Shonda Rhimes Brings us Down to Earth with series Grey’s Anatomy

If you watch Grey’s, and you have made it to season 14 then you know all too perfectly well that each episode thoroughly demonstrates the complexities of life through the use of patients and doctors. At the beginning and end of each episode, we are comforted with words of wisdom. However, if that does not wow you enough, it’s the single, important message we receive from each episode about ourselves, life, work, and others.


It is next to painful to see these episodes unfold over the timeline in which they fall, as we learn to know patients with all sorts of cases, and the doctors we learn to love who mature into the people they are suppose to be. Shonda seemingly connects these cases to the doctors who create the overall theme, and are in some way tied to those very patients. As a basic human being, I cannot move forward with life without thinking back to these episodes for many reasons. Grey’s Anatomy mirrors real life in an almost blunt way. We worry about the simple, ordinary, casual present. As human beings I believe we very little often think about tomorrow, the future. One of the reasons why I personally think this is true is because, we do not want to come to terms with that. The very thought that our lives started a minute ago and will eventually end is brutal. Grey’s Anatomy reminds us that life is temporary no matter if we ignore or accept it.



One of the very aspects I like about this show is that we see so many minor and major flaws in each of the characters. This aspect alone makes the show so relatable. Meredith and her past and her uncertain journey towards Alzheimers is frightening. Derek and Amelia Shepard, whom both lost their father. The secrets buried between Richard Webber and Ellis Grey created much confusion and havoc for not only them but others… and many other characters that exist in the world of Grey’s face some sort of conflict.

On that note, Grey’s Anatomy is going into its 14th season, and after 12 years of seeing the developments of plots and characters form, I believe that Grey’s Anatomy mirrors mortal struggles in reminding us that time always wins whether we like it or not. The moments we take for granted have meaning. We make mistakes along the way, and then later wish we had taken the time to make those better choices.





Big Little Lies review

Warning: may contain spoilers!

From the moment the series begins they foreshadow the ending of the limited series by telling us that the fundraiser for the local elementary school in Monterey, CA has gone horribly wrong — that someone is dead. The series starts out as a thriller, with comedic humor. We see unique, isolating, dark moments surrounding almost every main character that is introduced to us. The compulsive, perfectionist wife Madeline Mackenzie, the controlled, and abused wife Celeste, and the fragile, victimized wife Jane Chapman. These female characters produce compelling performances that keep audiences wondering who, and most importantly why?


Each Sunday, the limited series delivered these compelling performances in the same way that pieces make up a puzzle. The audience is constantly in this position where they receive limited, signigifcant information that could otherwise be used to target just about anyone as suspect to committing a murder at one point or another. Even if some of their transgressions seem temporary, or come across as insignificant: the audience is still trying piece together each mom’s character in conjunction to their overall part within the mix of things happening within various plot points.

What made this story line very interesting is that it showed issues that happen everywhere: the location played a huge part in demonstrating this. These issues were, domestic violence, mid-life crises, mental health, abuse, rape, and cheating. These issues are what makes the show universal and applicable to most adult viewers. The series seems to be more geared towards women. However, that is not to say that men would not enjoy the series because, of the mystery behind the thriller driven story line.

A distinctive aspect about this series is that the characters are fully developed over time perfectly. There are almost no interruptions to that. The characters stay in character; it works for it’s complexed themes, yet overly simplistic story line. Another distinctive aspect about Big little lies, is how the shot angles portray each character in an unusual, realistic way. Shots are usually done up close and over the shoulder. There are also many different, creative medium, and close up shots of the moms and their children: these shots create intimacy and intensity.



The filming location was an excellent touch to giving the series a visually, compelling look: it also helped contribute to answering a major background question. Why these women? Culturally speaking, the series does not demonstrate a lot of cultural diversity. However, you could arguably say, it answers the question; why these women? The series also has a very, unique soundtrack; its one memorable detail that really influences the background we see.


The series has the ability to pull audiences in all sorts of directions. The series also has the ability to seem so simple: that the audience member says to themselves; it has to be who I think it is. I think that from the start the series was meant to be what it is; a limited series. It is not like a traditional series that has many, sophisticated plots. It was always meant to be generally complicated yet, overwhelmingly simple: who and why?


The ending of this series was somewhat of a surprise to me; however, at the same time I was pretty convinced that one situation was continually bad compared to all of the rest. The other situations became possibilities, but one particular situation continued to fester which made the series somewhat predictable. However, the outcome of that predictability became unpredictable. Two seperate situations of abuse became linked to the abuser; this not only answered who, but also why.


Campus interview with Student Center cashier

In my interview with Anna, I was able to view her from a different perspective. It was neat to learn how she has worked for the university for more than 20 years! I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to interview her since she is a familiar face! Every morning I see Anna she is always smiling, happy and welcoming. It was a great opportunity to learn a little bit more about her.

Anna was very shy when I sat down to speak with her in front of the camera but, most times when I see her she is very outgoing and interactive. I think she showed that today. I think that is what students and staff members look forward to in the mornings and evenings. I think Anna is one of the most interactive, positive employees here on campus! She really made my transition here easier (as a transfer student entering this past spring).

Anna always asks me how my day is going, and asks how the rest of my day or weekend plans are. It is always nice to see friendly faces around campus especially when you are new and nervous to communicate with others.

I think that without employees like Anna, campus wouldn’t be as interactive or friendly as it could be. She is just one of those people who break the ice, communicate, and interact with all different types of personalities. In doing this project it really helps me learn how to break the ice and ask someone who I was familiar with to do something more. I am greatful to have learned how to add this to my skills as an aspiring journalist. I would have liked to cover more about Anna but, unfortunately resources were low. I would someday like to do documentaries about people like Anna.

Video Critique – Lone Star Nurse

The New Yorker’s video Lone Star Nurse was a successful video based on it’s ability to deliver content, emotional shot sequences, and a variety of important information. The video had specific times where they would introduce the audience to captioning of information that was not either wise said or shown to us.


I believe that the way the video was sequenced ended up making for a emotional appeal on to the viewers. It demonstrated what it needed to in a chronological fashion by showing us this nurse’s general work routine and added scenes where this nurse is affected by her routine somedays more than others. The edits were done well also. You could hardly notice the clever transitions in scenes unless you were specially looking for it. There was generally a new face each time the video transitioned but only because, they added in shots of captions or scenery shots of the nurse traveling from one destination to the next which was very interesting and clever! It reminded me of MTV’s shows’ Catfish and Teen Mom II.

The shot compositions were critical for this type of serious documentary. In the beginning of the documentary…we see close ups of Nicole’s (the nurse’s) accomplishments (her RN deans-list degree). We also see that she has a family, house, and career from a wide shot perspective. However, when she speaks…we see her from an close – up and personal perspective. They show you both wide and medium shots of her interacting with the moms and babies she helps. The camera captures creative, close up shots of Nicole, the babies and their mothers when Nicole gives them advice. When the video introduces a new mother and baby… they introduce music, and close up shots of not only the characters but also, the baby’s room. Nicole is driving or walking alone, the camera capture over the shoulder shots of the even more, sensitive version of herself demonstrating what it is like for her to leave these mothers at the end of the program. She explains how they make an impression on her and how she encourages them to always stay in contact with her. The camera often ends many of these traveling scenes with wide shots which encourages the impact of the visual and narrative flow of the narrative.

This particular story really lends itself visuals because, it captures the landscape of where this story is taking place, interviews it’s subjects and touches on human empathy and emotion.

As for the sound, it started off with music that sounds native to Texas (where the story is happening). However, the music stops when the narration of the character begins and then often plays in between that narration.


Interview with Sr. Assoc. Dean Oppenheim of the Lawrence Herbert school of communications at Hofstra University!

I decided to interview my advisor, the assistant dean of the communication’s department here at Hofstra! Getting to know others is not always easy however, with the right questions you may receive valuable advice and perspectives from those you have access to.

  1. What were your career interests when studying sociology for your B.A.?
It took a while for me to figure it out.

I knew I was interested in higher education and possibly one day teaching at the college level.

  1. Why did you continue your education in pursuing a M.A. in speech communications and rhetorical studies?
I was once unsure of what to study.

I eventually found speech-rhetorical studies within the course catalog. I discovered that it was a great fit for me.

  1. What paths did you consider when finishing school?
I had an interest in working with others.

I knew I wanted to stay and work on campus! As a student employee on campus I wanted to build my value and credentials. When I went out for my M.A. it was easier for me to land a part time position at Hofstra University.

  1. What is it like teaching classes in communications digital media vs. helping advise students within The Herbert School of communications towards their degrees?
Each day is different for me because, the students change.

It was much more structured. There were less surprises in terms of goals. When advising students, anything and everything comes up and needs to be addressed. There are medical, social, and academic issues that occur.

  1. What were your earliest academic aspirations?
I didn’t anticipate grad school but, I realized that it was a smart path.

Initially, it was to finish my undergrad degree in sociology and give it my 100%.

What is a normal routine like for you during the week here at Hofstra?


The majority of the week consists of advising students, meeting with other faculty in the Herbert School, and serving on a number of university committees.

  1. What is it like to serve as an intermediate between students and their aspirations for career opportunities?
It’s excited! It’s rewarding!

I love sharing my advice and discussing what my experiences were in dealing with media professionals, working in a job environment, and how to engage with others through communication skills.

  1. Did you ever aspire to live anywhere besides Brooklyn, New York (hometown)?
When in Brooklyn, NY I did not inspire to live anywhere else besides there.

When an opportunity came for me to move to Long Island I decided to. After moving to Long Island, I aspired to move and live within Manhattan in my late 20’s however, it was much too expensive for me.

  1. How do you adjust your style to the less motivated or under prepared student? 
I always encourage students to get involved on campus!

 I’m a positive psychology, positive reinforcement type of person.

  1. How would your background and experiences contribute to the person you are today?
The people I met along the way encouraged me to pursue more opportunities.

The experiences I got as a young professional helped me build confidence as a young person.

  1. Are you currently motivated to do other things?
I’m happy. I love my current job and responsibilities each year.

I always think about the future. I continue to grow and learn new things.

  1. What things have you done on your own initiative to help you prepare for the positions you hold or currently have held?
I sought out advice from those I trust.

I asked a lot of questions, researched my industry to understand what types of jobs there are and possible salaries.

  1. What do you think most uniquely makes you qualified as a dean in the communications department?



My knowledge of Hofstra’s policies and procedures.

            The key is knowing answers to questions which often comes with staying at a career for a long time.

  1. Do you have any additional information that you would like to share?


I have a passion project! I’ve been managing it for two years now. I produce weekly news letters featuring best available media jobs in the U.S.

It’s called MEO jobs. It helps job seekers looking for opportunities within media and communications.

Santa Clarita diet review

Reviewed by Amanda Lyles


curtesy of Netflix

Green lawns, spotless streets, and a typical family living in suburban California.

Right away we are introduced to a modern picture of what this suburban family is really like however, the episode does not leave us guessing about anything. The Hammonds, Sheila (Drew Barrymore) and Joel (Timothy Olyphant) a team of realtors who also have a daughter, Abby (Liv Hewson) are friendly and clever people. They also have neighbors who are involved within their community for instance, the classic nosey neighbor, Dan who works for the L.A. sheriff’s department. He suspects everything and anything to have potential problems. Victor Fresco, the show’s creator is known for taking ordinary situations and adding irrational humor to mock an unusual situation that would most likely be taken seriously in all actuality. The acting in my opinion is on cue. Timothy Olyphant is and Drew Barrymore are fantastic in portraying their characters. The show’s premise is a unique portrayal of the undead or if you must call them zombies. In many ways this series is relatable, in other ways not so much. The typical reaction of one family to one member’s change in behavior as well as, this show’s underlying unpredictability with their community’s interaction is there. As the series begins we notice that Sheila is ill. This leads to her throwing up and leaving evidence of a red ball figure.


Courtesy of Bustle

Sheila begins to emotionally transform from a woman who was once uptight, to a woman who has no impulse control due to her illness. Sheila encourages her neighbors to have affairs and she even buys a Land Rover. Vesco also adds slight emotion which gives the show balance and meaning. It constantly has its humorous moments however, at times the overall premise emanates which does make viewers sympathize for Sheila and her family. Sheila’s diet begins to change as she once only craved raw meat but, now only human beings. After Sheila realizes that she can no longer feel her heart beat she tells Abby and Joel who also cannot hear one. This Netflix original becomes increasingly witty in humor as they try to understand Sheila’s threatening condition. When the family understands that Sheila’s condition is complexed and they need answers fast this clever humor arises, “How could this happen, we are realtors!”. –Joel Hammond

“I’m so glad that these aren’t one of those diseases that dries your skin out” –Sheila Hammond

As the show continues, the Hammond family tries to find solutions for Sheila’s zombie-like condition which makes this show perfect for unpredictability. The story does have a foundation and isn’t just completely random with characters and their encounters with one another. The family works together and soon realizes that it isn’t as easy as they had hoped. Since Sheila’s condition has caused her to lose almost all impulse control, this leads Sheila and Joel down a dangerous, life changing path. Although, Joel often questions his ability to commit such cruel acts for his wife to stay sane and ultimately survive. Joel and Sheila try to kill those who are out casted out (rapists, murders, drug dealers and human traffickers) of society to justify their reasons for keeping Sheila alive.  I think the writing certainly brings up existentialistic questions about humanity. However, I wish it could have more of an impact. The writing could have more substance and mystery which would contribute more of an impact onto its viewers.

“It’s like my life is spiraling toward disaster and there’s no way out. I can’t even talk about it with the person I love the most because, she’ll blame herself and that’s not what I want.” –Joel Hammond


Image from The Sun

Joel tries to obtain more answers, we see that Sheila is beginning to have more symptoms. For instance, one of her toes falls off in which case, she tries to glue it back on. The writing does have times where it surprises or brings up more questions for the viewers. However, it could be more impactful if it didn’t answer all the questions right away. In other words, it could find solutions later and have more significance. At the end of the first season, Joel bumps into someone who happens to know about his wife’s symptoms. He knows an ex CDC scientist Cora Wolf who is experimenting in fringe biology (Portia de Rossi) and gives Joel the scientist’s number. The scientist and Joel come into contact and meet at the Hammond’s house. The ending of the series leaves us with a cliff hanger.  Joel is arrested for trying to get one of the ingredients for Sheila. Sheila is moving to the next phase of becoming a zombie in which she has become more aggressive and has asked Abby to tie her up in the basement. Lastly, the ex CDC scientist leaves because of Joel’s arrest. These cliff hangers could be used throughout the show rather than at the end of each episode to excited its viewers more. Although, I think they left off with a good cliff hanger.