Josie, and especially Cole, easily my favorite new character. Also, I do not agree that LMM would be rolling in her grave, since there's been a lot of discussion about her own predilections, as well as those of Anne and Diana, and none of it is unexpected given the source material. I felt the exact same way. Loved everything about it. I can't agree remotely with your post, which assumes/implies that there is something "adult" and "wrong" with Aunt Josephine's soiree. Which there wasn't. Not a single moment. She acquired the "huge following of aggressively non-conformist friends" because it is what people have been doing since before the pyramids. Because it is what misfits do, and people who must find secret handshakes and code words to communicate with the 'deviants' they love. I guarantee you, parties like Aunt Josie's have been happening for millennia. And I find it a huge compliment to Anne and her friends that she was included. I'd also point out that it WAS in the "privacy of someone's home" -- Josie's -- and she herself chose who to invite, at perhaps great risk to herself. It was an exercise in her trust of both Anne (who was probably a sure thing) and Diana (who was not). Her discovery of Cole felt like the biggest gift, and my favorite moment of the entire hour. Lastly: I just do not understand why you find these characters, presented as LGBTQ, to be somehow unnecessary? They would have existed. They would have been people in this time period feeling those feelings. LMM herself is widely thought to have struggled with some of these issues, which makes them even more, not less, relevant. Why is this somehow not appropriate to the time period? These are universal yearnings and conflicts to not just humans, but mammals for millennia. Plenty of people of this time and place did in fact live deliberate lives of homosexuality in plain view. Society chose to acknowledge (or not) these lives depending on societal trends and fads. But they were always there. Thank you for this post. Jo holds the party, I feel, knowing she is risking substantial revelations but she's grieving and tired and loves these kids. She hopes they'll understand. Miracle of miracles -- they do. She is not ostracized but supported. I absolutely loved that. And I agree that I wish Josie had acknowledged her own privilege, but at the same time, I think she absolutely has shown that she is a friend in need, and that she would always be an ear for him. And I felt that ultimately there was more here than that -- it wasn't about money, but about difference, loneliness, and loss. It's the first episode of this show that made me cry multiple times, and which made me think, "Okay, there's a place for this show beyond the books."
  4. Arrival (2016)

    Uh... thanks? My 2 cents is that Ian doesn't have Louise's facility for languages, so he's able to grasp some moments (as implied in the film) without going into actual fluency. So he's blocked from the deeper revelations about their daughter or her fate. In a big-picture sense, it seems like the language becomes at least somewhat ingrained across mass-market U.S. culture, based on Louise's book and its becoming a bestseller. But I suspect that very few become fluent to Louise's degree -- so some mysteries (plot points) remain hidden. The irony for me is that I'd love to take a crack at this language. I don't have an ear for traditional languages but do much better with cipher-based approaches, like AMSLAN. I'd love to learn the Heptapods' language... if I were brave enough to take the leap.
  5. S02.E12: Amor Vincit Omnia

    DAMMIT, I'm gonna miss this show so much. There is nothing like it on television, and never has been. Especially in a world that feels very dark, bigoted and fearful right now, this show was such a joyous celebration of love and inclusivity. It actually galvanized and cheered me up -- it reminded me that we may not be sensates but we can certainly aim to be as brave, empathetic, accepting, and kind. I just loved this show so much. Speaking of which: First off, thank you to all you wonderful people, because I just binged this show over a week or so, yet despite missing the original discussions, coming here to the forum was such a treat after each episode. You really gave me the feeling of being able to discuss and enjoy the show, and I so appreciate that, since nobody I know in real life has watched it (or had -- I just turned 3 people onto the show this week!). Thank you all! Onward. I thought this was really lovely, and that while it felt a little rushed in places, it tried as hard as it could to give us everything we might want in a goodbye, and it did so I thought with a lot of the beauty and visual sensuality that is such a hallmark of the show. (I admit that the final shot of the rainbow dildo wasn't as poetic, for instance, as a final shot of the eight sensates together, but I get why it was there -- it was a naughty, funny callback to the first episode and a reminder of the show's ability to shock me a bit, too. I honestly admit that I wasn't 100% clear on what was happening at every second in the finale in terms of Lila and her henchmen, but I just kind of went with it. I didn't really care. I'm in it for my darling sensate family, and I'll follow them anywhere plotwise. I was surprised at the outcome of Kala/Wolfy/Rajan, but I ultimately really loved it. I was actually kind of relieved that they didn't go the route I feared -- that Rajan would be outed as evil, making it more permissible for Kala to leave him, etc. Instead, I really felt like the show allowed him such a more interesting journey -- for him to instead surprise himself, to surprise Kala, to BE surprised by Kala. He's such a lovely guy, so when he accepted Kala's situation and her family of sensates, my opinion of him just skyrocketed. I was so happy to know that wow, this guy really is as wonderful as he seems. I think one factor that was key to my acceptance of Kala/Wolfy/Rajan was her near-death. When she was shot, I really thought that was it for her (the moment when her cluster knelt around her was so moving and beautiful). Then Wolfy's distraught and horrified, weeping with every visible evidence that he loves her, heart and soul and body-- and that's when Rajan comes in. Sees Kala dead, sees Wolfgang's grief. Then Kala tells Wolfy how to save her and both men instantly begin to do so. And to me, that was it -- I felt was both beautiful and wordless -- it was all right there. That the two men loved her with absolute selflessness. And because of this, I could accept what I'd first taken to be Kala's secret (she would have both men, with Rajan unknowing) instead transformed into something really lovely -- Kala NOT having to choose! I mean, that's incredible! I just loved that. To me, it worked perfectly with the awareness of the Sense8s as intimately connected, pansexual people. Wolfgang has already actually slept with Rajan by proxy, and experienced it from Kala's perspective as the object of that encounter. He's even cuddled with Kala and grinned when Rajan kissed his cheek affectionately the morning after (which remains one of the cutest things ever on the show for me). In other words, Wolfy was already a person who had gone beyond boundaries, orientations or gender. Rajan was the one who had to take the bigger leap -- and I loved the actor's choices, how shocked and delighted Rajan was at all the new experiences. It was just gorgeously, sweetly done. So it all made sense to me. Rajan has been painted -- in a really lovely way -- as being a guy who was open to sensation, who wanted to go beyond the narrow boundaries of his world in season 1 -- we see him eating food his family disapproves of, describing his wish to life a joyful life, one punctuated by surprises. And I absolutely adored Wolfgang patting the bed, twinkling at Rajan to get on over there. (Also, on a shallow note, Rajan and Wolfgang actually full-on kissing in the end was freaking HOT. And had me screaming delightedly at my television (yeah, I may have actually been yelling KISS HIM!). Onward again. In the end, I was finally convinced that Angelica and Jonas had truly been focused on the bigger picture and that they did want to save the sensates. I was moved by the final montage (especially by the implication, as always, that poor Jonas loved Angelica more than she loved him). And I loved that brief flash of Mama Angelica at the wedding; that idea that somewhere, somehow, she was delighted at what her children had accomplished. It's funny. Bug bugged me sometimes, and sometimes I felt the actor was over the top. But his little moment with Nomi at the wedding, thanking her for being his family, is where I full-on lost it and ugly-cried. The actor was just so lovely and so real in that moment. And I am always a sucker for families that are created, not born. I will always love this show. I'm a misfit, kind of a human toon. I've never fit into regular life, but as a freelancer have built a life with friends and family and wonderful fantastic people who are kindred spirits -- weirdos and gamers and loners and misfits galore. I blog about gaming and head a 20k gamer group (Dragon Age), and to me it's an ideal universe -- one with people of all genders and non-genders, people who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, straight, trans, aromantic, asexual, polyamorous... it's everyone. A fantastic tapestry (that also made me more aware of my own potential complexities). And I've never seen that tapestry on film or TV. Until Sense8. So for me, watching this show was an exercise in pure joy, a lens on the world as it ought to be. A kinder, sweeter, gentler, more accepting world where love was simply love, where as long as everyone's adult and consenting, every intimacy is an exchange of gifts. I will so, so miss this show. There's nothing like it anywhere. And there should be. Dammit. I agree. I also think if we look back to that original orgy in S1E6 it was actually a really important moment -- one in which we see orientations dissolving into pansexuality. Nomi makes love to Neets, but she also makes love to Hernando, Will, and Wolfgang. Lito makes love to Hernando, but he also makes love to Neets, Will, and Wolfgang. Will makes love to Lito, Neets, Nomi, Hernando, etc. Basically -- by the time Wolfy meets Kala and Rajan in the flesh, he is way beyond adhering to any kind of societal expectations when it comes to sex. And he is in fact able to (very sweetly) shepherd Rajan into worlds he had probably never allowed himself to consider. And best of all, everyone gets what they want. I freaking loved it. I loved that too. As so often with this show, I would have loved a whole episode of them just eating a beautiful meal together and talking. I just want to hear our sensates talk to each other -- how are they dealing with things? What surprised them or made them laugh? What will they ask each other about -- given that they can feel everything each of them feels at any given moment? Here's my admission: I never quite understood the allure of poly relationships until this show. Now I totally get it! Meanwhile, I love that the show taught you about yourself and what you may be looking for. I hope you find your own Lito and Hernando! Every single thing you wrote here. So much win! Which was why I cheered when RAJAN of all people not only got into that bed with Wolfgang and Kala, but that the moment wasn't just about the two men focused on Kala -- but that it ended with a passionate kiss between the two men. Something that had nothing to do with Kala, and everything to do with them, themselves. It showed that Wolfy wasn't just "allowing" Rajan into his sex with Kala, but rather -- he was actively sleeping with Kala AND Rajan. It's much more fun and cooler that way, honestly. I would agree that Wolfy's backstory ended up being more important in the end because it showed his journey to accepting his own worth (although I do feel the "your mother is your sister" stuff was totally unnecessary). But I'm with you on everything quoted here. I loved your whole post, and also loved this moment, which was freaking adorable. I thought it would cut to Sun's TEACHER, so seeing Hot Cop meet her adorable dog was just the best thing in the history of ever. Me too. I mean, yeah, I wanted them to get Whispers and BPO but I really didn't care much how it happened. I just wanted time with my darling cluster. I love everything you say here -- so wonderful! I do think they tried to show reactions by partners even if they had to fast-track those somewhat -- we were obviously very shortly after revelations when seeing Dani and Hernando try to get up to speed early on. I know, right? I definitely feel like Season 2 was a gorgeous chance for Kala to remind us how smart and funny she is. I really loved her arc this season. She's not the princess in a tower of season 1, but an empowered woman making active choices. Lito is pansexual, not gay. He identified as gay before emerging as sensate, and then was clearly painted as forming more complex connections (and being open to them) with his cluster. He actively makes love to both women and men in the sensate orgies. So I had no trouble believing he'd include Dani here. Beyond that, I think Hernando already includes her in their relationship as a poly third, and that the two men love her enough to give her what she needs -- even if everyone involved knows that the OTP is Hernando and Lito, who are at a whole other level. But it's historically believable, as she'd joined them in bed the first night she found out (and is cuddling post-coitally with Lito when "What's Going On" plays at the end of episode 4 (she later apologizes for "being too enthusiastic"). So I do feel like the groundwork is there. Everything here. Just... sniffle. Wonderful post! We do hear Dani working her magic with the producers that Lito's just immersing himself in some "process," so it seemed fairly clear to me that Lito's movie role was still intact and that he would be going straight to filming after this (he even grins and whispers that he's not fired). I loved the show's inclusion of the partners of the sensates and how they kept them important, active, and empowered. They were never sidelined, and always given attention (and the actors were all gorgeous and wonderful). (SIDE NOTE: Since this is my last official Sense8 post, I do want to refer folks to the Wachowskis' gorgeous and vastly underappreciated "Cloud Atlas," and I do hope some will check it out after this. It's my all-time favorite film. Yes, flaws and all. It's not perfect. But it's so beautiful even so. It's about what it means to be human, empowered, and empathetic. Thanks!)
  6. S02.E09: What Family Actually Means

    Okay, first off, you guys, I can't believe I JUST REALIZED that Whispers is played by TERRENCE MANN! I mean, as a Broadway person, I totally freaked out. He was the original Javert! He's been in a zillion things, but he's such a chameleon! I totally didn't recognize him here. I liked this episode -- although Nomi's speech irritated me a little (and I felt that it could have been a lot less about Nomi and a lot more about her sister), I did like where it ended up, and I loved everything at the wedding. Nomi's face when her father called her his daughter tore me up a little inside. (So did the look on her face.) And Neets was just awesome there. As she usually is. I am very worried about what's in the box (WHAT'S IN THE BOX???) that Rajan's creepy friend left with Kala. He skeeves me out every single time he's onscreen. He's a handsome guy, but there's just something awful and creepy about him, so kudos to the actor. I love the team-up of Riley with Diego, and I have to say that their search of that house was so harrowing, and the discovery of the body in the bathtub, mouth open in a silent scream, was flat-out terrifying. Like many of you, I'm starting to think Jonas is baaad news. Last but not least, OMG, Brian J. Smith and Joey Pants absolutely killed me in those final scenes together. I was sobbing my eyes out by the end. But I was just so glad that somehow his father saw him, Will, and knew that he was there. But watching poor Will fall into his horrible tattered bed alone and weeping broke my heart. (Come on, Sensates! Go comfort your sweet cop bro! He needs love!)
  7. S02.E08: All I Want Right Now Is One More Bullet

    This was absolutely one of my favorite episodes in the history of the show. And I must have watched the segment of Lito sobbing to Sun in his onesie three times in a row before proceeding, because I was laughing so hard. I love Lito so damn much. Sun's deadpan reactions to Lito weeping in the street to practice homelessness or his sobbing on her bed were the best things ever. As were her eyerolls when she met with Nomi and realized he was there again. And the end of the scene with Lito was so moving to me -- she would never lie down on a bed and cry. But Lito gave her the opportunity to do so... and not to be alone while she did it. Also, him handing her the kitty pillow was so freaking adorable (as was him reaching behind him for an even FATTER kitty pillow to hug. Seriously, they could make a show all about Lito and Sun, and I would totally watch that shit. Although, of course, I love all the sensates in our cluster. And the scene between Will and Kala was one of my favorites to date as well. I loved how matter-of-fact she was, how caring and smart as she checked his vitals and was able to give him both scientific and loving reasons for him to put away the heroin. I also loved Will with Kala as well -- as others have noted, she feels very much like his little sister. I love scenes like these and they make the show for me. I also loved the fact that Wolfy thought he was going to die, and simply and poignantly visited his cluster just to see them one last time. And perhaps -- to ask for help in the only way he could (without admitting it)? Lila's a tiresome character (the femme fatale act is a little cliched for me here), but I did like the realization that she is trapped, too, and is trying to get away to earn her own life. However, her plan was just as toxic as she is -- the humans would be driven out or sacrificed so that she could take over a major city for her own kind? Ugh. And as others pointed out, it was completely unnecessary. With their skills and money, it would be all too easy for a group of sensates to purchase and take over an entire town -- or build one. But I loved Wolfgang reaffirming that he is part of a bigger picture -- that he is a Berliner, not just a sensate, and that his city will not bow down to her. The final sequence of the cluster massing silently behind Wolfgang and wordlessly joining him was absolutely gorgeous. And I loved the final, brutal fight and the choreography and camerawork. I loved seeing cluster versus cluster, seeing everyone react to a blow en masse in one moment, then substitute in and out for each other depending on their abilities from second to second. I love the quick switches of Wolfgang with Will and Sun in the fight, and the way Wolfy's cluster disappeared seamlessly behind him even as hers did so behind her. Just an incredibly funny, exciting episode. One of my absolute favorites. I watched it again immediately. I love this show so much, and am devastated that I'm nearing its end. (Sigh)
  8. S01.E12: I Can't Leave Her

    Just a wave that I just fell into this show over the past week and I'm so, so in love. I tried watching a year or so back but wasn't grabbed, and stupidly stopped after two episodes. But this time, I fell head over heels. It's one of the most beautiful shows I've seen about individuality and inclusiveness. But most of all, it's about loneliness and the search for connection. Episode 4 of Season 1 ends on one of the most transcendent moments I've seen on TV. Seriously, just a lovely, lovely show. And I loved Season 1 (which I just finished) and all its sweet, messy, humanistic characters in the cluster. I would agree that bisexual characters can be challenging, but I do think it's been done well on occasion -- I'd point to Joe (Lee Pace), the lead character on the gorgeous and underrated HALT AND CATCH FIRE as a great example of a bi character done well (especially in seasons 2-4). I'd also point to Darryl on CRAZY EX-GIRLFRIEND, Captain Jack as a seriously fantastic and groundbreaking pansexual on DOCTOR WHO and TORCHWOOD, and Alana Bloom on HANNIBAL. Meanwhile, in interviews, Lana has said point-blank that she thinks all of the Sense8 core cluster characters are pansexual. Which makes sense to me -- they may all fall on varying places on the Kinsey scale from gay to straight, but I think the Sense8 experience has blurred some of those boundaries enough that every one of them is able to find gender meaningless when it comes to a sensual connection, especially in a sexual moment. Which is why I think the orgy scene in episode 7 was so gorgeous and necessary -- it wasn't just pretty to look at, it was a core turning point for almost all of the characters (and for our awareness of them). I definitely get some of the violence complaints, but at the same time, I think the show (while enormously complex on human nature and human sexuality) isn't that complex in its villains. In almost every situation where a Sense8 committed murders and multiple murders, they were situations of one 'good' Sense8 facing down a bunch of evil men, impossible choices, and no other way out. I did think Capheus's massacre was oddly tone-deaf for such a sweet character, but it was the only way out of a terrible situation. I guess I feel like every one of the bad guys killed so far has shown themselves to be vile and willing to kill indiscriminately, and that they then put the Sense8 character into a situation in which they had no choice but to kill them all. Even Wolfgang, I would argue, faced a similar situation with his uncle after being forced to kill his cousin and his men. His uncle was an organized crime head who was going to come after him (and who, we saw, had actively condoned the attack on his friend and his own torture and abuse for years at the hands of his father). I thought Wolfgang's killing of his uncle was the most disturbing moment of violence so far, but I also thought the show knew that, showed it in a way that was disturbing and ugly, and even moments later, Kala is still in tears over it while helping Riley wake up. I do think the show recognizes when the violence is cartoonish action-stuff and when it is more than that. With that said, I hope they tone that down in Season 2. Watching gentle Capheus kill a roomful of people really wasn't the way to show that Sense8s are more evolved and empathetic, feeling, caring people. Meanwhile, as far as Dani, I actually think Dani's relationship with Lito and Hernando would qualify as poly, in an odd way, because of the way they have unselfconsciously allowed her repeatedly into the bedroom and into their bed. I thought it was poignant and apparent that when Lito went to rescue her, he was rescuing a friend, but also a family member or partner (which was also why I felt Hernando was so upset over Lito sacrificing her initially). I do think Dani is a core part now of Hernando and Lito's romance in some unspoken and intrinsic way -- maybe not 24/7, but I think she is part of their inner family now, part of their household. Watching poor Riley lose her husband, give birth after a traumatic car crash, joyfully hold her tiny baby, and then watch her freeze to death? One of the most brutal things I have ever seen on television. Poor Riley. No wonder she kept simply trying to numb herself. (On a side note: I cannot believe Tuppence, her actress, was just 18 when she filmed the show -- she's a lovely girl but I definitely thought she, like the other Sense8s, was more in her mid-to-late twenties. But she's an absolutely wonderful actress.) I think the suicide option is brought up whenever there's imminent danger of a single Sense8 posing an active danger to the cluster and discovery via Whispers -- once he has one of them, he has all of them. So Jonas tried to get Will (and Riley) to kill themselves once Whispers had seen Will, and it's also why Yrsa wanted Riley to kill herself (also, I deeply dislike Yrsa and think she's simply a cold-hearted ass). My take on your last question is that the cluster awareness only dawned when the Sense8s were "born" to Angelica. Will's awareness of Sarah was similar to Riley's awareness of Yrsa -- other Sense8s can visit each other once aware, but they cannot sense/live as each other the way the cluster can. So Will felt no awareness of the rest of his cluster until their 'birth' -- he was simply visited by Sarah because he was a fellow Sense8 in proximity (and it seems like they actually saw each other once? Or maybe the connection was just through his father's investigation -- I'm not sure). Thanks for the great discussions about Season 1. I love this show, and found it ultimately a really emotional exploration of loneliness, love and connectedness. The world feels very disconnected right now, so watching these people find each other and become a family has been very moving for me.
  9. S01.E04: What's Going On?

    I tried watching this show when it came out and just couldn't connect with it. But I've been trying to binge it again and this time I've really been engaged, and this episode made me fall in love with every one of the characters.
  10. Call Me By Your Name (2017)

    My understanding is that the filmmaker wants to depart from the book epilogues and create a series similar to Linklater's "Before Sunrise/Sunset/Midnight" series, that would revisit the relationship after a period of years. For instance, I know the sequel was announced recently, but it also looks like they're rethinking the timing (which I 1000% agree with -- there needs to be a significant gap for it to have any meaning).
  11. Call Me By Your Name (2017)

    That's beautifully put. I'm so glad you got another big screen experience of this incredibly gorgeous film. I felt the same way about Oliver (and wrote many many walls of text above already, hee, so I won't repeat myself). I felt that he reconnected with something young and yearning within himself. He wasn't far enough past adolescence to still capture it, and he did, and for a summer he lived in that beautiful dream of illusion that his life and choices were still ahead of him. He sleeps too much, eats too much, drinks too much, dances too much. Loses himself. Dreams that he could be anyone, do anything. Which (looking back) -- horribly -- was true. If he was brave enough to cut ties with everything in his world. And he wasn't and couldn't. And it's no judgment of Oliver -- most people couldn't do so. But it's why Oliver breaks my heart as a character. I think Oliver's feelings for Elio are every bit as deep as those of Elio for him (in fact, I would argue they are more so). And of course -- let's face it -- this is a tempestuous adolescent gorgeous affair that may end up a blip for Elio (except it doesn't) -- but Oliver did have choices here. The Perlmans want him to come back and ask him back and openly mean it. The revelation about Oliver's family makes this all the more painful -- he has an unaccepting family/father back home, lives a colder, closeted life. Here he is, offered this sun-drenched paradise, a loving accepting family, a passionate and meaningful lover. And he still can't accept it. It is a dream. Elio is our window into the movie and the book. But, for me, it is a story about Oliver. Yes, about Elio. About his family and beautiful parents and friends. But it is also about Oliver. Elio drowns in all the love. Oliver hesitates, time and again, but also we see him taking in the little moments. We see how important the question is to him (through that beautiful specific, slow refocus to his face) when he asks Elio, "Did the knight speak or die?" and Elio answers. The answer matters more than Oliver can admit. From that point on, there are similar little moments that Elio is utterly unaware of that are solely focused on Oliver: Oliver reacting to Elio's flirtation at the piano. Oliver relaxing enough to admit how much he enjoys the way Elio thinks at the riverside. Oliver worrying the morning after their first night together (and Elio enjoying the cruelty of knowing he is wanted for the first time). Oliver losing himself enough to run and shout like a boy, to give the "call me by your name and I'll call you by mine" admission. And most of all -- Oliver's last moments in their night together before the last dawn, standing at the window, unwilling to sleep, watching Elio drown himself in happy euphoric dreams. Oliver is too old for that. He is much more aware of the pain to come. So he simply watches Elio sleep. And then we get that final admission on the telephone... "I remember everything." For me, Oliver is the most tragic character in "Call Me By Your Name." I wrote further above, earlier, but Elio will be fine. It is Oliver who is in a prison of his own making (well, now -- of his father's making). This one summer of passion will be all he has.
  12. S02.E05: Akane No Mai

    To clarify this -- Delos only urinated in the toilet. He was having his morning wank when he was still in bed.
  13. Split (2016)

    So my path to this was so weird and random. I rewatched UNBREAKABLE earlier this weekend for the first time after many years. It' s one of my all-time favorite films, and one that I feel is incredibly prescient. And I loved that it was just as good as I remembered (even more so, honestly). The presentation of a superhero origin story as reality film was so well done, and it remains to me Shyamalan's best, far more than THE SIXTH SENSE. I thought everyone involved was superb, most especially Willis, Jackson, Wright, and Clark. So after I watched it, Amazon was like, "WATCH SPLIT!" So I remembered curiosity about it, had heard decent things, and as a fellow Shyamalan project I was like, "Okay, sure." So I watched it. And found it slightly silly, but also clever and scary and very well-done. I had zero knowledge that it was tied to the UNBREAKABLE universe, so the ending was a lot of fun, and when that gorgeous theme by James Newton Howard started up I got serious, actual goosebumps. It remains one of my favorite all-time movie scores. There is a scene perfectly midway through the film that is a therapy session between Dr. Fletcher (the wonderful Betty Buckley) and McAvoy's character that is absolutely gorgeous to watch. It's an exercise in both tension and sympathy; it's both subtly scary and yet also intensely beautiful as Dr. Fletcher begins to understand a new wrinkle to her patient's awareness. She is careful, compassionate, slightly scared, but also committed to supporting her patient. She is open and warm, caring and strong yet fragile. It evolves into a series of counterpoints -- shots between her and McAvoy tighter and tighter in focus. And McAvoy spends much of it in very long shots that are wholly dependent on his acting ability. Both he and Buckley end the scene in tears, and it's just gorgeously done, because we spend whole seconds watching their expressions change in these minute ways. Nobody's tears are glycerin. Betty is incredible, and McAvoy is absolutely superb. And that's what he does throughout the film -- it would be far less disturbing if we didn't see that McAvoy's character has these splintered identities that are sweet, lovable, kind and which are wounded and lonely for contact just like Casey is. Agreed. McAvoy is tremendous, and was seriously underappreciated here. I disagree. I thought all three girls were touchingly real and believable, and I loved that they were all good people. I especially loved that Haley Lu Richardson as Claire Benoit was a seriously decent girl. She was empathetic and kind in inviting Casey to her party, and she was repeatedly strong, unwilling to be a victim, and incredibly brave. I loved the heartbreaking final sequence where she was trying to talk Marcia through her escape in spite of the odds, and hated that she died. I never felt like she was a token sacrifice or female to be fridged. I cared about her and Marcia, as well as Casey. That appears to be canon now, so there are three direct ties to UNBREAKABLE: The loss of Kevin's Dad in train wreck 177, and in the child-abusing woman (Kevin's Mom) that David Dunn encounters about halfway through the movie. And then the final realization that an older David Dunn is watching all this and is obviously going to act to go after the "Beast" (or "Horde"). I'm so excited. Shooting is finished and it's in post-production now, and everyone is pretty much back, with the exception of Wright as David's wife. I'm so excited! I had a fit at the first image of Jackson in purple and in that iconic wheelchair. He's confirmed back, and I'm so pleased, since David's relationship with his son was easily one of the most poignant aspects of UNBREAKABLE for me. Also, Clark and Willis were just wonderful together. I'm looking forward to his son returning to the story with him. What moved me ultimately was that while Dr. Fletcher seemed at first to be a DID fan who was maybe a little too zealous, it broke my heart to realize by the end that she was, in fact, a deeply compassionate therapist who had thought she was helping Dennis and the personalities, and who was broken to realize that she had been enabling their worst personas. I thought she was brave and generous in the end, and I thought Betty Buckley was absolutely fantastic in the role. It was also a reminder for me of how much I wished we saw older actresses in these kinds of roles. She's known as a musical performer (and justifiably) but she was absolutely fantastic here. This was very much how I saw her as well. And I loved that it's ambiguous in the beginning -- is Casey in on it? Passive? Colluding? But no. She's just victimized, abused, and used to reacting to violence in a specific way. It was very well acted and written, and I loved that. Sure. For some, maybe. For me, UNBREAKABLE is easily one of my favorite films; it's also my pick for Shyamalan's best (yes, above SIXTH SENSE), and so when I realized this film took place in that universe, and that gorgeous melancholy musical cue by James Newton Howart started up, I seriously got tears in my eyes. I can't wait for GLASS. UNBREAKABLE is one of my favorite movies of all time, and I think it was really prescient -- far, far ahead of the trend to turn superhero origin stories into reality-based dramas. (For those who don't get the scene, they need to go back and watch UNBREAKABLE, man. It's awesome. Easy solution.) In terms of GLASS, it's currently in post-production, with almost all main characters returning, including Willis, Jackson, Clark, and Woodard from UNBREAKABLE, plus James McAvoy and Taylor-Joy from SPLIT. Really interested to see where this goes! I just hope it's worthy of the characters and stories. But yeah: I'm ridiculously excited for GLASS, and to see so many incredible actors teamed up. I just hope it does justice to David and brings closure (in some kind of compassionate way) to Mr. Glass. (I know he's evil but he's also broken, like Dennis and the DID personalities in McAvoy's character). "The broken are the more evolved." It's a fantastic and poignant idea for a superhero/supervillain universe. I liked the movie a lot and watched it twice. Can't wait for GLASS.
  14. S07.E03: Standoff

    I love this season so far. So of course it's a bummer to wade in here. But I put on extra armor! ;) I'll never understand the POV that Carrie's bipolar condition is a detriment to the drama, or the idea that the show should just have her be competent and smart 24/7. I mean, her disorder is integral to her ongoing life. Every minute, every hour, every day, week, month, year. That's the whole point of the show to me—that Carrie is both brilliant but also that the spark of her brilliance, that gift, is her curse and fatal flaw. It means she is not always trustworthy—to herself or others. It's a fantastic premise and for me the show has never deviated from that. So I can't imagine removing Carrie's bipolar disorder from the show or character's drama. It would be as odd to me as saying, "Well, I liked 'The Sopranos' except for all the mob stuff." Onward! I liked the return of the Kabul operative, and his unexpected softness and understanding toward what she was suffering. Yes, it's perhaps telegraphed as part of the drama. But that's what this is. Homeland has always been operatic. So I don't mind. And the fact that he was able to save her, and then simply stop, and sit with her, I found unexpectedly moving. I actually kind of ship them now if this is the kind of person he is at heart. I feel like Carrie is a person who needs someone in her life, and that this is the kind of guy who could both understand her PTSD and challenges, that he'd accept and salute her patriotism and fervor to do the right thing, but who would also try (in a completely different way) to help her. Just as Quinn did. (It's interesting that he admitted he didn't stop drinking.) And speaking of which: I love that Quinn has been a topic of discussion onscreen so often this season. It really means something to me. I love and mourn him as a character, and the fact that Carrie and others still cry over him is genuinely heartbreaking and moving. The only thing I haven't seen anyone else mention is the gun from episode one, the gun Carrie put back in the bag and carelessly stuffed into the box of winter things in her closet. I keep living in terror that Franny or the other younger daughter will shoot someone with it, and it's killing me. I just can't believe Carrie would NOT have a gun safe. And the box is on the floor (it's not even up in the top of the closet. Aghghg. I have a bipolar sibling, so I've always liked this show's inclusion of it. Yes, they get dramatic about it, but they also do (I think) attempt for a real understanding of how it affects lives and jobs (both inwardly and outwardly). To echo you and @slowpoked, I don't mind the bipolar aspect because it's a fact that it will be part of Carrie's life 24/7 going forward. It's part of who she is. I adore Carrie as a character. And that includes her fragility as a person and her bipolar disorder. It's part of her. And yeah, I totally cringed when she took the Adderall. I 100% agree, and I'll always regret it as a dramatic choice. But, at the same time, I accept and believe it as a part of the story. Much as I've disliked it in the past. However, the inclusion of Carrie's visible maturation in the past 3 seasons as a person has at least made me accept it without too much dislike. She is a better person, a richer and more mature person, with that kind of anchor (not that it has to be a child for others, mind you). I agree. I was heartbroken that here, Carrie's been doing everything right, everything according to requirement, and yet her meds are letting her down, and that's got to be incredibly upsetting. It must feel like a betrayal, even if it's simply chemistry and biology. She's tried to play by the rules, to do what's required, and yet she's at the mercy of this illness. And aside from it, she's a brilliant agent, a superb operative, and yet she's at the mercy of this illness. I find it terrifying and sad. Carrie is a beautiful woman who's smart, brave and talented. Not to mention the protagonist of a major drama. Of course she's going to connect romantically here and there. But how many times has she done so in seven seasons? How many times does the average male protagonist do so? I just can't judge Carrie for potential romantic chemistry with another major character and then clutch my pearls, here. But I know YMMV. This. Well said. Carrie is more than a mother. She's a patriot first. I think motherhood has forced her to address some conflicting feelings there, but I still think her oath to her country transcends almost everything else. And I'm cool with that. I'm so tired of motherhood in fiction as this sanctifying thing that woobifies characters. I know Carrie loves Franny (and would die for her). But it's not that simple.
  15. S06.E12: America First

    Hmmmm. I was satisfied with the finale (I was certain poor darling Quinn was toast, and hated to be right). But I do think it was clunky and only partially successful. But I was incredibly moved by Quinn's actions and had been so terrified that he'd be falsely planted as an assassin, that I was weirdly thrilled that he was able to openly save the PEOTUS and Carrie, and give his life for that. It's who he is and what he trained for. I'll miss him incredibly on the show though -- Rupert Friend was just extraordinary this season. I'm still angry he wasn't nominated or further honored. His ability to capture the physicality of TBI and PTSD were seriously amazing here. This. Although -- I didn't hate this. I was so thrilled when they sent the child away the last season or two, but this season actually worked for me. I still wish Carrie had never had the baby at all, but this wasn't as bad as I would've feared. But I agree with everything you posted, and still support any shows where the woman (thankfully) chooses not to have a child at all, and it's a positive choice and the best thing she could have done. I'm not judging those who DO, mind you. I just think we need continuous, current and positive examples of those who DON'T. This. I was actually horribly, oddly relieved at Quinn's death. He was the kind of person who wouldn't have been able to find peace. He just couldn't let go, couldn't relax, couldn't find another life. His entire life was his work. The irony is, I think he would've been a good analyst, but I think he would have found it frustrating and upsetting not to be able to act. (sigh) I loved Quinn and will miss him. But I was okay with this here. I liked that as well. I was so worried and upset at the first few episodes here but Quinn ended on an incredibly high note. He did what he was trained to do, and he was superb, injuries or no. THIS! I swear to God, I thought the same thing. I was absolutely on the edge of my seat there. Me too. Beautifully put -- it definitely made me a little weepy for one of my absolute favorite people on this show. I felt the same way. I was glad they let Quinn go, especially because they let him die as a hero, doing what he was best at. I couldn't have borne another season of watching that man suffer. I'm just sayin'. And while I think he loved Carrie, I didn't get the same sense from her. She loved him, yes, but it was complex and not as generous and absolute as his (and I say this as someone who loves Carrie). She couldn't keep Quinn in her life with a baby, either -- not with everything he'd done, TBI and unexpected violence. It was never going to work. This is one of the most beautiful and eloquent things I think anyone has ever posted about this show -- thank you. And I think you're right. There is nothing for any of these people that goes beyond country. And that's their heroism, their great strength, their flaw, and their tragedy. Beautifully put -- just a minor note that it was six weeks, not six months, after the funeral. Which I wish we'd seen. This is so insightfuli and I think, very true of Quinn. Quinn is so certain of his own abyss that even this season he has repeatedly reinforced only his worst fears and assumptions about himself, even in the face of the absolute love and comfort of both Carrie and later (even more heartbreakingly) Astrid. He had already listened to the inner despair and especially after his injury, he felt he was beyond saving. He was wrong, but he was magnificent in his generosity, courage, and unflinching duty. But I still wish we could've seen the memorial to him. I wanted a chance to feel for him, to cry for him, to see the others moved for a person they'd known and shed blood with for FIVE YEARS. I still think it was the wrong dramatic choice, not to show us that. I think they even could have shown Carrie make the hard choice not to speak (and wanting to, desperately, to honor him) because she knew he didn't want her to. Last but not least: The final few minutes with Keane were crazy, but I kind of liked it. I did feel that her constant wishy-washy fickleness had to translate into a weakness in the end, and I just never quite liked her (and I love the actress). She was so easy to influence, and it drove me crazy! So I liked the way it translated rather unexpectedly into a terror that became isolationism and corruption and power. It made total sense from her experiences this season and yet will make her a great villain to follow. And I adored that final shot of Carrie looking at the Capitol -- kudos for the way it totally echoed Brody's long-ago and thrillingly scary similar moment.