Currently Reading/Watching

I’m taking a break from work because my blood pressure is so high. I was dealing with a defendant directly, as opposed to her counsel, as she is unrepresented at the moment. But her attitude problem was ridiculous. After attempting to reason with her, even though she was completely wrong and I could have told her to just f *ck off, she asked to speak to the attorney. I AM THE ATTORNEY. I then told her the conversation was over and promptly served her with a petition for penalties.

But anyway, on to more interesting things.

This week, two of my favorite books were both adapted onto the silverscreen: The Handmaid’s Tale and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. I will preface this by saying in both cases, the adaptations are engaging and well-done, but the books are better and you should read those first.

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, originally published in 1985, about a dystopian future where fertile women are seen as wombs with two legs, mere incubators for the powerful men of the new Christian government. In a similar vein as 1984 and Brave New World, the work unpacks a more female focused narrative, in world that is similar enough to our own to give anyone the shivers. Offred has been abducted and indoctrinated into this new society and is placed in the home of the Commander, where she must sort out who, if anyone, she can trust in order to be reunited with her famly. Hulu just premiered three episodes yesterday and I am obsessed. Starring Elizabeth Moss (whose scientology background makes her an interesting choice for this piece and Joseph Fiennes as well as a fave from OITNB, Samira Wiley), The Handmaid’s Tale is incisive and terrifying.

I first wrote about The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot on my old blog. This is what I wrote: Okay, so a totally unique and beautifully fashioned narrative of how a woman’s “abandoned” cells became the starting block of most cell-lines and cell-based research, and she had no idea. And neither did her children. It’s a loaded legal issue, but Skloot does a fantastic job of interweaving personal narrative and description into what could be a dry science book. Sort of like true crime, without the gore and some Bill Nye. The HBO version, starring Rose Byrne and Oprah Winfrey, definitely cannot do that work total justice. I will say that Oprah is on fire with her portrayal of Henrietta’s daughter, Deborah. She is simultaneously fragile and fierce, inspiring both sympathy and awe. I am obsessed with her performance. OBSESSED. And as much as I love Rose Byrne, the boring script and her stilted performance were a bit bleh. However, still totally worth the watch, especially for O.

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