We Have Opinions, TV Edition #3

We have opinions about TV shows! Check out the mini-reviews for Legends of Tomorrow, Jane the Virgin, and Faking It below.

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Legends of Tomorrow S1E15 - “Destiny” (and also: the rest of the season)

This is how I imagine a conversation between Doctor Raymond Palmer and the rest of the world would go:

Dr. Palmer: “I just want my life to make a difference.”
The world: “You founded a multi-billion dollar company and created world-changing technologies.”
Dr. Palmer: “Yes, but I just want to be remembered, you know?”
The world: “After you apparently died, we renamed an entire city in remembrance of you. To what greater honor could anyone conceivably aspire?”
Dr. Palmer: “I want. To make. A real. Difference.”
The world: “You know for a fact that in the future, the work you have done will be used in robotics—and presumably many other fields—for generations.”

Following this exchange, an obstinate Dr. Palmer would presumably melt into a puddle of self-loathing. — Etienne Domingue

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Jane the Virgin s02e21, “Chapter Forty-Three” & s02e22, “Chapter Forty-Four” 

In last week’s episode, Jane and Petra explicitly talk about Petra feeling like a bad mother compared to Jane—but instead of exploring that further, the show carries the theme of competition over into a conflict about whom Rafael listens to more.

I usually think Jane the Virgin manages to dig deep into all of the more relatable relationship issues that balance the dramatic telenovela elements, even when the soapiness is turned up high. When it comes to Petra and Jane’s relationship though, it seems to be constantly overshadowed and pushed aside in order for the rest of the plot to move forward.

It’s a shame, because the show does well with interactions between its complex and varied women. And since the Jane/Petra friend-shipping is strong among the show’s fans (a “fact” I base on the comment sections of three different sites as well as my own opinion, so you know it’s 100% accurate), I imagine more focus on that duo would go over well with the audience.

Let’s hope there’s more of that next season! We all want to know how Michael is, but we also want to know what a long P & J conversation about the challenges of motherhood in a modern-yet-sexist society would sound like.

And perhaps a discussion on who’s the best male feminist ally—Raphael, Michael or Rogelio (#Team Michael #SupportiveFiancésSupportFeminism #TooCoolForMachoDrool). — Tova Crossler Ernström

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Faking It s03e09, “Ex-Posed”

Last week, Liam decided to set Lauren up with a guy to make her less testy (sigh) and a more pleasant room-mate. When he finds a suitable match, and introduces the two, the conversation goes like this:

Liam: “Hey, I was just talking to my friend Preston about... What were we talking about?”
Preston: “American Exceptionalism.”
Lauren: “For or against?”
Preston: How could there be a question? For.
Lauren: *surprised chuckle* “I thought I was the only person in this school who believed America has a manifest destiny.”
Preston: “Well, so did I”.

Wow. I wish this post was a direct line to the writers and showrunners of Faking It. In that case I would tell them: I love Lauren. I love her so much I accept that she’s a Republican, because it suits the character (though I happen to believe she would vote for a different party if she were real).

But I think I speak for a big part of your audience when I say: No decent, historically-aware person would use the expression “manifest destiny” about the USA in 2016.

Even if Lauren is all about American exceptionalism, that can be expressed without colonial terms traditionally used to legitimize slavery and genocide. I promise you it’s possible. As the post only reaches its handful of readers (none of whom are working on Faking It, as far as I know) I’m telling you instead. Feel free to comfort me with your wisdom and historical knowledge in the comments! — Tova Crossler Ernström