still life weekend

I feel like nri’s are most affected by Coldplay and Beyonce’s new video. If I had still lived in India, I would probably appreciate the fact that my culture was becoming more mainstream. But as someone who has had to endure stereotypes for what I wear, what I eat, whom I worship, I don’t appreciate Coldplay and Beyonce freely flaunting what i’ve had to suppress. America is still inherently racist and growing up, my Indian-ness was looked down upon. Yet when Coldplay and Beyonce embrace it, bindis and saris become “art”… the cultural significance is reduced into a few minutes’ worth of aesthetics

Not only that, westerners only portray india as poverty-stricken, third world, and Bollywood-worshipping. I was born in Mumbai, I’ve visited Mumbai on many occasions and it’s a beautiful, variegated city that is so much more. There are wealthy parts as there are poor parts, but Coldplay and Beyonce don’t want us to know that. And don’t even get me started on Sonam Kapoor–her 3 second cameo was just a tool to soften the blow they knew they were going to receive for their blatant cultural appropriation. So throw in a “real” bollywood actress, “respect” the culture, no one has to get hurt. It’s like dipping your feet in the water and saying you went for a swim. Alas, she was just a prop, no different from those little street dancing kids and that run-down cinema set. What’s the point?

10

           Hello, friend. Hello, friend?       That’s lame.
Maybe I should give you a name, but that’s a slippery slope.
                      You’re only in my head.                                              We have to remember that.

Fitzsimmons as the Heart of the Show

Oh man, Fitzsimmons. Characters that consistently wreck my heart every week. To say that I love them is an understatement. Where do I even begin? Well, it’s no question that they are really the heart of the show. It’s a consensus made by everyone as early as the start of S1 and long before they started ruining our lives. Now why is that exactly?

For one, Fitz and Simmons are very well-written characters, perhaps the best ones out of the bunch. Arguably, they could even be better-written than Coulson – the show’s lead and for whom the series was made in the first place –and/or Skye/Daisy, who was the main focus of S2 and whose character arc was already being set up as early as S1. 

While all the other characters are often swept up in the show’s main plot, the shocking twists and revelations, the explosives and the action, Fitz and Simmons have always been under the microscope. While others are used to move the main plot along, the writers almost always give Fitzsimmons small but very meaningful character moments. Their scenes are so good and so rich that even if they were only given a few minutes per episode, somehow they still manage to run away with it, oftentimes even overshadowing the episode’s main focus.

Their storyline within an episode (or even sometimes within the season), is also often far removed from the central plot that you feel like you’re watching a show within a show, with theirs even sometimes being better than the show’s itself. Which is maybe also why some of us have stuck through with the show in the first place, even in its shaky start. The show-runners know this, too, which is why they (and the cast) are promoting the hell out of Fitzsimmons, even in an episode where they are not the main point of. They know Fitzsimmons is their selling point, the goose that lays the golden eggs, so to speak. 

The writers have lain a very impressive and intricate groundwork for these characters that you always know/understand why they’re doing these things, where they’re coming from, what’s going on in their minds at any given time. Every nervous tic, a subtle change in expression, a deep exhale of breath: all of these are small but very telling moments captured perfectly that not only elevate scenes, but tell us much, much more than what the dialogues can. Personally, sometimes I feel the imbalance of focus the writers give for character foundation/development for other characters vs that of Fitzsimmons seem almost too noticeable and sometimes to the detriment of the other characters, in such a way that I feel like some of them are half-baked (Ward and his villainous turn, anyone?), under-supported (May and her emotional baggage/reservations), and/or not given any attention at all (Mack, and maybe Lincoln). For the others, I feel like the writers are all, “Character X is being like this because we tell you he/she is like this”, but with Fitzsimmons they are, “here are exhibits 1 to 3,457 for support.” To be fair, I like/love all the characters, I’m just not emotionally invested in them like I am with Fitzsimmons. 

It also works in the show’s favor that Elizabeth Henstridge and Iain de Caestecker are such great great actors. They’re the one tasked to carry the emotional beats of the show, and boy, do they excel in it. They certainly elevate the characters and portray them as so much more than what is written in paper. Even now when they’re selling a ridiculous love triangle out of nowhere, we don’t like it one bit and feel it unnecessary, but we’re buying it because of how well they’re playing it out. And the conflicts this plot device brings are also deeply rooted in what has happened in the past with these two characters that you don’t feel cheated and robbed of the emotions they are trying to elicit from you. It’s a testament to how great these characters are that they are managing to sell this love triangle so well even with its third leg sorely absent and totally ineffectual to the current proceedings. 

For someone like me who watches TV shows more for the characters than the plot, Fitzsimmons is a gift. I could watch a whole season of them just sitting in the lab and not doing anything but talk to each other, and call that a fantastic show.

8

❝ ––– And even though I sin, baby we are born to live, but I know time will tell if we’re meant for this and if we’re not  I hope you find s o m e b o d y. I hope you find somebody to love…❞  

one month from yesterday i will be meeting sebastian stan