Telediction: Making Connections

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Teledictioners, I’m back! Did you miss me? Do you need your fix of two weeks worth of TV recaps/appreciation RIGHT. THIS. INSTANT? OK, I hear you. How about we ease into things with some slow jams?

Jeanette was on the radio all the time as a kid in my hometown, so it struck a particularly warm and fuzzy cord when I heard her in Carlos Saura’s 1975 film “Cria Cuervos,” which I saw this week. Fun Fact: “Cria Cuervos” stars Charlie Chaplin’s daughter Geraldine Chaplin, who is also the mother of Rob Stark’s wife (Oona Chaplin) in “Game of Thrones.” Connections, neat! Let’s make some.

 


Homeland

I don’t know how I feel about having two weeks without Nicholas Brody looking like a dumb ass on my TV. On one hand, I’m all “Yes, thank you. When is he going to die already?” On the other hand, I wonder what on earth is going on if it’s no longer about him or his relationship with Carrie. I made a little infographic explaining my understanding of the season so far.

HOMELAND-infographic

After Abu Nazir was killed in Season 2, the show needed another villain. This time, it’s revealed to be Majid Javadi, Abu Nazir’s Iranian rival terrorist and the man allegedly behind the Langely bombings. It seems a little strange that we see Javadi as soon as episode 5, so I wouldn’t put a larger operation or someone on top of Javadi away just yet.  At the end of episode 4, the writer’s pulled a “How I Met Your Mother,” which is to say they completely turned the story they were building up for four episodes around. In essence, everything is a lie, a beautifully crafted lie that will annoy anybody who feels the need to fact check if it was a deliberate or tacked-on at last minute. I’ll go with deliberate only because it’s too early in the season to say that the writer’s are getting sloppy. Though I kind of wish it weren’t part of a larger plan. Imagine where the show could go if Carrie was still the enemy? Could Saul and Carrie really have calculated every action and reaction from several human factors in order to ensure the plan’s success? It seems like too much of a stretch. While I don’t deny Carrie actually freaked out after staying in the mental institution for longer than expected, I have to ask myself why did it happen? Was it Saul exacting passive-aggressive punishment in the name of “playing it safe” or is the answer “just because”? If it’s the latter, I can’t say I’ll accept it quietly.

This week on “Homeland,” Carrie almost blows the covert Javadi operation on helping Jessica Brody find Dana, who is still on that annoying joy-ride with her maybe-homicidal boyfriend. They have $74, $40 of which they will blow on gas – but the world is there oyster! I have to side with the FBI guy – Dana would have gone home when the money ran out. Dana is such an annoying character to me. I don’t know if it’s because I’m looking back at myself when I was a dumb teenager or if “Homeland” is really milking the “depressed teen” trope.

Welp. Carrie does blow the mission, but have no fear – it’s back on. Javadi kidnapping Carrie wasn’t part of the plan, but hey it’s something. Unfortunately, that’s exactly how I feel about this show.

 


American Horror Story

The last two episodes of “American Horror Story” gave me the gift of some wonderful lines. I wrote them down in my journal for future reference, my favorite being “I always respect a good, hard slap” – or was it “Bring me two ounces of your husband’s baby gravy in a mason jar”? Baby gravy?! Mason jar?! This is just too good.

Things got particularly crazy when Madison and Zoe started conjuring the devil, taking the best part of frat boys like wassup in a morgue to create their own Frankenboy. Episode 3 took crazy to another level when Zoe retrieves her Frankenboy from Misty, the Stevie-Nicks-loving loner witch who lives in the swamp. Zoe is convinced that the best thing she can do for Frankenboy, besides already giving him life, is to return him to his mother like a lost dog. She knocks on the door and runs away to avoid questions like “Am I on Punk’d?” It turns out Frankenboy/Kyle’s mom sexually abuses her son. The entire shot of her making out with her incapacitated son was made more uncomfortable with the zooming in of her early 2000s-era lip piercing. Does she still listen to “AFI”? Am I being insensitive? I don’t know. Lip piercings are best worn with confidence so if you have one I’m sure you look super babely, modern and nothing like Kyle’s mom. If you still listen to “AFI,” there’s nothing I can say to make you feel better.

Race is playing a bigger role both inside Miss Robichaux’s Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies and out. Madame LaLaurie (Kathy Bates) weeps in front of the TV when she sees President Obama deliver his second inauguration speech. She refuses to serve a “negress,” like Queenie (Gabourey Sidibe), but Fiona (aka The Supreme) says there’s nothing more she hates in this world than a racist, so she makes LaLaurie Queenie’s personal slave. Oh how the turntables. Queenie finds out exactly who her slave is when Minotaur man comes back for LaLaurie. While LaLaurie begs for Queenie to spare her and keep her safe, Queenie goes outside and masturbates to a mythical half-man-half-bull figure and it’s all “why won’t you love me?” until Minotaur man A) might be into rough play and passionately grabs her or B) kidnaps her because he’s a Minotaur, blood thirsty for revenge.

Outside of the academy, Cordelia, Fiona’s daughter, continues her struggles to conceive. (Maybe she should jump over to Masters of Sex where top OBGYN William Masters can make anyone pregnant?) Having sex in a ring of fire surrounded by imaginary serpents was too tame, so instead she goes to Voodoo goddess Marie Laveau for help. Cordelia is very serious, but Laveau earns my favorite moment on TV during these two weeks because this game of solitaire is way more important than Cordelia’s baby-making attempts.

Meanwhile, in SUPREME land, we are allowed a rare glimpse at Fiona’s past, when she realized she was next in-line to become the Supreme, couldn’t wait and therefore killed her mentor. It looks like Madison is set to follow Fiona’s footsteps, even though everything in the show pointed to Zoe. Madison literally absorbs all that she learns from Fiona, therefore making the Supreme weaker. Fiona desperately wants immortality, and more than that, eternal youth. Call it jealousy, call it a complex – Fiona kills Madison to secure more time and feel more powerful. Nowadays you can find her Photoshopping her head onto Kate Moss’ body.

 

supreme-kate-moss


The Walking Dead

I’ll keep this short and sweet – as sweet as things can get when everybody is dying from an unknown illness and turning into zombies. “We don’t get to be upset,” says Beth. I don’t get to really care. That’s mean. The recent story line is interesting, however every season things get worse, they plateau, and then they get a little better at the end before they get worse again. Zombies are more of a threat than humans this season it seems, but I wish the Governor would emerge from the shadows and cause a bit of trouble. Having one human villain makes for better TV than a hoard of mindless, brain-eating zombies if for no other reason than plots can get more complex and shift around to more surprising results other than “a lot of people died/things are getting worse.” The makeup on this show is especially impressive in Season 4. Zombies used to have a human quality about them in past seasons, but more and more this season zombies begin to take form as monsters with little physical link to humans. Their skin is grey, their bones peek through, eye sockets are left bare. The vision of a zombie now leans towards death and darkness rather than decay.

The sick are quarantined while Daryl, Michonne, Tyreese and Bob travel 50 miles to a hospital where they might find antibiotics. While driving, they hear a human voice repeat “sanctuary” on the radio. In trying to get a better signal, Daryl inadvertently hits a zombie, then another before he stops the car and sees a city-full of them in the horizon. They surround the car, but in backing out, the wheels get jammed on zombie heads. (You can tell the special effects team just loves this kind of stuff. Meanwhile, I’m sitting at home like “OK … can we get to the point?”) There’s no other option than to make a run for the woods. Everyone rushes their way to safety except for Tyreese, who’s having a bit of an existential moment in the car. No worries though, he makes it out alive because he’s Tyreese and no zombie is going to take him down (That’s something Tyreese would say.)

Hersel goes out into the woods to find some natural remedies to help the sick at least deal with their illness until help arrives. Maggie and everyone is upset that he would purposefully put himself in danger, but once he got blood coughed on his face there’s no turning back.

Oh and Glenn has “it” too, making Maggie even more depressed. Beth has the best words of encouragement. Just keep repeating, “We don’t get to be upset.”

 


Masters of Sex

The study is back on with full force (har har) and even started including couples! We get to see Dr. Ethan Haas be even more of a wistful jerk when he deflowers the provost’s daughter and can only worry about bitches being on his D. Should he send flowers? How about one? Cheap bastard.

A dozen yellow roses are supposed to “fix” things, but of course it doesn’t. The provost’s daughter, Vivian, says she doesn’t understand why two people can’t just have fun. She gets all Virginia Johnson on Ethan, which makes him weak. The deed is done and Virginia pledges all her love and devotion to him. 2GETHER 4EVER HUNNY.

The most exciting part of my week by far had to be when I found out Virginia Johnson and Janis Ian from “Mean Girls” were the same person. Now I can’t watch an episode without thinking about Lizzy Caplan’s former role. It’s like how Laura Prepon will always be seen as “Hot Donna” from “That 70s Show,” on “Orange is The New Black.”

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Author: Claudia Marina View all posts by
Journalism student at the University of Florida. Sally Draper is my spirit animal. I love writing about TV and how it affects culture. Occasionally I watch bad TV, but reviews make it better.

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