Sunday, September 22, 2019

REVIEW: 'Disenchantment' - Bean Hopes Her Emotional Turmoil Can Lead to a Brilliant Piece of Art in 'In Her Own Write'

Netflix's Disenchantment - Episode 1.18 "In Her Own Write"

While Zøg refuses to face his feelings about Dagmar's betrayal, Bean writes to deal with her pain. But she faces obstacles to sharing her work.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of Netflix's Disenchantment.

"In Her Own Write" was written by Bill Oakley and directed by Ira Sherak

These characters have endured a lot. Dreamland can often be a tragic and unfortunate place to live. And yet, the show always feels the impulse to barrel ahead at full speed without really taking the necessary moments to allow any specific twist to breathe and have a lasting impact. That changes slightly with this episode. Again, it's hard to believe that anything that actually takes place here will have continuing repercussions for the main characters. But it's also important to point out that these characters are all incredibly selfish. They only do things when they serve their own interests. Otherwise, they simply don't put in the time and effort. It's a part of them being the rulers of this land. They certainly have the freedom to do whatever they want simply because it's afforded to them by subjects who allow them to get away with anything. Both Bean and Zøg have killed plenty of people. Dagmar turned the entire kingdom into stone. And yet, she hasn't received any of the blame for that. The citizens of Dreamland still believe that Oona was responsible for that attack. That was the story given to them. None of the leaders bothered to correct the narrative. They knew what was true and just decided to move on with their lives. They did so through distractions. They didn't want to think about Dagmar's betrayal. Of course, that isn't healthy in the slightest. Both Zøg and Bean are plagued with dreams that really weigh on their consciences. They are terrifying nightmares that prove just how frightened they are of being betrayed again without having a voice to speak up and do something about it. Bean is willing to address this emotional turmoil. She doesn't want to fear going to sleep and the dreams that she'll experience. She wants to release these emotions in a healthy way. She no longer wishes to avoid the subject like her father continues to do. He is much more comfortable eating turkeys throughout the night and creating an archery range that provides him with new opportunities to kill whomever annoys him. That's what gives him pleasure in the world. In fact, it's delightful to see how his aides always have to account for that so that they aren't the ones who end up with an arrow in their chest. They are smart that way. They know how to manipulate the king. Of course, that all extends from the outrage of Bean putting her emotions on the page and trying to stage a play about her family. She faces blatant sexism that says that she can't step foot on the stage simply because she's a women. She doesn't find a way in there to perform either. In fact, it's a total disaster when Merkimer takes charge and wants all the credit for himself. That almost leads to him and Elfo getting their heads cut off. Sure, that doesn't ultimately happen but that's only because Bean finds the proper venue to let her feelings out. Zøg also happens to be in the audience to hear everything that Bean wants to say. Sure, it's a free-flowing monologue that truly highlights how she is an amateur. She isn't good as a playwright. She doesn't quite know how to address the numerous emotions she's feeling. She just knows that the world isn't working out how she always expected it to. It's frustrating and painful. She spent a lifetime wanting her mother to return to her. She got that and was stunned by her betrayal. She recognizes the love and support her father always gave. That helps her heal. It also forges a stronger bond between them. But that mostly amounts to them lamenting the fact that they have to walk uphill all the way just to return home after a night out on the town together. That's a problem that is really only relatable to them. The rest of Dreamland is largely in the dark about whatever problems may be plaguing its rulers. That's largely because Bean and Zøg don't make themselves accessible to the public. They just want to be revered simply because of the powerful positions they wield in this world without really doing any of the work. The show at least recognizes that and has fun with the concept.