tv // lbd // shoulder touch

The Grace Review: A Joyous Fisking*

Okay, so that goober Darren (I say with love, honest) didn't put it up on the front page like usual, but the Grace reviews are up -- one by Arnise and myself, and one by the card-carrying denialist Lex.

Now, Lex and I stunned the world last week when we both gave Evolution Part II the same rating. Well, we made up for it this time: while I gave Grace *** 1/2 stars out of 4, Lex gave it... 1.

Okay, who's surprised, raise your hands.

*looks around at lack of hand-raising*

There's some choice quotes I want to mock, but I'll do it behind a cut... not so much because of spoilers, since it's already aired in the US, but because I know Lex tends to give some people ulcers ;)

"Carter is dissatisfied with most of those areas and would be happy to give up her career in return for a "chance" of a relationship with her commanding officer."

You know, this is what people mean when they say that sometimes Noromos are better projectors than shippers themselves. Where the hell did she come up with this one? Yes, Sam brought up quitting the Air Force -- but it wasn't an offer, it was a hypothetical situation. Like the idea of Lex getting a clue -- not a suggestion, completely hypothetical.

"Being hit over the head with a rather large sledgehammer labelled "Major Carter: not the respectable professional you thought she was" was a shock. Carter apparently has romantic feelings for her boss. Where did they come from?"

Oh, sweetie. If you want to ignore reality, ain't nothin' I or the writers or God Himself can do to make you see the light. I mean, I'm sorry, you can dislike the ship all you want, you can say there's no sparkage, that it's forced, and you can ignore it in favor of other plots -- that's your right as a human being. But if you're gonna make statements like this, you're just gonna sound stupid.

"Last we saw of anything remotely resembling that situation was way back in Season Four (which was a surprise in itself at the time)."

Actually, I'll offer a tacit agreement here. It was a surprise -- not that Sam and Jack have those feelings, but the fact that the show actually dealt with them head-on (or as head-on as they were gonna get with the Air Force looking over their shoulders) and in a... refreshingly sneaky manner ;)

"Those "feelings" were "left in the room" at the end of "Divide and Conquer," both parties moving on. But now we discover she's been ignoring one of the basic U.S.A.F. rules for years and pining after her C.O."

This is no doubt the funniest line of all. Assuming, for the moment, that Sam is indeed 'pining', how is that ignoring "one of the basic USAF rules"? Is Lex a military expert and didn't tell us? Is there a section in AFI36-2909 that everyone else missed that only she can see? Because as far as I know, this is the gist of the regulation in question:

2.2. Unprofessional Relationships. Relationships are unprofessional, whether pursued on or
off-duty, when they detract from the authority of superiors or result in, or reasonably create the
appearance of, favoritism, misuse of office or position, or the abandonment of organizational goals for
personal interests.

*scans document* 'Pining, pining...' Nope, not here. So the above review quote is B.S. Good, glad that's out of the way.

"The implication, of course, is that a rational, responsible adult (as Sam has always been portrayed)..."

Except in Divide and Conquer, right?

"...couldn't make a simple decision: either move past her feelings or transfer to a different SG team to be able to act on those feelings."

Why should she be expected to do either? Either a woman is expected to control her feelings (her feeling, not her actions), or she is expected to potentially damage her career in order to act on those feelings. That's bordering on misogyny, if you ask me, when Sam's obvious decision was to control her actions. The only instance in which Lex's argument would have merit was if someone could offer a situation where Sam's feelings 'detracted from the authority of superiors or resulted in, or reasonably created the appearance of, favoritism, misuse of office or position, or the abandonment of organizational goals for
personal interests'.

"Either action would have been acceptable and in keeping with the Sam that we know. Instead, we're left with a woman who apparently can't make a simple adult decision, the likes of which men and women make every day all over the world."

My goodness. And I thought we were the ones who generalized!

"And those complaints don't even touch on how disturbed I am..."

Heheh. Okay, that one's too easy.

"...that now, after years of getting to know Sam's strength and individuality..."

If nothing else, what this does prove is that you don't know Sam.

"...of understanding how proud she is of her accomplishments, of how happy she is in her life..."

But wasn't the crux of the story the fact - or the feeling - that she's not happy -- simply content?

To take this in a personal direction for a moment: I'm content with my life. I have a great family, I'm getting a terrific education, I have wonderful friends. That said, there are things missing that make me admit -- no, I'm not exactly happy.

Lex appears to be very much devaluing the importance of love - openly returned and displayed love - in a person's life.

"...we discover that lurking under the surface was the "fairy tale" truth: all she really wants is to give it all up for a man."

That's complete BS, and if Lex doesn't know it's BS, then she has more problems than I originally thought.

"Farewell sexual revolution, we shall miss you."

Now, I'm one of those who feels that the sexual revolution was a mixed blessing for women, but here Lex seems to be using it to put Sam between a rock and a hard place. Earlier in the review, she states that it would be perfectly 'acceptable' (gee, nice to know she approves) for Sam to "either move past her feelings or transfer to a different SG team" in order to act on her feelings for Jack (this assuming that she's emotionally ready to act on them, but that's another journal entry). Yet here, she criticizes Sam for "wanting to give it all up for a man", interfering that that's some antiquated ideal.

So which one is it? In Lex's view, apparently neither. If she stays on SG-1, she's not able to make an adult decision. If she makes the decision and leaves (either the Air Force or SG-1), she's betraying the ideals of the sexual revolution and the progress (*cough*) women have made since the June Cleaver days.

This, of course, leaves the favorite option: the "move past her feelings" option, which is a little curious since she all but denies the fact that there are feelings to begin with. She also makes 'moving past her feelings' sound as simple as taking out the trash. Nearly any woman can tell you how powerful just a simple infatuation is; since these feelings have been present for at least three years (assuming it 'came out of nowhere in D&C') I would posit that this is more than a simple infatuation. Should Sam be expected to deny herself not just the man she's "thinking about", but the thoughts themselves? Should Sam stop being true to herself in order to satisfy a bunch of misogyists? How is that in the spirit of the sexual revolution?

Personally, I think she's just pissed off because, for arguably the first time, there has been a Stargate episode that explicitly acknowledged that Sam has more-than-platonic feelings for her CO. And while they could explain away her statements in Divide and Conquer, this is harder to justify. So the cardinal rule of denial is invoked: if you can't make a coherant argument, make personal attacks.

And I think we all know which one this review wasn't.

* Fisking: Critical analysis of a piece of prose or a line by line rebuttal
  • Current Mood: pleased pleased
OK, that's all just too great! I stopped reading when I got to the sledgehammer comment, didn't want to take one to myu computer ;)

This is what happens when I read crapola like this after an hour plus of analyzing literature ;)
*falls over* Your review of her review just reinforces the idea she was watching a different programme to me. *g*
I couldnt understand how she managed to miss so many key points of the episode, that despite what Sam pretends, she's only content with life - she wants more. *shrugs*
I don't know... I mean, I can guess, but I've never taken an abnormal psych course, so it's only a guess ;) To be honest, I can't see them having a problem with the idea that Sam wants a relationship with someone... only with the fact that she might want it with JACK.
*grins* I have a tiny problem with Sam not getting together with Jack, purely because that have a LOT of chemistry, and Grace, in my opinion, only went to prove how deep their feelings run, in Sam's case anyway. But as you said, i don't have a problem with Sam wanting a relationship, I would be surprised if she didn't want *someone* to come home to at night - she's only human.
Right. Only Lex seems to be equating being human to being a disgrace to womanhood. Of course, I have no interest in her particular brand of womanhood ;)
Well, if being human is being a disgrace, I say, bring on the disgracefulness.. I don't think that's a word actually. Ah well. The general point I was trying to write, (And am still failing to write) is: too true!
now I'm waiting for the next episode review.

*sighs* I had already heard some 'great' lines about it...
Well the NEXT review will be for Fallout, but somehow I don't think that's the one you mean ;)

I was getting some really weird looks in the computer room while reading that!

Thanks for the laugh, Alli :)
Strangely enough, I thought these questions were quite good:

Why doesn't she have her own command by now? Does she still struggle to reconcile her scientist side with her soldier side? How has she dealt with the merging of her memories and Jolinar's? Does she have a team of scientists working for her at the S.G.C.? Is she frustrated that she can't discuss physics with the top minds in her field? How much time does she spend with Cassandra? Is Cassandra an acceptable substitute for her own child?

and up to that point I thought her review was a good one. I've wondered about some of those myself, but then it took a major nosedive. Sheesh! Just unbelievable conclusions coming from there on out. I can't believe she saw the same show I did.
Sure, some of the questions were good. I didn't fisk THAT part of the review. But she overshadowed the good part with her stupidity.
Pining and regs. That is priceless. :)

Thank you, Alli
Fisking: Critical analysis of a piece of prose or a line by line rebuttal

*Suddenly has the urge to go around saying Fisk off*
I was going to say something, but I think you did a pretty good job. Yep. Not going to say anything else. You said it.