Happy Scribe
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You're tuning in to Lovecraft Country Radio. There's some strong language and spoilers ahead. Buckle up. You killed my best friend. Her name was Yongzhou, she was a nurse, your view that shot some of us at checkpoint then dragged her away, she was coming to the US, is that what you tell yourself about following us?

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Who knows how many lives I save?

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How many have taken the ones that keep you up at night and sobbing? There's no book for you to escape what you have done.

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You know, this entire time I didn't say a word. You made me care for you. What's wrong with you think is wrong with me?

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You're the monster who OK? That was a lot, that was a lot, I'm feeling a lot Phrygia. I'm feeling a lot for Atticus. I'm basically just feeling a lot.

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Shannon, there was a lot that happened in this episode. There were levels.

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Let's talk about levels really quick. This is a breakup scene, but it's also and I love you scene. And it's also a scene about American imperialism, but it's also a scene about acknowledging the monster in you while also acknowledging your humanity.

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I love this episode for so many reasons, not just its levels, also its beauty.

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And I can not wait to talk more about this episode with you. I have so many questions.

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I can't wait to hear the questions and to have some answers, but not all the answers. I mean, I just can't wait to do this. Let's go ahead and start the show. This is Episode six. Meet me in Daku.

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Welcome to Lovecraft Country Radio.

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I'm Ashley Siefert, podcast host, writer and war enthusiast.

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And I'm Shannon Houston, a writer for the HBO series Lovecraft Country and Mother to Three Free Black Children and Women.

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OK, Shannon, you know what time it is. I think I know. I think it's time for a conversation. I don't think I'm ready, but let's do it. You are correct.

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It is time for a whole conversation. But first, a quick recap.

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In this episode, we learn more about Gia and her relationship with Atticus when he was in Korea and that while she looks human on the outside, very beautiful, by the way, her body is possessed by a spirit that will only leave her body after she kills and absorbs the souls of a hundred people like you do.

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Ashleigh, you already know this, but this episode blew my fucking mind. I am obsessed. It's your face. It's my favorite. I just you're not supposed to have favorites, but it just is. I am obsessed with Gia. I am obsessed with her nine tails. I am obsessed with the fact that in addition to this being a love story between Atticus and Gia, it's a story about friendship between two women, Gia and young John.

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And of course, I am obsessed with the female driven revenge narrative, which is so important for this show. We have a lot of women that we love on the show and they're all kind of angry and I love that and they get to show it. So I'm just so excited to dive into this.

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I was really into this episode too, and I was super excited to finally learn about the mysterious Gia. That's right.

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Jaheim, stand the fuck up right now. We're getting into it. So where do we begin?

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Where do we start?

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I don't know how we start this, but luckily we have reinforcements today.

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Joining us to talk about all things Geia is the one and only Jamie Chung who plays Gia on the show.

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That's right. And later on in the show, we'll be chatting with Angang, TV critic for The Hollywood Reporter, to go deeper about Gere's character and also discuss the importance of setting this episode during the Korean War. There's so much to talk about with this character, and I want to know it all. So who better to talk with about Jeev and Gia?

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Welcome to the show, guys. Thank you so much.

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We're on a road trip across America and now we pulled up to this empty lot. And so I love it.

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So we keep calling her dear, but her actual name is Jamie Chang, and we're so excited to have her here.

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First of all, I want to talk a little bit about why it was so important to center Gere's character in this episode. And one thing that I thought about is that the kind of prestige TV that we're used to right now, there's generally a problematic guy, usually white, usually straight. He does some interesting things and then he does a lot of fucked up things and we call him complicated. And all the women love him. And by the way, I've watched all those shows and I was a critic and I loved them.

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But we are in this episode of Lovecraft country and in the whole series really trying to subvert that. And one way that we did that was by giving Gia her own story and making Atticus the love interest and her story. We're also subverting that by acknowledging that almost every American hero and what we call the American hero, just by virtue of being from America, is problematic. And Atticus is not an exception to that. In this case, he's more than problematic, really.

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I think we're presenting him as a monster when he first arrives and story. So we want to talk a little bit more about this character, and we know a lot about what she means to us. But maybe, Jamie, you can start by talking a little bit about what she means to you and what you were drawn to and what you are afraid of when you got approached for this role.

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I mean, when I read the first material. For this audition, I was blown away, I was so curious, I was like, oh, she's a cameo. Oh, this takes place during the Korean War, but I was blown away that they would ever focus on a story like this, you know, I mean, I didn't know much about Mehos or sacrifices. And so the more research that I did, the more I was like terrified that I had the role.

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And I was like, OK, right now this is happening. And she gets aroused and and then she'll kill you and take your soul. Like, how are my parents ever going to watch this? The answer to that question is they're never going to watch it. I'm never going to allow them to watch it. Understandable.

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And, you know, anything about the Korean War is such a sensitive topic to my family. My parents lived through the Korean War. My dad was just under the age of being drafted, you know, so they have lots of feelings about imperialism, about Japan, about the U.S. Army, about how Korea was left and what was left of it and the journey of rebuilding their country and then also coming, immigrating to the U.S. to try to have a better life.

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So they know that I've been practicing my Korean, but aside from that, they know nothing.

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I actually wanted to ask you about that specifically because one of the things that I really loved about the episode was that everything I heard was in Korean, you know, and I was just able to watch the subtitles. And that didn't take it added a lot to be able to hear it in that tongue and to be able to like hear the emotion in a tongue. That was not one that I necessarily understand. But, you know, when you're watching it, you understand like this is heavy emotional stuff.

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Talk to me about how you felt around the decision to be speaking Korean in this role and the opportunity to do that and to know that it was going to then be done that way on screen, that people would receive everything you said that way.

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I mean, so daunting. But also I was personally afraid that people are going to be turned off by this episode because they have to do a lot of the work. But it's so important for the story. It takes place in 1949 in Korea, a family that was really rich and now really poor. And it's really about just journey of finding out who she is and battling what her mother wants to be. So it just was so important that it took place with our language and not just, you know, speaking English.

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And there are parts where she had to speak English, but it was important that we kept it as authentic as possible.

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Yeah, and I love that you said that. It's, again, going back to the idea that this is a story this is a coming of age story for this character. One of the most important parts of Geass story is her relationship with young Xio, which is kind of the catalyst to her beginning to realize, well, wait, my my mom says I'm one thing and I know that I'm that thing. But if I'm that thing, how come I feel these things with Young and this is a person who ends up becoming her best friend?

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How how do you interpret the relationship between Gere and Young? How did you understand that guy is a cameo?

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So she takes on the memories of her victims. Right. She carries that with her. And a lot of those perspectives are men because she's killed so far, like ninety four met and she has six more to go before she makes her transformation. So a lot of her experiences are through the eyes of men. And so she's learning how to be a girl, how to be a woman. And so that's why she gravitate towards, you know, all of the Judy Garland movies.

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You know, Judy Garland is this woman that falls in love, gets the guy you know and lives happily ever after. And so that's that's her only experience of life. What it's like to be a girl and a woman. Right. And so she she mimics that. But then when she gets younger, it's the first friendship that she's ever had and the only friendship that she has in this episode. And she learns what it's like to be taking care of what it's like to to to hold someone's hand, what it's like to help someone feel companionship.

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Right. That feel lonely during a time of war. Young John teaches her a lot and it's a lot of Jewish firsts. So it's a really special friendship. And I think that only heightens everything when she goes is younger, you know, what I take away from her and that really horrific way. And then she focuses all of her anger on the person that took her away.

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What's tricky about the episode, I mean, there's lots of tricky things, but it's so beautiful and it's so violent and there are heavy hitting, violent moments. There's obviously the tales and everything that comes along with that. It could potentially be our bloodiest episode.

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Just I'm going to say, yes, I'm going to say yes, especially if we're talking about so far just blood. Yes, definitely. The bloodiest I mean, on screen, off screen for me, it was the bloody experience that I've ever thought about and I can only imagine we don't I've seen maybe one or two behind the scenes clips. But tell us, Jamie, how insane was it shooting these things?

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Well, I mean, first of all, when you're showing up to set and then you're going into your territory to change into your costume and all you see is this Mirkin, this bearded lady in suits working with, like, all these delicate hairs.

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And you're like, that's what I'm wearing for the next four days. This is great, you know? And they're meticulously testing out the blood and like the thickness of the blood. And how does it dry out? This is going to be all over the world. You know, it's well thought out, but ultimately, Nesha wanted something close to what it would actually be like if, in fact, we had a body hoisted up and it was pulled apart.

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I'll tell you, there's a whole lot of blood goodtimes times.

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I could tell. I could tell it was a whole lot of blood. But, you know, one of the things that I liked about the blood is that blood often symbolizes breakthrough's breaking barriers.

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It also symbolizes like transitions. A lot of the time the blood has been spilled. And now we are on the other side of that.

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And I'm just I'm wondering for you having to play this like character who kills people like requires this blood, to be perfectly honest, while also having to play, like, some of the most emotional, like human. I've got to drag this gut wrenching emotion from the pit of me. How do you play those two things at the same time? How are you playing the monster and the humanity at the same time?

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I think a lot of the themes with this episode is like, what's the difference between monsters and humans? And in fact, during a time of war, there's usually no difference.

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You know, and that's a great point that Moesha brought up. It's like they're both doing monstrous things and yet they're both they're doing the same thing. They're doing the exact same thing. So when you put it, you know, when you throw one to throw a wrench in the situation, you're like, OK, now they love each other. Now they like they found each other. Right. And it's like, how are we going to become better beings from this point forward?

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Because you fell in love and you found something that's worth living for, you know, so it's not so much revenge or like centered around so much anger. It's like finding this person. And now, like, how can I move forward with this person in my life? Like, I finally discover what love is and I don't want to let it go.

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I just going to say, you start talking about love and then I'm like, yeah, love. And that's why y'all did this shit.

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And for me, those were beautiful moments that I will cherish seeing for the rest of my life. But I'm wondering, like for you, you're portraying on screen not just somebody who is enjoying her sexuality in the moment.

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You're also portraying someone who, you know, lives somehow with this, like, legacy of sexual trauma in her family, even if she is not technically the person who that was visited upon. How did it feel having to sort of like play that spectrum of sex throughout the episode?

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My God, I've never been so in tune with my sexuality ever before this episode. But you're absolutely right. You know, there's a spectrum on one side which is like, this is my duty. This is what I need to do. This is what I'm going to pretend, what I like to lure you in. But really, I'm just going to kill you, you know? So I'm using my sexuality in order to get what I want, which is your soul.

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And then another side is rediscovering what it means to really be touched and be felt and loved and caressed and like, you know, really having a connection with Atticus. And then there's also the sense of touch with a friend that loves you and, you know, a friendship and hugging and holding hands and being there for each other that's different. Or finally having the touch from your mother, you know, at the end of the episode when all she wanted was to be loved by her mother and accepted for who she really is, and then to be able to be embraced by her mother, that's another kind of touch.

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Like there's so many different layers that we were able to play with that I was able to play with layers upon layers we should talk about soon.

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He as well, because in the writers room, of course, in addition to the twenty seven million things that we were talking about for this episode, again, our goal a lot of the time was strip everything complicated away. What do we have? On the one hand, we have a story about a mother daughter relationship that's having some problems. And actually he's been helping me like get over the. Horrifying thing, and like I've been getting better and embracing a proud of thank you so much and obviously, like I love I love the tales coming out.

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But the scariest scene to me in this episode is when Gere is talking to soon he and she starts singing the song and she switches to say hi to to take a look at the courage to come in the to check ego.

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Konica Sooni, head to my knee and my heart stops and I'm like backing away from the television because it's terrifying. There's something so terrifying about this character in that moment. And it's also so beautiful because she's trying to show soon he's something that soon he doesn't want to see. So I was thinking maybe we could talk a little bit just about the relationship with your mother in this character and where it ultimately leads you, which is to the Mustang at the end.

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You know, I think you're brought into this world by your mother. And in this case, I'm drawn to this world by the body, which is like the shaman. All she wants is to make her mother happy. How am I going to make my mother happy? I'm going to make my mother happy by getting one hundred souls so that I can then be turned back into her daughter before she was raped by her stepfather. Really complex. And throughout this entire journey, you know, she's like, why do I want to become human?

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Human beings are terrible people. They're monsters. They're more heinous than I am. And so finally, when she gets to the end and the mother finally sees her, that's who she really is. Like, I'm never going to be your daughter. Your daughter is gone. You know, she then accepts she has her daughter and then go back to the morning to be like, what happens next, you know? Right. But I do think, like her overall arc with her mother was a good one.

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I think they finally got to a place where they loved and accepted each other, which we can only hope for.

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We can only hope for such a thing with our mothers. I know we all just want to be loved.

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That accepted by our mamas. That's what I've been waiting on. Jamie, it's been incredible to have you all.

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Thank you for taking the time to discuss. Thank you guys so much. It's been so much. Thank you. And you killed that role, girl. Thank you. Thank you guys so much for having me.

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So we are moving into themes of monstrousness and what it means for GM to grapple with these things alongside US imperialism, and who better to talk about this than Kang and is a critic at The Hollywood Reporter.

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And we're so excited to have her on the show today. Thank you, Ingo.

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Thank you. As an American imperialism. I'm really glad to be here. I we love it.

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I would love to know how the idea of trying to set the story in Korea and how you guys in the writers room, like, wanted to position this to be the story of like 1950s America. I'd love to know, like, how that originated.

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One thing that we took from the book was that Atticus is a Korean War vet and there's no chapter in the book that's set in Korea.

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But in thinking about America, I think this show is always thinking about the America that we know, the America that's hidden from us, the America that's true for our white Americans, the America that's true for black Americans. And then, of course, the global America, the America that exists as it represents itself in other countries. All of those things are not separate things. Right. They're all intertwined and they all make up our identities, the identities of people in other countries, the identities of our children.

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All all of these things are mixed up.

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And I think that we felt like you can't tell the story of America without talking about Chicago and Massachusetts and the South, even though most of our show is set in the north. But you also can't tell the story of America without looking at other countries where America has decided to show up and quote unquote, liberate people. Right. And so I think that we we wanted to, one, be able to tell this bigger story, but also then to complicate the characters that we were already dealing with.

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So looking at somebody like Atticus and going, OK, if he's a Korean War veteran, what might that have looked like? What's he struggling with when he comes back from the war?

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And who did he meet in Korea? That is going to have an impact on the story that we're telling. How can we invite other perspectives in to complicate our heroes and to complicate this story more? So that's where it came out of.

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And I think also just on a creative level, missions like let's fucking do something different, let's get out of America, like let's do something in a completely different culture, in a different language and open this story up and let it be as big as it can possibly be. And obviously, you're here partly to let us know if we succeeded or failed or something else. But we're so excited to dive in and to see how it felt for you and obviously also to then find out how the audience is reacting to it as well.

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Enga, what was your initial reaction to Jihae as a character? Like how did that change throughout the episode?

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So my sort of like immediate gut reaction to the episode was that you guys sort of took two of my favorite pieces of Korean culture folklore and did like a really interesting, I think, kind of very Americanized version of it, which is fine because it's an American production and like an American story, but something that I find endlessly interesting.

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It's the sort of world of Korean shamanism, which is not something that's really often talked about in, I think, sort of like Asian American discourse, partly because it's like a very specific Korean thing and because the Korean American population is like so much more Christian. I think these elements of, like shamanism really get talked about. I also think it's just endlessly fascinating that, like, you have this folk tradition that's like largely practiced by women, largely like marginalized women.

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And then this like extremely patriarchal religion comes in and sort of dominates like the elites of Korea and then sort of like further marginalizes this practice that's like been there for centuries, that thousands of years. And so I really like the fact that you guys, rather than the shaman aspect and also the nine tailed Fox thing, it was really fascinating watching like these two particular figures that I personally have a lot of emotional investment in and then seeing them sort of enveloped into this like larger American tale.

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I think the other really fascinating thing I found is that the story is mostly set in nineteen fifty Korea, which is just like an insanely crazy time in Korea. You have like the Civil War going on and. You also have 50 years or so of Japanese occupation that had essentially been recently and which has alluded to like very quickly. And so you have like this living memory of like Japanese occupation and then World War two and then like a five years of peace that Korea got to have.

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And now this other war that's like essentially running apart this tiny country. And so one thing I found really fascinating is that the writers didn't really seem to feel a need to, like, hand hold everything and have an expository character be like, well, actually, like nine months ago this was a time line.

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And I guess for me, as someone who is like pretty familiar with a lot of the stuff, I was like, OK, this is like, well, I like to watch things without sort of this implicit white mainstream audience like in mine. And so that was really fascinating. Yes.

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I just love the term that you used a second ago, living memory, because I think that really speaks to Gere's character in this interesting conundrum that we have with a cameo, who's in the body of a young woman, but who has the memories of that young woman's rapist essentially, and who's juggling all of that and trying to be Kumin to a degree while also embracing this other side of her.

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So I think living memory is something that we can keep talking about when it comes to Geia. And I think you're right about the feeling that this episode gives you, which is we're not really going to explain every single thing, I think, with Lovecraft country. On the one hand, yes, it feels like a history lesson a lot of the times. And then on the other hand, it's like, no, the history is in there. If you want the history lesson, go Google Camino or Madang or Korea 1950s.

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But we're really trying to get you to connect with this character and to be in this world with her and on this epic journey with her. And it is very important that Gere's journey does not start and end with Atticus. That scene with the Mustang is was so important to us, partly because we wanted somebody to give voice to this angry feeling that I had, which was you are an incredible, strange being with these incredible abilities.

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Why do you give a fuck about Atticus? Like, why would you go seek out the Mustang and ask about Atticus? And that's why the mood Dang's response is something to the effect of like those are human concerns. You're concerned with this person that you love because you still think that you're human or part human. You're calling this woman your mother because you still think that that term applies. And it's a lot bigger than that and a lot stranger than that.

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So I I'm glad that that resonated with you and hopefully will resonate with some of the other viewers as well.

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So let's talk a little bit more about Gia as a cameo, this major point of contention in her relationship with her mother.

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Soon he and there's also the possibility that Geia story can be read as a narrative on reclaiming a body after sexual violence. It's really complicated to think about because Gia is a cameo. She herself has not been a victim of sexual assault, but she is in the body of the daughter who was a victim. And she does not have the memories of that daughter. She only has the memories of the rapist who is dead. That was Sunis husband. She also doesn't fully understand those memories because she doesn't fully understand what human love is and what it isn't and what it's supposed to look like and what it's not supposed to look like.

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It's kind of a crazy, wild thing to think about and to talk about.

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But I do want to talk a little bit about how you read Geia alongside some of these questions and if there is anything to be said about this issue of agency and body and sexual assault and what Geass function is in that body.

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And in this story, I feel like, honestly, there are so many different layers to this, right? Like there's the layer that we like first get where we think this is sort of like a typical, like rebellious daughter wants to do her own thing. And the mother sort of sees her as a commodity like that. Sort of the first scene that we got. And then each scene that we got between mother and daughter, like the dimensions of their relationship sort of shift.

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And so there's this like other part where there's almost a sort of like prostitution allegory where the mother wants to use a daughter's attractiveness and her body as a sort of like tool for her own, not exactly like profit, but sort of like her own thirst for vengeance. Yes. And it's this like very misguided thing where obviously it's like the thing that she's like, really a. Realities is like the patriarchy that basically says, like, if you have like a dog, if you have a child out of wedlock or if you do not have a husband, then like you are basically worthless.

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Right. And so, like, that's what she was angry at. But her tactic for vengeance is like not very useful. And so you sort of get these like different layers of their relationship. And then I think, like you sort of like culminate this human who essentially rendered her daughter into what she views as a monster and saying like, well, like this for you, but like, you can't actually partake in the system in which I want to advance because you're this other and I feel like there's so many different reflective metaphors to that where like I think if we're talking about, like the context of Korea and the war and also American soldiers, there's some sort of like immediate jump in my mind where essentially this mother saying like, well, I've like rendered you into essentially like a sex worker.

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And therefore, because you have done the thing for the family, you cannot actually be a part of the family anymore. And I think, like, you can sort of take that strand and take and sort of like expand it to like a metaphor about humanity and monsters.

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Right. First of all, I'm like, oh, my gosh, the prostitution level, that conversation, I don't even think I quite saw that level of it.

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But of course, that's there to and I think that's what makes it hard to talk about because there's like eight different things happening in these conversations. And I think then the other interesting thing is they're also just talking like a mother and daughter talk.

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I want you to be this way. Be this way. I don't want to be this way. I can't be this way.

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I feel like they're like at least like at this point in twenty twenty, there's this sort of like exhaustion I feel, with a lot of Asian-American narratives being so dependent on this like difficult child who like wants to be filial but also like wants to do their own thing. Like I feel like that's like obviously a universal tension. And at the same time it feels like this like extremely like American concept. And so that was one of those things where I was like, oh, like we're getting this trope again.

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And I understood why the truck was there. But then when a guy meets Atticus and Atticus talks about his own father and they have this like, very brief bonding session, there was this like really beautiful line that I'm going to butcher about how we can't be shaped by our parents fear or something along those lines. Yeah, like, I thought that was really great and like, made the emotional through line much more resonant for me. And it also makes that bond between them much more intense and much more resonant.

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My entire life, my father's been trying to turn me into someone. I've gone halfway across the world from one that's done now. That's what he's done, his job better than he could ever imagine. We have to stop letting their fear shape us. It's going to pass, so, you know, the U.S. obviously is one of those difficult forces for Georgia, which relegates her to a specific identity like. Right. Like we see the soldiers, the military coming down on her community.

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We see them treating women poorly. We see them killing people she loves. There's like this violence upon her body and the bodies of all of these people around her, you know, whether or not she knows love. She felt something when Atticus killed her friend. And there was this moment that I think. I'm not sure what as I watched it, I definitely felt like, OK, this is absolutely the moment where things are either going to go super left or this story is about to get more complicated.

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And that's when she comes to the base and asks if Tech thinks she's a comfort woman.

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And. This identity that she's forced to put on and play to even enter the space safely in that moment, I thought, OK, this is either going to go really, really badly or this is just going to be like one of those moments where we get to see this dynamic play out.

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I'm wondering for you in that moment, Inju, were you feeling more like. Because I had some trepidation. I had some trepidation with her on that base, but I didn't necessarily know where it was going to go. Did you have an inclination, did you think this is probably going to be OK or where you like this is about to get really bad?

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I think if there was anything that was sort of like I was trepidations about going in, I think like the big story, at least in the US about black Americans and the Koreans is sort of like this, like racial animosity. And so I was sort of like, I wonder, like if they're going to dive into this, if or if they're going to address that. And I really love that like small moment of like racial solidarity between Tech and TIA and the Asian American guy.

[00:33:50]

I think he was Korean American who was basically like, I belong to neither place. Yeah. I was sort of like waiting for like the other shoe to drop maybe on sort of like Asian anti blackness. But I think I was basically waiting for the romance to happen along those lines.

[00:34:06]

Maybe we could talk a little bit about the actual relationship, which is this was hard in the room to unpack and to reconcile, because what we asked ourselves was, OK, if you strip away all the monsters, I guess I was afraid I was trepidation because I was like, are we telling a story about a brutal American soldier who falls in love with even though he's a killer?

[00:34:31]

And again, it's a lot more complicated than that technically. But I did always have that feeling of like, do you even get behind this romance? Because once I met Gia and once we started telling Geass story, I'm like, well, I'm obsessed with her. I don't want her to be with the guy who killed her friend. OK, the guy who killed her friend is the quote unquote hero of the story, which is another thing we're trying to do.

[00:34:54]

We're trying to de thrown the hero and also complicate the concept of what an American hero is in television and in movies. I think the goal was to make it feel like they are both giving each other something. But we could have failed in that. I don't know. But I do want to hear what you guys thought about the actual relationship. And God, if we can get into it, like how it speaks to US imperialism and American movies and all that.

[00:35:24]

I'm so biased because Jonathan Majors is so hot. I just like so he is so hot.

[00:35:32]

I really wanted, like, as many love scenes with him as. So I will admit to a bias there. Fair enough. Fair enough. But also I was expecting it so yeah that was like one of the feelings got to come in because she's like oh like the one the feelings were not.

[00:35:49]

I didn't reject it but I didn't see it coming. And I also initially was like, why like like how.

[00:35:58]

And then it was like, well OK. I guess I kind of understand how, like because it's a plot to like, you know, get revenge for her friend.

[00:36:06]

And then it was like, I don't know. But then also it's Jonathan Majors.

[00:36:11]

And especially in this time, like when he's in the hospital seeing him like so frustrated and like crying and like his glasses are broken and, you know, all those things, it's like on the one hand, you don't want to have any sympathy for him, like because you just watched him murder somebody. And then on the other hand, it's like, oh, wow. Like, I guess you don't often see black men had that moment of, like, almost like pouting on in movies very much like that, that real like almost killed like POW.

[00:36:45]

It's like it reminded you that like take is kind of a kid. Yeah. At this time. And then I was like, OK, I guess maybe now I understand a little bit more that she's seeing something in him, like just the fact that there's still good in there or that having monstrous times, monstrous moments or even like putting yourself in the place of a monster does not necessarily make you a monster forever.

[00:37:12]

Hopefully. I think one thing I really liked and maybe this is like me overgeneralizing, but I feel like when you're in like a particular context, like in his family, he sort of gets dinged by his dad for not being masculine enough. Obviously, he's going to go through the same type of heavily entrenched masculinity pully thing in the military. And the one thing I really like is like when they're about. Have sex, and he's like, I'm a virgin, and the fact that he could find a space to be tender and sort of like vulnerable around her, I like I found that really believable because now he's like finally in this place where he thinks he's safe and then, of course, like the scene on him again.

[00:37:55]

But like this like that moment. And I'm sure she also appreciated the fact that, like, he was also willing to be vulnerable with her because all of the other men that she seduces are sort of like they're like walking penises. Right? They're just like, oh, like I'm going to go like do my thing.

[00:38:15]

And it's so wild how he rejects her in that moment. Like, I don't know. Personally, I don't. Jonathan Majors is very hot.

[00:38:23]

But if Jonathan Majors and I was getting down and some tales came out of his eyes or out of anywhere else on his body, I think I would probably cut it short to I think that I would probably walk away from the situation.

[00:38:37]

So I can't feel like too upset that he rejected her. But part of me does feel really upset that he was like, you know, get the hell away from me.

[00:38:48]

Yeah. I'm like, nah, man, you got to listen to her. You got to come back.

[00:38:52]

But he didn't come back and go. Thank you so much for joining us on this episode. I have one last request because we usually like to leave the audience with a few recommendations for future reading. Is there anything that pops into your head after watching this episode that you think people should check out book, movie, anything?

[00:39:09]

So it's not super related to what we've been talking about. But if you are curious about Korea, I'm sort of like the more batshit aspects that I feel like a lot of people are, especially if they're into something as sort of like Gonzo and zany as Lovecraft country. I would highly recommend this book by Paul Fisher called A Kim Jong Il production the extraordinary true story of a kidnapped filmmaker, his star actress and the young dictator's rise to power. And it's basically about like the previous dictator of North Korea who was like this, like huge cinephile who decides he's going to like to straight up kidnap one of South Korea's most famous directors and also his wife, who was like his main screen muse and essentially, like, forced them to make movies for the North Korean regime.

[00:40:06]

So this is like one of those, like, stories where it's so crazy. You can't not believe any of these details are true. And they all are. Wow. Thank you.

[00:40:20]

Ashleigh, I don't know about you, but for me, this episode was a fucking game changer. This conversation was a game changer.

[00:40:27]

I am so grateful and so happy that we had Jamie and Engo here with us today to help us unpack. And as usual, I still feel like we didn't talk about like 10 things that we should have, but it was just incredible to have them here. And we want to leave you guys, as always, with some references and recommendations after this episode. Take it away, Ashley.

[00:40:49]

I wanted to suggest, first of all, a few unforgettable Korean horror films, which if you are familiar with Korean horror, you know that it is some of the most startling, some of the most beautiful and absolutely some of the most absolutely horrific.

[00:41:07]

And two of my favorite films are A Tale of Two Sisters and Train to Busan, both of them just absolutely fantastic.

[00:41:17]

And you definitely want to check them out. I would also suggest the book Slaughterhouse Five, if you haven't read it by who's your hometown hero, Kurt Vonnegut. It goes into some bits of the war. And it's also just a really beautiful book, to be perfectly honest, and I think should take a moment, read it, get to know it. How about you, Shannon? What are your suggestions this week?

[00:41:41]

I'm going to add KMG Young, born in 1982 by Cho Namjoo, also pachinko by men. Generally, my family shrouded history is also a national one. An incredible essay by Alexander Chee guys.

[00:41:57]

That's our show for this week. Thank you so much for listening. This show is hosted by us. I'm Shannon Houston. And I'm Ashley Ford.

[00:42:05]

This podcast was produced by HBO in conjunction with Pineapple Street Studios are executive producers are Jenna Weiss Berman, Max Linsky and Barry Finkel. Again, Fresh Ashar is our managing producer. Our lead producer is Josh Jupiter and our associate producers are Alexis Moore and Natalie Brenin. Our editor is Maggie Sprong Qaiser. And Narika, Jacob is our engineer, original music by composer Amanda Jones.

[00:42:32]

If you like the show and of course you like the show and you have a minute, you can review and write this podcast via Apple podcast Spotify or anywhere else you might get your podcasts. It really helps people find the show. You can also stream the podcast on HBO and HBO. Max will be back next week for Episode seven, which premieres on HBO and streams on HBO on September 27th at 9:00 p.m. Eastern.

[00:42:57]

See you then.