Who was the real American Vandal? (Netflix theory)

No, actually, not a theory but the obvious truth!

I’ve just finished watched the complete 4+ hours of the new Netflix mockumentary ‘American Vandal’ – a parody of true crime documentaries such as ‘Making a Murderer’ and ‘Serial’ where the film makers try to clear a convicted criminal. But set in a high school where someone has painted 27 dicks on teacher cars. I loved this show and watched the whole thing in two sittings.

So now come the spoilers, so please go and watch the show first and then come back…

Who actually did the crime?

The show leaves it open ended. It implies Christa did it to get back at the school for ignoring her complaint about the coach. But film maker Peter only gives this as his best guess, knowing how speculation ruined Dylan and many other students lives during the series.

It could also be taken that Dylan may have been involved, having drawn the same doodle on Ms. Shapiro’s driveway. But this seemed more like Dylan yearning back for the life that he thought he had to live up to (and the balls were different, a very good subtle clue!). Plus he has a concrete alibi.

I think the true American Vandal is Peter Maldonado – the film maker and narrator to the show. Here are my reasons why:

  1. Peter’s alibi means nothing without video evidence. He had a cinema stub showing he went to see a film at 1.45pm. How easy would it have been for him to enter the cinema, have the ticket ripped, and left again to commit the crime? And no mention of who he was with at the cinema.
  2. He had access to the security tapes and proved he knew how to delete it.
  3. Peter benefitted from the crime. He could create a documentary following his efforts to exonerate Dylan (or whoever got the blame), knowing he was innocent and could very likely find evidence if he keep looking.
  4. When Sam did his investigation into whether Peter could have done it, benefitting from the documentary is discussed among jokes about liking dicks as his motive. Peter was clearly annoyed about this part and wanted Sam to do a proper investigation – perhaps he was just concerned Sam had hit the nail on the head and didn’t want it public?
  5. The final episode spends a lot of time on Dylan and how he adjusts to life after being exonerated. The documentary briefly goes back to the crime, but under the guise of ‘not implementing another person without hard evidence’ Peter offers his best guess and the question isn’t answered. That’s because Peter has done his job, got the story he wants, and doesn’t want anyone else looking into it.
  6. (Here we get a little more farfetched) The girl who held the party at her Nan’s house – she was surprised when Sam said they hadn’t been there. This was supposed to be taken as a hit at their popularity as everyone was there – but what if she remembered seeing Peter there but was too drunk to be positive about it? This is flimsy though, he isn’t in any videos, and why would he go there just to steal the spray paint, unless he saw the prom-posal on Facebook Live and thought it’d be good for the documentary? (Maybe ignore this one!)

I bet with another watching there would be more clues. From early on I was suspicious but from about episode 4/5 I was certain he did it. I spent the whole of the last episode waiting for some clue to come about that showed it was him, with Sam completing the documentary. But perhaps the way it ended was even better. The clues are there but being an unreliable narrator we have to find the real conclusion ourselves!

I’m not seeing much about American Vandal online just yet, but I suspect this will be a major theory!

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Why I love and hate the end of ‘The Missing’ – Series One

Huge major spoilers for Series One of ‘The Missing’.

I’m late to this TV show, I think it is about 2-3 years old but was just introduced to it through my brother’s DVD of it. James and I watched all 8 episodes within a week.

The end of the series hit me so hard. But thinking about it as a whole, and especially the set up in the final episode, the genius of this series is the way it makes you go through the same emotions as the father, Tony.

The way I watched ‘The Missing’, I was sure we would discover Olivier alive. And the final episode opened with a confusing scene in Russia, but we saw on the glass the stick figure drawing Oliver had made on the day he vanished and in the basement of the house he was kept in. I saw no option but to believe he was in Russia.

This meant the rest of the episode was quite confusing. As we listened to Alain explain the series of events that took place, starting with hitting him with the car, we knew that incident couldn’t have killed him as we know he would later create the drawing and be seen on film in the empty house.

So this was Alain falsely believing Oliver was killed, and his brother arranged for someone to dispose of the body. Finding the boy alive, this man then killed Oliver to complete his task, the boy had seen his face so he couldn’t let him go.

At this point I was still optimistic as we knew he was in Russia, and there was the whole side plot of something being smuggled to Russia, so I couldn’t even invest in that moment with Tony and Emily learning their son was actually killed and his brutal final moments. I looked at the clock and knew there was still time to fine him.

As the time passed though I started to groan, ‘oh Series Two will be them tracking him down in Russia, I want the reunion now!’.

Then we saw that scene, Tony in Russia following children around and pestering them with the photo.

(And on a side note, if Tony was trying to find his son who hadn’t seen him in 8 years, why have that beard? Even I didn’t recognise him right away and he’d been on the screen a minute previous!)

Anyway, was this going to be that reunion moment? No, the police arrived and took Tony away, explaining to the boy that he had been pestering other boys too.

End.

Then everything hit me. What the programme had tried, and in my case, been successful at making us feel. I went through this whole programme with Tony. Clutching at evidence, discussing theories, without a body on a TV show you have to assume the character is still alive. And so did Tony. And within that final few seconds after the programme finished I realised that Oliver did die. He was killed in that house, why else would the cleaning company be there but to clear up the blood we saw. There were no more theories, the story is complete.

I started this post thinking the programme was intending to make you understand Tony, but perhaps in the end you’re either a Tony or an Emily. You believe that boy in Russia is Oliver and keep hope he is alive, or you believe Oliver was dead as you were told, and feel relief you know what happened.

I think this is why this programme was great. I’ll watch Series Two at some point to see what new story it brings, but I for one did appreciate the ending of this one.

Laura and James’ unofficial Disney Animated Classics

This here is our joint list of the animated Disney classics. James bought me several for the birthday, and add those to the many DVDs I bought after returning from Disney World 3 years ago I have a fair few official Disney classics. With 53 official classics as of Frozen I wanted to collect them all.

However, when reading the list I was disappointed with some of the titles (films like Bolt come to mind) so I decided to make my own list, with the aim being to collect all the ones we enjoy and consider classics.

To anyone else reading his list, I’m sure you will disagree somewhere…

1. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

2. Pinocchio

3. Fantasia

4. Dumbo

5. Bambi

6. Cinderella

7. Alice in Wonderland

8. Peter Pan

9. Lady and the Tramp

10. Sleeping Beauty

11. 101 Dalmatians

12. The Sword in the Stone

13. The Jungle Book

14. The Aristocrats

15. Robin Hood

16. The Rescuers

17. The Fox and The Hound

18. The Black Cauldron (potentially on list)

19. The Great Mouse Detective

20. Oliver and Company

21. The Little Mermaid

22. The Rescuers Down Under

23. Beauty and the Beast

24. Aladdin

25. The Lion King

26. Pocahontas

27. The Hunchback of Notre Dame

28. Hercules

29. Mulan

30. Tarzan

31. Fantasia 2000

32. The Emperor’s New Groove

33. Lilo and Stitch

34. The Princess and the Frog

35. Tangled

36. Wreck-It Ralph

37. Frozen

If you think I have missed off an amazing film, please recommend it!

Broadchurch Season 2 – Questions and Theories

I’m sorry to those of you trolling Broadchurch Series 2, this post is speculating on the new series from a positive POV – no talk of unrealistic plot points or mumbling characters here.

Was Claire wearing the Sandbrook pendant?

We all know the really long pause the camera placed on Claire’s chest in episode 2. I don’t think this was (just) to please the male fans, I think they were showing us the pendant Claire was wearing. Before this shot Lee Ashworth said “I need to check”. We are led to assume he is checking for a wire, perhaps he was checking to see if Claire was still wearing the pendant. I think Claire tried to frame Lee for the murder to shift suspicion from herself.

Did Joe kill Danny?

It would be frustrating to find the killer was not the same character we were told it was in series 2. Considering the ending of American remake Gracepoint, which didn’t get picked up for a second series, could this be the real Broadchurch ending? I won’t spoil it for you here if you plan to watch it but I could believe this is where they are heading. But we already have the emails between Joe and Danny which prove they did have a close relationship either way.

What is Mark’s reason for hanging out with Tom?

I may be naive, but I never suspected any foul play when I saw these scenes air. Mark clearly doesn’t want to shout about this friendship with his son’s best friend as it has obvious comparisons to Joe and Danny, but I believe it is completely innocent. Mark feels guilty that he put off playing with Danny and now he wants that time back. He is replacing Danny with Tom, and Tom misses his father too. I don’t think Mark plans to kill Tom.

What is up with Danny’s argument with the hi-vis man?

We no longer have a witness to this argument following Jack’s suicide in series 1. But I still think this will come up this time. It probably wasn’t the postman but a delivery man. Perhaps he was meant to delivery a package to Danny on behalf of someone and they argued as it wasn’t delivered. Who could the package be for? Perhaps Nigel, at the end of Series 1 it was revealed that Danny also snuck out to meet Nigel and Dean to poach turkeys. Could there be more to their scheme?

Why didn’t Joe see Mark’s car earlier on the night he killed Danny?

The story goes that Mark parked up in the car park close by to the hut on top of the cliff where Joe killed Danny. Joe watches as Becca drops Mark back to his car and they drive off separately. If Joe was having secret meetings with Danny in that hut, wouldn’t he have looked out for any witnesses? Surely seeing the boy’s fathers car outside would’ve freaked him out. Something still doesn’t add up about the timeline here.

Where is missing Lisa?

The fact that the second Sandbrook ‘murder’ victim has not been found, 19 year old Lisa, pretty much means the character is still alive. She is hiding, the only reason I can imagine is because she killed Pippa. Or she was paid off by the killer. Or she was involved indirectly and feels guilty. I cannot imagine they will find her body now so she is likely to return at some point, but why would she turn up in Broadchurch? (since all the action takes place there). In series 1 it always seemed like the two victims at Sandbrook were both children, the revelation that one was a young adult instantly throws suspicion on her!

That is all I have for now, if anyone has any ideas please comment! Roll on episode three tomorrow 😀

“Seconds – A Graphic Novel” by Bryan Lee O’Malley, and the Scott Pilgrim references

Love, love, love it.

Seconds is the latest graphic novel from the genius Bryan Lee O’Malley, the author known for Scott Pilgrim and Lost at Sea. I cannot believe it has been 4 years since I was waiting day and night for the final volume of Scott Pilgrim to be released. And then bought two copies of because my ‘pre-ordered, due to come on the day of release’ copy arrived late. This time the release of Seconds jumped out on me and all that horrendous waiting was avoided.

Seconds

For those unaware, Seconds follows the story of Katie, a chef who is given the one off opportunity to change something that has happened in her life. A second chance. However, Katie abuses this and mayhem ensues! I love ‘Butterfly Effect’ stories, I love seeing the universe alter slight things due to one change. This book does plenty of this, but it is subtle too.

The artwork is beautiful. O’Malley mixes intricate building landscapes with exaggerated characters. The cute with the creepy. This is a colour book, thanks to the O’Malley having three assistants on this novel. It is beautiful and I highly recommend it.

And now, Scott Pilgrim. From what I have read online about Seconds it seems like Bryan Lee O’Malley is trying to distance himself from the ultra popular Mr Pilgrim. However there are a fair few references to his famous work so I find it hard to believe he doesn’t still have a hotspot for him.

“Bread makes you fat?” A funny Scott Pilgrim line that is reused by Hazel in this story. I immediately laughed, a little in joke to his loyal followers. I particularly liked his little ‘sorry…’ message very faintly placed underneath that pane. So cute. I only caught this on second reading.

Steven Stills, Julie and Joseph. Straight away caught Steven and Julie in Katie’s imaginary version of her new restaurant, which put me straight onto checking the backgrounds of everything. I found it strange they were in her imagination. However, later in the novel Steven and Joseph are seen getting a table at Katie’s old restaurant. (A little nod to who Steven ends up with at the end of Scott Pilgrim Vol.6). This scene comes during an alternate timeline, are we meant to believe Steven and Joseph being together occurred because Katie changed something in her own life?

Scott and Ramona. You really cannot miss these colourful characters enjoying a meal at Katie’s restaurant.

Knives? Kim? Lisa Miller? So I read online that Knives and Kim also make a cameo. I imagine people are referring to the Knives lookalike on page 116. To me though, this looks like a guy. Yes, similar haircut but I’m not convinced. I’m yet to find Kim. I also thought a girl on the same page as Steven Stills and Julie looked a lot like Lisa Miller, seemed a strange character to include but it is a possibility.

So what have I missed? I love searching for Easter Eggs but that is all I’ve got so far. Please let me know if you found anything else! Or where the heck Kim Pine is.

The words that hurt

I love the FineBros and their YouTube shows: Kids React, Teens React and Elders React. As the titles suggest, the FineBros take a YouTube video (and are now experimenting with technology and TV shows) and show these to a given age group to see their reaction. Every week new shows are uploaded with new interesting ideas to ask everyday people to react to.

Their most recent video, Teens React to Jonah Hill Controversy, is one of those videos with a deeper discussion and has ultimately given me the inspiration to write. Please take a look at the video first:

Extended version:

There is a shorter version at around 10 minutes long if you prefer, but as I watched the extended version this post will be commenting on the above video.

First, I respect all the teens in this video and nothing I comment on is a personal to these people. By appearing on the show, these teens are giving the public an insight into the thoughts and feelings of this age group during this day and age. I’m commenting on the situation as a whole.

In case you haven’t watched the video, the teens are reacting to Jonah Hill using a slur for homosexual. The video then shows his public apologies for using this term. I see this as a very genuine apology for some words that slipped out, he goes on to use his mistake as a warning to young people on how they should not behave.

The video then discusses many issues surrounding paparazzi and celebrity, but the main aspect for me was the teens reaction to using homosexual terms as derogatory. The teens seem to mostly agree that the term f***** was not okay to use, some however stating Jonah Hill didn’t need to apologise as he was antagonised into saying it. However, the discussion turned to using the word ‘gay’ as a slang term for bad.

I haven’t grown up in a world where I am gay, or my brother, best friend or someone close to me is gay. I had a couple of friends at college who were gay but this isn’t an aspect of the world that really affects me. But I do believe wholeheartly that the word ‘gay’ should never be a substitute for the word ‘rubbish’ or ‘bad’ or ‘wrong’. And there was a little shock to find some teens don’t agree.

I feel for these teens who don’t agree that their opinion may change as they grow. Those who have used it and continue to use it seemed in agreement that if you say it around close friends it won’t have an affect, or that by saying it you’re not being homophobic. While I understand what they mean, the teens may not realise they are being homophobic and may be 100% okay for people who are homosexual, but by using the term they continue this cycle that it is cool to use ‘gay’ as a derogatory term. It may not offend anyone in his or her close circle of friends, but one of those friends may be influenced by hearing that word used and then use it themselves in a different scenario. You may believe that the close circle of friends around you are not offended by that word in that way, but one or more could have their confidence knocked, thinking that you may not accept them, believing that being gay is bad or wrong.

Using the word ‘gay’ as derogatory really came to my attention when I was around 17, similar age to some of these kids, and I was in Psychology class at college. A girl was giving her opinion in a class discussion about a topic I do not remember and called something ‘gay’. Our teacher, who wasn’t strict but showing authority, quickly shut her down on her use of the word. “But I’m not homophobic, I just meant it is rubbish” my classmate’s naïve response went. And our teacher, in a far more stern tone than we were ever used to, quickly explained that use of that word in a derogatory way was wrong. I felt the whole class took note of that moment and we all learned from it.

When I first heard in this video that one of the teens uses ‘gay’ to mean ‘bad’ I thought she may try to backtrack or realise it was wrong. But many of them believe it is okay. I really hope these teens learn otherwise. For these kids though, they hear other people use it and it sounds ‘cool’ to use it too. You can’t just tell a kid to use ‘lame’ or ‘rubbish’ instead, like wearing the right trainers it isn’t ‘cool’ to use those words as a slur. But we really need to stop kids using ‘gay’ as one.

I hope schools are quick on their students they way my Psychology teacher was. I know I’d step in if I ever heard a Brownie say something like this.

On a side note, I found this video on YouTube this morning:

Being a girl should never be a slur either. While a lot of this video seems awfully scripted the sentiment and message is there. As a kid, if someone said to me ‘you throw like a girl’ I would respond with ‘I am a girl’. But as you get older you realise this is a slur, a belittlement, and I hope Always bring this campaign to a larger audience. I cannot #LikeAGirl. I don’t tweet. But I certainly do run like a girl.

The real story behind Stinky Pete and Lotso

As much as I was overjoyed to see Toy Story 3 in cinemas when it was released in 2010, I was disappointed. Not with Andy giving away the toys, not with the film’s story being too similar to Toy Story 2, but my own personal disappointment that my villain theory was incorrect.

During the time when the film’s trailers were around the internet and it was clear that Lotso was the villain of this story, I had a very clear and, in my mind, very likely theory as to the true nature of this sweet scented bear. It turned out the be false, but I was adamant before stepping into the cinema that I had it cracked.

Stink Pete, The Prospector, was dressed up as Lots ‘ O’ Hugging Bear!

It is actually a little creepy, now that I think about it, but it made sense to me. Watching TS3 again last night I considered how this would’ve worked in their universe…

So, we are aware that The Prospector spent his life in a box. He was the comical sidekick to Woody, a fellow Round Up Gang member with Jessie and Bullseye. See, the boys all wanted a Woody doll, and the girls loved a strong female character so went for the Jessie dolls. If the kid was lucky they’d have a Bullseye companion. But who wanted the Stinky Pete doll? Not many, hence poor old Stinky was left behind. He watched as all the others gained homes and waited for the day a child would gaze into his face and smile.

stinky pete 2

It never happened. He was shipped around, sat in his box, and avoided the dump on several occasions. He was then discovered by Al, a toy collector, who could see his worth still mint in box. He went into storage again, but with a clear aim to be admired as a display doll. The only one of his kind.

Woody and the gang spoiled his one hope for meaning to his sorry life and he ended up in the hands of a child named Amy. Amy was an artist. On discovering a stinky old man doll she designed a pretty dress, covered his face in stars and put him on display on her shelf with the other random dolls she had accumulated and made over. She made one other alteration before his exile, she pinged the plastic grey spike from it’s wooden handle and replaced it with another piece of brown plastic. A walking stick, if you will. It was the only way to keep the wobbly old toy from falling over and a weapon just didn’t suit his outfit.

stinky pete 1

Again, Stinky’s life was about watching as other dolls were played with. But no toy more so than that bear. A purple bear that sat pride of place on Amy’s bed. Every night she would smell his head and fall asleep with the soft bear in her arms. Stinky detested that bear. That bear never made any attempt to let Stinky join the group. All the girly dolls, the Barbies, the ponies and the fairies, no one wanted anything to do with Stinky Pete.

When Amy’s mum hit the bedroom with a black sack in hand Stinky was the first to fall victim to the yard sale. Again, he watched as all the other toys were picked up and given new homes with new kids who looked excited by them.  One boy picked up Stinky. He held Stinky close to his face and examined the drawings all over him. Then he laughed at the dress and as his Mum called out the boy dropped Stinky to the ground. Here he stayed until Mum packed up and headed inside. Stinky still out by the dustbins.

Stinky left. He had no where to go. He strolled the streets, angry, bitter and alone. Then he met some others. There were other toys on their own adventure. As Stinky approached the toys he recognised one of them. It was that bear. That smelly, purple bear. People always called him Stinky Pete but he never actually stunk like that bear did. Stinky decided to hold back, he watched the group and waited for his moment.

stinky pete 3

This bear looked a sadder bear. He didn’t look like the smug one that Amy hugged every night. Oh, how much Stinky wished he had a child to hug him. If only he was soft and smelled nice, rather than a plastic old man with a repelling name. He hated that bear so much. He waited for his moment, that smelly old bear was alone. At first he greeted the bear, found out he was known as Lotso and that he and his two friends were on their way back to their owner, Daisy’s, house. An owner? These toys were owned too? They were hugged at night and loved by a child?

Stinky grew angry. He wanted all that Lotso had! He ripped open the smelly bear, pulled out chunks of his stuffing, and while no one was around he climbed inside…

Still using his walking stick to get around this hollowed out Lotso, really Stinky Pete, told his friends Big Baby and Chuckles that their journey had made him tired. The three travelled on to Daisy’s house and as they reached her window and peered in they saw another Lotso in Daisy’s arms! Not again! Stinky was furious. This was his chance to be loved. Big Baby and Chuckles planned to wait outside for Daisy to find them but Stinky demanded they all leave.

stinky pete 4

Together they found Sunnyside and were taken in. Stinky, from within his Lotso costume, felt the joy of being played with for the very first time as these young children hugged and cuddled the bear. This is what he wanted, what he deserved, and he wanted to keep it for himself.

Stinky got to work on taking over Sunnyside. He gave off a caring nature that the toys all fell for. It didn’t take long for Stinky to have everything he desired. He finally had the life he wanted. Until that cowboy doll turned up again…

That is how I see it.

I didn’t understand why Kesley Grammer wasn’t voicing Lotso. I thought the chubby shape, the older character and the WALKING STICK were massive giveaways! I didn’t know Lotso’s back story, but I thought there must’ve been a time when Stinky Pete took on an old, beat up cuddly bear skin and used it to become a loved toy.

stinky pete 5555

So, did this ever cross the mind of anyone else? I thought it might be a common idea but I found it difficult to find anyone else writing as such online. Maybe I just have weird ideas. I don’t know. I thought it might be an interesting plot twist though.