Las Chicas del Cable SEASON 5!!!

Las Chicas Del Cable Season 5 Part 1, Cable Girls, Netflix, Lidia, Oscar, Carlota, Marga, all together, final season
Las. Chicas. Del. Cable. Season. 5. ¡VAMOS!

I wrote this a couple of weeks ago and posting it today. I wish you safety, wellness, and happy Las Chicas del Cable marathon-watching in quarantine <3

If you’re still on Season 4, here’s my Las Chicas Del Cable Season 4 Review. Okay… SO ARE YOU READY?

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OMG Ya’ll. I am STRESSED out and… I am upset.

First of all, the best most unexpected thing happened the other day. There I am, having breakfast, Netflix & bills, when I see that Season 5 of Las Chicas Del Cable has DROPPED in my queue:

Las Chicas Del Cable Season 5 Part 1, Cable Girls, Netflix, final season, queue
¿¿¿¿¿Como?????

And devastatingly enough, there it is, in the title: Final Season.

Las Chicas Del Cable Season 5 Part 1, Cable Girls, Netflix, final season, queue

So now, not only has one of the greatest gifts suddenly proposed out of nowhere, it also was like, and there will be no more of this henceforth.

Naturally, I put off watching because I was not ready for a full 24 hours before I was like, okay, let’s do this chicas.

And now, are you ready? I’m about to deliver spoilers in my greasy review so please grab your Tide pen and watch Season 5 before you continue reading.

AGAIN. WARNING. DO NOT KEEP READING UNTIL YOU WATCH SEASON 5! My review is episode by episode, so watch each episode and COME BACK AND CHAT!

Are you back? Okayomgggggggggggggggggggg listen.

Season 5: Episode 1

Las Chicas Del Cable Season 5 Part 1, Cable Girls, Netflix, Lidia, letter, Sofia, lipstick
LA LETRA QUE CAMBIO TODO. The letter that changed it all.

How has Alba been through so many stressful situations yet she still looks like a 1960’s air hostess model in a magazine spread? There are no stress wrinkles, no gray hairs, and honestly, not a hair out of place after the mess she’s been through.

We’ve started off in NYC, and I’m SO THRILLED. Are we about to see some New York City action?

NO. This is a show about ESPAÑA, MI AMOR! We don’t have time for the Americans. WAR and teen conviction have whisked us away to danger in Madrid!

What next?

Marga!!! And Pablo!! And Carlota (eh)! And Oscar!!! And, and, and this new good looking dude that’s Marga & Pablo’s boss at the Compañia!

Las Chicas Del Cable Season 5 Part 1, Cable Girls, Netflix, Lidia, Marga, Carlota, Oscar, all together
These women are addicted to stress and I am addicted to their stress.

When I first heard this plot about Sofia and her going off to fight in the Spanish Civil War, I was like, okay, I can see how this is going to be a hot mess that doesn’t get resolved for a season. This is the unexciting thing that’s driving the story.

Las Chicas Del Cable Season 5 Part 1, Cable Girls, Netflix, Lidia, Sofia, picture of Sofia
Sofia, que guapa.

BUT, when we meet lovely Sofia who has the eyes of Angeles, and then she meets this handsome soldier, GAME ON! And oh, this heart condition thing, the stakes are raised.

Las Chicas Del Cable Season 5 Part 1, Cable Girls, Netflix, Lidia, Sofia, Soldier
Sofia’s soldier.

The CHICAS, of course, immediately rally in support of Lidia to find Sofia and bring her back from the army she has willingly enlisted in. The amount of times these women have gathered around dangerous murdery conspiracies is equivalent to the amount of times my friends have gathered around cheeseboards and putting together centerpieces. And I find that exhausting enough to require a day of recovery. Again, HOW is Lidia’s lipstick so flawless throughout it all? What is the formula? Is it Fenty, transported through time machine?

There’s other things and characters, sure, sure, sure, but notably:

I’m SO excited to see Oscar being able to live outside his home as a trans man. I was pleasantly surprised, but also, there’s this immediate thought of like, this is war, how long will these conditions last? From the start I just know we’re in for some heartbreak here. But it’s like, this is a great moment.

And the moment I’ve really been waiting for this entire time.

Carlos Cifuentes.

Las Chicas Del Cable Season 5 Part 1, Cable Girls, Netflix, Lidia, Carlos Cifuente, evil
Enough said.

And DAMN did the story catch me off guard – I was NOT expecting his introduction! I mean, I was waiting for us to see him somehow, but by half the episode I thought, I guess we’ll see him in episode 3 or 4, but no, BAM, HE’S HERE, and STRAIGHT UP EVIL.

It’s hard to watch what pain (and his own actions obvi) has done to Carlos. He’s full on blackmailing Lidia with his own blood. The man has no heart, and yet… we know he does. Somewhere, inside his cold Cifuentes pulmonary tract, his aortic valve beats for Lidia.

It’s about to get wild, but at least Lidia had 7 years of peace and quiet in NYC with Francisco, Eva y Sofia to recharge for the madness we’re about to taste.

Season 5: Episode 2

Las Chicas Del Cable Season 5 Part 1, Cable Girls, Netflix, Lidia, Madam, Oscar, Marga, Carlota, all together
Las Chicas. No cable.

Oh NO! Carlos es una espía? And he’s torturing James?! WHY!

And Pablo is trying to avoid being enlisted and almost shoots himself in the leg – this was really heartbreaking. I’m glad Marga y whatshisface got to him in time. But what now?

Las Chicas Del Cable Season 5 Part 1, Cable Girls, Netflix, Lidia, Marga, Pablo, desperado, soldier, army
Ay, mi corazon

OMG! He’s back!!!!! Cristobal!

Have I already forgotten what an annoying steamy mess of a relationship he and Angeles had? I guess the terrible part of who I am can enjoy his presence now that this romantic tension is no longer feasible since Angeles no esta aqui, rest in peace.

Las Chicas Del Cable Season 5 Part 1, Cable Girls, Netflix, Lidia, Cristobal, Angeles
Cristobal esta aqui.

BUT YES! HE’S BACK! And he is OF COURSE on board to bring back the determined Sofia from the war front.

AND OMG. Sofia at the war front!

And OMG Cristobal, and James, and Lidia, and Carlos, and the phonecall!

And OMG, Lidia, and Francisco, and Carlos, and Eva, and THAT phonecall!

AND OMG, Carlos, and Lidia, and Sofia, and THAT phone call!!!!!!

The phone has really played an Emmy winning performance this episode.

Las Chicas Del Cable Season 5 Part 1, Cable Girls, Netflix, Lidia, oscar, lipstick,
And the oscar goes to Lidia’s lipstick.

Season 5: Episode 3

Las Chicas Del Cable Season 5 Part 1, Cable Girls, Netflix, Lidia, Carlos Cifuentes
Es un hot mess.

Note: trigger warning for this episode content on rape & sexual abuse.

This is a disaster. Esto es un disastre.

SOFIA is in JAIL in enemy territorio. PABLO is dodging bullets from the get go on duty at the western front. Carlos and Lidia are forced to spend time together. Carlos is a scumbag.

Las Chicas Del Cable Season 5 Part 1, Cable Girls, Netflix, Lidia, Sofia, jail, soldiers
No bueno.

And OF COURSE the moment Marga touched her forehead in that car I thought… Oh no… She’s gonna be pregnant, all up in this hectic situation! If Pablo dies, I don’t know what I’m, I mean she’s, gonna do!

But with all of that, I could not have predicted (okay, maybe if I tried, only half predicted) how this episode was going to end.

Those terrible dehumanized soldiers and their horrendous plan to rape Sofia and her fellow prisoner.

And then…

She kills him, and HE’S THE GENERAL’S SON!

WHAT!

PLOT TWIST!

Now, Sofia, her bloody arm, and her fellow soldiers escape (with no pastillas around her neck!) and Lidia and Carlos are in TROUBLE!

Ay.

Season 5: Episode 4

Las Chicas Del Cable Season 5 Part 1, Cable Girls, Netflix, Lidia, Sofia, arm, hurt, bullet wound

Lidia & Carlos are ON THE RUN! Carlos helps Lidia escapar and I am as surprised as Lidia (and also touched when he says, you are the mother of my child, but also like, this is all still your fault dude).

Yay Father y Church, & YAY Lidia y Sofia finally being reunited! But now what?! They’re all wanted people!

Las Chicas Del Cable Season 5 Part 1, Cable Girls, Netflix, Lidia, Sofia, reunited
Finalmente.

Marga catches her amigos in their mentiras. Idk what to say. I get why they lied to her. Were they right to? I don’t think so, but also, like… yeah, I get it, but it wasn’t right, but also, like…

What’s going on in Oscar’s head? Is it jealousy? Is it inseguridad? This confrontation between Oscar y Carlota. Is it grounded?

OMG!!! SOFIA AND HER SOLDIER FINALLY KISS!!!!!!!!! YAYYYYYY!!!!!!!!

The escape on the milk truck is just, oh no. Lidia & Carlos…

Those lack of pastillas really put them in a pickle.

Las Chicas Del Cable Season 5 Part 1, Cable Girls, Netflix, Lidia, caught by enemy, hands up
Of course.

Season 5: Episode 5

This is the worst.

Prison. Sentencing to death. Francisco arrives. What is going on. Why why why mix more people into this mess?

But there’s a plan.

And there’s a funeral… no. Half a funeral. This is too much.

Marga.

But WOW! This whole Pablo/Julio thing is wild. I’m here for this still stressful but semi bit of comic relief.

The hotel hostage. Oh no. MARGA! Oh no. And Oscar… another trigger warning, this time for transphobia. This is one of the most devastating scenes throughout all the seasons. This person and what they have survived is too much.

Las Chicas Del Cable Season 5 Part 1, Cable Girls, Netflix, Lidia, Oscar, very sad, transphobia
Oscar <\3

And then…

Lidia y Carlos.

Carlos delivers the speech of dying man/dead character. I just can’t with this. The moment he starts speaking I’m so sad. Like, this foreshadowing, it’s inevitable conclusion… ugh.

Las Chicas Del Cable Season 5 Part 1, Cable Girls, Netflix, Lidia, Carlos Cifuentes, speech, dying, in prison, jail
No, Carlos, ¡no!

Pablo comes home!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

But.

Oh no.

Lidia is captured.

Carlos is captured.

Carlos…

Oh, Carlos.

Carlos is murdered. Perhaps he very obviously reaped what he sowed, but he was so beautiful. It’s a shame. We knew he was a muy hot idiota all along. To think, there will be no mas Carlos Cifuentes. No more love triangle – okay that part is a relief, but… ay.

And Lidia…

Imprisoned. With the Wicked Witch of the East.

This is about to get from terribly bad to somehow even worse.

Las Chicas Del Cable Season 5 Part 1, Cable Girls, Netflix, Lidia, in prison camp, Cifuentes
It somehow literally did get worse.

Season 5: Episode 6

Wait… WHAT?!?!?!?!?!?!??!?! There IS no Season 5 Episode 6… YET!

I look closer and realize that not only did it say: Final Season

It said:

Final Season – Part 1

Las Chicas Del Cable Season 5 Part 1, Cable Girls, Netflix, Lidia
Porqueeeeeeeeeeeeeee

WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY DO YOU HATE ME NETFLIX?

PORQUE ME ODIO???????!??!?!??!?!?!?!?!??!?!?!??!?!?!?!?!?

To be continued. Literally.

When I was Dancing with the Stars

Me and my fellow David-Schwimmer-reboot-of-the-Friends-reboot-of-Living-Single cast at the Dancing with the Stars Season 9 Wrap Party

This post is a part of my new blog series, My Life in Brown Hollywood, chronicling my experiences in digital media. You can read all the posts in this series here.

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Picture it: Hollywood, California. The year was 2009, peak recession. I was fresh out of college and a year long internship with BBC Worldwide, in my very first industry job. I was a Production Assistant at Dancing with the Stars, and I was having the time of my life.

5? 6? days a week, I’d schlep myself from Orange County across the 405-to-the-605-to-the-5-to-the-101 to the CBS lot behind The Grove, an hour and a half each way, for a glorious 12-hour shift of re-stocking crafty, making host Tom Bergeron tea (two teabags of Twining Earl Grey with a generous amount of honey, cooled down to drinking temp) right before he recorded voiceover, posting up and ready-for-duty at various spots on set, delivering costumes to contestants homes, researching and buying props for the shows from sometimes creepy warehouses with date-rape-vibe-employees, ordering producer lunches from the Farmer’s Market next door, and coordinating rehearsal checkin’s and filming and spray tans at the dance studio. I was in the belly of the beast that is television production, assisting and observing on the #1 show in America, and I could not have been happier.

Continue reading “When I was Dancing with the Stars”

Storytime Sunday: My collection of White Barbies

White Barbie collection, writer Nida Chowdhry

I had like a dozen White Barbies shoved into this small Barbie suitcase closet. I was very proud of my Barbie collection. One birthday, I remember standing in a Costco aisle gazing at the gorgeous sets of new Barbie dresses. One was a yellow Belle costume. My mom bought it for me and I totally loved and cherished it.

I used to love setting up their worlds for hours on end, but I honestly had no idea what they should say or do. It’s like I had Barbie stage fright. I could construct the stage, but gave them no lines. My friends were thankfully great at that. I had two Barbie playing besties (they know who they are). We would hide in each other’s rooms for hours and hours on end putting together the floor plan for their existences.

I wasn’t allowed to have a Ken but one of them was. Honestly he didn’t contribute much to the game. In retrospect I would have had much more fun playing with Ken had I any deeper understanding of gender and social constructs. Ken could have been more than a boyfriend who kind of just sat there. Sorry for limiting you so much Ken.

At Target, the Barbies we’re in a very specific order. From the beginning of the aisle to the end, it went: White Barbie, White Barbie, White Barbie, White Barbie, White Barbie, White Barbie, White Barbie, White Barbie, White Barbie, White Barbie, horses for Barbie, Barbie’s shoes, Barbie’s ride, and then Black Barbie.

I remember holding Black Barbie in my hands for what felt like a million years in my little kid mind. Thinking. I want this Barbie. But… something doesn’t feel right. It’s as though she’s less important. Or like, I might get in trouble for buying her.

I still get that feeling today when I’m toy shopping for kids in my life. Like, is it okay for me to get a non-White-skin-toned doll for a child? Will their parent think it’s because of my subconscious colorism if their child is brown? What about the “fair” toned kids? Is it ok for me to give them a doll that has brown skin? Sometimes I’ll notice that most or all their dolls are indeed White, and I feel trapped in that same toy aisle, perpetually considering race.

I don’t buy dolls anymore, but if I did I’d buy the Ibtihaj Barbie.

My life in Brown Hollywood

I’m starting a new series on my blog chronicling the narnia of sexism, racism, and general human turdery I navigate in digital media. Fitting, as my specialty as a blog writer is “unpopular public discourse.”

I’ve written about media & entertainment & yadda yadda on my blog for many a year now. I’m no Roger Ebert (in memorium and long live Chaz), but it’s clearly something I’m interested in, am a part of, etc.

But for a while, for a decade really, there’s been so many things brewing in my mind I’ve wanted to write about and really haven’t. (Maybe because I was trying to get to a place where I don’t want to necessarily burn the place down and have some healthy distance from my experiences.) Things like:

Continue reading “My life in Brown Hollywood”

Book Review: Obviously by Akilah Hughes

Pardon me while I play with my wacom tablet which is basically me going back to my parent’s garage desktop computer with dial-up internet playing PAINT for 6 hours in a row to create mediocre pixelated art ::stretches:: all in a good day’s work.

It’s been a minute since I’ve done a book review. Remember when book reports were a thing? Honestly I wouldn’t mind doing a drawing that represents the book and leaving a few hundred words of thoughts on this one.

I’ve been in a pretty eh mood when it comes to TV and reading these day, and its been a while since I read something that spoke to me. In this desperate climate of mehness, Akilah Hughes’ new memoir “Obviously: stories from my timeline” has spoken to me and said words I am all about.

Continue reading “Book Review: Obviously by Akilah Hughes”

Storytime: The Case of Me vs. Ants

nida chowdhry, author, writer, pakistani, american, muslim, storytime, silly, stories, bugs, austin, new york, apartment living

Like a good broke oldest desi daughter who graduated during the 2009 recession is apt to do, I lived with my parents until I got married and subsequently moved in with my partner, which is how I found myself in Austin, Texas in 2012.

And in Austin, in that cute furnished one bedroom downtown apartment that cost $1100 a month to rent and where we had little to no income tax and I lived a short drive from Homeslice Pizza, the roaches found me. They didn’t find me at first. They waited. And they didn’t find me en masse. They sent these little huge scout soldier roaches wearing backpacks that would run across the room on a mission to find a better land for their friends. (I could hear them shouting commands.) They instead found screaming giants and a vacuum hose, and soon, very effective roach deterring pods ordered on amazon and carefully placed in under cabinet areas. And that was that.

Continue reading “Storytime: The Case of Me vs. Ants”

Tangled ball of thoughts and emotions: Part 1

Nida Chowdhry, blog, writer, cartoon, drawing, live love laugh, pinterest, philosophy
But also, like, it is classic ancient wisdom.

I’ve been hesitating to share this post because it’s a bit vague and like taking a walk through my mind without me sharing concrete examples and just yammering as I gaze off into space. It’s the first of many posts I hope to write in unpacking some of the things I get at, so perhaps clarity awaits.

When it comes to seeking the “life we want,” Pinterest and #mondaymotivation philosophy can be oversimplified, and I’m in constant danger of pushing it myself (in daily casual remarks and “advice,” as well as on this blog). There’s like, no context for different socio-economic backgrounds, racial/gender/sexual orientation inequalities, the behind-the-scenes relationship dynamics in a person’s life, bananas experiences humans go through, and all of the mental health challenges that come with all of it.

I have a bunch of privilege like time and energy (like not needing three jobs to make ends meet), as well as resources (like occasional therapy and, you know, the luxury of basic psychology which my parents generation of immigrant hustlers in their catch-22 lives could not afford to give mind to in survival mode). Not all of us have the luxury (or desire) to sit and unpack our traumas. Sometimes we just gotta shove it in a bag and keep going (or even run for our lives).

That being said, this post is about the tangled ball of thoughts and emotions in my head, overcoming habits, and trying to be more honest with myself:

Nida Chowdhry, blog, writer, cartoon, drawing, doodle, diagram, imposter syndrome, perfectionism, trauma, experience, unpacking, unpack, self awareness
Don’t pull the string.

Brene Brown calls herself a recovering perfectionist, and boy, is that an apt description.

At the bottom of my need for perfectionism is one of my deepest fears: that one wrong move and people will see what a fraud I am, how unworthy I am, and completely disown me. To put it in other words, I’m the baby and I’m (constantly) afraid (/anxious/terrified) of getting thrown out with the bath water.

Nida Chowdhry, blog, writer, cartoon, drawing, throw the baby out with the bath water, imposter syndrome, perfectionism, mistake, fear
Bye bye baby.

It’s directly linked to my struggle with imposter syndrome, which, after several years of denial-anger-bargaining-and-depression led me to realize and accept that I’ve been dealing with this since I was a child, and it’s time for me to build a new way of thinking in my mind. That and unpacking a series of experiences from my teen/early 20’s has been the chief business of my interior life for the past few years.

A little while into Operation Stop Numbing Nida, I am learning to:

  1. Explore what’s really going on inside my head (or like the truth I’m desperately running from).
  2. Wade through my own vulnerability (read: FEAR! FEAR! FEAR!) to answer myself truthfully.
  3. Summon the courage and bravery to admit what I want/how I want to move forward (while hurling the whole way there).

This ranges from concrete things like what I want to do in my career to abstract things like how I was affected by certain situations and the walls I then put up (which started out as emergency boundaries) that I now find limiting.

Nida Chowdhry, blog, writer, cartoon, drawing, tangled thoughts, diagram, chart, make a choice, journey of self discovery, what do i want, vulnerability, risk, brene brown, brave, self awareness
Untangling the tangle.

It is scary. Mostly it’s scarier navigating the waters of my mind. It’s been easier to kind of tread the waters of unhappiness and confusion (but also, you know, things take time) and lash out (mainly at myself) than to admit what is going on inside my own mind (which can be, you know, a shit show that we sometimes simply don’t have the capacity to deal with and bury and put off for years and years sometimes until we die).

When my thoughts and emotions are a tangled ball, it’s so easy for me to dismiss myself as like, wild, wrong, high-strung, problematic, and to label myself as a hopeless neverending problem that’s all my fault.

michael scott, self-hatred, perfectionism, imposter syndrome, blame

But when I start to untangle, or even just become willing to get tangled in my own problems, suddenly, it’s like… for a while I’m lost and flailing (sometimes for days and sometimes for years and years)… and then…

Nida Chowdhry, blog, writer, cartoon, drawing, frustrated, frustration, thought pattern, light bulb moment, self discovery, self exploration, asking oneself, honesty, self awareness
Because adults are just complex toddlers.

There’s clarity. And I’m like. Oh. That’s what I want. Or how I feel. Or what’s going on with me. Oh. That’s not so bad (or okay, but also sometimes it’s a disaster). I can deal with that (or ignore this until I’m ready to deal with it?). I can figure it out (through introspection and maybe with resources and support). I can build mechanisms in my mind to overcome this (though I may take a while, patience grasshopper). I can form words and a polite way to vocalize what I think and desire (hashtag prayer hands).

Nida Chowdhry, blog, writer, cartoon, drawing, tangled thoughts, diagram, chart, make a choice, journey of self discovery, what do i want, vulnerability, risk, brene brown, brave, self awareness, new habits, positivity

And yes, it is scary. Yes, I am scared. I am totally scared. And yet, after engaging this process, of kindly asking myself what’s going on, like, “Why am I feeling this way?” and of being less afraid of admitting, “Oh, this triggers your habit of perfectionism,” or, “Oh, this stems from your patterns of imposter syndrome…”

I’m finding how surprisingly simple (or complex) and empathy-inspiring my own issues are (for me, to myself. You might be like, I hate you, you hideous beast). Like, it’s not like I am being a monster (on purpose at least). And from this honesty, I’m able to cultivate new ways to move forward that are much less miserable, and dare I say, can at times be joyful.

I’m steadily unsteadily moving forward.

Natasha Rothwell is just ::chef’s kiss::

P.S. I recently read a book that was gifted to me over a year ago, called “The Gifts of Imperfection” by Brene Brown (the tagline is “Let go of who you think you’re supposed to be and embrace who you are”). I highly recommend it (and hope to write a review soon). It’s definitely informed a bunch of my thoughts as of late.