Sanditon 1×07 Review

Spoilers Ahead

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Source: PBS.com

Welcome to Sanditon weekly, darlings — this one is going to be a bumpy ride so buckle up and maybe bring back the spiked tea. There’s a great deal to unpack with this episode, for it deals with perhaps some of the most human struggles to date. What does it mean to see ourselves through another’s perspective? Are we defined by the decisions we’ve made in the past or are we defined by the labels that are given to us? Or do we define ourselves with the choices we make every single day? It’s a never-ending struggle because even when you are certain of who you are and you’re proud of who you’ve become, outside opinions cannot always be ignored. Sometimes they should be, other times, they should be taken into consideration. However, I’ve yet to hear of a single human who’s mastered the art of not allowing another’s opinion to get to them, if they have, I’d like to meet them. And as we’ve gathered by now, the people in Sanditon don’t shy away from their opinions.

The season’s penultimate episode is a strong compilation of imperfections and the art of being a confidant. Sometimes, all a person really needs is just one other to believe in them, one person to see them as they truly are, for it is that very belief that inspires us daily. We aren’t meant to be alone — the connections we make throughout our lives intricately shape us into the people we become. The untitled episode — let’s deem it “Love and Friendship”, (An homage to another Austen novel, see what I did there?) leaves us with a lot to ponder on; human connections, and the various perceptions we have of ourselves.

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Sanditon 1×06 Review

Spoilers Ahead

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Source: PBS.com

Welcome to Sanditon weekly, darling readers — the tropey-est, most exhilarating episode yet, we’re two away from the season finale and things are getting deliciously captivating. It picks up right where we left off last week with Charlotte on her way to London in hopes of finding Georgiana, except what she finds instead is Sidney on the same mission. And who doesn’t love an unplanned trope filled mission? All that was missing the necessity to share a bed because they were stranded somewhere with no other option, but I get it, I get it. It isn’t very Austen-esque. Lady Denham is now bed ridden and once she reveals that she’s already got her will ready to go, Edward and Clara make it their goal to find it. It’s the episode where we finally meet Lady Susan, a character who’s able to steal the entire show in the less than five minutes of screen time she has. To be that legendary, I wish I could relate.

It’s an episode that solidifies the fact that in spite of the tough exterior, Sidney Parker really is a good man — a sincerely warm being with a great amount of compassion flowing through his veins. At his core, he’s a giving man, as Tom explains in detail, he wasn’t always a conundrum. As we learn towards the end of the episode, Sidney was once engaged to be married, but because she left him for an older, wealthier man, it broke his spirit entirely. And after all the debts he acquired on a self-destructive path following his heartache, he set off to Antigua in hopes of finding something more. But as we learned last week, the man that left for Antigua returned possessed by guilt, regrets, and overpowering heartache. And that very man is the Sidney Parker we know today, the one who’s trying desperately hard, but failing to succeed as a result of the bottled rage that lives inside of him. (Is anyone else crying because I’m already choking up here imagining just how much the heartbreak destroyed him.)

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This Week’s Most Exquisite TV Moment

February 2-8
“Manhunter” | Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Welcome back to this year’s first Most Exquisite TV Moment — Brooklyn Nine-Nine is back and with it unsurprisingly returns my muse for this segment. God, I love this show. Its return brought us one of the sweetest, most intimate moments between Jake and Amy and I am a beaming wreck of emotions. Is there anything better than casual intimacy?  No, no there is not. Is there anything better than the possibility of a Peraltiago baby in the future? Also no. It’s everything that’s good and pure in the world. (Title of  Their Sex Tape.)

Jake and Amy’s relationship has evolved so beautifully: between their moments at work and the quiet moments at home, they’re navigating through life together with such a stunning balance between fervor and tender warmth, it’s always a treat to watch. If I’m this emotional over a scene like this, do we even think I can handle these two as parents? I’m gonna be an absolute blubbering wreck of emotions. Give it to me now.

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Ranking the Oscars’ Best Pictures

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The 92nd Academy Awards are right around the corner and for the first time in a long time, my schedule actually permits me to write an article like this. Huzzah. Now remember these are my personal thoughts, which we’re all entitled to.

1. Little Women
Adapted Screenplay By: Greta Gerwig
Directed By: Greta Gerwig

Little Women is without question, my favorite film of the year, quickly landing itself into my Top 10 of All-Time (A ranking I haven’t actually done yet, but I know it’s there. Ssh.) It’s a timeless story for all ages and I never want to stop singing praises for Greta Gerwig and the entire cast who’ve managed to bring out parts of the March women that previous adaptations didn’t get to. It’s a  story that focuses on mothers and daughters, and sisters alongside love showcasing just how the relationships in our lives could inspire the people we choose to become. Times have changed and there’s a lot of dark media in the world right now, but I’m happy to know that there’s still room for families, romance, and stories that end with profound hope. This is the kind of writing that made me fall in love with storytelling when I was a little girl, and for that I’m grateful. It’s vulnerable, it’s sincere, it’s potently moving and perhaps, my favorite part of this version is the bold reiteration of the fact that all our dreams, despite how simple or complex, matter. A woman’s choices and the narratives she carves for herself are always important. It’s brilliantly acted, astoundingly directed, and dare I say, perfectly adapted. It’s my Best Picture choice and I’ll stand by  that belief to the end of time.

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Sanditon 1×05 Review

Spoilers Ahead

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Source: PBS.com

That cricket match alone calls for some spiked tea, darling readers. Welcome to another episode of Sanditon weekly where we’ve sadly made little progress, but the series is continuing to reiterate the importance of transparency in relationships. The significance of being open and honest with our beliefs is essentially the very thing that strengthens us as humans, too. It’s what allows situations to flow smoother as opposed to falling apart as drastically as they do in this episode, but for the sake of angsty television, it works in creating riveting, deliciously fun storytelling along with some heartbreaking arcs.

Humans having an aching desire to always want more — a desire to explore, to give in to their curiosities, and fundamentally, the right to live as they’d please. But along with those desires comes the necessary consideration regarding those around us, the understanding that we must treat people as we’d like to be treated and that in our honesty, we’re crossing bridges with far more nobility than deception. To kick things off let’s touch base with Georgiana and breaking down her character’s desire to see Otis beyond the restrictions against their relationship. Oh to be young and in love, I can’t say I don’t understand it. I also can’t say that I probably would’ve made different decisions – there’s something exciting about forbidden romances, it’s tropey goodness, but in reality, there’s a lot more to consider than our feelings along with the broken hearts we have. And as mentioned last week, choosing to keep Charlotte in the dark is the choice I don’t agree with, it’s where the importance of transparency comes in because if she’s willing to help as best as she can, she deserves to be in the loop with the decisions that are made. That’s why the decision to run off on her own when the decision was that Charlotte would accompany them is something that’s going to backfire in a number of ways. It’s not fair for what it basically leads to is Charlotte harboring guilt for stepping in Tom’s place during the Cricket match.

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Sanditon 1×04 Review

Spoilers Ahead

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Source: PBS

Welcome to Sanditon weekly, darling readers – what flavor of tea are we drinking today? (I’ve got the perfect lavender/blueberry mix.) The series’ untitled fourth episode is a dim ride with little progression, but perhaps, one of the most important arcs throughout the season. It’s an episode that focuses heavily on some chief flaws we all have as human beings – the choice to form judgements based on assumptions and frequently disregarding a universal truth, which is that there are always multiple sides to a story. It’s almost frustrating how many assumptions are thrown around in this episode, but it’s integral in this universe because Sanditon is one of Jane Austen’s more inclusively adapted pieces, it’s aware, there’s goodness stained with malice, and it’s centered around deeply complex human beings, thus demanding an episode like this. 

First, let’s get into Lady Denham calling Clara out for being dramatic about her hand. “You’ve had more than your measure of sympathy.” You tell her — finally. It’s bizarre how hilarious this episode actually is amidst the serious ground it covers, but the balance makes the heavier pills easier to swallow. Lady Denham also calling Esther out for not marrying Lord Babington is ultimately all of us, let’s be real. In due time … in due time. But now, part of the episode’s darkness comes from Clara proving our previous beliefs to be true by admitting that she was sexually assaulted by an uncle on numerous occasions. And the choice to actually say this to Esther upon learning about her relationship with Edward is fascinating because for a moment, she’s looking after her. There’s a genuine sincerity in the way Lily Sacofsky carries Clara when she says that Esther can be free of him. It’s honest and open despite her endgame still being the inheritance. It’s hard to believe that a woman who has known great pain wouldn’t look after another if they’d admitted to defeat, and while there’s still great darkness in  Clara, something tells me that if Esther hadn’t loved Edward, the ladies teaming up could have been good for both of them. Edward is the villain in all this for a number of reasons, his selfishness and manipulative nature at the top of the list.

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Sanditon 1×03 Review

Spoilers Ahead

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Source: PBS.com

Welcome back to Sanditon weekly, darlings, I hope you’ve got a cup of tea in hand because episode three is a bumpy, jaw dropping ride full of some exquisite tenderness, and the beginning of compelling sincerity. The third episode takes all that was set up last week and touches on the emotional echos of our decisions, where there’s an absolute lack of gratitude at the beginning of the episode, by the end, most characters are taking steps in the right direction. Sort of. Sanditon’s third episode focuses on transparency and the importance of seeing what’s right in front of us as opposed to consistently looking ahead towards something better. And while there’s absolutely nothing wrong with looking ahead, persevering or aiming towards a brighter future, the inability to be grateful in the midst of the chase is what often gets people into trouble. It’s also an episode that focuses on patience with a grace that’s to be admired because it’s continuing to take already complex characters and layering (some of) them with the awareness to try a little bit harder.

Sanditon’s third episode dives into the lives of the Denhams in a riveting manner, allowing us to see the fact that Esther and Clara, foils of one another, both serve such an infectious purpose to the series’ thrilling plot. Whoever said period dramas were slow and boring might want to rethink those beliefs after this episode, because the lives of the deliciously crazy is anything but boring. There’s tremendous anger in both Esther and Clara, one more than the other understandably due to the terrors they’ve faced off screen, but the opposite approaches they’ve taken in the face of dealing with the rage is what’s so fascinating about the two of them. Sometimes, anger in a woman is so deeply engulfing, there’s no turning back, other times, it’s cobbled so closely with a sadness that it’s possible to choose the more honorable route. Sanditon is a series that tells us what we need to know without ripping the rug from underneath us, and that’s why when Clara says: “You have no idea what I endured before I came here, and you have no idea what I’m prepared to do to ensure I stay”,  we need to believe that she isn’t afraid of  crossing  the necessary lines to gain sympathy. (I mean for Christ’s sake, the girl gave herself a massive second degree burn!) Burns are painful, as someone who accidentally burns herself frequently at work because I work with a hot machine, I can vouch that it’s no child’s play. We don’t know how much Clara’s endured, I imagine there was a great amount of sexual assault and physical abuse involved that’s tragically forced her pain tolerance to increase, but the emotional trauma was undoubtedly far worse.  I have a lot of sympathy towards Clara, no one deserves to go through any of the things we can assume she’s faced, but I’m also not one to condone villainous behavior when she’s standing in front of someone like Esther who’s trying so desperately to come out in a better light despite how little she’s showing it.

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Little Women and the Acceptance of All Our Dreams

“Just because my dreams are different than yours doesn’t make them any less important.”

            “The world is hard on ambitious girls.”

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I might never want to stop singing praises for this movie because I don’t know how long it’ll take to be this moved by something again as a woman. Greta Gerwig’s adaptation of the classic novel is this generation’s deepest treasure. I’ve never felt more seen by another female character as I did numerous times throughout the film by each of the March women. But for this article specifically, we’re here to celebrate our differences and to shine light on the universal truth, which is the fact that all our dreams are incomparably vital.

Dare I say, women are the most extraordinarily complex and remarkably rare beings to exist. There’s fire in even the quietest of souls for goodness as pure as Beth’s demands great patience. We’re driven by all that’s around us, moved by a myriad of spectacles and beautiful through it all. Louisa May Alcott’s characters are magic, each in their own unique way representing the kind of woman that’s perhaps in all of us. Gerwig’s adaptation has thus far been the strongest ode to the very complexities that are so acutely reflective of who we are today, while bringing forward a version of the book that feels so true to the story Alcott’s been telling from day one. In this version of Little Women, we’re given the chance to see each of the girls in a way past adaptations didn’t get to showcase, and in doing so, it’s given all those watching, the chance to see that there’s greatness in us all.

It is now 2020 and while immense progression has taken place towards achieving equality, in the midst of it shaming has also taken root. I’ve written about strong women a lot, and while I’m thankful for the opportunity to have such fierce representation in the form of female superheroes, public figures, and gifted beings, we’ve neglected the quieter side of women, which is the showcase of simpler lives. Little Women does that exquisitely by reiterating the fact that women aren’t just strong when they choose not to marry or when they can handle things by themselves, but that strength comes from the choices they make for themselves and the goodness they sprinkle into the world. Women are beautiful – they are complex masterful beings who deserve the chance to be exactly who they want to be and Little Women gives each of them the opportunity to do so in a film that holds its ground amongst darkness with remarkable ease and potency.

Whether it’s the nonchalance towards femininity or the welcoming of it. The desire for silk dresses or the desire for fairy wings. Little Women is a film that points fingers, thus making that much more reflective of organic sibling rivalries, but it doesn’t lose its footing in reminding viewers of the universal truth that we are all indescribably special and important. Women are allowed to change their minds, they’re allowed to grow and evolve. They’re allowed have moments consisting of deep vulnerability, pure sincerity, or utter chaotic perplexity. And these lessons are bold, in your face reminders, which have exceptionally resulted in profound, inspiring storytelling that’s bound to make a difference.

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The Timeless Significance of Little Women

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Little Women may be a classic story with a lot of adaptations, but it’s one of the few stories entirely deserving of its merit and rank amongst females. And Greta Gerwig’s version especially, is as close to perfect as it gets. I’ll go as far as stating that in my eyes, it is actually perfect. Gerwig’s adaptation and my first viewing of the film is something I’ll carry with me for as long as I live because I’ve never felt more seen or exposed than watching something in a room full of people. On multiple accounts it felt as though my innermost personal thoughts, the diary inside my head because I don’t actually carry a physical one was out there. And I’ve read the book, I’ve seen previous versions of the film, I’ve just never dived in head deep into the lives of the March women as I did today. Little Women stands the test of time over and over again because it’s a story that celebrates our differences alongside our strengths. I have quite a few pieces I want to write to celebrate this film and its mark on my life, but right now I want to scream about the importance of our goodness and the fact that it’s a choice every single day that’s often overlooked.

In times like this, I’m often reminded of the Book of Proverbs, chapter 31 where women are to be reminded of their irreplaceable place in the world. “Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come.” (31:25) And my profound love for the chapter is due to its exquisite description of our strength, exhibiting that it isn’t mutually exclusive with always having  it together, but remaining steadfast to kindness and sincerity even in the midst of our troubles.

Greta Gerwig touches on a part of Marmee that adaptations in the past haven’t presented as boldly, and it’s her statement that she’s “angry nearly every day of her life”, a line which Laura Dern brings to the forefront with such vehemence and vulnerability, I can’t stop thinking about it. Each of the March girls are incomparably relatable, but we and Hollywood especially, forget to acknowledge just how difficult it is not to let the sun go down on anger. We might be in a seemingly more progressive time where women have greater opportunities than they did in the 19th century, but it doesn’t change the fact that our fight is still great and the expectations riding on us are much higher. When a woman is angry, she’s told to calm down, but when a man’s rage turns him into a villain, it’s okay because society wronged him, broke him, and bullied him. Open any woman’s heart and there you’ll find countless rejections, deep cuts, bruises, and missing pieces that never heal and yet, the choice to consistently be caretakers, loving beings is thus overlooked. When women voice their concerns, it’s irrational, too petulant  — it’s unimportant. We live in a world that focuses too much on the darknesses that breed villainy and not enough on the darknesses that fortify armor.

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Sanditon 1×02 Review

Spoilers Ahead

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Source: PBS.com

Sanditon’s second episode gives viewers plenty to sit with, good and bad — a jam packed hour full of some riveting moments that touch on the theme of class and judgement bitterly. It’s an episode full of some of the most cringeworthy statements along with some of the most relatable ones, but most exquisitely, it’s a testament to friendship, and Austen’s way of writing steadfast female friendships. If I were in charge of titling the episode, I’d call it “Paddling in the Sea”, for it’s best to describe the first steps into an astounding friendship and the exposure of Sidney Parker’s being, physically today and emotionally tomorrow. It’s an episode that does a remarkable job of shifting plates and allowing viewers to start seeing more sincerity in the characters. Thus finally, it’s an episode that spends a lot of its time discussing the panoramas of marriage and what it truly means to choose a partner.

To kick things off, these are the times I’m glad we no longer live in regency era because goodness every word out of Lady Denham’s mouth during the luncheon had me cringing so hard. (And I love period dramas immensely, but they’re just … so … white … and entitled.) But this is the very episode that lets us see into the hearts of those who matter most because Charlotte, Sidney, and Arthur all coming to Georgiana’s defense is the very showcase of how good natured their spirits are. Sidney’s especially which officially gives viewers a glimpse into his character’s true nature. He didn’t want to be Georgiana’s guardian, but let’s be real, not many would be in the right headspace to be anyone’s guardian during their mid-twenties. And while he grumbles about it, he doesn’t miss the opportunities to remind her of her value, something women in regency era, especially black women, aren’t reminded of as often as they should be. “You know you’re worth far more than Lady Denham and all her circle put together.” Sidney Parker might waste away his days at bars and boarding houses with smoke and self-deprecation clouding him, but at his core, he’s a man who’s fully aware of the strong women he’s surrounded by. It’s also a fantastic showcase of the fact that Charlotte was right in throwing him under the bus about being too cruel despite stating that he doesn’t care. “Think too badly of you? I don’t think of you at all Miss Heywood. I have no interest in your approval or disapproval. Quite simply, I don’t care what you think or how you feel. I’m sorry if that disappoints you, but there it is.” And oh how badly this’ll bite him later on.

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