Tumblr Discussions A Go Go

I love images of Black women in armor, as you can see, I used to have one as my avatar so:

Here! Have a DeviantArt page full of nothing but images of Black men and women in armor:

Warrior Queen

andro-womeninarmor: “Basira- Wisdom by Othon Nikolaidis Found here ”

Basira- Wisdom by Othon Nikolaidis

 

 

@@

Probably one of the funniest phrases I’ve ever seen on the internet is “Its the Goatpocalypse!” It’s then followed by the actual reasons this neighborhood has been taken over by goats, which is almost as funny as the images themselves.

Goat Rentals!

If this happened in our neighborhood, half the residents would be having a complete shitfit while cursing their torn up lawns, and the other half, (probably all the women and children), would be running outside to pet the goats. (A smaller, more pragmatic, contingent would be trying to herd the goats into their garages to milk them.)

The goatpocalypse is upon us. (via KTVBJoe)

 morathor

Updates have since come on this subject; we now know where the goats came from and I gotta tell you, it is better than you could possibly imagine.  See.

These goats got loose from a goat rental service.

You may be thinking, who rents a goat?  Who rents a hundred goats?  What are they for?

They’re for eating.

Specifically, they’re for eating unwanted, flammable vegetation that can contribute to the spread of wildfires.  Some people whose property tends to grow such vegetation, keep their own goats.  But for some people it works out better to just rent some goats.

So.

These are Professional Eating Goats.  They are trained to thoroughly and methodically scour an area of plantlife.  And they came to the suburbs.

And they did their jobs.

I’m so proud of them.

 

@@

Image result for brooklyn 99

*Tumblr users discuss exactly why Brooklyn 99, a show I absolutely love despite my general dislike of cop shows, and my awareness that the show is, in fact, a form of propaganda. Now, this was not the argument I made for its being propaganda, but this person does a fine job of  outlining the  different reasons why it might be considered such. This is not to say you can’t enjoy this show, even if it is. What critics of Pop Culture are actually trying to do is get people to be more mindful of what they’re consuming, not destroy their enjoyment.

Originally posted by donniefuckassdarko

So, as I have been briefly visiting some of the B99 tumblrs I see showing up in the notes, I’ve discovered that the tumblr algorithms keep directing me over and over to posts about the question, “Is Brooklyn Nine-Nine just propaganda for cops?”

I have some thoughts about that which I will put below the cut tag. The short story:

1) Any show with cops as protagonists unavoidably becomes cop propaganda.

2) Brooklyn Nine-Nine is overtly idealistic, whereas most cop shows at least pretend to be realistic.

3) At this point in American history, idealist cop propaganda may actually be socially useful, in part because it counterbalances the social effect of realistic cop propaganda.

I could go on about this topic for a long time but I will try to keep it short.

* The position of protagonist is so powerful and the desire to identify with the protagonist is so strong that whoever you put in that role becomes the person that the viewers will attach themselves to and sympathize with. This is true whether the protagonist is good or evil. If your protagonist is a serial killer, the fans identify with and sympathize with the serial killer. If your protagonist is a chemistry teacher gone bad, they will sympathize with the chemistry teacher gone bad *no matter how bad he goes.* It doesn’t matter who you put at the center of the narrative, people identify and empathize with that person. This is why it’s so important that white men are losing their lock on the position of protagonist (and why so many white male viewers are freaking the fuck out over that).

+( Except when, as has not been pointed out here, that primary character is a man of color, in which case, White viewers are quick to vilify them as villains, while giving White male villains, in the same narrative, a pass.)

* In general, crime fiction tends to idealize the detective and more specifically the police procedural tends to idealize the police. Even in the hard-boiled genre where the detective is a deeply flawed antihero, this still happens (see point #1).

* I grew up during the heyday of the “gritty” cop show, which attempted to change this by offering a more realistic depiction of American policing (Hill Street Blues, NYPD Blue, etc.). “Gritty” basically meant more violence, more drugs, and more unethical behavior from the police. You started to see storylines for main characters who were abusing their powers, corrupt, addicted to police brutality. If this was intended as a critique that might motivate people to demand social change, that is definitely not what happened. Instead, this bad cop behavior became the norm, and eventually, the cool and the good. If the protagonist is doing it, then it must be cool. Dirty cops, cops who use excessive force, cops who lie about the excessive force they’re using–all of that was rehabilitated because the cop is, by definition, for most viewers, the ‘good guy’ and if the ‘good guy’ is doing bad things there must be some reasonable/sympathetic explanation for that. Then after 9/11 torture became A-OK for ‘good guys’ to do and that was very bad for the police procedural but I’m not going down that rabbit hole right now.

+(What people don’t take into account is that the people who are cops now also grew up watching all this gritty cop imagery as well.)

* So the “gritty realism” cop drama just became another kind of cop propaganda. A bad kind, to my mind. It got people used to the idea that cops don’t have to obey the laws, that it’s OK to mistreat people as long as you ‘know’ they’re criminals, and that if they steal a little blow or get paid off by the occasional mobster, that’s OK because they do a hard job and they have to deal with the pressure and anyway they’ll eventually be punished for it and that will be tragic and we will feel bad for them.

+(This can be traced as far back as the gritty cop films of the 70s/80s,  like Dirty Harry, Death Wish, and The French Connection, and even in comedies like Beverly Hills Cop,  where the police routinely break the rules of law, and get rewarded for it, because they caught the bad guys. We have an entire generation of Americans who grew up watching countless hours of  such plots, and they have not stopped making these movies either.

But I want people to notice the similarity of the tropes in these movies to the constant refrain from apologists of police brutality. Many of their excuses for why the police kill unarmed Black people sound they can be taken directly from the excuses the cops use, in some of the movies.)

* “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” is a comedy and not just in the ha-ha-funny sense of the word. It’s comic in a more old-fashioned sense in that it takes place in a world that is, essentially, good and happy and full of fellowship and community. This is precisely why, when you contrast the world of the Nine-Nine with what we know about the actual NYPD, it can seem grotesque (as symbolized by the GIF I opened with, where happy Gina rocks out obliviously as violence and chaos erupt around her).

* But. What is valuable to me about B99 in the context of cop shows is that it has rejected the “gritty realism” definition of a good cop. On B99, a corrupt cop is a bad cop; a bigoted cop is a bad cop; a cop who plants evidence is a bad cop; a cop who’s addicted to excessive force and illegal activity is a disordered and deranged cop (Adrian Pimento). These bad cops are sometimes people’s friends, partners, or idols; but they are not given a pass for that reason, and they are not given protagonist status. They are, or become, antagonists and they are eventually expelled from the Nine-Nine (Pimento is a bit of an outlier, but Diaz does eventually kick him to the curb). The protagonists, meanwhile, are committed to being ‘good cops’–which means following the law, treating people with respect (even if they show up in superhero garb), and being honest.

I think this is deliberate on the part of the show’s creators, and I think they’re deliberately satirizing a lot of the ‘bad cops are cool’ tropes that have become part of the genre. B99 is like what would the Adam West Batman would have been if it had been done after the whole Dark Knight franchise thing instead of before. I mean this is B99′s version of torturing a suspect:

image

Originally posted by marquiis-de-la-baguette

And as Jake points out, it never works.

* This is demonstrated in one of my favorite Charles & Rosa bits. In the S4 episode “The Overmining,” after Rosa discovers that their foot massage parlor is most likely a front for some criminal enterprise, she and Charles have a scene in the briefing room where they discuss what they’re going to do about it. Rosa enlists Charles in the development an elaborate fantasy in which she invents a justification for leaving the foot massage parlor alone. They are briefly enraptured by this collaboration; it’s one of their most charming interactions. But once they reach the end of it, they both look at each other in silence. Then Rosa says, “we’re gonna have to do our stupid jobs,” and Charles says, “Yeah, let me get my stupid gun.” It’s a minor point in a B-plot, but it’s very revealing about the show as a whole. This place hasn’t tried to corrupt them; nobody’s offering them money; only they are aware of the ‘bribe’ that they are considering offering themselves; the chances that they would get ‘caught’ are almost nil. But they still can’t do it; and what’s more, the audience wouldn’t let them do it because the audience knows on some level that even this trivial act of police corruption is unthinkable for Rosa and Boyle. Because they’re good cops, even though at this moment they’re pissed off about it.

* Is that propaganda? Well, it’s propaganda for the idea that cops should be good (brave, honest, and just)Not that cops are good (which is the message sent by traditional police prodecurals in the Law & Order vein) or that cops are brave but can’t be expected to be honest and just (which is the message sent by “gritty realism” cop shows). But that they should be, and that maybe under the right conditions they could be. And in the context of art, that’s what idealism is: a representation of how things *should* be.

* Idealism’s social effects are complicated and some of them are starkly negative. White Americans, for instance, tend to idealize institutions like the police and the courts, and to be resistant to the idea that said institutions perpetuate inequality. That kind of idealism is a function of privilege: if you’ve never been wrongfully accused or convicted, then you can go on for quite a long time believing that nobody else ever has been. On the other hand, idealism is also ultimately the only foundation for progressive politics or for ideas like honesty and justice. This is a central preoccupation of “The Good Place”: in a world without idealism, how can people be good? The only motivation for being good that is not in some way corrupt has to be based on an idealistic belief in *something*–even if it’s just your idealized beloved.

* So, if you believe that policing can never be good–if you, for instance, think that developing a full-time police force is where modern society went wrong, and that social progress depends on dismantling ours–then yes, B99 is part of the problem. B99 uncritically accepts the necessity for a police force and there is no examination of the ways in which even good cops can negatively impact society as a whole. For instance, it’s always accepted that more arrests=good. That’s the metric Holt and everyone else use to determine whether a detective is good at their job: how many people do you arrest and how many of those do you clear. The consequences of the fact that the Santiago/Peralta bet given them both an incentive to arrest people they might not otherwise arrest are not examined. The idea that*fewer* arrests might be desirable is a bridge too far for the characters and the show. In fact, in the B99 universe it’s a problem when crime rates drop because the Nine-Nine is threatened with closure. By getting us so invested in the preservation of the 99th precinct, B99 does get us attached to the idea that we can’t do without the police. To that extent, it is cop propaganda.

* But if you believe that the police must exist but that they should be just and honest, then B99 is part of the solution–because it challenges the idealization of bad policing that has been a trend in US popular culture since at least the 1980s.

 

@@

Image result for fandom

*This discussion about the different ways men and women perform fandom was very enlightening. I had been trying to put my finger on why fandoms that were predominantly male were different from fandoms made up of mostly women, and I think this writer hits it on the head.
What isn’t mentioned here however, is that female fandom is  also very relationship motivated. What intrigues women in fandom is not the minutiae of the world building so much as it is the characters and their relationships to each other. It’s the reason why shipping is such a huge deal for female fandom, and why we engage in the creation of meta as much as we do. That is something that is less of a priority for men.
Women want to be a part of those worlds in a different way than male geeks, who often imagine themselves in that world as powerful, mastering the technology of that space, or solving that world’s problems. Women prefer to imagine themselves as having relationships to and interacting with the other characters, (although everyone engages in some degree of self-insertion.)
But it is this different approach to fandom that helps to explain some of the gatekeeping of male fans.

gingerjuju;

I just don’t understand where this concept of ‘fake geek girls’ came from. Like, AT ALL.

Cus when I look for fandom related stuff like 90% of the fan art and the fanfiction and the meta, zines, comics, etc. Like 90% of the shit that I’ve seen is created by women & girls.

And all that stuff take’s a lot of work and research and critical analysis and staring at reference photos for hours.

We are literally the most well versed and invested group in the fandom. So, like, What the fuck boys? You mad you can’t keep up?

 

scifigrl47

I saw an argument, and I can’t find it now, but it totally made sense, that there’s a gender split in fandom. Male fandom tends to be a curator fandom; male fandom collects, organizes, and memorizes facts and figures. Male fandom tends to be KEEPERS of the canon; the fandom places great weight on those who have the biggest collection, the deepest knowledge of obscure subjects, the first appearances, creators, character interactions.

Female fandom is creative. Females create fanart, cosplay, fanwritings. Female fandom ALTERS canon, for the simple reason that canon does not serve female fandom. In order for it to fit the ‘outsider’ (female, queer, POC), the canon must be attacked and rebuilt, and that takes creation.

“Male” fandom devalues this contribution to fandom, because it is not the ‘right’ kind of fandom. “Girls only cosplay for attention, they’re not REAL fans!” “Fanfiction is full of stupid Mary Sues, girls only do it so they can make out with the main character!” “I, a male artist, have done this pin-up work and can put it in my portfolio! You, a female artist, have drawn stupid fanart, and it’s not appropriate to use as a professional reference!”

In the mind of people who decry the ‘fake geek girl,’ this fandom is not as worthy. It damages, or in their mind, destroys the canon. What is the point of memorizing every possible romantic entanglement of heterosexual white Danny Rand if someone turns around and creates a fanwork depicting him as a bisexual female of Asian descent (thus subverting Rand’s creepy ‘white savior’ origins)? When Danny Rand becomes Dani Rand, their power is lessened. What is important to them ceases to be the focus of the discussion. Creation and curatorship can work in tandom, but typically, in fandom, they are on opposite poles.

This is not to say that there aren’t brilliant male cosplayers or smashing female trivia experts, this is to say that the need of the individual fan is met with opposing concepts: In order for me to find myself in comics, I need to make that space for myself, and that is a creative force. Het white cis males are more likely to do anything possible to defend and preserve the canon because the canon is built to cater to them

 

@@

And for the serious, more informative part of this post:

This is a list of tropes about Asian women, and that  first trope  is probably the reason I had such an averse reaction to the Elektra character in Daredevil. For me she was a classic example of The Dragon Lady, being of course, beautiful, evil and mysterious, who seduces Matt and tries to corrupt him. This is especially obvious when she was contrasted against the blonde, wholesome, and virginal, Karen, who is supposed to be good for him. The article also outlines how these stereotypes are harmful to Asian women in the real world.

Oh, yeah don’t forget this kinda newish trope, the rebellious Asian woman with the colorful hair: as seen on the TV show Minority Report, and the movies The Wolverine, Deadpool 2, and Pacific Rim!

https://www.teenvogue.com/story/asian-women-colorful-hair-trope-problem

 thisisnotjapan

Recently, a friend and I were talking about growing up Asian American in predominantly white neighborhoods and schools, and she told me that when she was in fifth grade, boys teased her on the playground by saying that she had a “sideways vagina.”

This has happened to me, too – and I’m sure to so many other Asian girls.

From racist humor in mid-1800s brothels to today’s playground jokes, the race and gender identity of Asian women is seen as so foreign, so “alien,” that our vaginas magically defy biology.

Throughout my life, I’ve received unwanted comments and questions about my body, specifically my anatomy, including being harassed on the street with calls like, “Ni hao,” “Konichiwa,” “Are you Chinese, Japanese, or Korean,” and recently, “Hi Ling Ling.”

On top of that, in my dating history, I was expected to be more quiet and less assertive.

The hyper-sexualization and fetishization of East Asian women is problematic – I am not “lucky” that my race and gender is imagined as sexy and exotic, that Asian women “all so beautiful.”

Or that, an image search of “Asian women” pulls up excessive pictures of women posing in lingerie.

Racial fetishes are about objectification, fetishizing an entire group of people – in this case Asian women, means reducing them down to stereotypes instead of recognizing their full personhood.

Beyond just personal preferences or “having a type,” racial fetishes project desired personality and behavior onto an entire racial or ethnic group.

The fetishization of Asian women even has a name, “yellow fever” – as if the obsession with Asian women were also a disease.

When my identity as an “Asian woman” becomes the only thing that’s important to someone in an interaction, that’s a problem.

This is different from an interracial partnership where all partners are equally respected. Fetishizing someone’s race and gender means not caring about someone as an individual.

So, where did the fetishization and objectification come from? How did Asian women get the hypersexualized stereotypes of being docile and submissive or being dangerous and seductive?

While today, some people might think of fetishes and sexual stereotypes as “not a big deal,” the history behind these tropes is rooted in violence and war, which get oppressively reimagined by mainstream media and entertainment.

Below are five ways East Asian women became fetishized and how that fetishization horribly impacts our lives.

1. Mainstream Media Creates the Submissive ‘Lotus Blossom’ and Evil ‘Dragon Lady’ Stereotypes

“[S]mall, weak, submissive and erotically alluring…She’s fun, you see, and so uncomplicated. She doesn’t go to assertiveness-training classes, insist on being treated like a person, fret about career moves…” —Tony Rivers, “Oriental Girls”, Gentleman’s Quarterly, 1990

Growing up, Lucy Liu was one of the only East Asian women I saw on TV and in movies. It was her, the Yellow Power Ranger (Thuy Trang), and Mulan.

For me, Liu is badass – both for being one of the only Asian American actresses in mainstream Hollywood and also for playing roles that literally kick ass.

However, many of her roles throughout the 90s and early 2000s, such as Ling Woo on Ally McBeal or as O-Ren Ishii in Kill Bill, were also ones that showed Asian women as beautifully evil, aggressive, and also mysterious.

Asian women are often stereotyped as either the dangerously cunning “Dragon Lady” that seduces White men, leading to their inevitable downfall, or as the submissive “Lotus Blossom.”

Both are meant to be demeaning and demonizing.

While there are exceptions, for the most part, mainstream media has created one dimensional, sexualized representations of Asian women that have affected the way they’re perceived by others.

Chinese actress Anna May Wong, the first Asian American actress to be internationally famous in the 1920s, was often cast in stereotypical supporting roles – and passed over for leading roles of Asian characters, which were given to white actresses in yellowface.

One of her most recognized characters was the demure, respectful Lotus Flower in The Toll of the Sea.The demure, subservient, and delicate “Lotus Blossom” stereotype is intended to cast Asian women as “less than,” both in terms of race and gender.

These stereotypes are seriously harmful. In the US, up to 61% of Asian women experience physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner during her lifetime.

Being docile is specifically about being deferent and obedient, especially to the authority of men.

As our race, gender, and sexuality become ruled by Western and male fantasy, in order to serve men sexually, Asian women must both be “feminine” and “heterosexual” and also either submissive and/or hypersexual.

These double stereotypes of “Lotus Blossom” and “Dragon Lady” reflect the ways that Asian women become transformed into either a sexual servant or embodied as a sexual adventure.

https://everydayfeminism.com/2015/12/asian-woman-fetishes-hurtful/

Continue reading “Tumblr Discussions A Go Go”

Movie Essays Weekend Linkspam

Here’s a collection of some of the better themed movie essays from the  last few weeks:

The Last Jedi

Image result for last jedi

The Last jedi was a very polarizing film, apparently. It’s one of those films that seem to have no middle ground. Either you hate it for ruining your childhood, or you love it because it was some fun and  unpredictable filmmaking. On the other hand there’s some really wrong character shit going on in this movie, that is completely at odds with what happened in the last one. And then there’s the emphasis on Space Fuckbwoy, Kylo Ren. That was just deeply, deeply 🙄 Meh!

Despite all of the above, I actually enjoyed the movie, though. I went into it expecting a lot of action, some laughs, and a little bit of depth, and that’s mostly what I got. There were definitely parts I didn’t care for (I thought the Rey and Kylo scenes were  cringeworthy, and the movie could have used more Rose, Finn and Poe, acting like normal people, the way they did in the first movie,) but overall, the movie was watchable, with lots of action, some moments of pathos, and bravery, and just plain awesomeness, and many people seem to really love it. I’m giving those people the side eye, just a tiny bit 😳but they love it, so okay. I think it measures up to the first trilogy pretty well, (but with better acting from Mark Hamill, who I loved.

http://www.theodysseyonline.com/star-wars-fandom-toxicity-problem

https://www.vox.com/culture/2017/12/18/16791844/star-wars-last-jedi-backlash-controversy

https://www.wired.com/story/star-wars-last-jedi-the-resistance-tactical-mistake/

https://theconcourse.deadspin.com/a-list-of-some-of-the-times-the-last-jedi-told-the-olde-1821396631

“This is Not Going to Go the Way You Think”: The Last Jedi Is Subversive AF, and I Am Here for It

https://www.theringer.com/2017/12/23/16812542/the-last-jedi-still-speciesist

https://io9.gizmodo.com/the-last-jedi-killed-my-childhood-and-thats-exactly-wh-1821429836

https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2017/12/star-wars-the-last-jedi-backlash-negative-fan-reactions-rotten-tomatoes-score

http://blacknerdproblems.com/star-wars-last-jedi-rebel-yell-fans-rebel-scum/

Media and Race

 

Image result for hallmark xmas movies *A post about how White those Hallmark Xmas movies are. There are a handful of movies with African-Americans in them, that are about Xmas, but this post questions why Hallmark movies are so alike, as to be interchangeable.

https://thewalrus.ca/the-unwatchable-whiteness-of-holiday-movies/ strong>

Posts about the Whitewashing of the Old West:

https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2016/10/how-the-west-was-lost/502850/ strong>

 

Image result for coco movie

*Whenever possible, I like to read reviews by PoC, especially when the movies they’re reviewing have prominent people of color in the casts. I intend to do this for Black Panther, just as I did for Luke Cage, and Beyonce’s Lemonade, not because White people don’t have anything to say, but because reviews by White critics will be easily accessible, and I want to signal boost the opinions of the people these movies are about.

The latest Star Wars movie features three MoC,  and finally, a WoC , and I want to hear what those critics have to say about them. Coco is a Spanish language cartoon centered in Mexican culture and I want to hear what actual Latinx critics have to say about the movie.

http://remezcla.com/lists/film/latino-film-critics-review-pixar-coco/

http://remezcla.com/lists/film/latino-film-critics-star-wars-last-jedi/ strong>On the consumption of Black pain as entertainment:

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/detroit-and-the-problem-with-watching-black-pain-through-a-white-lens_us_597f8907e4b08e143004bbf1

 

*A lot of Asian Americans were not happy with the depiction , and treatment, of Mantis in this movie, and I have to agree. I found the character’s  treatment the absolutely cringiest part of the film:

http://www.bitchmedia.org/article/asian-women-abuse-in-science-fiction

Image result for mantis gotg 2

 

*Why are there so few WoC in the horror genre, as supernatural beings, and the handful of times they are, they’re treated badly?

http://www.vulture.com/2017/10/black-witches-why-cant-they-get-respect-in-pop-culture.html

Image result for women of black panther movie

We’re getting so many posts about Black Panther long before the movie is released. Expect a flood of them afterwards.

http://www.theroot.com/wakanda-forever-on-the-importance-of-black-panther-1820459283

‘A Wrinkle in Time’ Is Just As Important As Black Panther

 

Media and Gender

Image result for rosa diaz

Star Trek Discovery successfully tackled the subject of male rape and trauma, in its first season, while Brooklyn 99 tackled the subject of bi-sexuality, when one of its most prominent characters, Rosa Diaz, came out, paralleling the  decision of the real life actress.

http://www.theverge.com/2017/11/13/16644468/star-trek-discovery-rape

https://www.autostraddle.com/rosa-diazs-big-coming-out-on-brooklyn-nine-nine-was-bittersweet-and-specifically-bisexual-404571/#comments

https://www.autostraddle.com/autostraddles-favorite-and-least-favorite-lgbtq-tv-characters-of-2017-404976/

https://shadowandact.com/hyper-tokenism-ii-othering-the-black-female-body-in-star-wars-the-force-awakens/

View at Medium.com

Things I’ve Been Watching (October 2017)

Here are some of the shows I’ve been looking at this month. There’s a lot of releases, and I can’t keep up with a lot of them, but I’ll watch what I can and get back to you on what I thought about them.

The Gifted Season Premiere

Image result for the gifted

I’m simply not in the mood for this show, and I’m fed up with this type of plot, now. It’s loosely based on some of the X-Men and New Mutants comic books, in that it has some Sentinel plotline, and some of the characters from those groups. Stephen Moyer stars as a lawyer who used to prosecute mutant criminals, and  the father of two young mutants, now on the run from the government, which is rounding up mutants and imprisoning them in scientific camps.

I tried watching the first episodes, and while I like a couple of the characters, the show is simply not compelling enough to keep me watching it every week. The characters have the usual teenage angst, with superpowers, that made me dislike the First X-Men movie. Blink is a teenager who can teleport by creating portals, and Thunderbird, who is Native American, is a kind of tracker of people and things. I’m dismayed that the show used the Native American tracker stereotype, as that’s nothing like Thunderbird’s actual powers in the books, which consists of speed and strength.

And I’m just not here for yet another plotline of people with superpowers being rounded up and used by the government. This seems to be the only plotline they can come up with for superpowered characters, especially on TV, and once again, there is only the focus on how this affects White, suburban, middle-class families.

Just like with the show Heroes, there is no focus on how the discovery of superpowers would affect any marginalized communities, something I would consider much more entertaining, and which the show Cleverman handled with a certain amount of depth. As I complained about before, we keep getting stories about middle-class White characters being subjected to the same oppressions that have been visited on marginalized communities. This show would have had far more depth and been much more interesting if it had been set in the G/L community,  or the Black and Latinx communities, in which this type of interment is already occurring.

In the forties, the Japanese were rounded up in internment camps because they were considered a danger to the US, and later, authorities used to raid the gay and lesbian communities and lock them in jails with the full force of legal authority behind them. Today, its immigration officials grabbing random Brown people out of their homes, and locking them up on suspicion of being illegal immigrants. What do you want to bet that none of these things will be addressed in yet another show where we see average White people being treated in the same manner?

 

Legends of Tomorrow

Image result for Legends of tomorrow

I’m looking forward to this new season. I really enjoyed the season premiere, which was a lot of fun and addressed a couple of cliffhangers from last season. This season will also introduce one of my favorite characters. Constantine.

Constantine’s show was something of a bust, but I think he’ll fit right in on this ensemble show, because he just works better when interacting with other super powered, snarky,  characters, and yes, the writers have promised to keep his canonical bi-sexuality intact, something which was never addressed in his own show.

Also, returning this season is Captain Cold, played by the very candilicious, Wentworth Miller.I always loved his dynamic with Heatwave (yeah, I totally ship those two) and I’m looking forward to the two of them meeting again, especially after Cold sacrificed his life to save the team, in a previous season.

I generally like all the characters on this show. My top favorite is Firestorm. I remember reading those comics as a kid, and briefly again in the 90s. He’s an interesting binary character of an older White man named Stein, and a Black teenager named Jackson, and I love the friendship that has developed between the two of them. The show has managed to carefully avoid the stereotype of the Black brute, who is nothing but the muscle in their relationship, by making Jackson an engineering genius, with Stein as his mentor. so naturally, Stein will be leaving the show later this season. I wonder who Jackson’s new partner will be.

I least like Black Canary, but I think that has more to do with the actress, because I like the version from the comic books just fine.

In the last season, the Legends broke the world by causing a set of time anomalies, which caused them to get kicked out of their spaceship. We open the episode with them leading normal lives on Earth. Black Canary is working, unhappily, in a department store, and Jackson is attending college. Stein appears to be the only happy one, spending time with the daughter he never knew he had, from another timeline. Heatwave, played by Dominic Purcell, is also having the time of his life, vacationing on the beaches of Aruba, before he is attacked by Julius Caesar, another time anomaly.

The team gets called back together to fix the problems they caused with all their time travelling last season. This show airs after The Flash, which is absolutely perfect, since I’m really starting to like The Flash a lot more, and have started regularly watching that.

 

 

Brooklyn 99

Image result for brooklyn 99

When we last left The 99 last season, Jake and Rosa were sent to prison, for a crime they didn’t commit, by a corrupt cop. When we meet up with them at the beginning of the new season, the two of them are not adjusting well to their situation. Jake’s roommate is a cannibal, played by Tim Meadows, (he is extremely funny), but we don’t get much insight into Rosa’s situation. We spend most of our time with Jake, as he tries not to get outed as a cop by the Warden, who is trying to capture a drug smuggling ring, run by Lou Diamond-Phillips. I liked the guest stars more than I liked Jake in these episodes, and I hope to see more of Lou Diamond’s character in the future. He so rarely gets to do comedies, and I think he’s hilarious here.

Amy and Charles are working hard to find proof that Jake and Rosa were set up and come up with zany schemes to do this, even though Charles thinks his podcast about Jake should be enough to free him. One of the funnier running gags is that he invited Terry on the podcast, but the interview wasn’t successful, and Terry is confused about why.

By the end of the second episode, all is well in the Kingdom of 99, Jake and Amy have been reunited, Charles can give up his podcast, and well, Rosa remains very much Rosa. I normally do not watch shows about cops, (as I consider all of them to be thinly veiled propaganda about the inherent goodness of law enforcement), but I will make an exception for a really great, or funny show, and Brooklyn 99, along with the very politically incorrect Reno 911, are worth the watch.

 

The Exorcist Season Two

Image result for exorcist season two

Well, I think its too much to say this is an enjoyable show, because its supposed to be scary, but it does star John Cho as one of the shows leads. The show does have some issues though. I’m not at all interested in the storyline of the two priests who have made off with the possession victim from last season, and the gruff speaking victim gets on my nerves after about thirty seconds, but fortunately her onscreen time can be easily ignored. I just pretend I’m really engrossed in my knitting when she’s on the screen.

John Cho’s storyline is far more interesting, as he stars as the father figure for a home of orphans with severe trauma issues. The home is being visited and assessed for its level of care by an old flame of John’s, so the show is killing it in the Asian representation column, as this role is being played by an actress named Li Jun Li, and I’ve become very invested in their relationship, although I do fear for the life of the young lady, because TV loves to kill off  Asian characters, and that actress isn’t especially well known. The last time we saw Jun Li, she was the coroner from the show Minority Report, and was dressed like a Rave victim.

Well, inconveniently there’s some spooky happenings at the house and the kids are acting up and misbehaving in ways they didn’t before she came there, which increases the tension between her and John’s character as he wonders if she can be fair to him, especially taking into account their dramatic past together.

I’m looking forward to the rest of this season because its so rare to see Asian Americans as stars in a horror show. Actually, this show is pretty good about diversity, and a sensitive portrayal of children with various disabilities. The disabilities are not the source of any of the horror (some outside force is) so that’s another stereotype that’s been upended.  Its not as hysterically over the top as American Horror Story, so I’m able to get caught up in the mystery without getting a headache, and the characters are all mostly likable.

 

The Flash

Image result for the flash season four iris

I’m just really starting to get into this show. I watched most of last season and understood maybe half of what was happening, but I did like the characters, which is what mostly draws me into a show. My favorite characters are Iris, and Cisco, and I got to see a lot of both of them in the season premiere, although I like all of the characters on the show except Caitlin Snow. That actress acts like she’s in a different show altogether, but she has good chemistry with the other characters, so I can tolerate her.

Can I just say how much I genuinely love Iris. She is by every definition of the term, a  rare flower. She’s gorgeous, graceful, intelligent, and heavily reminds me of Nichelle Nichols version of Uhura, an example of the kind of woman I wanted to be as a child. I hate to say this, because I really like Barry, but she is waaaay too good for him. I also love that Iris is a Black woman, because it’s so rare that Black women get to be loved, sacrificed for, or  damseled in mainstream media, and I am here for it. She also gets some really nice speeches during the episode.

Last season, Barry sacrificed himself to save the love of his every existence, and entered what is known as The Speed Force. I think its the source of his powers or something. I’m not too clear on that. Anyway Cisco comes up with a way to save him, but the Barry that comes back to Earth is deeply confused and unintelligible. The entire situation is complicated by a supposed new enemy, come to challenge Barry, a Samurai with a sword that causes earthquakes. The entire crew needs to save Barry, so he can save the city.

I’m looking forward to this new season as I’ve heard that Ralph Dibney’s Elongated Man will be featured on the show. I used to read  his comics as a kid.  Harrison Wells will be making another appearance, too, along with a character played by Danny Trejo. Katee Sackoff is also supposed to show up as a supervillain, I think. Killer Frost has already put in an appearance in this first episode, and this season is supposed to have a lighter tone than the last, which I think all superhero shows could use a dose of.

So, I’m in, I guess.

 

The Orville

Image result for the orville

I’ve been watching this off and on.. Its still rather uneven n tone, but hopefully it will settle down into what it wants to be by the end of the season. Its not a bad show but it wavers between wanting to be a comedy, with some rather juvenile humor, a drama relationship, and a space opera, and these three things while done effectively, are not meshing well with each other. The switches between styles can be jarring and obvious.

Seth McFarlane’s presence does bring in the guest stars, though. We got a Charlize Theron guest shot, and a cameo from Liam Neeson, which was pretty cool. I kinda like most of the characters, but the surprise for me was the ex-wife and  First Officer, played by Adrianne Palicki. Her, and most of the other women, are the  smartest people on the show. Most of the guys are well… kinda weird, and not too bright, but I like them anyway. There’s a metal robot, and an alien with a same sex husband, and so far the show has been very respectful of the two of them, treating them just like any other couple on the ship. I’m not sure this counts as gay representation though, since they’re both aliens from a mono-gendered  planet.

Its not a bad show. Or rather, not as bad as I thought it was going to be because I was a little dubious about McFarlane being on the show and he and I don’t share the same humor. We still don’t, but so far he hasn’t done anything to actually upset me, so I’m inclined to keep watching.

 

American Horror Story

I’ve pretty much stopped watching this. I’m just not in the frame of mind to consider it entertaining right now, even though it may well be for some people.

 

Outlander

Image result for outlander season 3

I’m a lot less interested in Claire’s life in the fifties and sixties then I am in her life in the past, which is how this season has begun. In order to raise their chid in safety Claire has gone back to her own time period to raise her little girl. Her current husband has issues with this of course but is willing to wrap his head around the fact that his wife has two very different lives, and that her child is not his. That’s a lot to ask of a man, but he seems to be down for all this.

There’s slightly less Jaime in the opening episodes of this season, so I’m not really as invested as I normally would be. I generally do not like romances, and I haven’t read any of the books this show is based on, but I actually like the show for the romance between Claire and Jaime. Go figure! I guess I’m just a sucker for a period romance, I guess.

 

Forthcoming

This weekend is the debut of the show Mindhunter by David Fincher on Netflix. I’ll definitely be watching it, as its based on one of John Douglas’ non-fiction books on serial killer profiling. I’ve read all of his books as he makes the topic very accessible. Also I like David Fincher. The Atlantic review is here:

https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2017/10/mindhunter-review-netflix/542781/

 

My review for the first few episodes will be next week along with my long form review of Bladerunner 2049.

I was supposed to see The Mountain Between Us with Mum, but she changed her mind, the night before, and kicked me out of the house to go see what I wanted, all by myself. I really enjoyed Bladerunner, and have a lot of feelings, and thinky-thoughts about it. My review is in two parts, covering the plot and characters, in comparison to the first film and the book, and then, in part two, some of the technical stuff, like the cinematography, music, and themes.

 

Amended to add: The Supernatural Fox Sisters have a thread up on Twitter listing 31 Horror movies that feature Black women, and rather than review The Thing vs The Thing, I think I’m going to review a few of these movies instead, as some of them are my favorites exactly because there are Black women in them as the main characters.

http://www.graveyardshiftsisters.com/2017/09/watch-31-horror-movies-starring-black.html

I chose five of these movies from the list to review. I’ll surprise you with which ones.

Geeking Out About: Brooklyn 99

Brooklyn 99

Today I am  singing the praises of one of my favorite sit-coms, Brooklyn 99. I don’t often watch comedies, because most of them  aren’t particularly funny to me, try too hard, or I just don’t have time for them, and I was not going to watch this one, because I have trouble watching cop shows, (Apparently I can watch cop comedies, I guess.  I loved Reno 911, and thought this might be similar to it. It both is and isn’t.)

Brooklyn 99 is just as ridiculously over the top as Reno 911, but the characters are much more likable, and competent. They’re certainly less raunchy, as this is a Primetime show. The 99’s characters are the kind of people you want to meet and make friends with. The characters from Reno 911 are  much more like  your annoying co-workers, that you’d  like to punch in the  neck. The 99 characters are the kind of people you laugh with and cheer for. The Reno characters are the kind you laugh at, while hoping they don’t  blow anything up. What’s refreshing about Brooklyn 99 is, you start the series with what you think are just a bunch of standard tropes, and gradually, these characters become fleshed out, and more complicated, but not in the usual ways.

This show is also an example of getting diversity right. (Except for the lack of Asians, which it really needs at least one. ) I love the attitudes of the characters. They really do act as if they are a family.

There’s none of the passive-aggressive hostility that passes for humor in other ensemble shows. The characters acknowledge that they are very different from one another, there’s occasional teasing about that, but no one is ever made to feel ashamed of, or less than, for who they are. The only time characters are ever made to feel ashamed, is when they behave badly, and their friends call them on their shit. There’s a general acceptance by the other characters when someone is just a certain way, even if that way is mildly annoying, like Charles Boyle, or in Rosa’s case , occasionally terrifying. The closest you get to meanness in the show is Rosa, but she makes up for it by only kicking the asses of people who mess with her friends, (or inanimate objects that ain’t actin’ right.)

One of the things  I really like about this show is when characters make mistakes, they’re willing to acknowledge they made the mistake, and either apologise, or atone for it. They’re willing to not only  admit when they’ve been foolish, but when they’ve been doubling down on their foolishness too, which is a refreshing change from the real life model of people who actively work at being their worst possible selves. Brooklyn 99 makes me like people, and is a perfect example of how to Grownup.

Here, in some kind of order, are:

Det. Rosa Diaz  (Stephanie Beatriz)

Image result for brooklyn 99 character gifs

Rosa is the kind of girl you want to have your back in a fight. If I was arranging a team of people to survive the Zombie Apocalypse, Rosa would be Michonne. She has an appetite for destruction that is awesome. In fact, one of the best birthday presents Gina ever gave her, was a hammer, and some time alone in a soon to be demolished house. According to Rosa it was: The Best Birthday Ever!

Strangers see me like  Rosa, or Captain Holt, depending on their personal anxiety levels. Rosa began the series as a typical anger management case, which is funny when you contrast that with how model pretty she is, and this is part of the show’s charm.The humor comes from the character traits and how various teammates respond to the events in the show. They’re usually involved in some situation that requires them to react, and because their personalities are all so different, you get some spectacularly funny moments. Occasionally the show likes to give us a real treat and put certain personalities together to solve some issue. Hilarity often ensues.

Over the years we find out many surprising things about Rosa, like she’s occasionally intimidated by people too, she used to be a ballet dancer, and  that she was raised by nuns, but when we first meet Rosa she’s beating up a copy machine, with a battering ram, and at first you think she’s just a stereotypical “Spicy Latina”. Thankfully, anger isn’t all there is to her. She’s also honest, forthright, insightful, supportive, loyal, and encouraging to her teammates. Rosa is the shows truth-teller. She specializes in stating uncomfortable truths, and doesn’t shirk from that, even when those truths are about herself.

 

 

Gina Linetti  (Chelsea Perretti)

Image result for brooklyn 99 character gifs

If I had to choose someone to be friends with, it would be Gina. She’s that best girlfriend, who always knows where the latest get-togethers are, and how to finagle her way into them. She’s carefree and deeply self involved, but not in a neurotic way, because this is a woman who has realized her fabulousness and is very comfortable with her greatness. The funny thing is, she is pretty fabulous, mostly because she acts like it, and truly believes it. She has a deep and abiding love affair with her phone, through which she receives copious amounts of gossip. She’s also totally  unwilling to let others forget how wonderful she is. Gina is also one of the laziest assistants to ever be in an office. She’s so fabulous however that not only does she not make any secret of this, she is hilariously quite proud of that, (and her interpretive dance skills).

One of the most surprising things,on the show,  is her relationship with Jake, which I truly enjoy. They’ve know each other since they were little children, having grown up in the same neighborhood, and they have one of the best platonic friendships I’ve ever seen on TV. One of my favorite moments is when Jake gives Gina the forehead kiss, as if she were his little sister, and she lets him do it, although she really isn’t affectionate, like that,with anyone else on the show, and I think she’s older than him.

 

Det. Jake Peralta  (Adam Samberg)

Jake Peralta is everybody’s cool best friend (and Charles Boyle would be more than happy to tell you this).

Jake begins the show as an irresponsible, sloppy, childlike character, but you can see his growth over the course of three seasons, as he learns to be honest with himself and others, and even manages to win Amy’s affections, after being so annoying to her at the beginning of the show. Heck he was annoying to me, and definitely to Captain Holt, but I’ve actually grown to like, and even admire  him.He has matured throughout the seasons but not so much that he doesn’t still think that frosting his hair blonde looks really cool.

When I first started watching this show, I was watching it for Andre Braugher, and I initially dismissed Jake as someone I would have to simply tolerate. I thought he’d be the typical White male protagonist who is the center of all the stories, and  everything he did and said, would be treated as gold. But that’s not what happened. Adam Samberg is willing to step aside from time to time, and let the other characters shine, and  teach his character how to grow up. Samberg understands he doesn’t need to be the center of every episode. He’s no William Shatner and that’s refreshing.

Jake always had trouble showing affection, not because he didn’t want people to think he was gay, but because he had father issues, and is still immature enough not to know how to handle affection from others. But he has grown, over the course of the show.

Witness his gradual change of character, as he attempts to become the kind of man who deserves to have someone like Amy, in his life. Jake is still immature, but he genuinely loves Amy, and tries to be the kind of man who can make her happy. Amy’s  love encourages him to want to be a better man. The distinction is subtle but there.  Amy is  the polar opposite of him, and he acknowledges that keeping her with him might require him to act more mature. Jake is also willing to acknowledge his mistakes,  apologize for them, and attempts to do better, not just for Amy, but for all those he considers his friends.

 

 

 

Captain Ray Holt (Andre Braugher)

Image result for brooklyn 99 character gifs/holt

Captain Holt is the father figure of The 99. He’s the no-nonsense, emotionally restrained, backbone to the department. Or at least that’s  how it starts. I love the way this character has grown since the beginning of the series. He started out as real hard-case, coming down  hard on Jake, to get him to be more responsible and adult. He has since come to  understand Jake a lot more, understanding that Jake is at his best when he’s allowed to just be himself, realizing his influence over Jake, and he’s even begun to loosen up  just a bit, under Jake’s influence.

Throughout the seasons, we’ve witnessed Holt loosen up a more, finally becoming comfortable with his detectives, and allowing them to see just a little of his silly side, although he would probably be insulted at that description, not having ever believed in, or condoned, silliness or frivolousness, of any kind. At first, I just saw Holt as The Inscrutable Negro, mysterious, and unflappable. Now I really enjoy this character and I’m always eager to see how he’ll surprise me, during an episode by, for example, having an impromptu dance-off with some street thugs.

Over time, Holt has come to admire Jake, and think of him as a son, which is a total turnaround from when they first met. After all, Jake possessed every quality that Holt disdained, and he didn’t believe Jake took his job seriously, but now he’s very proud of Jake and encourages him to do his best. Jake, who spent the earliest part of his life trying to please his absentee father, and never measuring up, has found the perfect father-figure in Holt.

Holt’s team  admires him, and  strive to make him proud of them.  Captain Holt is an out, gay, Black man. His job might care about him being gay, but his team doesn’t, and they are always respectful of his relationship with his husband Kevin, treating the two just  like every other couple on the show.  For example, when Holt wanted to visit Kevin, who was on Sabbatical in France, Amy, Charles, and Jake, volunteer to dogsit the couple’s Corgi,  Cheddar. The humor doesn’t come from “Oh, these gay men have a cute dog.” No, the humor comes from the usual wackiness that ensues because Amy, Charles, and Jake are such different personalities which clash over babysitting Cheddar.

The show doesn’t browbeat you over the head with After School Special moments, though. How Holt handles his sexuality, in an environment where it is much more likely to meet with resistance, is done with grace and dignity. His gayness isn’t the joke. In fact, no one’s race is ever a joke, and no one’s gender is ever used as a joke.

I admire the hell out of this character. Hilariously he’s the character that most people who don’t know me well, see me as. My close friends find that hilarious, btw.

 

Sgt. Terry Jeffords (Terry Crews)

Image result for brooklyn 99 character gifs        Image result for brooklyn 99 character gifs/terry

Terry is like everybody’s fit  uncle. He looks intimidating, but after a while, you find out that Terry is merely extremely health conscious and an actual Teddy Bear. Terry is such a gentle soul, that he has to be carefully talked into using his tremendous strength ,and has deep anxieties about firing a weapon. I love how the show bucks stereotypes of Black men, by having two very intense looking black men, who  are nothing like they first seem.

Terry is a devoted family man who truly, madly, deeply, loves his two twin baby daughters, even though he thinks they are possibly trying to kill him. Known for speaking of himself in the first person, Terry  also loves yogurt, exercise, and his job, which mostly involves wrangling all these different personality types, to focus them on one thing together.Terry is the Peacekeeper. His job is to make sure everybody is getting along and ready to work. He’s strong, encouraging, and always speaks up,and goes to bat, for his people. Captain Holt depends on Terry to run the day to day operations, and considering the types of personalities he has to work with, Terry is doing an excellent job.

 

Det. Amy Santiago

Amy is the girl I was in High School, except I was a lot more snooty. Amy is that best friend , that you hated just a tiny bit, because not only is she smart, organized, and ready, she’s a classic goody-two-shoes, (with just a tiny competitive streak). In fact, I think when that description was created, Amy was who they had in mind.

Amy is an extremely moral and ethical person, who believes in strictly following the rules, and lots and lots of planning. She dislikes how Jake likes to cut corners, or sometimes just wing it. Amy doesn’t wing anything if she can help it. She loves to please people she admires, and will go out of her way to get Captain Holt’s approval, going so far as to cook him a large and tasteless Thanksgiving dinner, or agreeing to babysit his Corgi, Cheddar.  I love Amy because she really is a girl after my own heart. Like me, she is a stickler for prudent planning,  and  loves a nice sized binder of information.

But Amy’s life is so rigidly defined that she needs a little chaos, and that’s where jake comes in. Initially, I think she hated him because Jake is everything she isn’t, but as Jake began to prove his love for her, presenting her with options of when and where to be with him, and then waiting for her to decide, she began to see Jake’s true colors.

 

Det. Charles Boyle (Joe Lo Truglio)

Image result for brooklyn 99 character gifs/boyle             Image result for brooklyn 99 character gifs/boyle

Charles is everybody’s favorite grandma and/or best friend. Hes loving , admiring, supportive, encouraging, and Jake’s right hand man, even though Jake didn’t choose him for it. He’s the kind of guy who always has a bowl of candy on his desk to offer to co-workers who are feeling a bit down.

I love Charles because, well…he’s just lovable. Joe Lo Truglio, formerly from Reno 911, is the complete opposite of his character, on that show. On 911 he was a venal, angry drug user, but  Charles is a warm, gracious, polite, foodie, and that you believe this, is a testament to Joe Lo Truglio’s acting skills. Charles is always upbeat and optimistic. He always looks on the bright side of a situation, no matter how horrible that situation may seem to others, like when his best friend, Jake accidentally shot him in the butt, or when his dog died. Charles was the only one capable of seeing the silver lining. He has a tendency to be a floor mat because he always puts others needs before his own. Now that he has a young son, whom he adopted, he has someone at which to throw all his tremendous caring.

He’s very devoted to Jake and I love the show has this depiction of a close m/m friendship without screaming no homo, everytime he and Jake show affection.

 

Det. Adrien Pimento

Image result for brooklyn 99 character gifs pimento

Adrien is the newest recurring character at Brooklyn 99. Having suffered an emotional breakdown, after going undercover with some mobsters, Adrien is in a very  fragile emotional state, when he returns to his job as a detective. He’s paranoid and full of anxiety, and definitely suffering from some form of PTSD, but his mental state is never made the butt of the joke, and is not actually connected to his zany behavior. He acts wild, not because of his emotional fragility, but because he is thoroughly lacking in any boundaries, like breaking into Jake’s apartment to do Tai Chi, in his underwear. The humor comes from the reactions of his co-workers, who never have any idea what Adrien might  do next, not from making fun of his emotional state. The show skirts a fine line between acknowledging his emotional disability, and  understanding that it doesn’t necessarily inform  his behavior.

Adrien is definitely what’s known as  Chaotic Good.

Adrien is a good man, which is why the rest of the team accepts him. Also,  he and Rosa develop an intense, frantic, (and inexplicable) attraction to each other, although Adrien  explains, at first, that he’s not capable of having a relationship with her, they do eventually decide to get married.  Rosa seems   okay with Adrien’s unpredictability, and takes most of his decisions  in stride. She never tries to change Adrien, or make him behave, (although when she first met him she called him a freak, that she will only fall in love with). After a while, she just accepts him for the wild card that he is.

Actually, once everyone has gotten used to Adrien, they  just try to work  with him, or around him, for example, Gina is one of the few people Adrien will actually obey, when she tells him to do something, and Charles pretty much loves everyone, when he’s not terrified of them. Over time, the team’s acceptance  and trust starts to heal Adrien’s emotional wounds, and he starts to feel confident enough to form healthier relationships with others.
I’m geeking out about Brooklyn 99 because it’s an example of a show thats getting its humor and diversity right, with smart, funny, well rounded characters. It resumes its fourth season on April 11th, on the Fox network. Go figure!

Best of 2016 

Here’s my second? third? post of 2017. I’ve been away from the blog for a little bit for a few reasons. The holidays kept me pretty busy, along with some medical issues between me and my Mom, most shows are in hiatus, and I did kind get worn out with the Westworld reviews. But I’ve  got my mojo back and I’m ready to get to writin’.

I can’t completely get behind the sentiment of Fuck 2016, because there were so many great pop cultural goodies that appeared this year. There were a lot of movies, books, and TV shows that I particularly enjoyed. So for all of the shitty things that happened this year, from starting off the new year minus my appendix, to ending the year minus any political hope, Fuck You 2016. But for all the great things that happened this year, from Luke Cage, to Yuri on Ice, Thank You 2016!
Top Books I enjoyed this year:

The Suicide Motor Club by Chris Buehlman – This is the best vampire book I read this year. I didn’t read many novels this year, and the ones I finished were good, but didn’t WOW me. This book did.

The League of Dragons  by Naomi Novik – So ends an era. I read the first Temeraire book over a decade ago, and I really, really, really, loved this series. Not only did I buy all the books, I bought all the audiobooks too, because the voice actor was absolutely perfect. League of Dragons is the last Temeraire book and I’m glad he got a happy ending.

Nevermore by Rob Thurman- This appears to be the last Cal Leandros book. This is a sad!

The Re-arrival of Bloom County – I loved this series back in the 80s, and I’m very glad to see it make a comeback.

Brotherhood of the Wheel by RS Belcher – Its  gotten to the point where I will read anything by this writer. I really enjoyed this book, which is a perfect cross between Horror and Fantasy, involving a secret society of monster hunters who drive trucks, urban legends, cops, and demons. There’s some great female representation in Belcher’s books, along with plenty of action.

Tor. com short stories like: Dead Djinn in Cairo, The Ballad of Black Tom, and the Story of Kao Yu – Short stories from Tor are about all I get time to read. These are some top notch Fantasy stories, by some of my favorite writers.

Borderline by Mishell Baker – This is the best Urban Fantasy novel written this year, and should be on everybody’s list. It has everything: a female protagonist with disabilities, prominent PoC (some who are actually unlikable), elves, and witches, all set in LA. This book manages to avoid all of the tropes of writing characters with disabilities, the characters have different kinds of disabilites, and it manages to avoid inspiration porn by making them people with personalities you  might actually dislike, all while still  being inspiring.

I’ve started reading comics and graphic novels again, for which I have to thank the existence of Comixology. Unlike a lot of book snobs, I don’t disdain digital books, and I’m damned glad I never have to step foot in  another dusty comic book shop again. As a Black woman, I don’t have fond memories of browsing comic book shops for hours at a time, or talking shop with the proprietors. Also, I m not hung up on physical books. I simply have no more room in my house for them. I have several hundred books stashed in my attic right now. I always collected comic books for the art and the story, not just the book itself, and the same is true for novels. It’s what’s in them that matters to me. Not the dressing.

Graphic Novels I just bought:

Enormous – Giant monsters have taken over the Earth, and one woman runs a rescue service for children who  have been orphaned by the rampaging creatures.

The New Dr. Fate – I’ve been fascinated by this character since I first read about him, in those long ago 80s Justice League books, with Guy Gardner and Captain Atom.

 Planetary : Crossing Worlds – I’m a big Planetary fan because I just like weird superhero books.

Shaolin Cowboy: Shemp Buffet – I was attracted to this because I’m a huge fan of the artist, Geof Darrow, who also wrote the graphic novel HardBoiled. Also who can resist the idea of a Shaolin Monk, who fights zombies and demons, in the old West?

Apollo and the Midnighter -I’m glad to see the return of two of my favorite, and badass, superheroes, and I’m glad they’re still a couple!

 
Movies:

Captain America Civil War – This isn’t as good as Winter Soldier, and could’ve used more Steve and Bucky in a movie that’s  best know as Avengers 3, or Iron Man 4. But I loved the unnecessary glimpse we got of the new Spider-Man, and that airport fight scene was just about the funniest shit I’ve seen this year, and wtf! Black Panther feckin’ killed it. So yeah, this is on my Best of list.

Suicide Squad– I’m one of five people that actually seemed to like this movie. I had hella fun watching this at the theater. I think it had a lot to do with Viola Davis, and Will Smith, being in the same movie, tho’. 

Deadpool – This is how you make an Action Comedy. This is a thoroughly ridiculous movie, and I loved it. If you didn’t cosplay as “Negasonic Teenage Warhead”,  this past Halloween, then you are not a Marvel fan. My girl just needs her own damn movie, at this point.

Train to Busan – Along with the movie The Girl with All the Gifts, this is one of the best zombie movies released this year. I’m still crying about this one.

Rogue One – My future ex-husband, Donnie Yen, is in this movie. Also this seemed to be the year for Asians in Space! 

Star Trek Beyond –  We got a Star Wars movie and a new Star Trek movie in one year. We got a canonically gay Sulu, some McCoy/Spock love, and Idris Elba. There was a lot about this movie I didn’t particularly care for, but there was also a lot I absolutely loved, and that’s alright.

TV:

Preacher: This was a great underrated show. Tulip was an Awesome creature of Awesomeness. Ruth Negga really  knocked it out of the park. This year actually had some great WoC representation at the movies. As much as I complain about there not being any, this is a great start. Actually, this year was one of the Black-est years of TV in recent memory.  (Now it’s time for us to get some SpaceLatinas and stuff, too.)

Luke Cage -I’ve said all I’m gonna say about this because I can’t laud it anymore than I have. There was a lot of good TV this year, but this really resonated with a lot of people.

Westworld – Whoo! You see the effect this show had on me, right? And I’m not done. I got more reviewin’ to do. Once again, we got  some great WoC representation.

Yuri on Ice – I haven’t watched this anime, but it’s been all over my Tumblr dash for weeks. I just want to give a shoutout to a show about a couple of ice skating boyfriends, that has actual ice skaters, losing their minds.

Atlanta – I love this show. It’s the weirdest show about Black people on TV. The writers have zero fucks to give about whether white people like this, or understand it. There’s a level of authenticity to it that just resonates on a soul deep level. Any white people watching this how, don’t try to get it, just go with it. It’s pretty much like Black people’s actual lives only fucking weird.

Full Frontal with Samantha Bee – At some point I expect Samantha to mess up and state some white feminist nonsense, but so far she’s been pretty good at saying shit I want to say to white people, but don’t, because I wanna keep my job. And she’s pretty damn funny, too.

Brooklyn 99 – Next to Black*ish, this is one of the best comedies on TV. And all of its characters are funny too. It has multiple Woc, who talk to, and support, each other, good black men, canon gay characters, father figures, and it’s funny without belittleing any of the characters or assuming the audience was dumb. I want to talk about how the show approaches mental illness, tho.

A new character was introduced, who has PTSD, and he’s become a love interest for one of the female cops on the show. I love how this character is depicted. He’s funny but the humor is never at his expense.  He genuinely wants to be good and kind ,and when his behavior is pointed out as questionable, he’s willing to change. He’s never abusive, or uses his trauma as an excuse for it, and genuinely likes his co-workers. It’s sort of implied that he was a weirdo before he was traumatized, so that his quirky personal decisions aren’t necessarily a result of the trauma. He tries to be supportive of his co-workers, even if that support is expressed in some odd ways. You’re not laughing at his mental illness, you’re laughing at the nonplussed reactions of his co-workers, which is a fine line to walk. The other characters think he’s pretty odd, but never make fun of him, and seem to take all  his trauma in stride, treating him as they would any close friend that you don’t understand, but he’s your friend, so you do.

On every level, Brooklyn 99’s writers work really hard to get this shit right, and they manage to be hella funny, too.

So yeah! The year wasn’t all awful. Just mostly awful.

Tumblr Silliness

 Most of the time I spend online looking at pretty serious stuff, but on Tumblr there’s all kinds of silly, funny stuff, that ends up in my Tumblr feed, that I wouldn’t normally seek out on my my own, (or even know how.) Right now, there’s a great deal of Hannibal silliness in my feed, which I’ll do a post about soon, but for now:

 

Just some of the all-around silliness that I’m enjoying in my Tumblr feed, like:

Ridiculous personal stories. When you reach a certain point just scream Khan! at the top of your lungs:

 

babyslime:

Get to preschool today to pick up the little one, and her teachers greet me by way of saying, “So, there was an … incident. And Z is wearing entirely new clothes.”
At my unimpressed face, the other teacher butts in, “It’s not what you think!” (peeing her pants)
“There was a disagreement over who got to use a climbing toy. Another child took umbrage with her claim to it… Aaaaannnnnnd then threw an entire bucket of water on her.”

I absolutely burst out laughing. Which got them laughing. And other parents in the area laughing. And most of them look really sheepish for it.

As we’re driving away I ask Z who it was. “Santos,” she responds.

Of course it was Santos.

Santos is her arch-nemesis: they have an absolutely hilarious rivalmance thing going on. Both are the youngest child of several older siblings, same personality, same absolutely-never-give-up-ever thing. Either they love each other to death or need to be cordoned off on opposite sides of the building – there is never an in-between.

As we drive out of the parking lot Z asks me, “Where is he?”, I tell her I have no idea, as he left preschool before us. Turns out he walks home, and when I get out onto the road I spy him and his dad on the sidewalk. I point them out to her as we pass by.

“Roll down my window! Roll it down!” she says. I do. Then she waves happily to get Santos’ attention, and once she’s sure he’s looking at her, she balls up her fist and screams out the window, “SAAAANNNTTOOOOOSSSSSSSSSSSS!” at the top of her lungs.

Once we’ve passed him she turns back to me and very calmly says, “Alright, you can roll up my window now.

@

@
@
Brilliant take-downs of   racial foolishness:

9 paragraphs. Over 200 words. One man almost shitting himself with rage that a black actor or a WOMAN might get to play a fictional character.

Priceless.

I have to agree with the article. If it’s not written with the original design then how can it hold credibility at being a bond movie? Would we all still flock to cinemas to watch a 3 foot midget Bond?

You’re right of course, there’s absolutely no way in which an actor with a condition that restricts their height could play a charming, resourceful and ruthless character from a beloved series of books in such a way as to command the love and devotion of audiences of millions across the world, in a major production, and be a huge draw based on their performance.

image

No that could never ever happen.

Source:
(Please visit “pointless – letters”. They are on point!)
@
@
@
Pictures! Lots and lots of pictures of Black Panther..er, I mean Chadwick Boseman.

Chadwick Boseman for Flaunt Magazine

😩😩😩😩

😍😍😍

Source:
 

 I love all of them but these are my two favorite characters from Brooklyn 99. Holt because he’s the one I’m most like and Rosa because she’s the person I’d most like to be. This post is also the reason why Holt is the absolutely wrongest person for Rosa to get dating advice from:

@

@
@
*(Please visit everyone’s Tumblr blogs. Just click on the highlighted names and show some love by liking these guys!)
Black Nonbelievers, Inc.

Walking by Sight, NOT Faith!

woolandgraceblog.wordpress.com/

knitting, needlepoint & blogging in Summit, NJ

Shared Threads

Knitting community together

The Afictionado

Pop culture ponderings and associated geekery

By Hook Or By Book

Book Reviews, News, and Other Stuff

We Minored in Film

Geeking Out Over Film & TV

One Lazy Robot

Anthony Vicino

El Paso P.O.V.

A critical look at EL Paso and the World with a Black Eye

My Sparking Thoughts

Just Giving You Something To Think About

Longreads

The best longform stories on the web

Culture Werewolf

Angry Dog Girl Slams Keyboard

Pop N' Crunch

Your Home for Beauty and Pop Culture

Screen Therapy

Movies and Games as Tools For Building Emotional Well-Being

Lil’V aka Viv Lu

just someone writing fiction and giving opinions

%d bloggers like this: