at the risk of sounding offensive,
why is everyone depressed these days? When I was younger no one ever talked about being depressed, and not many people seemed that depressed, It has always been a thing for sure but it was not nearly as ubiquitous as it is these days. now it seems to be more common among young people than not-being-depressed is.
has it always been that way, but people didn’t understand it/talk about it? Have people always been depressed but didn’t have a forum like the internet to discuss it? Are some people diagnosing themselves with “depression” when it may be something else? Did something change in society that is causing more people to be depressed? Is there something in the food? Or is it one of those things where I am conflating what it’s like on the internet to what it’s like IRL?
I think there are a lot of things going on — on one side, people say “I’m so depressed” when they’re upset about a situation, which can often be more aptly described as “sad.” “I’m so sad that my favorite restaurant closed” or “I’m so sad that my mom won’t let me go to XX.” I don’t doubt that the feelings are truly painful and full of disappointment, but I don’t think they are “proper depression.”
There is still a huge stigma on mental illness, especially when talking about it in person. If you’ve never had to deal with it, then it’d hard to understand the pain and frustration when people say to you “what’s wrong with you? why don’t you just choose to be happy?” or “so many people have it worse than you, what do you have to complain about?” And when you’re being told that you have absolutely no reason to feel this overwhelming, suffocating depression because your life isn’t “as bad” as someone else’s then you stop talking about it and feel even worse and it spirals down.
Then you see someone talking about their own struggles online. And you realize that you’re not alone and that if you say, “hey, me too” in a conversation about depression, people aren’t going to jump down your throat and tell you that you have no right to complain or feel the way that you do. So you go from “hey, me too” into a slightly more detailed explanation of how you’re feeling and maybe someone else says “me too” and you feel even more understood and less-alone.
It’s much easier to do it online because it’s far less intimidating — you don’t risk your family and friends telling you that you are making things up for attention, nor do you have to deal with their personal biases when it comes to your feelings. It’s a relatively safe space to put your story out there — especially when it can be anonymous like on tumblr — to test the waters and hopefully find the resources to get help.
Pilot. I knew someone who tried to watch Buffy with S2. I was all NOOOOOO! GO BACK AND WATCH S1!
Um I would suggest maybe the first episode cuz its the first episode and stuff
Maybe Im weird, but I like to start at the beginning when introducing someone to a show. So, episode one.
In general, I think that starting with the pilot of any show makes sense. But with some series, especially ones that run several seasons long and feature their own mythology, newcomers can feel overwhelmed and potentially turned off by the idea of investing that much time and emotion.
I think of Gateway Episodes as the thing you show someone who is on the fence about a series, not someone who is super excited to start watching it. Which is why I feel that the mythology-lite episodes, or episodes that don’t hinge on a character’s history are best.
I thought about “Halloween,” but it’s so much stronger to get the effect of the Princess of Buffonia when you know Buffy and Angel’s history, and her own self-doubt around their relationship. “Band Candy” is one of my fun favorites, but you need to know the characters to fully enjoy the way they’re all upended — although the hotness of Ripper needs no explanation.
This article suggests that “Earshot” is the best gateway episode to introduce someone to Buffy. It’s a fantastic episode but THE GATEWAY one? I strongly disagree. You need to know these characters — especially Buffy and Jonathan — to understand the immense gravity of Jonathan’s decision and Buffy’s agony as she is literally being driven mad by all the voices in her head. You need to know her life to understand exactly what she means when she says that it, at times, “sucks beyond the telling of it.” And you need to know “Band Candy” to get the hilarity of the references.
I think the ideal gateway episode into a series, especially a cult one, is a mythology-lite episode that showcases the tone of the show. It’s why “Blink” works so well for Doctor Who. It’s creepy to the point of being downright terrifying at times, yet there is minimal Doctor and his mythology in it.
To showcase Buffy’s horror and the humor without a dependence on all things Slayer-y, I’d suggest “Out of Mind, Out of Sight” or “Go Fish.” “Hush” is another good choice, but since Buffy is so well-known for the witty dialogue, it fails to be the most powerful introduction.
What do you think is the best gateway episode into Buffy?
(answering this several days late!)
They really do indicate a lack of better ideas and the fact that they’re mushing two into the season makes me wonder where they are planning to take the series. The less said about Ann’s arc the better, and I get that the discussion would come up with Ben and Leslie now that they’re married. You have put much of my issues with the writers taking this tack so perfectly: “Even though they’re married now, it would be refreshing to see the show choose a less obvious route for what’s next for her.”
Parks hasn’t always taken the easy, obvious route for their characters even if things generally do work out for everyone. And for the most part, they have given us fairly unconventional characters that are believable and relatable, that we care about and want to follow them through their journey. I know that Mike Schur’s original plan was to have Leslie go through a number of bad dates/relationships until they developed the Ben Wyatt character* — so they have leanings to go superpredictable but it gives me hope that they respond and react creatively to unexpected changes and chemistry. (After this season, I’m hopeful but not holding my breath.)
* “When Greg Daniels and I were designing the show originally, we thought instead of putting Leslie in one significant relationship, we were going to have her date a lot of different people and learn different things from different types of guys. It’s why we introduced Louis CK’s character and Justin Theroux’s character. We wanted her to date guys who were different shapes of wrong for her and learn slowly what kind of man was right for her. And then Adam Scott was cast and we put them on-camera together and we thought, well, we’re not going to beat this.” — Mike Schur on Vulture
I agree with some of this, but I read the more in that line more like wanting to make time for her family (Ben now, and maybe kids later) in addition to her accomplishments, not that she wanted to give up one for the other.
I disagree that the “I want more” is about spending more time with Ben. I totally realize that it sounds like i’m arguing semantics, but to quote the whole scene:
“Accomplishments are great, but I want something more. I want what Jerry has. I mean, we’re always going to work but I think we need to fill this scrapbook too. [holds up FAMILY ALBUM scrapbook] Maybe we should take a real day off and talk about starting our family.”
The “more” is in direct relation to “accomplishments,” and then she says that she wants what Jerry has — a partner and several children “Starting our family” just means “starting to have children.”
(And I feel like “we’re always going to work” is completely a throwaway line.)
I feel like if Leslie already had kids and her career wasn’t as successful, she’d be saying it the other way, My family is great, but I want more than that I think it was poor phrasing.
But that is not the character that the show was built around. If this show was about a mother who had kids and didn’t feel like she had a successful career and wanted to get involved in politics/government, it would be a completely different situation.
But hasn’t Leslie talked about their future children before? I know that a bfast at Jerrys to switch her is hard to believe but she’s talked about it before just not DEEP.
herbalsmoothie pointed out that Leslie mentioned Ben’s future kids in “End of the World,” but I really don’t recall her talking about wanting/having kids herself until “Partridge.” I’m not saying that she hadn’t, I just don’t remember any examples.
Thank you! The whole “all women want to be mothers” narrative is something I’ve been looking at critically for a long time and I’m especially fascinated by how it’s perpetuated and portrayed in the media.
I completely agree with you that the line CAN be taken in to mean that we are more than our accomplishments. However, in this case, she says it SPECIFICALLY in the context of having a baby. “Accomplishments are great but I want more than that… Maybe we should take a real day off and talk about starting our family.” If the context was “I want to take time off and travel around the world” or “I’ve decided that I no longer want to be President and instead I want to work on X project in Pawnee to make life better for everyone,” I’d fully be on board with your suggestion of the line.
Also — this is Leslie Knope, who was so excited that she got her first subcommittee before she was 34 and is determined to be the President of the United States. One breakfast with the Gergich family undid her lifelong ambition and drive for those accomplishments? Is that an emotional arc that is true to the character — that in ONE moment, everything that has defined and excited her about everything she can and will do in life has been relegated to “yeah, they’re nice and all, but they’re nothing compared to having babies!” I don’t think so, and in a way, I think that’s what bothers me the most about this declaration.
What I would LOVE is if Leslie and Ben actually do have a talk and decide that they don’t need to have babies to be a family. That they can be an amazing family with just the two of them. That would be awesome but I HIGHLY doubt Parks would do it.
Has that ever been shown on TV? A couple talking about it and making the decision together not to have kids? I can’t think of any examples right now — it seems like in most cases, one person wants kids and the other doesn’t and it is a constant underlying tension that erupts into huge fights from time to time. But a coherent, respectful conversation in which two people decide that they don’t want to be parents? Oh, hell no.
I wanted to repost this to address some of the comments that I got on my issues with Leslie having a baby. (And suddenly being all “i want to be a mom, despite never addressing it for five seasons up until going to Partridge.”)
I see your point, and I wouldn’t have minded if Leslie and Ben never kids, but I don’t know why wanting or not wanting to have a baby needs to be tied to the value of one’s accomplishments. It doesn’t devalue anything else Leslie has done.
Nope! This is THE popular opinion. I hardly see what is wrong with wanting to have children or how that effects all over accomplishments. Leslie loves to take care of people and values her relationships to a high degree, seems in character to me.
In this scene, Leslie says, “Accomplishments are great, but I want more than that.” Which is basically the narrative that no matter what a woman has accomplished in her life, it is always held up as being fairly unimportant and inconsequential compared to having a child.
It IS the popular opinion that Leslie and Ben should have a baby — which is a character development that came out of nowhere as she hasn’t mentioned it until “Partridge.” As it’s always the popular and mainstream opinion that ALL WOMEN WANT TO BE MOTHERS and if they don’t, there is something wrong with them. “You’ll change your mind.” “Your life will be so empty and lonely.” “I found the meaning of my life when I became a mother.” “I learned how to be truly selfless when I became a mother.” It all denotes that a woman is WRONG and incredibly selfish for not wanting kids.
I’ve never said that there is anything wrong with having children, or wanting to have children. And I have been very candid about my own biases around this topic. I said in an earlier post that I know that it’s unfair for me to hang my hopes and expectations for a representation of my desires and experience on a character that someone else has created and has their own vision for their life path. But the narrative for women characters almost always includes motherhood and I would love to see more lady characters that are very happy and complete with their lives and don’t feel that they are a personal failure for not having children.*
I brought this question of childfree tv ladies to more people and it’s been a fascinating discussion and debate. So far, there are 24 ladies, and that’s going back to the 1970s American television. I fully expect to be missing some (and I have some on a list of “potentials), but that’s a tiny fraction of all the female TV main characters in the past 40 years that do not have children by choice.
(*Rant for another day: How we attack ladies who have kids and yet DON’T think that motherhood is their ultimate achievement and are equally/more proud of other things they’ve done. See Felicity Huffman on 60 Minutes.)
in light of the current season i wouldn’t put beckett in the “non-issue” category just yet
Thank you! I was going to check in with my resident Castle expert before I posted but I spaced :(
Phoebe asked for one of the triplets after she gave birth, for whatever that’s worth.
I thought I remembered something like but I didn’t know if it was just a post-delivery haze request or something more than that.
Ah. I am a sporadic viewer at best, but I thought I remembered an episode where she said she didn’t want kids. Oh well.
All good! I love the show and Brenda/Fritz is one of the few examples of a great married couple on TV. I recommend diving back in when you have time :)
I don’t know if you watch Mad Men, but Peggy Olson comes to mind.
Britta Perry from Community?
Peggy on Mad Men and Robin on HIMYM came immediately to mind.
Robin on himym comes to mind.
Robin in HIMYM didn’t want kids. It’s why her and Ted broke up. There’s an annoying episode where she finds out she can’t have kids, and gets upset about it, but she eventually remembers she didn’t want kids anyway.
You could add Elizabeth Burke on White Collar—definitely a main character if not a series protagonist. Robin on HIMYM can’t have kids, but she’d made it clear she didn’t want them anyway. Struggling for other examples at the moment…
I don’t watch Mad Men so I’m not aware of Peggy, but that is great and I will add her to the list! And Elizabeth Burke — I hadn’t thought of her. Britta is a good one too — I hadn’t put her on as I’m pretty sure that she’s younger than 30.
I almost added Robin because of her “no kids” stance which was a factor in her breakup with Ted, but there was the small arc where she thought she was pregnant and then found out that she couldn’t have kids and then suddenly she was imagining her kids and there is the implication that she was a bit more open to the idea than she had admitted. I wish the writers would have just stuck with “Robin doesn’t want to have kids” and let that be that.
This is a random one, but Brenda on The Closer didnt want kids. I havent seen ALL of the episodes, but it seemed to be a non-issue. She just didnt want them, end of story.
Not random at all! Brenda is one of my favorites and another character that I have on a pedestal with Leslie :) But it’s not a non-issue with them, in fact, Fritz suggests they have children after her pregnancy scare but she shoots him down because they weren’t married yet. Fritz later proposes to her in the doctor’s office when she has an emotional breakdown when she gets the news that she is going through menopause. They later explain that she has Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (my sister in PCOS) and that she can have kids after medical intervention. So, there’s a lot of babytalk and potential babies in the future.
Phoebe on friends; elaine bennis; beckett on castle; samantha on SATC; Leslie on P+Rso far, at least.
Did Phoebe not want kids? I know she carried her brother’s kids but I don’t remember her not wanting to be a mother. I didn’t think about Beckett — that’s a good one.
As for Leslie, did you see last night’s episode lady? ;)