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Dear Netflix, thank you for the character of David on “Travelers”

9 Jan

Josh and I have been watching “Travelers”, a Netflix Original Series. He started watching it during season one because he ran out of “Continuum”, so this was suggested (as Netflix does), and I happened to be in the room when he started watching it.

We both got sucked in.

Be warned, there may be spoilers.

 

spoilers

[Image description – River Song from “Doctor Who”, smirking, and the word “Spoilers”]

“Travelers” is about people who come to the 21st century from a much more dire future time, trying to fix what went wrong. There’s protocols, and The Director, and other such things. Travelers arrive seconds before a human in the 21st century is about to die, and basically take over their body with their consciousness that’s been sent from the future (it’s a fine moral like, as they’re not taking a life, but they are assuming one, friends and relatives included.)

One traveler is sent into the body of Marcy, an intellectually disabled woman. Marcy has a case worker, David, who instantly notices Marcy goes from an almost illiterate woman who speaks slowly (can we say verbal apraxia?) to a well-spoken, literate, obviously above normal intelligence woman overnight.

Marcy – and therefore David – become a storyline in the show. David is the nicest of all the guys who, when everyone decides Marcy must have been defrauding people for those sweet sweet disability benefits, jumps to her defense. He doesn’t think she’s a cheat or was using the system. He just thinks that obviously some sort of miracle must have happened.

By the fourth episode, I worried more about David, a secondary character, more than most of the main characters. Because they wrote him to be exactly who I would want to be working with and caring for Maura someday. They showed how he paid for things for his clients out of pocket. How he knew what would help calm them, what their favorite foods were, where they were sleeping on the streets. During a pandemic during the second season, he went straight to the shelter to make sure his clients were okay, were cared for – because someone had to, and that someone was him. When he won the lottery, he gave it all to the people he worked for.

He is, for all intents and purposes, a perfect human being. He is who we all should try to be more like. He is the guy I’d want as Maura’s case worker. And that’s saying a lot.

But last night, as season two was winding up, there was a scene where the one character who’s been an asshole the whole first season, and is a recovering asshole in season two, reverts to his asshole ways when talking about Marcy to David.

He called Marcy “the retarded girl”.

I held my breath.

“That’s a hateful word.” David replied.

And I may have yelled “YES!”

David didn’t let me down.

Yes, they used the world I dislike. But then they addressed its ugliness. It was said to be ugly, by someone who’s behavior was ugly in the show.

And then, it’s ugliness was called out.

“That’s a hateful word.”

And the next time the recovering asshole mentions Marcy – two sentences later – he uses a more appropriate phrase – “mentally disabled”.

He was called out on his ugly behavior and it made a difference. David, once again, showed how to make a difference.

There was no big lecture, no big drama around the use of the word “retarded” – just a simple but pointed addressing of it – “That’s a hateful word.” – coming from a man who devoted his life to the people society overlooks or ignores.

For all I’ve seen people defend the use of the word “retarded” in shows and music and books because “that’s just how people speak”, I’ve never seen where then the use of the word is questioned by another character. It’s usually dropped by someone and then life carries on.

But not this time.

This time, some writer for Netflix deliberately chose it. And then deliberately chose to call it out for what it was – a hateful word. And then showed the one who use the word choose a different phrase.

Because while it is a word some people use still, there are those of us who are willing to call them out for that use.

And apparently, Netflix is now one of us.

So thank you Netflix. I know it was just two lines in one episode of a show, but dang if it didn’t mean the world to this mama.

Note – I was totally not paid in any way to endorse this show. No compensation was earned. I do totally recommend this show if you are sorta into sci-fi and like well-rounded characters. 

POST-FECKING-SCRIPT!

Okay, I am now writing from the Great Beyond.

Because when sharing this on Twitter, I did what good social media gurus are told to do – tag and hashtag.

And I got a response.

I got three responses.

First, from Eric McCormack, yeah, the lead actor in the show (and also producer for at least Season 1.) 

 

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[image description – tweet from Eric McCormack]  – “Great Letter, Phoebe, thank you. The writer was @ken_kabatoff, and @bradtravelers created David for @PatrickGilmore because there is no one better at being a great human being.”

 

And then Patrick Gilmore, the actor who plays David, chimed in –

 

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[image description – tweet from Patrick Gilmore] “Thank you for your letter, @herdingcatsblog. That scene was all @ken_kabatoff & @bradtravelers. I was blessed to have an Aunt with Down Syndrome. I got into fights in grade school with anyone who used the “R” word. I hugged Ken when I read that line 🙂 @TRVLRSseries @netflix”

And THEN, this appeared from the WRITER HIMSELF, Ken Kabatoff –

 

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[image description – tweet from Ken Kabatoff] “I’m not crying, YOU’RE crying.

 

So now I’m dead, but in a good way.

Now everyone, go watch this show. Because it obviously is made up of a bunch of really decent human beings – and because I already need Season 3.

 

 

 

 

 

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We may take this “anything is possible!” thing too far

5 Jan

I just had a panic attack because I lost my guac and pico de gallo.

“I swear, I put it in the fridge!” I panicked loudly at my husband, who had innocently asked about toppings for the taco meat he was making. I had gone shopping today, and as ground beef was on sale and I’m usually feeling extra lazy after grocery shopping, I picked up things to make tacos. I also inspired the lady at the meat counter to make tacos. Because everyone likes tacos.

Anyhoo, me, just a girl, standing in front of the fridge, yelling “Where did they go too?”

Because ANYTHING is possible in this house.

Because we live with Maura.

Visions flashed in rapid fire succession in my brain. A package of guac under the couch. Pico de gallo all over the bathroom. Food containers leaking into the backpack, seeping into the carpet. The container of guac, hidden away in a toy drawer in a certain girl’s bedroom, not to be found for another three months.

ANYTHING was possible.

Luckily, they were just on the high shelf that I almost never use and obviously don’t look up at enough as I’d check the fridge three times before finding it.

But as I told Josh, after finding an open bottle of ginger soda in Maura’s backpack (which did then leak all over the backpack and seeped into the carpet) ANYTHING is possible in our house.

It’s not as inspirational as it is terrifying, that phrase.

 

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[image description – “Anything is Possible” written in a less cheery font, on a grey, drippy paint, background]

This is NOT a pet blog

29 Dec

Someone from some other site – a site about home selling or something to do with homes – emailed me.

“We’d totally love to collaborate with you on your pet blog.”

Really?

“We’d totally like to write content for your pet blog, maybe about selling a house with pets?”

Seriously?

“Let us know what you think!”

I didn’t think about it. Until she wrote me back, asking if I was the one to contact about collaborations and such, and if I’d gotten the previous email.

So she got some pro-tips, like “Read the fecking blog first before pitching ideas to me.”, but more polite-like because I am nice.

And no, this is not a pet blog.

Here’s another secret – I don’t even own a cat. I actually am not a fan of cats. I think cats are kinda scary and that they will try to kill me in my sleep.

Yes, everything you thought you  knew…is a lie.

*le gasp*

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[image description – kitten putting paw up to mouth, horrified]

 

 

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