As a follow up to the posting from last week where I noted I had started watching the 1940s era Manhattan which was a dramatization of the creation of the atom bomb by the US authorities. I finished the first season, and began season 2. I read however that the characters and stories about them are fiction, except for the names of Albert Einstein and J Robert Oppenheimer. Key characters in the story like Charlie Isaacs and his wife never existed. Others on the two teams as well. This was disappointing news but not altogether surprising. The drama among the characters just seemed too outlandish. I have little doubt that there was latent homosexuality and infidelity and other things happening given the number of people cooped up in a site for so long. Still much of it didn’t seem very plausible. The end of season 1 still doesn’t have a viable working bomb. This unending debate about whether or not implosion was even possible rages on. Interestingly as we know, two bombs were dropped and they were of each type worked on at the site. Both worked equally well. I won’t delve further into the merits of utilizing the atomic bombs, but suffice it to say that the desired effect of ending the war in the Pacific was accomplished. I will continue to watch season 2 (it was cancelled after this season) but I will be a little less enthused. Incidentally, Harry Lloyd who played spoiled Viserys Targaryen plays the same type of weasel-like character in this series as in Game of Thrones.
A new release on Netflix was the series called Indian Matchmaker, and it getting some buzz, not all of it is positive. The premise is pretty straightforward as we have an older East Indian woman who is assisting other East Indian people and their families to find a match/marriage partner. Arranged marriages are not uncommon in India, and the show brings forward many examples of long term married couples and their stories. The matchmaker in question has hundreds of families that she is working with, from all around the globe. We see young people in places like Houston, Colorado, New York, Mumbai, etc. She is quite the jetsetter to be seeing all of these various people. No where do they talk about her fees. She can’t be cheap. Still with a divorce rate in “love marriages” hovering around 50% one would think that arranged marriages can’t be any worse. In fact, they could be better. As a single person, I take solace that there are many around there like me. The struggles faced by meeting and finding the right person are real no matter where in the world you are, or your station. I was surprised at her use of biodata forms, astrologers and facial reading people. So much of all this for these people is fated, and in the stars/signs. I admit that the facial reading guy who sees a number of her clients was surprisingly good at seeing traits of these people just based on a phone picture. Now whether or not one can see someone having twins from just a picture is another story. You have all sorts of characters in this series, for me a couple that stuck out was the female lawyer in Houston, who has a pushy Mom and her own prickly, picky personality. She seems so set in her ways and not really willing to open herself up to almost anything new. The other was the young man with the overbearing Mom who dictates all that happens in her household. The young 25yo man has a younger brother who is engaged, and he is told that he MUST get engaged and be married within the year, to make Mom happy and allow the younger brother to get married himself. He rationally asks how these two events must be tied together, but all around him side with Mom. Such pressure on him. He sees hundreds of profiles and you wonder whether he is just being overly difficult or that he just isn’t ready. Maybe a little of both. Sadly, though there are other stories that the viewer doesn’t see finish. You would think you get to see what the results of the matches are and this dating, but it just isn’t so. Not even a follow up at the last episode with a review of who was met and what their latest status is (married, still dating or single). I was also somewhat surprised at the continuation of the separation of duties and attitudes about women. Our matchmaker can through herself or her colleagues put pressure on women to be subservient to their future husband; they must take a back seat to him and his desires. I was quite shocked at how bluntly this was put to these independent women, one in particular runs her own online clothing store and is quite successful. The cultural pressures are substantial, and add to that the pressures of thinking that one might want to have children and for women it is a daunting task. Never mind the later conversation if you are a single Mom in these communities! One very pleasant was told that her chances in the Sikh community would be very limited because of her status being divorced and with a child. There’s nothing quite like turning back the hands of time to the early 1960s for us in North America!! Everybody in the end has a story.