Spoilers for all of Krypton Season One
Welp, Krypton has officially finished its first season, and what a ride! I was surprised by how much I liked this show. I was optimistic, since I love DC comics, and in all honesty, I feel that the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) gets a bad rap. If nothing else, I feel like with Justice League the DCEU officially has more good films than bad (yes, I like Suicide Squad. I like it more every time I watch it frankly). But at the same time, I was also very fearful. I, surprise surprise, am not a fan of Game of Thrones (GoT) or its knockoffs, and Krypton wears its ‘we want that sweet sweet GoT money’ nature on its sleeve. To make matters worse, the man in charge is David S. Goyer, who is both a terrible person (if you’re bold, read his comments on She Hulk and the Martian Manhunter) and not a very good writer. His fingerprints are all over Man of Steel, which Krypton clearly draws on aesthetically.
To be fair, Krypton isn’t very deep. It has themes certainly, and uses them well, but I don’t feel like Krypton says anything that nobody has said before, or said it better. So if you expect every work of media you consume to be able to support a full college course all on its own, Krypton isn’t the show for you. But, there is one area where Krypton does do well in my opinion (for the most part) and that’s in its characters. The plot is meh, but the characters (for the most part) elevate it to something that’s not exactly great, but isn’t remotely bad either.
So that’s what I’m going to talk about today! The characters of Krypton. I’ve been building up a lot of thoughts guys. Seriously, I can’t tell you the number of paragraphs I’ve deleted from my episode reviews because I needed to trim the word count and I was doing too much character analysis. But now we’re done with reviews for a bit, and I can talk about the characters at length.
Rather than backstory or lore, I will be focused mainly on the aspects of their characters that I find the most noteworthy. Moreover, I will be ordering my list not so much by order of importance to the plot or by screen time so much as by the amount the character frustrates me. Because yeah, there’s quite a bit to Krypton that exasperates me. So the first character I discuss is the most frustrating, and the last is the least frustrating. If you’ve read my reviews, you’ll probably be able to guess who’s at the bottom, but oh well.
I will also only be discussing named characters who had more than one episode and who lived through the season. Sorry Rohm, Ona, evil guard lady that Daron was in love with, and Seg’s parents, whatever your names were (seriously though, why did they kill Seg’s parents? It wasn’t even fridging, he stopped caring about them by the third episode).
Finally, I will not be analyzing Brainiac, Val, or Dev. Val was only technically in an episode and a quarter, since we can’t count the hologram. As for Brainiac…I just don’t have much to say about him honestly. I appreciate that they didn’t go for the cold, emotionless interpretation that would have been so easy, since Brainiac isn’t a very logical being. It was cool to see him in live action (I never saw Smallville guys, sorry if he was on that show) but past that I don’t really have any thoughts. And I don’t have much to say about Dev either. He’s a genuinely nice person, and a perfectly serviceable character. I really, really liked his scene in the finale where he contemplated his new robotic arm without saying a word. But he didn’t really develop or do anything huge, so all I have is hope that he will get more to do in the future.
Well, with that out of the way, let’s get to the analysis!
Okay, I’m going to level with you, I’m not entirely sure what’s going on with this character. Like…I just…I don’t get what the show’s going for with her. Am I supposed to like her? I mean, I don’t, but I can’t tell if that’s because I’m responding to her the way the writers intended or not. Krypton does have characters who live in the moral grey area, primarily the Zods, though Daron and Adam briefly dwell there as well. But the concept of morally grey characters are ones who do the ‘wrong’ things for the ‘right’ reasons, or the ‘right’ things for the ‘wrong’ reasons.
Jax…doesn’t. I mean, okay, she wants to liberate Kandor from a theocratic dictator, and I know that there’s that whole ‘one person’s freedom fighter is another person’s terrorist’ chestnut but…Black Zero sends in suicide bombers. For a show that is primarily aimed at an audience in the United States (I don’t know how available SyFy is internationally) suicide bombers are a pretty clear signal for ‘evil’. She has to be persuaded to set aside taking over Kandor in favor of stopping Brainiac. When it’s suggested that maybe she not slaughter the remnants of the government after stopping Brainiac, she basically just laughs. Also, the character she’s based off of is a villain and has always been a villain.
On the other hand, the only characters she’s ever malicious to are Daron and the General, both of whom are villains we’re definitely not meant to sympathize with. She’s rather polite, even friendly, to Jayna, Nyssa, and Seg. Well, kind of with Nyssa. I spent most of the time when she was speaking with Nyssa in the finale bracing myself for her to shoot or stab my beloved sad baby. She was giving off all sorts of vibes in that scene.
At any rate, we know that she’s opposed to an evil government, that she was the protégé of Val-El, who is definitely one hundred percent not evil, and she’s not always mean. So maybe she’s not supposed to be a villain? I don’t know. This is the problem with judging a show based off of a single season when said show was clearly never meant to only have one season. Maybe I’ll get a better handle on Jax come season two, but right now I put her at the top because I just can’t figure out what the intent behind her character was, and that’s frustrating.
Oh Daron. Daron, Daron, Daron. You know, there was a moment in this season where I stared at the screen in utter awe, amazed at the writers, because of a line from Daron. It wasn’t a big moment. Frankly, it’s not even a great line. The fact that I was amazed is more of an indictment of television as a whole, and GoT in particular, than anything else. But still, it provoked awe and a little applause from me, as I stared at the screen in disbelief.
The scene came in the middle of the season, in one of the episodes that I had to cover in my ‘Krypton Thus Far’ piece, which is why I didn’t get into it there. I had half a season to cover and I just didn’t have the space. It’s before the attempted coup, when Daron is speaking to Jayna about his plans. She accuses him of only looking out for number one: himself. And he admits that yes that is true. But then he points out that for him, the people of Kandor will always be number two, which is something Jayna cannot say of the Voice.
And then, as Jayna leaves, Daron says the line that got me so excited. That people can have more than one reason to do things. I mean…when was the last time that you saw a piece of media acknowledge the existence of multiple motivations? When we say a character has complex motivations, we usually just mean they’re acting out of something other than greed, love, revenge, or boredom. How often is a character allowed to act out of both negative and positive reasoning? Especially a political schemer like Daron? I mean, yes, Daron’s primary motivation is greed and self-interest, but there is also a sense of duty and care in him as well.
However, Daron is towards the top of the list for a reason. Namely that all that complexity goes right out the window the minute Brainiac reveals himself. Faced with such a powerful threat, he immediately tosses everyone else under the bus, even his own daughter. I guess he gets points for being reluctant to tell Brainiac that Nyssa was involved in the coup, and for going to kill her personally in private rather than putting her through a public execution, but still…bad parenting. He’s given multiple options and chances to turn on Brainiac, but never does so. He turns into a typical scheming coward, and, as with so many others similar characters, the complexity hinted at earlier vanished.
Plus, there’s this weird thing going on where some characters seem to believe that Daron has more power than he’s actually shown to have. Both Seg and Jax blame him for Val’s sentencing which…no? I’m fairly certain that we’re meant to hate Daron and agree with Seg that he’s responsible for everything wrong with Kandor before Brainiac arrived, but we saw Val’s sentencing. Even in court, at the last possible second, Daron offered Val a way out, telling him to just say he was wrong about Brainiac and he’d be let go.
Daron is the chief magistrate, but he did not put the Voice in power, and he seems willing to subvert the Voice’s rule before attempting a coup. Don’t get me wrong, Daron is not a good person, but the writers seem to believe he’s far worse than he’s shown to be. They certainly don’t seem to approve of his clone project, but what exactly it is isn’t ever really explained, so I can’t be sure of how villainous it is.
And speaking of bad parents…
Alright, so, I think it’s pretty clear that I have…complicated feelings with regards to media depictions of abusive parents. And Jayna is abusive towards Lyta, that’s not up for debate. Her introductory scene is first publically humiliating, and then stabbing, her own daughter. Lyta openly states that she feels her mother does not love her, has never loved her. That she’s always felt both inadequate and scared when it comes to her mother. However, sometimes the show doesn’t seem to agree that Jayna was an abusive parent.
I expressed frustration with regards to this in my review of the season finale. Sometimes the show acknowledges the harm Jayna did to Lyta. Lyta feeling scared of her mother is not something implied, but explicitly stated. Other times, it doesn’t. And I’m not talking about Jayna declaring her love for Lyta. We’ll discuss that later. I’m talking about in the finale, when Dev tells Lyta that she made the same choices her mother made to comfort her, and it seems to work. Or how when she rallies the troops to fight Brainiac she quotes her mother. And this isn’t any old quote from Jayna, it’s the speech Jayna gave in her opening scene, the one where she stabbed Lyta in the hand after beating her!
So no, I’m not sure what the writers think of Jayna. Yes, I have strong feelings about how Thanos and Gamora’s relationship was depicted in Infinity War. Yes, I believe that depicting Thanos as an abusive parent who genuinely loved one of his abuse victims was important. However, there is a difference between the way that Jayna and Lyta’s relationship is depicted and the way that Thanos and Gamora’s relationship was. To me, Thanos’ and Gamora’s relationship was well handled because Gamora was never shown to love Thanos in return, or to view him as anything but an abuser. If at any point Gamora had ever seemed to indicate that she loved or forgave Thanos, I would have had a very different reaction.
The problem I have with Jayna and Lyta’s relationship is that I’m genuinely confused as to what Lyta thinks of Jayna. It shifts from episode to episode. Sometimes she seems to hate and fear Jayna, and sometimes she seems to feel her mother was tough but fair. The narrative keeps shifting.
To clarify, it is okay for that narrative to shift. Relationships are not simple or clean cut. You can do a story in which a victim forgives their abuser well. And Jayna does take steps toward a redemption arc. In the penultimate episode she cops to the fact that she was an abusive parent and does not attempt to justify herself or absolve her own guilt. That is good. That is how you do this dynamic well, by putting all the guilt and need for action on the shoulders of the abuser, not the victim. By never having the abuser attempt to justify their abuse, or to claim that they deserve forgiveness. So there is a good narrative in here. However, it is being actively sabotaged by the rest of the narrative due to how inconsistently it handles Lyta’s relationship toward and feelings about her mother. Hence my frustration.
Overall, I think that Jayna is a decent character. I compare her most to a character like Okoye (I’m just going to keep referencing the Marvel Cinematic Universe guys, because this is a comic book show and you’re more likely to know and like the Marvel characters and ideas than DCEU ones). She’s someone who puts loyalty and duty to a concept over loyalty and duty to people, then slowly changes her system of ethics as she evolves with new and changing situations. But she has a dash of Yondu thrown in as well with regards to her parenting skills and emotions.
Lyta wasn’t supposed to be this high on the list. She was never at the very bottom of it, but I liked her well enough. I liked that she was kind, and had mommy issues like me, and had a view on the long term consequences of things like the Rankless Initiative. I liked that when she killed a man in ritual combat to get herself into a position where she could at least limit the damage of said initiative, it wasn’t played as a clear cut good or bad thing. Killing a man to put herself in a position to save dozens, maybe even a hundred or more isn’t straightforward and the narrative never treated it as such. Lyta, as a soldier working for a dictatorship, lived in a moral grey area, and the show never shamed her for not being purely in the white. But it never glorified her either.
But then…stuff happened. And Lyta started to go off the rails, so to speak. The issue regarding her relationship with Jayna was always hovering of course. But there are other things. Such as her interactions with Nyssa. I…I really don’t understand her behavior on that front. Like, I’d get it if she’d been the one who was married to Seg, and Nyssa was trying to slide in between them. Or even if Seg had ever expressed any romantic interest in Nyssa. But neither of those things are the case!
Seg and Nyssa are legally married. They have a baby on the way. And yes, Lyta was dating Seg before he ever met Nyssa. I can understand how that would be awkward. But neither Seg nor Nyssa chose their marriage. More to the point, it’s not a marriage that Seg seems to have any interest in making romantic. I mean, for heaven’s sake, he has no hesitation about declaring his love for Lyta, or about making out with her for that matter, in front of Nyssa. And Nyssa, well, I’m not convinced that she wants a romance with Seg. I think she definitely wants to hit that, but I don’t think she wants to have candlelit dinners.
The point is, Seg has never expressed romantic or sexual interest in Nyssa, and Nyssa has at the very least not done so in front of Lyta. Yet, Lyta is combative and angry with Nyssa from the start. It really, really feels like cattiness for the sake of having women be catty…except that Nyssa is never catty back, so only Lyta comes off looking bad. Which she does. It never feels natural coming from her. She’s always portrayed as level headed and kind, except when it comes to Nyssa. So it feels less like justified fear of a homewrecker and more like Seinfeld glaring at Newman.
And then she joins the General in the last two episodes and nothing makes sense. Specifically, her actions in the catacombs. Particularly, her decision to go free Doomsday. The problem here is that Seg strongly opposes any plan that involves unleashing Doomsday. Granted, Lyta doesn’t always have to agree with Seg. But, Seg and Lyta have the exact same amount of information about the spiky grey Hulk in the basement. They were both present when the nature of the beast was explained to them. And since Seg rejected Adam and they never had a chance to speak after that scene, Seg can’t have any more information or reason to fear Doomsday, but he clearly does fear him much more than Lyta does.
The problem is that Lyta has always been depicted as very much concerned with the long-term consequences of actions, both hers and others. This was her entire impetuous for engaging in ritual combat and killing a man: concern for the long-term consequences of his actions! And, unlike Seg, she’s never fought one of Brainiac’s hosts, so she doesn’t even have firsthand experience of his power and the resultant fear as an excuse. She just sides with the General…to side with the General!
That’s the biggest issue I have with Lyta as a character. More than any other character, her personality and motivations change based on what the writers want, be it her relationship with her mother, her behavior toward Nyssa, or her actions in the final two episodes. Consistency goes out the window in favor of expediency, and Lyta’s character suffers dramatically for it.
So…yeah, the main character of the show is towards the top of the list (he’s closer to the top than to the bottom anyway). That’s…not a great sign for a show frankly. Seg has always been one of, if not the, weakest aspects of Krypton. He is a…frustrating character.
To be fair to both him and the show, he did get markedly better as the series went on. And if he keeps improving in season two, maybe I’ll have a different opinion of him. But as things stand currently, he’s had more bad moments than good, and none of the good was so sparkling as to overshadow the bad.
Seg is, well, a complicated character. Not necessarily complex, just complicated. To put it in GoT terms (sorry, but GoT comparisons are unavoidable, given how clearly Krypton wants to be that show) Seg is an odd fusion of Jon Snow and Sansa Stark. Take Sansa’s best qualities, add Jon’s worst, and you get Seg-El.
This does result in some nice things. For instance, Seg isn’t cocky at all. Occasionally he does put on a mask of arrogance, but it falls off pretty quickly and you can take he’s faking it. Seg is insecure, and more than a bit traumatized; he’s just trying to get by. And, moreover, he is kind. Seg is, at heart, a genuinely good person trying to do the best he can with what he has and in the name of the doing the most good. When the General tries to persuade him to hand his grandfather over to Brainiac in order to save his own life, Seg seems taken aback by the knowledge that he dies in the General’s future but never genuinely considers trading other lives for his own.
That being said, Seg is also kind of…really really stupid. Now, some of this might the result of audience versus character knowledge. A lot of Seg’s more damaging choices are caused by him not knowing things that I as a fan (and Adam Strange as a time traveler) know. He doesn’t know how important Superman is to saving the universe repeatedly or that the General is utterly untrustworthy.
Still, even accounting for viewer insight, Seg is a bit of an idiot. There’s an episode midway in the season (the General’s first appearance, before we knew who he was), when Lyta is locked up and sentenced to be executed for high treason. In that episode Seg sets up three different plans to help Lyta escape, putting each in motion one after the other regardless of the fact that each new plan will completely derail the previous plans, which have not finished yet. That could just be him being impulsive, I suppose, but still.
At the end of the day, Seg is not a bad character, merely a frustrating one. Though perhaps that’s a good thing. He is certainly very realistic, with legitimate flaws and hang ups that make sense when you consider that he watched his grandfather die, was forced to grow up in an apartheid style slum, and then watched his parents die before being forced to fight against an alien menace. So it depends on what kind of character you’re looking for, but I’m not a big fan.
Adam is an interesting character. Previously, I called him ‘Peter Quill lite’, and I stand by that. I would say that he is less ‘lite’ now, at the end of the season, but in a good way. Let me be clear, I don’t think the actor playing him is trying to impersonate Chris Pratt’s Peter Quill. Nor is Adam peppering his dialogue with pop culture references and listening to music all the time. He is, however, a human male having adventures off the earth who hides his deep insecurities with snark and lies.
Because yes, at the heart of his character is a great deal of insecurity. And it makes sense that this would be the case. He is, after all, a man attempting to be a hero in an already established DC Universe. We know that Adam exists in Superman’s shadow, and while no other heroes are specifically named, he states that others exist, putting him in their shadows as well. Adam is Bruce Wayne without the wealth. His only asset is something that he did not invent, a device taken from an alien race. (In the comics he took it from a crashed space ship, Krypton hasn’t told us how he got it in the universe of the show beyond the fact that it wasn’t given to him as a gift.)
Adam hovers below Seg because he tries so damn hard. He wants to save Superman so much that he took off the minute he heard that the Man of Steel was in danger, not even bothering to confirm what the threat was exactly. He wants to do the right thing so bad, even if he’s not fully certain of what that right thing is. Frankly, the biggest difference between him and Seg, the thing that puts him just below Seg on this list, is that the point Seg eventually reaches towards the end of the season is where Adam always was, even if he tried to cover it with bluster and deception.
The General was not supposed to be this high on the list either. Admittedly, there’s only two characters after him, but the point remains. For his first few episodes, our favorite demander of kneeling was number two on the list.
Colin Salmon is an excellent actor, and in all honesty, he needs to get a leading role in a Superhero movie yesterday. (Kevin Feige, I know you read my articles, and I want you to know that Colin Salmon is the only acceptable choice to play Blade.) He was a very good General, honestly as good as Terence Stamp. Honorable yet twisted, with a firm belief in doing whatever’s necessary for the good of his people. When done well, the General is the rarest of fictional megalomaniacs: the one that genuinely believes that putting him in power is the best for the greater good.
This iteration of the General is done well (I’m just calling him the General because, again, he is one of three members of the House of Zod in this show and so just calling him Zod doesn’t). I do not feel at any point that he is just trying to justify his desire for having the highest chair at the table, or that he’s trying to stop Brainiac because it’ll set off a butterfly effect that will stop Superman from opposing him. He is doing his best here, his morals are just twisted (nope, no MCU HYDRA comparisons here, I never got a sense that any of those dudes didn’t just want power, no matter what they said).
So why is he still third from the bottom on my most-to-least frustrating list? Because of his insane fixation on Doomsday as his main plan to stop Brainiac. As a plan…it makes no sense. In fact, his insistence on this plan makes less sense than Lyta’s.
Okay, so due to time travel, it is possible that this General came back in time before Superman fought Doomsday, so he only knows about it from records and has not actually seen it in action himself. This seems unlikely because Adam clearly knows about Doomsday, but it is possible.
Except…the General isn’t human, he’s Kryptonian, which means he was genetically engineered. And since he’s a Zod, he would have been designed with a high focus on tactical thinking, which Lyta probably would have driven into him since she apparently became a very harsh and militaristic person in the General’s timeline. So why would the General think that he could beat Doomsday on his own, if his plan was to use Doomsday to defeat Brainiac, whom he definitely couldn’t beat on his own? Your own plan is that Doomsday is the bigger fish, but why would you then be able to turn around and stop him if you couldn’t stop the smaller fish?
Normally, I would chalk this up to bad writing and not level too many strikes against the General for it. But I can’t, because the nature of the General means that these aren’t mistakes that he should make. Coming up with good strategies and accurate threat assessments is literally what he was born to do, so this goes from a bad plot to bad character choices.
Colin Salmon is still awesome though.
Kem was not supposed to be this low on the list. In fact, for a while, he wasn’t even on the list, he was chilling up just outside with Dev, Val, and Brainiac. But slowly and surely, he worked his way inside, and down to my heart. Kem is just…a really good person. Really, really good. And despite the fact that this show revels in moral quandaries and questions, it never feels like Kem is being punished for his kindness. That’s not to say that bad things never happen to him, they do. But those bad things never feel like a punishment for him being a good person.
In a world of jerks, egomaniacs, and desperate people, Kem stands out as a loyal and friendly rock. He’s content with his lot in life. It’s not the best life, and I’m sure he wishes for better things. But, when Seg is elevated to no longer be Rankless, not only does Kem never express jealousy, he tells Seg to grab this opportunity and never look back. When Seg is about to throw his life away to kill Daron, he goes with Adam into the deadly wastelands to look for a way to stop him. When Rohm dies, Kem spends the episode agonizing over how to tell her daughter Ona, not because it’s going to be a painful experience for him, but because he wants her to feel as little pain as possible.
Kem won me over because he’s just such a good person. Krypton is full of characters that want to do the right thing (pretty much every character on this list except Daron and maybe Jax), but Kem is the one who consistently does do the right thing. Here’s hoping things get better for him in season two than they ended this season.
You knew this was coming. You could not read my reviews and not know that this was coming. I adore Nyssa. She is my precious baby, right there with Nebula, Lena Luthor, and Regina Mills. And the best thing about this is that she was not originally a favorite. I admit, I wanted her to be wonderful because I’m gay and shallow and she is exactly my type, but for a while, she seemed destined to be a one note villain of the shallowest proportions. Or if not a villain, not a hero either. She was her father’s aide, his Mercy Graves, and nothing more.
But rather immediately something interesting happened. One look at Nyssa, particularly from the early episodes, when she was dressed more formally, her appearance rather heavily invoked Cersei Lannister. Short blonde hair, fancy black dress, political schemer—the similarities were obvious.
But as the episodes went on, and Daron and Nyssa’s plans became clearer, something else became clear. Nyssa may have been similar to Cersei aesthetically, but only aesthetically. Daron on the other hand, was very much like Cersei–impetuous, quick to anger, and far more convinced of his competence than was actually warranted. Nyssa was his Tywin, not the other way around. And that was fascinating. To have the young woman without a high position be smarter than her older male counterpart? I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before. Hell, for a young woman to manipulate people without using her sex appeal? I don’t think I’ve seen that either.
Revelations about Nyssa’s character kept coming. We learned that she had no real political ambitions of her own. She wasn’t helping her father to get a leg up of her own, she was helping him because he’s her father, and this is what he wanted. She wasn’t being blackmailed into it nor did she resent him. She loved him, and if he wanted to move up politically, she was going to save him from his own incompetence and help him out. We also learned that she was not petty, at least not when it came to Seg. She encouraged him to confess his love for Lyta to her, then turned around and did her best to help Lyta, in defiance of her father’s plans (albeit, one of his more stupid plans). She declared that no, she did not care that her husband was cheating on her, since it wasn’t a romantic marriage anyway and she already had a baby in the Genesis Chamber.
But then the coup failed, Daron went to kill her, and we immediately see just how frighteningly competent Nyssa is. When she realized that something was wrong, rather than going out the window or just worrying, she set up a hologram decoy and waited in the corner, just off the vague suspicion that someone might want to kill her. That is thinking ahead.
And when Seg comes to rescue her, she proves herself remarkably skilled, beating up one of the guards. A skill she learned, curiously enough, from her ex, a combat instructor. Which…wow, I admit I don’t know how long she was dating this instructor woman (oh yeah, she’s canon bi/pan, yay! And Seg doesn’t even comment on it or make a big issue out of it, double yay!) but she picked up on those skills remarkably quickly if she was able to beat up a guard who’d been training literally all of their life.
And of course, she has crippling insecurity, which, same. The fact that Seg risked his life to save her life, and doesn’t seem to expect anything in return beyond her not stabbing him in the back, rocks her world. She’s surprised because nobody has ever helped her like that before. She rather quickly dedicates herself to saving the world and stopping Brainiac, and never wavers in her faith and loyalty to Seg from there on out. She is his Chewbacca, complete with snark.
That’s another interesting to comes about after the coup fails. Nyssa had bouts of humor and a very dry wit early on, but they were never the focus of her character. Then, about the time that Lyta and the General went off the rails and Kem started building in my esteem, Nyssa got a lot more snarky. Her response to Lyta openly declaring that she didn’t trust her and suggesting they should her kick her out on the street to face the guards who wanted her dead? A dry pointing out that she was in the room and then winking at Seg. Finding out that Lyta had run off with the General? Chuckling that everybody had assumed that she’d be the one to screw them all over, not Lyta.
I could go on and on here guys. I’m sure that Nyssa has character flaws, but for the life of me I don’t see them. What I like the most is that there is growth on her part in terms of perception. To me at least, it doesn’t feel like Nyssa was a shallow character who became deep. Rather, the more I saw her, the more I realized was there that I hadn’t seen. I really appreciate that.
What about you? What do you think of the characters? Would you rate any of them as more or less frustrating than I did? Let me know in the comments!