More roundtable talk with Racialicious

Arturo from Racialicious posted another roundtable discussion for FlashForward's "semi-season finale" episode "A561984."

·         Once again Mark is the subject of most complaints in the show, but the disdain for him and his one-dimensionality seems to have escalated as now some of the roundtable members are suggesting he follow in the footsteps of Det. Al Gough--in an attempt to save Dem's life by  "changing the game."

·         Carmen Van Kerckhove responded to last week's comment that Demetri's parents being opposed to his relationship with Zoey was stereotypical: "...I actually found it to be a refreshing dash of reality. In today's fake-ass "post-racial" TV landscape, interracial relationships are often depicted as if racism has ceased to exist. But let's face it: a lot of interracial couples are still dealing with this kind of thing..."  I agree--the post-racial stuff gets on my nerves because it's not my reality, or any other person of color's reality.

·         Will Zoey's parents make a cameo in March?  How do they feel about the relationship?

·         They're feeling Wedeck's image of dominance in this episode and want to see more of him and his story in March.  Roundtable member Andrea summed it up nicely, "I liked that it was played as his rightfully being upset, not a stereotype of an out-of-control Negro

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·         Most of the members want Mrs. Noh to encourage Dem and Zoey to get married and work on having kids all before March!  Somebody (jokingly) mentioned Mrs. Noh and the grandbabies having their own spinoff.  Ha!  Andrea: "Zoey and Dem need to have hotel sex again." Diana: "I'm with Andrea. Next episode should be titled "Makin' Babies."

·         They all love Nahdra, her voice mostly, and agree that she brings a lot ("coolness and intrigue") to the series.


Racialicious' FF Roundtable

Racialicious got together for another entertaining roundtable before last Thursday's episode. Check it out.


Roundtable points to ponder:

·         The "traditional," matching kimono jackets on the extras during Mark and Demetri's trip to Hong Kong.  Quote by Carmen Van Kerckhove of New Demographic:  "I sure hope that Mark and Demetri just happened to wander onto the set of a TVB costume drama or something, cause believe it or not, people in my hometown of Hong Kong don't usually walk around dressed like this."


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                                                                                 image from Racialicious.com


·         They too like the idea of Mark killing Demetri and therefore disappearing from the show but understand how slim those chances are on a network (primetime) television show.

·         They didn't care for the Michael Ealy debut...at least his acting anyway.  J  Roundtable member Mashino calls his acting the equivalent of "the poor man's Terrance Howard."  I'm over here wincing and laughing at the same time.

·         One commenter urged the writers to explore in depth the tense relationship between Zoe and Dem's parents, (I agree!) and called this storyline a "parents being against their kids 'marrying out'" stereotype.  (There's a solid argument there).  I too think it's unfair and downright lazy of the writers to make us assume his parent's weren't "comfortable" because she's not Korean and even worse, black.  

 

 

 

Out with a bang (from A561984)

Tonight's episode definitely made up for last week's break!  I have to start with the Zoey/Noh family ordeal.  We learn that Zoey really didn't see Demetri in her flashforward which lead to the bombshell that the "beautiful beach wedding" was really a memorial for Demetri.

Were you all as frustrated as I was seeing Zoey leave that pitiful message for Noh family?  Why were they avoiding her?  (I bet I could give you one big colorful reason). Why is she once again fighting this battle alone?  I felt that Demetri should have been the one making that phone call...

Toward the end of the episode, Mrs. Saayo Noh (Elizabeth Sung) and Zoey finally sit down and talk.  Zoey hashes out parts of her flashforward and makes an impassioned plea to his mother. My favorite line in this scene from Mrs. Noh: "[We had] difficulties with you marrying our son," that was a really nice way to put it lady!  His mother then says that after the flashforward, they saw everything differently and would be proud to have Zoey a part of their family. Guess they realized she really loves Demetri. Good.  But I don't have good feelings when it comes to Zoey's persistence in changing the future--what good can come of that?

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On another note, some eye candy showed up tonight in the form Michael Ealy who played CIA agent Marshall Vogel.  After all these weeks, I still have to give kudos to the producers for giving "minority" actors (especially black men) who aren't always in the limelight a chance to shine.  If you know me, you'll know that I'm all about positive images/representations of black men (that don't rely on stereotypes) for young children of color, especially African American boys.  I hope he stays around.

The whole Benford/Noh/Nhadra Udaya saga was just way too much to handle.  I have to say that I called Benford getting booted early on the episode, I wonder if (and highly doubt) it'll stick though.  What's ironic though is that when Benford took the heat for Demetri so that he wouldn't  be reprimanded by Wedeck, I thought I saw another "cross cultural" big brother relationship in the making...that was until Nhadra (Shorey Aghdashloo) was forced to divulge the disturbing information on Demetri's impending murder.  Blew me away.  We'll see what happens in three months.

As you all know, March 2010 is the next time we'll see FlashForward. I'm sure some people are sad and some are glad, as for me, I'm somewhere in the middle J. In any case, this doesn't mean my blog is going away--keep visiting for some more amazing posts by yours truly.

"Believe"

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Last night we were introduced to Keiko Arahida, (Yuko Takeuchi) the mystery woman from Bryce's flashforward.  Simply put, I loved this story and I'm happy that we finally got to see their visions come full circle. I'm a sucker for love stories.

As for Keiko's character, I really like her. She's smart (studying mechanical engineering, biomedical engineering and robotics) but I couldn't help but to see a hint of what's called the "model minority" stereotype.  This stereotype is based on the idea that Asian Americans are the epitome of success that other minority groups should follow.  As model minorities, Asians are seen as outsiders when it comes to whites but are viewed as superior in relation to blacks and other groups of color; this has been used as a mechanism to divide minority groups.  As the exact opposite of the yellow peril image, model minorities are "well educated, come from close families and are law abiding," (US News and World Report). Who knows, maybe I'm reaching here.

It's apparent that her family's dreams were placed Keiko's shoulders. According to her mother, Keiko's education and new career would ensure that she would never have to work in the family restaurant. After getting the job, she realizes that she's unhappy and wants something more in life (Bryce, rock and roll, tattoos, sushi) and ultimately quits after she is asked to serve tea to a group of colleagues all because she was the only woman in the department. I admire her independence and her decision to chase down her "American Dream" as she ventures to Los Angeles and I hope she becomes the next Bob Dylan and finally meets Bryce. She's far from the stereotypical images I talked about in my last post.

Maybe it's cliché but I liked the authenticity of having to read subtitles when people are speaking their native language(s) in television shows and movies. I'm glad the producers chose to incorporate that in to the show.

Tonight's episode...

Looking forward to tonight's episode.  Ever since the "on-the-edge of your seats" premiere episode, I've secretly wanted to know more about Dr. Varley's story.  Tonight marks the beginning of his search for the Japanese woman in his flashforward. I'm guessing there's a love story involved here and if I'm right that would be really cool. I (almost) trust the producers to handle this storyline right and not characterize this woman with any of the traditional stereotypes: "dragon ladies, china dolls, lotus flowers, the list goes on.

I will also be keeping an eye out for more developments in the friendly, "father-daughter" relationship between Det. Wedeck and Janis.

John Cho Featured in East West Magazine

Check out John Cho's interview with the recently revamped East West Magazine. He talks about everything from his career take off in the last several years to "Harold and Kumar's" influential role in identity awareness.

FlashForward + Racialicious = A Good Thing

My favorite web site Racialicious has started a weekly FlashForward Roundtable where the previous week's episode is dissected with a particular exploration of how race (and social) constructs have affected characters and storylines.

Roundtable points to ponder:

1.      There was a general sadness and shock at Al's death and like me, the roundtable members thought he had so much more to give

2.      Al's death and the taboo subject of black men and suicide

3.      "America's obsession" with black men making the ultimate sacrifice in television shows and movies

4.      Zoey being referred to as a "bridezilla" all because she chose not to believe Demetri's fate. Ha!  Had to laugh at that one.

5.      Mark's character has no depth. He doesn't really fit or add to the show. Can't mix melodrama with action.

Check out the entire discussion!

Demetri and Zoey

Zoey is back. I knew this would be the episode where the ice between she and Demetri would finally be broken; it was smashed to pieces.

Despite her efforts to remain positive about their relationship, Zoey finally puts Demetri "on blast" for being "checked out" since she arrived from Seattle.  She blames him for using the blackout as an excuse for coming home late and being non-communicative. Maybe I'm biased but I can't say I blame her for finally letting him know she really feels.

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Later on in the episode, Demetri finally tells Zoey that he lied about having the same flashforward as her and that he didn't have one at all. I liked Zoey's little speech on choosing "hope," but I have to say that we don't really know if Demetri was in her flashforward like she claims. Now that they've reached this point, I hope we can all move on. A new storyline for these two is long overdue.


"Changing the Game with 'The Gift'"

I have to start off by saying that this was by far the season's best episode.

Viewers got a little bit more background on Demetri and Al's relationship during the elevator scene where they reminsece about the days when Demetri would "crash" on Al's couch and play videogames together. While Al recalls Demetri cheating during the games, Demetri jokingly responds by saying that he simply "found a way to change the game." Those words come back to haunt him when Al decides to end his life as a way to change the "FlashForward game," and the fate of his coworkers.

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Through his flashforward, we finally learn what Al has been (secretly) struggling with; the accidental death of a mother at his own hands. He saw suicide as a way prevent his, Demetri's and Mark's visions from happening--now Demetri can focus on Zoey and the wedding, and Mark can begin to work on his marriage. We see clips of these things beginning to take place during the montage at the end of the episode were Demetri is reading Al's letter.

 My question is, was there another way he could have tried to prevent Celia's death from happening?

RIP Agent Gough, we'll miss you.

"Scary Monsters and Super Pimps?"

One of the things I noticed about last week's episode is that Demetri and Al seem to have to somewhat of a big bro/little bro relationship.  I think this element of the show has always been there, but was given some spotlight as we watched Demetri and Al venture out and investigate Janis' attacker. Demetri (big bro) is seen throughout the episode giving Al a hard time, calling him names, and I think he makes reluctant Al go on the trip. All in all, it's good fun and it's good to see that their relationship (black man/Asian man) was highlighted throughout the show.

And of course there had to be one down fall in the episode...Dylan's Halloween costume! I thought I misheard his father when he was describing (lost) Dylan's "pimp" costume to the security guard. Come on, of all the costumes...why this one? Never mind the fact that it's cliché, it's downright racist and stereotypical.  The clock, the crooked hat, the saggy pants...all reminds me (and everyone else) of one person, Flavor Flav. A lot of bloggers touched on this issue, with reactions ranging from subtle disappointment, to thinking it was the best Halloween costume in show. To me, there's nothing humorous about having a white kid dress up as someone who's unabashedly known in the entertainment industry as a "minstrel," a "coon" and a disgrace to the black community. Despite his earlier involvement with Public Enemy, Flavor Flav is known today as a "VH1 lackey," bearing gold teeth and the clock among other damaging characteristics.

Does Dylan's "playful" costume, give off the message that because he is white, it's okay, it's harmless? What if Dylan was an African American boy? We would our reactions be different?

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