“It doesn’t escape me for one moment that so much joy in my life is thanks to so much pain in someone else’s. So I want to salute the spirit of Patsey for her guidance. And for Solomon, thank you for telling her story and your own.”—Lupita Nyong’o (via sonofafieldnegro)
I know people always say this, but wow. Brooklyn Nine Nine is such a good show.
Because Gina is allowed to be not just a bizarre, funny character, but also a financially and otherwise competent, forward-thinking woman. Because she is genuinely unconventional and genuinely smart at the same time—media doesn’t often let women be either, and certainly not both. Because she’s responsible without being traditional or generic or “uninteresting.” Because she grew up in the same circumstances as Jake and worked through some shit and she’s grown to be much better at the adult thing than Jake. Which is, actually, really awesome.
Gina is, again, not the kind of character one might associate with being responsible—she’s no Amy. And that’s good. It means the female characters on B99 are different from one another, but that they aren’t stuck inside shallow stereotypes.
Jake gets upset because Gina turned out to be better at being a responsible adult than him. There’s nothing wrong with that, though, because it makes perfect sense. Jake never expected Gina to “beat” him at life skills. He underestimated her, and it caught him off guard. That in itself is really wonderful to see for female characters: experiencing the realistic sort of everyday sexism that is pervasive in our culture. It’s also a realistic reaction for Jake, because when your childhood friends end up doing better than you, it’s a horrible feeling.
And you know what? Gina’s still right. She knows it and the audience knows it and Jake knows it—he apologizes to her. She’s allowed to have feelings despite being strange and over-the-top and generally a pretty comedic character. The narrative treats her, her feelings, and her relationship with Jake with respect and it’s all glorious and funny and it makes me super emotional.
Multi-dimensional female characters in a 24 minute comedy are rare—and Brooklyn Nine Nine has created three extremely likable women with diverse and equally interesting personalities in under one season.
It’s best summarized in Gina’s own words: “Yeah, so what? I’m ecclectic.” And yeah, she is, but so what? Does that mean she can’t be smart with her savings or have complex relationships or be a deep character? No, of course not, but many shows seem to think the opposite. B99 doesn’t fall into that category, though. This isn’t the first hint of Gina being a better developed character than she at first seems to be. Holt realizes her potential almost immediately; she’s shown to be incredibly perceptive; she’s clever and competent at her job when she cares enough to do it. Brooklyn Nine Nine’s doing female characters right—not just Gina, but Rosa and Amy as well. If you’re not watching, you should be.
For all you kids worried that the choices you make at 18 determine the rest of your life, please keep in mind that Retta (Donna from Parks and Rec) is a Duke-trained chemist who spent her 20s making HIV medication.
“It’s that thing when you’re with someone, and you love them and they know it, and they love you and you know it… but it’s a party… and you’re both talking to other people, and you’re laughing and shining… and you look across the room and catch each other’s eyes… but - but not because you’re possessive, or it’s precisely sexual… but because… that is your person in this life. And it’s funny and sad, but only because this life will end, and it’s this secret world that exists right there in public, unnoticed, that no one else knows about. It’s sort of like how they say that other dimensions exist all around us, but we don’t have the ability to perceive them. That’s - That’s what I want out of a relationship. Or just life, I guess.”—Frances Ha (via adieufranz)
“Not all toxic people are cruel and uncaring. Some of them love us dearly. Many of them have good intentions. Most are toxic to our being simply because their needs and way of existing in the world force us to compromise ourselves and our happiness. They aren’t inherently bad people, but they aren’t the right people for us. And as hard as it is, we have to let them go. Life is hard enough without being around people who bring you down, and as much as you care, you can’t destroy yourself for the sake of someone else. You have to make your wellbeing a priority. Whether that means breaking up with someone you care about, loving a family member from a distance, letting go of a friend, or removing yourself from a situation that feels painful — you have every right to leave and create a safer space for yourself.”—Daniell Koepke