Gemma: I guess I could start with the epic affront this constituted to my profession …
Rasha: Dude, what with the #writersarentglamenough and #letmesexthislesbianintostraightness, I really don’t know if I even can. Like, can I? WHAT can I even?
G: #letmesexthislesbianintostraightness was in Tiago, to be fair. It’s just they don’t have the space to mock Tiago that once they did. And the writing?! I mean, like, yeah, let’s never return to that ethical concern at all! The real problem is limited entirely to the fact that that mother’s an entitled asshole, and that trumps all other concerns and transgressions involved in this transaction!
R: Student’s mother?
G: Yeah, it’s okay to write the kid’s essay as long as she writes it about his TRUE PASSION! the real problem is ONLY that the mother doesn’t SEE his TRUE PASSION!
R: Well, seems like she had him sitting at the computer for the drumming session, so I was willing to generously assume that Jane miraculously got this kid writing about his drumz, and then the quandry comes up when HellMom wants her to rewrite it to not be about DrumzRule. It is, I admit, a leap.
G: I believe zero amounts in that.
R: And does it make us less mad that Aneska ratted/faked Jane’s transgression?
Fwiw, I have coached college essay writing and I have never written an essay for a student. And no parent has ever asked me to!!!
G: Indeed. I coach all kinds of application writing, all the time, and I have never written an essay for a student. Occasionally students have asked me to, and I cut out of the transaction the instant they do. And one cannot have a situation where the parent says “of course you’re going to write the essay for him” and say “actually no I won’t” and then be able to return to said situation.
R: Blech. Is Michael going to die taking a bullet for Rogelio?
G: Maybe! I was pleased that they referenced Ro’s trauma this week.
R: Yes, and I like it that Dina isn’t all mesmerized by Ro, other than enjoying a good romp. It’s probably healthy for him to struggle a bit with not being universally adored. And yet, snooze.
G: It has its moments. Including the giant@ss Rogelio-face rug.
R: How did I not notice that?! I was paying too much attention to the bearskin rug, I think. I would much rather have watched an episode of just Silent Movie.
G: The Silent Movie was one of my favorite JTV-schticks in a long time!
R: I didn’t realize that the show was dealing with critique of the “people don’t want to read subtitles of the Spanish when they watch TV.” I guess we aren’t the only folks ribbing them on the twitterfacechatgram. I will say: I love the way Spanish shows up in the show. That moment in S1 when Rafael replies in Spanish to Alba’s commentary is golden, particularly because we never hear him speak Spanish otherwise.
G: I’d forgotten about that! It was quality.
R: It was one of the most compelling reasons to be #TeamRaf
G: They’re holding tenaciously to their Spanish, and I’m glad. They don’t have to listen to ALL the complaints. Just ours.
R: Do I even want them to listen anymore?
G: There’s enough here that I still love. But either they’re trying to integrate too many complaints without evaluating their actual merit, or they are just straight-up getting lazy.
R: I think they’ve taken their eye off the goal. Like what is the goal of this show anymore?
G: What was it before?
R: I think it’s forgotten that it’s not actually a telenovela. Before it was about the messy beauty of family, about the melodramatic too-muchness of feelings in everyday life, about big dreamy visions of life that are tethered to/supported by/threatened by the practical decisions of getting by. I really don’t like them living in the Marbella, and I don’t understand why they’re doing it.
G: I don’t like them in the Marbella either, but I still hold out hope that there’s a reason for it.
R: Returning to the home where they first kissed, Jane says goodbye to Michael one last time as he makes the ultimate sacrifice, and then no one can live in that house ever again?
G: Ugh, I hope not. I don’t think it’s yet deviated completely from the first two things you describe, but you’re right, the Marbella life and the dismissal of Xo’s or Alba’s work/income diminishes the third significantly.
R: My trust is not quite as broken as it was by Sleepy Hollow, but it’s just messy, and Aneska is not playing out well. It’s like the show had redeemed Petra too much, and now they need a conniving female character. And we no longer have Bumbling Luisa to complicate the blissful teal and flamingo lives of our characters, so…
G: I mean, Aneszka’s not all the way to conniving. (I have no idea how to spell her name.) She’s hurt and desperate to ingratiate herself and this is the way she sees to do it. But you’re right that a character like Petra used to be able to be both things at once, and now she’s not.
R: I will say that I do like it that medicated, not-depressed Petra is appropriately still self-absorbed and not interested in changing diapers. That seems honest to her character.
G: Yes, I liked that moment.
R: I honestly can’t even remember what overarching theme the giraffe rug and the piggy bank were supposed to represent. Because then we had the silent movie. I think one or another, folks.
G: I don’t see the writing as Sleepy Hollow. I still see them as people who know what they’re doing and are making significant mistakes, as opposed to the SH folk, who revealed themselves entirely clueless of their enterprise.
R: Right, which is why it’s not at that level for me yet. And yet, with the giraffe-piggybank…I mean, I get: money is tight. Except you’re living for free in a fancy hotel? And no one but Jane and Michael are having hard conversations about money? Now I’m returning to the frustration of Alba and Xo’s ability to make a living.
G: Yes. That’s egregious, and it seems likely that they’re just going to dump it by means of Xo and Ro getting back together.
R: Or even with Jane, where she tells Vests that she “teaches all day,” and I’m like: where does this show up? They are telling not showing.
G: Nah, that was only a couple of episodes ago that we spent time with her teaching. It’s not going to show up in every ep. I’m all right with that.
R: I guess I’m like: are there even plots anymore? What was the plot of this episode? Like there were some consequential events, but did any of them become a plot that had an arc?
G: I saw it as Michael loses his job and Jane almost compromises her integrity because of her monetary anxiety … but yeah, they didn’t do it really well.
R: Did she write that essay or not?
G: Ultimately, she quit, but the family might have used the essay she wrote in the end anyhow.
R: When did she actually quit? I just remember her telling Michael she didn’t like where her priorities were. I guess the Michael job gets resolved with Rogelio, but that was so off screen.
G: Michael said she wasn’t going to do it anymore, and she seemed to agree.
R: I still don’t care about Derek. He can go hang with Becky with the good hair. #DontCare
G: I also do not care about Derek, and I wonder what “knowing where her priorities are” is actually going to look like.
R: I know. I was like: isn’t writing your passion? Have you even read Erich Fromm’s writing, which, though dated, is still so basic: Parents have to have lives that they nurture in order to model for their children what life is. Your children cannot be your passion. That gets messy.
G: I really really hope that’s not where they’re taking it, but for the first time I’m scared it could be. I also have to go in a couple of minutes. Anything else we need to cover?
R: Ugh, no. I could unfortunately have stopped before we began. But everyone looked great in the silent film!
G: They did!