Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and here to see the full list of topics for the year.
I narrowed down this week’s prompt from best Book/Movie/TV Couples to Best TV Couples. There are some mild spoilers for these shows in the rest of this post.
David and Patrick from Schitt’s Creek
If you haven’t started watching Schitt’s Creek yet, I highly recommend checking it out! The storyline follows a wealthy family who moves to a small town after losing all of their money.
David was the spoiled adult son of this family. Patrick’s childhood had been full of hard work and thrifty choices. That is, it was the total opposite of David’s experiences in many ways! And yet somehow these two characters complement each other beautifully.
Chidi and Eleanor from The Good Place
One of the things I love the most about Chidi and Eleanor is how similar their personalities. They both have a tendency to over-think things and spend more time brooding over their choices than actually picking one.
Chidi showed these traits immediately. Eleanor was more subtle about it, but I chuckled as soon as I realized that both of them were dealing with the same flaw (even if it wasn’t always expressed in identical ways in their lives).
Mr. and Mrs. Kim from Kim’s Convenience
Kim’s Convenience has become my favourite Canadian sitcom over the past few years. Many shows focus on the early years of a romantic relationship when everything is brand new and exciting. The cool thing about Mr. and Mrs. Kim is that they’ve been together for at least 25 years by the time the audience first meets them.
It’s wonderful to see how their relationship has matured and grown over time.
Yetu holds the memories for her people—water-dwelling descendants of pregnant African slave women thrown overboard by slave owners—who live idyllic lives in the deep. Their past, too traumatic to be remembered regularly, is forgotten by everyone, save one—the historian. This demanding role has been bestowed on Yetu.
Yetu remembers for everyone, and the memories, painful and wonderful, traumatic and terrible and miraculous, are destroying her. And so, she flees to the surface, escaping the memories, the expectations, and the responsibilities—and discovers a world her people left behind long ago.
Yetu will learn more than she ever expected to about her own past—and about the future of her people. If they are all to survive, they’ll need to reclaim the memories, reclaim their identity—and own who they really are.
Inspired by a song produced by the rap group Clipping for the This American Life episode “We Are In The Future,” The Deep is vividly original and uniquely affecting.
Content warning: Death of a parent and death of a child. I will not be discussing these things in my review. The quotes below were taken from the book.
Some types of pain echo through many generations.
Yetu was an amazing protagonist. Her struggles with acting as the Historian for her community made perfect sense. That burden had been placed on her shoulders at a tender age, and it honestly wasn’t something she was prepared to handle. While I can’t go any further into her backstory without giving away spoilers, I appreciated all of the work that had clearly been put into describing her personality, why she was given this role, and how it affected her both mentally and physically.
“Living without detailed long-term memories allowed for spontaneity and lack of regret, but after a certain amount of time had passed, they needed more.”
One of the things that I wish the blurb had made clearer was how the Wanjinru processed memories, especially since the plot wasn’t shared in a chronological order. Their minds didn’t work exactly the same as a human mind does for reasons that I’ll leave for future readers to discover, so Yetu often needed to repeat things to the audience as she remembered them again or thought of a detail she hadn’t included before. I liked this device a lot, but it wasn’t something I was expecting when I started reading.
The character development was quite well done. This was even more impressive given how Yetu’s memory worked. It’s definitely not easy to show someone growing and changing when they forget certain details over time, but the author pulled it off beautifully.
“We are not Wanjiru if being Wanjiru means distancing ourselves from pain.”
I do wish this book had been longer so that more time could have been spent on the world-building. Yetu both experienced and remembered some amazing events, but she needed to spend so much time repeating certain memories and making sure they were told in the right order that she simply didn’t have as much time as she needed in order to explain those events the way I wish they’d been shared with the audience. Another 50-100 pages of writing would have given me the clues I needed.
“Forgetting was not the same as healing.”
This is also something that could easily be fixed with a sequel if the author ever decides to revisit all of the incredible characters she created here. My fingers are crossed that this might happen one day.
With that being said, the ending couldn’t have been written more beautifully. I adored the way all of the important loose ends of the storyline were tied together while still leaving room for either a sequel or lots of fodder for the the imaginations of everyone who reads it.
I’ve decided to end this review with a link to the song referenced in the blurb. Comparing its version of events with what happened in the book was fascinating, especially since the song came first! It does contain spoilers, so keep that in mind while deciding when to listen to it if you’re like me and prefer to avoid spoilers.
– read, watch, listen to, or experience something science fiction / fantasy that was created in 1979 or earlier
– talk about it online sometime in January
– have fun
If any of my readers are also interested in participating this month, let Little Red Reviewer know about your posts if you’d like them to be included in her official roundups.
This week I’m going to be talking about “It’s A Bird,” a three-minute, stop-motion animation film from 1930 that featured Charley Bowers and a metal bird that was capable of turning metal scraps into something incredible.
Harold L. Muller was the director of this film. Click here to watch it or check out the embedded version below. It is safe for viewers of all ages.
Caution – Major Spoilers Below
Think about all of the hours of work that went into creating this film! Every single frame of it had to be painstakingly recorded and then stitched together. There weren’t any computers, much less CGI, to make that job easier.
I loved the world building of this film. Charley was just as surprised as the audience was by the existence of a metal bird who ate metal and turned all of those scraps into a beautiful, white egg.
The fact that the egg hatched into a brand new car made me laugh! I was expecting another metal bird to start running around. Honestly, the only thing better than that was the parent-bird’s response when Charley said that he wanted to take the bird and start making a whole factory’s worth of new cars for them to sell.
I might have done the same thing if I were in his shoes. When you find yourself in a surreal situation, why not take it to its logical conclusions?
This is something I would love to see a sequel for. Where are the other metal birds, if they still exist or ever existed? Where did this metal bird come from? At what point does a car evolve into a bird in this universe? Or does every mechanical creature spawn offspring that look nothing at all like itself?
What a fun story it was at any rate. I’m glad I had a chance to blog about it for Vintage Science Fiction month.