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Away Season 1 Episode 8 Review Away Season 1 Episode 8 Review

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Away Review – Vital Signs (1×08)

AWAY (L to R) VIVIAN WU as YU in episode 109 of AWAY Cr. DIYAH PERA/NETFLIX © 2020

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After a brief hiccup, the crew aboard the Atlas have found hope once again. 

Much of their survival relies on external factors including the safe landing of Pegasus, the rocket carrying all of the supplies they need to live on Mars along with a backup water system. 

So, naturally, when Mission Control lost all contact with Pegasus, they assumed it exploded or went off course. This meant that if the Atlas crew landed on Mars, they would have to wait five months for the next rocket filled with supplies to arrive. And with their backup system already rationed, they wouldn’t have enough water to survive. 

At this point, everyone was faced with an important decision: how important is this mission?

Emma refused to risk the lives of her crew members and while no one actually wanted to die, no one wanted to fail either. They were supposed to be the first people to ever land on Mars!

Despite orders from Ground to abort the mission and slingshot around Mars to meet Pegasus 2 in transit to get their water supply, they were determined to land on Mars and survive. 

Misha’s lack of eyesight opened up a world of possibilities through sound. It’s crazy how much you can learn just by relying on sound. 

Lu realized that while they might not have visual contact with Pegasus, they could use InSight, a rover, to determine whether Pegasus broke through the atmosphere. 

Instead of going to Emma with the idea, Lu and the team asked Ram, who is second in command, to help them out. This undermined Emma’s leadership and strained an already tense partnership. However, you can’t really be surprised that the crew didn’t fully trust her to be open to the possibility of fulfilling their mission. 

Emma has continuously wavered in her desire to make it to Mars saying time and time and again how much she wants to go home. 

Lu was even right that the decision to slingshot and reroute home came from Matt because they’d both prioritized that over landing on Mars. This realization, however, meant that Emma questioned aborting the mission. Sure, she was saving her crew, but was she doing it for the right reason?

It was a subtle coup by the crew but a necessary one that finally shook Emma out of her trance. She wouldn’t have come this far if she didn’t really want to get to Mars and it was clear that her fears and insecurities of the unknown were stopping her from going the distance. 

There’s no doubt about the risk factor — it’s a risky decision to continue on with the mission simply because they heard a “boom.” It broke the atmosphere, but it could still mean that Pegasus was still knocked off course. Still, the chances are higher that it landed and in-tact, plus, they lose more by turning back around instead of taking the plunge. After all, there was no guarantee that they’d successfully connect with Pegasus 2. 

Lu’s speech about hope is what really solidified Emma’s decision. It underlined what I said in my review of Away Season 1 Episode 7, Emma wasn’t growing as a character, she was regressing into a worse version of herself. We started off with this badass woman who had managed to juggle being a mom and a brilliant astronaut, who risked it all to achieve her dreams, and now, she’s become a shell of a human who is all too eager to play by the rules.  

History isn’t made by playing it safe. 

Emma realized that she needed to channel the same courage that her daughter, Lex, was channeling by taking the CCM test. We don’t know the outcome of her test, but whatever it is, they’ll get through it together. If I were to write Lex’s story, I’d want her to become a doctor to pursue a cure for CCM but that’s neither her nor there at the moment. 

The series has been criticized for feeding into stereotypes surrounding the crew members, particularly when it comes to Lu and her family. In one of the episodes early on, you’ll recall Lu’s husband yelling at their son because he got a 98% on a test instead of a 100%, which fuels the cliche belief that Asian parents are strict, only care about grades, and aren’t proud of their children unless they are getting A’s. 

This continued into Lu’s backstory with her father expressing disappointment that his wife gave birth to a baby girl. From Lu we gauge that he was never proud of her, which feeds into the narrative that Chinese families have long favored boy children over girls. However, as she points out, she’s going to do something that no man has ever done before. 

You’d think even getting close to Mars is a feat, but the Chinese representatives at NASA were less-than-impressed and would only accept her landing on Mars as a victory. The actual quote she says is: “I’d rather she did a hero on Mars than return home a coward.” This once again proves that failure is shameful and disappointing in the culture and thus, explains why Lu is so headstrong, disciplined, and determined. 

I’m not a fan of propagating stereotypes, so it’s at least nice to see Lu break the mold by becoming the first woman to do the unthinkable, do it from a place of hope, encourage her child to draw comic books rather than study, and fall for a woman in a culture that shuns the very idea. 

And lastly, does anyone think it’s ridiculous that Emma is now allowing Misha to handle taking care of the backup with his eyesight totally shot? If she’s entrusting him with it now, she should have just let him fix the prime, to begin with, and they wouldn’t have this whole water situation to worry about. 

Clearly, nothing has changed for him and yet, he has her full faith and is proving that he wasn’t lying when he said he can fix this system in the dark. 

What did you think of the episode? How are you enjoying the series so far?


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Lizzy Buczak is the founder of CraveYouTV. What started off as a silly blog in her sophomore year at Columbia College Chicago turned her passion for watching TV into an opportunity! She has been in charge of CraveYou since 2011, writing reviews and news content for a wide variety of shows. Lizzy is a Music Business and Journalism major who has written for RADIO.COM, TV Fanatic, Time Out Chicago, Innerview, Pop’stache and Family Time.

Netflix

Will ‘Manifest’ Get a Season 4 After All?

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Manifest Season Finale Review Mayday Part 1 and 2 Season 3 Episode 12 and 13

Merely weeks after the devastating cancellation of NBC’s ManifestTVLine confirms that the network has been in talks with Warner Bros. and Netflix about a possible Season 4. However, reps for NBC, Netflix, and Warner Bros. have refused to comment for now.

Following the news of the supernatural drama’s abrupt ending in mid-June, fans took to social media with the hashtag #SaveManifest in hopes of reversing the decision and getting it picked up by another network.

MANIFEST — Pictured: “Manifest” Key Art — (Photo by: NBC)

After the release of the first two seasons on streaming services, the series quickly dominated the charts. It remained on Netflix’s “Top 10” watched shows for 27 consecutive days and Nielsen’s weekly streaming chart during the week of June 14.

Jeff Rake, Manifest’s showrunner, tweeted in late June, “Your support is awe-inspiring…we’re not giving up. You deserve an end to the story.”

While Rake has not confirmed that another season is officially happening, he did note: “Lots of speculation out there. No comment. Other than, if the impossible happens and the dead rise again, it’s because of YOU.”

Whatever it takes, Rake will even choose to produce a two-hour movie to bring closure to Manifest.

So Manifesters, you’ve been heard, and you can only get louder from here! Will the answers you’ve been waiting for resurface in a possible Season 4 pick-up? Will 828 fly again? 

Manifest: 11 Questions We Need Answered


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‘Feel Good’ Season 2 Packs Quite the Punch

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In Season 2, the final adaptation of comedian Mae Martin’s (they/them) semi-autobiographical comedy, Feel Good takes on much more content in its short six episodes, packing quite the punch.

We’re guided deeper through the traumas of the primary character Mae and left wondering how they’re able to stand on their own two feet after years of childhood grooming, drug addiction, and parental toxicity.

The light answer to this is humor. As it’s joked often throughout the episodes, “comics are supposed to be sacks of shit.” Through light-hearted comedy and the power of laughter, Mae’s story is dissected. However, at times, big topics are rushed and viewers are left grasping at strings, wishing there were more episodes in the season.

Mae on Feel Good Season 2

Mae on the phone in rehab on Feel Good Season 2. Credit: Netflix

Following an unfortunate relapse in Season 1, we’re immediately thrown into Mae’s life in Canada, as they’re about to reenter rehab. They’ve only been away from England for a couple of months, but with the fresh wounds of the breakup, both George (Charlotte Ritchie) and Mae aren’t healed and are still stuck in their desire for each other. I mean, Mae still has George’s photo on their nightstand!

While in rehab, Mae reconnects with an old “friend,” Scott. When he’s first introduced we’re left wondering who he is and what his role is in Mae’s life. As an addict and queer comedian, there’s much more behind Mae’s curtain of trauma than initially presented in Season 1. Much more trauma that’s led to rash behavior, and Mae’s conversation with Audrey, easily foreshadows this.

Intertwined with the main storyline, Mae’s also navigating their non-binary identity. Mirroring Martin’s own coming-out as non-binary, Mae’s figuring it out, explaining that they see themselves as more of a Ryan Goslin or Adam Driver.

Again, with only six episodes to squeeze so much storyline into, Mae’s rehab stint only lasts 15 minutes into the first episode before they’re running out the door back into the arms of Scott.

As Mae’s stumbling through life in Canada, George is also trying to keep her mind focused on things like saving the bees. At an event at her school, she meets Elliot, a bisexual, polyamorous man with whom she bonds. He’s the nice guy, maybe too nice for George. He’s one of those men who are self-proclaimed progressive and ultra-feminist, trying to mansplain the harm in porn’s presentation of women and how sex needs to be a safe space for connection.

George, Elliot, Jack, and Mae on Feel Good Season 2.

George, Elliot, Jack, and Mae on a double date on Feel Good Season 2. Credit: Netflix

And as Mae knows, that’s definitely not how George likes to be treated during sex. Thankfully, George and Mae reconnect, and Elliot is quickly out of the picture with Mae and George recreating their first meet-cute, hoping to restart from a fully healed wound.

As Feel Good is written by a queer person, the portrayal of queer sex is finally construed in a realistic and non-hypersexualized manner. Mae and George run through various role-playing scenarios as they are falling into what seems to be a healthy relationship.

Realistically, their timeline is rushed, but Mae needed some stability before they faced the bigger demons hiding under the bed.

The show cleverly depicts Mae’s moments of withdrawal and trauma responses through a high-pitched ringing sound. As if we’re inside Mae’s head. Originally, Mae experienced the ringing sound when they were with George, as George was a replacement drug. But, in this season, the ringing sound appeared whenever the past tried to resurface.

Mae and George in bed on Feel Good Season 2

Mae and George on Feel Good Season 2. Credit: Netflix

Mae told Audrey that they had a hard time remembering the past, that it was all like a jumbly tumbly mess of Tupperware containers. But, as the episodes progress, each Tupperware slowly found its way to its matching lid.

It becomes clear that Scott isn’t just an old friend, but a man who used to abuse and take advantage of Mae. After Mae’s kicked out of the house at a young age for drug addiction, they move in with Scott who presents himself as a safe haven and gateway to Mae’s comedic success. When, in reality, he’s a pedophile who’s grooming them.

When a woman calls Mae to talk about Scott, presumably about the things he did to both of them in the past, Mae’s reminded of the trauma they had compartmentalized. A doctor suggests Mae might have PTSD, and with George’s help, they begin the journey of confronting the harmful past.

Meanwhile, through all of the personal traumas, Mae’s working through their professional success after being signed with an agent and fulfilling their dream of TV comedy. However, Mae finds it challenging to reinvent their success from the original standup virality that got them the agent in the first place. As mentioned earlier, with comics, the butt of their jokes is their own trauma.

Feel Good Season 2

Mae bringing George flowers on Feel Good Season 2. Credit: Netflix

Unfortunately, as Mae hasn’t healed from their trauma, there’s no way they can make light of it yet. As their career goes for a bit of a downhill turn, and they have a hard time performing for an audience, they begin to seclude themselves and withdraw from the world.

In a much-needed getaway, Mae, George, and Phil take a trip to Canada in order for Mae to confront Scott.

The scene in which Mae directly tells Scott they never want to speak to them again, although a bit anticlimactic, was retrospectively a strong scene that finalized Mae’s character arc in the perfect ending to a witty, raw, and endearing show.

The final episode leaves Mae leaps and bounds beyond where they had been before on their road to recovery. And just as Mae’s love for George grew healthily from a need to a want, our need for a Season 3 resolved itself, and we feel good saying our final goodbyes to Mae and George, knowing fully well they are on their way to a fresh start.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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‘Elite’ Season 4 Review: New Students, New Mystery, Same Scandalous Drama

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'Elite' Season 4 Review: New Students, New Mystery, Same Scandalous Drama

The wait is almost over.

On June 18, Elite returns for its fourth season, but aside from a few new faces and a new principal hellbent on making a difference, things at Las Encinas haven’t changed much at all. 

In fact, things are more dramatic than ever. 

The premiere of Elite evokes the same feelings as the start of the school year — there’s a rush of excitement for what’s to come.

The series indulges in more of what has made it such a success: scandal, parties, threesomes, love triangles, intrigue, crime, and sex. So. Much. Sex. 

I always forget just how many vivid sex scenes there are until I get pulled into a new season, but I’m very quickly reminded. 

The first day of school for Guzman (Miguel Bernardeau), Samu (Itzan Escamilla), Ander (Arón Piper), Rebeka (Claudia Salas), Cayetana (Georgina Amorós), and Omar (Omar Ayuso) is bittersweet. While they may be getting another shot at repeating their final year, their classmates Carla, Lu, Nadia, and Valerio have moved on to bigger and better things. It’s a bummer to lose such a great group of characters, but you almost don’t feel their absence when the new crop of students takes their place, flips the world upside down for current students, and simultaneously ushers in a brand new mystery.

ÉLITE (L to R) MIGUEL BERNADEU as GUZMÁN, MARTINA CARIDDI as MENCÍA, ARÓN PIPER as ANDER, MANU RÍOS as PATRICK, CLAUDIA SALAS as REBECA, CARLA DÍAZ as ARI in ÉLITE. Cr. NIETE/NETFLIX © 2020

The new mystery anchors the story, and like in seasons past, it plays out with flashbacks that lead up to the fated moment. 

However, unlike in previous seasons, we find out pretty early on who is at the center of the mystery with the how remaining the big question mark. 

But there’s no question about whether the Blanco family is involved. 

7 Biggest Moments from ‘Elite’ Season 4

As Ander tells the investigator, the toxic family’s arrival “tainted everything.” 

Benjamin (Diego Martin) is the extremely rich new school director. He comes in like a bulldozer with big plans to rehabilitate Las Encinas and its reputation after a tumultuous few years that led to two student deaths. He begins his reign by setting his sights on Samu and Omar, who he doesn’t believe belong at the elite school.

WATCH: Netflix Drops Scandalous Trailer for 'Elite' Season 4

Credit: Elite/ Netflix

It’s honestly surprising anyone wants to send their children to get an education there at this point.

Benjamin doesn’t waste any time making changes, but with his focus solely on “discipline, excellence, and achievement,” he fails to realize that his family’s arrival brings the bulk of the drama.

Immediately, you begin to wonder how Benjamin plans to fix a whole school if he can’t even control his own children — Ari (Carla Diaz), Patrick (Manu Rios), and Mencia (Martina Cariddi). 

Benjamin has a fraught relationship with his youngest, Mencia, who has brought the family pain in the past and continues to rebel and defy her father at every turn.  

Credit: Netflix/ Elite

She has a genuine connection with new girlfriend, Rebeka, but the relationship stirs up even more problems for Mencia as Benjamin disapproves and thinks Rebe is a bad influence considering her mother’s reputation as a drug kingpin. 

Little does he know, Mencia has gotten into a world of trouble all on her own.

While Rebe’s relationship with Mencia grows into one of the purest this season, following Samu’s betrayal last season, she’s understandably closed off and cautious with her heart.

Ander and Omar are still going strong but find their relationship is tested in unexpected ways when they invite Patrick, Benjamin’s son, into the fold.

Patrick knows the power he wields over them and intentionally meddles in their lives, but there’s also much more to him than meets the eye.

Ari is Benjamin’s star child who respects and listens to her father, but to her peers, she’s the resident mean girl who is oftentimes uptight and has a chip on her shoulder.

She catches the eye of both Samu and Guzman, which fractures their budding friendship. These two have always fought over women, but last time, Samu was being protective over his best friend, Nadia, who Guzman is still dating when the season commences. 

ÉLITE (L to R) CARLA DÍAZ as ARI in EPISODE 08 of ÉLITE. Cr. NIETE/NETFLIX © 2020

Nadia appears only via video chat from her New York apartment, and their relationship allows the series to explore the trials and tribulations of a long-distance relationship that’s tested as temptation lurks right around the corner for Guzman.

While Guzman stands a chance with Ari based solely on social class and standing, Ari and Samu connect unexpectedly in an academic setting. 

Who will the love triangle favor in the end?

Additionally, the school has attracted the youngest royal heir in Europe, Prince Philippe (Pol Granch). The series flips the classic “princess and the pauper” narrative to “prince and the pauper” as he connects with the school’s janitor Cayetana, making all of her fantasies come true.

But as the saying goes, “be careful what you wish for” as this fairytale quickly turns into a nightmare when it’s revealed the prince has a dark secret, and Cayetana’s past secrets with the late Polo and Valerio come back to haunt her.

Overall, you know exactly what you’re getting into when you press play on the fourth season. The writers have managed to deliver yet another incredibly intoxicating season about a group of lost souls looking for a purpose and tapping into the extreme lengths they’ll go to numb their pain.

Elite hits Netflix on Friday, June 18 with eight brand-new episodes. 

*This review is based on the first four episodes of season 4 that were available to the press*


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