Why the Portrayal of Grief and PTSD in ‘Locke & Key’ Matters

The first show I watched when self-isolation began in March was the Netflix original series
Locke & Key. I had never heard of it before, or knew at the time it was an already popular comic series, but was drawn in by the trailer promising what seemed like Alice in Wonderland meets Pan’s Labyrinth meets Coraline.

The show starts with the Locke family moving from Seattle to a small town in Massachusetts to live in their late-father’s childhood home. The family has just survived a shooting at the hands of an unstable student their father was treating who ambushes their home, killing their father, and attempting to gun down the rest of them as he demands answers around the Locke family house and the keys.

Hoping for a fresh start, the Locke family moves across the country to an incredible family mansion that turns out to also be magical, as the youngest son, Bode, begins discovering magic keys around the house. But not all magic is good and as Bode attempts to find more, he unleashes a dark spirit that has been trapped in the family’s well house and is determined to destroy the world. With supernatural forces at play, the Locke kids — Tyler, Kinsey, and Body — must investigate the mysterious circumstances around their father’s death in order to find the answers and discover nothing is what it seems, including the hero they thought they knew.

It’s an amazing show, but what really stood out to me as a viewer was how Locke & Key digs into the intertwining of grief, PTSD, and trauma — an intertwining that has deeply impacted my own life, but I have rarely seen represented on television.

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Where all my ladies at? 10 YouTubers I’m deeply obsessed with

I have worked in the world of YouTube since I was 22-years-old. What was supposed to be my first foray into the world of journalism weirdly turned out to be my first stepping stone into an entire career studying digital media.

Yes, I get paid actual money to research YouTube trends and communities. It’s weirdly wonderful, but also proving rather impossible to concisely describe on my LinkedIn. Should you be doubting my credentials as a Doctor of YouTube, here’s a quick walk down memory lane:

My first VidCon in 2013. Yes, I do still own that Walle backpack because I’m an adult with taste.

My staff photo from YouTube Nation taken in 2013? I’m holding the YouTube play button so obviously I.KNOW.YOUTUBE. I just changed this photo after having it as my work email icon for years because I recently realized I don’t look that young anymore.

Here is Earnest and I with the YouTube Nation gold play button that is somewhere in the YouTube office in New York. Or in Kevin’s apartment? Which seamlessly leads us into my last point, here is Kevin and I, standing in front a photo of a laser cat, holding shirts about the Shia LaBeouf meme. Enough said.

Some could say that’s a lot of years of studying YouTube and they would be right. It’s useful knowledge if you’re a YouTube Trends Specialist or on a very specific trivia team; and while I can’t seem to remember to ever check the weather, I can talk in-detail about social media’s impact on mental health awareness over the last five years so … invite me to all your parties?

(Just kidding, please don’t, my social anxiety could not handle your party invite.)

I have to admit, the world of YouTube is pretty wild in its capabilities. Through just a simple search you can witness the daily lives of millions of people around the world. Through YouTube, I’ve learned how to take apart and clean air conditioning units, draw greeting cards, bake new recipes, and plan trips. I’ve been inspired by other artists talking about their craft, watched people build entire houses with their own two hands, and found community around other individuals grappling with anxiety. It’s a space that has allowed people to share their stories without the necessity of an intermediary and given underrepresented voices a platform to creative content authentic to their experiences. These things are the pillars that keep me excited about the platform — with pioneering creators and the formation of communities being my specific area of interest.

Two work weeks are rarely the same. Sometimes I’ll be studying how interable creators use their channels to dispel taboos around disabilities and dating, and sometimes I’m trying to quantify the influence of how the Popeyes chicken sandwich impacted our platform. It’s a mixed bag which is probably good for my personality because I get restless very quickly in my quest to always be learning.

While at the office it’s vital to remain unbiased and curious in my research, in the outside world (aka the minute I get home and within 35 seconds have my jeans off and yoga pants on) I get to indulge and pick my favorite creators to watch over dinner. Should you be looking for some new interesting, weird, inspiring, or heart-warming creators to follow along with, here are 10 that I’m currently obsessed with below.

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Welcome to my new adventure


Hey, hello! Welcome to my new blog, it’s a pleasure to have you. Tea? Lint roller for all the cat hair you’re bound to acquire here?

If we haven’t met and you stumbled upon Hey, Is This Thing On? by accident, you might be thinking, what is this place that has so many thoughts? First off, my name is Carly, I’m forever juggling a full-time job, a freelance journalism side hustle, and too many to do lists to count. I created this blog as a way to carve out my own little space to share my thoughts on books, writing, my 28-year-old misadventures, living in New York City, mental health, and so much more. It turns out — as is no surprise to anyone who knows me — I have a lot of thoughts on a lot of things, and now they have a home to call their own.

If you clicked here and we have met, I assume you came here from my dad’s Facebook page. That guy is like a one man PR machine amongst 60 through 80-year-old retired firefighters who make up a shocking large percentage of my readership.

This is a bit of a fresh start after running a blog called The Curious Case for six years. I started that little blog right out of college. It was part composition book to practice my writing, part scrapbook to record my then 22-year-old adventures with friends. In that first year, I considered my blog to be my own private time capsule where I hoarded away memories from the nights my friends and I terrorized the bars around my studio apartment or crammed onto my too small balcony in the trees to eat mediocre homemade pasta and talk about all the places we’d someday go.

Over the next six years, the Curious Case was a constant in the ever changing world of my 20s. It shepherded me through writing internships-turned-full-time jobs-turned-unemployment-turned-unexpected and blossoming careers. It became my confidant through romantic relationships, changing friendships, and the transition into being a cat mum. Ultimately it accompanied me on my biggest dream of all: Moving to New York City.

But despite all that love and history, it became clear last year that the Curious Case no longer existed in the internet ecosystem of 2012. It had served my life exactly how I had needed it to for all those years but now, it no longer fit. So with a sweet goodbye and thank you, I decided to close the Curious Case and embark on a new chapter. A new blog.

Welcome to my new start. Hey, Is This Thing On? is where I hope to grow as a writer and more importantly, as a human. Relearning how to launch a blog has been both bittersweet and exciting, and while this blog will remain true to my voice and interests and opinions, its content will be lifestyle-focused rather than centering around my personal life.

If you’re looking for a place to start on Hey, Is This Thing On? might I recommend “A Roadmap For the Blues” or “The ‘Perfect Moment ‘Myth.” If personal essays are more your thing, I’ve got plenty including “I love you, I hate you: The story of a nose”. Curious about the books I’m excited about right now? Read on! Or maybe you want to know the best writing/freelance newsletters to join? They’re coming next Sunday!

If you’re interested in receiving weekly updates from Hey, Is This Thing On? please subscribe on the sidebar to the right or follow this blog on Twitter or Instagram. New posts will be published every Sunday morning. I am incredibly grateful you took the time to read my blog and hope to see you again soon.