Score Card: Riverdale and Diversity

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Some not so subtle racism in those costumes. Too bad they couldn’t be updated the way virtually everything else in the ‘verse was.

Last season, Riverdale was criticized about the lack of diversity in its main characters. Even though there were many people of color and a couple of LGBTQ characters on the roster, they weren’t given much screen time, and barely spoke when they appeared.

So, this season, Riverdale brought in and/or increased the screen time of the people of color and the other diversity characters. Two episodes in, let’s take a look at how that’s working out.

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Frozen the Musical vs Radical Feminist Theatre

I thought I was done writing about the Frozen live musical adaptation, but I guess I’m not. The thing is, both Metamaiden and I aren’t done thinking about it. The new song Monster, written by Oscar, h*ell, EGOT-winning songwriters, is stuck in our heads, telling us over and over that being a powerful woman is dangerous, that we should either leave and go live in solitude or, even better, kill ourselves, so that we don’t destroy our country and everything we hold dear.

And that’s only the beginning. I, personally, like most adult women, am a sexual assault survivor, which I have rarely, if ever, talked about. (Probably also like most women.) The scene where Kristoff rips Anna’s dress off and forcefully throws it off stage, while telling her how stupid she is, was very triggering for me, especially after seeing it twice.*

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Dear Evan Hansen Rants: Evan and His Mom

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Ooohkay, I have a lot of thoughts on this show, which is funny because I have a lot of issues with it but I also have a lot of meta about it. Who knows how many parts to this there will be. Whichever part comes first will have a hint of some other parts of my analysis, because no piece is complete without the rest, but I’d have to publish a novel to do it all at once. To start, here’s my analysis of one of the most crucial relationships in the show – Evan and his mom, Heidi.

When the world sees Evan’s “Dear Evan Hansen” note*, thinking it was Connor’s suicide note, they’re horrified by how badly it implies Connor’s parents treated him. But those were Evan’s words. What does that say about Heidi? Heidi is the only one, besides the Murphys, who knows it was Evan. And it makes her realize how distant she’s been. She has the same reaction that the rest of the world had towards Connor’s family, but towards herself. As the “you are not alone” line from You Will Be Found plays after Alana shares the note, images of the letter and people’s reactions to it swirl around, and Heidi is briefly in the center of it, looking up at the images. We’re seeing her react to it, really seeing her son for the first time since his father left. She’s being confronted with how far she’s wandered from being the parent she’d intended to be, and how much that’s hurt Evan.

A person’s childhood and parenting shape who they are. Examining Evan’s mother and father, it’s clear how he ended up with the issues he has. Heidi is so exhausted and overextended from working hard just to keep herself and her son afloat and trying to get them a better life by going to school that she doesn’t have anything left for Evan emotionally. Understandably, she needs him to be okay so that she can focus on work and school. In many ways, he is her whole world. Everything she does, from spending so much time at work, to going to school, to looking for ways to get Evan into college, is for him. She is trying. When she hears about Connor’s suicide, she’s concerned about Evan’s reaction to it and tries to reach out to him. She asks him regularly if he still has enough pills and reminds him and encourages him to do the assignments his therapist gives him. She loves him dearly and is doing the best she can, and it’s not her fault that she’s only human and can’t be everything Evan needs.

That said, she also isn’t doing as well as she could. She hasn’t set aside a regular night, perhaps every Saturday or Sunday night, for them to have dinner together. Instead, as Evan points out, she randomly takes nights off without asking him or letting him know about it beforehand and expects him to drop everything and spend time with her.

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iPhones And the High Cost of Healthcare

This week, Utah Republican Jason Chaffetz made a statement on CNN defending the new Trumpcare bill. He said:

“Well we’re getting rid of the individual mandate. We’re getting rid of those things that people said they don’t want. And you know what? Americans have choices. And they’ve got to make a choice. And so, maybe rather than getting that new iPhone that they just love and they want to go spend hundreds of dollars on that, maybe they should invest it in their own health care. They’ve got to make those decisions for themselves.”

Hmmm, Chaffetz doesn’t seem to have paid for his own health care in a while. The cost of an iPhone would pay for six weeks of metamaiden’s insulin. Even with insurance, if we skipped the iPhone, the amount we’d save would only cover the copay for about six months of insulin. That doesn’t include the supplies that it takes to run the pump that delivers the insulin into her blood stream, or the test strips and needles for her blood glucose meter. She also uses a continuous glucose monitor. She happens to have a lifelong chronic illness which costs thousands of dollars a year to treat. Her Type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune disease, not something caused by lifestyle choices. She was diagnosed at ten years old and is currently an honor student in college. Is Chaffetz going to stand there and tell me that she doesn’t deserve decent health care? We, her parents, have always had good insurance and enough money to afford her care, but we have nightmares worrying about what will happen when she goes off our insurance in a few years. No unpaid internships for her, no gaps in insurance, no self-employment, no working for a small business with crappy or no insurance. Not if the Republicans get their way. They say they are keeping some parts of Obamacare care, but they also still have to make compromises to convince the more conservative members of Congress to vote for their version.

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Santa Clarita Diet Season 1 Episode 8: How Much Vomit? Recap

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Sheila is obsessed with her little toe, and trying to reattach it. Unfortunately, she’s not very handy. The glue gun gets glue everywhere (who hasn’t had that happen?), she’s not much of a seamstress, and the toe splits like dry wood when she tries to nail it back on. We’ve all been there. A little part of something has broken off, and it seems like it should be simple to fix, but ends up a disaster. Usually the answer is duct tape.

She gives up and goes back to bed. Joel is awake and hopeful, but losing a toe is bit of a turn off for Sheila. Not that she tells Joel about her toe. She convinces him that they need to make brownies for Lisa instead.

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Nashville Season 5 Episode 9: If Tomorrow Never Comes Recap

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Okay, as the narrator says at the beginning of Jane the Virgin every week, let’s do this thing! If Jane and her telenovela narrator can get through their tough times, so can we! Everybody grab the hand of the person next to you, your favorite beverage for hydration, and a box of tissues.

Last episode, Rayna was held hostage, in a very triggery scene, which she escaped thanks to her own quick thinking. But, then a truck collided with the police car she was riding home in, smashing directly into the side of the car that Rayna was sitting in, as she was talking to Deacon on the phone. We join her again as she’s being rushed into the hospital with serious injuries. She’s in bad shape.

When Deacon arrives, a nurse tells him that Rayna has a shattered pelvis and hip, but is on morphine, so she’s resting comfortably. HA! From my experience, even morphine isn’t going to make that kind of trauma “comfortable,” but whatever. TV medicine. Rayna doesn’t appear to have blood in her brain, and their top ortho is coming in to do Rayna’s surgery.

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Recaps Will Be Late This Week

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I apologize for falling behind on my recaps, especially during the height of February sweeps when it’s just one big reveal after another. I have multiple chronic illnesses, which normally require me to spend lots of time resting. That gives me a lot of time to write. Every once in a while, symptoms overwhelm me and it’s too much to think much or write consistently for more than a few minutes at a time. Flare ups like this usually don’t last more than a week or two, so hopefully I’ll be able to start catching up before long. In the meantime, it’s driving me crazy not to talk about this week’s Riverdale, Nashville, The 100, and Agents of SHIELD yet! OMG!

Nashville Season 5 Episode 4: Leap of Faith Recap

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This week, Juliette rushes her recovery while people push her to take pain pills, Rayna finds a new investor, and Will and Kevin’s relationship falls apart. The leaps of faith are subtle. Avery gives Juliette another chance. Juliette learns to trust her physical therapist, Avery, and God. Rayna takes a chance with a new co-owner/investor of Highway 65 who wants to have input on how the company is run.

Juliette is having a physical therapy session on her bed. She’s having difficulty stretching as far as she could because she didn’t take a pain pill before her session. Avery and the physical therapist are frustrated with her. Juliette is frustrated with her slow progress. She brings up a device that she saw online that would allow her to try walking now. The therapist tells her that she’s not ready for it. Juliette doesn’t want to take no for an answer.

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Meryl Streep Makes Impassioned Speech Calling for Empathy and Vigilance at Golden Globes Ceremony (VIDEO)

Tonight (Sunday, 1/8/17), Meryl Streep was presented with the Cecille B. DeMille Award at the Golden Globe Awards Ceremony for her decades of achievements as an actress. She chose to use the time set aside for her thank you speech to speak as a citizen of the United States and the world, imploring the artists in the room and the people watching to use the arts to fight repression of free speech and the press, and the humiliation and oppression of all types of people targeted by the alt right. She specifically brought up the 2015 incident when Donald Trump mocked chronically ill, physically disabled reporter Serge Kovaleski. Streep asked that we support the Committee to Protect Journalists,” an independent, nonprofit organization that promotes press freedom worldwide. We defend the right of journalists to report the news without fear of reprisal. Every year, hundreds of journalists are attacked, imprisoned, or killed. For more than 30 years, CPJ has been there to defend them and fight for press freedom.” With far right conservative governments being elected in countries around the world, the repression of free speech and the free press are going to get worse before they get better.

A partial transcript of Meryl’s speech under the cut.

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CNN Commentator Receives Trump-Style Pat Down by TSA

She’s Not the First, She Won’t Be the Last.

Metamaiden:

I wouldn’t be surprised if this happens to me at some point. TSA sometimes decides it’s “policy” to pat me down and search all my stuff because I ask them to hand check my external electronic medical devices, so they don’t get ruined by the x-rays. I still walk through the metal detector, and the rest of my stuff goes through the x-rays. They don’t consistently pat me down, it depends on the airport and who’s working that day. Sometimes they argue with me about whether the devices need to be hand checked at all, instead, which is my right according to their own policies.* They’ve spent 10-15 minutes trying to force me out of an inspection that takes them 2 minutes. TSA basically likes to go on power trips, as far as I can tell. This is a perfect example of that. This poor woman.

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