The Handmaid’s Tale – Season 2

Yesterday, we finished up Season 2 of The Handmaid’s Tale for the second time. Getting ready for Season 4, we started over with season one and are making our way through. At the end of season one, we find Offred had semi-escaped and was on the run just as she learned that she was pregnant.

THE HANDMAID’S TALE — “The Word” — Episode 213 — Serena and the other Wives strive to make change. Emily learns more about her new Commander. Offred faces a difficult decision. Offred (Elisabeth Moss) and Nick (Max Minghella), shown. (Photo by: George Kraychyk/Hulu)

The first part of season two is during her escape. We learn so much more backstory here on how Gilead formed and where everyone was at the time of take over. We also get a lot of backstory on Offred/June’s mother. This plays an important role for the season.

June’s mother was an activist, always looking to make right in the world. She is hardly there for June because her causes were more important. This is key for the season finale.

June does not get free during season two. She is recaptured and has her baby, who is taken away from her as soon as the baby is born by Mrs. Waterford. We see a lot of the conflict between these two women, June and Mrs. Waterford. There also is a very brutal rape scene in this season that you can’t believe happened.

Ultimately, you see a small truce between the two of them and almost feel sorry for Mrs. Waterford. In the end (season finale), you see that soft side to our female villain. Offred has the ability to escape, again, but this time chooses to go back and fight. Hence the connection with her mother’s story. June becomes a fighter and activist in Gilead.

We’re going into season three, which I don’t remember a lot about. I think we only watched a couple of episodes so this is all new charted area for me. Let’s see if we can get this finished this week.

Titans – Season 1

I spent my day off watching the first season of DC’s Titans on HBOMax. This was the series that tempted me to purchase DC Universe streaming channel but I held out when I heard they were bringing all the DC shows to HBOMax when they created the service.

Titans is an adult and live-action version of the animated series, Teen Titans, with Dick Greyson as the lead character. In season one, we find that Dick has left Gotham for Detroit as he is trying to distance himself from Bruce Wayne/Batman.

Quickly we are introduced to another handful of DC characters that will eventually make up the Titans. We have Starfire, Raven, Gar, Dove, and Hawk. Others we meet along the way is The Doom Patrol, Donna Troy, Jason Todd (the new Robin), and our villains. Even during the finale, we get a little Batman and Joker action.

Season one is more of an introduction of characters and some backstory, but not a lot. We get glimpses of who the characters are but the story arc revolves around Raven (Rachel Roth) and stopping a lot of people from killing her. It takes all season to find out why people want her dead and season two will be that reason.

DC and Warner Brothers really didn’t skimp on the quality of writing or special effects. While I think the acting could have been better, that is what you get with a lot of unknowns. Ultimately, the first season has caught my attention and I am ready to watch season two. I was able to finish the first in one sitting.

Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist – Season 2

Season 2 of Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist dropped this weekend and while I am sad to see it end, I am kind of glad about it.

Last season, something happened in Zoey’s world that allowed her to hear people’s innermost thoughts through song and dance. What a genius show and what a fun show. I loved everything about it and could not wait for a new episode.

Besides the fun of the music, Lauren Graham was on the show and that made me super happy. At the end of season 1, we lose that. We also lose the fun of the romance as Zoey falls for a co-worker at the same time her best friend falls for her because in Season 2, Zoey hooks up with Max. Then breaks up with Max. Hooks up with Simon. Then breaks up with Simon. This off and on became very tiresome, very quickly.

It was different when she couldn’t decide but Zoey became too moody and melancholy throughout the entire season, you wondered how she still had friends.

I don’t know who I am rooting for Max or Simon; and at one point during the season, I wanted all of them to just quit and give up. Maybe the season finale redeemed itself. If you have not watched the season and hate spoilers, stop right now…

Because at the finale, Zoey chose Max and for the spinner… Max can hear her innermost thoughts via song. It might make season 3 a little more interesting.

The Handmaid’s Tale – Season 1

After watching Mad Men, I wanted to watch The Handmaid’s Tale because of Elisabeth Moss. We watched it as it originally aired but recently went back to watch it with the announcement of season 4. When we originally watched, we only made it through season 2 so we are a little behind.

In season one, parts of the United States were taken over by a religious cult that embodies the life before woman’s lib. Men controlled everything; women could not do anything. And this new country has an odd hierarchy or social classes to it. You have commanders, their wives, the handmaids, and the Aunts.

While the show’s first season does not get into detail about how this actually happened, the show begins already in progress. Flashbacks of Offred (Elisabeth Moss) show how she comes into the program of being a handmaid, which is a surrogate for the infertile wives of the commanders. Handmaids are essentially raped by the commanders because they were enslaved to the job from the old country.

The first season really gets into detail on the rituals of the handmaids and the story of June Osborne and her life as a handmaid. The watch can be pretty grueling and at times the torture is a little hard to watch. Even for me, it was hard to watch at times. The second go-around, I am tougher and can tolerate it.

Elisabeth Moss is excellent at her role and deserved every award she won for this season. We are on to season two now. We’ll discuss more later.

Menudo’s Subete A Mi Moto (Episodes 3-6)

The bio-series on the Puerto Rican pop group, “Menudo” has been a serious eye-opener. Subete A Mi Moto is the manager/owner’s testament of group’s rise and fall. I already reviewed episodes 1-3 in a previous blog post, and today I am here to bitch about the next three episodes.

In episodes 1-3, we watched the group go from the last 70s to 1981. In episodes four and five, we spend a lot of time in the year 1982. A lot seemed to happen but at the same time that is when the group’s biggest impact was made. 1982 really did define the group internationally. They had a huge tour in South America that opened a lot of doors for the group.

One of the biggest complaints over this series so far is the producers lack of details. You have series such as the Luis Miguel series, even the Alejandra Guzman series, Gloria Trevi movie… Each of them had the care it took to get outfits correct, hairstyles, and simple things like dates. Fans are screaming over the inaccuracies of this Menudo series. It is almost like they didn’t care who they cast or if they the details correct. Based on the dates of casting, filming, and editing, there should have been enough time to get it correct.

From what we we see in the previous episodes is that Edgardo is making a lot of money and the guys are not seeing any of it. During this time, Edgardo purchased an airplane and a mansion in Orlando. That house could have been purchased in 1981 but I really don’t remember those early years being in the house. Fans really didn’t get to see the house in any magazine or tv show until 1983 during the promotion of the album A Todo Rock.  But we do remember the plane. There are photos of Rene on the airplane, so I will give them that.

During the episode where Rene accidently pushes the girl off the stage and Rene goes in the back to the dressing room. On the mirror in front of him, there is a photo of the real Menudo 1984 in New York in front of Madison Square Garden. I thought that was completely odd and not necessary.

Now, let’s discuss Episode 6. I can write an entire post on what was wrong with six. Seriously. In episode 6, we cover the most extensive span of time to date. This goes from 1982-1984 in a matter of minutes. First, we start with Miguel leaving the group. In the series, this takes place before Xavier leaves and they have brought in Roy to replace Miguel (the replacement is correct, just not the timeline).

If time happened as they stated in the series, this line up for the above photo on Silver Spoons would never have happened. It would have been Charlie, Ricky, Roy, Xavier, and Johnny. Miguel played a strong part of the beginning of the English crossover. He was the first to record Gimme Rock and Motorcycle Dreamer in English and I believe that this period of time was so important to the group. We have history such as Menudo On ABC, that was wasn’t even mentioned. If this part of the group’s history didn’t happen, I don’t think that crossover would have happened with as much success.

My next biggest compliant is the recording of songs in Portuguese. They talk about going to Brazil prior to Robby coming into the group. They show the group: Ricky, Johnny, Roy, Ray, and Charlie recording the album Mania with Roy singing the lead on “Sobe Em Minha Moto.” Sorry, this NEVER happened. Johnny never recorded in Portuguese and Roy didn’t sing it. They eventually re-recorded versions of Gotta Get On Movin’/Cambiale Las Pilas (bi-lingual), Ladron De Amor, and Subete A Mi Moto with Roy’s vocals. But this did not come until after Robby entered the group.

It is possible that Edgardo talked about recording in multiple languages even before the group recorded in English because from what I can tell, his head was so big that wanted to take on the world from such early on. I don’t really believe that Edgardo was thinking past the next album. I think that telling the story now, Edgardo has inflated his foreshadowing abilities.

Next we have Robby entering the group, with Johnny leaving. This was so glossed over in the series that it seemed to not be important either. It was like a spot between commercials that Robby comes in and records “If You’re Not Here.” It has been said that Robby helped record vocals for the album before, so if this is true why not talk about it. Now when Robby auditioned for the group, they stated he was 14 years old. This is technically not true. Robby turned 14 in June of 1984. When he entered the group in either late 1983 (possible audition date) to early 1984, he would have been 13 years old. The album, Reaching Out was released in January 1984, so in order to record the album it would have been recorded in 1983 making Robby’s entrance in the group earlier than officially dated.

I honestly believe that they rushed over everything just to get to Ricky Martin. It is like Edgardo seriously wants to brag on his Ricky Martin connection but honestly, Ricky wasn’t all that in Menudo. He really didn’t sing any leads except one or two until they changed the concepts of the albums.

We are now to summer of 1984 with Ricky Martin coming into the group. Know that at this point in time with Ricky Martin first coming in, the group was still singing tired old songs, just in different languages. During a dance rehearsal, Robby voices his opinion on wanting to sing “new” and “hip” songs. I am glad they showed this. Behind the scenes Robby was pretty vocal about the quality of music. This ultimately led to his quitting the group. But here is my complaint… during this rehearsal, they are performing “Con Un Beso Y Una Flor”, a lead song for Ricky Martin. We are two years away from this song existing. That song came out in 1986 with the album, Refrescante.

There is a lot of inconsistencies in this series that makes me scream and complain in each episode. BUT… we will continue watching and complaining. Until next time.

Menudo – Subete A Mi Moto (Episodes 1-3)

So here we are… 3 episodes into the Menudo television series, SUBETE A MI MOTO, which documents Edgardo Diaz’s recount of the group’s history. Remember, this is Edgardo’s version of the group and not actually complete reality.

The series was produced by Amazon, but it has yet to be released on Amazon in the US. It is only available in Latin American countries via Amazon. Right now, the series was picked up by Estrella TV in the US and can be seen over broadcast television at the moment, which is how I am viewing the show.

Official photo of the series – Note that during his time in the group, Sergio never went by Blass.

Over the first three episodes, I have found myself yelling at the screen – probably just like Rene Farrait did when he watched it complaining about how incorrect this series is. My reasons and Rene’s reasons are completely different but when you have members of the group stating how the facts are twisted, you know there is something seriously wrong with this picture.

I still have Menudo fan friends, and some of them have stopped watching while others are still remaining silent. As a loyal Menudo fan, and probably not a die-hard as some still are, I find offense just in the lack of accuracy with looks, timelines, names, etc… Even with the official banner that they released, there is a factual error. Look above at the back of the jackets. Sergio Gonzales never took the last name as BLASS until after Menudo and they never called anyone by their last names either. Just looking at this pisses me off.

The story begins at the beginning. Edgardo is working with La Pandilla and he comes up with the idea of Menudo and keeping them young. That information could be very true. Here they are doing fun things and all of the sudden Edgardo wants to replace Nefty. I can see the members no believing that it would ever happen but it did. There are going to be moments before popularity that we can not verify unless we begin interviewing everyone.

Things I have noticed that might not be so earth shattering, but here they are so far:

  1. The group always performed with the tallest on one side and the shortest on the other. Throughout these first 3 episodes, they have ignored this fact making the group’s performances look so comical.
  2. The wigs that they are using for the boys are just horrible. You can barely tell who they are supposed to be representing.
  3. If Ricky Martin auditioned for the first time in 1980, he would have been 8-9 years old. They clearly had a boy auditioning that was a teenager. We do know that Ricky auditioned various times, but I don’t believe it was that early.
  4. In 1981 when the group went to Venezuela and got attacked by the fans, they are shown in the hotel waiting to transfer to a different hotel. Behind the boys is a television running scenes of fans. One of the fans is holding up a poster of Evolucion, which was released in 1984.
  5. Still in 1981, Ricky Melendez grew so much that he became taller than Xavier. In the top photo on this page, Ricky is clearly the shortest member and pretty much remained the shortest member during this time in the group. They have made Xavier the shortest on the show.
  6. Outfits have been a little off based on when they wore them and the albums they are promoting.
  7. If they are going in order, some of the songs they are singing, recording, and promoting tend to be a bit off too. Like singing Claridad when they have not even recorded it. There are 2 albums before that became a hit.
Ricky Melendez (with braces) depicted on the series is shown to be taller than Johnny, Xavier, and Miguel. This is inaccurate.

Since the series has been released, various members have come on the record to state how inaccurate the series is. Member such as Rene Farrait (who was on of the group’s most popular members), Ray Reyes, Roy Rossello, Jonathon Montenegro, and Angelo Garcia, have all said that the story was nothing like reality.

On the other hand, MDO members (Abel, Didier, and Alexis) have defended Edgardo, stating that they were never abused and they were aware of the long hours of work it took to be part of a popular group such as Menudo.

I don’t think we will ever really get a true story of Menudo because their are going to be over 30 stories, each one wrong or biased. For now, we continue on with the show and see where it goes from here. According to episode summaries, we will have a lot of jumping around. I think that Edgardo just can’t wait to get to Ricky Martin.