11/6/18: It’s Election Day in the US

 

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Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com 

Let’s Get Out the Vote, Kids!

Voting matters, but, like vaccinations, it only matters if a lot of us participate. This is your chance to affect public policy at every level of government. The votes you cast for candidates at each level will affect your life directly, from the funding of the schools in your neighborhood to the attitudes of the police officers who patrol your city streets, from the amount of college tuition and student loan debt future students will have to live with to women’s right to bodily autonomy in reproductive and sexual issues. These decisions aren’t just made at one level. They are made and carried out by elected and appointed officials and public servants from the town and city level right up to the presidency and the supreme court.

We only vote once a year, and collectively, we can make a huge difference. So if you haven’t voted yet, please get out there!

If you don’t feel informed enough to vote, the League of Women Voters create fantastic, unbiased, succinct local guides at Vote411.org. Enter your address, and they’ll show you your polling place, the races on your ballot, and side-by-side comparisons of the candidates’ positions. Then you can print out a “ballot” with your choices as a reminder to take with you to the polls.

A little inspiration:

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Upcoming Supernatural Shows Part 1: Netflix’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina [Videos]

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Halloween is almost upon us and it’s time for some witchy fun! Next week, on Friday October 26, two relatively lighthearted supernatural series will join the pack. NBC’s Midnight, Texas, based on the book series by Charlaine Harris, author of True Blood/the Sookie Stackhouse mysteries, will return for season 2. And the entire first season of the Riverdale quasi spin off The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, from the same team who brought Archie, Veronica and Bughead to life, will debut on Netflix the same day.

In this post, let’s look at Sabrina, then I’ll make a second post for Midnight, Texas.

238px-chilling_adventuresof_sabrina_issue_2Sabrina is based on the teenage witch from the comics, most specifically from the comic series of the same name written by creator and showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, who is also the showrunner for the CW’s Riverdale. It’s not connected to the 90s sitcom starring Melissa Joan Hart, though I imagine the writers won’t be able to resist throwing in some inside jokes.

The show stars Kiernan Shipka as Sabrina Spellman, a half human-half witch teenager who has a big decision to make on her 16th birthday. Lucy Davis plays Hilda Spellman, the more maternal of Sabrina’s two aunts, who act as her guardians. Miranda Otto plays Zelda Spellman, a fierce, protective witch who wants Sabrina to follow in her footsteps as a devotee of the Dark Lord. (Guess JK Rowling doesn’t own that phrase.) Ross Lynch is Harvey Kinkle, Sabrina’s sweet, clueless, human boyfriend, who has no idea what’s really going on in the town of Greendale, where Sabrina’s chilling adventures take place. The cast is rounded out by Jaz Sinclair, Michelle Gomez, Chance Perdomo, Richard Coyle, and Tati Gabrielle, who play various friends, allies and enemies of Sabrina.

Updated 10/25/18: Added video of Sabrina’s comic book-style opening credits.

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Manifest Season 1 Episode 1: Pilot Recap

 

Oh-My-Gosh, you guys! Manifest is a hit! If you were avoiding watching because you figured it would just be cancelled like all of the other broadcast scifi shows, I think you should give this one a chance. 10.4 million people watched Monday night, which is an increase over the number of people who watched its lead-in show, The Voice. No show has ever built on The Voice’s audience before- everyone has always experienced a drop. It matched the debut of last year’s big hit broadcast drama, The Good Doctor.  And according to TVLine’s poll, 92% of viewers say they’ll keep watching.

Of course, Mr Metawitches and I watched it, too. The mister liked the show a lot. He’s much closer to your average viewer than I am, though he doesn’t care much for run of the mill cop-lawyer-doctor shows, either. But he also doesn’t like the dark, twisty, gross turn that scfi and fantasy have taken in this decade. He’s looking forward to watching the mystery unfold on Manifest this season, as well as the relationships between the characters.

This show appears to be a turn away from the dark and twisty mentality, toward a more positive, family-oriented outlook with characters who want to be good people and do good in the world. What professional reviewers would call hokey or cheesy these days. In fact, I think I saw one or two use those words.

But, honestly, I’m ready for hokey and cheesy to come back. I think a significant portion of the viewing public are, too. The world is a dark place, and we want to believe that there’s good in the world and good people who can be trusted.

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Kiss Me First Season 1 Episode 6: You Can Never Go Home Recap

 

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Adrian has decided to move on from team sports to a one on one battle with Leila. For all of his brave talk about wanting to play a high stakes game, he’s changed the rules at every turn to make sure the deck is stacked in his favor. Leila’s captivity at Adrian’s hands is different from anything we’ve seen before on Kiss Me First, and could be triggering for some viewers who aren’t expecting the sudden change in tone.

Someone, meaning Tippi, Force or Adrian, fished Leila out of the water after the end of episode 5, and tended to her injuries. The action moves back to London for the season finale, though it’s not clear in the beginning exactly where Leila is, other than being held hostage.

I appreciate that Kiss Me First once again shows Leila holding it together while she fights her battle, but needing to break down later. That’s the reality of being strong and good in a crisis. Leila isn’t a psychopath who fakes emotions like Adrian. She’s reserved. Her emotions are internalized, and sometimes deferred to a time when she can express them privately and safely.

For the grand finale, Adrian goes for kidnapping, assault and torture. During the precredits sequence we see Leila stripped down to her skivvies, lying on a mattress, strapped down, and hooked up to an IV that’s keeping her drugged. She rises to consciousness briefly when a bright light shines into her eyes, and struggles against her bindings, whimpering and complaining. Before long she’s drugged unconscious again.

After the title sequence the show moves to Leila’s house, where Jonty is sneaking in through the kitchen window. He can’t stand being left out of the loop any longer and needs to find out what’s happened to Leila. He finds Tess instead. She’s hoping that Jonty has news of Leila.

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The Handmaid’s Tale Season 2 Episode 4: Other Women Recap

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This week, it’s Aunt Lydia’s turn. June is back under her control at the Red Center, and it’s Lydia’s job to turn willful June into submissive handmaid Offred. Her goal is for Offred and the baby to go back home to the Waterfords, so they can finish the pregnancy in the best environment for the baby. Lydia uses every punitive and manipulative tool at her disposal to break June, and continues once June is back in the Waterford home. Serena Joy and Rita aren’t spared from Lydia’s training either. Lydia is relentless, actively encouraging June toward a mental breakdown and dissociative disorder.

The main themes of this season are motherhood, isolation and loneliness, but other women is another one. Each of the women that we’ve come to know is facing a challenge this season, and they each need to decide who they are as a woman, and how they relate to other women.

Does a woman see herself as an island, only responsible for herself and her own needs? As a sister, mother and daughter, responsible for the well-being of her family? Or as a member of her community, however she defines it- the handmaids, Gilead, the human family?

Janine is doing her best to spread her love for her lost child out to her community, making her world a better place. Emily has tried to live as an emotional island, but Janine is challenging her to rethink that. Serena’s inability to have children has forced her to focus outward, but June’s pregnancy is giving Serena hope that she’ll be able to have a more intimate relationship with a child.

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Reverie Season 1 Episode 10: Point of Origin Recap and Season 1 Analysis/Review

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This episode is a nightmare. Oliver finds ways to threaten Reverie in the real world and the virtual world, and threatens Mara and Alexis besides. He’s the worst ex-boyfriend and ex-coworker ever. Both Alexis and Mara spend a significant amount of time dealing with tragic deaths they thought they’d already dealt with. And almost all of my theories and predictions are proven wrong, which is a sad, sad turn of events. The double agents and spies on this show always turn out to be low-level security guards and the like, which is no fun at all.

If Reverie gets a season 2, I hope they fill out their cast of regular and recurring characters more, and bring some complexity to all of the characters. I love the Onira Tech gang, but as it stands, Oliver is the only one who feels like a real human being with the full range of contradictory emotions and reactions. The rest of the regulars are always under control, even when they aren’t or shouldn’t be.

Mara has emotions, but she tries hard to be good. That’s why it feels so wrong to me that Mara talked Ray into shooting himself. Even when she was a down and out alcoholic, she was still a sweet, supportive teacher. Where has her mean streak been all season?

Let’s move on and find out how the writers decided to end the season, since they didn’t use any of my ideas. 😜😜

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The Innocents Season 1 Episode 8: Everything. Anything. Recap and Season 1 Speculation/Analysis

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Everything. Anything., the season 1 finale, begins much the same way as the season premiere did, with the camera floating across the fjord to give the audience a panoramic view of the beauty and isolation of Sanctum’s setting. As with the premiere, Bendik’s Halvorson’s plans are spiraling out of control and he’s trying desperately to stop the chaos. Sanctum is his kingdom, and he rules it with an iron fist covered by a velvet glove. But even on an isolated island, the past has a way of coming back to haunt you.

Live by the sword, die by the sword, as they say.

The shots of the fjord gradually transition to a montage which recaps the season, reminding the viewer where we are now and how we got here. Sohn’s The Wheel plays over the montage. It has a pretty melody and vocals interrupted by staccato silences that sound to me a lot like a record skipping. The contrasts in the song fit the contrasts in the show’s physical and emotional environment well. Every character’s life has been interrupted and rendered out of sync by the events of the season.

On a side note, John is still naked in the morning. I find it hilarious that everyone else at Sanctum is wrapped in multiple sweaters and layers from head to toe, 24/7, but they got John naked as soon as he stepped onto the island. The harem’s been deprived of a broad-shouldered specimen like him for ages and they’re going to take advantage of it. While they launder his clothes, of course. Slowly.

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