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‘The Chair’ Review: A Humorous Commentary on the World of Academia

Sandra Oh, Nana Mensah, and Holland Tyler on The Chair. Photo Credit: Netflix

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An entire show focused on a dilapidating university English department had the very real potential of being extremely boring and niche with its heavy ode to literature. However, Netflix’s original series The Chair, starring the fabulous Sandra Oh, is a humorous commentary on the world of academia, cancel culture, ageism, sexism, and transracial adoption.

The bulk of the humor rests on the shoulders of Ji-Yoon (Oh) and Joan (Holland Taylor) the only women in the department alongside Yaz (Nana Mensah). Ji-Yoon is the first woman department head to take the position just as enrollment is crumbling by 30%.

What’s meant to be a momentous moment in her career turns into a shit show when she’s tasked with putting out daily dumpster fires.

In the short six episodes, we’re quickly introduced to the complicated lives of Ji-Yoon and her colleague/lover Bill Dobson, one of the younger professors who’s under intense scrutiny for making an insensitive and ignorant reference to nazis.

The Chair Humorously Comments

Sandra Oh on The Chair. Photo Credit: Netflix

There’s a strong balance between personal and professional lives as the underlying tension displayed immediately between Bill and Ji-Yoon ignites a budding romance, amid the dean’s increasing pressure for Ji-Yoon to let Bill go.

Ji-Yoon’s a powerful woman who isn’t afraid to stand up against university systems that oppress women and women of color. And despite her ability to properly handle her work life, her home life seems to be teetering.

Her daughter Juju is a spitfire who is ready to speak her mind at any moment. Whether to diss her halbi, cross personal boundaries scaring off babysitters, and telling Ji-Yoon how she feels about her transracial adoption.

The real dynamic duo is Juju and Bill. As Bill’s healing from the loss of his wife and empty-nesting after sending his daughter off to college, he finds comfort in taking care of Juju while he’s on suspension.

The Chair Review

Ji-Yoon and Dobson on The Chair. Photo Credit: Netflix

Juju’s lack of connection with Ji-Yoon is saddening, as it stems from Ji-Yoon’s absence due to her tireless job. However, by the end of the season, the growth between mom and daughter is emotionally beautiful.

Yes, I shed a few tears.

The decision to use an English department as a commentary vessel is ingenious. Historically, academia is full of jaded tenured professors who are generationally out of touch. But, an English department is stereotypically overrun with crotchety old pretentious men.

Some of whom are definitely ready for retirement.

Yaz is a Black professor whose class has quickly become the most popular in the English department. With her classes yielding the most students, this causes jealousy among the other educators, putting her tenure track in harm’s way.

The Chair Review

Ji-Yoon and her daughter on The Chair. Photo Credit: Netflix

When she’s denied the distinguished lectureship and begins to feel helpless as a woman of color at Pembroke, she considers taking an offer from Yale. However, Ji-Yoon’s desperation to rebuild the department full of diverse women convinces Yaz to stay.

Yaz’s character doesn’t receive as much screentime as she deserves. Most of the attention is placed on Dobs and the rest of the professors fighting desperately to hold onto their power.

Furthering the theme of sexism, Joan’s office is displaced in the basement underneath the gym. As a professor who’s been with the university just as long as her male counterparts, she finds her situation outrageous and greatly sexist.

Yet, by the season finale, after Ji-Yoon’s been ousted as the head of the department, she strategically chooses Joan to replace her. This feels like a win for the women and especially Ji-Yoon, as her vision of change continues.

While there hasn’t been any official word about a second season, Season 1 paved the path for deeper topics to be pursued. Especially the romance between Ji-Yoon and Bill. So I can’t imagine the show won’t receive another green light.

If you’re someone who shutters at the idea of being immersed in the academic sphere even fictionally, don’t worry. The Chair is a show you can enjoy on the pure basis of humor and emotional family drama. And of course Sandra Oh!

21 Underrated TV Shows You Need to Watch


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Inga is an avid TV watcher and critic, focusing a majority of her articles around LGBTQ+ representation in the media.

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Stranger Things Season 4: Nancy Wheeler Owes It To Herself to Give Steve Harrington a Chance

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Stranger Things Season 4: Nancy Wheeler Owes It To Herself to Give Steve Harrington a Chance

It seems almost silly and trivial to prioritize romance when the world — specifically, Hawkins — is being taken over by a disturbed and power-hungry creature from the Upside Down, but it’s such a human emotion to value and champion love even in the darkest moments when everything looks bleak. 

As Stranger Things continues to prove, love, in all of its shapes and forms, trumps hate every time. And Nancy and Steve? They love each other. They might not know it yet or simply aren’t ready to admit it, but there are some strong feelings there that deserve to be explored, especially in light of a possible end-of-the-world scenario. Ask yourself, if not now, when?

Stranger Things Season 4, through all of its darkness, found a light with Nancy and Steve. Hero hair aside, Steve underwent massive character growth from your stereotypical and shallow jock to a father figure, caretaker, and most importantly, a man who knows what he wants. Steve and his voluminous Herbal Essence commercial hair ran towards danger countless times for the greater good and for his friends. Steve’s emotional glow-up wasn’t lost on Nancy either, as she took notice on several occasions, and at times, found herself taken aback by his newfound maturity. As some people pointed out on Twitter, Season 4 Steve Harrington just hits different. 

Stranger Things Season 4: Nancy Wheeler Owes It To Herself to Give Steve Harrington a Chance

Credit: Netflix/ Stranger Things

Yes, he’s portrayed as a ladies’ man, but on the inside, Steve is a softie with a mad crush and a dream of having a real relationship with the right one. He acknowledged the progress he’s made since season 1 and how much he’s grown in the swoon-worthy speech to Nancy that further drove him into heartthrob territory with audiences while proving to Nancy that those butterflies she’s been feeling whenever he looks at her aren’t just a result of an unexpected trip to the Upside Down. Steve Harrington told Nancy flat-out that he was to have six kids (six nuggets, to be exact) with her, and if that didn’t convince her that he’s top-notch boyfriend material, I honestly don’t know what would.

Stranger Things Season 4: Nancy Wheeler Owes It To Herself to Give Steve Harrington a Chance

Credit: Netflix/ Stranger Things

I wouldn’t have blamed them if they took advantage of the moment and used the “apocalypse” excuse to sneak in a passionate kiss, but that’s the other point — despite his desires, Steve never made a move on Nancy because he respects her and their friendship. He knows that she’s with Jonathan, and he’s not going to cross that line even if they might never get a chance to pursue these feelings again. At least not without Nancy making a move and giving him the go-ahead. 

Deep down, Steve cares about Nancy as a friend. He proved it not just with words, but also with his actions as he stood by her when Vecna put her in a trance. He could’ve left the Upside Down at any point to save himself, but he would never leave her there. And, in turn, Nancy proved that she would risk it all for Steve when she jumped into the water and swam into the Upside Down to go after him. She’s always had a soft spot for Steve, but now that he’s become a man worthy of her, there’s no denying the attraction. 

There’s also a love and understanding between them that has provided for a solid foundation that would be helpful if they were to pursue a romantic relationship. 

Stranger Things Season 4: Nancy Wheeler Owes It To Herself to Give Steve Harrington a Chance

Credit: Netflix/ Stranger Things

Stranger Things benefited from the love triangle this season, in particular, as it kept tensions high and provided a personal escape for the characters, but it also cannot be dragged into the final battle. The bottom line is that Nancy and Jonathan can’t string each other along as Steve continues to pine Nancy — it’s not fair to any of their very deserving characters.  

One might argue that Jonathan has always been the underdog so he deserves the girl, but even that’s starting to change as Steve grows into his own and figures out his real connection to Nancy that’s only intensifying as time goes on.

This brings me to Jonathan.  I know it isn’t entirely his fault that he wasn’t by Nancy’s side when the fight against Vecna began,  but it speaks volumes that he was on the other side of the world. The reason Mike was with Eleven when it mattered is because he willingly made the trip to go see her. Neither Nancy nor Jonathan chose to visit each other despite being apart for so long. The chance was there, but they both decided to stay put and deflect.

Stranger Things Season 4: Nancy Wheeler Owes It To Herself to Give Steve Harrington a Chance

Credit: Stranger Things/ Netflix

There was a time when Nancy and Jonathan were the right choice for each other, but there’s nothing left between them but a forced relationship that continues because it’s comfortable and safe. The spark between them barely has a pulse. When they were finally reunited at the end of the season, it didn’t seem like a romantic relationship but two friends who care about each other. And that’s the thing — they’ll likely always love each other and feel a connection through shared trauma, but they are not in love with each other anymore.

They aren’t on the same page anymore, no matter how much they hope to be. They want two different things out of life, but they’re refusing to come to terms with the fact that their paths are taking them in opposite directions. Nancy wants to excel in college and make something of herself, while Jonathan didn’t even apply. The worst part is that they both know that time is running out on their relationship, so they are avoiding the hard conversations. Neither of them has the heart to tell the other the truth. 

Even if nothing happens between Nancy and Steve in the upcoming season, in the face of the unknown and a potential apocalypse, Nancy and Jonathan owe it to themselves to be honest about their feelings and go after what their hearts desire. I’m not sure what that is for Jonathan at the moment as he seems pretty lost about his future, but for Nancy, I think that definitely involves six little nuggets with Steve Harrington somewhere down the line. 

Who Dies On ‘Stranger Things’ Season 4B?


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Who Dies On ‘Stranger Things’ Season 4B?

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Who Dies on Stranger Things Season 4B?

Stranger Things Season 4 was quite a bloodbath as Vecna brutally claimed a handful of victims in his plan to take over Hawkins.

The body count included a handful of pivotal and core cast members that will forever leave a mark on our hearts. 

Dr. Brenner – When the FBI came in guns blazing, Brenner tried his best to get El to safety. But the truth is, she wasn’t even supposed to be there. If he simply allowed her to leave when Dr. Owens insisted, she would’ve been on her way to help her friends fight Vecna. Also, there definitely wasn’t a solid contingency plan in place in the event that the FBI did find their secret hiding spot. 

In his last moments, Brenner assured El that he loved her and always meant well, but it’s hard to really believe any of that when he pushed her to her limits, shamed her, treated her like nothing more than a lab rat, held her against her will (in hopes that she’d understand), and even put a dog collar on her in order to mute her powers. Brenner was definitely not a friend. And in the moment where they say goodbye, El realizes what true love is when she sees her friends sacrifice everything to come and save her. Papa never came from a place of true love — it was all self-serving and manipulation masked as love. It’s unclear if Dr. Owens survived or if the FBI took him out simply because he betrayed them. If they did, I bet they’re regretting it now. 

 

Eddie – Eddie is a fan favorite, so his time on the series was limited considering Stranger Things has a track record of killing off the lovable, new guy. After a really metal guitar solo in the Upside Down, Eddie took one for the team and sacrificed himself to stop those bats from digging into his friends. It was a redeeming moment as Eddie proved he wasn’t a coward as he “didn’t run away” this time. I only wish he held off a little longer so El could do her thing because he could’ve been spared! 

 

Max (kind of) – Max was marked this season, and it’s unfortunate. Everyone in that group is brave, but Max, in particular, risked it all in hopes of defeating Vecna and stopping his plan. She allowed herself to become his target — the bait that lures him while everyone works in the background to slay the monster. Eleven tried her best to help Max when she could no longer stay in the light and run from Vecna’s wrath, but it wasn’t enough. Vecna got his grip on Max before El could regain her strength. And even after she broke his hold on Max, the damage had been done as her bones snapped and her eyes were glossed over and bleeding. She died in Lucas’s arms, a hero that only a few will ever truly know about. As far as death’s go, it one was the most heartbreaking next to Eddie’s. But then, Max came back to life. Her heart stopped beating for a full minute before it restarted in what doctors call “a miracle.” We know, however, that Eleven used her powers to resuscitate Max. Unfortunately, the injuries were intense and she’s now in a coma. It’s not known when she’ll wake up, if ever… and the battle for Hawkins, and the world, inches closer. For this reason, Max stays on the list. 

 

Jason also died in a gory scene, but honestly, there was nothing more satisfying than seeing him burn in half right after he tried to kill Lucas. The ego on that dude was next level, so he had it coming. Also RIP Chrissy, Fred, and the 22 and counting other souls that died in the mysterious and seismic earthquake that unexpectedly hit Hawkins. A natural disaster it was not! Not to mention all the Russians who fell victim to the Demogorgon and the Demodogs…. they, too, had it coming,


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Only Murders in the Building

Only Murders in the Building Season 2 – Who is the Killer? We’re Logging Every Clue on the Murder Board

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Who Is the Killer on 'Only Murders in the Building' Season 2?

Only Murders in the Building season 2 carries the torch of the first season, putting a unique spin on the murder mystery genre.

The killer, who is most likely also the person framing Mabel, Charles, and Oliver (who are all persons of interest) likely won’t be revealed until the final episode, but we’re creating an online murder board to keep track of all suspects and possible clues hinting at this person’s identity.

Join us — and the characters who attempt to solve the whodunnit on their podcast via new weekly episodes that air every Tuesday on Hulu– as we theorize who is responsible for the latest murder at the Arconia!

*Cue the theme song*

 

Victim: Bunny Folger

Her Last Words: 14 and Savage

Cause of Death: 8 stabs wounds

Murder Weapon: A knife that has yet to be located and a knitting needle

Place of Death: Mabel’s apartment

 

 

Possible Suspects

 

Alice Banks

Played by Cara Delevigne, Alice slides into Mabel’s DM’s shortly after she lands the front page of the tabloids as “Bloody Mabel.” The art artist collective owner invites Mabel to a gallery opening in an attempt to cozy up to her and get her to open up. Maybe she just sees past Mabel’s flaws, but considering the whole mystery hinges on a missing painting by the artist Rose Cooper (who also died a mysterious death), we simply cannot rule it out. Maybe she wants the painting… maybe she wants Mabel. Honestly, maybe Rose was Alice’s mom who was murdered by Charles’ dad, her lover, and Alice is trying to get revenge on him by getting close to Mabel. Also, Alice Banks doesn’t sound like it would be her real name, so she’s suspect #1 for now.

 

Amy Schumer

Amy Schumer is playing an exaggerated version of herself who just moved into Sting’s former penthouse. She’s a fan of the podcast — almost to an obsessive point — who wants the rights to it so she can turn it into a streaming service series and channel her inner Jan. You need a murder mystery in order to have a successful podcast… and then a show, I’m just saying. Plus, I have to believe that there’s a reason the series included her character! 

 

Uma Heller

I’m sorry to do this to you Uma, but there’s no one that knew Bunny better than her best friend. She not only knew about the painting, but she knew its worth. Maybe jealousy got the best of her?

 

Nina Lin

We don’t know much about Nina other than the fact that she’s the New Board President. Howard says she has wanted the gig for a long time, which gives her motive. And he also warned the trio not to be fooled by her “maternal glow,” comparing her vibe to Rosemary’s Baby instead.

We learn a bit more about Nina in the third episode as she gets into a heated altercation with Bunny. Nina and Bunny seemed to be on good terms with the former training the latter and passing on her Board President wisdom and duties. Nina seemed like a star pupil worthy of taking on the title, but when Bunny suddenly had a change of heart during her “retirement party,” things got pretty ugly between the women. Nina told Bunny the only reason she was Board President was because of her mother. She called her a “selfish, self-important, stuck in the past relic,” which is, well, harsh. When Bunny told the “power-hungry baby bumpy bitch” that she wouldn’t let her “get away with this,” Nina seemingly threatened back with “I won’t let you stop me.” The altercation happened mere hours before Bunny was accosted in her home.

 

Leonora Folger

Killing your own daughter is certainly cruel, but crazier things have happened. Leonora wasn’t really phased by her daughter’s passing, but she was very interested in finding her painting. She even came with the original bill of sale in order to retrieve her prized possession. Yes, she’s technically blind and can’t cut a piece of cheese to save her life, but it could’ve all been an act. And there’s also the whole affair with Charles’ father that she casually mentioned after informing Charles that she knew exactly who he was this whole time. She clearly knows way more than she’s leading on. 

 

Cinda Canning

If she’s devious enough to blatantly steal a podcast, she’s not above murder. A murder suspect has to benefit from the crime, and Cinda sure does! By giving the Arconia another murder victim, she deepens the mystery and secures herself a compelling season.

 

Ursula

I don’t ever want to think badly of Ursula, but she was really suspicious when angrily throwing out a random box of documents and looking around to make sure there weren’t any witnesses. What’s she trying to hide? This couldn’t have been a routine dump.

 

Rose Cooper

Yes, she supposedly went missing in the ’50s and is believed to be dead, but no one ever found a body. There could be so many unknown twists and turns about her identity that we have yet to discover. What’s her true connection to all of this? Or is Rose Cooper actually Leonora?

 

Oscar

Mabel’s sort-of ex. What happened to him? Why are they moments away from the friend zone? Are we to just believe the streamer couldn’t get him back this season, or is there another reason he’s staying away… I don’t know, maybe like framing your girlfriend and her friends for murder?

 

Oliver

While I don’t actually think that Oliver has what it takes to kill Bunny, the truth is that he had a deep hate for her, at one point even calling her a witch. Furthermore, he did mention that Bunny would “die at the Arconia,” so he’s slightly suspicious. It could also be why he’s gunning for the team to revitalize the podcast and clear their names. Of course, he was also on the rooftop celebrating his podcast success with Mabel and Charles, so the odds of him being the killer are slim.

 

Lester

Bunny was a lot to handle, so it’s safe to say that as Board President, she harped on Lester quite a lot. We saw a brief scene where she called him “useless” as she belittled his work ethic and even said she would have him fired. 

 

READ ALSO:

Only Murders in the Building Season 2 Premiere Review – Bloody Mabel

Only Murders in the Building Review – Framed (2×02)


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