Friday, April 29, 2016

200th Episode, Admiring Chutzpah, 2016 Summer Bay, and Defending Manipulative People

1. Started to watch episode the 200th episode of season #28 of Home and Away.

Right now, Hulu is saying that Home and Away will be expiring in two days.  In a few hours, it will say one day.

I'm trying to decide if I should make this episode of Home and Away my last.  I figure the show is going to disappear from Hulu sometime tomorrow.  I might start watching an episode, and then poof...it's gone.

2. Decided to make this my last episode.  It seems nice to end with a nice rounded number like 200.

3. Saw that Ash (George Mason) and Phoebe (Isabella Giovinazzo) are an item in this episode.

A few days ago, when I watched the last episode of season #28, I couldn't tell if they were still together romantically.

4. Figured that Ash and Phoebe might have broken up because of Brax (Stephen Peacocke).  Maybe Phoebe was angry when she learned that Ash was keeping the secret about Braxton still being alive. She did seem quite tense about it in the last episode.

5. Consulted Lord Wiki about Ash and Phoebe.  It wasn't a Brax thing.  It was a baby thing.  Phoebe got pregnant, and didn't know if the child was Ash's or Kyle's (Nick Westaway).  It ended up being Kyle's, and Ash ended the relationship.

The storyline seems VERY similar to the Daniel (Tim Phillips), Amber (Jenna Rosenow), and Josh (Harley Bonner) one on Neighbours.

6. Thought that Hannah (Cassie Howarth) is incredibly annoying.

A few months ago, she cheated on Andy (Tai Hara) and clung to Andy even though her feelings for him had faded.  Now I'm seeing her in a very similar situation. But now it's Chris (Johnny Ruffo) worrying that she's going to cheat on Andy.  Why? Because Andy kissed Hannah.

Hannah acts like Chris is being unreasonable.  I think it IS reasonable to worry when your girlfriend spends a lot of time with her ex, and he kisses her.   I'm not saying it's a definite game-ender, and I do appreciate that Hannah was honest with Chris about the kiss. But still.  I don't blame him for worrying.

Hannah demands to know what reason Chris has for thinking Hannah would cheat on him. He replies that she's done it before.  Hannah acts as if it's so unfair for him to say this.  But why?  Isn't it feasible that if she cheated once, she'll do it again?  Really. Even if someone has never cheated before, there's a chance that it might happen again.

7. Saw that Hannah ends the conversation by saying, So that's what you really think of me?  Then she walks away.

I think this is a great example of manipulative behavior.  Chris has a reasonable worry and is upset. Hannah twists things around, and makes herself the victim.

Yes, Chris probably does see Hannah as someone who might have a higher than average tendency to cheat on boyfriends.  But that's not the full picture he has of her, obviously.  If he did, why would he be with her in the first place?

The manipulative trick here is to take someone's complaint against you, or a worry that they have. You blow it up into a huge attack on your whole character and make them feel bad about it.

8. Thought about the scene between Phoebe and the Greg (Paul Gleeson) the school administrator.

Phoebe wears controversial clothes to her job interview with Greg. Then she ends up insulting Greg's tie and going on a feminist rant.  She later regrets her actions and assumes she didn't get the job.

Later Greg comes to her and gives her the job.  He decided he likes how she stood up to him.

I've seen scenes like this before and usually enjoy them.  I wonder, though, how often it happens in real life.

Also, I'm wondering if behavior like Greg's is the opposite of narcissism.  With narcissism, a person can't handle criticism.  So, what is it that makes a person not only able to handle criticism, but they actually gain respect for the person that's criticizing them?

Well, I don't know what it is, but I think it's very admirable.

It doesn't have to be just criticism.  It can be about disagreement as well.  I've encountered people who can't handle disagreement. They attack and/or ostracize those who have an opinion or idea that differs from their own.  I'm happy enough to encounter people who can handle disagreement graciously.  I'd be very impressed by someone who actually admires those who disagree or criticize.

9. Wondered if I've ever gained admiration from someone for disagreeing or criticizing me.

I can't think of any specific examples, so probably not.

10. Finished watching my last Hulu episode of Home and Away.

11. Went to the Back to the Bay site to get an idea of what's happening recently on Home and Away.  Who has ended up with who?

12. Saw that there's something going on between Ash and Kat (Pia Miller).

That sounds interesting.  I'm thinking, though, that I might like Ash with anyone.  I think he's my third favorite person on the show.

13. Realized I'm reading upcoming stuff.  It hasn't been aired yet.

I'll go back and see what has already happened.

14. Saw that Chris and Hannah are still together.  Kat has a thing for some guy named Dylan. I guess that doesn't work out, and she later has the thing for Ash.

Ricky (Bonnie Sveen) has doubts about her wedding. Is that the one with Nate (Kyle Pryor), or did she get back with Brax?

VJ (Matt Little) has a crush on Billie (Tessa de Josselin).  I think I already knew that, mostly because a picture of the two of them was used to promote Home and Away in the distributors catalogue.

15. Saw that Ricky's wedding, or not-wedding, is with Nate and not Brax.

16. Went to Random.org to pick my new show or movie.

It's a movie called All About E.  I'll probably start watching that on Sunday.

17. Saw from IMDb, that All About E is a lesbian romance.

18. Didn't recognize anyone in the cast list.  I think everyone is new to me.

19. Looked at the filmography of the director, Louise Wadley.  It's interesting. She made some short films in the 90's.  Then there's a sixteen year gap before All About E.   I wonder what she was doing during those years.

20. Saw that she did DO some producing.

She produced six short films during the gap.

I wonder, though, why she left the creative side, of filmmaking, for awhile.

21. Started to watch an episode of Water Rats.

22. Saw from the credits, that Felix Williamson is in this episode.

I know him from Underbelly, and maybe something else.

Was it Farscape?

23. Checked IMDb.

Yes. Williamson was on Farscape.

24. Saw that I would have also watched Williamson on the second season of Rake.

25. Saw that Williamson is going to be in an upcoming horror movie called Red Billabong.

Tim Pocock from Dance Academy is one of the stars.

26. Finished watching the episode of Water Rats.

27. Started to think more about the Home and Away episode I watched today.

Something annoyed me.

Andy, despite being manipulated by Hannah in the past, took Hannah's side in the drama she was having with Chris.  He offered her comfort, and then gave Chris a talking to—encouraged him to get his act together and get back with Hannah.

Chris ended up apologizing to Hannah as if he was the one in the wrong.

Now I don't think Hannah did anything wrong in terms of cheating. Andy kissed her. She didn't return the kiss, and she was honest with Chris.  Kudos to her for that.  What I didn't like was her attitude toward's Chris's insecurity and her manipulative behavior.

Anyway, it made me think about dealing with manipulative people.  It can be very emotionally confusing.  Someone says something to you and you FEEL it is manipulative, but you're not 100% sure.  Are they using dishonesty or exaggeration as a fighting strategy, or are they actually being honest and real?

It's hard to know.

What can make things even worse is, I think there are manipulator enablers.  They push you to give the manipulator the benefit of the doubt.  You've seen the dark side of the person, but they're still believing in the fairy tale.  So they try to push you to believe too.  If you try to talk to them about your grievances, they're dismissive, they push you to be sympathetic, and/or they push the blame on you.

28. Decided that it doesn't have to be the actual manipulativeness the enabler is defending.  On Home and Away, Chris doesn't complain about Hannah being manipulative, and Andy doesn't defend Hannah's manipulativeness.  I don't even think either of them recognized that she was being manipulative.

I think what the enabler usually defends is the initial behavior that brought about the manipulative behavior.

Here's a fictional example: Shelly is fed up with her husband Michael.  He's often eyeing other women, and flirting with them.  One night, Shelly and Michael go out to dinner with Shelly's old high school friend.  Michael takes the flirting too far, and Shelly can't take it anymore.  She's quiet and moody when they get home.

Michael asks her what's wrong, and Shelly is honest with him.  Michael blows up at her.  He says things like,  What? Would you rather me be rude to your friends?  Should I have just kept my mouth shut the whole time?  I guess I just won't go out with you and your friends anymore since you obviously think I can't be trusted.  Maybe I shouldn't ever talk to another women. Maybe I shouldn't even leave the house? Would that make you happy?  I'll just be your little prisoner.  

So, there's Michael's role in the battle.  Shelly might stand her ground, but inside she's starting to doubt herself.  Is she one of those crazy possessive people she's heard about?  Was the flirting all in her head?  Is she a horrible wife?  Is she a rabbit boiler?  

Shelly then decides to talk to someone—vent a bit.  She calls her mother and tells her what happened. Her mother replies. Oh honey!  Michael loves you! He would never cheat on you.  He's such a nice guy. You're lucky to have him.  Please try to remember that.

A week later, Shelly goes out to lunch with her brother. She tries to tell him the story. He comes back with some advice.  He says, I think you should ignore this alleged "flirting" (he uses air quotes to emphasize his lack of belief in Shelly's side of the story) and to be more positive about things. Otherwise you might lose him. 

Shelly tries to get one more person to understand.  She tells a friend.  The friend says,  Well, maybe he's a little bored. It happens sometimes. Maybe you should spice things up a bit.  It might be a good idea to get a haircut?   Or maybe just talk to him. Be honest about your feelings. Relationships don't work unless both people are completely honest.  Shelly tells her friend she was honest with Michael. He jumped down her throat.  Oh. no. That doesn't sound like Michael.  Do you think maybe he's depressed?  Or he could actually have a brain tumor.  I read this story, and....

29. Thought about how there are stories in which Shelly IS the one in the wrong, and it's good that the Michael has someone to defend him.    

30. Thought that the best thing to do is listen, and TRY to give the venting person the benefit of the doubt.  Even if the person he's complaining about seems like a charming angel to us, remember we might not be seeing the whole picture.  

On the other hand, I think it's very wise NOT to be too enthusiastic in joining a bandwagon of  hate.  If someone decides they despise their roommate, we don't have to passionately hate the roomate too.  We don't have to send the roommate death threats, slash her tires, or spread rumors about her on the Internet. Because we're hearing only one side of the story and it might be a very untrue side.

31. Decided what I'm generally saying is that we should be open-minded when hearing about other people's relationships.  We shouldn't put too much trust in our own impressions, and we also shouldn't put too much trust in what we're told.

Otherwise we could end up denying support to someone being manipulated (or hurt in others ways). Or we could end up giving support to someone who is manipulative.

32. Started to proofread my post and realized I might have been wrong about Ash and Phoebe.  The pregnancy thing might have happened in 2016.  In the 2015 episode I saw, the tension might have come from the Brax issue.

I'm not sure, really.

33. Decided it doesn't matter.  Summer Bay and I have parted ways.

Au Revoir.