Daily Archives: August 1, 2019

Law & Order: SVU Character Review: Odafin “Fin” Tutuola

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the characters from the television series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Read at your own risk if you have not watched the show.

There is something to be said about a well written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

In this series of weekly blog posts, I will examine character using the characters from Law & Order: Special Victims Unit to explore how writers can create fully dimensional, human characters that audiences and readers can relate to.

There has always been the debate on whether it is better to see the world in black and white or color. On Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Odafin “Fin” Tutuola (played by actor and musician Ice-T), sees his world and his job as black and white. That view came from his early upbringing on the streets of New York City. As a young boy, he watched as the city rioted after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. and saw his mother killed by one of his father’s business rivals.

As a cop first in narcotics and then in special victims, Fin sees the world as black and white. If the accused is guilty, then he or she deserves whatever punishment they receive. This point of view often led him to clash with his colleagues, who saw the shades of grey in the cases they were assigned. Outside of work, Fin sought to keep his private life and his job separate. But he eventually opened up to his partners, who became as close as family.

To sum it up: Sometimes a character is defined by his or her point of view. Fin sees his world and his job as black and white. Which is fine, because that works for the character. But there is also more to him than just a cut and dry perspective on the law. He has a big heart for those who he cares about and is willing to do what it takes to get the job done.

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Filed under Character Review, Feminism, History, Music, New York City, Television

Thoughts On Second Night of the Second Round of Democratic Debates

Last night, the second night of the second round of the Democratic nominees aired on CNN. Over the course of three hours, the nominees debated, argued and did their best to prove why they should go against you know who next fall.

I have a few thoughts about last night.

  • Senator Kamala Harris (D-California) is not the golden child that she was after the previous debate. She was and still a strong contender. However, it was clear that the other nominees had her in their cross hairs, especially Representative Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii).
  • Speaking of Representative Gabbard, it felt like she was grasping at straws. While I can’t speak of Senator’s Harris’s record while she was Attorney General in California, I can’t see Representative Gabbard being the Democratic nominee next fall.
  • There were more than enough one liners to go around.
  • The polls may say that for Vice President Joe Biden has the best chance to win the election. However, given that the polls leading up the 2016 elections said that Hillary Clinton was slated to win, I don’t exactly trust the numbers. In regards to last night, Vice President Biden was still not as on top of his game as he could have been. He was evasive at some points and used his former boss, President Obama as a crutch one too many times for my liking.
  • And finally, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio proved once again why he should not be President. Called out for the fallout from the Eric Garner trial and the lead paint poisoning in NYCHA buildings, he was evasive and put his two cents where they were not wanted.

Readers, those are my thoughts. What did you think of last night? Has your opinion changed about any specific candidate or have you already made up your mind as to whom you will be voting for?

 

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Filed under National News, New York City, Politics, Television, Thoughts On....

Guesthouse for Ganesha: A Novel Book Review

When we think of our what may or may not happen on our wedding day, the last thing we think of is being jilted by our almost husband or wife.

This is the inciting incident in Judith Teitelman’s new book, Guesthouse for Ganesha: A Novel. In 1923, brokenhearted that her fiance ran away with another woman on the day that they were to marry, seventeen year old Esther leaves her shtetl (village) for the big city. The baggage she carries is more than her solitary suitcase, it is the unspoken grief and anger of what should have been her wedding day. From that day on, her heart is cold.

Skilled with a needle and thread, Esther makes her living as a tailor and seamstress. Along the way, she marries and has three children, but not even their presence can replace the life she might have had. Then World War II and the slowly tightening noose around Europe’s Jews begins. Esther’s skills and emotional barriers may keep her alive, but for how long?

While all this is happening, she in unaware of her guardian angel, the Hindu G-d Ganesha. Watching and admiring her from his realm, he provides silent support to a woman whose emotional strength may be the only thing to keep above ground.

I was very impressed with this book. On the surface, the mingling of European history from the 1920’s to the 1940’s and a Hindu diety seems like a perfect mismatch. What the author was able is craft a riveting story of strength, survival and the idea that perhaps we all have our own guardian angels. We may not be able to hear or see them, but they are always with us.

I recommend it.

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Filed under Book Review, Books, History

Throwback Thursday-A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila (2007)

Dating shows seems to be one of the most popular within the reality show genre. The question that I think a viewer has to ask is if the show is “real” or staged for the sake of good television?

A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila aired on MTV in 2007. The premise of the show was the same as an reality dating show, with one exception. The star of the show, Tila Tequila, was bisexual. 16 straight men and 16 gay women competed for her affection. At the end of the series, like all reality dating shows, the final competitor was chosen as the star’s significant other.

As much as I dislike reality dating shows, I really disliked this one. The creative team had an opportunity to give a voice to the LGBTQ community. While it appeared that this was another opportunity to open the doors of communication and acceptance, it was in reality just another dating show that took advantage of the “exoticism” of the LGBTQ community to increase ratings.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely not.

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Filed under Television, Throwback Thursday, TV Review