Hemlock Grove: Season 2 *SPOILERS*

I did a video review for this

it’s posted on the youtube page for the radio show I co-host, Radio Of Horror. Watch it, subscribe (there’s clips from our show, video reviews for films and interviews that won’t usually be cross posted here) and you can give us a “like” on the facebook.

But there was a few thing I wanted to elaborate on a little more. That’s why you’re here right.
one major gripe I had was that the didn’t show the threesome

And as discussed in the video, this is NOT family entertainment. In general, there’s several murders, gore, plenty of sex. Hell, there is rape. Roman rapes someone and then erases her memory in season one. Through out the series they really play up this “bromance’ between Roman and Peter (I don’t like to read it that way, it makes sense that they get along since really no one would understand them) but when Miranda falls for the both of them and initiates a threeway… …there’s a blank space between when Roman follows Miranda and Peter upstairs that lasts until they are fully clothed the next day having coffee.
Oh fuck you, Netflix.

You think it’s okay to show a teenager being raped but not consensual polyamorous sex?
Fuck you. Fucking rape culture at it’s finest.
And a prime example of sexism. On two counts.
ONE) that we were shown a young woman being victimized, but an adult woman taking charge and insisting on what she want sexually (two hot men that she has romantic affection for as well as physical attraction to) results in something that is considered too taboo for it’s audience.
TWO) the friendship between the two creeps, the alternated jealousy and tenderness they have for eachother falls into the bromance trope. but sweet jesus forbid that we see that their male parts go anywhere near each other. Why play around like that then? We saw Clementine getting out of bed with a woman in season one, so homosexual relationships have been (vaguely) shown. But two men? better not. It would destroy the “manliness” or someshit. fuck that.

On the GIRL POWER
Destiny Rumancek plays a much larger role this season. She immediately gets involved with helping Peter get Lynda out of jail and is no longer hanging around just to weave some mystical shit and lead the MCs in the right direction. She has her own agenda, goals and relationships even if they are not central to the plot. Without her to use her psychic powers and kick some ass they’d have been screwed. Destiny is played by Mohawk actress Kaniehtiio Horn. She gets to shove a dagger in someone’s balls. She looks out for Peter. She hooked up with a (probably) hitman. It’s good.

Shelley also gets a more central role. Before she was sort of an accessory. She caused Olivia discomfort. She made Roman seem more likeable and human, he treated her with kindness and she brought out that goodness and light in an otherwise creepy and psychopathic character. This season she was really out on her own, she made friends on her own, she made decisions for herself (although she was somewhat betrayed by those around her while making them). She has a sweetness and understanding that remains uncorrupted despite the horrible conniving people around her, but it’s not (all) out of naivete, she understands why her mother is the way she is and accepts that.

Olivia gets some depth. Instead of the bored icequeen she becomes more empathetic. Famke Janssen delivers Olivia’s lines impeccably. While she is being treated after her near death she begins to become more human. And she fucking hates it. But then it becomes who she is. She decides to cause less suffering. She decides to do the maternal thing and save Shelley instead of herself. She wants to be good, but when Norman and Roman don’t forgive her previous misdeeds she quickly reverts to a baby snatching crazy lady. But hey, that’s self preservation. You don’t live centuries without that drive.

Why is “gypsy” a slur?
Ok, because I have heard “I don’t understand how ‘gypsy’ is racist” a few times. Usually followed by “how come no one is mad about it then?”

“Gypsy” is an ethnic slur towards the Romani people. They have been discriminated against since the 1500s. They were banned from England because Romani were seen as godless/devilish accused of witchcraft and they were evicted. 1700s saw the Romani hung without trial, mutilated by branding or having their ears cut off to identify Romani in Austria and the surrounding areas. They were murdered en masse, including children. They were slaves in Romania until 1856. In WWII, the Nazi regime saw them on par as enemies to the Aryan race along with Jewish people and blacks. The number of Romani wiped out is unclear because of different branches and lack of record keeping but is somewhere about half a million and below a million and a half Romani. In 1997, some Romani immigrated to Canada (legally, as refugees) and there was protest from neo-nazis. As recently as 2007 Romani children were forcibly segregated in Slovakian schools.
We’re talking about people who have been mistreated, profiled, discriminated against, victimized, denied education, maimed and killed because of their heritage.
And the word “Gypsy” is connected to the word “gypped” -meaning robbed, ripped off, screwed, fucked over. But really it’s the Romani who have been fucked over. so remember that next time you’re packing for vacation and hashtag your photo #gypsylife.
really? that’s not “Gypsy life” in the least.
So now you know.

Steven Moffat

Yesterday I watched the 6 episode season of 2007’s BBC TV series “Jekyll” And found myself thinking and thinking about what the hell is up with Steven Moffat.

Now, Steven Moffat; known for writing “Sherlock” and  “Doctor Who” is frequently criticized with how he writes women. From the girl who waits Amy Pond (although it is worth noting that Rory also waited for Amy) and River Song a seemingly badass archaeologist who we find out revolves solely around the doctor to the waffling behaviour of Irene Adler in “Sherlock” to reimagining history in the recent 50th anniversary of Doctor Who special with Queen Elizabeth I. You can read a really rad rundown here.

He also says stupid, shallow and misogynist things. Repeatedly.

In Jekyll we have Dr. Jackman (who we never see doing any “doctor” things, but who had worked for biotech company Klein and Utterman before Hyde started taking over) who at first appears to have a split personality with the alternate personality having severe violent tendencies. But then it’s more than that: there’s a physical change. But then it’s more than THAT: Hyde is actually the next step in human evolution.

And being the next step in human evolution: People rally around to get a piece of him.
But not just that: they exist solely to facilitate bringing around Hyde.

Uh huh.

The real catch is that no one was really sure if Hyde will exist at all even though they have committed their lives to it and unsurprisingly, since it is Moffat, most of these people were women.

When Jackman starts losing control of Hyde he separates himself from his wife, Claire, and their two children without explanation. He locks himself up and hires a psychiatric nurse. Through a series of events Dr. Jackman finds out that Jekyll and Hyde wasn’t a work of fiction but a fictionalized account of real events. He begins to think he is a descendant of Dr. Jekyll (but Dr. Jekyll had no children… which is repeated so many times that I was left ready to scream “Hyde had children, you twits!”) but instead they somehow come up with Dr. Jackman must be a clone.

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All the while: Claire stands up to Hyde. Albeit for some very “faithful wife” and very “maternal” reasons. She’s mad at Jackman for keeping his condition a secret from her. She worries for her children above all. We never see any of her personality outside of this except for a flashback when she first meets Jackman and is so funny and weird (and cool). But anyway, she is sassy and unafraid. She slugs Hyde with a wine bottle and chains him up. And later, she tries to rescue him: because Hyde is her husband, too. While that last part might make your eyes roll, or not, I don’t know, and the amount of time she yells “my husband” or “my children” was cringeworthy… it was still kind of okay… until…

They find out that there was never any potion… that it was “a girl” that brought it on. Then they find out that his wife, Claire, is actually a clone of Dr. Jekyll’s maid.

Cloned by Klein and Utterman strictly for bringing out Hyde in the modern Dr. Jackman.

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Claire’s entire reason for existence is to fall in love with the drab Dr. Jackman and bring out Mr. Hyde.

Huh.

Katherine, the psychiatric nurse that Jackman hires also turns out to be working for someone else. So her adult life is also revolving around Jackman-Hyde. She also inexplicably has a crush on Jackman.
But I can’t even chalk (well… all) this up to Moffat’s incredibly archaic views on women.

Longtime friend Peter Syme’s life revolves around keeping tabs on Jackman. It’s the whole reason they are friends. For decades.

So the question I would really like to pose: While, mind you, I am not arguing that Moffat doesn’t see women as fragile discounted versions of men; Is Moffat just plain incapable of writing any characters that don’t just orbit around the MC? 

It happened in “Doctor Who” repeatedly: Clara “the girl who would save the doctor” and Amy Pond who wasted her childhood staring at a crack in the wall, and Rory as “the last Centurion” and River Song.

It happens in Sherlock. Let’s face it, this needs no explanation.

It happens in Jekyll. With every other character. Including the two PI’s who would have been more awesome if they just cashed their paychecks and left. Why would they continue to help Jackman 1) not knowing him previously 2)knowing that he could turn into a violent and powerful being at a moments notice 3) knowing that huge government agencies would stop at nothing to obtain him?

While assembling my thoughts I also read this article that discusses Moffat’s inability to have his characters deal with loss and grief. This also happens in “Jekyll” where we get to the end. Every one who the audience cares about is okay. Even Tom Jackman… and probably even Hyde. 

(and then his mother turns out to be the descendant of Hyde?! But then who brings Hyde out in her if they needed to clone the maid? what sense can that make?!)