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academic-insomaniac · 25 minutes ago
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Hi Neil,
I was talking with my husband about teenagers and he said from what he's heard from my family, I seemed to mostly miss the "ugh my family is so lame, I refuse to have fun on this outing" attitude when I was a teen, even though I was a goth. I said that your "perky goth girl" Death made it okay to be a cheerful goth who has fun instead of being mopey and "too cool" all the time as an aesthetic. He said I should thank you for that, so thank you!
You are both so welcome.
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academic-insomaniac · 27 minutes ago
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does anyone wear clothes in the next season of good omens? were there cameras involved in the filming of go2?
Wait and... Hang on a minute. I can answer both of those without spoiling anything. Yes, somebody wears clothes. Yes cameras were involved.
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academic-insomaniac · 22 hours ago
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Subtext and Culture, Young Royals, Season 2, Episode 4
This episode picks up immediately after the previous one, Felice has fled Wilhelm's room and he's panicking...
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Subtext: Not sure if he writes that to reassure Felice, or himself. Or maybe both?
Subtext: Either way, Henry totally snitched. Maybe he just told Walter, who then snitched, but no matter, the secret is out, and now everyone knows.
Subtext: Since Sara has never dated or even pursued a guy before, she's completely clueless on how it's done, and doesn't really understand sexting emojis. I use Urban Dictionary to figure out what the dang kids these days are talking about, and 🍑 means booty! You're welcome. This is an educational Tumblr after all.
Subtext: This episode is littered with hints about Stella's sexuality, and it's kinda telling that she's a lot less bothered about others seeing her make out with Fredrika.
Culture: It totally is. Sweden has imported a couple of retail holidays from the US, Valentine's is one, but it wasn't really a thing until the 90's, and it's pretty watered down compared to that. There's a lost in translation here as well, because in Sweden the day is called Alla Hjärtans Dag - All Hearts' Day, but the Hillerska tradition is called Valentindagen, which literally means Valentine's Day, which is not the same thing as the retail holiday.
Subtext: Oh look, it's the Theme™ rearing its ugly head again! Instead of examining crappy traditions, the students are just perpetuating them mindlessly. That everyone was "a bit sexist" in the 1700's is no excuse to keep the bad parts of this tradition.
Subtext: To the other girls, Marie Antoinette is seen as a positive example of the time period because of the ostentatiousness and nobility, but Sara doesn't quite make the same association, and only remembers her for being decapitated during the French Revolution.
Subtext: She lied, like a liar.
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Subtext: Walter's slightly desperate strategy also applies to Wilhelm. If Simon says no, Wilhelm has no plan B.
Subtext: Oh look, the Theme™. We're on a roll here!
Subtext: The chant that Walter starts goes "Alla är lika mycket värda" in Swedish, which is sort of how the Universal Declaration of Human Rights start in its Swedish version. This egalitarian phrase pops up in tons of places and mission statements where people and organizations want to emphasize human rights, and is very familiar to most Swedes. But then the chant continues about how only very few people are allowed into Forest Ridge, making a mockery of the implied equality. Because of course these rich assholes think they have more worth than everyone else.
Subtext: Earlier I reblogged a great post by @randomsmilingpotatoes about how this season shows us easier, simpler relationship alternatives for both Wilhelm and Simon. This scene is one example of that, because it shows that if Wilhelm had been straight and going after the other rich girls at school, all the Forest Ridge boys would have celebrated him, included him in their fellowship, and cheered him on in his "conquests". Everyone knows he had a thing with Simon, but because he's a boy, and not rich, they're not celebrating Wilhelm for that.
Subtext: As usual when Simon feels hurt by Wilhelm's actions, he reactively reaches out to Marcus.
Subtext: Marcus comes to the rescue and treats Simon to a lunch that is more appropriate to their social class, they're having pizza on the hood of his car. This is another example of how a relationship with Marcus would be simpler for Simon, here he doesn't have to mind his table manners unlike at the formal luncheons at Forest Ridge where he'll always be an outsider.
Blink-and-you-miss-it: Of course Marcus has a Wunderbaum air freshener hanging in the rear-view mirror, like the low-brow pleb he is. I, on the other hand, am a man of high class and refined tastes, so I have a Pusheen air freshener in my car instead. Om nom nom ice cream.
Subtext: Yes Marcus, that is exactly what Simon wants to do.
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Blink-and-you-miss-it: I'm cackling with laughter at Sara's expression as she tries - and fails - to take some sexy selfies.
Blink-and-you-miss-it: Whoops, can't have a horse plushie in the sexy selfie, so she quickly throws it to the floor before continuing.
Culture: They're playing Spökboll, a Swedish version of Dodgeball, and a staple of many a gym class. Also, angry, jealous Simon has great aim!
Blink-and-you-miss-it: Simon's eyes are up here, Wilhelm. Stop ogling his body.
Subtext: In Simon's defence, it was Marcus who surprised him with that kiss, it wasn't exactly mutual. Wilhelm doesn't know how much Simon is actually struggling with moving on, but Simon isn't dispelling the notion either.
Subtext: Previously, the Queen emphasized how anyone dating Wilhelm has to deal with his position, and later in this episode both Felice and Nils will say the same thing. This is the point where Wilhelm realizes that maybe it'll never work out with Simon if this is non-negotiable on his part, because Wilhelm can't stop being a prince. And since Wilhelm walks out of the argument, Simon realizes at this point that he maybe went too far, Wilhelm might actually move on after this.
Blink-and-you-miss-it: Wilhelm makes a hilarious puppy face when asking Felice to forgive him. Her calling him out on his enormous selfishness was pretty satisfying though, and well earned!
Subtext: And again, yet another example of easier alternatives for Wilhelm. There's no shortage of people who would want to date him because he is a prince, unlike Simon who is doing the opposite, making that relationship much more difficult.
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Culture: Traditionally, there are fourteen lines in a sonnet. Each line also needs to be in iambic pentameter, and the whole thing needs to conform to a rhyme scheme. The most well known composer of sonnets was William Shakespeare, who mostly used the ABAB CDCD EFEF GG rhyme scheme.
Blink-and-you-miss-it: Vincent never misses a chance to put down the other boys, and I can't help but laugh.
Subtext: This episode really piles on the relationship alternatives, and here comes Nils with his suggestion: Keep everything on the down-low. Be gay, but discreetly. Hook up with guys, quietly. Go to private, upper-class gay parties at some exclusive ski resort in Switzerland, and meet guys who in the same situation and that can keep quiet. You don't have to be out and proud, no-one needs to know.
Lost in translation: Nils uses "gay" here, which in Swedish has a less strict meaning than the English word gay, where it usually only refers to a homosexual man. In Swedish though it can mean "not straight", so who knows how Nils identifies.
Culture: Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, isn't high profile enough for you, Nils? But he has a point, it's rare for people in that position to be out and open about it.
Culture: He's not wrong, it would be world news. I don't think there's any immediate family in the line of succession in any European monarchy that is openly queer. However, there's currently over 30 royal kids throughout Europe that are Gen Z or younger, the odds of every single one of them being straight is pretty much zero, so there's a chance that we'll actually see this in real life soon. Fingers crossed! 🤞🤞
Cinematography: Not content with dropping hints about Stella any longer, the show implicitly tells us that she wrote the poem to Fredrika by focusing on her face and her reaction.
Subtext: ...and follows it up with more hints in her dialogue.
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Subtext: August has no qualms about standing naked in front of the window, with the curtains open. He doesn't need to hide his relationship with Sara, if someone were to spy on him, he'd be celebrated by the other guys instead.
Subtext: Even though August started the episode in a great mood after having the meeting with the Queen, here the trap of royal duty begins to close around him, and he realizes that it's not all positive. If he's going to be the spare, the royal court needs to control his future as well. Ten years sure sounds like a prison sentence.
Subtext: No, he lied, like a liar.
Subtext: As if the show hasn't already used Jan-Olof as a personification of systemic homophobia, here it's made explicit. The court needs for August to be straight, otherwise their backup plan might not work either.
Subtext: For Sara, this is possibly something she's heard her dad promise before, and that didn't turn out so well.
Subtext: Sara makes up an excuse for not going with August to the ball, but the real reason is because of loyalty, she promised the girls to go with them. She's also dating her best friend's ex behind her back, which is pretty disloyal as well.
Subtext: Felice is talking about Wilhelm, but now that Sara knows that August is Wilhelm's spare and a future royal, this suddenly applies to her too.
Subtext: Felice is loyal to her friends, which is why she turned Wilhelm down.
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Blink-and-you-miss-it: Vincent being his usual hilarious horrible self.
Culture: In Sweden, the drinking age is 18, so only the third-year students are allowed to legally drink. But since this is an official party for the entire school, the staff can't serve alcohol to the kids, which is why a lot of them are pre-gaming in the dorms.
Subtext: For August, dressing up as a noble is something he enjoys. He's always wanted more status, and now that he's Wilhelm's spare he's got it.
Subtext: ...while Wilhelm hates it, he hates having to dress up and play the part, because it's that exact thing that is stopping him from having a relationship with Simon. But at this point he's pretty much resigned himself to his fate, so he puts on the makeup and the dress, playing the part of a real prince, crying while doing so.
Subtext: August is normally a pretty confident guy, but here we see him being insecure and anxious for the first time, because he's actually in love with Sara and is afraid of fucking up his carefully planned classy little pre-party champagne date with her.
Lost in translation: Sara writes "Vi kan inte ses mer", which means "We can't see each other any more", which is actually kind of a break-up message. But the English subtitles make it seem like she's just standing him up for this one party.
Subtext: Simon was planning to only do his performance and skip the rest of the party, because he knew Wilhelm would be there. But now that Marcus shows up, ready to go to the party for Simon's sake, he changes his mind.
Subtext: The fish do have names, it's just that Simon associates that with a very happy memory of Wilhelm, and he's clearly thinking of that here.
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Culture: We need to have a small intermission here, talking about the theme for the masquerade ball, and how this relates to the show.
In the early 1700's in Sweden, despite early successes defending Sweden on the battlefield against Denmark-Norway, the young king Karl XII embarked on a disastrous campaign against Russia that ended in defeat and weakened the military. On his return to Sweden he started a new campaign against Norway, but died in battle there soon after in 1718, which pretty much led to the end of the era of the Swedish Empire that had started a hundred years earlier.
These defeats and loss of military power made the monarchy pretty unpopular among the people, so when queen Ulrika Eleonora took over the throne after her childless brother, she was forced to give up a lot of power to parliament, and no longer had the unchecked power to rule over the country. The early to mid 1700's was also the time when the Age of Enlightenment swept over Europe, and philosophers like Voltaire and Rousseau spread ideals of liberty and equality and brotherhood, which in France ultimately resulted in the bloody French Revolution at the end of the century.
But In Sweden, these ideas led to the Age of Liberty, an era marked by rationality and science and civil rights, and Sweden started progressing into a proper constitutional monarchy, ruled by law instead of the whims of the current king or queen. However, parliament became more and more unstable, and in 1772 the newly crowned king Gustav III seized power from parliament in a coup, rolled back many of the recent changes, and restored the absolute monarchy.
And that's the dude in the painting above, sitting on the left, together with his two brothers, Prince Fredrik Adolf, and Prince Karl. This time period is the theme of the ball, and all the kids are wearing similar clothes; French fashion from the late 1700's, powdered wigs, cravats, tricorne hats, pearls and all. Because of course an upper-class school like Hillerska would rather celebrate a period marked by a strong monarchy and absolute rule, rather than that egalitarian wishy-washy nonsense of the earlier era.
In further parallels to the show, Gustav III was probably gay, had gay lovers among the nobility, and might not have been the biological father of his children, due to difficulties *ahem* performing the necessary act with his spouse, Queen Sofia Magdalena.
The king was a huge supporter of culture and arts, and under his rule, Sweden got its first opera house, its first ballet company, and a proper drama theatre, all of which are still in operation today. The king even wrote several plays and a few operas himself, and spent a lot of time directing these plays as well. However, him spending more time on his hobbies than actually ruling the country, combined with certain political reforms he pushed through, made him deeply unpopular among the nobility. So unpopular in fact that several nobles got together in a conspiracy to assassinate him. The king was shot at a masquerade ball in 1792 and died of the complications two weeks later.
All the conspirators were caught, the man who pulled the trigger, Jacob Johan Anckarström, was executed for treason, and a number of co-conspirators were either jailed or exiled. One of the leading co-conspirators' name was, and I shit you not, Claes Fredrik Horn. What's August's last name in the show again?
This lesson about queer Swedish kings in history is now over, back to the show.
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Blink-and-you-miss-it: An alternative to pre-gaming is to smuggle in alcohol to the party and spike your own drinks with it. Fredrika hid a pocket flask in her dress.
Blink-and-you-miss-it: Stella is wearing a very anachronistic dollar-sign necklace. It does look fabulous, though!
Subtext: Is it better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all? Stella doesn't dare make that gamble, and is instead settling for the unfortunately very common queer trope of secretly pining for your straight best friend.
Subtext: Throughout the entire party, Simon makes it so obvious that he's not into Marcus, and is just using him to make Wilhelm jealous.
Subtext: Marcus is pretty oblivious though, and he can't wait to get the hell out of this place, he's not comfortable, he wanted a quiet date-night at home with Simon, but this was the only way he could get Simon to spend the night with him.
Subtext: Throughout this not-really-relationship, Marcus has insisted on setting the pace, and here he does it again. He has now decided that they should have sex, which is why he showed up to this thing in the first place, and is nagging Simon to sleep at his place, while completely ignoring all the signs that Simon is on a completely different page.
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Subtext: Alexander is completely in the dark here, he thinks Wilhelm and Felice was a serious thing, and he thinks that August still has feelings for Felice.
Subtext: August is pissed about being stood up by Sara, so he reverts to his usual scheming self. Planning the downfall of the king at a masquerade ball? Didn't I just write about something like that a few sections ago?
Culture: The tall thing in the middle of the table is called a Krokan in Swedish, which is more of a decorative almond cookie thing than a cake. The pink marzipan cake is called an Operatårta, which is a pink variation of the even more classic green Swedish princess cake. If you live near an IKEA, you can usually find mini versions of these in their restaurant.
Subtext: It's kinda ironic that Marcus has more in common with Wilhelm than Simon, but what does Simon and Marcus have in common, really? They clearly have completely opposite tastes.
Cinematography: Out at the party the lighting is pink and warm and romantic, but in the kitchen there's a sickly fluorescent glow instead, and it's filled with modern things that completely clash with the theme of the party. Wilhelm tried putting on a show, but as soon as Simon is out of sight, he throws away his cake and escapes the fake dressed-up environment by going into the kitchen, where we see his real feelings.
Subtext: It was at this exact moment Simon realized that he had fucked up. His attempts at making Wilhelm jealous has completely backfired, and Wilhelm is now finally letting go, just like he has been preparing himself for the entire episode.
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Cinematography: Unlike the first season which featured cute moments between the two of them in almost every episode, this season started with a fakeout dream scene, and has since then withheld moments like this on purpose to build suspense.
We've been seeing both Wilhelm and Simon have intimate scenes with other characters, but there's been no chemistry, nothing in those scenes that make us want to root for those relationships.
But now it's time for the emotional payoff, and the show holds nothing back, it employs every single trick in its book to make us really feel this moment: The action is slowed way down, and all outside sounds disappear. The only thing we're hearing is their heavy breathing, just like in similar scenes in the first season, and the soundtrack switches to the [dreamy electronic music] used in the initial dream scene. The chemistry is insane, you can cut the tension with a knife, and you're all supposed to remember that this is why we're watching this show! This is why we're invested in this couple!
And then they kiss.
Can you breathe again? Do you need to take a cold shower? Alright, let's wrap this episode up. Yeah, yeah, Marcus interrupts the moment, and he sees Wilhelm, putting two and two together, who cares? They kissed! They finally kissed!
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Subtext: The idea that no-one picks up on the fact that this song is totally about a lost love is hilarious, because it's so obvious to me. I have to squint and look at it sideways to imagine how it could possibly be about the school, not the other way around!
Subtext: Wilhelm is looking at Marcus at this line, because Simon got lost by trying to get together with Marcus, but just now found his way back "home" to Wilhelm again.
Subtext: He did remove the profanity and he did put Hillerska in there like the music teacher told him, so that everyone understands it's totally about the school! And not about Wilhelm, nuh-uh!
Subtext: In the same way that Simon's song is about his feelings for Wilhelm, afterwards the soundtrack switches to Beautiful Boy, which is about what Wilhelm is feeling for Simon, because in this moment he could really feel that Simon does love him after all. The way Simon is ignoring Marcus and only has eyes for Wilhelm might be a big fat hint as well.
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academic-insomaniac · 22 hours ago
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Second Half of Young Royals S2
Simon (to August): Fuck you. Simon (to Alexander): Fuck you. Simon (to Sara): Fuck you. Simon (to Jan-Olof): Fuck you. Simon (to Marcus): Fuck you. Simon (to Wilhelm, after seeing him intimidate his cousin with a shotgun): Fuck me.
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academic-insomaniac · 22 hours ago
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Wille after he learned about Marcus:
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Simon after he learned about Felice:
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academic-insomaniac · 22 hours ago
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The best thing about the mobile app is the way fast reblogs works, please adapt that to the desktop app and website, I want to be able to slingshot posts across my computer screen
There's some way to fast reblog on desktop I'm pretty sure go search it up. I know you can press J to skip a post
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academic-insomaniac · 22 hours ago
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academic-insomaniac · 22 hours ago
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trying to have the same mindset as “just cut your hair, it’ll grow back” when making decisions. they’re not all make or break.
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academic-insomaniac · a day ago
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Have i ever mentioned how much i love young royals tumblr. I love all of tje super long texts analysing the tiniest details of the show or drawinf paralels to other media, i love the gifsets the little posts with random thoughts and ideas or theories or character studies ajd the GORGEOUS ARTWORK,,, everyone here is SO NICE????? I wanna be friends with all of you guys ily
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academic-insomaniac · a day ago
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I don't know why everyone complaints so much about Queen Kristina?! She sent Wille to Hillerska and he met Simon. She sent Wille to a phychiatrist and he publicly came out... Can't wait to see what she tries in s3 🤣
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academic-insomaniac · a day ago
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Nice job
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academic-insomaniac · 2 days ago
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yes, Martin Scorsese acknowledged Goncharov, but did someone send it to Matteo JWHJ0715?
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academic-insomaniac · 2 days ago
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a few of of my favorite goncharov reviews on letterboxd
edit: since the new york times (!!) linked to this post as an example of fake letterboxd reviews, i just want to clarify that i made these in picsart! i made these only a couple of hours into the trend before goncharov was actually on letterboxd and i never thought it would get so huge. thank you to everyone who made lovely art of the apple scene and the boat scene ❤
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academic-insomaniac · 2 days ago
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genuinely hilarious to me that people insist on lumping yr and hs together when wille literally held a gun against his cousin’s head and nick isn’t allowed to say the word fuck
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academic-insomaniac · 2 days ago
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Subtext and Culture, Young Royals, Season 2, Episode 3
When Jan-Olof called August at the end of episode 2, he said August was supposed to be at the castle next Tuesday, which is when this episode ends. So we're probably picking up this episode in the weekend before that maybe?
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Culture: August calls his not favourite step-dad to get some legal advice to prepare for being summoned by the Queen. But if you listen to the Swedish dialogue, Rickard keeps repeating a word - grovt - while listing the possible crimes. The subtitles struggle with this, and the word normally means coarse or thick or rough, but in the context of Swedish criminal law, it means grave, egregious, or worse than normal, and it means that if convicted, the punishment should be from the upper end of the scale.
Subtext: Wilhelm is trying some self-help for his anxiety, but it's not going too well. Baby steps!
Subtext: It's no coincidence that the "injured party" is in the image while August's step-dad mentions it, and that's of course the problem for August. If he confesses or gets dragged into court, he's got an uphill battle, fighting the royal court and their lawyers, which his step-dad might not be up for.
Subtext: Wilhelm demanded distance from his bodyguards, the Queen said she couldn't do that, but what do you know, apparently it wasn't impossible for them to back off a bit.
Subtext: This is somewhat of a theme for this episode, but also for the series as a whole. Wilhelm talked Simon into cheating to get into the rowing team, for purely selfish reasons, and because it's second nature to him. But he'll never get punished for cheating, it's always someone else who will. Simon knows what's up.
Lost in translation: My subtitles skipped this word completely, but isterband is a kind of pork sausage. I'm not a fan, so I completely understand Felice here!
Subtext: Despite Jan-Olof being set up as kind of a villain, opposing Wilhelm all the way, at the end of the day he is employed by the royal family, and Wilhelm does outrank him and can order him around.
Culture: I live in Hawaii, so imagine my surprise when I went to Sweden in 2019 and suddenly noticed tons of places selling poke bowls of all things, when no-one would have known what that even was a year earlier. Sweden has this funny ability to take a trend from zero to a hundred seemingly overnight, leading to over-establishment and people burning out on trends as quickly as they appeared.
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Subtext: Simon knows that cheating doesn't work, so he has enlisted Rosh to help him out with his workout in preparation for the competition, while Wilhelm is having a lazy "room-service" dinner with Felice.
Subtext: To be fair to Simon, Wilhelm has been manipulating things in order to stay close to him, and not the other way around.
Subtext: I'm gonna headcanon things a bit about Marcus here, but this is my take on it: Since they went to the same school, I think Marcus knew who Simon was, knew that he had come out as gay, and has been secretly crushing on him since. Marcus is probably really in love with Simon, and so caught up in finally going out with his crush that he isn't exactly picking up on the fact that Simon isn't on the same level.
Subtext: Simon is wearing a purple hoodie which means he's thinking about Wilhelm according to our popular colour theory. And he's wondering why he can't fall in love with Marcus? It's a complete mystery!
Subtext: The only times Simon has reached out to Marcus has been when he's feeling hurt by Wilhelm. But right here he realizes that he actually likes Wilhelm more, which is why he ignores Marcus.
Subtext: Everyone has been encouraging Wilhelm to talk about his feelings, so this is a start, he's finally found a friend he can talk to. Ironically, he's trying to let go, just as Simon realizes he shouldn't move on.
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Subtext: Ah, Nils, never change! Boris isn't like the other teachers and staff at school, he doesn't fit in with the upper classes, which is why he's got this nickname. For all his derision though, it doesn't stop Nils from seeing him.
Culture: Nils shows contempt for the concept with his air quotes, but hbtqi-certifiering is a real thing offered by RFSL, Sweden's oldest and largest gay rights organization. For a psychologist to have that certification, it just means they're equipped to deal with the unique mental health problems queer people face.
Subtext: In his own way, Boris actually does answer the question without answering it, hinting that Erik also had problems with the role of being the crown prince and the weight of that responsibility.
Subtext: He's not wrong, though. The more money and power and fame you have, the more people will want to get close to you and use you and potentially blackmail you and leech off of you. There is a legit reason for the secrecy and privacy among the upper class.
Blink and you miss it: He's talking about Erik while touching the watch he wears as a memory of him.
Subtext: This old question again, "Is it better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all?" I'd say he's lying to himself here, it hurts right now, but he is better off for it.
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Culture: The authors are four very well-known Swedish authors from the turn of the century, these books are classics, and every high school student in Sweden will have read some works by these authors, if not these specific books.
First up is Den Allvarsamma Leken by Hjalmar Söderberg, which is about a couple who met while young, couldn't get together, but stay in love over many years and relationships. Obvious parallels to Wilhelm and Simon's situation. This novel has been made into a movie several times, and the 2016 version was directed by none other than Pernilla August.
The second book is Kris by Karin Boye, and as the characters explain, it is an autobiographic novel about a lesbian love story hampered by tradition, because being gay in the 1930's wasn't exactly kosher.
The third book is Herr Arnes Penningar by literature Nobel prize laureate Selma Lagerlöf, which is about a murder-arson-robbery gone wrong. I certainly hope it's not meant to parallel our story! Selma used to be on the Swedish 20-krona bills introduced in the 90's, but design was replaced in 2015 to feature another author, Astrid Lindgren.
Edit: Thank you @emberc and @richtearex for finding out the title of the fourth book!
I can't make out the title of the fourth book, but the author is The fourth book is Getting Married by the internationally most well-known Swedish author and playwright August Strindberg. Many of his works are about challenging tradition and social rules, and he was seen as very controversial during his lifetime. The book is a collection of short stories about different kinds of marriage, including same-sex ones, which was extremely controversial when it was published in the 1880's. Again, obvious parallels to the show itself.
Subtext: If you haven't picked up the super duper obvious parallels between the novel and this story by now, I have completely failed in teaching you how to pick up subtext, and you are as completely clueless as Henry, who completely misses the point of the novel!
Blink and you miss it: Wilhelm really doesn't like speaking in public.
Subtext: Given how clueless Henry is, he's probably also completely missing the tension between Simon and Wilhelm, and he's that guy in a group project, always escaping responsibility. But him bailing to get coffee actually allows our boys to have a talk.
Subtext: Earlier, Simon chided Wilhelm for not being able to talk about his feelings, and now Wilhelm flips it and criticizes Simon for his lack of honesty.
Subtext: Simon starts reactively texting Marcus about meeting up to break up. But this time it's a reaction because he's slowly realizing he doesn't want to move on from Wilhelm. In the end though he changes his mind and doesn't send the text.
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Subtext: Obviously, Sara is trying to sabotage the horse sale. Unfortunately for her, everyone else realizes what she's doing and is pretty much ignoring her.
Subtext: Simon did not fool the music teacher, she immediately realized that the song was actually about Wilhelm, but gives him suggestions on how to salvage it into a proper school song.
Subtext: Wilhelm's plan of replacing August backfires some more, Vincent is his usual douchy self, and Wilhelm realizes he can't control him like he could with August.
Subtext: First Brutus, now Judas. August really sees Vincent as the ultimate traitor.
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Subtext: I think Marcus is getting an undeserved amount of shit in the fandom, because up until this point he's been nothing but good. He's actually getting his heart broken here by Simon, because he thought he really had a chance with him.
Subtext: Marcus says he is willing to wait for Simon to be ready for a relationship, which is the exact same thing Simon broke up with Wilhelm about, because he was not willing to wait for Wilhelm to be ready.
Subtext: He lied, like a liar. Wilhelm is 100% the reason Simon wants to call it off with Marcus at this point.
Subtext: But from this point on, I agree with the rest of you, this is manipulative behaviour from Marcus' side and not ok! He is clearly getting ahead of himself and wanting to salvage this relationship by any means, because in his head it's this beautiful thing that was meant to be.
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Subtext: August is definitely sending some mixed signals here, he says he just wants to talk, so why is he lounging around half-naked waiting for her? However, it's also the case that Sara is the only person he can talk to about the sex tape at this point.
Subtext: Everyone has been telling Sara that August is the worst person in the world, using those exact words, and here he is saying it himself. But because he does that, Sara thinks he's self-aware enough to change and to redeem himself for what he did, which is why she's encouraging him to turn himself in.
Subtext: Except Sara felt like everyone hated her at Marieberg because she was bullied, which was absolutely not her fault, whereas August's situation is totally his own damn fault.
Subtext: I'm not sure exactly how to interpret this sequence, but I have some ideas. In season 1, we saw August being an extremely selfish lover with Felice, but here he's offering to go down on Sara for her sake, so that's a nice change. There's also a parallel to Wilhelm going down on Simon, making this a mirror to that scene. Or Sara is just nervous about having sex for the first time and not ready for oral sex?
Subtext: She lied, like a liar, clearly super happy about having had sex for the first time.
Subtext: Of course the horoscope matches her situation perfectly...
Subtext: ...it's just that the jealousy drama is not her own, it's Simon and Wilhelm's drama.
Subtext: Felice thinks she's talking about Rosseau, Sara is obviously talking about August. Or both.
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Culture: I described the house system back in season 1, so it's nice to see it fleshed out a bit more in this season. The inter-house rivalry is strongly encouraged by the school, and here we see Sprucewood hyping themselves up before their Quidditch match against Slytherin indoor rowing match against Forest Ridge.
Subtext: Yeah, no, that kiss clearly crossed the line, it's not what Simon wanted. But Wilhelm saw it, thinking Simon lied about him and Marcus not being together, oh shit, oh no.
Subtext: Remember the talk about cheating and who gets the blame? Of course Vincent blames Simon for it, instead of Wilhelm, even though it's actually Wilhelm's fault Skogsbacken lost.
Subtext: So Simon quits the team, which means he's gonna get lower grades, getting unfairly punished yet again. And Wilhelm's plan for staying close to Simon backfired even more.
Blink and you miss it: Aww, Wilhelm keeps a small photo album labelled "Simon" on his phone, with a bunch of private photos of them.
Cinematography: If you listen carefully, the quality of the music changes noticeably in the cut, because the show does a diegetic switch between us hearing the music come out of Emo Wilhelm's earbuds, and it being a general soundtrack. It's also a very pretty montage of Angsty Teenager Being Angsty.
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Culture: In season 1 there were only some distant shots of the royal castle, but this time we're getting a beautiful close-up of it. In real life, we're looking at Stora Sundby, which is Sweden's largest non-royal castle.
Subtext: You should all have read my previous piece laying out my thoughts on this entire plot, but note that the Queen only mentions Wilhelm quitting because he can't handle the pressure, she says nothing of the issues of being in a same-sex relationship or not having an heir, so she should at least get credit for that. Also note that this is specifically what Wilhelm's outburst in episode 1 was about.
Subtext: The show continues to paint the Queen in a good light, further separating her wishes from that of the nefarious System that forces her to do this.
Lost in translation: In Swedish, she doesn't say August is next in the line of succession, she says he's closest in the line of succession, which isn't the same thing, so the original is explaining this plot point slightly better than the subtitles.
Cinematography: This entire cursed scene is a mirror of the one in s1e4, which starts by Wilhelm asking Simon to hold him.
Cinematography: It's also physically mirrored, because Wilhelm and Felice are on the opposite bed on the opposite side in his bedroom.
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academic-insomaniac · 2 days ago
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Subtext and Culture, Young Royals, Season 2, Episode 2
Episode 2 probably picks up the day after the first episode...
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Subtext: ...and in the first shot of the episode, we see Malin literally stalking Wilhelm as he's making his way to classes. Of course, Malin has already been informed by the royal court that they're pulling Wilhelm, which is why she's keeping a close eye on him.
Subtext: since Wilhelm isn't answering his phone, the Queen called the principal, and is using her to get Wilhelm to talk to her. However, Wilhelm is completely uninterested, and distracted by a certain someone's singing coming from the music room. This directly mirrors how S1E3 started...
Subtext: ...but unlike those happy times, Wilhelm doesn't join Simon in the music room, he walks away, giving Simon space.
Culture: Different countries have different birthday songs, and the girls are of course singing the Swedish birthday song Ja må hon leva.
Culture: In Sweden, cheers are fourfold. Three cheers is something that the treacherous Danes do, and we of course have to be different. In some Denmark-adjacent regions of Sweden it's common to do a threefold cheer, which proves they're all Danish traitors.
Subtext: It's extremely uncommon in Sweden to have to re-take a year of school, which is why the other girls are so surprised that Sara isn't the same age as them. In Sara's case, it's because she was severely bullied at Marieberg and missed too much school.
Subtext: For the other girls, this is nothing, and even though they try to smooth it over, the implication is that Sara will have to pitch in an equal amount for each of their birthdays, and that is way beyond her means.
Culture: Simon is singing Cumpleaños Feliz, which is the most common birthday song in the Spanish-speaking world. It is a Spanish version of the well-known English birthday song Happy birthday to you.
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Culture: Pabellón is a traditional Venezuelan dish, which means we can safely assume Linda is from there as well. This is of course a reference to Omar himself being from Venezuela.
Subtext: Sara is consistently denying her family and roots, and choosing her new, rich friends, which is why she'd rather spend her birthday at the Manor House than at home.
Subtext: Sara said she needed new riding pants way back in season 1, but her family couldn't get her new ones until a special occasion like her birthday. But of course the other girls can afford a much more expensive gift just like that, and Simon's disappointment is immediately visible.
Subtext: And to make matters worse, Sara is asking to exchange the lesser pair of pants for cash, because she thinks she needs money to keep up with her new friends.
Subtext: Then again, Rosh and Ayub are treating Sara like crap, giving her a quick grats before quickly moving on to gossiping about Marcus.
Subtext: A throwback to season 1 where Sara accuses Simon of always putting other people before himself, and since Marcus actually seems to have his shit together, Sara joins Team Rebound, pushing Simon to get over Wilhelm.
Cinematography: The colour of Simon's clothes signals how he's feeling. Purple means he's feeling close to Wilhelm, but yellow means he's feeling independent and like himself. In this scene he's wearing a purple shirt over a yellow sweater over a purple t-shirt. Make what you will of that mess.
Culture: It's PE class, and the kids are playing Innebandy, or Floorball. This sport is extremely common in the Nordics, and is often used as a stamina exercise, because it's a very simple team sport that doesn't require a lot of technique. Literally everyone in Sweden has played it at some point.
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Subtext: Wilhelm ignores Simon and instead passes the ball to Walter, who fumbles and allows the other team to score, which is the show telling us that Wilhelm shouldn't ignore Simon because he'll lose that way.
Subtext: Isn't it funny that it's always the people at the top of a hierarchy who are the most insistent on the usefulness of that hierarchy for everyone else?
Subtext: Villain era Wilhelm is making more moves that will backfire spectacularly.
Subtext: Simon wants Sara to sit next to him so that Wilhelm has to sit somewhere else. Unfortunately for him, Sara has to sit with Felice.
Blink and you miss it: Wilhelm takes off his red sweater and hangs it on his chair.
Subtext: Some nice foreshadowing for the final scene of the season where Wilhelm does tell the truth for a change.
Subtext: The principal has of course already been informed that the Queen is pulling Wilhelm from Hillerska, which is why she's saying goodbye to a confused Wilhelm.
Blink and you miss it: Simon swipes Wilhelm's sweater while the teacher is busy taking Felice's phone.
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Subtext: The frog prince snowglobe from season 1 makes a comeback! This object symbolises how trapped Wilhelm feels by his crown, his royal duty.
Subtext: August wants nothing more than Wilhelm to be gone from the school, so that he can stop sucking up to him, and restore the order and discipline that Vincent is whining about.
Subtext: Malin, no! How could you?! She's a police officer, she can legally manhandle Wilhelm, but though the optics aren't exactly good in this case.
Subtext: They struggle, but at the end the glass breaks, the prince is finally set free, and can kiss his... prince?
Culture: Swedish doesn't have generic words for grandparents. Instead, you have to specify exactly which one of your four grandparents you mean; mormor, morfar, farmor, or farfar. Erik says "morfar", which means the Queen's father, which means Erik got it from the previous King of Sweden.
Culture: Wilhelm and Erik are probably playing the game A Way Out by Swedish game designer Josef Fares. It's the same game Simon can be seen playing in S1E1, and it's a tragic co-op game that ends by one of the players killing the other player.
Subtext: Except Wilhelm's feelings for a boy is the very thing that threatens the monarchy. Him being truthful is the threat.
Cinematography: No, Jan-Olof has been called in by the show creators to be a villainous personification of The System, thus allowing the Queen to become more sympathetic and more of a mother to Wilhelm.
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Subtext: Ok, so the now more sympathetic Queen says that they fully accept Wilhelm being non-straight...
Subtext: ...and then she immediately blows it by calling a same-sex relationship "unconventional". Yeah, no.
Subtext: The problem is that Simon has explicitly said that he does not accept the situation of Wilhelm's position, so this isn't helping. Also, that eye-roll is fantastic.
Culture: Sweden is 69% forest, so if you want to say "In the middle of nowhere" in Swedish, the expression is "mitt i skogen" - in the middle of the forest. In completely unrelated news, 17% of Sweden is covered by European Blueberry.
Subtext: August's stress levels went up quite a bit since he thought he was finally gonna get rid of Wilhelm, but he got to stay, so August runs back to his ADHD meds.
Culture: Finally the show reveals another house at Hillerska, Granhult - Sprucewood. At the real-world boarding school Lundsberg, one of the houses has the very similar-sounding name Gransäter. "-hult" is a common part of Swedish place names, and it simply means a small forest or woods, so the translation checks out.
Subtext: What August says applies directly to Wilhelm, he has to give it all he's got to get Simon back.
Subtext: Wilhelm negotiated and compromised with his mother, getting some independence and agency back. So now he's trying to negotiate with Simon, offering a compromise to him. Unfortunately, it's not enough.
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Subtext: Simon says he wants to stop ignoring Wilhelm, they have to be able to talk about the things they do together as friends. So this is where Wilhelm realizes rowing is one way he can stay close to Simon.
Subtext: Just like Rosh and Ayub interrupted Sara's celebration with more Wilhelm/Simon drama, Felice is doing the same here. At least Stella calls her out on it.
Subtext: Of course Stella challenges the intense heteronormativity of this game, while Fredrika is completely oblivious.
Culture: Tjejsnack literally means Girl Talk, and was a game that was sold in Sweden in the early 90's. It's a product of its time to put it nicely, and it's basically Truth or Dare made into a winnable board game. The original manual to the game says it's a game for girls ages 8 and up. Yikes.
Subtext: No, this is not how the game works, only the current player has to do a truth or dare, but Stella is just pretending everyone has to tell the truth so she can get the deetz on the others.
Subtext: Felice lies about how many people she has slept with in order to appear more proper and less promiscuous.
Subtext: Sara needs all the help she can get to figure out interpersonal relationships and sex and romance. Unfortunately, this is pretty shit advice, because just because you lust after someone, it doesn't mean they're a good person or that it's a good idea to have sex with them. You should probably apply a few more criteria before making that decision.
Lost in translation: The subtitles just cover the highlights of Felice and Wilhelm's text conversation, but it's rather long, so I put it all in a separate post: https://www.tumblr.com/skamenglishsubs/700474959215149056/felice-and-wilhelms-text-conversation
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Subtext: Simon is sniffing Wilhelm's sweater while looking at his fish tank. He's clearly still in love with Wilhelm and thinking about the time Wilhelm visited him in Bjärstad.
Subtext: Inspired by this he starts composing his song, while wearing Wilhelm's sweater. But when he gets to the line "Can never forget all that was good", he realizes that he's never going to be able to move on if he's gonna keep wallowing in it...
Subtext: ...so he angrily takes it off, and reactively reaches out to Marcus, agreeing to the proposed movie date in an effort to move on.
Subtext: When Wilhelm visited Simon, he actually meant it when he said it was cozy. Simon just says it here to be nice, it actually isn't very cozy, so this is a sad mirror of season 1.
Subtext: I actually love it that Marcus is portrayed as a complete gaybro, he has zero stereotypical gay traits, he just likes cars and hunting and hiking and shit, and he just happen to like guys as well.
Subtext: Simon suggests horror because it's what was shown during the movie night in season 1 when he and Wilhelm kissed for the first time, so this is yet another throwback.
Subtext: Simon broke up with Wilhelm because the relationship was only on Wilhelm's terms because of him being a royal. He's trying to move on and have a rebound hookup with Marcus, but ironically Marcus isn't giving Simon what he wants either. Everything about this date is 100% on Marcus' terms, they're at his place, watching the movie he chose, and they're as intimate as he wants. There's no compromise here, and also very little chemistry.
Subtext: Speaking of cursed hookups with zero chemistry, Sara forcing herself on August is throwback to when August did the same on her back in season 1.
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Subtext: Everyone else is always talking about the Queen properly, but our hero Boris just refers to her as "your mom". Removing all the pomp and circumstance is of course his strategy to help Wilhelm open up, to make him feel like his problems aren't that special and unique, and that Boris might actually be able to help him.
Culture: For some reason there's a Chinese checkers board setup on his table. That's an interesting therapy tool, maybe, I don't know? Also, Wilhelm decided to go to his therapy session in a $300 Comme des Garçons PLAY hoodie. As you do.
Subtext: Therapy takes time, and Boris allows Wilhelm to move at his own pace. Of course, Wilhelm's main problem is the lack of control over his life, so this should be very freeing for him.
Subtext: Wilhelm is still ashamed of having to go to therapy, or admitting he has a problem with panic attacks, so he pretends to put the folder back before he swipes it and hides it in his jacket.
Subtext: Vincent is a terrible human being. The show is busy setting up Chekov's Shooting Range by having him talk about going shooting and needing the practice anyway. And then he just casually mentions going to Zambia with his dad. Why Zambia? Because it's a hunting trip. Vincent is totally the kind of guy who could spend his winter break shooting an elephant or two instead of going skiing like a normal kid.
Culture: Of course they are wearing outfits appropriate for shooting, you can't come dressed as you like to an event like this, of course you have to dress up for it! As you do. Nice gloves, Felice.
Subtext: Wilhelm has to pretend not knowing Marcus' name to not come off as the crazy jealous stalker that he is.
Subtext: Everyone just loves giving bad advice to Wilhelm and Simon, and this time it's Felice's turn. Simon asked for space, so she's advising Wilhelm to encroach on it.
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Culture: Letterman jackets or varsity jackets are absolutely not a thing in Sweden. The reason Vincent is wearing one is to show off that he has done a year as an exchange student in the US. I think the patches are completely made up, but at least I can make out the arm patch saying New Haven, which sounds on brand for Vincent given that the Ivy League university Yale is located there, which is where the US upper class sends their kids.
Subtext: Here comes The Theme again. Vincent wants to uphold the traditions of their house, but the main reason he wants to is that he was treated like shit by the third-year students when he was a first-year, so he wants to keep the privilege of being able to treat the new first-years as shit now that he is a third-year, thus perpetuating the cycle of abuse.
Subtext: Is there anyone reading this who does not know what Marcus Junius Brutus is most known for? Spoiler: He helped kill Julius Caesar by stabbing him in the back.
Subtext: Funnily enough, August is right, Vincent will be a lot shittier as prefect and captain of the rowing team.
Blink and you miss it: Villain Wilhelm smirks as his plan to depose August worked out.
Subtext: Felice and the girls all know that Felice is going to sell the horse, but they haven't told Sara, because they know how much the horse means to her. And Sara can't read social cues to save her life, so she doesn't understand why Fredrika suddenly offered her to help out and spend time with her horse instead.
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Subtext: Vincent really isn't a fan of equality, so being forced to include first-year students in the competition instead of packing their team with all the strongest third-years is socialist nonsense to him.
Lost in translation: In Swedish, Vincent says "...även om ni suger dase". It means the same as the English subtitles, but it literally means "...even if you suck dick", which is a casually homophobic dig towards Simon and Wilhelm. That said, no-one in Sweden would use this expression when talking about oral sex.
Subtext: "...both mentally and physically, as you all know". Vincent's parade of awfulness shows no signs of stopping anytime soon, casual bodyshaming of Walter, throw it on the pile!
Lost in translation: In Swedish he says "som kan kötta!", which is hilariously untranslatable. It literally means to "meat" something, as in the sense of butchering, using brute force, or tearing someone to shreds. We're staying true to Vincent's douchebro brand here.
Culture: That's not a running trail, that's just a piece of random forest. It is quite common to have trails close to outdoor sporting areas like this, but I supposed there just wasn't one at this shooting location, so the show had to improvise?
Subtext: Wilhelm actually cares about keeping Simon on the team, because it's part of his plan of staying close to Simon in order to win him back, like Felice told him to. Instead he gives the lame excuse about Simon's PE grades.
Subtext: Yeah, no way this cheating plan is gonna backfire on Wilhelm, no way, no how.
Subtext: Simon avoids answering the question, because he doesn't want to tell Wilhelm about trying to move on from Marcus, so he pretends that he doesn't know know him.
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academic-insomaniac · 2 days ago
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Felice and Wilhelm's text conversation
Since the subtitles only translated the highlights of the text conversation between Felice and Wilhelm in S2E2, I was gonna add it to my Subtext and Culture post, but it's rather long, so I had to break it out into its own post.
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F: Here they are, the same dead pixels in all his latest photos on insta. It must have been August who posted the video! W: Thanks F: God, it's so sick Feels so terrible to be the one telling you W: It's not your fault
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W: Thanks for finding out who it was F: Of course <3 How's it going? How are you? W: Honestly, not that well They knew F: Knew what? W: That it was August F: !!!??!? W: But they're not going to report him F: But why?? W: It's so wrong Because it'll be another scandal That he's family, like, makes it worse F: But what so he's just gonna get away with it? W: I don't know...I can't even talk to mom
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F: Understand that W: Everything is so fucked F: 🙁 Let me know if you want to talk? W: Thanks Merry Christmas Felice. F: Merry Christmas Wille ❤️ W: ❤️ F: How are you? W: Crap honestly. You? F: Kinda the same, bad vibes at home with mom and dad W: Same F: Have you talked? W: No F: What are you doing for New Year's?
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W: Don't know F: I'll probably go to a New Year's party at Stella's if you want to join? W: Is August coming? F: Bleuuuh no W: Haha F: Coming? W: Thanks but I don't think I can manage F: Let me know if you change your mind W: Absolutely F: Happy New Year Wille ❤️ W: Happy new year ❤️ F: When are you back at H? W: Arrive late at night, you?
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F: Around 3, Sara is moving in all her stuff as well Does it feel ok with everything? W: No, but better than hanging around here ignoring mom... F: It'll be alright W: Hope so August is trying to apologize. As if!!! F: What an idiot! W: He should get some fucking punishment. F: We'll talk more at school ❤️ What's happening? W: Apparently I'm going to Forest Ridge to pack F: What? Where are you going?
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W: They're forcing me to quit F: Quit? Like forever? Wille? Hello? W: Thank you for being so nice today F: But of course ❤️ W: Talked to Simon F: Okay? W: He said that he wants space, that we shouldn't talk to each other any more. F: Shit that sucks W: I'm like panicking F: But it's maybe just what he needs right now, not like forever. W: Everything is August's fault And his life has just gone on
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F: It's so unfair W: You should have seen him today at rowing F: I don't get how you can stand being there when he is W: Everything he does disgusts me F: 🤮 W: [image of August with horns] Hate him August is the worst person in the world
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