I Ship It: Once Upon a Time’s Neal & Emma-An Argument For Destiny

Recently I discovered that I am usually in the minority of television show couple shipping.  At least that’s how it appears based on vocalization.  For some odd reason, Once Upon a Time fans love the idea of Hook and Emma as a couple. I do not. For many reasons, I do not support this pairing. I do like both characters, just not together. However, I am fully aware that the writers are in the process of creating an Emma-Hook-Neal triangle. I’m team Neal all the way.

Neal and Emma

Many  OUAT fans do not like Emma and Neal as a duo. They claim the couple has no chemistry, they shouldn’t just be together because they have a child, etc. I think we’re watching a different show, because Emma and Neal not only have great chemistry,  but they’re one of the most dynamic pairs on Once Upon a Time.  Personally, I believe television show fans just create silly reasons to make their couple seem better than the next.  We’re all stubborn about our ships. Therefore, it would take a miracle to change someone’s preference about their TV couples. Nevertheless, I am going to attempt to make non-believers see the beauty in the Neal-Emma pairing.

Here are the five main reasons I ship Neal and Emma (in no particular order):

1. They’re Destined 

One of the strongest themes in Once Upon a Time  is the idea that everyone has a destiny. And their destiny usually revolves around those who they choose to love.  Hence why Emma and Neal have a destined star-crossed lovers quality to their history.  No matter what, they always find their way back to one another. Not even dimensions can separate them. Their love story parallels Emma’s parents a lot. However, Neal and Emma’s love story is a little more grand, because it  should have never happened. One reason is because they weren’t even born in the same century, yet circumstances occurred to make their love possible.  One of the reason fairytales hypnotize people is because they help create this fantasy that true love is destined. Neal and Emma embody this belief.

2. Their Similar Past

Emma and Neal have a very similar past of abandonment. Therefore, they quickly bonded as teens. When they were younger, they did a lot of shady things. Nonetheless, just having each other made them more open and willing to love. Without each other, they both, in some ways, closed themselves off to true love.  One could argue that Emma shut herself off from love because Neal hurt her, but I’ll argue she did it because he is the only one she felt free to love.

Before Henry entered back into Emma’s life, she was basically a loner. But once she had her child (who is partly a representation of her love with Neal) she is able to let people in again. Neal has  been with Tamara but he is still very much shut off from her, by never fully telling her who he is. Only when united do both embrace who they are and their past.  A past that has scarred them both. However, it also bonds them. Because of their past, no one will understand them as much as they understand one another.

3. They have Chemistry 

TV couple chemistry is more complex than who looks good together, or who you think would have hot sex. It’s in the small things, like how the characters interact and play off one another. One of my favorite episodes of Once Upon a Time (so far) was ‘Tallahassee,’ because of the Emma and Neal flashbacks. From the first second they met in the car, I was sold on the pairing. The small things made them work, like their Bonnie and Clyde nature, the way they looked at each other when they said, ‘I Love You,’ and how small things had significance to them. Their chemistry didn’t feel forced or cheesy. It felt natural and endearing.

4. It’s Complicated

Every great television show pairing has to have some complications, but nothing too unforgivable(ex. abuse, rape, murder, etc), so that it won’t destroy the couples potential.  Neal and Emma have had a lot of couple complications throughout their relationship. Their current one is that she believes he’s dead.  Therefore, she’ll find herself falling for another man. Then, like all shows, she must choose between her past and present. This is the right amount of drama without over doing it.  If they overcome all of their obstacles, they will be a much more satisfying couple.

5. They’re Hilarious Together

Some of my favorite Once Upon a Time moments from season 2 are the Neal and Emma try to parent Henry fails. Everything from Neal not monitoring Henry while he sneaks out the window to Emma having Henry be  the lookout while she breaks into Neal’s place. If we can get great moments like  this from just a couple episodes, imagine the ones to come.

I  love Emma and Neal together. However, I am worried their romance will never fully workout with the Hook and Emma fans being so fanatic. So for now, I’ll keep my fingers crossed that they’ll end up together when the series ends (or at least have a couple seasons of romantic development). Until then, I’ll just enjoy where the show takes each character.

If you’re not convinced yet about Neal and Emma (Swanfire), then watch this brilliant fan made video by EternalLove55 below:

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Pop Theory: One Direction’s ‘Best Song Ever’–An Ode to Fan Fiction?

Whatever your feelings are towards pop songs, you must admit that they are catchy.  But could there be more to the intoxicating melodies? Could “Hit Me Baby One More Time” by Britney Spears be a reinterpretation of Romeo and Juliet? Is “Mmmbop” by Hanson criticizing society’s obsession with consumerism? Probably not, but for Pop Theory, we’ll examine some of the possible meanings  from today’s biggest pop songs. Is there something deeper beyond their repetition, simple lyrics and great beats? Who knows, but we hope so. Otherwise, how else will we justify our irrational love for them?

one-direction-BEST-SONG-EVER-2056509

For this Pop Theory, let’s find some meaning behind the song ‘Best Song Ever’ by One Direction.

Check out the song and lyrics below.

This song has infected my brain so much that I often wonder ‘but what does it all mean?’ And one day, after listening to the song for an obscene amount of times, I figured it out. ‘Best Song Ever’ is about fangirl culture, especially in terms of fan fiction. Fan fictions are major components of the 1D fandom. If you search “One Direction” on popular fan fiction sites like fanfiction.net, you’ll see thousands of  stories related to the band.  Besides that, several times on Twitter, One Direction fan fiction related topics have trended worldwide.

Not only is One Direction fan fiction a major part of their fans’ identity, but fan fiction is become  part of the pop culture mainstream. Several best-selling authors originated as fan fiction ones. Additionally, major publishing companies now stroll fan fiction sites looking for the next big thing. One 1D fan got offered her own book deal because of her work. Therefore, it’s not a completely crazy concept to think the boys understand how important fan fiction is to their fans, and play on that knowledge with ‘Best Song Ever.’

Here are a couple ways that I believe help prove that the song is an ode to fan fiction

#1. The Title

‘More Than This, ‘Not Your Typical Love Story,’ ‘Moments’ and ‘One Special Day.’ What do all these titles have in common? They are all titles of 1D fan fiction, but they also lack creativity.  Uncreative titles are common in general literature, but even more so in fiction created by fans. A popular lazy method by writers is to use songs as their stories’ titles.  Usually songs they consider the best ones ever. You get where I’m going here?

Not only is ‘Best Song Ever’ one of the simplest song titles I’ve heard, but it also could be a little bit of a tongue-in-cheek nod towards fan fiction authors using music titles to name their work. Additionally, the stereotype of young girl is that they say things that are over-exaggerations, like saying a song is the best one ever. Stereotypes that fan fiction authors often capitalize on.

#2. Lyrics

The storyline of the song is that some girl sneaks into a club (maybe a concert). Then she just happens to meet one of the band members, and they instantly fall in love. It’s all very magical and romantic. It is also the plot to many fan fictions involving bands. Not only that, it’s every girls fantasy when she’s crushing on a band, musical artist or even the occasional heterosexual broadway musical dude.  With a song titled ‘Best Song Ever,’ the plot of the song could be anything. However, they cleverly chose to make it the same tone as fan fiction, which seems highly deliberate, even if they’ve had other songs with similar themes.

#3. The Video

From my knowledge, there are basically two types of popular fan fiction. The most common one uses real life people, or already established characters, and puts them in an alternative universe. The second type creates their own characters but they list different actors that they would play these characters. This helps readers and fans visualize this world.

For the ‘Best Song Ever’ video, the guys pretend to be these wacky characters. Not unlike the type that would appear in fan fiction. The whole reason the boys meet their alternate universe selves is because they’re creating a movie.  The video is partially a cross promotion of their new song and their documentary, ‘This Is Us.’ However, the concept of the video, creating a fantasy world and characters, also nicely ties in with the idea that the song is  an ode to fan fiction.  The video, upon initial viewing, seems out of place with the song. Nevertheless, if you view the song as being part of the boys discussion about fan fiction, then the video works effortlessly. It’s through imagery  that the boys show how their fans create these weird, fantasy versions of them for their art.

The ‘Best Song Ever’ could be One Direction’s way of playing with the idea of their fans writing fan fiction about them. Or it could be a meaningless pop song, made to sell million of copies to teen girls who are obsessed with them. Chose your poison.

Watch the music video below, and then give your opinion on what the ‘Best Song Ever’ is really about.

Kick-Ass 2 Review: Let’s Do It All Again Only Worse

Disclaimer: This review contains spoilers for Kick-Ass 2 (2013).  Please do not read this review until you see the movie.

Introduction

Kick-Ass (2010) effortlessly blended cartoonish violence, realistic portrayals of unrealistic characters and great origin stories.  However, Kick-Ass 2 directed by Jeff Wadlow tries to duplicate the magical elements of the first one, but repeats the pitfalls of many sequels, and fails to develop the storylines and characters in a captivating manner.

Kick-Ass and Hit-Girl

Plot Summary

Dave “Kick-Ass” (Aaron Taylor Johnson) , Mindy “Hit-Girl” ( Chloe  Grace Moretz) and Chris formerly “RedMist” now “The Mothef*cker” (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) return for a new adventure of saving, and trying to destroy, the world.   In this film, they go on similar adventures to those in Kick-Ass 1. 

Chris in Kick-Ass wanted to be a hero, but now he aims to become the ultimate supervillain with a perfect villainous team. Dave, once again, is learning how to be a hero, but now he desires to exclusively work with Mindy.  However, Mindy tries to be a regular girl to please  her guardian, Marcus (Morris Chestnut).

Will each character achieve their goals?

Important Themes

A major theme of Kick-Ass 2 is defining your own sense of normality.  This theme is strongest through Mindy’s journey to fit into high school life, and then her transition back into Hit-Girl. Being Hit-Girl is her normal, not teen life.

Overall Impression

Kick-Ass 2 lacks an understanding of its original characters and females in general.  In Kick-Ass , Chris was weird but also really funny. In the sequel he is just annoying without redeemable characteristics.  Everything about him feels forced and uncomfortable. Even the most despicable villains have charm. Loki, Lex Luther, and the Joker are all sociopaths but also possess qualities that make them likable.  Another theme of the Kick-Ass franchise is that these are not your typical heroes or villains, which could explain why Chris doesn’t quite work as a supervillain. However, he also doesn’t work as a character in general. Nothing about him, in this movie, makes him interesting.

Dave was the star of the first movie, but he feels like a pointless aside in this one.  Dave’s story is just a repeat of his original one but with new characters. Another pointless addition to Dave’s story, is that his friend Marty “Battle Guy” (Clark Duke) gets a forefront story, and newly recast Todd “Ass Kicker” (Augustus Prew) becomes way less important than he was in the original one.  Neither character need to become more than they were in Kick-Ass, but one gets shown favoritism while the other gets made even stupider.

Dave’s storyline could have been better if it solely focused on him and Hit-Girl developing their friendship, and less on the introduction of new superheroes. None of which were that memorable or fun, not even Colonel Stars and Stripes (Jim Carrey).

Mindy is the only character who possesses the same spark she had in the original Kick-Ass.  However, her storyline becomes a way to show sexism towards “normal teen girls.”

Whereas Mean Girls (2004) is a satirical and smart criticism of mean girl culture, Kick-Ass 2 is  a misguided ideal of “normal” women and girls.  In Kiss-Ass 2, every girl (minus Mindy) is shown as mean, or sex-crazed or both.  Having the mean girls caricature would have been fine, if there was a counterexample  to it.  Nevertheless, there wasn’t one.

Dave’s girlfriend Katie (Lyndsy Fonseca), who was portrayed as popular, nice and loving in the original one, comes off  as mean, stupid and slutty in the sequel.   Hit-Girl doesn’t work as the counter-argument to this mean girl stereotype, because she is not classified as a normal girl, but a super one. So what is this saying about normal females? Only the super ones are neither bitches or sluts?

The actual Kick-Ass 2 plot is just a repeat of the first one, with slight changes. Which creates a problem because sequels don’t work if they don’t  try to evolve the storylines of the original ones in a unique and better way.  There was no real evolution of these characters or their stories. The only growth is through Hit-Girl but that’s not enough to save this movie.

Conclusion

Kick-Ass was violent without glorifying it, fun without being silly and felt realistic despite its unreal nature. Kick-Ass 2’s violence is a little too much, it’s characters and actions are silly, and it loses some of its heart to create a popcorn film. Kick-Ass 2 is not kick-ass, it’s moderately dope at best.

5/10

Recommendation of Week: Orange Is The New Black

After binge watching Orange is The New Black, I must admit it, it lives up to the hype.  Though The Fosters and My Mad Fat Diary hold the first and second spots for my favorite shows of 2013, Orange Is The New Blacks definitely retains the third position.

Orange Is The New Black Character Picture

What makes the series work  is the stellar cast of characters, and the funny and heartbreaking writing. OITNB is one of those rare shows where the minor characters present more storytelling potential than the main ones. I want to know more about characters like Poussey (Samira Wiley) and Miss Claudette (Michelle Hurst) than Piper (Taylor Schilling) and Alex (Laura Prepon). That’s not saying Piper and Alex are not dynamic personalities of their own, but the supporting cast is so strong that if the show decided to kill off Piper or Alex, or both,  it would still be worth watching. That’s a rare and wonderful achievement.

The strongest aspect of each episode is the characters backstories.  These stories explain how each person became a prisoner.  Their journeys show that even  reasonable, smart and caring people make mistakes that destroy their lives. Additionally, another pivotal part of Orange is The New Black is its demonstration that everyone has their own unique brand of crazy. The best crazies in this series are Galina ‘Red’ Reznikov (Katie Mulgrew) and George ‘Pornstache’ Mendez (Pablo Schreiber), who both deserve Emmy nominations next year.

Orange Is The New Black deserves its praise from critics and pop culture cults. It needs viewing to see the  excellent storytelling, and more importantly, the array of fascinating characters. 

Check out the Orange Is The New Black trailer below, then watch it on NetFlix.

Character Profiling: Aimee Finicky

Disclaimer:  This character profiling focuses on the movie version of The Spectacular Now’s Aimee Finicky. Though I plan to read the book, this discuss dives into the movie’s depiction of this character.  This post may contain spoilers. 

What is Character Profiling?

Every week, I will  profile some character in pop culture (either through films, books or TV shows) that deserves some further exploration for their dynamic nature. I shall also explain why this character breaks pop culture modes, creates their own archetype or works within their genre to change it.  Basically this is a weekly look at some of my favorite characters, and why I like them.

This week’s character is The Spectacular Now‘s Aimee Finicky. 

Aimee Finicky ( Shailene Woodley)from The Spectacular Now  demonstrates how socially awkward teenage girl need to be portrayed by the media.  Movies and television shows often characterize these types of girls as eccentric, pixie-like hipsters.  The clearest example of this is Jessica Day ( Zooey Deschanel) from The New Girl. 

Aimee represents the geek girl in their truest form: a bit awkward but still firmly aware of reality and social norms.  Unlike commonly shown, this character does not repeatedly tell viewers she’s ‘quirky’ just to signify the difference between her and other girls. Instead,  her unique nature subtly comes across through her love of comics, lack of romantic history and her consistent use of the word ‘awesome.’ Her lack of social ineptness pairs realistically with her other traits of passivity, low self-esteem and a need for social acceptance.

Another profound thing about the character of Aimee Finicky is that  other girls are not characterized negatively to make her seem exceptional. Aimee  does not war against other females, especially the popular or bitchy ones, because there is no threat to identities.  The Spectacular Now depicts the popular girl (Brie Larson‘s Cassidy) in a way that is almost as intriguing and outstanding as its portrayal of Aimee.  Both characters can co-exist in this world without backstabbing, degrading or fighting each other to prove their superiority. They may not be friends, but they are also not enemies.

Like most humans, Aimee has admirable traits and loathsome ones. Some of her good traits include general likability and a caring nature. Her negative  ones include being a pushover and revolving her life around a guy.  In the scene after the almost accident, where Sutter yell at her, Aimee causes viewer to cringe. After he nearly kills her, she weakly stands by crying and apologizes to him.  You want Aimee to scold  him, say a few sassy comments, even leave him, but you know that is not her character. And any other characteristic at this moment is not true to her nature.

She does go through a transformation, but it’s not the simple put on makeup and a tight dress one.   It’s both to her interior and exterior. Her relationship with Sutter gives her confidence but it does not magically cure every issue. Aimee isn’t the perfect girl who knows what to say and when.  She doesn’t just magically become that girl because she’s in love.  Like many, her process of self-discovery isn’t pretty or rapid. It’s slow and ugly.

Awkward teen girls have and always will be a part of the American movie and television culture. Nevertheless, writers often fail to truly understand these girls and how they should be portrayed. However,  writers, filmmakers and actresses should take notes on Shailene Woodley’s Aimee.  Aimee works not because she’s this flawless character, but because her failures are real and raw. She should become the new  archetype for these type of characters. Only then will they get it right.

The Spectacular Now Review: The Pain Behind A Smile

Disclaimer: This review contains spoilers for The Spectacular Now (2013).  Please do not read this review until you see the movie.

Introduction

Fans and critics often compare The Spectacular Now (2013), directed by James Ponsoldt, to Say Anything (1989) .  Mainly because both movies depict the haunting reality of high school life and growing up.   To unleash the harsh realm of adulthood, Say Anything masks itself as a teen romantic comedy. However, The Spectacular Now approaches a similar story without the pretty tape.  It’s a hard drink of reality.

The Spectacular Now

Plot Summary

Sutter (Miles Teller) just got dumped by his girlfriend,  Cassidy (Brie Larson). He deals with it by doing his usual routine of getting drunk and partying.  One partying night results in him passed out on Aimee Finicky(Shailene Woodley)‘s lawn. They immediately bond and eventually fall in love.

Their romance is not filled with perfect montages, but awkward moments, real issues and a couple of life threatening moments. Together they tackle  their own emotional issues and their inevitability impending separation.

Important Themes

One important theme of The Spectacular Now is the problems with living passively.  This theme unfolds in two major ways in the film. The first is through Aimee failing to take charge of her own life. This results in her mother stripping away her youth through constant working.  It is only when Aimee meets Sutter that she begins to  actively live.   Aimee’s life because of passivity is not awful but dull. 

The second display of passivity is shown through how Sutter treats life. He enjoys the moment, but  never plans for his future or even the next day.  Despite Sutter’s party boy nature, he lives unhappily.  In the end, he finally makes a decision  by finishing his college essay and going after the girl.

Overall Impression

One again, like Say Anything, The Spectacular Now needs a lot of viewings to truly understand all the complexities inside it.  It is not a typical movie about high school life. There are those party scenes, a romance and even complicated relationship with parents. However, those party scenes are shown to hint of a real addiction problem. The romance is not perfect and even makes you question if it’s love or just something to pass the time. The parent-child relationship isn’t comedic but dark and believable.

What makes the movie great is that the writing is intricate and relatable. The entire cast, everyone from the smallest role to the leads, give complicated and sincere performances.  Even the directing choices and cinematography collaborate to make this town and these people more 3-dimensional. Almost every element of The Spectacular Now works perfectly.

The Spectacular Now is one of the most critically acclaimed movie of the year (so far).  The film may not be perfect but it profoundly looks at the unhappiness of being a teen, and it breaks away from the typical high school movie stereotypes. These factors contribute to why this is a must-see movie for lovers of good storytelling.

Conclusion

Anyone who has survived high school life knows the pain of being a teenager. However, they also know growing up is more painful than the shallowness of the teen years. Life sucks sometimes and this movie gets that. But it also gets the beauty  of life and that there is hope for the hopeless. The Spectacular Now, as Aimee would say, is “awesome.” Not amazing, but awesome.

7.5/10 

LoveLace Review: Fables and Biographies

Disclaimer: This review contains spoilers for LoveLace (2013).  Please do not read this review until you see the movie.

Introduction

LoveLace (2013) directed by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman stars Amanda Seyfried as Linda Lovelace, the first porn superstar.  The entire cast delivers powerful performances as complex, damaged and cultivating characters, but the film fails to make a memorable, lasting impression.

lovelace

Plot Summary

When Linda  meets Chuck (Peter Sarsgaard),  she immediately loses herself in his slimy charm.  In LoveLace, Linda is portrayed as a lonely, sad girl who’s entire life revolved around going from one controlling figure to another. But when she meets Chuck, she blinds herself to his true intentions. Soon after they marry, Chuck turns on his manipulative and abusive side. The movie tenderly displays the effects of abuse on women, especially in a culture that encourages them to be submissive.

Important Themes

A strength of LoveLace is pairing the layout of the story with the theme of appearance vs. reality. The first half of the film plays out almost like a fairy tale. Girl meets boy, they fall in love, next comes fame  and porn.  However, the story then shifts to the reality of things. Where boy beats girl, forces her to do porn and she never sees any money.

Because of Deep Throat (1972),  Linda becomes an example of female sexuality.  She is a symbol of liberty for women. However, in reality, Linda is oppressed by her husband. This also represents an example of appearance vs. reality. Linda’s actual life contrasts with what she symbolizes.

Overall Impression

The cast of LoveLace delivers exceptional performances, especially Seyfried, who does one of her best yet.  One of the mesmerizing moments of the film is when it combines archival footage with current images to recreate Linda’s appearance on Donahue.  Another strength is the depiction of the porn industry. It was neither shown as a beautiful world nor a conscienceless one. This decision towards the porn industry gave the film a realistic, even a relatable, tone. This is something Boogie Nights (1997) never achieved.

There are a lot of similarities between the two films, but LoveLace is no Boogie Nights, and Boogie Nights is no LoveLace. Which is understandable, because these are different stories of exploitation.

Conclusion:

LoveLace has a few errors, but overall it is a movie deserving of a viewing.  It captures your attention, but fails to haunt you like a great movie of this subject matter needs to do.

The movie is very enjoyable, but nothing about the it makes it standout in the sea of thousands of movies that comes out this year.

Grade: 6.3/10

The Fosters Season 1 Episode 1-10 Re-watch Wrap-Up: 10 Things We Want To See Happen

To conclude The Fosters re-watch, let’s examine some storylines we want to see in the next  half of season 1.  So here are ten things we want to happen on The Fosters season 1 part 2.

JAKE T. AUSTIN, HAYDEN BYERLY, TERI POLO, CIERRA RAMIREZ, DAVID LAMBERT, SHERRI SAUM

1.  Brandon’s Growth

Brandon lacks a major ongoing storyline, not involving his feelings for Callie.  As The Fosters approaches its second half of season 1, Brandon needs his own personal development one separate from Callie.   As proposed earlier,  a good growth storyline for Brandon is one where he gets a new relationship that allows him to learn to love selflessly.   A trait that will help him later on if the show explores a relationship between Callie and him in the series.

2. Mike and Brandon Bonding

Despite their rocky relationship, we want to see Brandon bonding more with Mike, even Brandon living with Mike while he sorts out his feelings for Callie.

3. Mike’s Backstory

For an important character in the series, we know very little about Mike. We don’t even know if Foster is his last name. If it is, is that how Stef and him met? They shared a last name so they were always being paired? Has Mike’s drinking problem always been something that has affected his life? There are so many things we want to learn about Mike. Hopefully, in the next half of season 1 we start learning them.

4.  New Friends for Callie

Callie’s journey through her friendship with Wyatt, Mariana and Brandon has been nice to watch, but she needs more friends.   And not an unrealistic, convenient friendship between her and Talya.  Callie needs to expand her social life outside the Fosters’ home.

5. Wyatt Staying on the Show

Wyatt is moving to Indiana, but why not keeping him around? Maybe he realizes Callie needs him  as a friend, so he decides to finish school at Anchor Beach.  He could easily suddenly have a relative who lives there and takes him in while he attends school. Callie and Wyatt’s friendship  deserves more development. Also, there must be a scene with a funny and explosive interaction between him and Talya, especially considering their history.

6. Brandon & Callie Road Trip Adventures

After Brandon trucks on down to Indiana to drag Callie back, they go on a road trip home. Of course this trip is filled with temptation as they share hotel rooms and drive solo across country. It would give the pair  legendary romantic moments.  It may also satisfy Brallie lovers for awhile, because once they get home, their longing  goes on hold to protect Jude and Callie’s future. But while their on the road, anything can happen, and will only fuel the emotional turmoil when they return home.

7.  Lexi Stays in Honduras

Lexi and Jesus can grow more apart than together. With Lexi being stuck in Honduras, Jesus moves on . However, a twist on the season finale is that Jesus has just accepted a new love in his life and right after their kiss, Lexi shows up on his doorstep saying she’s home for good now.  Love triangles aren’t the most compelling storylines but if done right, they could be a real source of conflict.

8.  Steff Bonding with her father

There has to be something that can show Stef’s father the error of his ways, and give them another chance to bond.

9. Lena getting a school storyline

Lack of public school funding plagues many schools,and with Lena cheating to ensure Jude placement in the school, there has to be a major storyline involving the possible closing of Anchor Beach. Switched at Birth did a great similar storyline, so ABCFamily has the capacity to tackle this issue in a real, interesting way.

10. A New Love Interest for Mariana

Mariana dating a popular guy has the potential to give the show a real high school feel. It would show the consequences and rewards of being popular in school. The guy could seem shallow, but shows deeper layers later.  Fitting in is an important character flaw of Mariana’s personality, so this storyline could  further show growth, especially if she has to pick  between popularity and her family (example Callie is a target of the popular group).

Wherever The Foster goes for the second half of the season, we’re excited to take the ride with them. But any of these storylines would make us even happier to be along for the ride.

The Fosters Season 1 Episode 10: Look How Far We’ve Come

On The Fosters episode ‘I Do,’ Lena and Stef wed. This major milestone marks a  transition for the couple’s relationship and individual growth.  Specifically, the finale shows a change in Stef.  In ‘Clean’ Stef declares that marrying again is not part of her plans, but in ‘I Do’  Stef’s anxiety towards the wedding becomes apparent. However, this is not Stef’s anxiety but her father’s playing with her mentality.   The Fosters consists of an outstanding cast, but Teri Polo gives the standout performance of the season with Stef’s speech to her father in this episode.

The Fosters Episode 10-The Kiss

Stef represents one of several characters whose metamorphosis completes on ‘I Do.’ However, these characters’ growth combats with those characters who fail to grow, which presents explosive conflicts that carry on to the second half of the season.

Mariana and Jesus

Mariana’s biggest character flaw is selfishness, which showed in her interacting with Ana at the expense of her family.  By the end of The Fosters season 1 part 1, Mariana does the selfless act of revealing Lexi’s plans to go to Honduras to Jesus.

Jesus lacked self-control in the first half of this season, but by ‘I Do,’ he makes the smart decision to not have sex with Lexi again. He has completed his character transition from impulsive to cautious.

Both Mariana and Jesus have changed in positive ways, but a conflict looms for them because of  the Rivera family.   Lexi’s parents fail to learn that lying, controlling and manipulating situations will not benefit them.  Their actions presents a serious problem for Mariana and Jesus because they could lose Lexi, who for both of them represents a piece of their heart. Without her, the twins could revert back to their negative traits or develop worse ones.  We already saw signs of Mariana losing herself without Lexi. Therefore, no one knows how the lose of Lexi could negatively impact the twins in the rest of this season of The Fosters. 

Jude and Callie

Callie finally behaves selfishly by telling the truth during the Liam trial. Then she further this sentiment by kissing Brandon. This is an important development for Callie, because throughout the season she has treated her wants and desires as unimportant compared to those of Jude.

Jude battles Callie verbally in ‘I Do.’ This shows an important development in Jude, who has been scared to standup to Callie before in the series.

Callie’s selfish actions present a problem, and Jude’s speaking up for himself does as well, because of Brandon. Brandon acts as the catalyst for both of their conflicts. Without Brandon making the initial proposal to Callie about him and her, they would not have kissed. In addition, Jude would have never saw it and yelled at Callie. Brandon has not grown enough to understand that his selfish behavior has repercussions for others. Because of Brandon’s actions, Callie and Jude may lose their chance of a real home.

This episode saw  some minor characters development too. Wyatt entered the show as a bad boy, getting Callie into trouble, but on the finale, he acts as her savior in more ways than one. But being with Callie, who has reversed back to her old self, may force Wyatt to go back to some of his bad boy ways.  Another character that grows is Mike. He takes the first steps toward recovering for his alcoholism. However, we are not sure if losing his job will prohibit his further development.

In many ways, The Fosters is a show about second chances. Currently, many of the characters have learned for their past mistakes, but they will need a second shot to make things perfect in the final half of season 1.

The Fosters Season 1 Episode 9-Falling Action

The Fosters ‘Vigil,’ is the episode that really ties the family together. In this episode, we see–for the first time–all the storylines morphing into one. Prior to this, each Fosters family member has had their own separate storyline. Now, all of them come together as they deal with Stef being shot.  One of the highlights of ‘Vigil’ is learning how the original Fosters family became one, and seeing how they are transforming into a new family.

JAKE T. AUSTIN, CIERRA RAMIREZ, DAVID LAMBERT, SHERRI SAUM

‘Vigil’ is partly told in flashbacks involving Lena and Stef. We see their first encounter, meeting Mariana and Jesus, and Stef leaving Mike for Lena. Each flashback bonds us deeper with the family, and allows us to journey with them through their familial relationships developments.

In ‘Vigil’ Callie becomes more of a glue for this family. When every person has their melt down over Stef’s shooting, Callie remains rational. She tells Brandon how his behavior towards his brother and sister are unacceptable. Then she comforts both Jesus and Mariana throughout different moments in ‘Vigil.’ Callie becomes key to the emotional survive of the Fosters.  Therefore, she is an important family member.

In this episode, Jude proves the family doesn’t work without him.  Everyone notices his vacancy  from the family scenes. Then the Fosters further unite when he returns to the house.  This is demonstrated through them actually uniting on the living room floor. This scene completes solidify these people as a family.

The act of letting go of one family, and entering another, is paralleled through Stef and Callie in this episode. In the flashbacks, Stef releases Mike by revealing she is gay to him. Callie lets go of her family by disclosing her past to Brandon.  Both actions represent emotional growth and freeing of blocks that stop them from finding happiness, especially in terms of love.  Her confession to Mike allows Stef to move on with Lena, which will create the family they have now. Additionally, Callie’s reveal to Brandon grants her the possibility of adoption by the Fosters.

The final acts of the episode are symbolic and legal uniting of a family. Stef proposing to Lena legally engraves them as a family. In addition, Callie witnessing Brandon’s reunion with Talya, after she was ready to declare her like for him,  symbolically kills the idea of them becoming romantically involved. Therefore,  giving them closure on the hurdle that stops them  from becoming siblings.

‘Vigil’  acts as a beautiful final chapter before the conclusion, where the Fosters (including Callie and Jude) officially become a family. The next episode we will see steps being taking towards that, and also actions happening to disrupt the dream of becoming a family.