Telediction: So Much Death around Me

TELE2

Here’s a secret: I’ve never been to a football game. I don’t like football. It has nothing to do with me being a woman, so hold on to that assumption. I grew up with my dad and brother listening to sports radio every… single… morning for the duration of my elementary, middle and high school years. I’ve been to basketball, baseball, tennis and soccer matches, but never football. This might seem unholy, especially since I attend a school in the Southeastern Conference, but football and I just don’t get along.

It goes way back: Middle-school-era Claudia, undeniably cool, stands on the field during P.E. Sun in her eyes and squinting like an angry Chihuahua, she gets picked last again for team sports. This time, the sport is football. “Whatever,” she thinks. In seeing the visible annoyance of her teammates upon getting stuck with her, Claudia stays quiet, and she gets handed the tattered jersey – the one where the number is fading and needs to be tied on because two flaps do not make a jersey. The game starts, something about a line of scrimmage, Claudia runs, mentally cursing every prepubescent asshole on the team when the pigskin glides above her. This is her “Space Jam,” moment, she thinks (there was no football movie she enjoyed, not even “Remember the Titans.”) and catches the ball mid-air. Her teammates scream, the other team collapses in unison – an almost-touchdown is made if it weren’t for the “flag” in flag football because she would have gladly elbowed her opponents in the face. She (almost) won, but that victory stays with her forever.

Now everyone wants me on his or her team, but I just don’t play that way.

So tonight, I will not be watching the Super Bowl. Not even the Puppy Bowl (I get too sad thinking about my pup I left back home). I’ll be watching “Girls,” and analyzing it so I can tell you all about it later. I actually wouldn’t have it any other way.


Girls

This last week on “Girls,” Hannah’s editor, David, unexpectedly dies.

“He was found face-down in the Hudson River, and Gawker is saying it’s not drugs, but we in the literary community are left scratching our heads,” Hannah tells Ray during her shift at Grumpy’s.

She’s not even upset about it, although she realizes the expectation of her to be. “I actually feel nothing,” she says but wouldn’t mind taking the day off. She’s more worried about the status of her eBook, which is left in limbo since the news.

Ray encourages her to “place one crumb of basic human compassion on this fat-free muffin of sociopathic detachment,” but Hannah cannot. No matter how hard she tries, increasingly so throughout the episode, her attempts to show compassion read more and more fake. It’s like she understands this is how you’re supposed to feel, but she follows up pretend-sadness with a nonchalant attitude once the people around her feel more than she does.

This episode is surrounded by people who feel on death, and Hannah, who doesn’t. Adam doesn’t understand how Hannah could be so cold and starts to worry what would happen if he dies. Would Hannah wonder how she’s going to make rent? (Yes.)

Laird (bless his soul) is a character so good in nature that everything he says is in sharp contrast to the irony and sarcasm of situations or other characters on “Girls.” When he says that literally his whole life has been death – he’s not exaggerating. Literally every one he knows has died, even his turtle.

Caroline invites Hannah and Laird to join her on her constitutional (like she couldn’t just say “walk”), and they end up playing in a cemetery.

Death was flung in your face from all angles.

David’s death, the cemetery excursion, Laird’s dead turtle in a bottle, Shoshanna’s book of poems dedicated to her deceased friend from high school, and Jessa dealing with the fact that her friend would rather fake her death than continue being friends with Jessa were all neatly packaged into the episode titled “Dead Inside.”

This episode was almost too thematically sound. It offered a simple grasp on a show that’s usually about nothing – or at least, you don’t see what’s there until the very end. But Hannah’s detachment from normal human emotion didn’t seem extreme. The truth is, Hannah didn’t really know David that well. He was her editor on a eBook, which for all the excitement that came with it, still wasn’t a real, hardbound, physical book. Even today, that speaks something to its legitimacy. Last season, when left alone without Marnie, Jessa and most notably Adam, Hannah managed very poorly but was able to feel a breadth of emotion, so I think Adam’s question if she would ever feel anything if he were gone is answered.

Hannah’s a walking emotional sponge but not for anyone else’s emotion, which of course makes her selfish and jaded, but it very well may be her way of dealing with society’s expectations of how to feel when presented with an encyclopedia of heart-breaking situations.

I can think of a thousand instances when I’ve heard an emotional story, and I really do feel bad, but somehow my worriment of how my face reads to that reaction takes precedence in my mind and I wonder if this physical manifestation of my empathy it’s enough for the other person. Or does it just read phony?

Sometimes, it’s OK to only wonder if the dress was tiny because the dead person was physically tiny, or because it was, literally, a tiny dress.


American Horror Story

Honestly, we should have seen it coming.

Back in the first episode of the “American Horror Story: Coven,” Cordelia politely claims she is not the supreme.
In the last episode, Myrtle politely declares her sudden epiphany – Cordelia has royal blood in her (her mother being the Supreme and all). That didn’t matter before, but since no one wants to see Madison Montgomery get the crown, it’s suddenly spoken. Madison can’t perform the seventh and final Wonder – divination, and she storms out of the room, preparing to leave Miss Robichaux to go straight to TMZ and sell her story.

Madison, besides her terrible attitude, would have made a terrible Supreme, almost identically falling in line with Fiona’s actions.

In performing the Seven Wonders, during a game of transmutation tag, Zoe transports herself straight into the iron fence, dying on impact. When Queenie can’t bring her back to life, she’s out of the race, and Madison would rather kill a fly and bring it back to life than waste vitalum vitalis (formerly known as resurgence or plainly, bringing a dead thing back to life) on her sworn enemy Zoe. Remember, Zoe is only an enemy because Kyle chose her over Madison once he could talk and form coherent thoughts on his own.

Desperate to bring back Zoe, Myrtle tells Cordelia that she couldn’t believe she hadn’t seen it before. How convenient, right?

Cordelia performs six of the seven wonders, and just as Kyle is strangling Madison to death, Cordelia brings Zoe back to life, effectively proving her Supreme status.

The trials were a little bizarre. They we’re carried out mathematically and with a strange playfulness to them. It matches the tone of the show, but even when Misty was obliterated into nothing after being unable to return from hell, a brief moment of gravity was soon replaced with swift efficiency and the need to move on. I think a big part of that had to do with the fact that they left finding the Supreme to the very last episode, when more effectively, the entire season could have delved deeper into each witch and tried to do a better job of convincing viewers that she really had a chance at being the next Supreme rather than just suddenly acquiring a whole new set of powers overnight. (Side note: What’s with Queenie not being able to bring Zoe back to life, but she was able to piece Madame LaLaurie together? It must have had something to do with Voodoo or the nuanced fact that LaLaurie could never really die.)

Cordelia handles her new power by opening the doors of Miss Robichaux’s Academy to potential witches around the world. She appears on television urging viewers to call or email to find out if they’re truly witches. I haven’t called the number yet, but if anyone does, please let me know how that goes.

Before accepting hundreds of black-clad young women in hats, (Imagine that one girl who didn’t get the memo and showed up in JEANS, oh my God.) Cordelia must deal with her inner demons.

She hears Fiona’s voice in her head, but it turns out the former Supreme is actually in the house. The Ax Man didn’t kill her. It was goat’s blood. She was able to put a thought into his head (whereby returning him to ax wielding ways) and convince him that he had to kill the Robichaux’s witches. Knowing that they would take him out, Fiona went into hiding in Paris until Cordelia did the dirty work and found the next Supreme. Then Fiona would come back, find the easy target, kill her and go on to live another 30 years – but that was until she found out her daughter was her own Supreme.

Of course, she didn’t see this (she did try to kill Madison, thinking that she was the next-in-line), even if whenever she looked at Cordelia, she was reminded of her own mortality. In her own way, she told her daughter that she loved her – she just wasn’t the vision of a mother Cordelia wanted. Motherhood, assumed or inherited, is a funny thing. An woman before becoming a mother almost seems to loose her individuality upon giving birth to her successor, but Fiona felt the importance of maintaining her own sense of self and not falling into the conformities of motherhood. Cordelia needed the mother we think of when he hear the word and found that in Myrtle. While their relationship was never repaired per say, I can’t help but think about how destroyed Fiona was when Cordelia was blinded for the first time (Also, did we ever find out WHO did that? Because if it were Myrtle, I guess she paid for it in the end, but without anyone ever confirming it.). Cordelia couldn’t put her mother out of misery in her final moments because even then, Cordelia wanted her to accept the guilt and fear that was overcoming her with death.

When Fiona poetically dies in an embrace with her daughter, the next Supreme, she leaves her body and wakes up in hell – a hell watched over by Papa Legba who crafted a catfish and cat piss scented shack on a farm with the Ax Man’s uncomfortable sexual innuendos on loop.

“I’m in Heaven,” he says.

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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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