Brooklyn Nine-Nine

*Contains spoilers

As a huge Brooklyn Nine-Nine fan, I was super pumped up to watch Season. After all, I was dying to know how Captain Holt was adjusting to his new demotion as a traffic cop, and to watch new thrilling plot lines involving dirty cops and the Mob.

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Unfortunately, this season fell flat. It initially focuses on Jake an Amy trying to have a baby, then zeros in on her successful pregnancy. Keep in mind that the writers had to include this because the actress who plays Amy was pregnant in real life. That being said, it should have been more of a supporting storyline rather than the primary one.

There were some funny moments thanks to the new character, Debbie, and the show will still serve as a great distraction during these crazy times. It just doesn’t measure up to the previous seasons, so here’s hoping for an improved Season 8.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine is currently streaming on Netflix.

Let’s bid farewell to a couple of TV “doctors”

Yesterday, Dr. Oz and Dr. Phil had interesting appalling takes on the country being shutdown due to COVID-19. Oz said the U.S. should consider re-opening schools because children need to be educated and fed. The tradeoff would be a 2-3% mortality rate; he argued that it’s risk worth taking. Phil declared that “45,000 people a year die from automobile accidents, 480,000 from cigarettes, 360,000 a year from swimming pools,” and we don’t shut down the country for that. He also claimed that unless the country is re-opened quickly, more people will fall below the poverty line. What he doesn’t understand is that even if people are able to make ends meet, there is a chance they won’t be able to for long because they could die.

Quick fact check: as per the Centers for Disease Control, 3,536 people died from drowning annually from 2005 to 2014. Some of these deaths occurred in other bodies of water, not just in swimming pools.

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Both doctors are successful talk show hosts, with Dr. Oz promoting products based on pseudoscience, and Dr. Phil basically hosting a censored version of Jerry Springer. That’s where their similarities end. Oz is a cardiothoracic surgeon, so I can understand why news outlets want his opinion. He’s an actual medical doctor, which is all the more reason why he should have known better than to suggest risking a part of our population so kids can go back to school. School is still in session online.

Dr. Phil, on the other hand, was never a medical doctor. He was a clinical psychologist but had his license revoked due to some legal disputes. Which is why for the life of me, I can’t understand why would Fox news go to him for a second opinion when Dr. Fauci and other reputable doctors have explicitly advised against lifting restrictions. My best guess is they want someone who the public trusts and who is also conservative. Who’s narrative will match the network’s values as well as those of their viewers. This is disappointing considering Fox was always criticizing the liberal media of “politicizing” COVID-19, and yet here they are doing the same thing.

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The problem with Dr. Oz and Dr. Phil (and other TV doctors), is that their egos cloud their judgement. They have made more money on TV than they probably would in a lifetime of being a doctor. They live in a bubble where people will believe anything they say, whether it be about bogus products or family therapy. They profit off of people’s ignorance and desperation, or their need for entertainment. If they can con people on their shows, why not on Fox news? Spreading false information for money and fame has become a part of who TV doctors are. After all, they don’t really want to be doctors. If they did, they would be working as doctors and not as talk show hosts.

There needs to be some sort of consequences for their unfounded comments. Dr. Phil should be taken off the air. Sure, the show is entertaining but we can survive without it. As for Dr. Oz, he should be taken off the air, he should never be allowed on TV again, and he should have his license revoked. We trust doctors with our lives (literally), and nobody should be forced to trust a doctor who clearly has no regard for human life. And no, I don’t care how much you love his show.

The dimming light on Trump’s presidency

With every passing day, Donald Trump seems to become increasingly nonchalant about the COVID-19 pandemic. He initially called it a hoax, then insisted America wouldn’t be affected. He wanted to open businesses by Easter. He declined to accept testing kits from the WHO because they were made in Germany, not America. He refuses to provide aid to hospitals across the country unless all the Governors show him appreciation. He even accused New York hospitals of hoarding supplies; you can’t hoard supplies unless you have excess. New York hospitals especially are experiencing a large shortage of supplies, which is preventing doctors and nurses from doing their jobs safely.

Independent.co.uk

Trump’s re-election was fully dependent on the state of the US economy. Prior to the Coronavirus pandemic, the US economy was going strong, making his re-election quite promising. Now the stock market has crashed, and according to CNN, mass layoffs have caused at least 6.6 million people to apply for unemployment benefits in the past week alone. They expect that number to grow next week. By blaming Obama and State’s Governors for this disaster, Trump’s chances at another term are growing slimmer by the day.

Had he taken immediate action initially by funding medial supplies and accepting the testing kits , the US could have had this pandemic under control. Take South Korea as an example.They started testing 10,000 per day in late February at the drive-thru testing centres. Their urgent action and innovation is why there are 10,000 cases in the country and 177 deaths (Google statistics)

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Trump wants to give households a one time $1,200 tax free benefit, but how is that enough? Canada is rolling out a taxable emergency benefit of $2,000 per month for people who can’t work due to COVID-19. The benefit is available for a maximum of 4 months. Although Trudeau closed the borders later than Trump did, he is doing a far better job of taking care of Canadians.

It’s a shame that as the World’s Superpower, America is greatly lagging behind in testing and is short of hospital equipment. The COVID-19 crisis is a test for Trump to prove he would do anything to keep Americans safe. And so far is he failing miserably.

Tiger King

Tiger King is the ideal show to binge during quarantine because it’s so addictive. It’s about an eccentric zookeeper in rural Oklahoma who puts a hit out on his rival in Florida (who might or might not have fed her husband to a tiger).

I thought this show was eye-opening because I didn’t know tiger breeding was such a huge business in the states. Also (spoiler alert) I didn’t know ceremonies celebrating 3 men getting married was possible, especially in a conservative state like Oklahoma. On another note, I do want to warn my fellow animal lovers that the animals are kept in quite poor conditions, and seeing them being exploited is bit disturbing.

All said and done, the big debate question is: Did Carole Baskin kill her husband? I think so.

Really Lilly?

Every once in a while during a crisis, there is one person who becomes a self-proclaimed expert on the situation and refuses to take professional advice. A few days ago, that person was Evangeline Lilly.

Below are a series of screenshots from her Instagram; see if you can spot the problem.

Let’s be clear about one thing: Coronavirus doesn’t discriminate. It doesn’t care what race or gender you are, or what your political party is. It certainly doesn’t care whether you are an A-list or D-list actor. The level of entitlement in Lilly’s comments is atrocious. Also, why isn’t her kid’s gymnastics class closed like the schools are?

For those who want to live their lives freely, allow me to shed some light on the severity of the Coronavirus spread.

The U.S., Canada, and many other countries are on lockdown.

Coronavirus has caused a stock market crash, which in turn resulted in thousands of people getting laid off. People who have to provide for their families, and especially in the U.S., might have relied on healthcare their employer provided. Then there are people who have no choice other than to work, like our healthcare workers; they are risking contracting the virus themselves to make sure we are safe. They would probably love to stay home! And you don’t have to go out of your way to thank them; you can do it by simply staying home. In fact, healthcare workers are even requesting that the public do so. In case you didn’t get the message…

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The second problem with her Instagram comments is that she insinuates that there is a virus every election year. You could argue that politicians don’t really care about their citizens, but they care enough to not start a virus that could escalate into a pandemic. I respect that you have your opinions, but during a time like this just keep them to yourself.

Evangeline Lilly’s refusal to self-isolate not only showed that she is selfish and irresponsible, but that she is also really stupid. This is a crisis, and the only way for us to get through it is to be co-operative and listen to the experts. If they say stay home except for essential trips, just do it.

I want to say a huge thank you to all the healthcare workers, grocery store clerks, taxi drivers, volunteers, and everyone else who is putting their health on the line to help us. To all the people with coronavirus or who’s livelihoods were impacted because of it: we are thinking of you.

Quarentertainment

Ok, I’ll admit the title is cheesy BUT since we’re all cooped up at home (and if you’re not, for the love of God go home,) I thought I could do a weekly list of what I’ve been watching while being at home all day.

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This show is old, but it’s honestly so good. Just a light comedy with awesome acting. It’s exactly what we need right now. You can find 30 Rock on Prime Video.

AppleTV+

The Morning Show is amazing! It’s about a morning news anchor (Steve Carell) who is fired for sexual misconduct. Although it wasn’t advertised this way, when you watch it you’ll realize it’s definitely based on the NBC scandal.

Coronavirus Chaos

I think it’s safe to say that people are going insane, and rightly so. According to MSNBC, as of today there are 168, 019 cases and at least 6,610 deaths worldwide. The growing fear has resulted in mile-long lines at supermarkets, and weirdly enough, a shortage of toilet paper.

Regarding border control, here in Canada, Justin Trudeau just closed our borders to everyone except for Canadian citizens, permanent residents, and U.S. citizens. (His reaction was a tad delayed, and was probably only prompted by his wife testing positive for Coronavirus.) Sure, maybe it makes us feel a bit safer, but are we panicking too much?

Yes. We watch the news which often feature a panel of doctors who answer viewers’ questions. When viewers see this, they think “wow this is so out of control that we need five doctors to explain what’s going on.” If you listen carefully though, you’ll realize that they’re all saying the same thing. Honestly, I have a theory that if you listen to too many shows like that, you’ll drive yourself crazy. Regardless, it’s great that we have so many resources to keep us informed. We just need to know when to take a step back.

It’s so important to be diligent and mindful. Frequent hand washing (which seems to be a new thing to an unsettling amount of people,) disinfecting phones and surfaces, etc… But there is no need to overdo it completely. For example, if you use hand sanitizer twice a day, now use it four times a day. Simply be a decent citizen and do your part.

There has been debate around Fox News calling Coronavirus the “Wuhan Virus.” Liberal media immediately pushed back calling the term racist. I can see their point, but I’m not sure “racist” is the right term since the virus did originate in Wuhan. “Unnecessary” would be more appropriate because during a crisis, we want to focus on a solution and not on passing blame.

Let’s go on a trip down memory lane. There was SARS. There was Mad Cow Disease. There was H1N1 and Swine Flu. There were countless other diseases which we survived!! We have no choice other than to ride this out, so in the meantime…

Landmark sentencing for #MeToo

The Daily Beast

On March 11, Harvey Weinstein, the disgraced Hollywood producer and now convicted sex offender, was sentenced to 23 years in prison for sex crimes. I’m going to start by saying that in a previous post, I confidently claimed that Weinstein would get off completely because there was talk of a $44 million settlement.

I was wrong. And I’m so happy I was.

To hear how he terrorized these women physically, verbally and sexually for decades was beyond disturbing. When Weinstein talked about how his children don’t keep in contact with him in his statement, I couldn’t help but roll my eyes. He never once gave his children a thought when he was raping women in his hotel room, so to play that card in court was just…tacky, I suppose.

The reason I titled this post a landmark sentencing is because women who have suffered at the hands of their abusers have finally been heard. I bet Harvey Weinstein didn’t think his crimes would end up being his biggest downfall, and the best part is, no amount of money could save him. I’ve said before that money would frequently take priority over integrity, but this story really proved that this isn’t always the case. I sincerely hope March 11, 2020 inspires more victims to take action, and encourages men to think twice before sexually harassing or assaulting someone.

I can agree with Weinstein on one thing: he once said that everyone deserves a second chance. It’s very true. The women who he victimized deserve a second chance at life; they deserve to live a life free of fear and anxiety. Him? Not so much.

Sky News

Thank you to all the brave women who came forward with their stories. Thank you to Ronan Farrow, Jodi Kantor, The New Yorker, The New York Times, and all the other journalists who made sure those stories were told.

Ronan Farrow’s “Catch and Kill”

WBUR

….or as it could also be known: “a tale of how deep money and power run.”

This novel was THRILLING! It chronicles Ronan’s investigation into the sexual assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein. Ronan relentlessly chases down the facts by encouraging the victims to go on record, which they eventually do, leading to the expose in The New Yorker.

There were a few things about this story that I found interesting. First of all, how did someone like Lisa Bloom become so corrupt? Her whole career was based on helping women….but I guess it doesn’t matter when there are millions of dollars at stake. Also, speaking of corruption….NBC!! I understand covering up for Matt Lauer because he was their star anchor, but to disregard taped stories of Weinstein’s sexual assaults from his actual victims is beyond unethical. There was even a taped confession of Weinstein admitting to sexual assault, but again, I guess money took priority over honest journalism.

Yeah..no….
ABC News

Ronan describes how he was followed by the Black Cube — an Israeli spy agency — in an attempt to intimidate him into dropping the investigation. This really drives home the point I made in the first sentence: Weinstein was so rich and powerful, not only did he have the American media in his back pocket, he also was able to pay out millions of dollars to an international spy agency. As it turns out, it wasn’t enough to save him from those guilty charges (note that Catch and Kill was written before Weinstein’s trial began)

I want to circle back to Matt Lauer for a second. The details are horrific, and Matt was clearly manipulating his female coworkers into sleeping with him because he knew he had power over them. He was fully aware that NBC would cover up his actions by paying off his accusers and forcing them to sign an NDA. Matt’s affair with Brooke Nevils was a central part of this scandal. Just to recap, they slept together one night while on a trip to the winter Olympics in Sochi. When they returned to New York, they continued having an affair until he supposedly called it off. Brooke was obviously concerned that if she reported Matt, she would lose her job, as many of her other female colleagues had. As an adult, she made a choice to do what it took to keep her job. Again, it’s clear that Matt was a bully, but we all have choices in life. I don’t think it’s fair for Brooke to play the victim card, when she was engaging in a consensual affair with him. She only did what she had to do to survive, and it is what it is.

One minor criticism I have of the novel is that it dragged a bit at the end. There was way too much detail about Black Cube, then the story randomly jumped to Trump having an affair with the Playboy model, then jumped to Weinstein. Finally, Ronan gets to the part about Matt Lauer. I felt the writing got a bit sloppy, and the storylines above could have been condensed into a maximum of 5 chapters.

The MeToo movement has done wonders in creating conversation around sexual assault and harassment. If we dig a little deeper though, will any company choose firing their number 1 money maker in favour of doing right by the assistant, who is completely replaceable? The top priority of any company will always be to earn the maximum amount of revenue possible, and I just don’t see them easily sacrificing money in the name of integrity.

When feminism goes too far

Women have been overlooked for far too long. Our accomplishments, ideas, and goals have been swept under the carpet in favour of what men want. The good news is: we now have women marches and feminist movements to shine a light on what we want.

Your Dream Big

BUT! (and there is a big but here) At some point in time, that light shone a little too bright. An example would be after the Oscars this year. Why was Rose McGowan against Natalie Portman’s dress, when all it did was acknowledge female directors in a subtle way?

I’m going to preface my theory by saying that I do not intend to make this about celebrity gossip. I want to make this about how feminism has gone off the deep end, and possibly right through the Bermuda Triangle. By complaining about celebrating male directors is nothing but reverse sexism; feminists are not practicing what they preach. Just because we are women does not mean that we have the right to win awards that we don’t deserve. Of course awards shows are not 100% credible, and the outcomes are sometimes influenced by industry politics.

Rose McGowan, and other feminists who claim they are more proactive need to continue doing their part. We are inspired by their efforts and celebrate all things feminist. The healthy way to proceed would be to encourage other women to join them. If you don’t like someone’s weak attempt at protest, just leave them alone! There are bigger issues in the world without bombarding us with this high school like drama.

The conclusion: reverse sexism = hypocrisy. Call to action: let’s fix that.