a for complex family dynamics

folks …… listen ….. we need to talk abt andi mack 

bc this is a disney show that is about a biracial girl in a chinese american family (let’s make a side note, the three main bffs are: half? i think? chinese, black, jewish!!!!!! bc representation1!!!!!!) about a girl who discovers her older sister is actually her mother who gave her up to her parents bc she wasn’t ready to take care of a child and the shift in their relationship when she discovers this 

it’s already dealt with the complexity of a family dynamic in this situation, dealt with teenagers not letting their crushes define them, talked about protesting unfair dress codes in schools, had an ep about a principal telling the main black character that she can’t wear her natural hair, in its next episode is going to centre on chinese new year (i.e. giving the main character a connection to her chinese heritage) and in the first ep of this season, gave one of the main characters (a jewish boy!!!!!!!) a coming out arc!!!!!! like!!!!! folks!!!!!!! disney is doing that 

y’all who were obsessed w girl meets world (and yes i was too) best get your asses over here and stan this show bc as much i loved gmw, this has diversity and representation eVERYWHERE and i am living for it and i want this show SUPPORTED THANKS

Cesar Millan is a Hack and Everything You Know is Wrong

Well, probably not everything, but there are some serious issues in the dog training world right now and with the advent of t.v shows about dog training and social media it’s getting out of control. 

First off, why call out Cesar Millan?

Because he’s one of the driving forces behind every misconception I’m about to lay out before you. In a nutshell, he has no understanding of dog behavior, he touts himself as a dog behaviorist when the only actual education on dogs he’s had is being a dog groomer, his training methods are misguided at best and abusive at worst. Most actual canine professionals can’t stand him for these reasons. Many, many professionals have written articles roasting him yet he still manages to hang on to his persona of ‘dog whisperer’ because people who don’t know any better mistake his pseudoscience for fact. 

What pseudoscience? Let’s start with the absolute core of his, and many other misguided understandings of dog psychology: The dominance theory.

I hear it all the fucking time. At the dog park “Suzy, get down! Lol sorry, she’s just so dominant” “Aw, he’s so submissive!” “Cody is an alpha, so he’ll try to dominate other dogs at first”. It all makes me want to rip my teeth out with rusty iron chopsticks. Where did people get this idea that dogs naturally fall into dominant or submissive categories? This bullshit all started with, well, bullshit. 

In 1974 a man named Rudolf Schenkel decided to study the social structure and behavior of wolf packs not by, idk, observing them in the wild, but by taking random adults from random packs and throwing them into the same zoo enclosure. Real scientific, right? He created the Alpha-Omega (I.E. Dominant/submissive) structure from the ensuing chaos he observed. In his paper, the man constantly compares dogs and wolves and this became an often sited work in studying dog behavior. In reality, wolves do have a complex social structure but it’s more easily compared to a family dynamic because essentially that’s what it is. This isn’t even that relevant to dog training, however, as dogs and wolves behave very differently. (This is, by the way, why the keeping of wolf dogs is extremely difficult and should only be done by professionals). Despite being debunked numerous times, this study continues to be used as a foundation of many dog training methods, and has been taken to truly bizarre and even sickening levels. 

Check out these nuggets of “information” from a popular dog website. Not only is it dripping with completely unfounded dominance bullshit, but it also pushes the idea (as does Cesar) that dogs have a pack mentality. This isn’t really the case either. Dogs ARE social animals and having a social structure around them is VITAL, but this ‘pack’ mentality is being pushed in an unhealthy way. It follows the dominance theory and states that dogs must find their ‘rank’ in their ‘pack’ and that hyper-romanticized wolf pack structure “rules” must be followed. Here’s a debunking of them:

1. Dogs literally do not care who’s head is higher. This is a classic example of hyper-romanticized wolf behavior and is contracted many times on this site when they assert a small dog can be “dominant” over a big one. 2. Dogs are curious animals and have usually been socialized to think that humans = play and tummy rubs. Your dog is excited and curious about the newcomer and, if not trained otherwise wants to investigate (and possibly get those tummy rubs) asap. 3. More romanticized nonsense. If your dog acts adversely to being moved from where she’s resting, it’s because of a training issue (and likely lack of proper socialization) and not because she’s being “dominant”. 

1. Dogs do not have starring contests. Looking away while being stared at isn’t your dog “submitting” to you. It’s a sign that the dog is uncomfortable and I would be too if someone was engaged me in an impromptu staring contest. It’s that dog’s way of saying “dude, can we not do this?” Also another behavior that I’ve seen people interpret as ‘submission’; opening the mouth and/or panting. This is indicative of stress. Think of how you might begin to sweat if you’re stressed. Same basic principle. 2. Dogs want to sleep in bed with you because the bed is comfortable and they like being around you. The position literally does not matter, though you may want to make the bed invitation only just as a general part of training. 3. This is a matter of preference. Personally, I allow my dogs to roughhouse with me and me alone because I don’t mind it and I can teach them a biting threshold so that they never hurt me. I find this lays a good foundation to make sure they’re gentle when I train them to bring me things, etc. 

Ever seen a kid fall down, but not start crying until his mom freaks out? Same basic principal applies here. Your dog isn’t “instinctively understanding you’re the alpha”. You’re projecting confidence and because your dog looks to you to help her understand the world, you’re making her feel safe and assured. On the other hand, if you act fearful, like the kid who looks to his mom after he fell, your dog will look to you and see that something is not right and it’s time to be fearful. “Mom is upset and on edge so I should be too!”. 

1. Good feeding habits are a must, but eating before your dog is not. Dogs are not wolves and even wild wolves (and lions for that matter) the leader usually eats first along with the pups/cubs and they usually don’t eat their fill before the others are allowed to eat. 2. Appearing to eat out of his bowl is completely unnecessary and is usually only done when trying to correct resource guarding behaviors. 3. There’s a difference between begging for food/being disruptive and not even allowed to be excited to eat. This is the line that made me want to punch this woman in the face. Imagine being psychologically abused to the point where a dog isn’t even allowed to wag it’s tail when it knows it’s about to be fed. A dog who sits down without intensely staring or turns away isn’t being ‘respectful’; in this case it’s likely been abused and is avoiding a stimulus that’s been paired with abuse (the preparation of food). 

Using these methods to train a dog can produce a well behaved dog like child abuse can produce a well behaved child. They may appear to work, but the subject in question will not be happy or well adjusted. 

Why do people keep flocking to this bullshit? For the same reason they love to reblog outlandish “facts” on this hellsite (Like, does anyone else remember that “did you know” post that claimed there was a recessive gene that made a woman’s eyes purple, have no period yet be fertile, and grow no body hair? Seriously) and unfortunately some people flat out use it to justify abusing their dogs. It puts people as the “alpha” and makes them feel powerful. It sounds scientific to people who don’t know any better. Mr. Dog-groomer chinstrap says it’s good on T.V. 

So what’s a better frame of mind to be in when you train dogs? Remember there’s no one set of ‘rules’ that will result in the perfectly trained dog and remember that every dog is different. Do all the research you can and remember your dog is…a dog. Your dog is not going to plot vengeance, nor is it always going to understand things that seem perfectly logical to you. Be patient, ask for help if you need it, don’t lose your shit, and again, learn absolutely everything you can. 

Reminder to watch the Chinese New Year episode of Andi Mack tomorrow! 

I can’t remember any other Disney Channel show focusing on an Asian character’s cultural identity as a main story and not making it a joke so this is really a first. 

We’ll also be introduced to Ceci’s sister and I’m all about more complex family dynamics. 

Also, the show hired a Cantonese language consultant for the sake of making this real. 

SO SUPPORT THIS GREAT SHOW & ASIAN AMERICAN REP. 

popsugar.com
Why Tyrion Lannister Is the Only Man Sansa Should End Up With on Game of Thrones
The following contains light spoilers for Game of Thrones season seven. We can expect many exciting things from Game of Thrones season eight, but the one
By Brinton Parker

The following contains light spoilers for Game of Thrones season seven.

We can expect many exciting things from Game of Thrones season eight, but the one I’m most excited about is Sansa Stark’s inevitable reunion with Tyrion Lannister. You might be thinking: “Why would you be excited about Sansa seeing her former husband again, you weirdo?” Well, the answer is easy — because I think that, if Sansa ever decides to give love another shot, it should be with Tyrion. They’d be great together.

The audience wants a happy ending for Sansa, and for many fans, that hope manifests itself as visions of her finally finding the guy or gal of her dreams.

I know, I know … we need to give Sansa a break and stop expecting that romance could solve her problems. I’m all about it! I fully support a Game of Thrones that ends with my favorite character as the happily single Lady of Winterfell. But the fact is, the audience wants a happy ending for Sansa, and for many fans, that hope manifests itself as visions of her finally finding the guy or gal of her dreams.

Well, if we’re entertaining ideas of Sansa falling in love again — why not with Tyrion? Sure, they’ve been married once before, but that is a marriage between and man and child; and what’s more, it is a marriage that both parties are forced into. A marriage under duress isn’t exactly a setup for success, but in the scheme of GOT unions it is a relatively happy one. Despite the other Lannisters’ unspeakably cruel treatment of Sansa, she and Tyrion have a mutual respect borne partly out of their agreement not to consummate the marriage.

Eventually, of course, the marriage ends when Sansa flees King’s Landing, unintentionally implicating Tyrion in his nephew Joffrey’s murder. But as we’re reminded when Jon Snow and Tyrion meet at Dragonstone in season seven, there are no hard feelings between the former spouses. So now that Tyrion is headed north with Jon and Daenerys, here’s my take on why he and Sansa could actually make a perfect couple should they reconnect at Winterfell.

Why Sansa and Tyrion Are a Perfect Pairing:

  1. He is the only man who has never wanted anything from her. From the start of their relationship, Tyrion is the only man outside of Sansa’s family who doesn’t manipulate her for his own gain. In fact, he wants nothing more than to make her happy, constantly seeking to make up for his family’s awful treatment. On their wedding night, Tyrion swears to Sansa: “I promise you one thing, my lady: I won’t ever hurt you.” And unlike the other men she interacts with in the series — manipulative Littlefinger, abusive Joffrey Baratheon, and sadistic Ramsay Bolton — Tyrion actually honors his promise.
  2. He respects her boundaries. After they exchange vows, Tyrion refuses to bed Sansa, whom he knows has no interest in sleeping with him. “I won’t share your bed. Not until you want me to,” he tells her, and when she asks how he’d react if she never wants to sleep with him, he toasts her with: “And now my watch begins.” Sansa later endures unspeakable sexual trauma at the hands of one man who doesn’t respect her wishes, and constantly has to ward off unwanted romantic advances from Littlefinger. Tyrion is the only one of Sansa’s suitors to recognize and even celebrate her boundaries.
  3. He admires her family. In one particularly touching scene during their marriage, Tyrion tells a grieving Sansa about how much he respected her parents and her brother Robb. “What happened to your family was a terrible crime,” he tells Sansa gently, adding emphasis to his admiration for her mother’s fierceness. Tyrion is also one of Jon Snow’s biggest advocates, convincing Daenerys Targaryen to give Jon a chance and eventually helping solidify a powerful alliance between the two houses.
  4. He makes her smile. Somebody who has endured as much pain and abuse as Sansa doesn’t have much to smile about, but Tyrion is the cause of several rare instances when Sansa laughs and smiles. Even during one of the darkest periods of her life as Joffrey’s prisoner in King’s Landing, Tyrion knows how to make Sansa forget her sadness for a moment or two.
  5. Tyrion does his best to protect Sansa. Even before they are wed, Tyrion sticks his neck out to protect Sansa. Most notably, when Joffrey has her stripped and beaten before a court of onlookers, Tyrion immediately puts a stop to the spectacle, covers a humiliated and frightened Sansa with his cloak, and gently escorts her from the hall.
  6. They’ve both been jaded by love. Neither Sansa nor Tyrion have had it easy when it comes to romance. Sansa’s forays into love have resulted in either her family’s deaths (courtesy of once-fiancé Joffrey) or extended periods of ghastly physical and emotional abuse (by way of husband Ramsay Bolton). Tyrion, of course, is betrayed by his lover Shae. He once says to Sansa: “The disgraced daughter and the demon monkey. We’re perfect for each other!” It seems that they’re a good fit not only because of their negative reputations, but also because of their bad luck in love.
  7. They hold each other accountable. The night of their wedding, Sansa gently chides her drunken new husband when he reaches for more wine with: “Is that wise, Tyrion?” As she grows comfortable with Tyrion, she becomes even less afraid of voicing her opinion with him. And he, too, holds her accountable; after the Red Wedding, when Sansa dissolves into depression and makes herself a target for Joffrey, Tyrion tells her: “Sansa, your mother would want you to carry on. You know it’s true.” They each know how to encourage and chastise the other when appropriate, asserting respectful guidance when necessary for the other’s benefit.
  8. She won’t be afraid to challenge him. As Lady of Winterfell, Sansa has been anything but meek when voicing her political opinions to Jon Snow. She knows when her diplomatic ideas are right, and she is vocal about how things should be done. Were she and Tyrion to reunite, she would be able to counter his ideas with her own, debating about which course is the correct one.
  9. She understands his complex family dynamic. If anybody understands why Tyrion hates his own siblings, it’s Sansa, who spends years with them at King’s Landing. While Daenerys questions Tyrion’s loyalty to her own cause, wondering why he would leave Cersei and Jaime, Sansa would grasp the idea easily — Tyrion has always been different from the rest of the Lannister clan.
  10. Together, they’re unstoppable. With Tyrion’s quick wits and clever strategy, and Sansa’s years of quiet observance in court, they would make an unbeatable force in the game of thrones. They’ve each seen the downfall of several major players, and both have a rare gift for ruling fairly, diplomatically, and strategically. Now both trusted advisers of two different rulers, Sansa and Tyrion could provide valuable insight for Jon and Daenerys’s future kingdom.

I’m not saying that Sansa needs to find love again, but if she does, Tyrion Lannister is the only guy so far who is close to worthy of her affection. Just write “The Lion and The Wolf” on my tombstone, because I will go down with this ship!

anonymous asked:

Edward Ferrars seems weak to me. He impulsively proposes to someone he barely knows (Lucy) because he's feeling lost, he shows clear interest in Elinor despite being engaged to someone else, he kind of leads Elinor on and then withdraws without telling her why, and he jst generally seems to let his mother and sister railroad him despite knowing they're awful. I feel like Elinor would ultimately do better with a stronger, more independent man whom she could fully respect.

None of Austen’s heroes are perfect, to be frank, and I wouldn’t wish them to be, but this is a very strong scrutiny of Edward’s flaws without much balance given by considering his circumstances, or even the part Elinor played in everything, or her own flaws and circumstances as well. Edward’s not an evil actor in all he does, and Elinor is not a put-upon paragon. (Also where is this Better Man Elinor’s gonna find and love? She has no social life. She is not a girl for the London style of courtship. Why sacrifice the Edward we actually see and know to some abstract dude who never turns up and is unlikely to? Elinor and Edwards’ hearts are already lost by chapter five. The rest of the book is them trying to deal with that.)

Edward proposes to Lucy when he’s nineteen–and there are very few people who could make a sensible proposal of marriage at nineteen. For his era and his position, Edward couldn’t honourably continue his flirtation with Lucy without any intention of doing right by her and making her an offer, and so he does–because he knows that’s what a just and honourable man would do. He’s foolish and doesn’t know what real regard is, but imagines he does for long enough to get himself bound to a promise to Lucy. This happens throughout Austen–perhaps the most famous fall-out of such a situation being Mr. Bennet and Mrs. Bennet’s marriage. I don’t know that Edward would end up displaying such obvious contempt for Lucy, and Lucy herself is much cleverer than Mrs. Bennet. The pain of a hasty match would certainly take its toll on any couple, but it’s also not exactly the end of the world. In a society which insists upon marriage as a provision for genteel women and a strict form of honourable courtship, there isn’t much room for a young man like Edward to behave in any way other than what he does. He’s not a rake. He’s not got his father taking him up to London and letting him run riot among sex-workers to blow off some steam and realize that superficial flirtations are just that. He’s isolated and lonesome and has no guidance on true wisdom, and every encouragement from those he considers his closest friends at Mr. Pratt’s to pursue Lucy.

For your second point–does he show a clear interest in Elinor? These are young people to whom the lines between friendly accord and courtship get very blurred, indeed. Marianne and Mrs. Dashwood presume there is something deeper going on, and even Elinor may privately hope that perhaps there is, but Marianne and Mrs. Dashwood are noted as being intensely romantic-minded and eager to see what they wish to see. Elinor protests to her own family that she has no definite proof of her own admiration for Edward being mutual. When Marianne brings it up, Elinor is deeply uncomfortable and tries to deny it all, because she sees the very danger she wishes to avoid–and which Marianne, later, does not–in believing in a deeper attachment to exist without any solid proof. Elinor feels her own perceptions may be coloured by wishful thinking, and this is apparently not an entirely unreasonable presumption. Edward has been living at Norland with the family in a very intimate fashion, as Fanny’s brother, and beyond his shyness, he is a good person. Friends are rather thin on the ground at Norland, so if there is natural accord between Elinor and Edward, Elinor especially may be drawn to him. Does it follow that Edward is displaying a clear romantic interest and intention to Elinor? With his shy nature and his own knowledge of his being honour-bound to Lucy, I really doubt that he gives any overt sign to Elinor that he is harbouring any deeper feelings for her, unless it is entirely subconscious and against his will, which would then have to be signs so subtle that it’s entirely right that Elinor cannot hold them up as proof of his intentions, if indeed he has any intentions at all. (Which we know he cannot, due to Lucy’s existence.)

So, no, Edward does not show clear signs of interest–unless simply getting along well with somebody is a sign of clear interest (which Marianne and Mrs. Dashwood definitely think it is, but look where that gets Marianne,)–and he does not lead Elinor on, unless Elinor picks up on some vague sense of feeling and runs with it as a certainty, (which, c’mon, this is Elinor, she would very much resist doing that.) Elinor amends her own words in explaining to Marianne her feelings for Edward, that it is not even a suspicion but a hope of his returning her affection. She begins to say she suspects but must immediately retract and clarify that to acknowledge that she only hopes. Even Elinor acknowledges that she has no real reason to firmly believe that Edward cares for her enough to warrant any expectation. In her heart, she harbours a few doubts, but generally will allow that she believes he likes her–which is not unreasonable–but must acknowledge that there are many difficulties in their way which would make a proposal more and more unlikely…and she does not even know about Lucy! Even without Lucy, Elinor has more than enough considerations to keep her from truly believing that Edward owes her a proposal. Elinor even often observes in him a kind of depression, which we later find out is likely due to his feeling the increasing contrast between what he feels for Elinor and what he owes to Lucy. Edward is by no means playing the scoundrel with Elinor, and has this tendency to withdraw into himself in a morose way and put up these walls in his unhappiness as he considers his future. This only gets worse as they spend more time together, after forming their easy and natural bond: “…the longer they were together, the more doubtful seemed the nature of his regard; and sometimes, for a few painful minutes, she believed it to be no more than friendship.

It’s at this point that Fanny sees or hears enough to interfere, though as Marianne and Mrs. Dashwood are already treating Elinor and Edward as if an engagement must exist, it’s impossible to say if Fanny picks up on that or on some subtle element of her brother’s own behaviour, or a combination of it all.

Elinor attempts to guess at the cause of Edward’s melancholy, and presumes it is to do with his difficult family situation with his mother, which is still keeping him in this kind of limbo with his hands tied, idle and unable to do anything he really wants to do, even for an active career, much less for his choice of a wife. This is a delicate and painful enough situation that she knows better than to inquire, and, honestly, knows she has no right to know the particulars. It would be extremely weird and awkward for Edward to even broach the subject with her, and he knows that would possibly lead to conjecturing about how all his family issues are bound up in his hypothetical marriage, as well. And he cannot tell her about Lucy. I know in the 1995 adaptation he seems to begin to explain, but this never happens in the book, and never ought to happen at all–Edward has a duty to protect Lucy’s reputation, and even telling Elinor would be a pointless betrayal of his honour. As Elinor herself fights the notion of harbouring any expectations, and represses her own feelings, Edward believes he can simply safely say nothing about any of it, to anyone. To confess to Elinor about Lucy would be to openly admit that he does feel something deeper for her, and only be giving Elinor greater pain in confirming their mutual regard at the same time as acknowledging that they can never be together. We see no direct interaction between Edward and Elinor on the page in those early days–it is all second-hand recollections as they are narrated or discussed between the Dashwood women.

Edward is in a kind of stasis as regards his mother and sister, with his inheritance and career and marriage–basically all the pillars of his future life–in a very uncertain position. He knows he has made at least one promise to Lucy, however, and he knows enough of his own mind to know that he does not wish for a life of public glory and distinction in the world of fashion, as Mrs. Ferrars and Fanny would like. So do they railroad him into doing what they want? They want him to be someone grand in society, and to marry Miss Morton, a lord’s daughter with 30 000 pounds. He…does not. He treads delicately and doesn’t seem to do much of anything for a few years, likely not wanting to upset the family balance, or wishing to find a way to be happy in his own way within the mess of the Ferrars’ family dynamics and his tyrant of a mother and insipid siblings. (Family dynamics are complex and we probably all have awful relatives we maintain some degree of contact with because family. And people raised with awful parents and siblings know that these relationships are rarely cut-and-dry, and it can take many years and a lot of strength to even begin to question the toxicity you’re raised to view as ‘normal’.) Yet in his quiet idleness, Edward is still resisting. He is not shoved into a career he despises, he does not take Miss Morton and her fortune. He keeps the peace as he’s probably trying to figure out what the hell he’s supposed to do with his life without burning bridges unnecessarily, and along the way he meets Elinor and oops he falls in love.

Ultimately, of course, his engagement to Lucy is exposed, but when the shit hits the fan and he’s served ultimatums which now will decide the course of his future life, he is given the opportunity to maintain a ‘good’ relationship with his own family by at least agreeing to marry Miss Morton and be ‘forgiven’, but Edward at this point digs deep and doubles down and knows that it’s now or never. He upholds the honour of his promise to Lucy and resigns himself to a precarious and poor position as he scrambles to find a way to make even the barest living to support a wife and family, giving up all else for the sake of a woman he now knows he can neither love nor respect. Until he hears of Lucy’s dealings with Robert, he does truly believe she is simply an ignorant girl who truly loves him, and that for him to break off his engagement to her would be a cruelty she does not deserve. He is willing to burn down every certainty of material and emotional comfort in this world to stand by who he is and the choices he made for himself, so I don’t really see him, at any point, being truly pushed around by his mother and sister. When the chips are down, he knows what he has to do in order to at least be able to look himself in the eye as an honourable man.

Edward finds his strength and his independence, and in the end, when Elinor knows everything and knows exactly how terrible Lucy is, she sees what he’s done, and she respects the heck out of him for it, even as she knows he will be unhappy, and is sorry for him. She’s long known of the secret engagement, so she’s been doing her best to pack away her own feelings, but for Edward’s sake she can at least see the virtue in his final freedom from his family’s interference, and the self-respect he will have in pursuing the life he wants, even if it is not with the woman he wants. Edward is not flashy, he is not overtly romantic, but his honourable intentions cannot be doubted, and the strength he requires to go against his family when there is no possible benefit to himself apart from Knowing He Did the Morally Right Thing gives him a deep and abiding dignity which cannot be denied.

Elinor is not her sister–she does not dare display her feelings for Edward at any point. Though she later does reproach Edward for remaining at Norland and apparently giving rise to expectations from their families, as well as her own hopes, he can point out that he had no idea he was putting Elinor in any real danger of falling in love with him. Whatever Elinor’s own mother and sister might have fancied they saw, Edward either did not know the nuances of Elinor’s character intimately enough to recognize her feeling, or else Marianne and Mrs. Dashwood may have exaggerated what they perceived because they wished it to be so. Edward admits that he fell in love too gradually to suppose there was any risk to himself or Elinor, and, after realizing his own feelings, still did not believe he could rely on Elinor’s returning them–and at that point he could have no desire for it, knowing he was bound to Lucy. Even Mrs. Dashwood is ultimately rather surprised to find out how much Elinor felt for Edward, having long since convinced herself that she must have been mistaken at first in believing Elinor to have cared for Edward very deeply: “[Mrs. Dashwood] found that she had been misled by the careful, the considerate attention of her daughter, to think the attachment, which once she had so well understood, much slighter in reality than she had been wont to believe, or than it was now proved to be. She feared that under this   persuasion she had been unjust, inattentive–nay, almost unkind, to her Elinor:–that Marianne’s affliction, because more acknowledged, more immediately before her, had too much engrossed her tenderness, and led her away to forget that in Elinor she might have a daughter suffering almost as much, certainly with less self-provocation, and greater fortitude.”

While I’d hesitate to say any or all of the misery is one or the other’s fault in all of this, as we see Elinor and Marianne react to similar situations in very different ways, and both suffer mightily for it; I wouldn’t be quick to condemn Edward, who in actuality appears so little in the main portions of the narrative. We never even really hear his own true thoughts and feelings until the very end, when he is open with Elinor about all that has passed. His behaviour towards Elinor is viewed through the lens of the Dashwood women; and his behaviour to Lucy is then viewed through the lens of Elinor’s knowledge of the secret engagement, and later through all the gossip of Mrs. Jennings and her circle. (Naturally we find it difficult to believe it when Lucy speaks of Edward’s glowing protestations of deepest love after their engagement is revealed, knowing word of it will all eventually get back to Elinor. He likely does his best to re-assure her that he will stand by her and that he appreciates her constancy and affection even after he has been cut off with no prospects, but doubtless this is not in such profuse and animated terms of violent passion as Lucy would like everyone to think.)

Elinor does fully respect a strong and independent Edward–and it is even she who must encourage him to reconcile with his mother, where Edward for a time remains too proud and angry at Mrs. Ferrars to even consider reaching out to her for any kind of forgiveness, even if it could result in some material advantage which would enable him and Elinor to marry sooner rather than later. In the end they are both able to see where their own behaviour unwittingly led them into painful circumstances; but as they are now together and happy, reproach for what each did without being aware of the effects upon others is rather pointless.

Seven Things About Supernatural: 12x10 - “Lily Sunder Has Some Regrets”

So basically that was the best birthday present ever and I want to marry Steve Yockey.  Which, uh…he’s probably got opinions about, but at least I’m not Lube Guy this time around, right? 

  1. Okay.  So.  Gender and vessels.  I am here for this, and wish we’d get more of it because there’s so much potential for exploring things.  Benjamin’s use of masculine pronouns in a female vessel, Cas being very clear that Benjamin is an angel in a vessel, and that these things are distinct, Castiel’s previous female vessel, etc. all make me want more data about how this looks from an angelic point of view.  

    Angels probably aren’t doing genders the way people do genders, but given that we’ve seen cross-pronoun vessels multiple times over the course of the show (Raphael, Hannah, Castiel, Benjamin) and those gendered pronouns are preserved, there’s some kind of identity thing happening here.  Possibly not intentionally on the part of the writers, but…well, there’s enough of it in canon now that the idea of wavelengths of intent having some kind of affinity seems like a thing now, and I’m so fucking here for it.  
  2. There is so much in this ep about angels and humans in relationship, both positive and toxic.  Ishim becomes obsessed and abusive toward Lily and hates humanity, Akobel loves humanity and has a positive relationship with Lily, Benjamin has a close relationship with his vessel that potentially reads subtexually as romantic – Sam is the one who says “friend” before Cas can find a word – but is at least mutually satisfying, Cas’ relationship with the Winchesters (with none of them willing to sacrifice the other) develops and is discussed, and even Lily’s possible reconciliation with Cas.  

    Heaven has always tried to pretend it is a united front, with a monolithic (and often negative/dismissive) view of humans, but this episode shows us how diverse those views actually are in practice when angels are given an opportunity to form their own opinions/relationships. 
  3. Benjamin and Akobel deserved better.  Benjamin was interesting for the five minutes we saw him, and I’m so curious about the nuts and bolts of his relationship with his vessel.  Angels don’t beg for their own lives; Benjamin was begging for his vessel’s safety.  As for Akobel, did you see how kind?  How affectionate?  How protective?  This is an angel who understood The Mission.  Who cared.  [insert “GROSS SOBBING” gif here.] 
  4. You know, for an episode that retcons the “angels didn’t walk the earth for centuries” thing, this ep is kind of a reverse Buckleming.  So many callbacks, so many strong references to, reinforcements of, and reimaginings of earlier canon.  Some of it is small, like Ishim’s comment about Castiel being a “spanner in the works.”  Some of it is bigger, like Dean’s disapproval of rescues that invoke cosmic consequences, Sam’s experience of soullessness.  Hell, we’ve got the wing-shaped burn marks back.  I think we can trust Yockey with canon, guys.  
  5. Cas.  Cas is so worthy.  I’m glad that this episode served to illustrate that, both in terms of the story we see and his experience as a character.  This episode has given us so much about his development, and how he has come to deeply respect both humanity and genuine justice.  He’s given up on that Great Chain of Being bullshit.  He’s ready to fight down someone who is unjust and violent, and to take responsibility for past injustice.

    He more than deserved that beer at the end of the episode.  I’m also really hoping that Operation Drink And Find Another Way works out.  (I mean, it’s Supernatural, so there’s going to be a lot of sobbing and drinking, but…)
  6. Lily Sunder is probably one of the most sympathetic characters we’ve seen in a long while.  She’s just…it’s weird to describe her as reasonable and human and wonderful, but that’s the best way to do it.  She’s still a bit otherworldly, which makes sense given that she’s over a century old and burning out her own soul to use Enochian magic, and she’s coldly calculating about Sam’s place in things when Dean leaves to help Cas/fight Ishim, but she’s also got more humanity and conscience than we often see in similar characters.  She’s emotionally complex and dynamic.  Good, good stuff. 
  7. So many good Winchester Family Dynamics moments.  Sam third-wheeling Dean’s snit with Cas, knowing when Dean’s going to storm the cafe, the brothers sticking up for Cas, Dean’s problem with Mary jumping back into hunting v. Sam’s feeling that she’s just being who she is, Dean’s show of respect and understanding when he gives Cas a beer…  So good.  

But yeah, this ep is so good.  Just…

i am literally sat here bawling my eyes out i love this show so much

i love marcus, he is so fucking strong and so principled and so deeply kind even to complete strangers after being abused and abandoned over and over

i love tomas for realising that he has made mistakes and gone against his ethics but he has never stopped fighting to be a better person and never, ever gave up on the rance family

i love casey and cat for never letting each other be alone through their traumas even though they resent each other sometimes and giving up everything for their sister 

i love henry for being the best dad in the world and reassuring his daughters and telling them he loves them while literally being tortured by a demon in his wife’s skin   

i love angela motherfucking rance for being the literal embodiment of badassery and survival and taking back control over her life 

i love bennett for putting up with marcus and actually caring about him deeply even though he disagrees with him on so many things and for the fact that he can snap a bitch’s neck in like it’s nothing

just genuinely this show is so important showing the positives and negatives of faith and the struggles that come with it, showing multiple trauma survivors and their different ways of handling their lives, and having such a rich and complex family dynamic in the rances

i just really, really love the exorcist and everyone should watch it

4/5 Stars.

Celeste Ng proves once again that she’s an expert at writing deeply insightful stories about complex family dynamics.

In the upper-middle class suburban community of Shaker Heights Ohio, Elena Richardson lives a comfortable and orderly life with her husband and four teenage children. That is, until Mia Warren and her teen daughter Pearl move into town. As the two families become entwined and find themselves on opposing sides of an issue that rocks their town, hidden motives and deep secrets are exposed that will leave everyone forever changed.

Little Fires Everywhere is an intimate story about motherhood and community that raises lots of interesting questions with no easy answers. Ng reminds us that there are two sides to every story, and that the assumptions we make about others sometimes reveal the most about ourselves.

Though it takes some time to really get moving, it’s for the most part rather engrossing. There are points when Ng’s descriptions are unnecessarily detailed, and it’s grating that she refers to Elena as Mrs. Richardson in her third-person narration. But she writes characters who are believable and nuanced, and there’s something shamefully entertaining about watching a picture-perfect family unravel.

Ng gives readers a lot to think about while wrapping them up in a captivating story that intricately weaves together all the separate pieces in a way that feels satisfying and complete.

sweetsugarhoneyfics  asked:

What kind of relationship do you think Emmett has with each of the other Cullens individually? Do you think he ever gets pissed off with any of them?

I think for the most part he’s an easy-going guy and doesn’t get pissed off much, but he will get ‘mad’ or annoyed at losing a video game or bet or wrestling match and might sulk about it. I think if he DOES get mad from time to time it’s when people aren’t being fair to Rosalie–but since we don’t see it in canon, I can’t say that for sure, but I still think that was related to the “protagonist-centered morality” thing, so like when Rosalie apologized in New Moon, Emmett was all “doesn’t count until she’s conscious” (because Bella was so exhausted) rather than “Don’t worry, Babe, wasn’t your fault.” And I think, realistically, he would have told Jacob to knock it off in Breaking Dawn once it got physical (throwing the dog bowl at her head). Like blonde jokes and dog jokes are fine, but there’s a line and I would have liked to have seen Emmett stick up for Rosalie here, but in this case Jacob was our narrator/protagonist so Emmett just laughed. 

I think Jasper’s the one who he has a lot of fun with, Emmett makes Jasper act his physical age, and they’re both from the South (along with Alice) so there might be some shared culture there that Emmett doesn’t have with big city rich kids like Edward and Rosalie. It’s wrestling matches with Jasper and video games with Jasper and making obnoxious bets with Jasper. Very brotherly and fun. 

Likewise his relationship with Edward is brotherly, too, and there’s an element of that bringing out the happier side of Edward, but there are limits, at least during the peak of Edward’s pre-Bella melancholy. Emmett seems to think of himself as Edward’s “big brother” calling him stuff like “kid” and all, even though Edward is actually older than him in terms of how long he’s been a vampire and how long he’s been on earth. I imagine there’s a lot of teasing but also a protectiveness.

I sort of imagine Emmett/Alice as a more light-hearted version of the Edward/Rosalie sibling rivalry. Lots of teasing and pranks that sometimes spill over into arguments because Alice told Emmett who would win the Big Game, or Emmett destroyed another nice shirt or pair of pants by being reckless and rough. I imagine he has a lot of nicknames for her related to her being so tiny. 

Emmett’s 20 to Carlisle’s 23, so I don’t know how father/son their relationship actually is. I’ve said before I think the Cullen family dynamics are more complex than that, and that it’s really only Edward for whom Carlisle’s mostly a ‘father’ (and perhaps Alice, not remembering hers and seeing Carlisle/Esme in her visions from almost the beginning), but for the rest it’s more of a vague fatherly figure, an Obi Wan, a Dumbledore, an Aslan. The benevolent captain of the spaceship they’re all traveling on. Sort of a mentor, a teacher, and example, rather than a “let’s go outside and play catch, son” Dad thing. I think Emmett gets a kick out of making Carlisle laugh, and that Carlisle, being only 23, finds more of Emmett’s antics funny than he might be willing to admit out loud. 

Emmett and Esme might be a little more parental, just because Esme just exudes that “Mom” aura, and I think she’s the one who does scold and discipline him when he gets out of hand. But we’re not talking spanking or grounding, but like “EMMETT DID YOU TRACK BLOOD ALL OVER THE CLEAN FLOORS?! CLEAN THEM UP THIS INSTANT YOUNG MAN.” I like to imagine he helps her cook sometimes, that it reminds him of his human life and helping his Ma. I think they also share a bond because they both were instantly dazzled by their future spouses and woke up to this new life with love waiting for them. I think they’re more appreciative than some other members of the family because they didn’t have that “waiting for decades/centuries to find ~the One~” that seems to plague Twilight vampires. 

On Taang and the Bei Fongs

Okay out of all the things I really love about this pairing (and there’s a lot) I really like the hint that there was (possibly) going to be a-disapproving-parent-trope.

Now, I could go on and rant about how Toph was one of the most neglected characters after season 2 and how absolutely upsetting it is that she never got the opportunity to work things out with her parents (even though there was foreshadowing that she would reach some sort of understanding with her mother in particular… Possibly creating a mother-daughter dynamic that was previously non existent in the show… don’t even get me started on how they ruined Aang and his character potential…)

But I won’t (for now).

Instead I’d like to point out how interesting it would have been to see Aang navigate the complexities of the Bei Fong family dynamic.

Especially since they are a family that embodies the exact opposite of everything he grew up knowing. Where he was raised to abandon worldly possessions and focus on spirituality, the Bei Fongs built their entire family legacy, their empire, on worldly possessions and accumulating wealth.

Mayhaps a more in depth look into their way of life, would be the push that would get him to, for the first time in his life, question the philosophies and customs he grew up with.

I imagine that Lao would have the hardest time coming to terms with it all. In his mind, whenever he had imagined giving his blessing for a union with his daughter, he always envisioned someone wealthy enough to contribute to the Bei Fong fortune, someone with a nacht for managing finances who would help manage all of their assets and estates. Someone who would appreciate and acknowledge how “delicate” and “fragile” his daughter is, and take care of her.

Enter instead:

Aang

A young man whose only possessions are the clothes on his back, a pair of flying mammals (who are more like pets or family than possessions really…) and a stick.

He may be the Avatar but even that won’t be enough to get back in Lao’s good graces. After all Lao (canonically) is under the impression that Aang kidnapped his daughter in the dead of night and dragged her into a raging war.

Toph and Aang would certainly have their hands full trying to explain\clarify that one.

And it would be so great because Aang’s used to having everyone find him friendly and likeable, so to have the parents of the girl he cares about loathe him with an intensity that rivals the fire nation’s view on him during war time; he’d be tripping over himself to gain their approval, especially since Toph would finally be getting somewhere with repairing her relationship with her parents.

I’d like to think that Poppy, at first, would not be the world’s biggest Aang fan either. But after reaching out and trying to understand her daughter, she’d come to respect her choices. Plus, I could see her growing rather fond of him, and appreciating how much he genuinely cares about Toph and how happy she is with him. Besides there’s a certain beauty in the romance of them running away together, she thinks…

They’re good together. Balanced. Toph seems freer around him. Lighter somehow.

(Poppy strikes me as a hopeless romantic)

Lao and Aang would probably never *truly* get along, but I imagine there’d be this sort of resigned tolerance of each other, after all they both have at least one thing in common: their love for Toph.

So being a cause of contention and upsetting the delicate balance of their fragile healing process would definitely bother Aang. Especially since he contributed to the initial problem to begin with… But Toph would just jokingly tell him to quit bummimg her out with his guilty vibrations. She’s glad he’s here.

Aang would be supportive and be there for her during this no doubt frustrating time. Which would be kinda difficult since he’s not allowed on the Bei Fong property.

But that’s okay. He snuck in once, he can do it again…and they would walk along the pond in the garden, just like when they were kids, when they first met, laughing and trading stories about how they grew up so differently, reminiscing about the day they met:

“Hey, Toph, isn’t this the shrub I fell into?”

“Who knows? They’re all starting to *look* the same these days, don’t you think?”

“Now that you mentio– Toph. Why are you like this?”

“You love me this way.”

“…Yeah I do.”

And of course the occasion bending battle. Maybe visit an earth rumble match. See if the name ‘blind bandit’ still makes grown men weep like infants.

Toph loves her parents, in spite of everything, and she really does regret hurting them by leaving, even though she doesn’t regret the act of leaving itself and really appreciates them trying to finally get her and she’s also matured enough to want to meet them halfway. But Twinkletoes is a big part of her life now and he’s not going anywhere.

She keeps him grounded.

So Lao and Poppy will just have to deal…

I could see this whole mess being equal parts angst and humor. And it really is a shame this was never explored in canon.

If you’re not watching Wynonna Earp (now on Netflix) then I don’t know what you’re doing with your life. 

I mean…

Badass female lead who is unashamed of liking sex? Check. 

A story about complex family dynamics between two sisters? Check.

Supernatural mythology with a Western gunslinger theme? Check.

A lesbian relationship that is developed just like any on-screen relationship would be? Yup. 

A pretty cast that provides eye candy for everyone? Yup yup. 

Tl,dr, Wynonna Earp is awesome and if you like Supernatural, Buffy, or any shows in that vein, you’ll like it. 

Tulip & Viktor’s Relationship

I love that this show has very explicitly neurodivergent protagonists who nevertheless are presented as heroes within the context of the story. We see all three of them become somewhat childlike in the face of realities of life they’re not equipped to deal with bc they never developed the tools in the first place or lost them along the way. The fact that all three of the main characters on the show are allowed to be these damaged mentally unstable people realistically working through trauma but also heroes is a huge deal - I cannot think of many shows that have done anything remotely similar. Usually if it is in a show, it’s not handled realistically or sensitively but they’re really making efforts here. And most importantly they show that they can still have relationships, be heroes, do good things, etc. - they’re not demonized for being fucked up and in fact the viewer should very easily be able to tell why they are the way they are. And their bad actions aren’t excused, but they are explained, and we see them making efforts to both better themselves and weaponize their darkness for their own survival and that of those they care about. I wouldn’t love them as much as I do without their flaws - that’s what makes them so sympathetic and real and makes their relationship an amazing commentary on the human condition and gives the three leads the opportunity to act the hell out of every scene they’re in.

It was particularly interesting to see how Tulip handled her situation over the last two episodes and I’m interested to see how she will deal with it now. 

Tulip’s very much been written as a child of the foster care system. We saw that as early as the Jesse/Tulip flashback in s1ep7 (”He Gone”) where we find out she wets the bed, which is something lots of kids with horrible stressful childhoods do. A lot of her arc reminds me of certain aspects of Sarah Linden’s in The Killing - very different characters but they deal with problems in similar ways and have very similar pasts - she was also someone who got shunted through the foster care system and came out of it with a whole bunch of abandonment issues and a strong personal sense of justice. Her partner and friend said this to her once - “This is like a pattern with you, you know that? You always leavin’, runnin’. You never stay… ‘cause if you did, then you’d want it. You’d need it. And then you could get hurt. And left…or not left. Why don’t you stay? Stay.“ And ultimately, her response to that is “I never had a real house to grow up in. You know, home. I never belonged anywhere. And all my life, I was looking for that thing you know. Thinking that it was out there somewhere. That all I had to do was find it. But I think, maybe that home was us. It was you and me together in that stupid car riding around, smoking cigarettes. I think that was everything. I’m sorry. I should have known that you were one person who always stays. And you were my best friend.”

That is what Tulip has been looking for all this time. Something reliable, something consistent and reciprocal and loving, something like family because she’s never had one, not really. And after Jesse abandoned her, she might’ve had something approximating that with Viktor and his daughter. As Ruth said, “Tulip feels so strongly for Viktor. He was something steady in her life and I think she’s never had that. To his credit, he sort of rehabilitated her. But also, that was the worst thing he could have done because then she was ready to go back on the road again. I think it broke his heart, really.”

So Tulip climbed out of her depression and decided to redress the problem that started it all - Carlos’ betrayal of her and Jesse and everything that followed. There are all these lingering issues between Tulip and Jesse - he hasn’t told her about the abusive maternal side of his family or how he feels he damned his father to hell for sending her away and that is at the root of all of his behavior and hangups. He has told NO ONE about any of that, ever, and naturally that was going to color any effort he made at moving forward. He loves Tulip dearly but he’s got issues that scare him so much he’s in denial about even having them, and I think that when she miscarried he felt this was just another part of his curse coming back to haunt him which necessitated his return to Annville to fulfill his father’s mission…but they’re going to give us more backstory next week in the “Dallas” episode which may enlighten us further about anything else that may have happened in the wake of Carlos’ betrayal and how it affected the Jesse/Tulip relationship. It’s easy to tell that this whole season is about family and the lengths people will go to find it or reclaim it or maintain it, which is an extension of themes about contentious intergenerational relationships carried over from s1. 

Tulip’s uncle Walter was all Tulip ever had, and that was never enough. She was taken away from the Custers and later she had Jesse but that was precarious and unsteady. She was happy with that but he left her when she was at her lowest point emotionally. As my friend @hermouthslipped put it, “I wouldn’t say that Walter wasn’t enough, because he was never on the table as being enough - in his eyes or Tulip’s. He was always dying - and in that sense, Tulip has only ever had a dying family, if she were to even count it as one at all. This means that what Viktor offered - complex relationships, established dynamics, a LIVING family - was more than even the promise crushed with Jesse. Something that neither Jesse nor Tulip ever imagined them as having - they were just too orphaned to imagine belonging to something like that. It was maybe the only thing that could have rehabilitated her.” We’ll see how she handles the reality of her situation now that she’s moved on in some ways but Viktor hasn’t. And I think it’s pretty clear why she was afraid to tell Jesse - Ruth said it was because she was afraid of how he might judge and shame her but from a practical perspective it also wasn’t a good idea bc like she told Cassidy it would, it only made things worse - because his reaction was to shut her out and sate his own jealous defensiveness over his relationship with her - the only loving one in his life.

@ everyone still sleeping on queen sugar

👏 WAKE 👏 UP 👏

the show is about a black family (siblings) taking over their late father’s sugar farm in louisiana. drama, grief, omg moments, complex female characters, great family dynamics; the first episode will make your heart hurt; one of the sisters is bisexual, the brother is a single dad to an adorable little boy named blue, the older sister is dealing with a something major involving her husband back home and her teenage son is a blessing–this show honestly has everything and the rep is fantastic.

watch queen sugar. s2 premiers june 20 on OWN. s1 has 13eps so it’ll be easy to catch up. Go go go.

mindykahling  asked:

I wish you'd write a fic where... Mike introduces his mom to his gf, Ginny

(Oh… Oh, my heart.)

Mike’s thumbs hadn’t stopped drumming against the steering wheel for the past twenty minutes. Ever since they’d turned off I-15, the soft thumping had filled the car. There wasn’t even the artificial lightness of Top 40 radio to back it up. 

From her seat on the passenger’s side, Ginny watched the tension and nerves flood her boyfriend and tried to remember the last time she’d seen him so anxious. It was a difficult prospect. Mike Lawson just didn’t get nervous. Not outwardly, at least. This was the man who’d practically strolled up to the plate in Game 7 of the World Series—bottom of the 9th, Padres down by one run, one man on base, and two outs—and proceeded to knock the first ball that came his way straight out of the park.

But this, introducing Ginny to his mother, had apparently undone him. 

She didn’t know what to say. Complex family dynamics were right in her wheelhouse, but what was that saying? All unhappy families are different? Something like that.

However, when they’d been sitting in the car for a solid ten minutes, parked outside a nice, if nondescript, house the entire time, Ginny reached over and finally took his hand. 

“Mike,” she said, smiling when he pulled his gaze off the steering wheel to look at her, “I don’t care if we only stay five minutes, but I really wanna meet the woman who brought you into the world. If only so I can say thanks.”

He rolled his eyes, but his fingers tightened around hers once before he took a deep breath and climbed out of the car.

leave an “I wish you would write a fic where… ___________” in my inbox and I’ll write a li’l snippet of it.

10 Books I’ve Loved in 2017 (So Far)

We are more than halfway through the (slightly cursed) year 2017, and thus we must start reviewing what we’ve done so far. Seeing as I met my Goodreads reading challenge prematurely, I thought I could talk about 10 books I’ve absolutely loved reading in 2017. Click to read through a fantastic set of books…

Keep reading

THE MEYEROWITZ STORIES

(2017, Noah Baumbach)

For my money, Noah Baumbach is the single greatest filmmaker out there in terms of capturing the complexities of the family dynamic, and his latest, The Meyerowitz Stories, is a shining testament to everything he does so well. After spending the last five or so years being heavily influenced by his off-screen partner and collaborator Greta Gerwig, focusing more on her generation with excellent results, Meyerowitz sees Baumbach back in the upper class New York world of tortured artists and cantankerous folk where he made his name. His films are light on plot, but that’s because they are so defined by their characters and the way the filmmaker weaves masterfully in between them, examining their many specifics and interpersonal dynamics within the group. He finds moments of outrageous hilarity, and then counters them with deep depression, an indication of how true to life his work always feels, a neverending mixture of the two extremes that always keeps you in an emotional place, waiting for a catharsis that so rarely comes.

To capture this family on the constant brink, harboring bitter resentments and their own special kind of narcissistic love, Baumbach assembled a marvelous cast of expected and unexpected faces. The biggest and best surprise is Adam Sandler, an actor who anyone who has seen Punch-Drunk Love knows is capable of tremendous things when he tries and is under a strong director, but anyone who has seen any of his movies since then knows he’s been wasting that talent for the last 15 years. Well, here is Sandler finally returning us to that gold mine, as Baumbach perfectly utilizes his sad clown persona in the most extraordinary way, bringing out the saddest and most heartrending portrayal in the film. His open wound of a character is met by the more guarded, but still unequivocally broken, Ben Stiller, a Baumbach regular who is a bit of a weak link in the sterling cast, but nevertheless handles himself capably, particularly as Baumbach knows just how to use him. Of course, once we spend any time with their father, played by the hilariously dry and insanely curmudgeonly Dustin Hoffman, we know where all of their pain and dysfunction comes from.

The boys and their many flaws take center stage, but Baumbach doesn’t leave the ladies stranded, and provides excellent material for Emma Thompson, Elizabeth Marvel, and Grace Van Patten to shine as well. The key above all else is really in how perfectly the ensemble works with one another, and that’s where Baumbach and his cast succeed the most. Anyone can cast talented actors to play a family, but it goes all wrong when you don’t think to factor in how these people are going to play off one another. Anyone remember August: Osage County? What’s most important with these kind of dysfunctional family movies is putting together a group of people who can genuinely convey this feeling that they’ve been together for years, that they have this long history that’s finally reaching that breaking point that leads to all of this drama and comedy coming unpacked when they’re all forced by circumstance to interact with one another. A group that actually feels like a real family. That’s exactly what The Meyerowitz Stories is able to do, and the result is one of the best works of Baumbach’s career, and one of the best films of 2017.

A-

oh hi new followers!! 

you might have found me from the andi mack tag. 

anyways, i post a lot of andi mack analysis, predictions, and any info i discover about future episodes.

if you’re new because of the season 2 premiere, welcome! i can’t wait for you to see how nuanced this show is because it looks like they’re going even deeper with family dynamics, new secrets, and bringing in so many complex parts to all of the characters. 

Monologue Monday: "I did this for you."**

Introducing #MonologueMonday. Every Monday at noon EST (ish) during the Scandal hiatus, I will post a monologue, or snippet of dialogue from the show. I’m creating this as an outlet that will allow me to reflect on passages within the context of an entire season, or draw on parallels from the past. These are less like essays, and more like experiments in free thought that will vary in length. 

“Livvie, you probably won’t understand until you have kids of your own, but I did this for you. All of it. That man hurt you. He uses you, and he will throw you away when he’s done with you. I just wanted to give you the chance to be free, to be happy.”—Maya Pope, The Price of a Free and Fair Election (318)

After re-watching the entire season 3 of Scandal, I got stuck on the above statement made by Maya because it set off alarm bells in my head. What does she mean by “I did this for you. All of it”.  Those lines are almost exactly what Olivia said to Fitz in 219 about Defiance (“You thought it was easy? I did that for you…I did everything for you”). Both scenes took place in a hospital room. Like mother, like daughter? It’s a complicated thing to do something illegal for someone out of love when that thing ends up emotionally harming its benefactor in the process. But it’s not love that drives people to do these things; it’s faith that the end result will make the risks worth it.  

And what does Maya mean by  “All of this”? All of what? Does she include flying off to London to sell US government secrets, too? Lying to Rowan that there was a bomb on the plane? All of what? When Olivia asks her if any of their life together as a family was real, she responds, “I didn’t kill [Eli], and we both know I could have.”  Does that mean some part of her still loves Eli? Or is it that she doesn’t want to leave Olivia without her father? Yet she is OK with facilitating a bomb to blow up the father of three other children for the sake of setting her daughter ‘free’ so she can be ‘happy’. It seems simple enough: a mother trying to set her daughter free from a man who she perceives as a user. We believe this in part because Maya precedes her statement by asking, “Was that your boyfriend?” Olivia had just gotten off the phone with Fitz–the last time she would speak with him prior to leaving on a jet plane—before entering her Rowan’s hospital room.  So we all think she’s talking about Fitz. We can see that there are some parallels in the  Mrs & Mrs. Smith-like relationship between the Popes that Maya may be projecting onto Olitz relationship.

In 309, Maya tells Olivia and the Gladiators that she married a man (Eli) and then found out he was a monster (Rowan).  She felt used after finding out about the monster, and attempted to blow the whistle on the whole thing (309), but that monster threw her away in a jail cell for 22 years. I guess I’ll excuse the fact that Maya basically did the same thing to Dominic (317)—a man she loved, but allowed to be murdered by Rowan because she , to give Rowan the information he wanted (whereabouts of the bomb). Rowan has separate and particular issues with Fitz as a man (something I will discuss in its own piece), but he also projects onto the Olitz parallels from his relationship with Maya. He  feels a deep grievance that he was the mark in the already established relationship between Maya and Dominic. I believe he loved Maya, but clearly continues to harbour ill will towards her for 22 years. That’s why he locked her ass up in the deepest, darkest bowels of  American justice system instead of killing her. In a sick, twisted way, he continues to have feelings for Maya, but is not done punishing her for betraying him. And Maya still feels some kinda way about Rowan.  So mama and daddy don’t want Olivia to be the one who gets used, abused and discarded as the third party in an established relationship between Fitz and Mellie.

Cool, cool, cool…except for the part where they don’t really know her life. Looking at video tapes, and getting second hand reports about his daughter’s wheeling and dealings is not the same as knowing her life. And Maya, boo, you were in jail for 22 years. How do they really know anything about Olivia and Fitz’s relationship? But seriously, how do you know? And I don’t believe you and Rowan were working together.

The  Pope family dynamic is an interesting and complex one that I’m not going to addressed in full here because I’m saving that for something else.  My point is everything that Maya and Rowan believe about Olitz is not just about the instinct of parents to protect their child, and do what they can to make them happy out of love. Where Olivia’s relationship is concerned, Maya and Rowan’s actions are filtered through the lens of their own experiences, especially the bitterness and pain. I think they way they have insinuated themselves into her adult life, and tried to manipulate the choices in her life are rather unfair. But then again, I’m not someone who believes you should keep clinging to family members that hurt you just because they are flesh and blood.

_____________________________

**I promise these won’t always be so long in the future.

It seems like everyone who disliked Crimson Peak were people focusing entirely on the plot, saying it was flat and predictable and boring.

The thing that made Crimson Peak such a wonderful, beautiful film was the little details and the characterization and the natural flow of the movie. It relied very heavily on the characters, their personalities and backgrounds and their dynamic with each other.

I feel like people focus too heavily on the story that’s being told and not enough on what’s happening within the story. The Sharpe family dynamic is incredibly complex and is executed perfectly. Edith is an extraordinarily modern and yet still perfectly within her time character. She’s forward in wanting to be a writer and recognizes some of the sexism of her day, while still following the social bindings of the day. Thomas is the perfect combination of an upright man of title and command while still being a loyal servant to Lucille. And Lucille is so incredibly complex and so incredibly simple.

There’s so much not explored and so much left open to the imagination. Crimson Peak is not a movie held up by a plot, but rather it’s characters, which at least in my opinion is far more important and worth much, much more.