In Defense of Sex and the City

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Welcome back to Valentine’s Day Month. As I wrote yesterday, I wanted to focus on Sex and the City. Lately, I have seen many people suddenly turn on this show. They have every right to their opinion, but the things they hate are what made the show so great. They hate on the friendships, the relationships and the characters themselves.

I felt I needed to defend these elements of the show because I feel like they are what made the show so good and reachable after all these years.

So, in defense of Sex and the City: I present my case!

1) The Friendships

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What I love most about Sex and the City is the friendship shared between the four main characters. Even better, even when they argue, they still find their way back to each other. I noticed a lot of hate concerning their relationships. One of the main complaints? No four women would ever be friends like that. Yes, I read that on a few Tumblr posts and IMDB.

It makes perfect sense that these four would be friends. Why? They balance themselves out. They even had an episode about how they balance themselves out. When Sexual Samantha and Prim and Proper Charlotte have a huge argument and don’t want to be friends anymore. They go and find friends that are just like their personalities. Let’s just say they come back together in the end because they needed each other.

The reason they are friends is because they balance and support each other. They call each other out on their bull. Sounds like friendship to me. I don’t understand why people would want them to be constantly fighting. We have enough women bringing other women down. I enjoyed seeing women support each other for once.

2) The Relationships

I have read reviews of this show calling the characters sluts. First of all, I hate that word. I do not think a woman who has a lot of relationships is a slut. She is just trying to figure out what she wants. She isn’t going to settle for anyone.  That could go for the characters on this show. They have so many relationships (in a collectors book I got they list every single guy they dated on the show. It is a lot).  Is that a bad thing?

Nope. Not even close. When this show was on the air, women on television were still using coded language to talk about guys and relationships. Many women didn’t have multiple relationships. They talked about what they wanted, but shows made them settle. Sex and the City had the nerve to say that love does not come that easily. Sometimes people don’t want to settle. They will not until they find someone that fits.

All the characters ultimately do settle down but it is with people who they didn’t think would work. Which shows that sometimes what you want isn’t what you need. Completely relatable.

3) The Real Characters

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These characters are real. They have individual strengths and weaknesses that don’t magically go away because the episode is over. The show had the nerve to make the lead character be a cheater. Carrie cheats on Aidan, who is a complete sweetheart of a human being. Most shows would not let their main character do that. Most writers and showrunners would be afraid of marring the image of their lead. The character that is meant to be the voice of the show. That is not real life, though. Good people do terrible things all the time.

That is what I love about this show. Miranda is cold and can treat people like crap. Samantha has a prejudice against people who settle down and have children. Charlotte is about being proper and following societies rules even when it doesn’t benefit her needs. There are times when you want to punch all of these characters in the face. Then there are moments you want to hug them or make them feel better. The characters are well rounded. Since they are well rounded, they don’t fit the typical comedy show tropes.

I love that, and it makes me appreciate the characters more. Damaged but they keep moving and growing while they figure out what they want. What else do you want in a character?

There are a lot of reasons to hate Sex and the City. I understand a lot of the complaints. However, to complain that you don’t like that a character did a bad thing or that a character is a slut on this show annoys me to no end. I feel like Sex and the City has a lot to offer in terms of being a woman, dating, men and your female friendships.

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Until next time, the randomness has ended. I hope you enjoyed!

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In Defense of Death Comes to Pemberley aka A True Sequel?

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Welcome back! I am always on the lookout for new stories that feature my favorite characters. Whether it be fanfiction or professional work, I am always open to following my favorite characters down new roads. As I talked about on yesterday’s blog, not everyone is as open as I am. Some people just see their favorite characters one-way and refuse to see them going down any other roads.

That statement could not be truer when it comes to the sequel Death Comes to Pemberley. I recently watched the series that aired over Christmas on BBC1. In America, it aired on PBS Masterpiece (as all good British television shows are). Either way, many people had many opinions about this sequel. It started as a novel written by P.D. James in the same vein as Jane Austen. I have not read the book yet, but it is on the ever-growing list.

I did get to watch the adaptation on Netflix, and I quite enjoyed the experience. I was only planning to watch one episode before bed. However, as always, I ended up watching all three episodes of this miniseries.

In case you have no idea, what Death Comes to Pemberley is here is a little overview of the plot (without spoilers). The Darcy’s are throwing a ball. The night before the ball Lydia shows up in a horse-drawn carriage visibly upset and confident that Wickham’s been hurt. Darcy and crew go looking for him, and it changes everything for the Darcy’s and Bennets. It is a murder mystery, and Elizabeth/Darcy are Nancy and Ned! (get that reference you get a cookie). There are a lot of little subplots, but they work within the central mystery.

After watching the mini-series, I went to the internet to see what the general feelings were about this sequel. Well…I think I may have been the only one who enjoyed this series. So, I’m going to defend this sequel using the top three complaints. I know these are the main three complaints because anywhere I go that is what people are talking about consistently. I hope you read this and want to watch his fun miniseries too!

Complaint #1: The Actors Do not Fit Their Characters

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The big complaint I have seen on the internet is the cast is not right. Elizabeth and Darcy are played by Matthew Rhys and Anna Maxwell Martin and are, in my opinion, perfect for the movie. Everyone has a favorite Darcy out there, and I have to say that Matthew Rhys managed to bring his Darcy up to my top three. He has the right type of ‘growl’ to the character. That is how I describe Mr. Darcy. He needs this intense quietness or ‘growl’ to him for me to be happy. Anna Maxwell Martin was great as Elizabeth because she has settled into being a lady of the house but kept her independent flare that caught Darcy’s attention, to begin with. She matches who I always pictured Elizabeth to look like. Elizabeth is not supposed to be an obvious movie star beauty. She is expected to have her own type of beauty. Something that isn’t like anyone else. This actress has that and more.

I think the chemistry between them was great. They knew each other now and knew when to push each other’s buttons. I loved the scene where Elizabeth’s mom wouldn’t stop talking about Wickham. All the Darcys had to do was look at each other to know what they should do next. They are a team, and the two actors truly show that teamwork on the screen (even when their team is torn apart…you know they are finding their way back).

Complaint #2: The Characters Wouldn’t Have Done the Things they have Done

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I think a lot of people are still stuck in the Pride and Prejudice world. This film is sometime after that. The characters have settled in and formed new worlds. What we remember the characters to be, have changed. They have to change. It would be weird if Elizabeth and Darcy, as a married couple, are still having the same tension. There would be new tensions.

I also believe that people expected the Darcys to have that same bright spark. It was there but not so pronounced which makes perfect sense to me. They have been married for a while, that initial honeymoon period doesn’t last forever. They love each other, make jokes and even argue about what is best for Georgiana. They are settled, and the movie showed us that perfectly.

We also get to see how Darcy would handle scandal that comes from Elizabeth’s family (his as well. Technically Wickham is his ‘brother’). He could talk about it all he wants (he kind of does in the original) but having to handle it shows how far Darcy has come as a character. He almost falls into the trap of acting like his father but snaps out of it and looks at the situation from a different viewpoint.

Hey,…at least Lydia hasn’t changed much.

Complaint #3: Who the heck is that? Where is Mr. Bingley?

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(Were you in the original?!?  I don’t remember you. – Darcy’s Thoughts) 

Yeah. There are a few new characters in this story, but they need to pad out the small stories happening in the background. Also, my favorite new character would have to be Georgiana’s love interest, Henry. He is a bit of a rebel. Disagreeing with the last war that was fought. Like brother like sister, I see.

You need new blood to force the story forward. The original characters can only do so much. Since we are in their new worlds, there would be new characters to supplement the originals.

Sometimes Mr. Bingley can’t always be there. Can I offer anyone a Mr. Ben Lee?

General Thoughts

In general, I love this sequel because I feel this was a natural progression for the characters. The murder mystery is needed as a plot device to challenge these characters since they may have become complacent in their roles (at least since we saw them).  I loved seeing Darcy and Elizabeth go through their challenges only to come out stronger, see characters like Whickim get more of a personality than just ‘greedy and evil’ (doesn’t the 2005 version imply he is abusive as well?). I love that the Bennet’s (that we see) never change. It is a fun watch, and I highly recommend it.

I think what we all can take away from this little exercise is people will always see what they want to see. Everyone has a picture in their heads of how a character or situation would look. When it does, match well…people will make sure we all know about it on every social media site. I should know; I do that all the time. I’m not proud of it, but sometimes we all go a little crazy with our favorite characters sometimes.

Until next week, the randomness has ended. Hope you enjoyed.

In Defense of…Grease 2: Greasier

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Welcome back to the randomness! Today, my dears, I will be defending a sequel that has never been loved. It is the bastard child of this musical world. If I start singing “Love Child” by Diana Ross and The Supremes, you know I have gone too far. Anyway….

Grease 2.

Yes. That sequel. The sequel no one really thinks much about until they catch it on television. On an odd Sunday afternoon. On ABC Family.  Then very strong opinions come. In fact. That is what happened to me.

Just in case you don’t know what Grease 2 is (stop reading this. Go to Netflix, watch it now please, and thank you).  Grease 2 is the continuation of Grease (obviously) with a new set of Pink Ladies and T-Birds. This time the “Sandy” is Sandys cousin (go with it) and the “Danny” is the lead Pink Lady Stephanie.  He falls for her but she wants a cool rider (actually words used in the film). He changes himself to fit that mold and chaos ensues.

I want to defend this movie because I actually like it. Why? Well…if you read on you will find out why…that is why (cough).

Reasons Why I like Grease 2

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Reason One: More background on the Pink Ladies and T-Birds

One thing the original Grease did not have was more on the cliques (Gangs? No. They were cliques…with jackets).  When Sandy comes into their world, the audience just goes with the cliques and that is it. There are Pink Ladies and T-Birds. No more information. They just exist. In the sequel, we get a small look into the dynamics that play between these two groups. Apparently, there are rules and there is a pecking order. It is a small look into these cliques but I liked seeing that.  The cliques were more than the leads. The others had lives too.

Reason Two: Lots of Story to Mine

In case you did not know, Grease 2 was meant to be a springboard for a television series. Hence why the film feels like a television movie instead of an actually motion picture feature.  Since the movie was expected to go on, the stories were a lot more complicated than the first movie. I liked that. We got a better look at the others in the cast and the counter culture that was developing around them. It did not just focus on the main couple. Yes, you could argue that we saw what Rizzo and Frenchie were going through in the original movie but not Jan or Marty. They had weird little inserts but they were ignored. Each girl and guy in the sequel had something going on that did not necessarily relate to the main action of the story. That made the movie a lot more interesting.

Reason Three: Songs Were Just as Good

This one is a little hard to pull off. Grease has an epic soundtrack. I can sing all of the songs from Grease at a moment’s notice.  Same goes for Grease 2. Yes, the movie has that infamous song about sperm but man is it catchy (foot stomping fun here people).  The opening song is fun too. Then again, anything by the Four Tops will be awesome. It was always going to be hard to reach the legacy left behind by Grease.

I feel like this movie had its own beat that they stuck too and it works. Some songs are a bit much (the final song makes me burst out laughing at its seriousness and its imitation of the final scene of Grease) but it fits into this world the movie was trying to create.  The ‘powers that be’ were trying to create their own sound and its own world so it could move onto television. It is a fun soundtrack. Sometimes we need fun in life.

Those are my main reasons for liking Grease 2. I can see the set up for the television show and I am somewhat sad it never came to be. I think I would be ok with a Grease television show. I do not trust Hollywood with it but it could be fun to watch in the summer months.

I would suggest you give Grease 2 some credit. It is hard to measure up to the monster success Grease was. It is hard to come up with new songs and storylines that does not feel like a complete knock off. I think I will always defend this movie from people who scoff at its existence. I see promise there. Sometimes that is all I need to love a movie.

What do you think? Have you seen Grease 2? Do you like sequels? Tell me below in the comment section! For now, the randomness has ended.

See you all next Wednesday and Thursday for more crazy observations about pop culture.

Enjoy.

In Defense of…The Romantic Comedy

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Welcome back to the randomness! Today, my dear friends, I am talking about the romantic comedy or rom-com.  In fact, I am defending the romantic comedy. You can blame an article in Mic for this.

Rom-com or romantic comedy, for you purists out there, is a movie that, “…are light-hearted, humorous plotlines, centered on romantic ideals such as that true love is able to surmount most obstacles”(Somewhere all my former professors at FDU are shuddering because I just quoted Wikipedia. Already got my degree. Suckers). Anyway, romantic comedies are a fun way to enjoy an afternoon when you do not want to watch something heavy or thought provoking. I enjoy thinking (who does not) but sometimes you need to shut off my brain and just enjoy the story in front of you. Ridiculous premise and all. That is the purpose of the romantic comedy! Without the rom-com, the Hallmark channel would be non-existent.

Image-1-romcomIn the article, Why Do So Many Romantic Comedies have Absolutely Ridiculous Premises? by Kevin O’Keeffe laments how crazy romantic comedy premises are and then picks movies that were either flops (most of them were) to prove his point.

It is easy to go after the romantic comedy for being ridiculous. It is an easy target.

That easy target is a movie that people want to watch and experience. Rom-Coms take things to the next level.

It is easy to go after the romantic comedy for being ridiculous. It is an easy target.

That easy target is a movie that people want to watch and experience. Rom-Coms take things to the next level.

What is ‘things’ exactly? Love. Success. Friendships. Elements of the romantic comedy. The point of the romantic comedy (other than entertaining us) is to let us live vicariously through the characters. In real life, nothing is ever going to work out perfectly but in romantic comedy land (yes, romantic comedy gets a land not world), it will all work out. Sometimes we all need to see that happen. Renew our faith in humanity for a few hours before it comes crashing down again.

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As for the premises. Yeah, I agree. They are nuts. However to get to those core elements of the romantic comedy without boring the audience the premise has to be a little nuts. Insane. Whatever you want to call it. No different than an action/adventure movie being set in crazy place. It is set in a crazy place because you need to grab the audience’s attention. Same with rom-coms and their crazy premises. You need a hook!

If we all start nit-picking movies, we are going to find a lot of fault in them. Sometimes a movie is just a movie (a kiss is just a kiss. A sigh is just a sigh…you get the idea).  It is just meant to entertain us for a few hours. Not to be analyzed by a random film student or random blogger on the internet (wink).

I love romantic comedies because it does take my mind off life for a few hours.  I do not have to sit there and overthink the premise or have to think at all. Sometimes you need those movies where you can turn off your brain and just laugh, cry or swoon.

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It may sound simple.  It may sound stupid. However, I believe people can agree that sometimes movies just need to entertain. Romantic comedies fit that bill and I am very happy they do. That I why I will always love the romantic comedy (in its many forms) and will defend it to anyone that wants to make fun of the genre.

What do you think about romantic comedies? Do you think romantic comedies, as a genre is too ridiculous to live? Leave a comment below or shoot over a tweet to @Cometgirl71822 to talk about it. Until then, the randomness has ended. Enjoy.