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Remembering S. Jhoanna Robledo

Common Sense Media logo Common Sense Media 7/21/2017 Betsy Bozdech

This week, the Common Sense community mourns the heartbreaking loss of S. Jhoanna Robledo, one of our most prolific critics, a passionate movie lover, and a wonderful mother, wife, writer, and friend. After a brief but fierce battle with cancer, Jhoanna died peacefully at her home in New York City on July 19. She is survived by her husband, their three children (ages 22, 16, and 12), and countless family members and friends who will miss her wit, spirit, and compassion daily.

Jhoanna first began writing for Common Sense in early 2006; she started out as a TV critic and transitioned into reviewing movies about a year later. In her 10-plus years as one of our most reliable, engaged writers, she covered almost 1,000 shows and films for the site (click here for a full list of her reviews). She had soft spots for romantic comedies and stories about underdogs (especially those who had to fight against the powers that be); she covered her eyes during horror movies and rolled them at predictable plot "twists." She absolutely loved movies; in addition to writing about them for a living, she tried her hand at screenwriting and co-directed a documentary about cabaret singing. And she ran an annual Oscar pool that she almost always won (except for the years that I did).

My friendship with Jhoanna goes back nearly 20 years. We first met as editors at BabyCenter.com; our first "friend date" was to go see Titanic in February 1998. She quickly became like a big sister to me, and I often spent evenings watching movies with her and her husband at their San Francisco apartment (well, he and I watched most of them -- she would fall asleep 10 minutes in and wake up 10 minutes before the end, asking us to explain what had happened ... which wasn't so easy when the movie in question was, say, Fight Club). Life eventually took her to New York, while I stayed on the West Coast. But we always remained close; she wrote movie synopses for me during my tenure at Netflix and joined the reviewer roster at Common Sense shortly after I had the amazing luck to start working here.

Her passions were many; in addition to movies, she loved real estate (which she covered for Brick Underground and New York magazine), chocolate, reality TV, running, dim sum, going for long walks, reading, pop culture, birthdays, holidays, and so much more. She cared deeply about social issues and politics, and she always saw the good in everyone. She was so proud of her work for Common Sense, and I -- and everyone else here -- are honored to be part of her legacy. We'll miss you, Jho.

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