Wednesday, December 19, 2018

I'm Not The Person I Used To Be: Crazy Ex Girlfriend S4E8 (Midseason Finale) Episode Review

*gasp* Greg is back! Unfortunately, Santino Fontana has been recast. Greg is now played by Skylar Astin who is the lovable actor from the Pitch Perfect series. I noticed that Astin did try to play Greg similarly to how Fontana played Greg. It seemed like he was purposely trying to make the same facial expressions that Fontana used to. I thought it was nice he was trying so hard to emulate Greg but something was still off about it.

I'm an adult so I'm all for the recast. If Fontana didn't want to come back, the Crazy Ex Girlfriend team had no choice but to recast. I liked how they tried to explain why Greg looks different. It is because Greg has changed and Rebecca has changed so he is a completely different person to her. He doesn't look like the same 2nd choice man Rebecca used to see him as. He looks like his own whole person. 

You know how the theme song has another Rebecca? I was thinking Crazy Ex Girlfriend could have maybe cut to Greg's point of view and see that he also sees Rebecca as a new person too. And then they could have shown him looking at the actress from the theme song instead of Rachel Bloom. Just an idea I had.

In season 4, the last line of the theme song is always different. I haven't found many of them funny, but I liked this episode's last line. "I miss the season one theme song!" I like how the writers are making fun of the fans because we do say stuff like that. 

The setting of the high school reunion was fun. I think high school reunions are filled with so much emotion and baggage. It's a great way to explore our characters. Josh's self-worth is so hyped up by how he was prom king and then it gets destroyed when it's revealed White Josh was actually voted prom king. Josh also gets to hang out with the unpopulars and explore some of his less cool hobbies - like magic!

Valencia's story-line was shocking! Heather did hype up the mystery and intrigue of Valencia's high school lover. I saw that Heather assumed the lover was a girl, but Valencia still chose to use gender neutral pronouns. 

I thought it was too out of left field that Father Brah was Valencia's lover. We have never seen them interact on-screen. Valencia and Father Brah must have at least interacted during Rebecca's wedding and they were completely comfortable with each other there so why was Valencia making such a big deal about seeing Father Brah at the reunion? Also, Valencia said she was cheating on Josh with Father Brah. Wow, can't believe Father Brah would do Josh dirty when they are supposed to be best friends. In addition, during season one, we see Father Brah and Josh talk about Valencia whenever Josh has a love problem he needs help with. Father Brah was giving love advice to his best friend who's girlfriend he had hooked up with in high school behind his back and never told anyone!!! It felt like this subplot was just created to fill space. We probably won't see Valencia and Father Brah interact again in future episodes so what was the point of this?

Hello, Nice To Meet You: A song all about meet-cutes. It sounded like the typical, cute Broadway songs that I love to hear. The sauce jokes were funny. It was also touching how they both apologized at the end of the song. It added that spice of drama to their light-hearted song.

What U Missed While U Were PopUlar: This was a cute sentiment with some cute jokes ("we were wearing black" by the goth kids). However, my thoughts were exactly the same as the jock who's family split up. Popular kids are also learning a lot and growing while being popular. I'm sure popularity also came with shame, guilt, and angst. Maybe it was just Josh who was too simple minded enough to learn hard lessons in high school. 

The Love Quadrilateral: This isn't a song! It's just something I wanted to discuss. Josh VS Nathaniel VS Greg. Who is endgame? I don't know which route Crazy Ex Girlfriend will take but my money is on Greg. Heather and Valencia said it themselves- they think Greg is Rebecca's meant to be. Of course, there is no such thing as "meant to be," (except for the Florida Georgia Line and Bebe Rexa song which is a thing).

Many people say that Rebecca shouldn't end up with anyone - she needs to learn how to be alone. I don't think so because the writers have said that people with Borderline still need to learn how to love and be loved in return. This is Rebecca's next challenge. She needs to learn how to have healthy, romantic relationships. I hope at the end of the series, Rebecca does end up with someone.

I think at the start of Crazy Ex Girlfriend, Greg was supposed to be endgame. We were supposed to see both Greg and Rebecca improve together. Instead, Greg left the series and Nathaniel was added. Why did Crazy Ex Girlfriend bring back Greg all of a sudden? I think it's because he is supposed to be Rebecca's endgame. All three of our leading men have grown and improved. So why is Greg the one with a new face and constant reminder that he has changed? If Greg is supposed to be Rebecca's series love interest, what was the point of Nathaniel? I hope by the end of the series we have a good ending for all three of our leading men.

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Saturday, December 15, 2018

I Will Help You: Crazy Ex Girlfriend S4E7 Episode Review

This was the episode we have all been waiting for! What was Naomi's reaction to Rebecca's suicide attempt? We never got the answer to that as her feeding Rebecca pills without her consent is what started the suicide attempt.

We learn that Rebecca thinks her mother doesn't know about the attempt which is sad because Rebecca couldn't turn to her in her darkest moments. But then we find out she does know - which is even sadder!! When Naomi finds out her daughter almost committed suicide, she doesn't even call? She doesn't ask how she is? So heartbreaking. And then that scene! The scene where Naomi is so insensitive to Rebecca and accuses her of just doing it for attention! That was jarring and went back to Season 1,2,3 roots. A lot of this season has been happy - we see Rebecca healthy and improving - which is great for the character. I applaud Crazy Ex Girlfriend for being brave enough to not rely on drama in expense of quality. However, sometimes drama is entertaining and evokes powerful emotions like that scene with Naomi and so it was a highlight of this episode.
It was hilarious how Rebecca used her mug shot on the dating apps. It goes back to borderline personality disorder and seeing things in all black and white. Rebecca wants to be more honest - but she doesn't have to be crazy honest. She doesn't have to tell her new dating prospects everything from the get-go. She learned this from meeting her mother's friends and in the end, being ok with lying to them.

I'm not sure how I feel about the Naomi's story line. What Valencia and Rebecca did was so sweet. They got Elayne Boosler to show up to support Naomi. I don't believe Naomi deserves such kindness. It was awfully big of them to do so - especially after Naomi was so insensitive and rude to Rebecca. I guess it is a way of forgiveness to her mother from Rebecca. Naomi may never change, but Rebecca can choose not to be affected by her.

It was so brave and beautiful when Rebecca stood up to Naomi. When she told her that she wouldn't be in her life if she continued to try to manipulate her. I loved it. I hope we get an episode later in the season where we see the healthier relationship with Naomi in action. When Rebecca stood up to her, Naomi said she was "crystal" clear - but is she really? I hope so or Rebecca will have to cut her off.

Josh moves in with Rebecca but in a friendship type of way. This was sweet and a parallel to season 2 when Josh just used her for a place to sleep. We also see Nathaniel step up and offer legal help to the women in prison. By doing charity work, he was able to see outside himself and grow.

The episode ended, once again, with the age old love triangle. Rebecca felt fluttery feelings for both Josh and Nathaniel. The plot moves forward. Who will Rebecca end up with?

Forget It: My favorite part of this song is when all the mothers are saying, "Forget it," and then the WASP-y mom is the only one that is like "Everything Is Fine." LOL

If You Ever Need A Favor In Fifty Years: Elayne Boosler and Tovah Feldshuh have really good voices. Other than that, I wasn't too impressed with the joke of this song. Yeah it is very specific to their situation - so what?

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Monday, December 10, 2018

Thoughts on Chlorine by Twenty-One Pilots

Twenty One Pilots Chlorine

This song has touched the hearts of the fandom because everyone thinks it should be on the Bandito tour set list. I saw Twenty-One Pilots at Madison Square Garden and people kept on chanting, "Chlorine!"

Analyzing the lyrical meaning of, "Chlorine," is difficult. "Sippin' on straight chlorine," - what is chlorine used as a metaphor for?

Before I get into that, I wanted to point something out that occurred to me. If you replace the word, "chlorine," with any type of alcohol, you get a pretty straightforward song.  "Sippin' on this liquor/Let the vibe slide over me." I'm just this super, cool fun twenty-something drinking alcohol at a club and bopping my head to this great music. It's cool how this song isn't about that at all. Chlorine definitely represents something deeper. (Also, did you know Tyler Joseph doesn't drink? neat!)

I think Chlorine represents his music. "This beat is a chemical." I think here, he is just directly telling us - yes, chlorine represents music.

He says, "Venom on my tongue, dependent at times," which means he is dependent on the expressing himself through music. It tastes like venom because he has to explore the dark parts of himself to create this music. He has to reach deep inside and confront things like his mental illness.

"Help my body run. I'm running for my life." Here he is saying, music helps him run from his  depression and allows him to stay  alive. "The moment is medical," the music helps him heal a medical condition which is his depression.

Now different lives I lead, my body lives on lead
The last two lines may read incorrect until said
The lead is terrible in flavor
But now you double as a paper maker
I despise you sometimes, I love to hate the fight
This is where it gets confusing. I think lead and chlorine are the same thing - but lead is the bad parts of chlorine. The reason why I think they are the same thing is Tyler saying, "now you double as a paper maker." I think the "you" is chlorine.  Music helps him make money which makes it more stressful and not as much fun anymore. He might not be able to express himself fully either due to record companies and expectations.

One line that remains a mystery to me is, "The last two lines may read incorrect until said." I have no idea why the last two lines in that stanza may be read wrong. I have no idea why the line said out loud may mean something different? Let me know in the comments if you have any clue what that line means! (My only guess is that "rebel red" might sound like "lead" if you say it fast - like a tongue twister.)

I'm so sorry I forgot you
Let me catch you up to speed
I've been tested like the end of
A weathered flag that's by the sea
Can you build my house with pieces?
I'm just a chemical
I love this part because it's so dark and dramatic. "I've been tested like the end of a weathered flag that's by the sea." Beautiful imagery and symbolism. My soul really feels those lyrics.

"Can you build my house with pieces?" - he is asking music/chlorine to help him deal with the tough times. I was thinking that this could also be taken another way - he is asking music to help him earn money so he can build a house which calls back the lead he was mentioning earlier.

One thing that throws me off is - he is saying that he, Tyler Joseph, is the chemical. But you can't sip on yourself so he definitely can't be chlorine!! He says I'm JUST a chemical. Maybe it's his way of showing weakness and surrendering to the music.

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Saturday, November 24, 2018

Reviewing The First 4 Episodes of Crazy Ex Girlfriend Season 4

I got a late start to these episode reviews this year. I missed the first four episodes and started up my reviews with episode 5. I still want to talk about them so here are some quick thoughts.

I Want to Be Here - Season 4, Episode 1 Review

I was not a fan of Rebecca going to prison in the season 3 finale as evidenced by my post here. Also, if Rebecca is in prison, how will the show continue? I'm glad the story line of her being in prison didn't last too long. We got some good laughs, and of course, a Chicago parody!! What if the writers only wrote Rebecca going to prison just so they could do a Chicago parody LOL. When Rebecca pled guilty, I was so worried for her! I'm glad the judge had some sense and realized her confession wasn't done correctly. Then Trent confessed and told the truth - so Rebecca was really off the hook. I was glad.

I Am Ashamed - Season 4, Episode 2 Review

A fun Halloween episode! But of course, it can't beat last year's episode, Josh's Ex-Girlfriend Is Crazy, which was shot like an actual horror film. A séance is a classic sitcom Halloween episode trope!

I'm On My Own Path - Season 4, Episode 3 Review

This is my favorite episode from this season so far. It is very relatable with Rebecca trying to figure out what her life's purpose should be. What should she do for a career? Many twenty-somethings are dealing with those issues right now. Rebecca chooses not to be a lawyer anymore which is a bold and brave move. She spent thousands of dollars on law school and 3 years of her life!! Anyone who has studied Economics know that that is a sunk cost and Rebecca shouldn't factor that into her decision - and she doesn't!! Rebecca chooses to forsake her previous career. I'm all for it if it makes her happy. 

One thing is, Rebecca is really good at being a lawyer! She could use the happiness from knowing she is really good at something to help her enjoy the lawyer profession. In my opinion, if you are good at something and it can make you a decent amount of money - it's definitely a career you should consider. 

It was really bold of Rebecca to leave a job she has poured so much money and sweat into. I am inspired by her boldness. At anytime in your life, you can make changes and start anew.

In the first two episodes, the characters did mention that Jim was missing. It was nice how they dropped those hints in those episodes and brought it all back in this one. "Don’t Be a Lawyer," is one of my favorite songs from this season...maybe because it is a sentimint that I have aggreed on since I took Business Law in college. "Twisted Fate," was a nice, punny song. Rebecca's reliance on symbols and signs in her life is a cute reminder of her extra-ness and dramatic-ness.

I'm Making Up for Lost Time - Season 4, Episode 4 Review

I'm a huge fan of Crazy Ex Girlfriend (as evidenced by this blog) but I didn't remember that Rebecca had a half-brother. It is a nice call back to bring him in and see him interact with our Rebecca. Tucker is crazy similar to Rebecca which is so cute!!! One sad thing is that means his father probably doesn't treat him well either. Tucker can actually sing...unlike Rebecca which I thought was a nice difference. It was interesting to see Rebecca admit that she knows she can't sing!

In this episode, Rebecca does a really nice thing for Tucker. She recommends therapy for him so hopefully he can get a grip on his mental illness earlier. She also pays for a summer at theater camp which allows him to continue his dream. She being the big sister she wishes she had.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Thoughts on Morph by Twenty-One Pilots

I love Twenty-One Pilots but sometimes I feel like to get the full effect of their songs, you have to read the lyrics along-side listening to them. But I love poetry and song lyrics so let's talk about the most lyrically deep song off of Trench!

When I first heard this song, I didn't think much of it. It's not as musically catchy like the others. In my first listen, I couldn't make out everything Tyler was saying. But after reading the lyrics - this song has climbed it's way up top in my favorites.
Can't stop thinking about if and when I die
For now I see that "if" and "when" are truly different cries
For "if" is purely panic and "when" is solemn sorrow
And one invades today while the other spies tomorrow
"If I die," is different from, "when I die." This is an interesting thought. This has never occurred to me before. For example, let's say I am driving somewhere scary and think to myself, "if I die," I am just truly panicking at that moment. I probably won't die - I am just scared of the unknown. By letting the panic into my life, I am ruining the experience of today - and the experience of whatever I was doing, in my example, driving.

"When I die," is different because everyone dies! Using my example above, when I am panicking and thinking "if I die," I am forgetting that everyone dies eventually. I want to stop death so bad in that moment. It may behoove me to think "hey, everyone is going to die, so I shouldn't stop myself from doing things that are scary. I should let that panic go." Maybe this is how Tyler climbs scary ledges at concerts. He really has a grasp on fear and death.

I like the words, "solemn sorrow," because it's the perfect way to describe the concept of death. We need to accept the solemn sorrow that is death.
We're surrounded and we're hounded
There's no above, or under, or around it
For "above" is blind belief and "under" is sword to sleeve
And "around" is scientific miracle, let's pick "above" and see
I love this so much. "Let's pick above and see." He is saying we should trust God (or if you are an atheist - trust the universe). It's beautiful really. When we are faced with tough times, we can either a) give up (sword to sleeve) or b) have hope. Going "around" death, or cheating death, is not possible unless there is a scientific miracle. So while we live on Earth, we have to keep on having hope. Even though death is always lurking in the corner, you have to have hope in the future and hope that your situation can improve.

I like the words, "blind belief." When we have hope, when we are trusting in God or the universe, it seems like we are going in blind. We don't really know if things will get better. But we still gotta pick above...we still have to have hope.

This reminds me of lyrics from Car Radio. "And there's faith and there's sleep, we/Need to pick one please because Faith is to be awake/And to be awake is for us to think/And for us to think is to be alive." The choice between above or under parallels faith and sleep.
For if and when we go above, the question still remains
Are we still in love and is it possible we feel the same?
And that's when goin' under starts to take my wonder
But until that time, I'll try to sing this
I am not too familiar with Christianity but I believe "Are we still in love" refers to loving Jesus or God? I think he is saying as you try to trust God, you may start having doubts, and when that happens you think of giving up again.

If I keep moving, they won't know
I'll morph to someone else
What they throw at me's too slow
I'll morph to someone else
I'm just a ghost
I'll morph to someone else
A defense mechanism mode
My personal opinion is that his "keep moving" is similar to the "moving" that depressed people are advised to do. When you are depressed, your body doesn't want you to do anything. It just wants you to lay in bed. Instead, it is advised that you should just start doing things even if you don't feel like it. Eventually, you may feel better after doing activities. Here, Tyler may have doubts, he may feel hopeless at times, but he is going to keep on going through life, i.e moving. Eventually, maybe he'll become someone who is not scared or doubtful.

Describing it as a defense mechanism gives a negative connotation. I think that's just in Tyler's mind. He has all these scary thoughts but he is just supposed to ignore them in order to live life? It feels like he is giving up a part of himself. It feels like a defense mechanism to him. Tyler's true self is battling these tough questions - by ignoring them he feels like he isn't being his true self and instead morphing into someone else. However, I believe that defense mechanism is important for his to be alive and keep on moving and actively doing good work with his life.

He'll always try to stop me, that Nicolas Bourbaki
He's got no friends close but those who know him most know
He goes by Nico, he told me I'm a copy

The rapping flow of this song is amazing! I just think it's cute how Tyler says "I'm close to him so I call him Nico." So would I. I would also definitely be addressing him as Nico.

There's no above or a secret door
What are we here for
If not to run straight through all our tormentors?
There is no deus ex machina. There is no easy solution to our questions. "What are we here for?" translates to "Why are we here on Earth - alive?" It's to face our problems head on. It's to battle with these tough questions and find our own answers. Similar to Kitchen Sink's lyrics "No one else is dealing with your demons, meaning. Maybe defeating them could be the beginning of your meaning, friend."

Lights, they blink to me, transmitting things to me
Ones and zeroes, ergo this symphony
Anybody listening? Ones and zeroes
Count to infinity, ones and zeroes
These lyrics don't really mean anything to me. These lyrics don't touch my soul like the rest of the ones I analyzed. Mostly, because I don't understand what Tyler is trying to say. My wild guess is that the "lights" and "ones and zeroes" represent how the world is obsessed with the internet, smart phones, television. Tyler is asking: are you listening to him despite these silly distractions? Are you asking the same, tough questions as him? "Anyone listening?"
Not done, not done
Not done, Josh Dun
JOSH DUN. I love how Tyler can still infuse these songs with a sense of humor.

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