Posted in TV

Which “Riverdale” Parent is the Worst?

Ordinarily, parents on shows geared at teens aren’t known for being the best. Having bad parents, or parental figures, is a great way for the viewer to empathize with the protagonists. However, as it does with everything, Riverdale takes the bad parent thing up to eleven. It says something that there are multiple competitors for worst parent who have institutionalized their kids for stupid reasons. For the purposes of this list, we will be only including the parents of the main characters, Archie, Betty, Cheryl, Jughead, Veronica, Kevin and Josie, and only the parents that have had multiple appearances. As she has yet to appear and has no name, Kevin’s mother has been excluded from this list. Honorable mentions will appear at the end of the list. Also, pretty much every kid in Riverdale has seen enough to need therapy, so we’re going to disregard the fact that none of these people have gotten their kids help.

Fred Andrews

Obviously, Fred is the best parent on the show. He’s supportive of Archie, while he tries to keep him out of harm’s way. He respects his son’s choices, and does his best to protect him and his friends. He also is a surrogate parent to pretty much every kid on the show. While he has his moments of benign neglect, and certainly more supervision would have prevented some of Archie’s worse exploits, like SCREWING A TEACHER, Fred is far and away the best parent in Riverdale. He will be sorely missed.

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Sierra McCoy

The former mayor is certainly a good role model for her daughter- she’s strong and independent, and she is decisive about what she wants. She gets out of a bad marriage and into a healthy relationship, which is something parents in Riverdale seem to have trouble doing. Like many Riverdale parents, she’s benignly neglectful, so she looses points for that. She does, however, encourage her daughter to follow her dreams and do what she wants to do, up to and including leaving Riverdale, which is probably safest.

Mary Andrews

Archie’s mom hasn’t had a ton of screen time yet, but she’s pretty great, overall. She isn’t as unswervingly supportive as Fred, but Mary loves Archie and cares deeply about his well-being. There is one obvious problem, that Mary left her fourteen year-old with one parent so she could go to Chicago and follow her dream. While Fred is perfectly capable of taking care of Archie, usually divorced parents move a couple miles away, not a couple hundred. It’s not awesome to leave your kid behind so young, when they really need you. Granted, Archie doesn’t seem to harbor any resentment towards his mom, so maybe she keeps in touch and does a good job of being a mom from afar.

FP Jones

FP Jones starts out as the shadiest of dads- he runs a gang, he allows his kid to live on the streets, and he can’t hold down a job. We have seen him develop into a stable father who has a place in the community, and can provide for his family. He does endanger his family by having a blind spot for Gladys, but I think his current position of stability overshadows his past neglect. He is also one of the purest dads- while he allows Jughead wayyy too much autonomy, he shows a lot of trust in his son, and Jughead’s abilities and his drive to do the right thing. He wants what’s best for his kids, and he’s finally on the right path to getting it.

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Tom Keller

While he isn’t the most observant or involved parent, Tom Keller is a decent guy. Obviously, he’s not winning husband of the year for obvious infidelity reasons, but he’s a good dad. He accepts his son, and loves Kevin for who he is, without reservations. That isn’t exactly a high standard, but it’s a good step forward in the story we tell as a culture about gay teens and their relationships with their parents. The Keller men are close, and talk about stuff, and have a good, if occasionally dishonest, relationship. The former sheriff also has a quasi-parental relationship with Archie, acting as his boxing coach this season. Tom looses points for allowing his son to join a cult- it should be pretty clear to any responsible adult that the Farm is a nutbag organization, and you shouldn’t let your kids join it. Kevin is one of the only kids who goes to the farm who has a supportive parental system, and so it’s pretty garbage of Tom to not protect Kevin from the Farm people. Like, his underage son had a serious medical procedure and somehow his dad, formerly a law-enforcement officer, allowed this to happen. Not great.

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Gladys Jones

Gladys is shady AF- dealing drugs, lying to her husband, running illegal operations, and serving as the intermediary for Hermione Lodge’s shady drug buyer. She threatens Jughead, and manipulates him. She also abandons him to some extent, when she takes Jelly Bean and moves to Toledo. It is also her actions that lead to JB getting kidnapped. It’s best that she leaves town, but if I were FP, I would really want a divorce, stat. She did buy the Cooper house for her family, but she definitely did it with blood money, so that doesn’t buy her much leeway.

Hermione Lodge

Hermione Lodge makes life very difficult for her daughter- first of all, she isn’t prepared for emergencies, making Veronica’s life very unstable when her father is arrested in season one. She also puts her daughter in the position of having to lie to her father multiple times, in order to protect her. Hermione endures an abusive marriage, which is bad, but is also a bad thing to show her daughter. Veronica has a strong personality and good character, which saves her from a lot, but Hermione puts her in danger consistently. Also, in attempting to kill Hiram, she endangers Veronica and then alienates her from her father, albeit unintentionally.

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Alice Smith (Previously Cooper)

Alice is very hot and cold- she has at times stood up to evil and at other times been the bad guy. She has definitely committed unforgivable sins in season three, but she’s always been morally gray. She almost never believes what Betty tells her, which is a huge problem because Betty is often on the trail of the Big Bad stuff in Riverdale. She forces both of her daughters into the Sisters of Quiet Mercy, neither for good reasons. She allows Polly to run away to a dangerous cult, and then joins herself. She abandons Betty, shuts her out, and allows her to be manipulated by the Evernevers. Alice does love Betty, at least, which is, again, a laughably low standard, but she neglects and abuses both of her daughters. She also puts them in danger by allowing Chick into their home, and siding with him when Betty points out that he’s dangerous and sketchy. Alice also lost a lot of points with me for giving away Betty’s college money. We got a cop-out at the end of the season, as it turns out that Alice is working as a confidential informant for the FBI, but she still did do all of those things, and abandon Betty. Plus, she was controlling and manipulative starting from season one. Bad, bad parenting.

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Penelope Blossom

Mama Blossom is obviously a prime candidate for worst parent in Riverdale- in any ordinary show, she would be unquestionably the worst. She is emotionally abusive to Cheryl from a very young age, giving a new meaning to the phrase “bad home life.” Penelope heaped abuse on her daughter that continues to cause her emotional pain, even into her young adulthood, and outside of her mother’s control. Penelope had Cheryl committed for conversion therapy, possibly the worst thing in the long list of abuses that she’s inflicted on her daughter. She appears to have loved her son and wanted what was best for him, but also wanted to control him and make decisions for him. Penelope is definitely in the running for worst mom, if not worst parent. Being a manipulative, murderess psycho is just another strike against her.

Hiram Lodge

Hiram has a long rap sheet- his crimes have made his daughter a pariah, and well as put a target on her back. He has also manipulated her, lied to her and committed fraud. He has used her, and treated Veronica as a pawn in his empire. He also has tried to force her into adult roles too early, wanting her to be a part of his enterprises before she is even legally an adult. Not to mention, attempting to kill her boyfriend multiple times. Hiram has not only attempted to kill Archie, but also Jughead, who isn’t close to Veronica, but is significant in her life. Hiram has lied, cheated, stolen and killed, and put Veronica in a very dangerous position, many times in her young life. He might be the most dangerous of the Riverdale dads, if not the worst.

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Hal Cooper

Hal is a serial killer, plain and simple. He’s also abused everyone in his family, financially, physically, and emotionally. He’s a dangerous man, and just having a dad this bad is enough to require a lifetime of therapy. Notable is also his attempt to force both his wife and daughter to have abortions they didn’t want, rather then allowing them to choose what was right for them. Psychologically torturing Betty is apparently the order of the day in Riverdale, but trying to force her to kill him is pretty darn bad.

Clifford Blossom

Clifford Blossom is a bad guy- he kidnaps and kills his own son, threatens Archie, deals drugs. He’s a bad dad, and a bad person, with no redeemable qualities. He is motivated only by greed, money and prestige. I think it’s safe to say that if he had lived past season one, he would only have done worse.

Honorable Mentions

  • Polly Cooper is a terrible parent for bringing her children into a cult and allowing them to almost be adopted by a crazy controlling cult leader
  • Myles McCoy is a good parent for the most part, he can clearly be dismissive of his daughter’s talents, but it’s great that he supports her enough to bring her on tour and get her out of Riverdale.
  • Rose Blossom is a bad parent for adopting a child to be her son’s wife. That’s crazy. She is a good parent for loving Cheryl and taking good care of her and Toni.

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Posted in Books, TV

“Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” Liberties in Adaptation

I’ve watched both seasons of The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, starring Kiernan Shipka, but I’ve only recently come across the original comic book that served as inspiration for the show’s creepier premise.

I really enjoyed “Book One: The Crucible”, which is what I’ve read so far, but I did notice that there were considerable differences between the source material and the television show. Here are a few notable changes, and my thoughts.

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1. Sabrina’s Parents

In the show, Sabrina is an orphan, both of her parents having died when she was an infant in a plane crash. In the comic, it’s a little more austere. Edward Spellman is a more shadowy figure in the comics, while he is still dead. At the beginning of the story, it is clear that Sabrina is going to be taken away from her parents, and Diana is forcibly institutionalized by Edward. She recovers her sanity later, but it doesn’t paint Edward in the good light we see in the show. He even refers to Diana as a “vessel,” as though she is merely intended to bear a child. Overall, we get the impression that Diana was a mark and Edward is not to be trusted.

2. Madam Satan

While Madam Satan in the comic does pose as a teacher to gain Sabrina’s trust, she isn’t there at the behest of the Dark Lord Satan. Iola, as she is named in the book, is Edward Spellman’s first love, whom he spurned to marry Diana. After he left her, she killed herself and was consigned to hell. She is accidentally raised from the pit at the beginning of the book by a set of familiar-looking witches from Riverdale, Betty and Veronica. Iola’s motivation for tormenting Sabrina is revenge, rather than Lilith, who merely does the will of her master.

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3. Roz, Harvey & Friends

In the comic, Roz and Sabrina are not friends, but rivals, and Roz doesn’t have the sight. She’s just a one-dimensional mean girl. Theo Putnam is also absent. Sabrina doesn’t really have any other friends, except Harvey.

Harvey is very different from his television portrayal. While TV Harvey is a slim and boyishly handsome artist, comic Harvey is a muscly, gorgeous football player. Of course, the greatest difference between the two is that in the comic, Harvey dies by Madam Satan’s hand, or rather, lips. Unlike in the show, when Harvey’s brother dies and is resurrected with gruesome results, Harvey’s body is resurrected, but he’s not in it- Edward Spellman is.

4. The Church of Night

While the elders of the Church of Night do hold a trial for Sabrina regarding the Harvey incident, there is way less of a presence in the comic than in the television show. Nor does Sabrina attend the Academy of the Unseen Arts. There is no Father Blackwood, nor do the weird sisters make an appearance. A lot of elements of Father Blackwood’s character seem to have been drawn from the portrayal of Edward Spellman in the comic.

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5. Time Period

The comic book is set firmly in the sixties, while the television show doesn’t seem to have a set time period. Like Riverdale, which comes from the same creators, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina doesn’t seem to have a firm foothold in time, but does definitely have a retro vibe.chilling-adventures-of-sabrina-ending

6. Nicholas Scratch

While he appears as a main character in the show, Nick has no presence in the comic book. This is particularly big, because Nick is Sabrina’s main love interest in season 2, and probably the driving force behind some major plot action in season 3, when he’ll be rescued by Sabrina and Co.

I have yet to get my hands on further issues, but I will say that I have enjoyed the comic as much, if not more, than the show. If you’re a fan, I’d encourage you to read it.

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Posted in TV

“Jane” Falls Flat Again

So, this episode of Jane the Virgin wasn’t just disappointing, it was infuriating. Most of the season so far has been hot and cold, but this episode was a new low. The A plot is Jane’s struggling with Jorge’s new presence in the family home, while the B plot is Xiomara losing it over River Fields’ new infatuation with Rogelio. Both were poorly conceived and were only watchable because of how talented the show’s actors are.

Jorge

Jorge is probably the worst part of the episode. Pretty much everything he does is the wrong thing. He acts essentially like he’s a guest in the house, and expects everyone to alter their lives for his convenience. Turning up the TV when Mateo is having a temper tantrum, acting as though he’s okay with Jane’s reasonable requests and then complaining to Alba about it? That’s teenage behavior, not that of a grown adult man able to communicate effectively. He knew going into the situation that Jane lived at home, and regardless of how he felt about that, he should have understood that this would mean she would probably, you know, have stuff there. He is somewhat considerate of Alba, asking Jane to take the farther parking spot, but overall he’s self-serving and kind of an asshole about the whole thing. It’s almost like he wanted to annoy Jane into moving out.

Alba

Alba enabling the situation is almost as bad- when Jorge comes to her upset, she immediately yells at Jane, despite him not telling her what it’s about. She immediately blames Jane, and then tells Jane that her marriage is none of her business and that Jane never minded when Alba was taking care of her and Xiomara. The thing is, this argument doesn’t ring true. First of all, Alba never keeps her opinions about other people’s relationships to herself. If Jane were to see something troubling in any relationship, I think she would speak up. She’s a busybody, and she cares about people. Secondly, Jane and Xiomara also contributed to the household. While Alba worked, so did Jane and Xo, and Jane took on a lot of family responsibility from a young age. They all had a symbiotic relationship. Alba being sexist and saying that Jorge deserves consideration because he’s “The man of the house” is so awful, and frankly unworthy of her. I expected more from Alba, since she’s grown so much.

I really wanted to see Jane talking to her mother about this- is it something that existed in Alba and Mateo senior’s relationship? Ordinarily, in a problem like this, we would see Jane consult Xiomara and get advice. I missed that. Jane moving out is a good call, and honestly I could see her being Petra’s roommate. They’re stronger together than separately, and while their parenting styles might clash, I think they could learn a lot from each other.

River

This came totally out of left field for me, if you’ll forgive the pun. Honestly, it seems like they’re playing River deluded and unhinged, as opposed to her previous moderate level of crazy. Rogelio has really grown as a person, and I can see why she’d fall in love with him, but we got zero warning about this. The twists on this show only work it the groundwork is laid, and the job wasn’t done right here. I guess we’ll see where it goes, but it doesn’t look promising.

Xiomara & Rogelio

The idea that Xo and Rogelio wouldn’t trust each other absolutely after all they’ve been through is a little far-fetched. The idea of getting back to normal is great, but I’m not really interested in Xo being insecure, it doesn’t suit her anymore. She’s grown so much, seeing her regress this way is kind of painful. However, Rogelio being honest with Xiomara, but realistic about his job, is a breath of fresh air. He can’t avoid River, but he can defer to his wife’s feelings as much as possible.

Overall, the actors pulled off the episode, but it wasn’t a good time to watch. I was hoping this week I would be back to enjoying the show, and not just watching it out of commitment. It seems I was wrong.

Small Things

  • Will Rafael help Jane find a place? This could help them spend a little time together.
  • Krishna coming back to work for Petra is ringing bells in my head- I feel like they’re going to get together.
  • What’s going on with Luisa? I never want more of her, but after last week I do.

 

 

Posted in TV

“Jane” Gets Back on Track

I’ve been putting off catching up on the last three episodes of JtV. Honestly, Jane has been backsliding into self-destructive behavior, and having watched her grow so much these last few years, it was disappointing and uncomfortable to watch.

Rafa-Ew

Rafael was also giving me reasons to be annoyed with him, because of the way he’s been treating Jane. I get him being frustrated, and even angry, but given his relationship with Petra, I think his feelings toward her are a little over the top. He’s forgiven Petra for cheating on him, stealing from him, lying to him, blackmailing him, spying on him, and impregnating herself with his sperm without his consent. I get that the love triangle is a sore spot for him, but I think he’s being overly harsh, especially considering how much he has grown over the last few seasons. Rafael has developed into a supportive, empathetic, principled person, and his actions in the last couple of episodes haven’t felt honest to his character.

Petr-Oh No!

Petra trying to get J.R. a job close by is a sweet gesture- if she’d asked about it beforehand. So is her purchase of a gorgeous engagement ring approximately the size of Miami. But a big pitfall of Petra’s relationships has been her inability to communicate, and that’s what has happened here. J.R. realizes, with some distance, that she’s not going to be able to move forward with Petra, while Petra is planning to propose. It did feel a bit rushed, them breaking up, but it’s also been a long time coming. Obviously, they were one of the better couples on the show, both in terms of hotness and dynamic, and we’ll be sad to see Rosario Dawson go. This breakup feels very final, so I’m pretty sure that’s a series wrap on J.R. and Petra.

Luis-Ugghhh

So, as usual, Luisa is the worst, but I have some faith in her this time. I think she might try to work with the police to figure out what’s going on, and thus is pretending to work with Rose. Uncovering whatever it is that Rose is planning is the only way to put the Sin Rostro plot to rest, and it centers Luisa firmly in the center of the story, which is where she started. Luisa desperately wants to prove to her brother that she’s clean and trustworthy, and bringing Rose down would be the only way back into his heart at this point. It wouldn’t surprise me if she did just decide to go back to Rose, though, just because she’s been written so inconsistently. Sometime she’s smart, sometimes she’s easily tricked, it makes little sense. It would make sense if she were vulnerable when she’s off the wagon, but she’s made some of her worst decisions while completely sober. So, I have some hope, but it’s not exactly a lock.

Back on the Jane Train

I really liked episode ninety-one, which was a change from most of the season so far. It’s been pretty weak overall, but I think we might be getting back to our favorite things about Jane now. Jane and Rafael are working together again as co-parents to tackle the new challenge posed by Mateo’s ADHD diagnosis. Rogelio has acknowledged his growth and change as a person and promised to do good by the long-suffering Dina. Jane and Petra are close and providing support for each other in their times of need. Some of the best elements of the show are firmly in place to make the last nine episodes good, the team just needs to deliver. There are a lot of plot-threads to tie up, and this is just a short list:

  • What is Rose up to, and how does it involve Rafael? Why did she really fake Michael’s death?
  • Will Petra retain control of the Marbella? Who even really owns the hotel at this point? Milos? What will happen to him?
  • How will Raf and Jane find their way back together?
  • Is Luisa betraying her family again? What is she gonna do with all that sweet drug money?
  • Will Xiomara beat cancer?
  • Will Jane get her book published?
  • Will Rogelio’s telenovella take off in America?
  • Who is running the Marbella gift shop while Jorge and Alba are on their honeymoon?
  • Will Alba ever reconnect with her family in Venezuela?
  • And finally, who is the narrator?

My biggest concern is how they are going to tie up the Sin Rostro plot, but I’m really worried about them messing up the whole Rafael/Jane reunion. It has been coming for literally years and the writers have already done such a mixed job of things, I’m concerned they won’t be able to pull it off. I hope they prove me wrong next week.

Posted in Books, TV

Don’t Read “Snow Falling” if you love “Jane the Virgin”

I initially had no interest in Snow Falling, the novel based on Jane’s book, but it passed through my hands, and my curiosity was peaked. I thought it would give me new insight into Jane, maybe, and I’m always up for a little romance.

Big. Mistake.

Other reviews on goodreads can give you a good idea of why this book is not worth reading, but here are just a few notable reasons you shouldn’t read it, if you actually enjoy watching Jane the Virgin.

It’s a straight-up adaptation- and a bad one

Snow Falling pretty much exactly mirrors the events of season one of JtV, with some deviations for period-accuracy. Obviously, artificial insemination was unheard of in the nineteen hundreds, so that couldn’t be in the book. But, aside from the names and some occupational changes, almost everything is the same. Josephine and Martin meet and are together for two years, then she becomes pregnant by someone else and their relationship is tested. Even the drug dealing stuff is part of the story, as Martin is investigating it, but it’s all less interesting than in the show, flatter and lacking depth. They do supposedly get their happily ever after, but the book honestly doesn’t hold a candle to the emotional weight of the show.

 

Michael isn’t interesting

While I’m more invested in Rafael as a character, Michael is undoubtedly a lovable and interesting part of JtV. This is due in part to Brett Dyer, who is fantastic, and his performance is a huge part of the reason Michael is so beloved by fans. However, little of TV Michael’s charm and charisma carries over to the book. His love for Josephine and his desire to protect her are huge parts of his character, which is important, but he’s given little meaningful characterization otherwise. Michael in the show is so engaging, it’s a pity he’s so watered down in the novel that is supposed to eulogize him.

Main characters are barely there

If it was going to be a straight adaptation of the story, it would make sense for Josephine to have the most important people in her life be her mother and grandmother. But they barely make an appearance and aren’t all that well served when they do. Petra, one of the most compelling characters on the show, barely makes an appearance at all. Louisa is a mostly benign, if flat character, and Rake is honestly kind of a joke. His desire to have a family, and to be successful, are all we really get from him. He want Josephine because she can give him a child, and because she’s beautiful, but otherwise his love for her seems pretty superficial.

The Narrator is superfluous

We are all familiar with the Narrator, whose identity is still a secret. What I really wasn’t expecting was for him to appear in the book. The Narrator makes sense for the show, and has provided a great frame for the viewer, but in the book is just kind of annoying and out of place.

No appeal to non-fans

As a fan of JtV, reading the book was disappointing. Any other reader probably would have been twice as peeved, because they wouldn’t even have the anticipation for the things a fan would know are supposed to happen. Having sampled romance before, I can say that this is pretty bad writing, even within a genre not known for subtlety. It’s a pity that it was so poorly done, it could have found fans in the romance community who would also like the show.

Shoehorned characters/plot lines

Important parts of the show, like the identity of Jane’s father, and his relationship with her mother, don’t really feel like they belong in the book. Josephine’s dad is also a performer, and they develop a strong relationship, but it feels out of place and as though the book was more interested in reflecting the reality of the show than developing the plot. The book should have been a straight-up romance/drama with the investigation of Sin Sombra and Josephine’s love story, but it deviated in places. That weakens already fragile parts of the book- Rake barely gets any play in the book, only really appearing as an obstacle to Martin and Josephine and as a source of temptation.

It makes the show worse

My main issue with the book isn’t that it’s bad- I’d hoped it would be good, but I wasn’t counting on it. My problem with it is that it makes watching Jane worse. Knowing that the book she supposedly worked on for so long, and pored her heart into, is crappy, makes the whole second half of season three and part of season four feel dishonest. Whenever someone talks about how good Jane’s book is, and how much they love it, it makes my heart sink a little. I hope they don’t publish a tie-in for Jane’s next book, just because I don’t want to be disappointed again.

Posted in TV

We need to talk about that episode of “Jane”

jane the virgin petra solano GIFSo this week’s episode of Jane the Virgin was garbage, we’ll get that out of the way. There are a lot of reasons it was bloated and unnecessary, but it also made me think worse of Jane in a lot of ways. In general, it was a wasted episode in a short final season, and we deserve better. I’ve been watching the show since season one, and I haven’t been invested all of this time just to be handed a load of crap.

The premise

The whole idea of the episode is Michael and Jane getting back to basics, leaving Miami behind and seeing how they feel about each other without the context of their collective past. But here’s the thing: That’s BS. Jane’s whole life is that context- her son, her family, her community. She’s lived in Florida her whole life, she’s lived in her grandmother’s house the majority of her life. That’s not something she’d realistically want to give up. I get Jane wanting to run away from her problems, but the whole trip sat poorly with me. A relationship isn’t just about love, it’s also context. The idea that they would take time away and try to make it work without that context is ludicrous.

Rafael

No way would Jane go away on a trip with Michael with the way things are with Raf. He would assume that they had slept together, and that the trip was about them reconnecting and getting back together. Even though they are broken up, Jane knows that Rafael is having a hard time. Rafael is her best friend, and she shouldn’t and wouldn’t treat him this way. Her concern for his feelings just shows that she’s guilty about the way she’s been treating him.

Wasting Time

We are seven episodes in to a nineteen episode season, and they spent a whole episode on this weird Montana adventure. The central conflict of the bull and Charlie was contrived and uninteresting. The conflict with Michael’s boss added some suspense, but not much, and just put pressure on an already difficult situation. There is so much ongoing in the show, that this taking so long is unacceptable. Not to mention that we were deprived of Petra so that fans could see Jane diffuse the situation between Michael and an angry rancher.

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We’ve seen so much character growth this season, especially from Alba, who has really opened up, become more sex-positive, and been honest about her feelings. We’ve been seeing Xo reconciling with her new identity, and Rogelio trying to be supportive, rather than the center of attention. Petra is in love, trying to navigate her new relationship, and Rose is up to something. I would have been happy to see any of that explored this episode, rather than all of this campy manufactured conflict.

Jane’s Choice

Jane has finally made the definitive choice between being with Michael or Rafael, and, as Rafael told her, she did it way too late. Rafael was pretty patient, all things considered, and it is a complicated situation, but Jane should have just signed the divorce papers and let it go. She was too indecisive, and while Michael was willing to deal with that, because Jane has always chosen him, Rafael was not. I feel confident they’ll still end up together, but I have a feeling that Jane is going to annoy me for the next couple of episodes. She’s never been good at respecting other people’s space, and I hope for her sake she is subtle about waiting for Rafael to come around.

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So this week was disappointing, but hopefully, we’ll get something more satisfying next episode.

Posted in TV

“Game of Thrones” Is Almost Over

We are three episodes into the final season of Game of Thrones, and not a lot has happened yet. Here’s a summary of everything that has happened, and everything that needs to be resolved, before the final credits roll on the finale.

Who’s dead?

So far, we’ve lost Beric, Theon, Edd, Jorah, Melisandre, the Night King, and Lady Lyanna Mormont, all of whom died at the Battle of Winterfell in episode three. Fantastic deaths for the most part, although Lyanna as usual just stole the show. This is a pretty low death count for halfway through a season, and considering how many deaths are predicted by prophesies within the show, we have a long way to go. Cersei is going to die, as we know from the prophesy she received as a girl, and one of her brothers is going to kill her. Varys is going to die, too, as prophesied by Melisandre. I could care less about him, but I’m kinda mad that we had no deaths in episodes one and two. We need to get something good in four, or risk losing momentum in the final episodes, cramming too much into the last two.

What’s going on?

The army of the dead has (most likely) been defeated. There are some fringe theories that the white walker babies are still out there, and that Little Sam may be a sleeper white, but we’re going to put that aside, since we’ve already burned through half of the season.

Sansa is not happy with Jon or Daenerys, Daenerys is not happy with anyone, and Jon is conflicted. All of the people we like are in the North, recovering from defeating the dead. House Mormont is essentially wiped out, so that’s sad, and Arya is the hero of Winterfell and the whole damn world. It looks like most of Daenerys’ armies have been wiped out, though there is a theory that the Dothraki were sent away to use as a deus ex machina later, and in order to confound the plans of Cersei’s spies. Either way, the forces of our heroes are depleted and they’re going into battle against the golden company of Essos.

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Cersei has everything except her elephants, which she’s super salty about, and is now sleeping with Euron Greyjoy. Some fans theorize that it’s to cover for her pregnancy with Jamie’s baby, but I’m of the opinion that she lied about being pregnant initially, because while we previously saw her refuse wine, she’s clearly shown drinking it again. It was also to her benefit to lie to Jaimie and Tyrion about it, because Jamie would be more likely to stand by her, and Tyrion would be more inclined to believe her lies. I think she’s invited Euron further into her life because she is lonely. Jaimie has abandoned her, which is something she never believed would occur, and she’s being beset by enemies on all sides. The only advantage she has is the backing of the Iron Bank, and they’re bankers, so you know they’re fickle. But, that’s where we stand. We haven’t seen King’s Landing since episode one, so we’ll know more on Sunday night.

What now?

Sansa is pissed that Jon is putting aside the interests of the North at large for Daenerys, so I can’t imagine that learning about Jon’s true parentage is going to go over well. I think he’s going to tell people, but probably Arya first. She’s his closest pseudo-sibling, and her opinion of him won’t change for knowing it. I would also love more scenes of them together.

I can’t imagine what Jaimie’s next move is- is he disillusioned enough with Cersei to march with an army against her? If so, he might be a valuable asset. He’d have to pledge loyalty to Dany, though, and he might be unwilling to do that. And would she even accept him if he did? He’s still on Brienne-sponsored probation.

What about Euron? My theory is he’s definitely dead before the end of the show, but I don’t think Cersei will off him. She’s very into killing people these days, but he’s the one person who talks to her like he’s not afraid, and that’s almost friendship, maybe?

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Jon and Daenerys gotta go one of two ways- full love-fest or Splitsville. Either they find a way to reconcile, or completely diverge. I don’t think Jon wants to break fealty, and I think he still loves her, but there’s kind of an impasse regarding their claims to the throne. It’s a bit late in the season for Daenerys to address a possible pregnancy, so that may have been a red herring, or something that fans read into too much. In the unlikely case of a pregnancy, Jon would still want to marry her. Though he’s always been legitimate, he was raised a bastard, and I don’t think that will ever leave him. He would never intentionally allow a child of his to go without a father, so I think that would trump any icky feelings he might have over the incest. It would actually simplify things, because they would probably both feel qualms over being together, but a pregnancy would give them little choice but to talk about their relationship and find a way forward.

In general, there have been a lot of red herrings this season. Most fans thought that Brienne would die, since she finally got her due and became a knight. Podrick, Greyworm, and Missandei were all also slated for death, due to their scenes in the second episode, but all have survived so far. The writers’ talent for misdirecting us never falters, so maybe the majority is wrong, and we’ll all be surprised, come Sunday. game of thrones final season GIF

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Unpopular Opinion: Michael Sucks Now

So, we are four episodes into the fifth and final season of Jane the Virgin, and I have to say, Michael is making me so mad. Of course, he did turn out to have amnesia, which was what we predicted, and that wasn’t his fault. But, he is being an ass now that his memory is intact.

Allow me to explain: Jane is in a stable, loving relationship with the father of her son. He has recently taken a job to support them so that they can live together and she can write her novel. They are co-parenting their child effectively and maintaining a close familial connection with both Jane’s family and their extended family of Petra and the twins. Frankly, things are good. Jane has a good life, one that makes her happy. There is a future that she is excited about. She took three years to mourn her husband, and now she has her life back.

Then, Michael returns. First of all, he was kind of a dick when he was Jason, and now he’s back to himself, and still being awful. He’s being so selfish, trying to get Jane to be with him again when she has her life together and is happy. If he loves Jane, he shouldn’t be trying to disrupt her life. He knows Jane really well, and what does she want? Stability. Jane loves lists, and order, and Michael deciding to try to win her back brings her world crashing down in a big way. When he was going to leave without seeing her, he was doing the right thing, the selfless thing. He was going to allow Jane to make peace with their past and move on with the rest of her life. Then, he saw her and they had to talk it out. That’s fine- but he still should have left. It would be one thing if Jane and Raphael were just dating, or had feelings for each other- but they just moved in together! Raphael was about to propose to Jane, and she was going to say yes. They are committed to each other, and in a healthy way. Their relationship is good, and trying to break that up because he still loves her is peak selfish of Michael to do.

Jane is obviously not blameless in all of this- her conflict is understandable but still hard on everyone involved. What she needs is a therapist, and some patience. It is understandable that Rafael needs to take a step back, but heartbreaking. He has to protect himself, for his own emotional health. Asking Jane to move out is a huge step back, and how are they going to proceed? They haven’t technically broken up, but is that coming? If so, it probably won’t stick, but it was truly terrible thing to watch, and it helped Jane realize her new greatest nightmare, hurting her son and losing the man she loves. Hopefully, this is a wake-up call for Jane to get her shit together and tell Rafael that he’s the one she wants to be with. It is possible that the middle of the season could see Jane single, because there’s no way she’s going to get back together with Michael. There has just been too much change for their lives to ever fit together again. Is he going to be a detective again? What’s going to happen to Bo?

The thing is, it doesn’t matter if you are team Rafael or team Michael, as long as you’re team Jane. Jane will decide what she wants to do, and hopefully with minimal hurt on all sides. Breaking up with Rafael would cause the most structural damage to her relationships and life. This conflict has been set up to mirror the previous times Jane has had the choice between Rafael and Michael. The first time, when she broke her engagement to Michael because she’d fallen in love with Rafael. The second time she’s at a crossroads, she chooses Mateo over them both, in order to focus on herself and her new baby. The third time, she chooses Michael, and then soon after has to break up with him for Mateo’s safety. When Michael comes back into her life, they get back together, and get married. At that point, Rafael was still in love with Jane, but he knew that she was happy and wanted to marry Michael, so he respected her decision. He was tempted to tell her he loved her on her wedding day, fifty feet from the alter, and he kept his mouth shut. Why? Because he cared about her.

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Initially, when the whole story started, Michael and Jane had been together two years, and Jane and Rafael had kissed briefly in the past. Then, the whole artificial insemination thing happened, and everything went bananas. Michael was about to ask Jane to marry him, and she was about to say yes. Then, blast from the past, Rafael shows up.

Now, Jane and Raf are happy, and Michael, blast from the past, returns from the “dead.” They are about to get engaged, but are shocked by Michael resurfacing. In this case, it’s a resurrection, not a pregnancy, that disrupts Jane’s life. I feel certain that Jane and Rafael will end up together, but I understand his distaste for the love triangle. It’s been played out before, and she’s never chosen him. I hope that Raf has grown enough as a character that he can give Jane the time she needs to make her peace with Michael, so that they can start their lives together. Their story has been a convoluted one, but they deserve a happy ending.

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What Will Happen in Game of Thrones Season 8?

Needless to say, the final season of Game of Thrones is eagerly anticipated by legions of fans. Who will live, who will die, who will fall in love, and who will sit on the iron throne? Here are a few of the most likely fan theories for the show’s conclusion.

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Who will live?

The remaining Starks, minus Jon, will live. We’ve watched them suffer too long, seeing them reunited will bring the series to a satisfying close.  Theon, honorary Stark, will also live, if only because he has had enough taken from him.

Tyrion will definitely live- he’s all about survival. He’ll live to see his worst nightmare come true: the mad king reborn as Daenerys Stormborn. For similar reasons, it can be assumed that Varys will also live.

Considering how volatile the world is in Game of Thrones, anyone could die, but it would be nice to see someone survive the carnage to come.

Who will die?

Cersei is obviously going to die, regardless of whether or not she is really pregnant. Jaime will probably die, as he has now betrayed so many monarchs that no one can ever be sure of his loyalty. There is no place for Jaime in the new world order, no matter who sits on the throne in the new golden age.

Either Jon or Dany is likely to die, because they aren’t going to be allowed to be happy together. Their relationship, while politically useful, is pretty fraught with complications, so they’ll probably break up before too long anyway. Dany is also likely pregnant, due to the heavy foreshadowing at the end of season 7. The only problem is that this pregnancy would necessitate a time-jump, if she was to die and the baby live. It’s more likely that Jon will die, despite his resilience.

Ser Jorah will probably die to save Dany, or something along those lines. His survival from greyscale has to count for something, but he’s also a traitor. He might serve on Dany’s council, but eh. He’s kinda boring.

Melisandre will definitely die- she herself predicted it, but she’s also got too many kills to her name. She killed an innocent child, which is not forgivable, even in Game of Thrones. It would be exciting to actually get some answers about her before her demise.

The Clegane brothers will both die, the Hound’s death serving as his redemption from evil. The Mountain will probably just die again, but this time for good. Cersei will probably dispatch him to defeat Jaime or Arya when they’re coming after her, and they’ll carve him up. Alternatively, it could be fun to watch him burn alive in dragon fire inside his armor.

Who will fall in love?

Given Gendry’s general sweetness, I think he and Sansa may marry and realize Robert’s desire for a Stark-Baratheon couple. He seems like a content guy, and would be happy to just putter about while Sansa is off being the lady of Winterfell.

Jon and Dany are already more than infatuated, which is inconvenient, due to their familial ties. They are unlikely to stay in love, since there are a number of factors set to divide them. Namely, Jon being the heir to the seven kingdoms, their being related, and Jon favoring mercy while Dany leans toward burning people alive.

I kind of like Brienne and Tormund together, if only because him being besotted with her is the most sweet thing in the world. Brienne deserves to be validated in all aspects of her life, and having a partner who thinks she’s gorgeous and dangerous would give her something she’s never really had, an honest relationship based on affection, not fealty. If nothing else, Brienne deserves a real friend.

Who will sit on the Iron Throne?

It just has to be Daenerys- it’s what the whole show has been building towards. Even if she only holds the throne long enough to burn the seven kingdoms to the ground, Dany will rule. The show will most likely end with a pregnant, corrupt Daenerys surrounded by the people who brought her to power, exhibiting all of the madness of her ancestors as she tries to “break the wheel.” Dany is all about the people, trying to break the cycle of poverty and end wealth inequality in Westeros, but she also needs loyalty. She will not tolerate insubordination, and when she finally has the power of the throne, she will be unstoppable.

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Jane the Virgin: Final Season Predictions

Jane the Virgin has been a real ride- from her accidental artificial insemination to her turbulent romantic life, Jane and her family have provided us with a lot of emotional and hilarious moments since the show premiered. While there are a lot of twists and turns along the way, we’re all enthralled by the main conflict of the last four seasons: the choice between Rafael and Michael, Jane’s decision about who to spend the rest of her life with.

While bringing a character whose death was so emotional back from the dead initially seems a little like a ratings-grab for the last season of the show, it makes more sense than at first glance. Rafael, who has healthy self-esteem, is insecure about his relationship with Jane after all they’ve been through. The best way to dispel that insecurity is to have Jane choose him over Michael when both are an option, or he will always believe a little bit that she only is with him by default. So, without further ado, here are my predictions for the final season of the show.

Jane writes her new book

Obviously, having the revelation that all of her novel drafts are actually one book was huge at the end of season four. Jane will probably take some time to process the changes in her life, but she processes a lot through her writing. With how invested Jane is in all of her stories, this one is bound to be a hit. Probability: 99% Jane will write an amazing new book 

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Xo finds a new career- and defeats cancer

Xiomara can’t die- her role in the family is too important, and her death would be too much in a show that promises so much drama in this last season. We can’t watch the Villanueva women suffer like that! She’s going to be cancer free, and find a new direction with her life, possibly even working as her husband’s personal manager. We saw her explain Rogelio’s feelings and needs perfectly at the end of last season, to his overbearing co-star. If she can handle seeing that much of him, at work and at home, Xo would be the perfect manager. Probability:  99% Xo gets better, 60% she finds a new career

Alba’s marriage falls apart

With the bittersweet way the season ended with Alba’s green card marriage to Jorge, fans are not sure what to think. She did the right thing for her friend, but for herself? It’s hard to tell. Jorge, after having a proposal turned down twice, might not want to be with Alba. She has spent half of her adult life as a widow and in love with her dead husband. It’s unlikely that the marriage will last, but hopefully they got the paperwork processed fast enough for Jorge to see his mother one last time. Probability: 50%

JR goes to prison

JR, Petra’s amour, shoots an unknown assailant in the season four finale. As she is a lawful good character, she is unlikely to want to hide the evidence and escape prosecution for her crime. She might not have killed the person attacking Petra, but she definitely did some damage. It is likely that she would turn herself in and serve her sentence. JR loves Petra, so they might stay together, but it seems likely that the two would argue over what to do about the crime. Petra is a self-preservationist, as she has had to be to survive her mother, evil twin, and vindictive exes. She would want to protect JR, no matter the consequences. JR might have some moral disagreements with Petra, but they’re in love. Here’s hoping they make it. Probability: 60% JR goes to prison, 70% JR and Petra stay together

Michael has amnesia

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Jane would never forgive Michael if he knowingly allowed her to believe he was dead, so he has to have amnesia, or be faking it. He also did not seem to recognize his BFiLF (Best Father-in-Law Forever) Rogelio, which is further evidence of the amnesia theory. The show has never shied away from telenovela tropes, so this seems like a likely theory for why Michael has been absent and presumed dead. I don’t get how the death certificate and everything else could have been faked, but it Sin Rostro had a hand in it, there’s room for skepticism. It’s possible she had him abducted and is still controlling the criminal underworld from prison, since she knew he was alive somehow. Maybe he is still somehow a cop? Almost every scenario has him lying to Jane, which is pretty much unforgivable. Probability: 70% Michael has amnesia, 50% Sin Rostro faked his death 

Jane is pregnant

Pregnancy plays a huge role in the show, from Jane’s unintended insemination to Petra’s intentional one. It is not super likely, but it’s possible that Rafael could have gotten Jane pregnant again. When she comforted him at the end of the last season, there’s a bright transition and then we see them relaxing together. This might indicate that the scene isn’t just a normal sex scene, but something important. It’s not super likely, since Rafael is supposedly infertile and a pregnancy would force Jane to make a choice sooner rather than later. It would give the show some symmetry, with Jane having another baby at the end and choosing again who she wants to be with. Probability: 10%

Jane will choose Rafael

The whole show has been about Jane growing and changing, becoming an adult and making adult decisions, changing her mind, and becoming open to life. Initially, she loved Michael and wanted to be with him because they had so much in common. Now, Jane loves Rafael because he’s built himself from nothing, and become a new man. Where he was once a morally ambiguous character, he has become one who always does the right thing, because he knows it’s right. That appeals to Jane, and the viewer. Michael has just always been less interesting than Raf- he’s certainly wholesome, sweet and kind, but he doesn’t have depth. It’s not that Michael isn’t a good guy, but the story isn’t really about his relationship with Jane. Jane was always going to outgrow him- he’s a first love, not a soul mate. What’s been interesting about Rafael has been him growing, changing, becoming a better and fuller version of himself. Rafael breaks patterns we see in early seasons- he stops making self-destructive choices and starts following his moral compass. When we see him drunk and angry in the season four finale, we see him in his worst place. He thinks that everything he wants with Jane is going to be over because it’s all based on Michael being dead. Jane shows her growth by staying to be with him, even though he doesn’t want her there, and Rafael shows how he has changed by coming clean and being honest with Jane. Rafael shows trust, but also faith, that his relationship with Jane is strong enough to survive this hurdle. He also shows good judgement in telling her the truth, not just morally. Rose wanted to ruin his happiness, but he didn’t let this fester and destroy him, he set the secret free. Rafael made a selfless choice, one he wouldn’t have made in previous seasons. Probability: 100% Jane will choose Rafael

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I think it’s fairly obvious that Raf and Jane will end up together, but I can’t wait to see how things shake out. Jane the Virgin will return to television March 27th.