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Hints From Heloise: To beat the winter blahs, get moving

Planning a trip or simply getting out of the house can help with seasonal depression.
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Listen to Episode 24 of ‘Big Apple Buckets’: Season Finale feat. Jeff Van Gundy
It’s the swan song for the debut season of the “Big Apple Buckets” podcast with Kazeem Famuyide. This is the final episode until NBA Draft time, barring any major Knicks news, of course. We had to go out with a bang for the finale. Kaz opens the podcast thanking the guests, writers and the producer...
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nypost.com
France sees jump in domestic abuse amid coronavirus lockdown, to house victims in hotels
The French government on Monday announced new measures to protect victims of domestic violence after reports showed a sharp rise in abuse cases since a nationwide lockdown to slow the coronavirus outbreak went into effect last week.
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foxnews.com
'I know that she'll pull through': Marques Townes on Karl-Anthony Towns' mother's battle with COVID-19
SportsPulse: Former Loyola-Chicago star Marques Townes sat down with Mackenzie Salmon to discuss his close relationship with Karl-Anthony Towns and his family. Towns' parents are currently battling COVID-19.        
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usatoday.com
Are you a retiree or near-retiree? We'd like to hear your financial concerns
As the economy shifts in response to the coronavirus, how are you adjusting your investments and expenses for retirement?
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latimes.com
Louis Vuitton’s dreamy new Escale collection is the escapism we need now
In uncertain times, many of us dream of escape, perhaps to a far-away beach, where the sun shines and salt water laps softly against bare legs. Such is the inspiration behind Louis Vuitton’s just-launched collection for spring, aptly named LV Escale, which translates to a stopover on a journey. The tie-dye printed goods (including ready-to-wear,...
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nypost.com
How lobbyists are helping clients try to get coronavirus loans
Lynn Jenkins lands on K Street — How to help Cafe Milano's staff
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politico.com
France sees biggest death toll increase in 24 hours
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edition.cnn.com
Health care workers share faces bruised by protective gear
"I feel broken — and we are only at the start," one doctor wrote.
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cbsnews.com
Vegas homeless placed in parking lot after shelter closes
In the photos, people suffering from homelessness are seen lying on concrete, separated by six-foot squares.
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cbsnews.com
Hospital cleaning staff surprised with moving round of applause
With health care workers being applauded in streets around the world, it’s just as important to acknowledge the non-medical staff bravely working in hospitals. That’s why these grateful doctors and nurses at Hospital Sant Joan de Déu Barcelona in Spain surprised their cleaning crew with a round of applause. See the touching moment here.  ...
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nypost.com
Thomas Rhett celebrates 30th birthday in quarantine, gives update on newborn daughter
The country singer has a lot going on in quarantine.
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nypost.com
Disney's Bob Iger gives up salary during coroanvirus
Iger isn't the only Disney employee giving up some earnings while the Disney parks remain closed.
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cbsnews.com
Arielle Charnas under fire for fleeing to Hamptons after testing positive for coronavirus
She’s officially a covidiot. The New York City fashion influencer who used personal connections to obtain a coronavirus test, much to the disgust of online critics, has now committed another pandemic faux pas — fleeing to the Hamptons with her family after testing positive for COVID-19. To add insult to injury, Arielle Charnas — who...
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nypost.com
'We're assuming people who get sick have COVID': Holland America's MS Zaandam still in limbo
The Zaandam and Rotterdam crossed the Panama Canal and en route to Florida, but whether the ships can dock remains a lingering question.        
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usatoday.com
MLB extends minor leaguers' $400 weekly pay as season suspended over coronavirus pandemic
The MLB announced Tuesday that it would be extending financial support for minor leaguers,  offering each player $400 a week until May 31. 
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foxnews.com
Susan Rice claims Trump 'can't stomach strong black women' after confrontation with reporter
Former National Security Adviser Susan Rice suggested Monday that President Trump's recent confrontation with a black female reporter displayed his dislike for strong women in general and black women in particular.
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foxnews.com
Surgeon general tells hospitals they can split ventilators to ease demand as 'absolute last resort'
The Trump administration on Tuesday told hospitals on Tuesday that they can start splitting ventilators between two patients in an attempt to remedy the dearth of the machines amid the coronavirus pandemic.
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foxnews.com
De Blasio calls on NYC veterinarians, plastic surgeons to lend ventilators
Now it’s time for even Fido to do his part in the battle against coronavirus in New York. Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday beseeched city veterinarians, as well as oral surgeons and plastic surgeons, to lend their ventilators to the coronavirus fight, with the full force of the contagion drawing closer. “If you’ve got...
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nypost.com
112-year-old Englishman crowned the world's oldest man
Robert Weighton, a British pensioner, has officially been confirmed as the world's oldest man after he celebrated his 112th birthday.
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edition.cnn.com
Why Battlestar Galactica is the perfect quarantine marathon
Battlestar Galactica boasts a terrific and sprawling cast. | Courtesy of NBC Universal The sci-fi series is one of the best TV shows ever made — and it’s finally streaming again. Few TV shows have spoken to the unrelenting chaos of the still-young 21st century as well as Battlestar Galactica, which aired on Syfy from 2003 to 2009. A remake of the critically panned 1978 series — itself a poorly disguised attempt to rip off Star Wars and make into a TV show — the new Battlestar Galactica took most of the good ideas from its predecessor (humanity on the run from murderous robots, a complicated mythology built around some combination of the 12 tribes of Israel and the 12 signs of the zodiac, and a search for a long-missing Earth) and updated them for a newer, more terrifying world. The 2000s Battlestar series is a post-9/11 show in the way that so many great genre shows of that era were (see also: Lost), but its underlying story about a humanity terrified of its own extinction by all manner of threats has resonated consistently since it debuted. Very early in the Trump era, for example, New Republic writer Matt Ford compared the news cycle to the tremendous early Battlestar episode in which the robotic Cylons attack the human fleet every 33 minutes with relentless efficiency. Battlestar Galactica is bedeviled by complaints that its later seasons weren’t as good as the early ones, or that its series finale was bad, or any number of things, but I disagree with all of those complaints. The series’ weird blend of apocalypticism, science fiction, and spirituality has grown only more resonant in the years since it aired — and if there was ever a time to marathon the show, it’s right now. How fortunate, then, that the show’s entire four-season run, as well as the pilot miniseries and two spinoff movies (neither of which are necessary to understand the full story, but both of which are enjoyable), is available again for the first time in ages on Syfy.com. (The episodes are free to stream, though they contain ads.) Battlestar Galactica balanced complicated sci-fi storytelling with smaller standalone tales about life among the humans running for their lives Courtesy of NBC Universal Battlestar Galactica isn’t just sci-fi. It’s military sci-fi. Battlestar Galactica aired during one of my favorite periods for genre TV. (It and Lost launched within a year of each other.) The storytelling complexity of these shows ramped up considerably, with deeper and more intricate mythologies for fans to obsess over. But because they still had to make lots of episodes (20 per season, in Battlestar’s case), they had to blend the larger sweep of their overarching stories with smaller ones about the characters and their adventures. Consequently, these shows were more all over the place, quality-wise, compared with a show like Game of Thrones (at its best). But when they ended, even if they disappointed fans, it meant that it was possible to fondly remember stories that had nothing to do with the overall arc, something Game of Thrones didn’t really have going for it when it ended in disappointing fashion just last year. Consider the episode I mentioned above, the one where the Cylons attacked every 33 minutes. It is, in essence, a re-pilot — a season premiere meant to catch up new viewers by introducing a show’s premise the way a pilot typically would, but without boring viewers who’ve watched to that point. Because Battlestar had launched in late 2003 with a four-hour miniseries that told the story of how humanity came to be on the run from the Cylons, the season one premiere didn’t need to belabor that point in another episode. Instead, the writers came up with the ingenious idea of a Cylon attack arriving every 33 minutes, creating a bunch of frazzled, sleep-deprived humans on the run from an enemy who could exploit their every weakness and frailty. It’s an episode that’s stuck with me (and a lot of people) ever since it aired in 2005. Battlestar Galactica’s showrunner was Ronald D. Moore, a longtime Star Trek veteran who had soured on that universe’s antiseptic gleam. Moore wanted to talk about human frailty and the political strife of the world; with Battlestar, he helmed what is perhaps the best TV show ever made about the tenuous nature of our democracy. The series’ main characters hailed from the military (Edward James Olmos’s Admiral William Adama) and the government (Mary McDonnell’s President Laura Roslin, elevated to the highest office when everybody else in the Cabinet died). Their relationship, at once fraught and friendly, provided much of the series’ gravitas. But Moore also saw in their relationship a way to talk about how difficult it is to preserve human rights in times of trial. The series told sci-fi stories that mirrored debates Americans had at the time regarding torture and other human rights abuses during the George W. Bush administration. But the larger question of how we protect and maintain what’s human about us in the face of so much horror and death is broadly applicable to humanity in general. The Cylons were an enemy that posed an existential threat to humans, but rather than the obviously robotic robots of the original series, they had evolved into humanlike androids who could live among us and carry out acts of war. They seemed just like us, but maybe weren’t us. Unless they were? Battlestar explored the fuzzy line between humans and Cylons with greater boldness as it went on, in ways that sometimes frustrated fans but that I ate up. (It turns out I have a robust appetite for mystical hoo-ha in my science fiction stories.) And beyond all of these sociopolitical themes, the show was gloriously silly sci-fi. The story of the hunt for Earth had enough juice to drive much of Battlestar’s run, and it combined some of the greatest space battles ever created for television with an eerie mysticism that fueled the show’s more serialized plotting. Some fans would tell you the end of this story was disappointing. I’m not one of them, but I mention it just so you’re prepared. Yet even if you hate the show’s series finale, it’s well worth embarking on the journey. Battlestar Galactica is one of my favorite TV shows ever made, one of those series I could conceivably write thousands of words about without breaking a sweat. (I haven’t mentioned the groundbreaking direction, for instance. Or composer Bear McCreary’s glorious score, the best ever written for television. Or Katee Sackhoff as Starbuck. Or ...) Suffice it to say that if you’re looking for a quarantine marathon that leans into your anxiety, Syfy may have just given you the perfect gift. All four seasons of Battlestar Galactica, as well as the miniseries and two spinoff movies, are now streaming on Syfy.com with ads.
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vox.com
Jennifer Lopez and other stars give away money in new show 'Thanks a Million'
Jennifer Lopez greets a special little girl in a just released trailer for "Thanks a Million." Tracy Morgan hugs a man at a boxing gym. Both stars had chosen a deserving person to hand deliver $100,000 cash to in the new Quibi series.
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edition.cnn.com
US launches new effort to oust Venezuela's Maduro
The Trump administration launched its latest effort to oust embattled Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Tuesday, leveraging the coronavirus pandemic to apply additional pressure.
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edition.cnn.com
Walmart To Start Checking Workers' Temperatures
The retailer also plans to distribute masks and gloves to workers and add one-way aisles. The company continues to urge shoppers to be "prudent" in stocking up on toilet paper and other supplies.
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npr.org
New York City to probe Amazon firing of warehouse worker
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Tuesday he had ordered the city's human rights commissioner to investigate the dismissal of a worker at an Amazon.com warehouse who had participated in a walkout.
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reuters.com
College admissions scandal: Mom gets 7 months in prison despite her COVID-19 health concerns
Elizabeth Henriquez was sentenced via video to 7 months in prison for paying more than $500,000 in bribes to help get her daughters into top colleges.        
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usatoday.com
People are cooking their way through the coronavirus pandemic. Here are their mouthwatering creations
The coronavirus pandemic has us stuck at home and looking for a way to cope. For many people, it's cooking.
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edition.cnn.com
China jumps on path to recovery as factories reopen
China’s manufacturing rebounded in March as authorities relaxed anti-disease controls and allowed factories to reopen, an official survey showed Tuesday, but an industry group warned the economy has yet to fully recover. The ruling Communist Party is trying to revive the world’s second-largest economy after declaring victory over the coronavirus even as the US and...
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nypost.com
Trump administration proposes new elections for Venezuela, in exchange for sanctions relief
The Trump administration on Tuesday offered a new pathway to ending the ongoing crisis in Venezuela, proposing a transition that would establish a temporary government to hold new elections -- a proposal that would include the eventual lifting of sanctions on the socialist country.
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foxnews.com
WH task force to reveal sobering data that drove decision to extend restrictions
The administration is also considering whether everyone should wear a face mask.
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abcnews.go.com
Celebs are shaving their heads during coronavirus quarantine
It's a buzzy trend.
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nypost.com
Pentagon says it still hasn't sent ventilators because HHS hasn't told them where they'd go
Despite having committed to transferring 2,000 ventilators in military stocks to the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Department of Health and Human Services to fight the coronavirus outbreak, the Pentagon has not shipped any of them because the agencies have not asked for them or provided a shipping location, the Pentagon's top logistics official said Tuesday.
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edition.cnn.com
Pentagon takes aim at coronavirus with 8,000 ventilators
The Pentagon has modified four existing contracts with defense industry partners to acquire and deliver 8,000 ventilators to various hard-hit locations around the country struggling to treat coronavirus patients.
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foxnews.com
This All-Clad sale is the perfect excuse to cook more—and save big
Cooking more? You can treat yourself to the very best cookware thanks to the All-Clad sale going on now.       
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usatoday.com
James Corden on coronavirus anxiety: 'Tougher than I ever thought'
James Corden addressed his fans and viewers about the anxiety he's been feeling during the coronavirus pandemic. 
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foxnews.com
Coronavirus Task Force Set To Detail What Data Led To Extension Of Guidelines
President Trump and his top public health advisers are expected to detail what models and data informed the extension of federal guidelines for social distancing.
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npr.org
Navy scrambles to aid aircraft carrier as more than 100 sailors test positive for coronavirus
Most of the crew is still aboard the ship, where tight spaces make social distancing impossible.
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politico.com
Mexican president: My rivals will take over country if I self-quarantine
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador says he won’t self-quarantine during the coronavirus pandemic because his political enemies would take over the country if he did, according to news reports. “Do you know what the conservatives want? For me to isolate myself,” the leftist president said, Mexico News Daily reported Monday. “There would be no...
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nypost.com
Uber to offer 10 million free rides, deliveries to health care workers, seniors during COVID-19 pandemic
Uber says it will offer 10 million free rides and deliveries to health care workers, seniors and people in need as COVID-19 continues to spread.       
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usatoday.com
10 ways to celebrate kids' birthdays while quarantined
How to throw a virtual birthday party       
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usatoday.com
Plácido Domingo says he's at home and feels 'fine' after coronavirus battle
Plácido Domingo, who tested positive for the coronavirus March 22 and was reportedly hospitalized days ago, is home and feeling "fine," he said in a statement.
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latimes.com
Aircraft carrier captain begs Navy to contain on-board coronavirus outbreak
The captain of a US nuclear aircraft carrier where more than 100 sailors have tested positive for coronavirus issued a rare SOS to Navy brass — asking to quarantine his entire crew to contain the spread of the disease, according to a report. Navy Capt. Brett Crozier of the USS Theodore Roosevelt — which is...
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nypost.com
Ray-Ban takes 30% off eyewear and more for flash sale
Your search for trendy eyewear will be over after you shop Ray-Ban’s latest flash sale. The popular eyewear brand is taking 30% off all eyewear and accessories. The sale features a variety of styles so you won’t have a problem finding the perfect frame. You can rock these classic Clubmaster sunnies or make a statement with...
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nypost.com
Coronavirus outbreak sparks face mask debate: Should you wear them?
Should the general public wear masks during the coronavirus epidemic in the U.S.? 
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foxnews.com
'Panic and neglect': Scientific improvements help fight pandemics such as coronavirus, but funding lags between emergencies
Prior outbreaks such as SARS, MERS and H1N1 offer lessons in containing coronavirus. But funding for public health agencies dries up after outbreaks.        
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usatoday.com
Stocks on track for worst quarter since 2008
The Dow has shed 22% of its value since the year started and COVID-19 shut down broad swaths of the economy.
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cbsnews.com
Super pink moon: NASA's top tips for April skywatchers
Skywatchers are in for a treat in April when the super pink moon, the biggest supermoon of 2020, lights up the night sky.
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foxnews.com
When a TV Adaptation Does What the Book Could Not
At first glance, the novel Little Fires Everywhere seems to be a suburban whodunit. In the opening chapter, a house in the progressive neighborhood of Shaker Heights, Ohio, has burned down after someone set a series of fires inside its bedrooms—and no one knows why. But then the tale rewinds to the previous summer, and from there it becomes a study of two women—Elena Richardson, a wealthy mother of four, and Mia Warren, a nomadic single mom, who become inextricably linked. Their relationships stir up a dangerous obsession among both families, revealing the story to be less a crime thriller and more a clever, moving examination of motherhood, female ambition, and sexual politics.Set in 1997, Little Fires is an audacious novel, hence the 48 weeks it spent on the New York Times’ hardcover fiction bestseller list. It’s not just the story of two women who don’t get along. The author Celeste Ng posits that their conflict stems from the fact that they are not meant to connect, because they are constrained by their circumstances. Elena, who’s rich and intelligent and mannerly, understands success to mean a nuclear family. To her, Mia’s lifestyle as an artist and a photographer seems exotic. The privileged Elena will always see Mia as inferior, even if she refuses to admit it.Ng had originally intended to make their differences even clearer. Elena’s white, but Ng never defined Mia’s ethnicity. “Initially I had wanted to write [Mia and her daughter, Pearl] as people of color,” the author, who’s Asian-American, told me in February. “I thought of them as people of color, because I knew I wanted to talk about race and class, and those things are so intertwined in our country and in our culture… But I didn’t feel like I was the right person to try to bring a black woman’s experience to the page.”The small-screen adaptation, which currently airs a new episode on Hulu every Wednesday, doesn’t just take the story from the page to the screen, but goes where Ng felt she couldn’t go on her own. The show focuses on race as one of the crucial contrasts between Elena (Reese Witherspoon) and Mia (Kerry Washington). Though the book works without that detail, it presents a missed opportunity to make the relationship between the families even knottier. Shaker Heights residents take pride in the fact that their community was one of the first suburbs to racially integrate, for instance. If Ng had made Mia a woman of color, she could have delved further into that attitude through Elena. Plus, the dynamics between their families offer plenty of chances to incorporate race: The Richardsons often ogle the Warrens and pride themselves on knowing them; one of the children considers Pearl his “claim” because he befriended her first. Elena is troubled by Mia and what she calls the “dark discomfort” Mia inspires in her. And Mia cares deeply about ownership—of her art, of Pearl, and of her identity. In retrospect, it’s clear Ng was tiptoeing toward defining Mia’s race. Out of a feeling of authorial responsibility, she chose not to.But a TV series doesn't have such a choice. And while adaptations are never carbon copies of their source material, Little Fires Everywhere hasn’t just made a change for cosmetic reasons. The concept of caging others and being caged by others—based on one’s background, values, and lifestyle—serves as a pivotal theme to Ng’s novel. Throughout the first half of the season, defining the Warrens as black complicates that theme.The show is a study of two contrasting women, Elena (Reese Witherspoon) and Mia (Kerry Washington), who are constrained by their circumstances. (Erin Simkin / Hulu)Take the subplot between Elena’s daughter, Lexie (Jade Pettyjohn), and Mia’s daughter, Pearl (Lexi Underwood), for example. In the book and the show, Pearl is dazzled by the older Lexie; she’s enamored with her confidence, her clothes, and her social standing as the queen bee of Shaker Heights High School. On the page, Lexie takes advantage of Pearl’s naivete and admiration: When Pearl, hoping to impress Lexie, offers to help her write her college application essay, Lexie accepts—and has her write the entire piece. On the screen, Lexie does the same, but in a slightly different way. Instead of Pearl writing it, Lexie takes a story Pearl told her—about being denied entry into an honors class at Shaker because her guidance counselor assumed she, a black student who moved often, hadn’t taken enough math classes—and tells it as her own for her essay. (The prompt required her to write about a hardship she’d experienced, and Lexie had struggled to come up with anything that seemed serious enough.) Lexie tells herself it’s okay, but she also feels guilty about plagiarizing her friend’s experience. She takes Pearl shopping, and tries to clear the air without explaining what she did. “I mean, whether you’re black or a girl or, like, both, when something happens to one of us, it’s like it happens to all of us, you know?” she asks.In a scene like this, the series captures the relationship’s dynamics as illustrated in the novel and furthers them: Lexie already perceives herself to be more powerful than Pearl, because of her age and social standing at school, but how would their races play into that? If being “colorblind”—a popular belief in the ’90s—means seeing “beyond” race, why does Lexie feel the need to confirm that Pearl agrees that being marginalized for being black is the same as being marginalized for being a girl? The book and the series may be set decades ago, but these questions make the series feel timely, reflecting the ways in which perhaps little has changed.In making the pivotal change to Mia and Pearl’s race, however, the writers of Little Fires Everywhere needed to ensure that they told the characters’ stories authentically. The showrunner Liz Tigelaar, as a white woman, pondered the issue—one that’s been at the center of several recent controversies over art and authentic authorship—early on. “It’s like, why are you the person to adapt this novel?’” she said. “I think that’s a fair question.”To answer it, Tigelaar began by searching for her “points of connectivity” with the source material. (For instance, she drew from her experience as an adoptee to understand the novel’s subplot about an adopted child whose mother wants to regain custody.) From there, she sought writers who could personally connect with characters’ perspectives, ones who understood the experience of black women, of single mothers, of adoptive parents, of suburban Ohioans, and so on—in her words, “the whole gamut.” “I knew things were going to change [as a result of Mia and Pearl being black], and I had my own ideas of how they would change,” she said, “but it really wasn’t until all our voices came together with everyone’s point of view that we were able to really go in and start to reexamine every moment.” Eventually, the writers room grew to seven people, a larger-than-average size for a limited series such as this, which usually brings on board three to four writers. “We collaborated with the studio and found the money,” Beatrice Springborn, Hulu’s VP of content development, told me over the phone, “because we felt like it was the right thing to do for this project.”There may be a lot riding on the series’ success, but there’s even more pressure on the writers to do the story justice. After all, it’s not as if Little Fires Everywhere, the book, ignored the topic of race. Ng tackles the subject deftly in the subplot about a Chinese baby adopted by a white family, whose mother tries to take her back. In that arc, the characters debate the child’s future and the notion of whether she would have a “better life” with an adoptive family who doesn’t understand her culture, or with a single mother who does.That conflict has begun to play out in the series as well. But while the book refuses to take a side, the show escalates the drama: In the third episode, Bebe Chow (Lu Huang), the baby’s biological mother, stormed into the adoptive family’s home, desperate to see her child. The fourth episode then followed Elena’s efforts to stop Bebe from pursuing custody by offering her $10,000—money that Bebe rejects, insulted by Elena’s attempt to buy her out. Elena, the show suggests, is in the wrong. Tigelaar, an adoptee herself, told me the series isn’t trying to demonize adoption, but to illustrate one of many debates the shows’ writers themselves had when interpreting Ng’s novel: whether Elena sided with the adoptive parents simply because they’re friends, or because they’re white and therefore more fit to raise a child in her eyes.In both the book and the show, Elena sees Mia as inferior, even if she refuses to admit it. The show, though, complicates their relationship further by defining Mia as black. (Erin Simkin / Hulu)Those debates were the point. Tigelaar wanted to establish a “common language” in the room about the book’s social commentary, so she assigned homework—including the sociologist Robin DiAngelo’s book White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism—and asked the team to share research and reading material. She encouraged her writers to wrangle with every plot point. “Every choice, every line of dialogue, every debate in the room, when I watch the episodes, feel so scrutinized because everyone kicked the tires,” Tigelaar said. “The room was a really transformative experience. I came out of it a very different person.”Such discussions led to some of the most challenging scenes in the series so far, scenes that add nuance to the story and code characters’ relationships in a new way. When Elena tells Pearl that she’s “welcome” at the Richardsons’ home anytime, for example, the offer takes on a more complicated subtext: Elena clearly considers her way of life “normal” compared to Pearl’s own and appears to expect Pearl to thank her for being comfortable with having her around. (The book characterizes Elena’s actions as merely those of a woman happy to have her children’s friends over.) Mia’s discomfort with Pearl’s interest in the Richardsons becomes richer in light of their racial differences. When Mia sees the ways Lexie has influenced Pearl’s wardrobe and mannerisms, she’s not just worried her daughter has gotten too close to another family, but that her daughter is abandoning her racial identity in favor of adopting another. The book delves into the influence a mother can have on her child’s values; the show builds on that, adding the conversation around how a dominant culture can do the same and smother another.With eight episodes, the series has more room to explore the characters’ life stories than the book does. Ng spends a chapter uncovering Mia’s past, but sprinkles details of Elena’s throughout the narrative. The series, on the other hand, devotes an upcoming episode to both women’s lives before they became mothers, and even uses some cold opens to examine flashbacks of supporting characters. The show also invents new character arcs for the ensemble: Izzy (Megan Stott), for example, is no longer the Richardson family outcast merely because she’s rebellious. She’s exploring her sexuality and attraction to her female former best friend—a conflict that deepens the rift between her and the conservative Elena. These additions demonstrate the writers’ intense interest in the novel’s social commentary and in using Ng’s story as a means to have timely conversations about race and gender.The show is clearly trying to cover the bases Ng couldn’t get to herself, and it’s admirable to see an adaptation try to improve upon its source material and write toward a savvy audience mindful of social and racial issues. Yet in some ways, it can seem like the show is firing in too many directions at once. Supporting characters get more screen time, but often contribute little to the series’ message. Elena’s relationship with her husband, Bill (Joshua Jackson), for example, is used to illustrate the power dynamics of a marriage, but the arc distracts. He’s useful as further evidence of her controlling behavior—she even regulates when they’re allowed to have sex—but the series’ attempt to develop Bill muddles the audience’s understanding of Elena. In their scenes, she’s portrayed as an absolute villain rather than a complicated woman whose actions are rooted in her belief that she has the best intentions. In that sense, Ng’s laser focus in plotting her novel made it clear what she cared most about: the complicated nature of being a mother.Tigelaar, though, certainly hopes her assembled team of writers with intersecting, diverse experiences can do justice to the characters’ journeys. “I feel a lot of peace with this because of the voices involved, that I think anything anybody might question or write is something that we endlessly talked about in the room,” she told me. “We did not take a step without three people being like, ‘Wait a minute, hold on, let me think of it this way, or this way.’”And Ng, for her part, has no qualms with the series’ writers’ ambitions. She’s grateful Little Fires Everywhere grew beyond her book, with a team who could take it where she could not. (“My job as a fiction writer is usually me alone in my house, in my home office, possibly wearing sweatpants with my laptop,” she quipped.) Besides, she sees the room as an example of why it’s important to question the authenticity of certain stories and interrogate whether a writer is the right fit for the assignment. “It’s such a complicated thing to try and suss out ... It’s not just a writer by writer conversation or a ‘is this writer allowed to write about this,’” she continued. “It’s really sort of, ‘Can this writer do justice to it? … You are allowed to write what you want, but it is on you to try to do it right.”
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theatlantic.com
New York, 'Still In Search Of The Apex,' Sees Another Spike In Coronavirus Cases
The state has reported more than 75,000 confirmed cases, but Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the peak is still to come. On Tuesday he expressed frustration that FEMA was hindering, not helping, its efforts.
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npr.org