Guardian's Vigil

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What's your take on Kieren's sexuality? Not sure if you've answered this yet, so ignore if you have. I was under the impression he's gay, but I've been noticing a lot of people referring to him as bisexual. Not that this matters in the grand scheme of things, just curious to hear what you think. I would read your ITF answers/thoughts all day!

Anonymous

Ah, I’m gonna word-of-god you on this one, because the creator has told us that Kieren loves who he loves (and as a side note, he also tells us in the same interview that Simon is gay). Kieren happened to fall for Rick, and now he happens to be interested in Simon (x).

As such, I think Kieren loves based on who a person is (how they think, what they do/say, etc), not whether they are girl/boy or male/female. I like that. I’m sure someone has a label for it somewhere, but I’m nooot that big into sexuality labels, since they have always felt restricting to me.

Dear Ms. Reeva, I thought it was great how ITF uses the whole zombie thing as a stand-in for the treatment of minorities. The show gets so much right in its portrayal of the treatment of nonhegemonic people. But it struck me as a bit odd how, ultimately, it shows how this minority stand-in absolutely does need to be regulated and proves actually dangerous to people unless treated with a government-concocted 'cure'. Does that not argue AGAINST fair treatment and acceptance? Kind regards, -m-

greenbergsays:

kedreeva:

Hi there! You can call me Ked :)

I have thought about this on several occasions, and I don’t really have a good answer for it, and I suspect that my inability to reach a conclusion stems from two things; one, that the show hasn’t been given enough time to get its paws muddy over this particular subject and two because I get wound up in circles over there being two groups of people in the show; the treated and untreated undead.

On the one hand, there are the undead that are not being treated with anything; those ‘rabid’ undead. I really think “feral” might be a more accurate term. Rabid is a term given to them by the living in the show, which implies that they are somehow ill when in fact they are not ill. Feral, on the other hand, means “in a wild state, especially after having escaped domestication” which is, I think, exactly what they return to being without the “domestication” of the Neurotriptyline. Member of this group are considered dangerous because they have done dangerous things- they killed and ate people(s brains). So, I suppose arguments could be made that the feral undead cannot be a part of domestic society because by their very nature they are not domestic. I can’t say they aren’t intelligent, because we see that they recognize their own, and Kieren tells us he hunted with another undead (Amy), so there is SOMEthing there (I personally suspect that they ARE intelligent, and that in that state they do not see the living as intelligent… the living are just prey to a feral predator’s mind).

On the other hand, we have the treated undead, and this is where the problem comes in. Because this group /overlaps/ the other group, in that members of this group can revert to being members of the feral group. This is something that, in our world, doesn’t happen. We do not revert to feral, brain-eating hunters of other humans if we are allowed to openly be our race or sexuality or gender etc without regulation. Therein lies the break between reality and fantasy, where we have to think for ourselves that although there is a clear difference between the undead and real life oppressed groups, there are also enough similarities for the show to tell us some behaviors are not appropriate.

All that being said, if we back way the heck up to the start of this (I keep losing track of what I’m saying, so I apologize if this is a little disjointed), there are two kinds of medication going on here; one is a government issued NTL and one is a homemade NTL, and both appear to work equally well (and the creator said that actually the homemade stuff works slightly better, so there’s that).

There’s also wayyyyy more regulation going on than just the administration of a drug that keeps feral undead in a domesticated state of being… and all of it beyond the medication is, or should be considered in the viewer’s eye to be, unnecessary. There is no reason to make PDSS wear contacts and mousse. There is no reason to implement the give back scheme. There is no reason to restrict their travel or access to jobs. There is ZERO reason that they should have to declare themselves as PDS and give any part of their medical history to any Living (“I have been administered NTL in the last 24 hours and will not enter a rabid state” IS medical history).

As a last note, I just want to add that there isn’t anything inherently wrong with needing medication to “function properly” so to speak. There are a lot of people who take medical prescriptions for all sorts of things (pain management, medical treatments, mental health treatments, etc) in order to live how they want, or closer to how they want, to live. But there IS a problem with the government (or anyone, really) deciding that anyone requiring or desiring to take those meds is less human or less citizens or less anything.

And you should ask greenbergsays what she has to say about the medication being literal vs. metaphorical, because she has thoughts on this that might be relevant to your interests.

Kedreeva’s just a lazy ass who didn’t want to add what I told her to her post. (Again.) :P

Also, fair warning, this is super meta and probably not at all what they intended re: the show but I thought of it while Ked and I were discussing it so here it is.

The Rising came out of nowhere. No warning, no fanfare, just people crawling out of their graves in the middle of the night. The rabid zombies also had a great chance of overthrowing humanity and basically making them extinct.

Humanity knew this and they also knew that the only way to survive, the only way to win, was to somehow control the zombies. This is where the medication comes into play. The medication not only “normalizes” them, it also gives The Living the chance to control PDS sufferers through emotional manipulation and guilt based on past actions.

So imagine the rabid zombies as minority groups - the lower class, women, people of color, lgbt, etc - and their fight for equality. They want to “over throw humanity,” they want to bring in a new era where equality just is and not something constantly being fought for.

The people in power see this and they realize that this is a fight they’ll lose unless they learn to somehow control these groups. (Trying to control what a woman does with her body, etc.)

And on top of that, you have people in day to day life who don’t know or understand oppression and/or discrimination telling these groups, “this is wrong, you are wrong, you shouldn’t be doing this. You’re taking this too seriously, it’s not as bad as you say it is. This is a fight already fought, already won.”

You have the extremist groups like the ULA who hinder more than they help the cause they claim to advocate for because their extremist actions are what people think of when they think of “equal rights for zombies.”

You have people like the waitress in the diner who are scared into submission by TPTB and follow their rules.

And then you have people like Kieren. Kieren is is still being medicated by the government but he’s slowly putting a stop to the emotional manipulation and misplaced guilt. He knows he doesn’t have the power to win the war on his own but that doesn’t mean he won’t fight at all.

And…I’m sorry, I’m kind of losing the plot here because it’s way past my bedtime and my brain is shutting down.

So I’ll just end with this. What is the worst fear for The Living?

It’s a Second Rising. It’s the idea that more rabid will rise and that the medicated will turn rabid again. That, this time, they won’t be able to gain control and the rabid will win.

The government wants you to think that regulation and government-approved medication is the only true course of action, that things will fall apart otherwise, but let me ask you:

In a society of rabid zombies, what is there except for peace?

This is a silly question but I totally missed it -- why was Maxine Martin so interested in finding the first risen, before she actually started wanting a second rising?

Anonymous

I was under the impression that she was always after the First in order to start the second rising, and that when she was telling people she didn’t want a second rising, it was because she thought they would stop her if she said she wanted a second rising. Especially with how, for example, Vicar Oddie had fallen into sort of… disfavor, having only a few followers left because he kept preaching for a second rising etc.

I had originally thought that she was after the first to STOP the second rising, but that doesn’t make sense with how she brought her brother’s toy with her and was, like, talking to him/herself in her room early on.

I’m totally up for a Maxine Martin discussion night if anyone has other ideas/explanations to share.

What I think is really special about ITF is they set it up so even when the undead are cured there will still be prejudice left. We will have those like Steve & Sue who will be ecstatic about them becoming human & will try to forget they once weren't. We'll have people like Shirley & Phillip who will love them either way. Then we'll have people like Gary who will still treat them like crap because they CAN'T forget what they once were. The show will never stop dealing with reality, I love that.

Anonymous

I am getting some really great confessions, like this one, that would look fabulous over on Voices of the Redeemed. I want to see everyone’s love confessions up there!!

I should be working on cagefighter right now. Instead I am wallowing in ITF feels and watching my nip-stoned cat stare intensely at a wall.

What I think is great about ITF is that it says "fuck you" to every other show on the market doing the same thing. 1) Kieren could have gotten with Amy. 2) they could have kept Rick alive and made Kieren act like the typical love struck girl striving for affection. 3) could have made Amy main character and gone for scenario 2. 4) Love triangle. 5) everyone's straight. 6) Kieren falls harder than Simon. 7) terrible female characters. Instead they made this brilliant, different, and powerful show.

Anonymous

The sheer number of (social, political, personal, etc) issues they could have mishandled, misaddressed, NOT addressed, or otherwise completely fucked up is simply astounding.

The fact that they did not do any of the above is even more so.

Agree with you that Kieren's father wasn't ready for reality, besides his reaction to Kieren's story about rising, it is also evidenced by Steve saying in s2e5 that it is happening again with Simon what had happened before with Rick... "someone puts a spell on him and it ends in disaster"... it's like uh, no... it's not a "spell", it's called love, your son is bi, accept it.

Anonymous

If anyone is under anyone’s spell here, I think we can all agree Simon is under Kieren’s spell. Just saying.

Dear Ms. Reeva, I thought it was great how ITF uses the whole zombie thing as a stand-in for the treatment of minorities. The show gets so much right in its portrayal of the treatment of nonhegemonic people. But it struck me as a bit odd how, ultimately, it shows how this minority stand-in absolutely does need to be regulated and proves actually dangerous to people unless treated with a government-concocted 'cure'. Does that not argue AGAINST fair treatment and acceptance? Kind regards, -m-

Hi there! You can call me Ked :)

I have thought about this on several occasions, and I don’t really have a good answer for it, and I suspect that my inability to reach a conclusion stems from two things; one, that the show hasn’t been given enough time to get its paws muddy over this particular subject and two because I get wound up in circles over there being two groups of people in the show; the treated and untreated undead.

On the one hand, there are the undead that are not being treated with anything; those ‘rabid’ undead. I really think “feral” might be a more accurate term. Rabid is a term given to them by the living in the show, which implies that they are somehow ill when in fact they are not ill. Feral, on the other hand, means “in a wild state, especially after having escaped domestication” which is, I think, exactly what they return to being without the “domestication” of the Neurotriptyline. Member of this group are considered dangerous because they have done dangerous things- they killed and ate people(s brains). So, I suppose arguments could be made that the feral undead cannot be a part of domestic society because by their very nature they are not domestic. I can’t say they aren’t intelligent, because we see that they recognize their own, and Kieren tells us he hunted with another undead (Amy), so there is SOMEthing there (I personally suspect that they ARE intelligent, and that in that state they do not see the living as intelligent… the living are just prey to a feral predator’s mind).

On the other hand, we have the treated undead, and this is where the problem comes in. Because this group /overlaps/ the other group, in that members of this group can revert to being members of the feral group. This is something that, in our world, doesn’t happen. We do not revert to feral, brain-eating hunters of other humans if we are allowed to openly be our race or sexuality or gender etc without regulation. Therein lies the break between reality and fantasy, where we have to think for ourselves that although there is a clear difference between the undead and real life oppressed groups, there are also enough similarities for the show to tell us some behaviors are not appropriate.

All that being said, if we back way the heck up to the start of this (I keep losing track of what I’m saying, so I apologize if this is a little disjointed), there are two kinds of medication going on here; one is a government issued NTL and one is a homemade NTL, and both appear to work equally well (and the creator said that actually the homemade stuff works slightly better, so there’s that).

There’s also wayyyyy more regulation going on than just the administration of a drug that keeps feral undead in a domesticated state of being… and all of it beyond the medication is, or should be considered in the viewer’s eye to be, unnecessary. There is no reason to make PDSS wear contacts and mousse. There is no reason to implement the give back scheme. There is no reason to restrict their travel or access to jobs. There is ZERO reason that they should have to declare themselves as PDS and give any part of their medical history to any Living (“I have been administered NTL in the last 24 hours and will not enter a rabid state” IS medical history).

As a last note, I just want to add that there isn’t anything inherently wrong with needing medication to “function properly” so to speak. There are a lot of people who take medical prescriptions for all sorts of things (pain management, medical treatments, mental health treatments, etc) in order to live how they want, or closer to how they want, to live. But there IS a problem with the government (or anyone, really) deciding that anyone requiring or desiring to take those meds is less human or less citizens or less anything.

And you should ask greenbergsays what she has to say about the medication being literal vs. metaphorical, because she has thoughts on this that might be relevant to your interests.

You know, I don't find Simon creepy at all. Have you ever seen Emmett Scanlan on Hollyoaks? His character is so much more creepy, I think I'm immune against Simon's lower level of crazy now ...

Anonymous

I have not ever seen Emmett in anything before ITF, actually.

Regarding Rick and joining the military early on and not telling Kieren - I agree with you and my headcannon for his leaving was a combination of having feelings for Kieren and not really being comfortable with himself, wanting to make his dad proud (SUCH Daddy issues), and also the fact that Kieren was leaving for uni and maybe thinking the Kieren would forget about him and move on. The whole "I'm going to leave you before you can leave me" thing.

Anonymous

Sounds about right! Wrong and a little short-sighted of him, but accurate.