Tag: Netflix

Mothers Day….with Jessica Jones and Mom

Mothers Day….with Jessica Jones and Mom

Source: OldNerd

I’ve been wanting to write about this since the last season with Jessica Jones ended and since I wrote two other posts (Jessica Jones Season 2: Part 1-Workplace Harassment, Jessica Jones: Child Sexual Abuse/Sexual Assault ) but I didn’t get a chance with school last year, plus I thought Mother’s Day would be good, but then again I didn’t get the chance with my crazy schedule.

Anyway, I wanted to write about Jessica Jones not only because the final season is airing on Netflix sometime this year, but Mother’s Day is tomorrow and I thought the relationship between Jessica and her estranged mom, Alisa Jones was kind of represents the relationships that people can go through with their own mothers…minus the supernatural strength.

I thought the second season of Jessica Jones had a lot of good liners and deep dialogue on the show:

Jessica trying to protect her friend Patsy from being taking advantage of by the club owner

Clubowner: Bitch.

Jessica Jones: Call me a bitch again. Compare me to a dog. An animal that you can kick and collar. Say it.

Clubowner: Bitch?

Jessica Jones [shoves head in mirror then sink]: Redefine, dickhead.

 

Jessica and her mother in the taxi cab

Taxi driver: Don’t get your panties in a bunch

Alissa Jones: Grown women don’t wear panties, they wear underwear!

 

We now know where Jessica gets her temperament from (and honestly I loved what she said). But after discovering that Alisa has been endowed with superhuman strength, it has been getting harder to control strength and her emotions, even towards Jessica:

JJ: You could’ve crushed my skull

AJ: But I didn’t. I held back

J.J. [scoffs]: Is that supposed to reassure me?

A.J: Yes! I controlled it.

J.J. Because you love me?

A.J. Or because I carried you inside me, or because we’ve both powered, or because we’ve both lost too much. We don’t have to lose each other.

J.J. You’re insane

A.J. And you’re my cure.

J.J. Do not put that on me.

A.J. And I’m yours.

J.J. I’m not the one who’s sick. I help people. I have a life.

A.J. You’re dunk 24/7. You’re numbing yourself. Is that a life? you make it better. We can be better. Together.

 

I like how in spite of how much they are worried about one another (especially since they are the only ones still alive in their family), they love each other very much. Sometimes no matter how much our loved ones, particularly our moms drive us crazy, we need them and they need us….especially when our relationship with them is a strong bond. It’s like once you make a bond with them whether it’s physical, emotional, or both you can tell when your loved one is on top of the world or when they are down and out.

Exchanging hugs after fearing they have lost one another to an explosion

Sometimes I think my mom can sense my feelings even as far as she is away from me…even when I’m catching a cold it’s crazy. It’s crazy how that whole mom and child bonding works. Maybe it’s due to all the cuddling we had to our mom since birth? The late nights being rushed to urgent care? The bonding during breastfeeding and/or bottle feeding? Regardless how much our moms drives us crazy, it doesn’t make their love any less real. They are simply loving us the best way they can to help us be and see the best version of ourselves.

So this post in a sense is dedicated for my mom, in spite of all of the things she has been through and all the times she has driven me crazy, but has always made sure I had food in my belly, clothes on my back and a roof over my head, while all the while helping me my best self.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Sex Education

The scene below is from the Netflix show, “Sex Education”. The show features Asa Butterfield as Otis Milburn and X-Files’ Gillian Anderson as his mother, Dr. Jean F. Milburn who is a sex therapist. So you can imagine how awkward it must be to have mom who is a sex therapist tell their teenager about all the changes that will happen to them before and after puberty.

So anyway, Otis uses his mom’s knowledge about sex to his high school peers. Though while he does explains sex to them, he (as well as the school staff) talk about consent and boundaries.

Otis (right) explains consent to his client.

While it’s a comical and heartwarming show, I wouldn’t recommend this to high school students. Well…at least if they have some sort of mentor, guardian, or parent that explain things to them in a mature way. The story may take place in high school it’s still rated “MA” for mature as it has nudity, strong language, and sexual references.

Sex Education

The Dragon Prince: An Empty Throne

Oh my gosh! I loved “The Dragon Prince”! The characters, the story and artistry of the show was enjoyable. Let me give you a short premise of the series:

In the magical land of Xadia, magic comes from six primal sources: the sun, moon, stars, sky, earth and ocean. When human mages create a seventh kind of magic — dark magic — they start capturing and harvesting the unique magical creatures they need as ingredients, which sparks a war between Xadia and the Human Kingdoms. Three kids from opposite sides of the conflict — two princes and an elven assassin sent to kill them — discover a secret that could change everything and decide to join forces and go on an epic journey. That trek could be their only hope of ending the war and restoring peace to both worlds

Source: Wikipedia

I know it’s from wikipedia, but it pretty much sums it up.

From left to right: Prince Callum (Jack DeSena), Prince Ezran (Sasha Rojen) & Rayla (Paula Burrows)

If the story feels a little familiar to you, that’s because Aaron Ehasz, co-creator of the show and the CEO of the entertainment company, Wonderstorm, was the head writer for the well-known beloved animated series, “Avatar: The Last Airbender.” In fact it also features Jack DeSena, known for voicing Sokka on “Avatar” and now voices “Callum”. In fact, you might see some similarities between both of DeSena’s characters, but yet their own characters (ex: Sokka is more a realist and a bit of a pessimist).

After trying to escape from their Aunt, General Amaya, (the brothers didn’t want her and her team to find their friend Rayla) the three use a raft to continue their quest. As they sail on the river, they find out their elven friend has a fear of traveling by water.

Ezran: Why couldn’t you just tell us about your fear before? It’s okay to be afraid of things.

Rayla: Uh… I guess I was afraid of being afraid

Callum: Well, that’s kind of circular. But, hey, worth noting: you’re not afraid of being afraid of being afraid.

I really liked the support that Callum and Ezran provided for Rayla! If there is one thing I can identify with Rayla is being afraid of being afraid. It’s one of the most crippling part of have an anxiety disorder. It’s this nasty neverending cycle and for me, it’s hard to pull myself out of it. Without help from anyone, even if it’s my cell phone going off, it’s hard to get myself out (until hours later). So, I try to ask my friends for help to pull me out of it, because I can’t do it myself. Or sometimes when they are arround me, they help pull me out. What I loved about Callum is that he allowed Rayla to accept her feelings of fear, because Rayla has yet learned to do it herself. The scene goes on to explain as shown in the excerpt below.

Rayla: That’s deep. But stupid. The thing is, Moonshadow elves aren’t supposed to show fear. Ever.

Ezran: That’s sad.

Being part of an ethnic group can be kind of hard. For me being as an African American, saying I have a mental illness is like admiting I’m weak. We’re not suppose to be weak, especially with all the prejudice we can face and all the hardships we go through just in our everyday life, you have to have built some sort of resistance to that. Don’t get me wrong…I love my people’s inner strength and resilience. However, after endearing the crap you go through everyday, it takes a toll on you. Heck I’m still trying to move past the domestic violence I witnessed as a child everyday and the economic burdens me and family have face. When I work, I feel I have to perfect, because being perfect means better recommendations for future employers. It means, I won’t slow anyone down or I’ll get promoted at my workplace. Not to mention I feel self conscience of needing to perform well, because I don’t want employees and employers to get a misconception of Black people. It’s really disheartening to see only myself or sometimes 2 or 3 other Black people in a whole store or restaurant. So failing for me is NOT an option for me, because I don’t want to experience economic burdens EVER AGAIN in my lifetime and I’d like there to be more Black people employed in various job markets.

Rayla: It’s our way.  My parents aren’t really dead, but I wish they were. They’re cowards.

Callum: What do you mean?

Rayla: My parents were part of an elite force, the Dragon Guard, eight elven warriors chosen to protect the egg of the Dragon Prince. Storm dragons only lay an egg every thousand years. So that egg is so rare and precious. But when the humans came the killed the Dragon King, the Dragon Guard, my parents failed in their duty. They ran away. I feel SO ashamed.

One way or another our parent(s) will disappoint us. And I don’t mean when they make corny jokes or try to use today’s slang to relate with you. It can be tempting to think we could have done better decisions than they have, because of how they have failed to, for example, show emotional support or financial support or just to be an active part of our lives. And sometimes because of their lack of ability to fullfill these “simple” needs, we can distance ourselves from them. We do this by either want to avoid the things they have done or we end up (ironically) doing the same things that they have done. You might look at yourself and then looking back at them thinking you don’t want anyone to think you’re anything like that.

Unlike Rayla’s parents, our parents are human beings. It can be hard to remember that when they fall short of our expecations. Just like us, they are simply doing to best they can with what they have. Sometimes our parents may not know even how to handle their situations, because noone was there to show them how. Maybe yes, you may have been fortunate to have better self-awareness they did and may have even had a much better support system than they did, but we must learn to forgive our parents for not giving us what we needed and being the parent we wanted. I hope Rayla won’t just find her parents and why they deserted their post, but forgive them.

Callum: Rayla, I’m sorry for what humans did.

Rayla: So, you see, that’s why I have to make things right. When I first came here, I was on a quest for revenge. But the moment I saw that egg, everything changed. Now, this is a journey of redemption.

Callum: We’re in this together.

Bait: Croaks

When hope of redemption comes in the form, for example, job opportunity or a relationship (new or old) it helps make for the time lost and the knowledged we lacked. The hope of being wiser and having better days ahead falls nothing short of exhilirating and welcoming. It becomes easier to weather gloomy days, because there is a light at the end of the tunnel. So until those days come, we do everything right to make those dreams behind the redemption come true and the things we do to make it happen even if they are demanding, feel worthwhile.  For Reyla, the finding of the egg is not only a way to stop the war, but to make up for “the mess” her parents made and her own inadequacies as an elf.

The boat drifts away

Rayla: Oh no! Our boats seems to be drifting away. It slipped just out of my reach. What will we do now?

Boat returns to shore. Callum pushes back out.

Callum: Good-bye boat.

Rayla: Thank you!

I liked how inspite Rayla purposely allowing the boat to drift out on its own, Callum didn’t make her go on the boat. He didn’t call her names or make fun of her anxiety. He accepted her, inadquacies and her vulnerability. Sometime people don’t know how hard it is to reveal vulnerabilites, but I feel it’s because they have hard time accepting their own. In the beginning episodes, Callum was struggling knowing how to use the sword and later accepts he’s not good at it (especially when he failed to impress Claudia). I think it was because he was able to accept his flaws that he was able to accept her flaws and help her accept hers. It’s kind of like what it says in the Bible:

Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, but a good word makes it glad.

Proverbs 12:25

We need to hear the fears and doubts of those we love, no matter how much we expect out of them, we need to remember they get just as lonely, anxious, doubtful and remorseful as we do. And because of the icky feeling of vulnerability,  vulnerabilty is THE last thing they want to feel, so it’s important to not chastise their fear and doubts. As corny as this sounds, through the power of love and friendship, it will help strengthen the bond between you and your loved one(s) and will give your loved one the strength to have a better bond with themselves.

Iron Fist’s Danny Rand and Lei Kung: Masters of Pain

Introduction

Since, I have had this post on draft mode, I found out that the “Iron Fist” was canceled! Okay in my opinion…”Iron Fist”, isn’t THAT bad. I mean yeah, the story isn’t as strong as  “Daredevil”, “Jessica Jones,” “Luke Cage,” and now “The Punisher”, but it isn’t THAT bad. I’ve seen worse. The “Iron Fist” is about a guy named Danny Rand (played by Finn Jones) who inherits the powers of  the dragon, Shou-Lao, which helps him become the new “Iron Fist”,  from the legendary land of K’un-Lun. He comes to New York to reclaim Rand Enterprises after being assumed dead for 15 years after a plain crash that killed both of his parents.

Danny’s father, Wendell Rand
Danny’s mother, Heather Rand

When Danny returns, he tries to reconnect with his former life, mostly with his former relationships like his former friends,  Joy and Ward, the Meachum siblings (played by Jessica Stroup and Tom Pelphrey) who also own part Rand Enterprises, who found it a little hard to believe that he returned from the dead. Speaking of returning from the dead, we find Harold Meachum, who was Danny’s father’s former partner, before he passed away from cancer and then being revived by the Hand. Now that Danny is trying to catch up with the times and his former life, he has been easily influenced by the Hand via Harold Meachum.

He looks very familiar…
If you said “Boromir”, then you would be correct! He played Boromir in LOTR: The Two Towers and Return of the King, played by David Wenham who played Harold Mechum as shown in the picture above
No…he’s not Denis Leary, though he kinda DOES look like him.

Since the loss of his parents and the acquirement of his new found powers…and the inheritance of his parents’ company, it seems that everyone has been trying to take the place of his “mentor”: The Hand (e.g. Madame Gao, Bakuto), Harold Meachum, and  Lei Kung…trying to mold him into their own making to fit their own intentions. Yes, I said Lei Kung. Sure he’s not the bad guy, but I have to say even he was trying hard to win him over.

Lei Kung, The Thunderer Champion of K’un-Lun

Many times in the show Danny, including during his flashbacks, especially after he was rescued by the devastating plane crash, he hasn’t been able to deal with his grief and has periodically what appears to be panic attacks especially whenever an airplane flies overhead.

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Danny when his mother told him she loved him, before the fatal crash

When he lived in K’un-lun, while Danny Rand was able to acquire the role of the “Iron Fist”, he never got a chance to grieve the loss of his parents, nor be able to process the trauma where he nearly lost his own life. His teacher, Lei Kung, put him under tremendous and intense training. This is not including dealing with harsh conditions of K’un-Lun like sleeping on a dirty mat and traveling a mile uphill to get daily rations of water each morning (Marvel Cinematic Universe Wiki, n.d.). However, I feel despite all the training Lei Kung put him under, the one thing that he didn’t teach Danny is how to overcome his pain.

Mental Health Support

In season 1 of “The Iron Fist” (including “The Defenders” and “Luke Cage”), Lei-Kung is often mentioned and been seen in a few scenes. He is the elder monk of the Order of the Crane Mother and the father of Danny’s best friend, Davos. It was believed that Danny was part of a prophecy, because of how his parent’s plane was on fire while it crashed in the sky. And I believe because of that, he has seen him a prize and as the potential protector of Kun-Lun, “The Iron Fist”. So him seeing still grieving over his parents seemed to be trivial:

I hear you crying at night in your room. Weeping over your parents and their loss. That grief is a weakness. Banish it. Reject or accept the darkness. It is your choice. Both are acceptable. But your choice reveal who we are.

Lei-Kung

Okay…this isn’t fair that Lei Kung is calling him “weak” just because he lost his parents. Well, yeah…it was a period of darkness for him. And this darkness wasn’t particularity a bad one. Why does remind me a movie….

Source: Sf-worlds.com

Ah, yes! Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. Remember the part when the Jedi Counsel (mostly Mace Windu, Ki-Adi-Mundi, and Yoda talking to him) told a young Anakin Skywalker (who presence was also prophesied) to be mindful of his feelings of missing his mother will get the best of of him because well…as Yoda put it:

Fear is the path to the Dark Side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate.

But I feel that ironically… it was their “detached mentality” that kinda set Anakin to the Dark Side. Go figure.

Not all darkness is bad. There’s the darkness that is for evil and there’s the darkness that describes a person’s period of loss and grief, whatever they may be, whether it includes loss of health, the loss of a loved one, lost of a job, breakup…But in no way does having such feelings mean a person is “weak”.

Mental Health Affects ANYBODY

We find that even when Danny gains the power of “The Iron Fist”, the emptiness and grief still remains. Even with all the power and money in the world (the inheritance of Rand Enterprises) he is still sad. This goes to show that money and power is not everything if there is no love or even a time to grieve. I mean, a lot of people in the show (especially since they thought that Danny was dead) thought he looked like anyone else. This is why looking after our mental well-being. Mental health affects us no matter who you are.

Warts And All: Accepting Ourselves

At the entry to every door is the opportunity to choose a different path. If you wish to continue as you are, do not enter. But if you choose to face the dragon inside, know that you risk everything. Should you live…your former self will be destroyed. If you choose to take this up you will be forever marked as one of us. Are you willing to kills Danny Rand so that Iron Fist might live?

Lei Kung

Can’t Danny accept himself and his role as “The Iron Fist”?  If Danny wasn’t who he was, Kung would have chose his own son Davos wouldn’t he? (Then again in the second season we find out why, but that’s a post for another day) It’s just like in the real world when people want others to forsake themselves for their own purposes, forgetting that it was that person’s individuality that made them sought after in the first place.

I’m glad that Danny chose to accept himself and being the Iron Fist instead choosing between the two of them. Sometimes, people makes us feel we have give up a part of who we are if we are to succeed or acquire anything in life.  Or that you can’t get anything, because of who you are. This could include core values or like in  Danny’s case, an emotion that we are currently going through. Regardless which it is, we must face our “inner dragons” if we are are to manifest our own “hidden power”. If we don’t face whatever is causing anxiety within us, it can destroy us or our relationships, jobs, or our livelyhood.

Taking Precaution of Our Words: The Sensitive Thing About Insensitivity

Cast away your childish needs. Bury your mother. Bury your father. You belong to me and to me alone. You must submit, can you do it? Then tell me who you are! A child…touched by fire…delivered from heaven to become the greatest warrior, destined for victory. Guardian of the Gate…Destroyer of the Hand. Your purpose. Destroy the Hand. No room for doubt. Finish it. Finish it now. You belong to me… and I command you.

Lei Kung

It sucks to have high expectations put on you doesn’t it? The high expectation and the grand titles given by Lei Kung blinded him from the sorrow Danny was facing. Bury his parents? The show never mentioned if he was able to do that, but I’m sure it was even challenging to “bury” his parents mentally in his mind. “Tell me who you are?” He’s a child who lost his parents in a fiery plane crash. An orphan!  If this is Kung’s way of “looking on the bright side” that is very horrible. Danny will move on in his life, but by making him deny his pains, it would only make them multiply. This is no way to help someone’s overcome heartache, grief, or troubles. Denying someone else’s pain, just because it is inconvenient for you or because you don’t understand it, isn’t how to help someone. You’re better off saying, “I’m sorry”, “I don’t know”, or “I don’t know, I’m sorry” or say nothing. So let’s try our best not to talk for the sake of talking.

The ability to speak does not make you intelligent

Qui-Gon Jinn

Turning Lemons Into Lemonade: Using Your Struggles To Help Others

I’m still trying to figure out who I’m gonna be as the Iron Fist. Lei Kung taught me that I was a powerful weapon, a flame meant to destroy our enemies. But I keep thinking that maybe I can be something else. A light for those trapped in the darkness.

Danny Rand

In the end, I like how he uses his newfound powers to enlighten the lives of others. Much like those of us who live with mental illness, whatever our “newfound powers” maybe—whether it maybe your resilience, resourcefulness, compassion, patience, wisdom, courage, self-love or self-compassion—you are also lighting a way for those in the darkness of heir mental health journey too.

Conclusion

As you become the hero you choose to be during your own mental health journey, there will be people in yourself, even those you love (and love you) with good intentions who may want to have a say in it. Including those who also live with mental illness. I myself, have been guilty at doing this.  They will tell you how should heal, how long it’ll last, but in reality healing isn’t a one size fits all and it most definitely won’t happen even a few months, but you will improve. I think at the end, Lei Kung had good intentions, for choosing Danny as the new “Iron Fist”. However, I think it was a mistake for Lei Kung to think, he would have been like every “Iron Fist” before him. Maybe what motivated the last “Iron Fist”, may not have benefited this “Iron Fist”. Like Danny,  don’t be mad at those you love who couldn’t help you through your pain, because they may not know how to help you overcome it. People can only know so much. At the end of day in the heart of your heart, you know what’s best for you, because at the end of it all you will be the one benefiting from your healing.

Resources:

Iron Fist (TV Series). Marvel Cinematic Universe Wiki. Retrieved from http://marvelcinematicuniverse.wikia.com/wiki/Iron_Fist_(TV_series)

Movie Quote DB. Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menance quotes. Retrieved from http://www.moviequotedb.com/movies/star-wars-episode-i-the-phantom-menace.html

GLOW (Part 1 of 3)

****Warning Discloser: Spoilers and sexual assault references***

The Cast of GLOW

I love “Glow”! Not just because it’s a nod to the times, but because of the cast and it’s great storytelling. Set in the mid 80s, Ruth Wilder, played by Allison Brie, is an up and coming actress trying her hardest to score her first big gig. Well…one thing led to another and she became a female wrestler.

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Ruth

 

Related image
Zoya the Destroya

Believe it or not wrestling was a big deal back then. Even though  wrestling was fake, they drew big crowds on and off the small screen. Heck, GLOW is based off the actual GLOW TV Show which aired those days. And even when I watched the show  (you can  watch the documentary off the show on Netflix, it’s great), these women were amazing and crazy! There was NOTHING like that those days where women wrestled. So the show was very groundbreaking.

Image result for the real glow girls
Source: Inverse

If you grew up in the 80s or watched 80s films, women weren’t given a lot of roles as they are now. They didn’t have a lot lead roles, they seemed to play only as secretaries or mothers, they needed to be “pretty” and of course…they needed to have a man and be a damsel in distress. Women weren’t given a lot of personality…but GLOW gave the women to be more on television. They could engage in wresting for crying out loud! Yeah, some of those of course led to major injury, but these women were no longer restricted by gender norms.

Being that we’re now in the ME TOO era, this film really served as a reminder of what women went through to become famous. Unfortunately, it wasn’t due just hard work alone, but due to sleezy men who wanted to take advantage of women who wanted be actors.

If you look at the picture above, you can tell that Ruth was a rather dreamy and naive actress.  For starters, she wasn’t from California (I believe she’s originally from the mid west) and two, she has just such a big passion for acting. So big in fact, the director of GLOW (and soon to be love interest), Sam Sylvia, played by Marc Maron, didn’t take her seriously at first when he was putting together the cast. But thank goodness, to her passion, Sam kept her and she did very well portraying her Russian alter-ego, Zoya the Destroya.

The show, especially her character was so well liked by Tom Grant (Paul Fitzgerald), the President of K-DTV of North Hollywood, that he asked Glen Klitnick (Andrew Friedman), he could invite her to his pad. Unknowingly to Ruth, she was nothing more as some sort of “gift” to Tom Grant, once Glen left the room.

Even though Tom asked Ruth how to wrestle, it was really just an excuse to fondle her breast for example. Looking at her face, she was extremely uncomfortable, while looking at his face he was enjoying himself. Just seeing how he grabbing her and trying to put his face between her breast. Reminded me of what happened with me.

Although I told him I just wanted to make out, he thought it okay to pull down my shirt and fondle my breasts while at. I had never really known what making out at the time, only that I thought it should involved was kissing. But I didn’t even know I could decide what constituted as making out and assumed everyone knew it involved kissing.

I felt for Ruth when she escaped Glen’s house and how humiliated and confused she must have felt. Like a “why me”??? or a “I should have known better”? Unfortunately, the following day she kind of regretted running away, when it was found that  “Glow” was scheduled to be air 2 AM in the morning.

Damn…

While some how Ruth’s character annoyed me, because she was naive, but I guess she annoyed me because she reminded me of myself. I felt like Ruth, I put myself in that situation and I get upset everyday, that why did I not see that coming. Sometimes I forget the world does not have the same heart I do and will try to hide its true face. However neither me and Ruth didn’t deserve to be treated the way we did. But as you can imagine for Ruth, her dreams were reliant on someone who had the power to embolden her career, but instead it was to embolden their own ego. Then because Tom Grant didn’t get what he wanted, he punished her, which  in turn punished her fellow actresses. So not ONLY does Ruth have to deal with assault, but have to take the blame for the cancellation of her show.

Unfortunately this is what happens to assault victims…their assaulter with use some sort of means of abuse . There are many forms of abuse…according to the “Physical Violence Sexual” wheel by The National Domestic Violence Hotline:

 

screen-shot-2016-08-11-at-10-38-04-am

I feel that Tom Grant in the episode, used economic abuse, his male privilege, and emotional abuse to take control and get back at Ruth. This may be a fictional show, but the abuse that women underwent especially during those times in Hollywood IS real.