Manifest Season 2 Episode 3: False Horizon Recap

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So many amusing things happened on Manifest this week that I can’t resist commenting on them, so here’s a recap.

Mick treats Jared like dirt in order to get Zeke out of prison, because those two are legitimately the worst. Grace’s baby makes her hallucinate black dragons. Mick, Zeke and Cal share visions of a horrific plane disaster, which they see as a positive bonding experience.

Ben and Vance decide that lying to Saanvi, tricking her into helping them find the Major and not telling her she’s in mortal peril is A-OK. Saanvi is not okay with this scenario and is smarter than the three of them put together. She has a plan for dealing with them.

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Stumptown Season 1 Episode 10 : Reality Checks Don’t Bounce Recap

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This week on Stumptown, Dex helps a reality show judge with his wayward brother and tries to cope with the thought of Ansel moving out. Miles, Grey and Dex all deal with the fallout from Grey’s relationship with Liz. Miles brings Grey in to help with a case.

Dex spends the episode struggling with her fear of being alone, as symbolized by the many cat and cat lady references. The cat lady references and warnings to uppity women who aren’t nice enough to men and children even spilled over into Fox’s Almost Family, which aired at the same time on Disney’s other broadcast network. Interesting synergy.

I am traumatized by tuning in early enough to catch the last ~minute of the show that’s on before Stumptown, in which a group of very young children coach a very old man on how to pick up women in a bar, then heckle him as he puts their advice to use. This might be the most disturbing thing I’ve seen this month, and I’ve seen the news. It’s like those old commercials that put talking adult faces onto babies. Chilling. We don’t need to find new ways to sexualize children.

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Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist Season 1 Episode 1: Pilot Recap

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There are worse things in life to wake up to than Alex Newell singing in the apartment next door. That’s what happens to Zoey Clarke (Jane Levy) when she develops a new musical superpower early on in the pilot of Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist, NBC’s new hour long musical series. Alex, who plays Mo, a DJ, fashion designer and artist, frequently sings and plays loud music even before Zoey develops her power. With her new talent, she can hear the songs that he only sings inside his head. Zoey is initially too much of a coding nerd to appreciate any of this.

When there’s an earthquake while she’s having an MRI of her head with a radio playing, Zoey acquires the ability to read minds, in the form of watching people sing fully choreographed musical numbers that explain their current state of being. The computer running the test does something funky as the world shakes, making portions of Zoey’s brain light up that shouldn’t be affected.

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Stumptown Season 1 Episode 8: The Other Woman Recap

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This week on Stumptown, Dex faces old foes and old issues in order to solve a case for Sue Lynn Blackbird. Dex and Grey attempt to navigate around Grey’s relationship with Liz, while Liz and Ansel become better acquainted.

Recap

Dex sits at the bar and checks out a comics-style drawing of herself done by Liz, at Grey’s request, for Dex to use on her PI Yelp page. Grey thinks she needs tp jazz up the page to bring in hits and paying customers. Dex, as usual, rejects ideas that are new and related to Liz, despite Ansel’s enthusiastic approval. During the conversation, they find out that Liz played college soccer with Tobin Heath, a famous real life player for the Portland women’s  pro soccer team, the Portland Thorns FC. Ansel is a big fan of the team.

Sue Lynn enters and puts a stack of cash down in front of Dex as a retainer. She says that someone is harassing her using seemingly minor acts and she wants Dex to find out who. They’ve stolen her wallet, broken into her house, put a rotting fish on her windshield, and laid a honeytrap by sending a man to seduce her. He was just her type, but too perfect. Dex thinks she’s being paranoid. She’s barely finished saying it when a bomb explodes on the hood of Sue Lynn’s car. Dex sees Sue Lynn’s point and takes the job.

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Stumptown Season 1 Episode 7: November Surprise Recap

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This week, Dex is hired by the State Senate campaign of Llewellyn Slocombe, a wealthy rancher who was supported by her nemesis Randall Tapper, until Dex cost him so much money that he had to withdraw his donation. Slocombe’s campaign manager, Vanessa, hires Dex to dig up dirt on his gay, but squeaky clean, political opponent, beloved Councilman Dan Gibson. Vanessa gets a little intense about her need to destroy Dan and offers Dex $50k to compromise her morals. Dex decides she can stomach getting involved in politics for that price. Then the building is evacuated because of an anthrax scare.

Politics is a truly cutthroat business.

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Katie Hill, Bodily Autonomy and the Need for Feminist Mama Bears

I put up a new post on my other site, WitchyRamblings.com today. Take a look!

Witchy Ramblings

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The Katie Hill revenge porn saga highlights much that’s wrong with our culture today, especially when juxtaposed against the Trump non-impeachment saga. I’ve watched both unfold with horror, reminded of how truly powerless we average citizens are. Of how powerless women ultimately are.

I don’t have the answers for how to stop revenge porn or Donald Trump and the Republicans. I mean, I do- enforcing the constitution and laws that are already in place would be a good start. So would treating women like the equal, dignified human beings we are. But more energetic, smarter people than me are working very hard on those crises. Sometimes the problems of the patriarchy seem intractable and like they’re only getting worse, no matter how hard we fight.

So today, I’m going to focus on the issue in a more individual way. I was struck by how victimized…

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Netflix’s Daybreak Season 1 Review

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Simply put, Daybreak, Netflix’s post apocalyptic Red Dawn meets Ferris Bueller zombie teen comedy series, is a hot mess. Or, as we used to say in the golden heyday of Tumblr of yore, a problematic favorite.

I purposefully stuffed way too many descriptors into the first paragraph and tried way too hard to sound cool and am now being way too obvious about every single thing I’m doing and speaking in the first person while breaking the 4th wall, in order to give you a sense of what might have been charming in Daybreak but is really just tres, tres obnoxious.

Daybreak, the TV show, is based on the comic book of the same name by Brian Ralph and created by Brad Peyton and Aron Eli Coleite. Like the comic, the main character is a self insert first person narrator who just happens to be a North American straight white male. I haven’t read the comic yet, but from what I understand, it’s more contemplative than the series, described in one article as being more like the 2009 Viggo Mortenson film The Road than Mad Max: Fury Road (2015). Or, you could say more like the original, 1979 Mad Max film.

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Prime Video’s Undone Season 1 Review/Episode 1: The Crash Recap

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Prime Video’s new animated series for adults, Undone, is a unique show that explores mind-bending themes, mental health and family drama in 8 short, 22-24 minute long episodes, making the most of its stellar cast and experienced animation team in each episode. Creators Raphael Bob-Waksberg and Kate Purdy (BoJack Horseman) used the animation technique of rotoscoping to give the series a surreal quality that takes it a step beyond magical realism.

Rotoscoping involves filming the actors in live action, then tracing over the filmed images to create a polished animated product. Undone is the first serialized TV series to be fully animated using rotoscoping. Probably its most famous previous use was in the film A Scanner Darkly. The same team, Minnow Mountain, did the rotoscoping on both that film and Undone.

Undone is the story of Alma Winograd-Diaz (Rosa Salazar), a young woman who is struggling with her goals and identity, in addition to the lingering trauma from her father Jacob’s (Bob Odenkirk) death when she was a child. Outwardly, her life seems Happy and Fine. She lives with her nice boyfriend, Sam (Siddharth Dhananjay), and has a decent job at a daycare center, working with her good friend and boss, Tunde (Daveed Diggs). (Who wouldn’t want to work with the voice of Daveed Diggs?)

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Carnival Row Season 1 Review

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In the world of Carnival Row, Amazon Prime Video’s latest entry into the fantasy epic genre, the darkness is rising. You probably didn’t notice it before if you’re human, so it’s presence now feels new. But in actuality, the darkness has always been around, and has been pretty active for a long time. If you aren’t human, you’ve always known this, since for many years humans have been busy colonizing nonhuman lands, exterminating nonhuman sentient species, and exploiting whoever’s left alive.

We aren’t given much backstory on the whole extermination and exploitation thing, and since Carnival Row is an original story rather than being based on a more detailed original source, such as a book series, we’re left to fill in a lot of blanks. The metaphors are pretty on the nose, so on the surface that’s not hard to do.

When you stop to think about it, even by the end of the season the entirely fictional geographical and political worlds of Carnival Row are left exceedingly vague for a show that’s supposedly about politcal issues which affect refugees. For example, we’re never shown a map, despite shipping routes and battle strategies being discussed repeatedly, providing ample opportunities for the characters to casually flash one.

And I never did figure out who the Pact were, the enemy who drive Vignette, our heroine, from her homeland. I just mentally inserted “Evil Empire” whenever I heard their name. In the long term, their sole purpose was to create refugees, so they didn’t matter enough for me to bother with learning anything more. After that, in a twist of fate, the Burgue, who were supposed to be the refugees’ friends, become the “Evil Empire”.

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