Saturday, July 14, 2018

'Hermione and the Quarter Life Crisis' Season Two: Recapping the Mischief and Mayhem

Hermione Granger and the Quarter Life Crisis opens up in a fascinating prelude: Juniper Dias (Stephanie Ezekiel, far left), Pavarti Patil (Gabby Shaikh, third), and Laquita Granger (Tamara French, far right) mime soft, poised movements as Hermione Granger (Ashley Romans, second) recites metaphoric wisdom.
Summer has been a killer frenzied return of black women creatives and black women leads: Queen Sugar is back on OWN TV, Insecure will soon be offering its third helping on HBO, and Hermione Granger and the Quarter Life Crisis is in full swing on YouTube. After a long, tormenting hiatus and a solid Indiegogo campaign, series creator Eliyannah Amirah Yisrael directs the first two available episodes of magically entertaining Hermione Granger and the Quarter Life Crisis. Ashley Romans' turn as Hermione Granger, the exceedingly smart bookworm friend of Harry Potter, is such a sensational treat.

Hermione's library ranges from Jane Austen classics to Alice Walker.

Spiking up that butterbeer.
Seven months after her cousin Laquita almost discovered their wizardry ways, Hermione has moved into a posh bachelorette pad. Her pals are more than thrilled. Well, Pavarti is thrilled. Sarcastic Juniper is happy to be freed of Hermione's couch crashing and endless brooding.

Uninvited guests, Papa Bear Herman Granger (David Stewart) and ex, Ron Weasley (Conor O'Sullivan) pop by Hermione's new place.
Papa Bear still hasn't climbed on board Forgiveness Express.
A major problematic issue with J. K. Rowling's hit series is that sex is glossed over. Yes, the books and films started off as pure children's genre, each period transitioning into darker and young adult oriented territory. At the same time, the seven part saga ends with everyone married off, happy, and raising children. Now Hogwarts didn't have sex education. Future warlocks, witches, and the like learned only about their supernatural capabilities. Perhaps if bad performing boyfriends couldn't cut it, dissatisfied lovers used wands for other purposes.

Reunited and it feels so..... bad?

Ron's second visit to Hermione's home comes unfortunate morning "break up sex." Except, Ron isn't a Casanova between the sheets. Ron has always been rather clumsy and a bit selfish. For a person often performing bad spell incantations, driving cars into trees, and running off in misguided jealous rages, Ron cannot possibly be a gratifying physical partner. He and Hermione's lack of experience sheds a light on their sexual compatibility as well as emotional and psychological. People say friends make the best lovers, but sometimes friends should remain strictly platonic.

Hermione will have a special place in the Weasley clan. They were her extended family. With Ron, however, their friendship related closely to a sibling vibe. Hermione took the right  step in setting things right with him. She had to deal with the broken engagement, leaving him behind. In fact, it was very Hermionian that amicably ended them. In her delicate case, she is slowly finding her way in Los Angeles and coming to terms with what she did to her mother. A romantic relationship probably is not the best situation.

Then again, a romantic relationship with Ron was never going to be the best for Hermione. For a woman with fire, intelligence, and passion, she shouldn't have to settle for mediocrity.

"All you need is a good horizontal refresher with a guy you don't really care about."- Pavarti
Yet Pavarti advises Hermione to rethink inhibitions about sex. Of course, having a sex buddy (sex nemesis?) would translate to Draco, the bane of her existence. Draco may say that they were children of war. That much is true. yet previous actions speak louder than words. He had slurred her most of their childhood years and considering that Hermione is now a black character, a slur can have a double edged meaning. Filthy little mudblood could also be a stab at her blackness as well as her half magic status. And in one of the most heinous acts in the Harry Potter series involved Hermione being violently tortured by Bellatrix Lestrange in Draco's own house.

Draco Malfoy (Nicholas D. Johnson) also drops by Hermione's to make a surprising declaration.

Hermione's wtf face. Just minutes before she garbs her wand. Even Draco knows Hermione knows how to use it.
At the same time, Draco is seeing a therapist. Despite his evil family's lifelong commanding influence over him, last season he had allowed homeless Hermione and her friends to stay at his house. Perhaps, he is crawling out of Lucius and Narcissa's thumb, happening since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows ended. It makes perfect sense for him to carry guilt. He has a lot to repent.

Hermione is right to cool things off with fellow wizard Ben van den Berghe (DJ Ester).
In other man orbiting Hermione news, cutie Ben, who looks like Dean Thomas's distant cousin, has also staked claim on our independent witchy woman. A knight-in-shining sorcery, Ben rescues Hermione's bad day with hugs, forehead kisses, and wand prepped dinner. Hermione, however , is in a rough internal place. Sweet, noble Ben is sincere and put together-- quite a striking difference than Ron, but the last thing Hermione needs is another serious clinch. She should relish in her twenties, be carefree, find the magic in the ordinary. Throughout her adolescence and teenagerhood, Hermione has always been the responsible, level headed resource, putting others before her. As pleasant as Ben appears to be, Hermione has earned "me time." She deserves to be self indulgent.

The magic gang is all here: Ben (DJ Ester), Hermione (Ashley Romans), Kang (Chase Li), Pavarti (Gabby Shaikh), Juniper (Stephanie Ezekiel), and Leslie (Robert Dowdy).
Hermione's complicated love life aside, her friends are holding little crises of their own. At the end of the first episode, via radio, star Qudditch player Kang has been injured after a match. Whilst questioning his purpose sans the uber popular magic sport, he seems to be in good spirits. He is financially set, but money isn't always the greatest source of happiness. Plus, he might be falling for Juniper-- a hardened shell to crack. Meanwhile, Leslie is running for muggle political office and confides in Hermione that he plans to propose to LaQuita. He wants to tie the knot and tell her everything! It is bad enough that LaQuita hints at Granger family secrets to Pavarti-- meaning that she may not have bought their bogus haunted mansion fib. This could have awful consequences.

After all, Hermione ran away after her marriage proposal. What's LaQuita going to do once she finds out her boo is a wizard activist?

Exciting times ahead.

Leslie's future plans will affect Hermione in a crucial way.
Hermione Granger and the Quarter Life Crisis remains an intriguing, must watch series and a wonderful, refreshing delight easily accessed on the web. It promotes positive images of black and nonblack people existing, thriving. They're magical without the negative tropes.

Isn't it enchanting that people of color have gone from speaking six minutes, eighteen seconds in all eight Harry Potter films (20 hours long), to having complete dialogues in twelve minute episodes?

Imagine that!

Catch the Episode One: Hermoine's First Day and Episode Two: What She Wants episodes of Hermione  and the Quarter Life Crisis season two on YouTube as well as the first season. 

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