Tuesday, February 20, 2024

"Sly" VS "Arnold"

No, I'm not referring to the ridiculous 80s-icon, action-hero competition ... 

I'm talking about their recent Netflix documentaries  ... 

 So after watching "The Family Stallone" to see what all the buzz was about, especially with Season 2 dropping tomorrow .. 

... we then watched the Netflix documentary "Sly" that Jimmy Fallon praised, followed by  "Arnold," because Netflix suggested it, to compare.

Because although Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger are friends now, and are in each other's documentaries, back in the 80s, they were fierce competitors (and IMO, still may be competing with these documentaries) πŸ˜‚

If so, then Sly definitely wins πŸ˜‚

And not for the reasons that you think - it's not about muscles or money or power.

It's because Sly admits that he has regrets, effs up, isn't afraid to get vulnerable, and has finally realized the importance of family, thanking them for their support and putting up with him -  whereas Arnold spent the first half of his two-part series talking about himself and his own past glory, giving no thanks or praise to virtually anyone else but himself. 


In fact, I won't be watching the second part, and asked Mark to turn "Arnold" off, just after he talked about feeling nothing when his brother and father died, which was fine with him, because Mark had his face scrunched up at him, too.

Okay, his Dad, I get, because he was literally an abusive Nazi soldier - but his brother wasn't - he died in an accident, driving while drunk. 

Now, I'm no fan of drunk drivers myself, after losing a very close friend to a drunk driver, but I DO understand that people that drink are trying to drown pain and it's an addiction - but the lack of empathy wasn't even about his drunk driving - it was about his "being fragile."

So they replayed a previous video clip from when his brother and dad died within the same year, where he stated that he felt nothing, he pushed any feelings down for them long ago, 

His current response to that clip was to say he still felt nothing, his brother was "fragile" and didn't take his Dad's abuse well, but he did, because he was "strong" and he's "not a victim." 

Further, he added that "people who think about how they're feeling or become depressed don't have enough work to do."  (Tell that to people who suffer from clinical depression caused by chemical imbalance.)

However, interestingly, he said his dad had PTSD, but the reality is, his father was a Nazi - so it's interesting that the only victimhood he even slightly attributed to anyone was to his abusive father, who was actually a perpetrator?

And as for victims, how about the 6 million Jewish people (and others the Nazis considered non-perfect/strong like Catholics, LGBTQ, the disabled), killed at the hands of men like your father, hmm?

No empathy for his brother at all - not because he was drunk driving, but simply because he was "fragile"  and "sensitive" anyway?  Icky.

Also, as we learn, because he perceived that though his parents - particularly his dad -  beat both of them, they liked his brother more than him - and as we know, if nothing else, Arnold is fiercely competitive - willing to do anything, to anyone, to win.  He says he got along with his brother well, but he was clearly jealous of him and just wanted to "win" versus him.

In fact, I really felt like I was listening TO a Nazi, talking about strength and weakness, lack of empathy or feelings, and it churned my stomach, and how public praise/chanting his name was everything to him, the goal.

Ewww and Zzzzzz.  

In contrast, there was Sly - talking about his regrets, realizing that he doesn't have much time left to fix them all (and in some cases, can't, like with his son, Sage, who died of a heart condition at age 36), and just wanting to spend more time with family (without really knowing how) - and this is what the reality show, The Family Stallone, is about.

He didn't cry or anything, but he wasn't afraid to get vulnerable, in talking about these things, and had even gleaned the insight that he had spent his life chasing public love as a substitute for the lack of love in childhood, but that public adoration was fickle, and in fact, it isn't real - none of these people chanting his name really knew him as a person. 

It is clear he loves his daughters and vice versa, but also that he doesn't know how to relate to them well as adults rather than children, and much of the show is about them trying to find time together to rebond as adult children and parents. 

(It's also interesting that Sophia has a heart condition, too, but unlike Sly's son, Sage, it was caught early.  A different heart condition, but heart problems nonetheless.)

His daughters, Sophia, Sistine, and Scarlet are great, they ARE the show.  Sly and Jennifer have done a very good job with them, because they may look all LA, but don't be fooled, they're very genuine, empathetic, mischievous -  and just like their dad, they're smarter than you think.

It is very clear that they just want their dad's attention again,  rebonding with him as adults now.

But the best is their telling funny stories about how Sly has a habit of scaring off all their dates πŸ˜‚

For example, Sistine's first boyfriend.  She brought him home, and before even entering the house, he looked up and said "What's that?

It was Sly, or more accurately, the silhouette of Sly, standing on the balcony, having backlit himself to look especially scary πŸ˜‚

The poor kid ran away, never to be seen again πŸ˜‚

They tell these funny stories, but then later, they do talk about wanting to talk to their father about trying to get to know their dates and boyfriends at first, at least. 

His wife, Jennifer, clearly loved Sly and vice versa, but you get the sense that she has had to quietly put up with a lot from Sly.  She seems a bit shy, perfectly happy to be the background-support person, but I'd like to know a little more about her.

She says really just wanted to be a mother and wife, and so when her final baby bird leaves the nest, she isn't sure who she is anymore, she admits - and in a way, mirrors Sly's struggles.

So even though Reality TV is rarely reality, the questions of this series appear to be:

1)  "Who IS Sly, when he's not working too much /being the movie star?" 

2)  "Who is Jennifer, other than being Sly's wife and a mother to his now grown children, the last little bird just having left the nest?"

3)  Who are Sophia, Sistine, and Scarlet, emerging from the shadow of their father, the enormous, larger-than-life character that is Sylvester Stallone?

4)  Will all be successful at adjusting to who they are as people now, and with rebonding the family?

That's what the series is about and what perhaps we may find out - IF the series doesn't kill all the relationships first, as reality shows tend to do. 

As for Arnold, though both men are funny and charming, the only things I found endearing about Arnold's story were his miniature horse and donkey, Lulu and Whiskey, which he lets run around the house πŸ˜‚

Otherwise, I just couldn't relate to Arnold at all. 

It was all about competition and being the best, the conqueror, and how he even cheated a few times to get where he is, and I just don't admire that "Republican" line of thinking, especially seeing where it led us in World War II, and that mentality rearing its ugly head again today. 

In fact, I turned to Mark and said "Ewww.  What did Maria see in this guy in the first place and how could she stand it for so long?"  

You might say muscles and money, but I'm not a "huge muscles" fan,  because when they get to a certain point, your pecs can look like gigantic veiny boobs and it's just a turn-off for me πŸ˜‚  I prefer a toned gymnast type of body in men, and it's more about the abs than the pecs.

Anyway, at least in Part 1 of Arnold's series, we never saw any of his family, anyone dear to him - just other professional people praising him, such that I don't think I'll be watching Part 2.

So in the end, it seems that Sly has gained at least some insight - effs up still, then tries again - just like all humans do.

In contrast, Arnold has essentially gained no insight at all, and is still stuck in selfish mode, bragging on his accomplishments, money, and people he knows, asking us to travel right up his own arse along with him, which I don't care to do any further, thanks πŸ˜‚

Men who might be reading, if you get nothing else, get this - REAL women - and by that, I mean smart women with character - don't care about huge muscles, power, money, namedropping, and arrogance (except for a momentary fling, but we don't take you seriously).

Sure, confidence is cool, but the ability to get vulnerable and have empathy sometimes is important, too, as well as experience grief?

Real women of character don't want a run-down of your resume.

We don't care what competitions you've won, how much money you have, how many famous or powerful people you know.

Frankly, real women of character don't care to go with you, as you travel up your own arse - we just want you to hang out with us, take a sincere interest in us as much as you do yourself, have some self-awareness of your flaws as well as your accomplishments, as a  relatable human being - and just be real.

In fact, being real is sexy 😊

In fact, I never found either Sylvester Stallone OR Arnold Schwarzenegger attractive, back in the day - but at 77 years old, I actually find Sly somewhat attractive now, as a result of his newfound ability to gain insight/get vulnerability, just his values. 

In contrast, I actually liked Arnie before I saw his documentary, but the more he talked, the uglier I found him. 

So in the end, IMO - Sly and the Family Stallone win!

Best of luck on Season 2, Stallone Family πŸ˜‚

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.