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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Sanditon 1×01 Review

Spoilers Ahead

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Source: PBS.com

Welcome to the Sanditon weekly, darlings — grab a cup of tea and join our analytical discussion into the beautiful chaos inspired by Jane Austen’s unfinished novel of the same title. (These articles won’t cover the entire episode, viewers have already seen it, no one needs a retelling from another, instead, these reviews will break down the episode’s theme and character arcs and of course, there will be heaps of odes to romance.)

Sanditon’s first episode isn’t the strongest Pilot per say, but the sufficient glimpse we get into the lives of the auspiciously polite and the deliciously outrageous is a great start. It’s a pilot that promises ambitious choices, exhilarating surprises, and a much tastefully racier side to classic literature. It’s bold, it’s funny, and it’s downright beautiful in every way. But most importantly, it’s the opening to get to know our remarkable heroine in an episode full of some jaw dropping moments, gorgeous scenic shots, “abrupt and inattentive” love interests. Austen’s story’s often have common themes sprinkled throughout, and in the case of this untitled episode, let’s deem it “the one with all the telling”. In the first episode, we’re told a lot about the townspeople, and while normally I’d be opposed, in this case it works in foreshadowing a lot of what we’ll see in the upcoming season. The seeds planted in the beginning come to pass seamlessly in the finale and that’s the kind of writing I’m here to commend. When it comes to Sanditon, some will regret their stay while others will love every minute of it. It’s evident from the very beginning that there’s a long and winding road to the clifftops where magic will arise, and it gives viewers the chance to recognize that there’s going to be a lot of twists and turns before a happy ending is reached.

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2019 Year-End Reviews: Episodes

This isn’t a critical review of what makes an episode flawless, it’s a list of the TV episodes I found myself either revisiting after completion or the ones that I couldn’t look back on  that continued to haunt me long after the credits stopped rolling. These are the episodes that left me in complete and utter awe. They’re the episodes filled with the most evocative performances and the most beautifully moving moments that touched my heart in a way I won’t forget easily.

1. “Pandemonium”
The Good Place 

One year later, and I still think about this episode at least a few times a month. It is without a doubt my favorite episode of The Good Place and the one I could potentially write an entire thesis on. “Pandemonium”, and especially the final few moments of the episode were utter chaos. “Embrace the pandemonium, find happiness in the unique insanity of being here, now.” There’s a great amount of happening in this episode like Michael panicking and then freaking out when he sees the soul squad together. There’s beauty in the montage created for Chidi and Eleanor. There’s beauty in Jason promising he won’t let Eleanor down. There’s beauty in Eleanor taking charge even while she’s afraid.There’s beauty in Tahani realizing what she’ll have to do when face to face with the person who’ll bring out the worst in her. There’s beauty in the humanity that’s found its way into Janet’s life. And there’s beauty in Michael’s faith in his Soul Squad.

The episode is simply put, special. It forces us to look within ourselves and confront the whys. It forces us to question existence, life, and even the afterlife. But it’s the perfect, most unique way of saying, smile because it happened. And I feel it’s safe to assume that we all know that’s nearly impossible to do, anything but the words we actually want to hear in a moment of sheer of frustration; however, it is what it is. Life is pure, unbelievably unfair chaos sometimes, and the only way to get through it is to embrace what’s bound to make us better. As mere mortals who are incapable of understanding what the afterlife entails, it’s also easy to just believe that we’d grow just fine without trials in our life, but the reality is, we don’t know that. We don’t know why life has to be the way that it is, but we’re here because of it, and there’s a whole lot of beautiful in between those tragic moments, which The Good Place captures perfectly in “Pandemonium”. While it is without question one of the saddest episodes on The Good Place, it succeeds in also being the most hopeful.

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2019 Year-End Reviews: Romantic Relationships

In the words of Louisa May Alcott: “Love is a great beautifier.” Whether it’s platonic or romantic, the love we share with others plays a vast role in making us better humans. Some of the couples on this list were tragically set for an unhappy ending, but that doesn’t change the fact that what’s happened between them is still moving and magnanimous. The stories were healing, beautifully sincere, and some of the best written romantic arcs I’ve seen in a while.

1. Sidney Parker and Charlotte Heywood
Sanditon

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The slow progression of this stunning relationship is the kind of romance dreams are made of, and with further progression, I’m almost certain they might become my favorite Austen couple. (No one tell Emma and Knightley.) There’s so much I could say about Sidney and Charlotte, and the unyielding, beautifully touching love they have for one another. There’s something so achingly immaculate about a man whose heart was shattered and darkened opening up to a woman whose innocence brought him back to life. Sidney wasn’t unkind out of malicious intent, but because the cruelty and rejection he faced stripped him bare and broke him at his core, it took the parts of him that felt entirely too much and instead awakened an anger in him. The past took no pity on him, and as a result, his instincts resulted in, attack first, explain later because that’s easier than to unveiling his heart and risking pain all over again. Then, in came a woman with an innocence that tore him to shreds not because she’d broken him further, but because she’d taken the parts of him that had been darkened and restored light into them. A restoration that took time because the severity of the damages done were viscous, and an awakening that opened up parts of him no other human had ever gotten close to. That’s why “I’ve never wanted to put myself in someone else’s before” is so profoundly poignant as a declaration because it bares him more than the afternoon at the coves ever did. It’s Sidney Parker at his most vulnerable, promising that in spite of what lies ahead, the all-consuming adoration Charlotte’s awakened in him will be the governing force behind his every act.

Charlotte doesn’t get to tell him just how much she adores him, but we know as viewers that his flawed, incomparably quiet tenderness is something she’s completely grateful for. He challenges her ideals, breaks down her walls, and most importantly, he listens to her. He respects and values her good opinion, and in the same way, she values his. When given the chance, she’d do anything in her power, go above and beyond just to adore him. If the events of the finale indicate one thing, it’s that both Charlotte and Sidney have never known pain greater than the parting they faced. She’d never be so selfish to tell him to stay and inspired by her scolding, he’s doing the very thing she once told him, too. (Look after his family.) They’re each other’s everything. (I think about Sidney’s inability to respond to Charlotte’s: “Is that all that I am to you? A source of amusement?” To which it’s so clear, he wants to say that she’s in fact, everything. It’s written all over his face and it’s heard in his breathless stutter.) Come what may they’ll find their way back to each other, anchored at sea is their unceasing love for one another that’s stronger and deeper than anything they’ll ever experience, and a love like that withstands all sorts of trials.

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2019 Year-End Reviews: Platonic Relationships

We celebrate the gifts that are our families and friends far too infrequently. There’s a specific day set in calendars for couples, and Leslie Knope coined the perfection that is Galentine’s Day (February 13), but even still, while it’s progressive and amazing, it’s just not enough. If a TV show or film doesn’t have a solid, incredible friendship or some sort of platonic relationship, I can’t get into it. As someone who’s so inspired by the people in her life, it’s the one thing I look for in the media I consume. It’s the one thing that keeps me engaged and invested. It’s the one thing that results in excellent character development.  And this year especially, I’m happy to report there were too many gorgeous relationships to choose from. I’d rather have too much than not enough to even fill this category, which is always a bummer. We are not created to be alone as human beings, it’s the relationships we form throughout our lives that effortlessly shape us into the people we become and when we’re surrounded by people who believe in us, there’s nothing we can’t do.

1. The Rose Family
Schitt’s Creek

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When I first started Schitt’s Creek, I could have never imagined how much I’d adore this family and how far they’d come. The Roses are exceptional because they’re absolute weirdos in the most normal way in this ridiculous town, but they stand out because of the love that’s come into their hearts throughout their stay in Schitt’s Creek. This doesn’t just include the immediate Rose family, but Stevie, Ted, and Patrick, too. The family that once only wanted towels and a car out of this town have extended their hearts to the people around them, welcoming them with open arms and a promise to never abandon them. It’s Moira’s belief in Stevie as an unofficial second daughter. It’s the family’s undying love for Patrick and Ted. And it’s Alexis realizing just how much she’s grown to love spending time with them. The series wouldn’t be as brilliant if it weren’t for the family growing to appreciate one another without ever changing their outlandish dynamic and calling one another out on their craps.

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