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Dana Brody- The Sullen Teenaged Stoner


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#1

MethodActor05

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Posted Dec 2, 2012 @ 3:02 PM

I've watched up to the Weekend in season 1, and I gotta say, even though Dana's got the bratty teenaged stuff down, I really love how perceptive she is. She has her reasons for being a total bitch to her mother, some of which are justified.

I think Dana's one of the most realistic, balanced potrayal of a teenager I've seen recently. She smokes pot, but it's not treated as evvviilllll. She's bratty, but she clearly cares about her family. I really loved the initial confrontation with her mother about being with Mike, followed up with the more measured, empathetic conversatin where Dana tells Jessica that it'd be okay if she did get divorced, and likely it'd be better for the family in the long run.

My favorite moment so far has been when Jessica tells Brody that Dana never eats breakfast; then Dana comes in and takes breakfast from her dad. The exchange of looks between Dana and her mother spoke volumes.

Finally, it's awesome seeing a 17-year old girl playing a 16/17-year old girl. Morgan Saylor looking so much like a real teenaged girl, and not some Teen Vogue Cover girl, adds a lot.
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#2

Morbs

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Posted Dec 2, 2012 @ 3:12 PM

I hate her.

I watched the entire series in a couple of days, so maybe that is why I find her character so annoying because I haven't had a chance to let the series settle in my brain, but she is such a brat to her brother and mother.

At least Dawn from Buffy could crack a joke and had some personality. Dana is just insufferable and such a drag on the show.
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#3

GirlInAVolvo

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Posted Dec 2, 2012 @ 6:04 PM

The Dana character is convincingly written (and costumed) as a 16-year-old in that situation, and I think Morgan Saylor does a solid job of portraying her. That said, it sure would be nice to have a different ratio of sullen, self-righteous tantrums to not-so-bad moments. We rarely see her not pouting or bitching at someone, but a few likable moments would go a long way.

The only positive scenes that stand out in my memory are her helping her father bury the Koran (which was still tinged with self-righteousness -- "look how liberal and understanding I am, as a teen who has it allll figured out, unlike most stupid grown-ups") and the night with Finn at the Washington Monument, when she seemed like a fairly cute and innocent kid who was taken with a new crush, yet still wanted to honor her existing relationship.

In all of her scenes, though, I'd like to introduce her to our friend the Messy Bun. Let your neck breathe, girl!
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#4

Morbs

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Posted Dec 2, 2012 @ 10:05 PM

I think you are correct, GirlInAVolvo. We also got a scene with her seemingly having fun at a family game night. But we need more scenes like that to care about her. I guess that teenagers are sullen, I get that teenagers aren't reasonable and hate their mothers and little brothers, but she is just so often awful, I find it hard to care about her scenes. When she is on, I feel like the show is just spinning it's wheels.
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#5

neonlite

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Posted Dec 3, 2012 @ 12:02 AM

I'm reserving my judgment on Dana till the end of the season. She may yet redeem herself or somehow be involved in another pivotal scene requiring her particular personality.

But I saw a young woman who looked exactly like the actress on a NYC street over the Thanksgiving weekend. Face was the same, hair the same, though more kempt. She wore a very loose fitting short black overcoat and some canvas and leather designer type outdoorsy boots although the weather was fine. She was angrily stomping away from her parents exactly the way Dana does. The only thing that makes me doubt it was actually Morgann Saylor is that I doubt someone as recognizable as she would act out on a city street. On the other hand, no one seemed to notice but me.

Anyway, my point is that the character is very real and very believable, no matter how obnoxious.
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#6

Mars477

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Posted Dec 3, 2012 @ 1:35 AM

GirlinAVolvo
There was also that moment when she was tutoring Chris in math (I think it was Geometry) which to be completely honest was the first time was the first time I cared about Chris Brody.

I'm torn about Dana. One one hand, I've really liked it whenever Dana and Brody are in the same scene. Those two really mesh as father and daughter. And I think Morgan Saylor is an utterly fantastic actress who'll go far if she chooses to remain in acting as an adult. That scene in this episode where Brody has just come into the safehouse and she's looking at Brody, Chris, Jessica, and Mike in the same shot and it's like she knows exactly what happened is fantastically done and it's like she knows exactly what happened.

On the other hand... she's part of the Brody family, and the Brody family bits have always been my least favorite parts. It's hard to match up with the CIA hunting the next OBL on American soil, even if the CIA bits include a bipolar woman doing stupid shit and fucking a terrorist.

I actually don't mind how sullen she's being. She had something good with Finn, and then they killed a woman and tried to cover it up. She had her dad up on a pedestal, but he turned out to be just as bad as everyone else in this crazy town. I can understand why she'd be upset.
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#7

stillshimpy

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Posted Dec 3, 2012 @ 10:19 AM

I think they've handed poor Morgan Saylor a lot of really thankless material over the course of the series and that she's delivered to the best of her ability, which is usually really impressive.

A lot of teenagers are fairly charmless, it's a tough stage, people are still developing. Every problem feels HUGE and drama is just second nature to most teens. Fashion choices can be sort of "Oh jeez, that's a contrived look if ever there was one."

Anyway, I appreciate that Dana is a believable character, almost all the time. I just...I feel like her characterization is treading water at this point. What they've done with her, they've doe well and she is one of the most believable teens on TV.

It's just that teens really are a bit hard to take, at least a lot of them are. There are some wonderfully sunny, centered teens in the world, but for the most part it's a stage where everything is really pronounced in a person. I appreciate that the character is largely realistic, but wow, I'm beginning to wish she'd go off to boarding school or ...spend the night at a friends. Or change her damned shoes.
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#8

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Posted Dec 3, 2012 @ 12:42 PM

I liked more of the early interaction between Dana and Brody...just after he came back. You got the sense that she's yet another young person that was exposed to far more than she should have too early in life. But this season, the sullen brat that we have who's perpetually scrunching up her nose and calling every BS is over the top. Right now it seems far to easy to see her sliding into a drug-addicted lifestyle to "clear" her of the accident she caused with Finn. I really wish they would remind Ms Self-Righteous of her part of the ordeal egging on Finn to drive faster and be more reckless.
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#9

mag32gie

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Posted Dec 3, 2012 @ 5:08 PM

I really wish they would remind Ms Self-Righteous of her part of the ordeal egging on Finn to drive faster and be more reckless.



Yes, me too!

I am glad Dana put words to what happened in this episode though.
Due to circumstances, relationships come to an end. Can't remember the exact words. Dana and Finn, then Jess and Brody ended last night. I just hope she hasn't ended with her father too.
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#10

civicsforgrownups

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Posted Dec 9, 2012 @ 8:16 PM

I think they've handed poor Morgan Saylor a lot of really thankless material over the course of the series and that she's delivered to the best of her ability, which is usually really impressive.

A lot of teenagers are fairly charmless, it's a tough stage, people are still developing. Every problem feels HUGE and drama is just second nature to most teens. Fashion choices can be sort of "Oh jeez, that's a contrived look if ever there was one."

Anyway, I appreciate that Dana is a believable character, almost all the time. I just...I feel like her characterization is treading water at this point. What they've done with her, they've doe well and she is one of the most believable teens on TV.

It's just that teens really are a bit hard to take, at least a lot of them are. There are some wonderfully sunny, centered teens in the world, but for the most part it's a stage where everything is really pronounced in a person. I appreciate that the character is largely realistic, but wow, I'm beginning to wish she'd go off to boarding school or ...spend the night at a friends. Or change her damned shoes.


I think we forget how much Dana has been through. The shock of finding out her dad has turned to Muslim faith(and keeping that secret with him for awhile), his suspicious activities with obtaining and putting on the vest, followed by the crazy CIA lady screaming that her dad is a terrorist. Although Dana called 911 on Carrie, she also DID pick up the phone and talk her father down from SOMETHING. Denial helps to explain away each suspicion, but deep down she must be harboring some scary doubts. A heavy weight to carry, only increased by the car accident.
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#11

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Posted Dec 9, 2012 @ 8:34 PM

Dana's very believable to me. My only quarrel with her storyline this season is that at times it's taken up many of the meager 47 minutes allotted to the show. But she's also played a key role in many ways.

Her oft criticized boots are a very realistic touch. They express her personality, especially now that she has to wear a uniform to school. She's not a girly girl. She's not a fashionista. She's individualistic and she has both feet on the ground. She's OK in my book.
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#12

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Posted Dec 9, 2012 @ 9:36 PM

To end her romance with Finn, Dana had tried not responding to his texts. But he trumped that by showing up. So, Dana did her brow thing and said something like "We killed it just the way we killed that woman." I remember flinching and giving up a silent scream "no, writers, no, you didn't." But on reflection, I think that was really gutsy of the writers to go with such an awful line, recognizing that is the level of drama and self-drama of teens, and probably our Dana.

It feels like the Brody family has been swept aside in the latest reboot and assigned to Mike. But I'm hoping we haven't heard the last of Dana.
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#13

Nightmare Logic

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Posted Dec 10, 2012 @ 10:23 PM

I don't get why people hate Dana so much. People complain on other shows how teenagers don't act like teenagers and then on this show a teenager acts EXACTLY how a teenager should act. Her blowout about the milk was so uncomfortable because I remember having that same level of asinine hormonal teenage behavior. Dana is a great character because she acts exactly like a teenager ought to act.

Edited by Nightmare Logic, Dec 10, 2012 @ 10:24 PM.

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#14

Hallelujah

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Posted Dec 10, 2012 @ 10:47 PM

Nightmare Logic, I totally agree with you that Dana acts exactly as a teenager acts. In fact Morgan Saylor's portrayal of Dana is as honest and accurate a performance of a teenager as I can remember in a long while. Probably because she's actually a teenager and not 25 like most other "teens" on TV shows.

Still, however accurate and real the character is, the reason people don't like her is because often times she does act, as you said, asinine. She's whiny, moody, mean to her brother, talks back to her parents, and overly dramatic (it doesn't get much more dramatic than literally crying over spilled milk). It's often a thankless role, but I think Morgan Saylor really excels at it.
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#15

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Posted Dec 11, 2012 @ 12:49 AM

I honestly don't get why viewers get so down on the teens. I know some say they don't like the distraction from the main story, yet Homeland from the first episode was fairly family centered. They pared it back this year, maybe to make room for the Veep's family, but for a while Carrie's family was woven into her life.

Btw, I am used to the same level of TWOP teen critique on Mad Men, ranging from resentment of the screentime of Kiernan Shipka who does, I think, a wonderful job as the bratty teen, Sally Draper, to harangues about the acting chops of Marten Weiner, who plays Sally's awkward friend, Glenn and is the real life son of the showrunner, Matt Weiner.

Since Issa was so central to Brody's time in captivity, I assumed that both children were going to be critical to his recovery and his self-image as a father. I was surprised Chris never seemed as important to him as Dana, but it could be that the actor wasn't as good as Morgan Saylor and it showed?

Guess I am a total sap because not only am I feeling sorry for these two kids who will miss Brody and be impacted by whatever comes next, but I even feel bad for poor, deflated and lonely Finn, who lost his girlfriend and father in the same week.
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#16

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Posted Dec 11, 2012 @ 1:40 PM

Just chiming in to say that I think Dana is gratingly annoying but also perfect because that's how so many teens are. She's supposed to be irritating as hell and I think the actress playing her is amazing because one minute I want to ring her neck while at the same time wanting to give her a big hug and tell her that it really does get better.

She already has so much to deal with, what with her hormones, and boy,s and the usual teen self esteem issues and there's the normal shit of realizing that your parents not only don't know everything, but they barely know anything - but in Dana's case she's also got to deal with a marriage breakdown and the fact that her father is a terrorist. Oh and the fact that her boyfriend thinks it's OK to kill someone and then drive off. No wonder she's acting out.
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#17

neonlite

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Posted Dec 11, 2012 @ 2:27 PM

he already has so much to deal with, what with her hormones, and boy,s and the usual teen self esteem issues and there's the normal shit of realizing that your parents not only don't know everything, but they barely know anything - but in Dana's case she's also got to deal with a marriage breakdown and the fact that her father is a terrorist. Oh and the fact that her boyfriend thinks it's OK to kill someone and then drive off. No wonder she's acting out.


Absolutely.

Dana is a kind of thermometer taking the family's temperature and revealing it's true condition rather than the false front they are trying to live and project. Her outbursts are not mere disrespect but an outpouring of truth and anguish.
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#18

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Posted Dec 11, 2012 @ 10:55 PM

I've only just finished Season One, so I can't speak to the current storylines. But it wasn't until "The Vest" and "Marine One" that I came to appreciate Dana.

Before that, I simply could not abide how rude she was to her mother, especially her crudeness in bitching at Jess for "fucking Mike" and refusal to understand that Jess and Mike were in a rough situation through no fault of their own. Yes, I get that she's an immature kid and she feels loyalty to her dad, but she acted like they consciously cheated - on a man everyone thought had been dead for years.

Dana won me over in "The Vest", and Morgan Saylor was just amazing in "Marine One."

I was surprised Chris never seemed as important to him as Dana, but it could be that the actor wasn't as good as Morgan Saylor and it showed

Maybe it's more to the fact that Brody has more history with Dana. When Brody first returned, it was emphasized that Chris had no memory of him because he was a baby when Brody went MIA. Whereas Dana was probably 8 or so back then. The bond is deeper and more complicated between Brody and Dana.
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#19

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Posted Dec 12, 2012 @ 12:45 AM

Dana is a kind of thermometer taking the family's temperature and revealing it's true condition rather than the false front they are trying to live and project. Her outbursts are not mere disrespect but an outpouring of truth and anguish.


Absolutely: the lightning rod. As Jacob said in his recap a few eps ago (paraphrasing), "Dana is so annoying because in family dynamics, the one who expresses the pain is the one who's so annoying."

Last year Dana wasn't one-note, because everyone else gave her many more notes to amplify. Last year she was part of a family miraculously if haphazardly rebuilt, one that generated almost every emotion, from shock to joy to fear to shame to hope to wonder to rage to love. Her father, mother and brother were all present and resonating with the effort to cope and even connect. As the lightning rod, Dana had more to work with and she didn't have to do all the emoting herself. Not so this year. Everyone else has spiraled off into self-enclosed concerns. Everyone else has done a better job of shutting down or turning away: a better job of protecting themselves.

Dana is as tenacious as Carrie when it comes to pursuing what she craves and what she hates. She has been on the trail of families, broken families, throughout the year: analyzing Finn's, shadowing the family of the hit-and-run victim as they dealt with their own grief, and running Mike to ground in the home he keeps separate from them: even sleeping over there, as she must understand her mother never did but often wanted to. Finally Dana is forced from her home and moved with her mother, her brother and Mike into an aerie where the one piece of reality allowed her is that her father is missing again, while her family is trapped in something called a safe house, which by definition means that they aren't safe. Because her father is a liar, a rising star and a super-spy...and somewhere else.

Chris turns on all the TV's. Jess turns to Mike and Mike to Jess. Dana tries putting everything she can think of in the windows, but no one is watching. Finally she turns herself in: into an hysterical 911 call. "Someone ran over my family and left them for dead. Does anybody give a shit!"
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#20

Quandary

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Posted Dec 12, 2012 @ 2:24 AM

Dana takes a lot of flak on the Internets these days. Then again, is there any 'adult drama' where the kid characters don't get crapped on? I can't think of one right now.

Admittedly, she has been given a rather thankless character this season. As much as I didn't like Finn, maybe that relationship should have gone on longer because it was nice to see that side of Dana. I continue to be really impressed with Morgan Saylor as an actress though. Like others have said, it's a very real portrayal of a teen. Some of the things she does ring SO true. One moment I really liked from the character, and from Saylor, was in the second season premiere, Jessica is giving Dana hell about the Quaker meeting, and makes an assumption about what happened there, and Dana retorts "oh yeah Mom, clearly you were there and you know EVERYTHING that happened!" I could so hear myself saying that as a teen, in that exact tone!
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#21

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Posted Dec 12, 2012 @ 10:28 AM

Like others have said, it's a very real portrayal of a teen. Some of the things she does ring SO true. One moment I really liked from the character, and from Saylor, was in the second season premiere, Jessica is giving Dana hell about the Quaker meeting, and makes an assumption about what happened there, and Dana retorts "oh yeah Mom, clearly you were there and you know EVERYTHING that happened!" I could so hear myself saying that as a teen, in that exact tone!

Many of the writers have teenage daughters, so it's of little surprise that the writing for her character has been so spot on. And I also think you can't underestimate the importance of a teenager actually playing a teenager here. Saylor has the tone, the mannerisms, really everything down to a T.
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#22

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Posted Dec 12, 2012 @ 2:56 PM

Our Dana is an angel compared to the character's prototype on the Israeli mother show, Hatufim or Prisoners of War. That Dana is a sex addict and scarily cruel to her mother and brother.

(Season 1 is available for free on Hulu if you want to check her out. It's a very good show, focusing on the psychological drama. Not a spy thriller at all.)
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#23

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Posted Jan 21, 2013 @ 2:41 AM

I agree entirely with those who think Dana is one of the most realistic teenagers on TV these days. Furthermore, while she may not always be likable, Dana remains one of my favorite characters on this show, not in the least because Saylorís acting has been phenomenal.

They only just showed the Season 2 finale here where I live and among other things, I was blown away by Saylorís performance. Iíve seen a lot of criticism here on TWOP about the amount of time given to Dana this season, but it now seems more than justified in setting up her part of the finale. And that final scene of her on the couch after watching the tape of her father on TV was heartbreaking.

Though I hate to think of whatís in store for Dana now, I do hope they keep her as an ongoing character next season.
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#24

fester01

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Posted Feb 6, 2013 @ 3:40 AM

Just finished Season 2. Hated her through most of S1, but she grew on me a lot in S2. The character, that is. The actress has been uniformly excellent in every episode. I was surprised at how the writers seemed to drop the hit-and-run payoff, but then I watched the season finale:) It's Mootsville, now:)
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#25

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Posted Sep 25, 2013 @ 4:32 PM

Dana: she is the most miserable teenager I've encountered on television.  I don't spend a lot of time around teenagers these days, so if this is any indication of what the majority are actually like today, then fuck me.  God help me if I ever even have teenagers. I fast forwarded through nearly all of her scenes in season 2.  She is insufferable.  I no longer have any sympathy for her situation because of the attitude and actions she continues to display. She's the one that needs to be left in a hole to suffer.  If I were her mom, I would be the worst mother in the world because I would ship her off to boarding school in Timbuktu (or the International Space Station if it was available) until she grew up and put her hormones in check.

 

All said, the actress is doing a fantastic job.


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#26

GirlInAVolvo

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Posted Sep 30, 2013 @ 3:46 PM

The problem with Dana is that she is accurate. Many teenagers are sullen, defiant know-it-alls. That is why they have a bad reputation. It's a cliche at this point for parents to say they dread the teen years and wish their kids could stay little and sweet. The show portrays teenagers realistically and that is precisely the problem: that's not the kind of behavior people want to watch for 1/3 or 1/2 of an episode. It would be a mistake to focus too heavily on Dana, her home life, or relationships this season, when there is much more compelling material at stake.


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#27

helv606

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Posted Oct 1, 2013 @ 5:28 PM

http://hollywoodlife...-brody-suicide/

 

 

“She starts out really unstable,” Morgan told us. “She’s dealing with her emotions and making some mistakes. There is also some romance this season [for Dana] and there is some adventure.”

That “romance” Morgan referred to was, of course, Leo (Sam Underwood), the boy she met in rehab. As for the “mistakes,” we got our first look when Dana started sending Leo naked pictures of herself.

Morgan told us that most of Dana’s decisions, both good and bad, are “based on her father’s absence.”

She also promised us that this season will head in unexpected directions for Dana, as the weight of what her father did sinks in — and continues to rob her of a normal, quiet life.

“It really has been the craziest thing ever since the beginning — and it has been a juicy season!”


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#28

Nightmare Logic

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Posted Oct 14, 2013 @ 9:20 PM

The problem with Dana is that she is accurate.

 

 

We are used to watching teenagers...hell ten year olds who act like adults and talk like no one I have ever met in my life.  Dana talks and acts like an honest to God teenager.  She is actually the best written teen I have seen in years.  

 

I don't get the hatred of Dana.  I think that this season she is one of the more interesting characters.   Her attempted suicide and dealing with the realization that her father is a terrorist is all kinds of interesting and she is knocking it out of the park.  Last season her storyline bordered on stupid but that was more writing than acting and I get what the writers were trying to do.  The sins of the fathers and all that it just didn't play out all that well on the screen.  However THIS season is it playing out very well.  I am quite curious to see where it leads.  


Edited by Nightmare Logic, Oct 14, 2013 @ 9:21 PM.

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