The State of the Union – TV (Pt. 55)

I’m just putting random numbers on these types of posts, at this point, since I can’t remember whatever number I used for my last State of the Union Address. But here’s a list of shows, I’ve been looking at this Summer.

Watching/Have Watched

Castle Rock (Hulu)

Image result for castle rock

I watched the first two episodes of this show. I was really excited about seeing it and the show doesn’t completely disappoint, but that’s mostly because I’m a full-on Stephen King fan who has caught a lot of the Easter eggs in the episodes, and there are quite a few, which is something entirely in keeping with the idea of a Stephen King Universe where all his stories are connected.

We start of with the small town of Castle Rock itself, where more than a few King stories take place. The episode begins with a missing little Black boy named Henry, who is found by Sheriff Pangborn eleven days later. If you remember Pangborn is the sheriff who defeats the demon from the novel Needful Things. Henry’s father went missing as well. his adoptive mother is played by Sissy Spacek, who played Carrie in the  1976 movie of the same name.

When Henry is called back to the town of Castle Rock, we discover that his mother is suffering from dementia, and she has a romantic relationship with a much older Pangborn. Henry received a mysterious call from one of the guards at Shawshank prison, after a young man was discovered in the prison’s basement levels, who asked for him by name. The prison is also under the reign of a new female warden after the bizarre suicide of the last one, who garrotted himself in his car.

So two episodes is as far as I’ve gotten, and while I’m not wowed by the mystery I do find the characters interesting, the show looks gorgeous, and atmospheric, and I also liked the understated music in the show.

Pose (FX)

https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2018/05/pose-fx-ryan-murphy-review

Image result for pose series cast

The series just finished up its first season run and is scheduled for a second season next year. I took a brief break from the show but I was there for the season finale. Good gob! but this show brings waaaay too many feels.

One of the things I love most about this show is the shameless use of sentiment, without falling into corniness. You start to seriously care about these characters so much, and get really caught up in their lives. When they’re happy, you’re happy. When they experience disappointment, so do you. It’s a testament to the acting skills of the cast. But their lives are not tragic, and the show is not a sob story. You experience as much laughter and happiness as in any drama. The characters are complicated, messy, and human.

For example, I complained that I might not be able to get into a show where characters spent so much time being nasty to each other, but that turns out not to be the case. Yes, there are some villainous types but the show has a lot of romance and heart. After Blanca’s former mother, Elektra, from House Abundance,  gets ousted from her position, Blanca takes her in, and it is commendable for Blanca, especially when you consider that the two of them parted on such bad terms,  that Blanca treats her no different than she does any of the children of her House, by counseling her, and helping her get a job.

Blanca is rewarded for her compassion by being crowned Mother of the Year, at the local Ball, while the bitchy little characters we met in the first episode get their comeuppance with an epic dress-down from Elektra. The season ends with a dance-off  between the House of Evangelista and the House of Extravaganza, going  head to head on the ballroom floor.

There is also the side story of one her children falling in love with a married businessman, and one of Blanca’s boys falls in love with another dancer after he is accepted into  Dance school, and the two of them compete for a role in a music video. In another side story, the master of Ceremonies at the Balls puts on a performance at the hospice where his lover is dying from Aids, and later goes out on a date. The conversations in the show feel true, adult, and emotional.

I fell in love with these characters so fast, I just don’t know if my heart can take this level of shameless romanticism and drama. I’m definitely going to return for the second season of this show.

 

Preacher: Season Three (AMC)

Image result for preacher season three

Its as zany as the last season, picking up with the death of Tulip. Jessie takes her to his grandmother,a Hoodoo woman, who brings Tulip back from the dead. She says Jessie owes her for this, but I’m unsure exactly what it is she requires in payment.

Cassidy gets kidnapped by a cult run by another vampire and its hilarious because the other vampire has enthralled these goth kids into worshiping him, and he’s like a cheap, backwoods version of Lestat.

I’m not doing any in depth reviews for this show, mostly because its kinda lightweight, and is far too richly zany to put that kind of work into it.

Although its rarely laugh out loud funny, it is definitely entertaining.

Luke Cage: Season 2 (Netflix)

Image result for luke cage season two

I watched the entire season all the way through, and mostly enjoyed it. It really does still have some issues, mostly with pacing and story coherency, and should probably tone down on some of the music, because that was starting to be a bit much. But overall I liked the season.  I wasn’t as awed by this season as I was with the first, and I’m pretty sure it’s because the novelty of it has worn off some.

Frankly,  I was tuning in to see what happened to Misty Knight, after her ordeal in The Defenders, and I , and a lot of other people, have reached the conclusion that we are all ready for a Daughters of the Dragon spinoff , of Misty and Colleen Wing. The scenes between the two of them were a lot of fun, the actresses have good chemistry, and I was glad to see the writers of the show did not neglect the relationships between the women, although I was dismayed to realize that all of the Black women in the show had adversarial relationships with each other. I understood most of the reasons why they would, because they’re mostly well written characters, many of them with clear motivations, but I still think the writers should do better. Women don’t always have to be enemies for  dramatic tension.

Yes, there is a brief cameo, in one or two episodes, with Iron Fist, which happen late in the season, but I don’t feel this was a detraction from the show, and I wasn’t upset at seeing him. Like I said, a little bit of him goes a long way. I’m still not especially enthused about the second season of IF, but I am curious enough, based on how his character is much more positively depicted here. I know there are some people who are going to hate him no matter what the writers  do with him ,but I’m willing to forgive past sins if they fix his character, and this show, and The Defenders, went a long way towards almost making Danny Rand likable. I don’t actually like him. I don’t know that I will ever like him-like him, but at least I don’t dislike him. Let’s just say I’m open to liking him.

There was a new vilain called Bushmaster, who heavily reminded me of Black Panther: if T’Challa had become a junkie for the special herb which gave him his powers, and was a gang leader, rather than a good guy.  I still think the accents of some of these characters could use work, though. There are several moments of extreme horror that I could’ve done without, and we didn’t spend as much time with Luke as you’d think we would in a show that’s about him, but that’s okay because Luke is not an especially compelling personality, and Mariah Dillard is. Luke gets to fight with a lot of different characters, and that is always fun, but he’s not a very interesting person beyond his fight scenes, and the show’s attempts to add character to his character fell flat for me. His relationship with his father, and his fights with Clair didn’t feel true or believable.

Actually, you could just call the show Dillard, or something, because Mariah was one of the most awesome characters all season, and is a truly complicated villain. I’ve long ago given up on white feminist fans paying any attention to Black female characters, and I suppose I should be grateful for that, especially considering how shitty they are regarding all Black characters, in general. I think the last thing any of us want is twenty year old, suburban, white girls trying to write sexy fan fiction about Shades Alvarez. But there’s not a lot there for them anyway because while there are a few canon relationships, none of them involve White people.

Mariah is a very unconventional villain, being an older, educated, Black woman, who is also  an unstable, conniving alcoholic,  in a semi-abusive relationship with her lover, Shades Alvarez, who is many years younger than her, and thoroughly devoted to her. I  can’t even say she loves him, because Mariah is a psychopathic user, who loves no one but herself but the chemistry between them is palpable, and it really is a very sexy relationship. Mariah is also surprisingly vulnerable, and open at odd moments, which makes her deeply compelling. This was really a superior performance from Alfre Woodard, and one of her best roles ever.

There’s also a throwaway relationship between Shades and another man (Comanche) that if you’re anywhere on the LGBTQ spectrum,  will thoroughly enrage you, so you might want to skip all that.

https://www.dailydot.com/parsec/luke-cage-shades-mariah-shadymariah/

https://www.dailydot.com/parsec/luke-cage-season-2-review/?tu=dd

https://screenrant.com/marvel-iron-fist-better-luke-cage-season-2/

Killjoys (Syfy)

Killjoys has added a smidge more humor to the show, but I still have trouble with Hannah John-Kamen’s acting style. Its still annoying. I’m still surprised that people like this show. It looks great but I find the acting and plotting uneven. It’s not a bad show, but it struggles to hold my attention. I like the costumes, though ,and the guys are both reasonably handsome.

Image result for killjoys/wynonna Earp

Wynonna Earp (Syfy)

Wynona Earp started its new season. I watched the first episodes of the show and while I was not “not”  entertained, I wasn’t exactly inspired to keep watching them either. WE turned out to be mildly funny as vampires have been added to the show and Waverly’s approach to danger has always been funny. If you’re looking for a cute  litttle White girl lgbtq relationship, then this is the show for you. If you are a fan of mustaches, there’s a Doc Holliday character who is really cute.

 

I’m Not Watching But Probably Should

Killing Eve (BBC America)

I’ve heard so much about this show, and these curious gifs keep popping up on  my dashboard. One day I’m actually going to get around to watching this. and I’m gonna be wowed, because I really do like Sandra Oh, and I heard she got some award noms out of this. From all the meta  and gifs I’ve seen, I got the impression that this show was a female version of the Hannibal series, with its lowkey same sex relationship vibes, between an officer of the law, and a deranged psychopath. Since I’m a big fan of Hannibal , I feel I at least need to give this a looky-loo.

The Bold Type (Freefrom)

I heard there was some great LGBTQ rep in this show, between two young women, that’s being well and fairly treated,  and this is  another show that people insist on making gifs of, and sending them across my Tumblr dashboard. One day I may or may not look at this. It does involve some very young people, and I usually avoid shows that star a bunch of very young, people, so I’m dubious. Not every show is for everyone.

Dear White People (Netflix)

I keep hearing good things about this show, but once again it stars some very young people, and I’m not one of those people who is sentimental about my college years, so imma pass on this one.

Yeah…No!

Snowfall/ Power

I know people are watching these shows, but shows about Black crime are not to my taste, and I already got my quota of that subject from Luke Cage. If Black crime stories (ala New Jack City) are to your tastes,  and you’re not watching these, then you need to hop to it because they look gorgeous.

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I’m working on several of those longform essays you guys seem to like. The use of setting in movies, a trip in the wayback machine to some forgotten  TV series, the personalities of Goodfellas according to MBTI, an examination of the trope of the retired killer, an examination of The Thing, Eastern Promises, and some that are little more than ideas I hope to flesh out at some point.

New and Interesting Trailers 6/2018

HI!

Here, have some trailers! I thought these looked really good. I was already on the hook to see some of these movies and shows,  but a couple of them got me really interested in seeing something that was not necessarily on my radar. There are a couple that I’m cautiously excited about, but I’m going to approach them with an open mind.

 

Luke Cage Season 2

So Alfre Woodard appears to be tearing it up, in a season which is focusing a lot more on women. Misty Knight and Colleen Wing are kicking ass, and then there’s Bushmaster. I don’t know a whole lot about Bushmaster (as he wasn’t in any of the Luke Cage books I read), so he will be something of a surprise for me, but I am really excited for this season.

From the interviews I’ve seen, Cheo Hodari Coker knows Ryan Coogler, and the two of them tend to work parallel to each other. This show wasn’t slacking in its representation of women of color last season, but the influence of Black Panther can be seen in how it allows the Black women to be heroes and villains, rather than merely eye candy. So, despite the presence of Danny Rand, (who I’m still not feeling too good about), I’m really looking forward to this season.

 

 

Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse

This is one of the funniest Marvel trailers I’ve seen in awhile. I’m really liking this, although it took me a minute to wrap my head around the animation, as I was expecting something a little more traditional. But I’m glad to see Spider- Gwen, and an adult Peter Parker. I think I posted this trailer here before, too, which shows my enthusiasm for this movie.

I’m a big fan of Peter Parker, (and I was one of the people who lobbied that he should be Asian in the new movie), but I’m also in love with Miles Morales, too, who is from the Ultimate Spiderman line of comic books.

 

Christopher Robin

I am so much in love with this trailer and with Winnie the Pooh. The adventures of Pooh, and his friends, were one of the primary literary staples of my girlhood. I remember my Mom used to read the adventure books to me, and we watched the cartoons on TV. I loved Pooh so much, I think I’m the reason that my youngest brother, (I was 3 when he was born), is named after him, (and if you can picture a 6 ft. tall, muscular, forty something, Black firefighter, named Pooh…)

This trailer got me all up in my feels, and I have no shame in admitting that I plan to see this, multiple times, if possible.

 

 

The Girl in the Spider’s Web

I really enjoyed the original trilogy of Lisbeth Salander, and I’m excited for this new movie. I probably still won’t read the book though, although I did read the first two. I like this  new actor, although it’s hard to top the original.

 

 

Halloween

I’m not sure what I feel about this new version. I did like the Rob Zombie movies okay (the second less than the first). Apparently, this movie picks up exactly where the first movie left off, and Michael isn’t actually Laurie’s brother, and she has a granddaughter who thinks she’s insane, and all the other movies will be ignored, (with Carpenter’s blessing). But it looks pretty good, and I like Laurie’s “Born Again Hard” attitude, and gun.

 

 

The Predator

I had no idea there was a whole damn mythology behind The Predator movies, (even though I’ve seen all of them, and only been impressed by maybe a couple of them). I read a couple of the comic books, and watched the movies, and I really enjoyed both, but apparently  made no effort to put all this shit together. The Predators even have a special name, that I’ve never heard of! The first trailer didnt make me especially enthused about the movie, but I am highly enthused now that I’ve watched the mythology video, and seen this new trailer, which looks fucking awesome. (Yeah, if I’m cussing, I’m very excited.)

 

*Predator Mythology 

The Yautja (Predators Explained)

 

Bumblebee

While Bumblebee is one of my favorite Transformers characters, I’m not especially enthused about this movie for two reasons. The first is because the very first shot in this trailer is of a White woman’s ass, and I am thoroughly sick and damn tired of looking at White women’s asses (any women’s asses really) in movies, unless its actually a four legged animal. The second is because it is a Transformers movie.

A couple of things in its favor  is that there is a different director attached to this movie, and it’s about Bumblebee, and he’s a bit more kid oriented. Unfortunately, it does look like the same plot as the first Transformer film, and I even though I liked that film, I really don’t want to pay for the same movie twice.

Black Panther On Tumblr

As per usual, the fans on Tumblr got jokes, memes, and asides. There have been surprisingly few meta and  essays though, with most fans settling for oddball humor:

redemption-interlude

“I’m tired of you talking about Black Panther. Shut up about it.”

 

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zeusbcrn:
“ kingjaffejoffer:
“ This was the most swagged out nigga in the movie and he only had like two lines.
he always looked annoyed that he had to waste his time attending
”
nakia’s dad did not come out here to play with y’all. he’s serving you...

 kingjaffejoffer

This was the most swagged out nigga in the movie and he only had like two lines.

he always looked annoyed that he had to waste his time attending

zeusbcrn

nakia’s dad did not come out here to play with y’all. he’s serving you tribal elder realness with a dash of high level black fashion. that suit cost more than ya rent. givenchy who? gucci who? he don’t know them, he only wearing top tier wakandan designers. t’challa ain’t even got this shit. you see the way he matched the lip plate and gauges to the suit??? y’all keep thinking it’s a game if you want to.

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juniorvarsityjackets

Imagine just being a regular Wakandan during that 2 month period of Civil War and Black Panther

You just reading your Kimoyo bead feed every day like wtf?

Sent aid workers to Nigeria, they get killed in an explosion, your king killed in a terrorist attack, the prince becomes king, like a day or two later, some random outsider comes on, now HE’S king, then a day or two later there’s a big fight in the capital and then the old prince is king again? And then he reveals your nation to the world?

Like that’s not encouraging

 

honeybruh

on the Wakanda Wide Web message boards like “this never happened with T’Chaka, smh”

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potofsoup

I’m lying here awake because I’m thinking about Shuri, throwing herself into her inventions and designing 2 new Panther suits in a week because the old one couldn’t be worn under a western-style suit and if her father had been wearing the Black Panther suit underneath he wouldn’t have…  the explosion wouldn’t have…

Shuri makes notes that the suit needs better ways to absorb impact.

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vibraniumvibes:
“ theworldaccordingtodee:
“ ashermajestywishes:
“ ashermajestywishes:
“ bury-me-in-the-ocean:
“ violet-ines:
“ bury-me-in-the-ocean:
“ vibraniumvibes:
“The movie is brilliant. They didn’t leave a stone unturned.
”
Ok not only that!...

 bury-me-in-the-ocean

Ok not only that! but! I’m feeling like the reason why N’jobu wasn’t in Wakanda in the ancestral plane is because 1. he wasn’t buried the right way, (if you remember several times throughout the movie, the burial process is mentioned to be extremely sacred and important), and 2. because N’jobu hadn’t died in Wakanda.

This was another reason to point out what Erik and his father were talking about being lost and away from their home. Because N’jobu would never go home, in his former life and the next, he’d always be trapped, forever lost from finding his home

 

violet-ines

^^this gave me chills.

I also thought it could be relationship to how black men in America encouraged to not show emotions, not cry or hug, as they make it seem to show a since of weakness.

When N’jobu asked Erik,” No tears for me?” You could see how Erik was holding back tears and just left it as,” the world is hard, men don’t have the chance to cry” in so many words.

I really almost cried because he could finally see his father and they didn’t share a tender embrace as T’Chaka and T’Challa..

 

ashermajestywishes

They didn’t hug because Killmonger’s father was disappointed, both in himself and in his son. And yes because toxic masculinity defines our society.

T’Chaka was proud of his son because T’Challa was a good man despite T’Chaka’s mistakes. N’jobu failed his son utterly and completely. He was estranged from Wakanda and so, in turn, was his son.

It was a beautiful scene, full of regret and the ways in which the mistakes of the past can be visited on present generations. The scene was supposed to be our clue that Killmonger was not going to be king. He was not a product of Wakanda. He was a product of that sad, angry room with both the guns and the history hidden behind a painting on the wall.

He was a product of a hidden history and a violent society. So that is where he went, and that is where he met his father forever trapped by the mistakes of men who could not see beyond their own needs. T’Chaka, his need to protect his vision of himself and Wakanda and N’jobu, his need to heal the world by defying his King and country.

The thread running through Black Panther is estrangement. It is the stylised story of a people whose history has been hidden for far too long. It is the story of a people estranged from themselves and their history. It is the story of the Diaspora. It is also a story of choice. We, the Diaspora, choose every day and in every minute our response to that estrangement. Are we defined by the wrongs visited upon us as a people? Do we hold the anger in? Do we explode? Do we make people pay for the hurt, the pain, the indignities? Will we be Killmongers?

Will we meet our ancestors in the sad, dark places of our pain?

That was one of the points of that scene. Erik Killmonger met his father in the sad, dark place of his pain.

I hope that the original cut has another scene. One in which Erik Killmonger joins his ancestors in Wakanda, because in the moments before his death he got it. He finally became a child of Wakanda. He would have freed himself and his father from those chains.

 

ashermajestywishes

I mean look at how that scene began. Erik learned his history by finding it in the hidden place. His father wanted him to find it, but that is not how you teach children their history. You hold them in your lap and say this is who we are. You tell them stories. You take them home.

Ryan Coogler is trying to show us in a few scenes what estrangement means. What being cutoff from your history means. You are not supposed to find it in a cutout behind a painting sitting next to the guns. And that wasn’t his fault. Other people made bad choices. A society made bad choices and he paid for their bad choices with his soul.

But then there comes a point when you choose who you will be, despite the bad choices that formed you. Killmonger made the correct choice in the end, or at least the only choice he could have made.

His story is heartbreaking. It is Shakespearean. He is the first beautiful villain in the MCU, and I adore his story.

 

theworldaccordingtodee

Black Panther is such and complex and compelling story with such rich text and undertones and themes that I’m thoroughly convinced that we’ll be discussing its meaning for, possibly years to come.

 

vibraniumvibes

Another thing I love that I’ve probably already mentioned on here is how T’Challa woke up the second time with his back turned on his ancestors symbolizing he was turning his back on their old ways. The symbolism running through the entire movie is intense.

 

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myinkandtrees

I loved this scene so much. T’challa is about to tell a black kid from Oakland who he is.

Like..that means a lot. And t’challa knows that. he knows that what he’s about to tell this kid is about to rock his world.

It’s basically representation matters summed up. I think it’s really important to take this scene for what it is. Black youth don’t get this kind of representation, they don’t always get these kind of role models, leasts of all not a king of the most technological advanced, richest nation in the world.

Movie wise, hes telling a kid who’s most likely had oppurtunites denied to him that he can be anything, that black people can be anything.

rl wise, i feel like this part is reaching out to the audience, black youth specifically.

If t’challa can do it, then so can they. ANd t’challa knows this, he knows that he’s about to inspire this kid to do great things, and sorry if i rambled but i just LOVED THIS PART.

No other marvel movie has had this much, real life, relevant social commentary in relation to this day and age.

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The Alnur African Drum and Dance Troupe as The Dora Milaje

SOURCE:  wearewakanda

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https://www.topteny.com/top-10-biggest-cities-in-africa/

 

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This needs to be said…

After Black Panther, and Coco, and all the other great films that have come out and boasted great representation (and great Box Office returns) I hope all movie studios are aware that nothing can every go back to the way it used to be.

Like, you know how when you’ve had something high quality, and you just can’t go back to the bargain brand again because you know what this product is supposed to be?

Well, Black Panther and Coco just introduced an entire generation of people (young and old alike) what positive representation is supposed to feel like.

People aren’t going to stand for “This character couldn’t be X because it’s a stereotype.”

People aren’t going to stand for “This character had a small role but it’s fine because X”

People ain’t gonna stand for “Finn can’t be written well because there’s no place for his story to go”

People aren’t going to stand for “Iron Fist couldn’t be Asian-American because it perpetuates a stereotype.

People aren’t going to stand for “We couldn’t find the right type of actor so we just went with a white person.”

People aren’t going to stand for “Let’s make the black woman a frog for the entire movie.”

People aren’t going to stand for “There weren’t any people of color in this era. It wouldn’t be historically accurate.”

People aren’t going to stand for “Well…it’s close enough, isn’t it? Why’re you complaining?”

Movie studios  thought it was bad before? Honey. Buckle up.

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 theghostwasblue

*no spoilers*

He does not like superhero movies and normally he falls asleep in the cinema. But not this time, he was on the edge of his seat and he said that he didn’t wanna miss a single moment. He absolutely loved the movie, the first thing he did when we got home was to call his african friend, yelling at him to go watch it as soon as possible. The second thing he did was ask me when the sequel will be out.

I asked my dad what he liked about the movie and he said everything. He loved that almost everyone was black and that they spoke Xhosa. He was so happy that they captured what life is actually like in many african cities in those scenes when they were walking around in wakanda. Seeing the people sit in cafes, buying food from food stands, kids running around with school bags, just people living their everyday life all the while being unapologetically african. He said he felt as if he was back home. And he was so happy that there finally was a movie where africans weren’t starving, or warlords, or dealing drugs. He told me that this is the kind of movie he has wanted to see for years, not alluding to the superhero stuff but the fact that they portray africans the same way that most if not all movies portray white people and not criminalize or dehumanize them but uplifting them. He loved every single character and especially M’Baku but his absolute favourite was the Queen mother Ramonda because she was so calm and collected while simultaneously being this strong queen. My dad, coming from a culture that really uplifts and value mothers and holds them above all, felt like the movie really captured that in Ramonda and that’s why he loved her.

He loved the soundtrack and how they mixed in djembe drums and traditional african singing with modern western music and he loved the costumes because a lot of the clothes look like the things people are wearing at all the african parties we go to.

The only complaint my dad had was that the sound was to high, which was his own fault for insisting that he sit at the end of the row right next to one of the speakers.

So yeah, representation do matter. I’ve never in my life seen him so happy about a movie. And he wanted to talk about it after it had ended which never happens normally. We joked around with the idea of him being a wakandan wardog stationed here and we did Shuris and T’Challas little handshake saying that is the only way we will now greet other africans. This movie gave my dad pure joy and happiness and it gave us a bonding opportunity because we finally have something that we both could geek out about.

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Best Scifi Costumes on TV

 

Luke Cage

Luke Cage makes this list not just because the costumes are beautiful, but because this is some of the most politically relevant costuming in the MCU. All of the costumes speak to the specific backgrounds and identities of the wearer, and were designed by Stephanie Maslansky, whose priority was keeping things casual.

Cottonmouth’s dapper business suits represent his aspirations for legitmacy, as does Mariah’s middle-class chic. Cottonmouth’s suits are carefully crafted to inspire ambition to the young people of Harlem, while Mariah’s are carefully coded to inspire the folksy warmth and political legitimacy she seeks to project to the community.

Misty Knight’s no-nonsense practiciality is what’s on display in her costuming. She is a competent detective who is sexy while not being sexualized.

Luke’s hoodie is representative of the anonymity he attempts to cling to while protecting Harlem.That hoodie full of bullet holes is a direct callback to the shooting of Trayvon Martin, (one of the many young Black men who have died at the hands of police and  vigilante shhotings in the US.), and meant to invoke a feeling of hope and strength to the show’s audience.

Image result for luke cage fashionImage result for luke cage fashionImage result for luke cage series fashionRelated image

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Farscape

I think Farscape had some of the most imaginative costuming on television. There’s nothing on TV right now that’s come close to it. The creators managed to make the female characters both alien and sexy, while the men were alien and virile, and funny.

I think one of my favorite costumes was Crichton’s black coat, that he adopted at some point towards the end of season two, which created a very sexy outline for him, with broad shoulders, a cinched waist, and it flared nicely during his action sequences.

The creators seemed to figure out that black leather seemed to work really, really well in this universe, and so, just made an infinite variety of  these outfits for everyone on the show. There was definitely some bondage leather influence on the wardrobe.

Image result for farscape costumes

 

This is Scorpius, a half Scarran, half Peacekeeper hybrid, whose unique body chemistry requires a face mask, which gives him a sinister look..

Image result for farscape costumes

 

I especially liked this red and black number Crichton wore in season two. I think this is a Peacekeeper outfit.

Image result for farscape fashion/crichton

Image result for farscape characters/chiana

 

These are the Scarrans. They wear lots and lots of black or red leather.

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It wasn’t until the second season that I figured out that Virginia Hey, who played Pa’u Zotoh Zhaan, was also the Warrior Woman from The Road Warrior.

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Space 1999 – Maya

Maya, played by Catherine Schell, was the only character worth watching this show for, and the episodes that centered around her, were always the most interesting. For some reason, there was a thing about bird aliens during this time period, because Buck Roger’s had a male character that was kind of like her, too.  The only difference was that Maya could take on the shapes of different aliens. Still, she was definitely this show’s version of a Spock character, and the creators tried to differentiate her from Spock by giving her superpowers.

What’s interesting is the idea of a woman with the suggestion of mutton chop sideburns, who is sexy in a mainstream television show. But you have to remember, back in the day, these types of shows remained very much under the radar, as most people wrote them off as being for children, even if Space 1999, strived to present more mature themes. I appreciate it now, in a way I didn’t, when I was a teenager.

There’s also more than a little bit of Barbarella in her outfits and posing. In how she was prominently featured on the show. Space 1999 also starred Martin Landau, from the  Mission Impossible TV show, and Barbara Bain, who was also from that show.  I liked them both okay, and they really were too good for this show, but Maya was real draw for most people

The show aired from 1975 through 1977, but there was a definite 60s vibe in the setup, designs, and fashions, the were heavily reminiscent of Star Trek, which first aired in 1963.

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American God

I loved the costumes from this show. To go into the influences, and meaning, of the costumes, would require several posts devoted entirely to the subject, and guess what? I found one! My favorite is of course Media. Gillian Anderson is absolutely stunning throughout the entire season. A close second would be Anansi, and Easter, who had some wonderful outfits.

https://tomandlorenzo.com/2017/05/american-gods-style-costumes-art-direction-cinematography-analysis/

Suttirat Anne Larlarb is Series Costume Designer on American Gods first season, with Assistant Costume Designers Laura Montgomery, Brenda Broer, Sabrina Zain, Anita Bacic and Costume Supervisor Quita Alfred.

 

Notice the old world European embroidery on the lapels and cuffs of the Zorya’s   costume, which is appropriate, since she hails from Russia. The designs echo other  details in her home, which is old and shabby, but warm and comfortable, just like her attitude.

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This is Media as the late, great, David Bowie, one of several gay icons as she was dressed for the show. The others are Lucille Ball, Marilyn Monroe, and Judy Garland. Gillian Anderson proved to be  incredible chameleon, and this must have been great fun for her.

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Notice the similarity in costumes between Loki and Odin.

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If you look closely at Shadow’s suit, it has tiny little dots all over it. There’s such great attention to details that the viewer will almost certainly never notice.

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I think I already mentioned Easter’s slightly tattered finery. Notice the tiny frayed edges on her flower headpiece, and her matching eye-shadow.

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This is one of Bilquis’ outfits from her 70s scenes.

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The faceless men in white, with their jackboots, suspenders, and black hats were deliberately meant to resemble the Droogs from the movie, a Clockwork Orange.

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Outlander

Claire’s dresses are designed by Terry Dresbach and are one of the highlights of this show. No matter what era she inhabits,  whether it’s the American 40s, or 18th century Scotland, Claire is always dressed to the nines. There are websites out there dedicated to examining the fashions of this show

http://www.instyle.com/reviews-coverage/tv-shows/best-fashion-moments-outlander-season-2

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Downton Abbey

What I liked most about this show is that it told the story of this wealthy  English family as much through clothing, as what they did. And the characters themselves occasionally discussed fashion and how it was changing.

The time period moves from the turn of the 20th century, through the first world war, to the 1920s, and you can get a very good idea, not only of how women’s fashions changed over that time period, but more importantly, WHY they changed. Women’s fashions were often a response to outside events,   because, in the past centuries,  the vast majority of women’s fashions were designed by women, who were responding to the ebb and flow of historic events.

In an exclusive interview with MASTERPIECE, Downton Abbey’s costume designer, Anna Mary Scott Robbins, recently took a break from her exciting work on Downton Abbey Season 6 to talk about the signature styles of the women of Downton and designing their sumptuous, jazz-age costumes.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/programs/features/slideshow/downton-abbey-s5-behind-designs-fashions-season-5/

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Contrast the above manner of dress (from 1900 through 1910s) with the looser, lighter style of dress below. In the 20s, the world was just coming out of the first World War, when everyone, rich and poor alike,  had experienced significant hardship. With so many men lost during the war, it marked a significant turn, for women, as they begin to movie into the workforce in greater numbers, especially the women of the middle, and upper, classes, the kind of women who had been pressured against working before the war. The new style of dress was more practical, and business-like.

Take note that with so many people dead from the war, the servant class all but dried up afterwards, as they also moved into the greater workforce. The servant class, that had made it really easy to dress in the many layers of clothing that women required during the Victorian era, were all but extinct. Upper class women needed to be able to more easily dress themselves, and take care of their own clothing and hair, since, after a while, there were no longer such things as Lady’s Maids. Dresses and hairstyles became simpler. There were fabric restrictions during the war, so women saved fabric by raising hemlines, (which never went back down, and got raised again during, and after, WW2.)

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In one episode, we can  hear the women’s opinions of the change in fashion, when the younger daughters of the house model the new 20s flapper dresses for their mother and grandmother, who express shock at the flimsiness and skin exposure of the designs. The silhouette of the flapper dresses are completely different from the more modest dresses that came before.

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Star Trek :The Original Series

The fashion designer for the original Star Trek was William Thiel. You can see a lot of the 60s influence in his fashions, even though he tried really hard to make the outfits realistic. Still these are some of the loveliest women’s costumes in Scifi, all very feminine, with some beautiful colorwork.

The amount of skin being shown is entirely in keeping with the 60s era thinking, which was a reaction to the deep conservatism of the 50s. These fashions were considered very progressive for women, at the time. The biggest influence over fashion was the invention of the bikini, which was invented in the 40s, just after the war, but didn’t make its way to American shores until the 50s.

https://io9.gizmodo.com/5969957/weirdest-and-sexiest-costumes-from-the-original-star-trek/

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See the bikini influence:

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The miniskirt was a huge thing back in the 60s. There’s been a lot of discussion about how the miniskirt does not make Star Trek a sexist show.

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The third woman just appears to be wearing a one sleeved poncho.

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Into the Badlands

Being the only martial arts television series is a big burden, It’s important that everything be meticulous and that includes the wardrobe. i talked about this just a bit in my reviews of the second season.

The men’s outfits  feel influenced by the costumes from A Clockwork Orange.

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Even in the Badlands, people manage to find luxurious fabrics:

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You can see the Asian influence here, where there’s  a bit of Genghis Khan, Warlord, in Quinn’s outfit.

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Hannibal the Series

One of the best parts of this series is  looking at Hannibal’s suits. Hannibal comes from very old money, so I don’t think he’s making his wardrobe choices based on a therapist’s salary.

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http://ew.com/article/2015/08/29/everything-hannibal-wore-hannibal/

 

One of the few times we see Hannibal witohut a suit is in the season three premiere episode. The showrunner, Bryan Fuller, says he was specifically influenced by the movie The Hunger ,which starred Katherine Deneuve, and David Bowie.

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You can see The Hunger’s influence on Gillian Anderson’s look for the third season, too:

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In Hannibal, Gillian Anderson got a chance to dress upscale. Here she’s wearing a very modern Parisian look.

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Unbreakable, Sleight, Spiderman, Chronicle: Shout Out to the Lowkey Superhero

 

In 1981, I watched the pilot for a show, starring William Katt (from  the 1976 movie, Carrie). In it, a Special Education teacher receives a Supersuit from some aliens and decides he wants to fight crime, even though he hates wearing the suit, and has lost the instruction manual. (Why won’t someone remake this show?) Aided by Special FBI Agent Bill Maxwell, played by Robert Culp, he spends most of his time trying to figure out what his superpowers are, and how to use them, with comical results.

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In 1976, Carrie White discovers she had the power to move objects with her mind. Bullied and humiliated at her high school, she unleashes all of her rage on her classmates at the Senior Prom.

In 2000, Bruce Willis portrays David Dunn, a man who discovers that his body is essentially unbreakable, (just like Luke Cage), and has to figure out who and what he is, and what he wants to do with this power, aided by Samuel L Jackson, who also plays the movie’s  archvillain, Mr. Glass.

In 2012’s  Chronicle, Dane DeHaan plays Andrew Detmar who, along with his cousin Matt, and his friend Steve,  stumble across a strange rock in a cave, and receive the power to move objects with their thoughts. After bearing the brunt of schoolyard bullying, physical and emotional abuse from his father, and the death of his mother, Andrew nearly kills his father, and destroys a good portion of Seattle, before being killed by Matt.

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In 2017’s Sleight, a young Black genius named Bo, creates the the ability to move metallic objects with his mind, while he clashes with the local drug dealer, Angelo.

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In Spiderman Homecoming, Peter Parker is a newbie Super, dealing with such mundane things as schoolwork, bicycle thieves, and helping out the local Churro  Lady. He longs to save the world, while using nothing more than some superstrength, a fast wit, and some silkwebbing. He doesn’t have the social cache of Captain America, nor does he have Batman’s budget.

Jessica Jones, Daredevil, Luke Cage, Iron Fist. They’ve got one major power each, the ability to punch things really hard, lift a car, skin that won’t break, and the ability to see sounds. These are not gods. They can’t destroy a city block with the touch of a finger. They don’t own supersuits. They can’t even fly.  Even all-together they ain’t ever gonna be on the level of the Justice League.

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http://www.denofgeek.com/movies/superhero-movies/39560/real-life-superhero-movies-a-closer-look

None of these characters are villains, but many of them are too beset by the weaknesses of their character, or the challenges of their environment, to ever do the world any  real good. They live in the real world of car payments, drug dealers, homework, high school bullies, and 9 to 5 jobs they don’t like, dealing with people who seriously test their ability not to abuse whatever powers they possess, and sometimes that can’t even avoid doing that.

They’re not goddesses created by Zeus. They’re not millionaires who never have to worry about paying for anything. They’re not exiled  aliens. These are not the types of heroes you call to go into outer space to destroy the intergalactic menace. They’re just trying to survive their tiny part of the universe.

And sometimes they don’t manage to do that either.

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In Chronicle, Andrew wants to be special and important to the rest of the world, but that’s not gonna happen. Andrew could have been a true benefit to the world,  but he is bullied at school, abused by his father at home, his mother is dying, and they’re running out of money to pay for her medicine.  Andrew uses his abilities to rob a local drug dealer for the money, but how are his powers going to save his mother? How are those powers going to stop making him the brunt of his father’s anger at his wife’s death? Or make him charming, witty, or popular at school?

Sadly, Andrew gets a brief taste of these things, fending off his father’s abuse in one scene, participating in a talent show where he can secretly show off his abilities (and getting the accolades that he not only feels he richly deserves, but desperately needs), and losing it all when one of his friends, Steve, (who shared the same abilities as he did), dies , possibly as a result of Andrew’s actions.

Eventually, Andrew loses everything, including his mother,  and then eventually his life, at the hands of his cousin, Matt,  (who also shared the same superpowers), as he spirals down into a vortex of shame, hatred, grief, and anger. His powers couldn’t save him from himself.

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None of these superpowers help Matt save his best friend Steve, or solve his cousin’s extreme trauma, or even alleviate his own  emotional trauma, at having to take his cousin’s life, when Andrew goes on an anger fueled rampage. We witness how useless Matt’s abilities are, during his fight with his cousin, when he can’t talk him down, can’t convince him that he is loved, and can only mitigate the damage he causes, with his only option being to kill him.

This is the horrific outcome of actual superpowers in a real world setting that is full of horribly damaged people, and people happy to inflict pain on others for fun. This is something not shown in the Avengers, and Iron Man movies. The villains in those always have lofty goals, and self-serving excuses for why they’re bad. They hate the hero, or want to control the world, or both. Andrew, and his counterpart, Carrie, (whose narrative closely parallels this one), sometimes don’t know what they are, are sometimes just  in pain, and cause an incalculable amount of damage and death, all because they  weren’t loved enough.

This is the opposite story of Unbreakable, where David Dunn, a depressed stadium security guard, begins to realize his true potential, while mentored by a  man who thinks he knows who and what David is capable of. When he and his  wife, Audrey, were involved in a car crash, David used that as an excuse to quit football, because Audrey was opposed to the sport. He spent the next ten years of his life wondering what could have been, and the life they could have had.

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Not realizing that he is an  Unbreakable man, he  is approached by  Elijah Price, who tells him that he is special, that he can regain the glory he knew as high school football star. By using his strength to save lives, David discovers a new sense of purpose. Taking on the name Savior, his activities regain the  respect of his son, the love of the wife, who was planning to divorce him, and lifts his spirits, as he realizes what kind of man he is. David wasn’t trying to save the world. He was just trying to save himself.

http://reallifesuperheroes.com/

In Sleight,  Bo has the ability to move metal, due to a magnetic device he’s implanted in his arm. He gets involved with the local drug dealer, while trying to make a better life for him and his little sister, after their mother dies. Bo isn’t the next Tony Stark, but he would’ve been, were it not for the circumstances of his birth.

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Here’s what the director had to say about the stereotypical setting of the movie, which also tackles issues of race and class, which most superhero movies don’t mention:

<Making Bo a role model and a drug-dealer seems potentially controversial, but it also speaks to his lack of options as a teenager trying to support his sister, and living without a safety net. But you don’t foreground the social issues of his choices. You don’t make it political. Was it important to you to not spell anything out too much?

Obviously, it’s a trope that’s unfortunately very recognizable for black characters in movies, in having something to do with street-level drugs and committing crimes. Part of the goal in centering ourselves in that world was to find a different, empathetic way into a trope that’s maybe a little too familiar. By centering it on this kid who is brilliant and artistic and has a scholarship going for him, we’re showing that a fall into this world really could happen to anyone. If everything you hold dear slowly started unraveling and you had massive responsibility, and part of that responsibility is shielding someone you care about from even knowing that this is going on… There are certain sacrifices we make to take care of the people around us. We don’t just want to paint that familiar iconography. We wanted to find a different way into it, then [go] past it.

And if you read between the lines in Sleight, there’s enough evidence that we’re not fully falling into the trope, I would hope. Bo’s neighborhood is actually not bad. He’s not in a crime-infested, impoverished area. He’s trying to keep his sister in the environment she’s comfortable in. But also, what he does is a very different brand of drug-dealing, one less associated with the urban crime story. When you look at a show like High Maintenance — if we had another act to talk about Bo’s clientele, these are the kinds of stories we would see. Which hints why Bo would consider selling drugs in the first place. He’s savvy enough to not end up on the corner selling dope. And his boss, Angelo, at first glance, isn’t a gun-toting gang-banger. Bo is making an educated compromise, something he thinks he can keep at arm’s distance.>

 

Bo isn’t  heroic because he’s trying to save the entire world. Bo is a hero because he’s working against long odds to save just one small world, his little sister’s.

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Contrast Spiderman Homecoming with The Avengers. The Avengers are so far removed from everyday life that they seem almost like myths to the working man. Nowhere is this contrast more obvious than in the movie Spiderman Homecoming, about the activities of a low-level superhero who wants to make it to the big time. Peter Parker comes from a world of school, homework, and junior proms. His mentor is a multi-billionaire, whose every minor decision can affect entire lives, as Tony Stark’s decision to take over the salvage operations in New York, creates The Vulture, the villain who eventually becomes one of Spiderman’s Rogue’s Gallery.

Spiderman’s inability to run with the Big Boys, like Thor and The Hulk,  is the subject of a  great deal of humor, as seen in Captain America: Civil War, but it can also result in great tragedy, as his lack of discipline nearly causes a massive loss of  life, when he accidentally breaks the Staten Island Ferry.

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In The Incredibles, the superheroes of yesteryear get a taste of what the mundane life is like when superheroing is outlawed by a fed up public. Now all they have are their real jobs, house payments, and watching their weight.  Mr Incredible chafes at these restrictions, living vicariously through his son’s grade school exploits, secretly crime fighting behind his wife’s back, and yearning for the days when he could channel all his restless ingenuity into bringing down super criminals. Like Peter Parker, the mundane life just isn’t challenging enough for him, or his little boy, Dash, There’s also the not so lowkey message in the film that when everyone is considered special, its really just another version of mundanity.

I suppose this essay would not be complete without mentioning the  ultimate street level superhero, Kick Ass, who is the very definition of a superhero nobody. David is a superhero only because he believes it. He has no superpowers to speak of, no martial skills, not even a sharp tongue. Armed with nothing more than a green bodysuit, and some Escrima sticks, he takes out muggers and drug dealers on the streets of New York City, in the hopes of  impressing that one girl in school he has a crush on. He inadvertently falls into deeper water than he can handle, when he encounters a vigilante father/ daughter duo, who are fighting an organized crime family.

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There have been a spate of these movies in the past ten years, (Super, Defendor, Special) about the the low level exploits of gifted, and non-gifted heroes, yearning for the  Big Time, something to give their life meaning, a way to work out their psychological trauma, or just wanting to be special and/or loved. For some of them, these are weaknesses of character that will never allow them to rise to the level of an Avenger, or an X-Man, and other s are so grounded, they will never  get to be heroic, no matter how much they want it.

Even the move Suicide Squad dabbles in these ideas, with characters like Captain Boomerang, and Slipknot, or a character with no superpowers at all, beyond a taste for chaos, and an ability to wield a baseball bat. The’yre little more than small-time villains who get called on to save the world.

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On the other hand, it makes them more relatable, and sympathetic,than the Tony Starks, and Supermen, of the world. Watching them rise to new levels of superheroics, as when Spiderman has no one to save him but himself in Spiderman: Homecoming, or when Bo defeats the neighborhood villains to successfully raise his little sister, gives us the  confidence to survive, especially when we’re beset by our own physical, and mental issues. When they overcome, they are the best of ourselves. And when they fall to the depths of despair, like Andrew and Carrie, they are reflections of our worst, and can spur us to examine and conquer our own weaknesses.

The Defenders Season Review

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Instead of reviewing every episode, one by one, like most other reviewers, I’ve decided to just review the entire season.  Rather than 13 episodes, the series has been reduced to eight, which I feel was a really good idea, as this helps the story move along a lot more swiftly, and with less filler, than in the individual shows.  Since the plot is moving faster, and interludes are shortened, it’s not possible to get too irritated by any particular plot point (The Villain), or character (Danny), because you just don’t have much time for it.

Overall, I enjoyed the series. I can definitely say that I like certain characters much better in a team setting, than I did in their individual stories, because a lot of their weaknesses of character aren’t on full display here, and when they are on display, there’s a reason for it. I especially enjoyed all the team action, even just sitting around and talking to each other, because these guys are  a lot of fun together. Their fighting styles and attitudes just mesh really well, and they have great chemistry with each other, which makes for some interesting, and cool fight scenes, and some funny and snarky dialogue.

I think the show played up the reluctant hero angle a bit too much. The characters are always having conversations about how they’re not heroes, and don’t want to be heroes, especially Luke and Jessica. Matt is trying to quit  the superhero game as if he were going cold turkey from some kind of -ism. Danny is the only one who wants to be a hero, and he’s not  remotely equipped to be one.

 

Luke Cage:

 

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We get a slightly deeper understanding of Luke as a person, although there are no huge revelations, or anything. He still doesn’t want to be a hero, he’s still living in Harlem, still trying to figure out what he wants to do with his life, all of this is just as in his own show.  We see the opening moves of a friendship between him and Danny, and Luke and Claire finally go out for that coffee, before being awkwardly interrupted by Luke’s former one night, Misty.

All of the characters get a chance to interact, one on one, during the series, although there’s not a lot of forward momentum in their characters, or relationships. Just hints of things to come. We get hints of a reconciliation between him and Jessica. In the comic books, the two are married and have a baby, but I don’t know if these shows will move in that direction. I’m opposed to it because of Jessica having killed his wife, (and then lied to him about it), and Jessica is also  not in any kind of emotional shape to have a relationship with anyone. Also, she is, ethically speaking, the complete opposite of  Luke, and I just don’t see those two  styles of personality meshing well.

As I mentioned, the showrunner doesn’t do anything new with the character. Luke remains a deeply principled guy who, while okay with kicking ass, is opposed to killing. He is not afraid to call someone on their shit, the way he does to Danny.

I love that all the characters have their place and purpose  in the team, and how their differing fighting styles are showcased. Luke is like Superman. He’s invulnerable to most harm, and is often a shield for the others, when the guns come out. He’s not completely invulnerable though, as Danny is one of the few people that can knock him off his feet (well…Danny and unexpected trucks). Seriously, the man is like a tank. He’s even immune to fire.

The team needs Danny whenever they need a huge, loud distraction, as in the finale, when they needed to reach a safe place, but The Hand was being an obstruction. Danny is like a large explosive device, delivering concussive sound and force, and I like the way his powers are used here, although yeah, the glowing fist still looks kinda silly. Still, Luke and Danny are definitely the team’s two heavy hitters.

One of the most annoying parts of the show is the Rap music that appears whenever Luke shows up on screen. To the showrunner: Hey! Luke does not  need a soundtrack to announce his presence!

Matt is the resident Ninja, and while Danny isn’t too bad in that department, Danny has a different purpose. Matt is the kind of team member who can move in and out of a situation quickly and quietly, warn the team of any impending danger, (and get them out of trouble with the law,  if necessary, I guess.)

 

 

Matt Murdock:

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Matt spends a lot of the first couple of episodes trying not to be heroic, or save people. I think we’re meant to believe that he gave it all up after losing Elektra, but since I wasn’t buying his relationship with her, I didn’t care. The two of them have no chemistry, and the emotional intensity of a pair of titmice, especially when it comes to passionate exchanges.

On the other hand, it was nice seeing him put his lawyer-ly shit down, it was nice to see Foggy and Karen again, and I’m glad the three of them made some effort towards reconciliation, especially after last season’s events, when Karen found out he was Daredevil. The two of them treat, and talk about Matt, as if he were a recovering junkie, so that’s kind of weird, made even weirder by scenes of Matt “staring” longingly at his Daredevil outfit, as if it were an ice cream sundae.

Actually, a lot of Charlie Cox’s acting is off in this series. There’s story movement, but his character remains pretty much the same. His fighting skills are awesome as ever, but Charlie looks like he’s phoning in  his performance. When I called him a Floor Lamp Ninja, I meant that he could pretty much be swapped out by any other martial arts actor, and this would not  greatly affect the plot.

I did enjoy the scene where he tails Jessica on the streets and she susses him out, and when they meet for the first time in their superhero guises. Matt steals that big gray scarf she wears everywhere, to wrap around his face, and Jessica rolls her eyes at him.

 

 

Jessica Jones:

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This show went a long way towards making me like this character. As much as she hates people, Jessica really does work well in a team setting. She takes nothing seriously, which ends up making her the funniest person in the group. Her one on one interactions with Matt are especially funny, and she gives absolutely no fucks about who  Danny is, and is quick to say so, which I thought was hilarious.

A lot of the weakness of Jessica’s show is that its very White Feminist, and her mistreatment of PoC in the show really started, not just to grate on my nerves, but to make me actively dislike her, no matter how much I sympathized with her issues. I know and understand  that she is dealing with the severe trauma of what Killgrave did to her, but trauma is not an excuse for her abuse and mistreatment of characters of color.

I actually had a problem, not just with her,but with the show’s writers as well. Despite women’s trauma issues being  the center of  the story, they still managed to erase  WoC entirely, which is something White Feminism keeps doing, in stories that are supposed to be empowering to women. (The stories end up being empowering only  to White women.) But I still applaud the show for its messages and the general treatment of its (White) female characters. I see why some people liked it, but ultimately the show wasn’t for me.

That’s just the logical reasoning for why I disliked the show. The other reason is there was a lot of triggering shit in that show. I had to stop watching it, for my own self care, because I was not ready!

I liked Jessica in The Defenders, because the focus wasn’t on Jessica’s pain, so we got to see her reacting to other things. She’s still an unlikable, alcoholic, snarky mess, but that’s okay. Who says heroes have to be likable? Its especially interesting because unlikability is rare in female characters, and Jessica is thoroughly unapologetic about herself. At one point she very openly steals a can of beer, from a passed out homeless man on the subway, (because she’s had a long day,) right in front of Matt and Luke, who handle  the act with no more than raised eyebrows.

Jessica is definitely the team’s Tony Stark to Luke’s Steve Rogers. There’s much of the same personality dynamics present, except some of the motivation for  Jessica’s rather  loose ethics stem partially from her trauma at the hands of Killgrave.

 

Danny Rand:

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Yeah, for someone who talked a lot of shit about the Iron Fist series, I think you guys will be pleasantly surprised that I didn’t actually dislike Danny Rand in this show. As I mentioned, the shorter running time for the series means that Danny’s scenes are kept to a minimum, so he doesn’t have as much time to be irritating. Not that he doesn’t give it a big try.

Finn Jones has also had the benefit of some practice on his fight choreography, and better directors and it shows. His fight scenes aren’t the trash fire that they were in Iron Fist, so he actually ends up looking competent. Plus, he just works better with a team of people, than he does on his own.

The team dynamics go a long way towards making Danny likable here, and really, in the next season of Iron Fist, the show runners really need to lean in to the ridiculousness of his story, rather than playing it straight, because yeah, Danny sounds like he’s insane. None of the other team members take his backstory seriously, rolling their eyes every time he mentions he’s the Immortal Iron Fist, an attitude I thought was incredibly funny. And then there’s the silliness of him walking around with a large dragon tattoo on his test. His powers aren’t funny, and the audience is never given to laugh at those, but his backstory is kinda nuts. Mr. I Punched a Dragon!

Another reason I like Danny here, is because the showrunner makes an effort to make his character understandable, in a way that he wasn’t in his own series. In his own series, his behavior is incredibly rage inducing, and frustrating, (and I can’t help but think that this change has at least a little to do with the showrunner being a man of color, who understands the issue in a way the last showrunner didn’t). But here, Danny’s behavior is in smaller doses, and he has more well developed characters reacting to his wtf*ery, so he’s  a lot easier to understand. Granted, if the character had been cast as Asian to begin with, we wouldn’t need all these careful repairs.

http://www.indiewire.com/2017/08/luke-cage-iron-fist-marvel-defenders-netflix-privilege-1201868048/

For example, at one point, he and Luke square off, with Luke confronting Danny about his privilege as a rich White man, who chooses to come into his part of town and beat up the impoverished Black people, rather than finding some other way to defeat The Hand’s purposes. The Hand is able to operate with impunity in such neighborhoods because all they have to do is offer money. Luke’s statement is a reminder to Danny that there’s a bunch of other things he could’ve done, as a wealthy White man to defeat the purposes of The Hand, besides beating up the citizens. But then you notice that Danny’s go-to, when dealing with The Hand, is only ever violence. He never tries to thwart them any other way, and thinks he can  simply punch his way to the proper outcome.

For example: Danny and Colleen find a warehouse full of bodies. The Hand is hiring young men from Luke’s  neighborhood to  clean up any evidence that might lead to their organization. Danny and Colleen do not know this. They don’t ask questions, have not investigated the situation, and haven’t bothered to understand the why of any of it. The two of them immediately jump to kicking ass. Danny and Luke first meet when  Luke steps in to protect one of the young men, who has lost his family to The Hand, and feels coerced to work for them.

Luke’s statement about his privilege is meant to remind Danny that there are other perspectives  besides his own. It’s made very plain  that when it comes to The Hand, Danny has a huge blind spot.  Danny doesn’t  think, he just reacts, and that was what happened at the warehouse, which  resulted in Danny brutally beating a (Black) teenage boy. He’s  reckless, impulsive, and has anger issues. He and Colleen don’t have any kind of a plan, beyond destroying The Hand. This gets mentioned a couple of times during the show.

https://www.theverge.com/2017/8/18/16118680/the-defenders-netflix-marvel-iron-fist-sucks

On to the good part: Danny doesn’t get any better at being impulsive, but he does listen to what gets said to him. And the showrunner is a lot better at making clear what Danny’s motivations are, something which is cloudier on his own show. Danny is looking for a purpose. Since he abdicated his responsibilities to K’un L’un (Why?), he’s not only been looking for a way to atone for that, but looking for a new purpose to replace it, and probably looking for a new family too, as he’s one of the few characters that’s at all excited about teaming up. But again he is blind to his rage about The Hand, and as long as he remains blind to his lack of control, as regards them, he can accomplish nothing.

When the rest of the team find out the the The Hand is specifically after Danny, they try to get him to stand down, and stay out of their next fight, rather than just running up on ’em, without a plan. I’m always here for Danny getting his ass handed to him, which the team has to resort to, to keep Danny from fucking up, yet again. There follows a long interlude with him and Luke getting to know each other, and Danny trying to at least understand Luke’s perspective on the world.

So yeah, this show went a little way to making me, if not like Danny, at least understand where he’s coming from in terms I could easily grok.

 

Alexandria:

Image result for defenders gifs alexandra

 

Sigourney Weaver turns in a beautiful performance, as I expected, before being unexpectedly dispatched near the end of the series. My biggest problem is that her motivations as a villain are so vague and ill-defined I was completely unable to care what her goals were. We know what she and the other members of The Hand want to do, but we have no idea why they want to take over the world, other than just wanting to do it.

I didn’t focus on her unfathomable motivations. I just tried to focus on her performance.  She and Elektra have great chemistry, reminiscent of Ellen Ripley and Call, the Android from Alien Resurrection, and I found this dynamic fascinating. On a lighter note, I loved her outfits. Alexandra is always impeccably dressed. She just looks like a woman with a lot of money and extravagant but unshowy tastes.

Another problem that I have is that the women in this show rarely get to interact with each other, (although Claire and Colleen get some nice scenes together, and later, Colleen and Misty get to talk). Alexandra spends a lot of time alone. They couldn’t even bother to write her as being friends to Madame Gao, having her treat Gao like a servant, which I found especially distasteful. Here you have a wealthy White woman treating this older Asian woman as if she were the Help, although there are other factors behind why she does it, it was still ugly and racist, even if that was not what was intended.

I still don’t know why the  showrunners bothered to call Sigourney into this show, which she is simply too good for. I had noticed that her presence sidelines the Asian characters putting, them all in a subordinate position to her, and significantly reducing Madame Gao’s street cred, that she’s built over three other shows. As much as I like Sigourney, I feel like the story would have been better served without Alexandra.

 

Elektra:

Image result for defenders gifs elektra

 

I still do not like this character, because I just feel like she’s evil for no  feckin’ reason. I didn’t like her in Daredevil either, because the writers just made her seem batshit insane for no reason. Elodie Young is gorgeous and all, and can actually act, as I’ve seen her elsewhere acting just fine, but I don’t like the way she approached this character. When we first see her here, she has been brainwashed and controlled by The Hand, most especially Alexandra. She’s pretty much a perfect example of the Born Sexy Yesterday Trope.  Later,  she appears to become evil on purpose,and for the life of me, I simply could not care.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=dxgnmgk8728039vcnyat5g65

After Elektra’s resurrection, she is mentored in her evil-ness by Alexandra, and it was really interesting watching the relationship between the two of them, but she does eventually betray Alexandra, and turns against The Hand. Once again, for no reason that I could discern than that the writers needed a new villain in the plot.

The show is somewhat formulaic, with the idea of replacing one Big Bad with another, halfway through the season. This happened with Iron Fist, Daredevil, and Luke Cage, where the viewer starts out with one villain, who gets unceremoniously dispatched by the true villain of the story. Basically, a villain bait and  switch.

I wanted to like Elektra. I just don’t. I couldn’t understand her motivations for anything, and I wasn’t feeling her deep love affair with Matt Murdock. Which is not helped by Matt Murdock acting like  “Floor Lamp Ninja”, throughout most of the series. When she’s not smurking evil-ly, she has a blank, wide-eyed, look on her face, which I found kinda irritating. I got no problem with Elektra’s martial skills. Those were exemplary, as always.

 

Colleen Wing:

Image result for defenders gifs colleen

 

She has even less personality growth here then in Iron Fist. In fact, I found her much more annoying in The Defenders, than I did in that show. She didn’t make much of an impression on me for this show, either. Part of this has to do with the shorter length of the series. There’s just not enough time to develop all the characters, so some of them get short shrift and hers is especially short.

The only thing we get from Colleen’s is more of her being Danny’s support network, (as she is told by Claire) and fighting the same endless fight against Bakuto, that she fought in Iron Fist, with Bakuto making the exact same talking points. Why he wants her is anybody’s guess Is he in love? Wants her as a protege? We don’t know or understand. His motivations are pretty vague. As are most The The Hand’s motivations.

Collen’s motivations are even less discernible to us than they were in Iron Fist. That was a problem that wasn’t even approached here. We don’t know why she loves him, and the two are not especially demonstrative, but nevertheless we are led to believe they are a couple. She may be Danny’s emotional support but she’s doing an awful job at helping him deal with his anger issues ,or his ideas about who and what he is. Case in point, it took a near total stranger, Luke , to point out one of Danny’s biggest flaws. The problem may be that Colleen is unable to point out Danny’s flaws because she’s too much like him. She has a go along to get along attitude with Danny that I found irritating, never questioning what he says or does, and mindlessly following him in his quest. She has no story of her own, seemingly having gave it up to be little more than Danny’s helpmate. The writers need to do better with her. Hopefully, if there is a spinoff show with Misty, she’ll be better written.

As per usual there’s nothing wrong with Colleen’s martial skills. In fact the choreography isn’t bad for the whole series, and at least a few of the directors know how to shoot fight scenes well enough to make them all different, and compelling enough, to keep watching. My favorite fight scenes are the team fights though.

 

Misty Knight:

 

Image result for defenders gifs misty

There’s not much character growth with Misty Knight either, but at least her motivations are clear. We know exactly what she wants in the narrative and why she wants it. She wants to solve her case, and get a promotion, (or not be fired), which is hindered by the fact that the people who could help her solve it, refuse to tell her anything, and the fact that, with The Hand, she is totally out of her league.

Misty is a cop, so she has mostly cop concerns, just as she did in Luke Cage. Shit is happening, her friends are in the middle of it, and they won’t tell her anything, because they realize, but refuse to explain clearly to her, just how far out of her depth she is. I kept admonishing Luke (and Jessica) to make clear to her, that the organization they’re  dealing with  doesn’t give a flying hot damn if she’s a cop, and will happily kill her (and her entire fam), but they kept refusing to tell her this, which was becoming really frustrating.

I’ve also seen some shitty meta about how she’s a bad character because she keeps attacking people she needs help from, and I’m like Bish please! She’s not attacking your White faves! She is being a cop, who knows that the information that will allow her to do her job, is being withheld. She’s got one job in the damn show, which is solving her case, and  she can’t do it, because  the four people who know something about it, won’t tell her anything. So yeah, she gonna be irritated, and not afraid to show that irritation.  This is called DRAMA, people!( I’m trying to  remember that I’m dealing with the hysterical children of Tumblr, who think any time  characters of color show irritation at a White character’s actions,  that it automatically makes them a villain. Yep! This is the level of logic I’m dealing with on Tumblr, guys!)

But she comes through in the end anyway, and lets the team handle their bidness. Although, I suspect she’s mostly there because Luke and Claire were in danger. (Remember, Misty doesn’t know who  any of those White people are. They are just mysterious somebodies who are obstructing her job. Luke and Claire are the ones who are her friends..)

Misty is known in the comic books for having a silver bionic arm, and for teaming up with Colleen to be the Daughters of the Dragon. (On an alternate Earth, she even gets to carry Steve Rogers shield, sorta like a female Bucky.) So,  we may get to see her new prosthetic in season two of Luke Cage, and if we’re lucky we’ll get to see her and Colleen team up. Hey! If side characters like the Punisher can get their own show, they can make a Daughters of the Dragon series, (possibly in the style of the Foxy Brown Blaxploitation movies of my youth.) The series should of course be helmed by a Black or Asian woman, because I absolutely do not  trust a White, male, showrunner to get a Black woman, and an Asian woman correct.

http://mashable.com/2017/08/18/the-defenders-misty-knight-arm-daughters-of-the-dragon-spinoff/#KKkkf8UKpmqx

 

The Hand:

Image result for defenders gifs the hand

https://www.bustle.com/p/who-are-the-five-fingers-of-the-hand-the-defenders-reveals-whos-pulling-the-strings-77358

Unfortunately, the shorter the running time of the series does not seem to allow much clarity on who, or what, The Hand is, or why they want what they want. We have some idea of what they’re doing globally, not just in New York, but that’s pretty much all we get.

New York starts experiencing a spate of seismic disturbances, which are being caused by The Hand digging near some sort of fault line, under a plot of land they built an office on. Why they are digging is slightly unclear. I think some dragon bones are involved becasue its briefly mentioned tat this has something to do with how Iron Fist got his power. For some reason ,they also need to capture Iron Fist and beat him up, or make him angry so he can open some kind of doorway to K’un L’un, so the five leaders of The Hand can go back home.

I did pay attention but really that’s the best I can do regarding the rather lackluster plot. I really didn’t care, although i guess its supposed to be some sort of revelation ,that the five leaders are all incredibly old, exiled citizens of K’un L’un. Even the facts of why they’re exiled in the first place isn’t made abundantly clear. I really hope the showrunner and the writers were making some kind of point about cloudy motivations, or something becasue the villains are a mess.

Alexandra gets unceremoniously dispatched and replaced by Elektra, who gives a self important speech about how she’s now the leader of The Hand. I don’t know if its the actress, or the writing, but I was bored by the whole thing. Why we were introduced to new memebers of The Hand only to have them killed right away is anyone’s guess.

Since The Hand is an egalitarian organization there’s a Japanese guy, whose name I don’t remember, a Brazilian guy named Bakuto, an African (Haitian?) guy named Sowande, and Ms. Gao, who I assume is Chinese. Sowande reminds me of the lead character from the movie Beasts of the Southern Wilds who was a procurer of child soldiers. Sowande is brutally tortured and killed by he Defenders after they capture him in an attempt to find out his people’s plans, something which did not sit well with me. And before you come into my inbox and start mansplaining about how the other members of The Hand also get killed, I have to remind you, that none of the other members of The Hand were brutally tortured first. This happens to the sole Black member of The Hand, by people who are, supposedly, the good guys.

Couple that scene with Iron Fist’s brutal beating of a young Black boy in an earlier episode,Jessica jones treatment of its Black male characters,  Daredevil’s treatment of its Asian characters as some type of Yellow Peril (which even the presence of a White woman leader cannot resolve), and Iron Fists White Savior issues, and it becomes clear that the the MCU has some serious racial issues that need addressing. The only disability on display is Matt Murdock’s blindness. Jessica Jones treament of one of its lesbian characters was, quite simply, abominable, and outside of that there is no LGBT representation in any of it. Marvel comic books are doing much better in regards to these issues than the MCU.

One of the ways they can address some of these issues is by hiring different types of showrunners, and writers and treating the creation of these shows (and the movies which have all the same problems) the same way they approach the comic books. The newest phase of MCU movies have gotten a little bit better as far as racial issues (but not by much) and it’s seriously lacking in LGBT and disability representation, and the creators of these projects need to think more deeply about these issues, most especially in its treatment of Asian characters across all of the MCU, as it’s becoming creepily apparent that maybe don’t like people of the Asian diaspora.

Despite all my criticisms though, I actually enjoyed watching it. I’m still glad I didn’t have to spend 13 hours watching it, instead of the eight. The strongest part of the series are the scenes of The Defenders working together as a team. There’s a lot of room for improvement but also a lot of promise for a season two.

Black People on Tumblr

 

*This article at the New Republic just spoke to me. It outlines some of the somewhat unique issues WoC have to deal with in fandom. It takes care to note that while there is  a great deal of harassment all over fandom, (lots of women get it), but only in the case of WoC (most specifically Black women) has that sexism been racialized, resulting in what we like to call Misogynoir. You can tell you’re in the presence of non-intersectional feminism when the person makes great effort to not mention the racialized nature of hatred of WoC, choosing simply to present it as just sexism in general. This article is a reminder not to do that.

https://newrepublic.comin the fanfiction contingent of the fandom./article/137489/women-color-price-fandom-can-high

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These are the kind of posts that keep me apprised of whatever new racial f**ery is happening in the fandom. My philosophy is, if a PoC  took the time to complain about it, its more than likely true.

I’ve realized that the more diverse a cast is, the easier it is to spot the racist fans. They won’t ship a white main character with the black girl who’s his love interest because it’s “heteronormative” (it isn’t) and they want more “gay representation”. But then when his best friend is also a person of color they don’t ship them together because they just “don’t see them that way”. But then they’ll headcanon a Tragic Whiteboy Backstory for the kid that said literally 8 words to the main character. That kid will be their favorite character, their sweet little “cinnamon roll”and there’ll be 40,230 m/m fics of him and the main character. “Representation”. My ass.

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Dear Author

Criticism is not censorship.

Fiction is how many people learn. It’s how people grow and explore new ideas, and it has been since the first fables were told around fires by our evolutionary antecedents. Pretending that the problem is people who “can’t tell fantasy from reality” is a pathetic cop-out. Fiction is always a mirror of reality, because nothing is written without the context of an author’s lived experiences and social and cultural indoctrination and bias.

Marginalized people wanting you to quit writing gross and hurtful shit about us is not the same as censorship. Actual censorship requires power, which we do not have. That’s the whole fucking point!

Members of the kink community telling you that you don’t know shit and are writing dangerous nonsense is not an attack, it’s simply a fact. People telling you to put in the time on researching subjects you don’t have experience with aren’t bullying you, they’re trying to help you improve.

Shitty writing is not a protected form of speech. You are not special or subversive, you are not revolutionary. All you’re doing is contributing to the status quo, which is already shitty. You’re reinforcing stereotypes that get people killed, all while refusing to take any kind of responsibility for your own actions because it’s “just a story.”

You aren’t a victim, you’re just a bad writer with entitlement issues.

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The natural hair battles are a thing happening on Tumblr, with various magazines that are dedicated to chronicling White women’s hairstyles, stealing ideas from Black people, changing the name of it, and pretending its some hot, new trend for White women. You also have White women who want to get in on the natural hair movement so badly, that they insist they are oppressed because they have curly hair, and that Black women straightening their hair is appropriation of White culture. 

Yeah, just about everything I typed in that last sentence, is horribly wrong but there are White women who are so desperate to be part of something that unites Black women, something they desperately want to be a part of, but just can’t, that they are willing to believe these things. 

I also don’t understand why white girls pretend like they get any kind of flack for their hair. honestly by the way they attack any black girl who even tries to bring up the complexities of having natural hair (at certain times/places) they scream to the heavens about their “super curly” hair and how they face this and blah blah blah. y’all really think that it’s fun to have your hair looked at as unprofessional and unkempt? y’all think it’s fun to lose jobs or be FORCED to change your hair to keep said job? you think it’s fun to have certain hair styles banned in high school or natural hair all together? (and yes natural hair was basically banned in my high school because they had restrictions on hair height)

NONE, of this happens to white girls at all, and I’m not sure why you guys like to pretend it does because it’s truly the worst experience for some black girls, especially the girls who get it really bad. there’s black girls out here who are so proud of their hair only to be bashed and berated for it constantly. meanwhile, as a white girl you can do just about any hairstyle and even if it’s the ugliest shit on the planet, every magazine, social media, or whoever will spin it around and make it seem revolutionary. so miss me with the fact that you guys face any kind of oppression for your hair. just because someone called your limp, thin hair “frizzy” at one point doesn’t mean that white girls are structurally oppressed because of their hair.

Source:

Dear Fandom,

das-umilaut:

more-aoe:

zora-zen:

cassandrashipsit:

botticella89:

mirabai0821:

When in writing your shiny new Black Panther slash fics or writing people of color in general.

And you find yourself possessed of an urge to write these characters as:

Chocolate
Cinnamon
Mocha
Cafe au Lait
Coffee

RESIST IT*

*and as with all writing, there are (meaning I will, doesn’t mean anybody else will) exceptions granted for a well executed description

This has been a PSA from me: Our Lady of Perpetual Salt

WHY NOT?! THOSE THINGS ARE FUCKING DELICIOUS!!! And who says that what was written was a “well executed description”? I don’t think you are any sort of authority to deem something written as a “well executed description”. How about you write your thing and let others write their thing. And if you don’t like it, oh well. Here’s an example:

The lady walked into the building confident in her sleek pumps; her skin a warm cinnamon which was highlighted perfectly with her sky-blue dress; bright, hypnotizing chocolate eyes; dark mocha hair perfectly primed into tight rings; and a personality as soulful and bold as barista-made cafe au lait.

Using the very examples you deemed that I should resist describing a person of color, doesn’t it seem as though I painted her as… I don’t know… attractive? Plus, not everyone is at the same level of writing skill when describing someone.

Oh White Fandom™ you are so fucking precious.

You don’t use those descriptions because PoC are sick of being fetishized as something for white folks to consume? So maybe when a black woman says “don’t use these” you stay in your fucking lane and listen?

What you described was not attractive, it was a tired, boring, cliche piece of crap.

If you can’t write without reducing PoC, especially black people, to nothing but a gross jumble of stereotypes, fucking sit down and practice, don’t come back and tell us we should take your bullshit hackery as a goddamn compliment.

@botticella89

So, back in The Day, and by The Day I mean yesterday and also in the future, coffee, cinnamon, brown sugar and chocolate were produced using slave labor. Often times, said slave labor has been brown people overseen by white colonialists, and those ingredients were imported to white countries for white people to consume.

Can you see the problem now? Black people described as “yummy” or “chocolate” is not only gross and fetishizing, it has very deeply rooted history in slavery, colonialism, imperialism and dehumanization.

I have met several black men who have referred to themselves as “Chocolate.” This does not make it okay for me, a white lady, to do that. If they do it, they’re owning the terms, if I do it, I’m being gross.

At any rate, there are so many rich and wonderful descriptors for skin color, that you don’t need to be gross about it. So when a black woman says “Don’t fucking do it,” be cool and smart and great and DON’T FUCKING DO IT.

Oh my God at the dude up above, can you not.

There are connotations associated with words like chocolate, cinnamon, and mocha, and you know what? a lot of those words have sexual connotations.  They call to mind stereotypes of black and brown women.  Not here for it.  Look at the language used in the sentence:

The lady walked into the building confident in her sleek pumps; her skin a warm cinnamon which was highlighted perfectly with her sky-blue dress; bright, hypnotizing chocolate eyes; dark mocha hair perfectly primed into tight rings; and a personality as soulful and bold as barista-made cafe au lait.

This woman has a soulful personality, eh?  She’s cinnamon-spicy and bold and takes no crap?  This is the first thing you think of when you’re going to describe a black woman?  For God’s sake, just leave the coded language at home, don’t use food to describe women of color, just don’t.  Don’t.  Don’t.

People of color are not food. I don’t know how many times people have to hammer this in—and cute that you seem to be completely unwilling to respond to anyone who isn’t agreeing with you @botticella89—but people of color are not food. Associating a brown/black person with “cinnamon” and “mocha” and “a barista-made café au lait” (sidenote: WHAT THE FUCK? Why did this descriptor need to exist?) associates them with slave labor, oppression, exploitation, and white colonialism.

And to insist that you should get to use those descriptors because “those things are fucking delicious” is fetishizing and gross. People of color do not exist for your consumption, alright?That’s a borderline cannibalism fetish.

As I’ve said before, media does not exist in a vacuum. Everything you consume—everything you see and hear and otherwise experience—affects your worldview. Everything you create—writing, music, artwork, etc.—mirrors your worldview. If you can only seem to describe black/brown people—as well as other people of color—with tired stereotypes or food descriptions or other words that imply “consumption/consuming,” you are dehumanizing them.People of color are not food.

Source: mirabai0821 racial fetishization twcall me a mocha chocolate anything and I’ll punch the shit out of you

 

Random Tumblr Roundup

Just random stuff that ended up on my Tumblr dashboard. 

There have been a lot of reviews and thinkpieces in the past week about Luke Cage, and as I promised ,most of the reviews I’ve reblogged or linked to are from the POV of Black writers. Here’s one from The Tall Black Nerd:

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*Why can’t nerds get dates? Well, some of them can’t get dates. I’m sure none of you reading this have this problem,though.
the-queen-poetico:

theotherwesley:

introvertedgeek:

wizardshark:

constant-instigator:

stele3:

dannerzz:

brother-mouse:

dannerzz:

i fucking hate dating nerds one single time i wore a star wars shirt to see a dude and he was like, “wow are u wearing that to impress me” and i said, “star wars episode 4 was seen by approximately 110 million people during its initial theatrical run in 1977”

Congratulations. You’re dating people who for the longest time have been putting up with bullying, mocking, and scorn for most of their lives. That kind of shit stays with people. So imagine their surprise when they see a member of the opposite sex, who I’m assuming is really attractive in comparison to most people, wear attire that reps nerd culture. Which even though is accepted by the masses (if you’re reasonably attractive) is still rare. Now I’m not saying that you’re not allowed to be scornful I’m just saying expect it and don’t be surprised when you hear it. Ok? OK.

why i dont date fucking nerds: exhibit B

Bolded emphasis mine. Gross.

Stands on nearest chair: ATTENTION MALE NERDS. YOU ARE NOT SUFFERING FROM A SHORTAGE OF FEMALE NERDS. THERE ARE VAST NUMBERS OF US, AND WE RARELY HAVE A HARD TIME FINDING EACH OTHER. YOU ARE WITHOUT FEMALE COMPANY BECAUSE YOU ARE WHINEY ASSBABIES WHO THINK YOU OWN THINGS BECAUSE YOU LIKE THEM, AND BECAUSE YOU SOMEHOW THINK YOU SUFFER BULLYING WHEREAS GIRL NERDS SOMEHOW NEVER DO. STOP PRETENDING YOU GET TO BE ASSHOLES BECAUSE YOU HAVE A “TRAGIC PAST” OR YOU WILL DIE ALONE. IF YOU THINK GIRL NERDS DON’T GET BULLIED IT’S LIKELY BECAUSE THOSE GIRLS DON’T WANT TO TALK TO YOU, BECAUSE OF THIS SORT OF ATTITUDE.

also: fucking no one mocks nerds anymore. Game of thrones is the most watched show on tv, everyone and their mom is playing video games, dungeons and dragons is more popular than it’s ever been.

To conclude

i’m obligated to reblog the Critical Whale

Fucking thank you

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People gonna find problems with Luke Cage, but this show is my precious cinnamon roll and  I’m determinedly not listening.

Luke Cage Has Problems.

Okay so I’ve seen a bunch of fuck nigga activity recently about Luke Cage and I’ve felt the need to address it.

First and foremost Luke Cage and colorism. Now yes. I love Both of our leading ladies: Rosario Dawnson and Simone Missick. I am complete and utter garbage for them both.

However being trash for them doesn’t stop me from being able to point out that much like many other shows LC might have some colorism issues. Now me pointing out that Rosario Dawson is light-skinned and her casting outside of her being an amazing actress could have to do with colorism isn’t me invalidating her Blackness. She is Black first and foremost and knowing how vocal RD is about this stuff she’d have no problem with people talking about this as one of the possible reasons she was cast.

Stepping away from RD yes there are a plethora of Black women in Luke Cage like it needs to be it’s great honestly. I’m loving it but the majority of the darker skinned Black women (darker than SM) are back ground characters and the villain of the piece is one of the darkest if not the darkest women in the show and we all know how often that happens.

Continue reading “Random Tumblr Roundup”

Luke Cage: Shouting Out

There’s gonna be some spoilers here, just like  all the Luke Cage stuff I post. Lots and lots of spoilers. So if you haven’t watched the series, but plan to, read at your own risk.

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The opening credits  reminded me  of the legend of John Henry, as images of city buildings are transposed over the muscular body of Luke Cage. They’re also in keeping with the general aesthetic of the Netflix MCU  opening credits. The plot itself is a typical MCU tv series plot. You have a protagonist who isn’t looking to be a hero because of some past betrayal or trauma, the nemesis who is personal to the hero and wants to take him or her down, various side characters the hero might have to save or become deeply important to them during the series run, the hero becomes increasingly endangered, the eventual takedown of their nemesis, usually during a big fight scene. 

It’s a typical MCU plot. But it’s the stuff layered over this basic plot, the characterizations, and background scenery, that makes Luke Cage extraordinary for Marvel. We get sounds and images not seen in any of the other MCU projects. For example:

Luke Cage is a reader. (I haven’t read too much about the literary mentions in this  series, but I  have read most of the authors mentioned in the show, and was hoping for some articles on the subject.) We see Luke reading in the barbershop in which he works. Walter Mosely, Donald Goines, and  Chester Himes all get shoututs while Luke helps Pop at his barbershop, which is a fitting base of operations for him, as such shops (beauty parlours for the women) are often the cornerstones, and information warehouses, for a neighborhood.

 Pops is partial to the vigilante, Kenyatta, created by Donald Goines, while Luke prefers the characters of  Chester Himes, and we can see him reading one of Walter Mosley’s books in this opening scene, when he mentions he’s a fan of Easy Rawlings, the character from Devil in a Blue Dress. Later, he mentions Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch. All of these writers specialize in writing great American hero thrillers, involving Detectives, and various independents, fighting corrupt systems. Basically they’re heroic power fantasies, like comic books but without the superpowers and costumes, and the show does have the flavor of such novels, and contains plot points right out of a few of them. 

Contrast Luke’s reading material with Cottonmouth’s and Diamondback’s influences, neither of whom we see doing a lot of reading. He and Diamondback are fans of Green’s 48 Laws of Power, with several mentions of the movie, New Jack City, which was also about a Black man making criminal power plays in his neighborhood. I’ve  read Robert Green, and no, it is not an instruction manual on how to live, any  more than Machiavelli ‘s The Prince . It’s a meant to be a manual about how to recognize when and what power tactics are being used against you. A lot of young men use it as a manual on how to be a better criminal, but  its mostly meant as a way to recognize political corruption, not how to do it. But it’s very popular amongst a certain class of powerless, young, black men, who seek knowledge, and guidance, but don’t have anyone in their life to give them those things. That Diamondback was a fan of that book wasn’t the least surprising to me. 

In fact, I was able to predict a lot of the actions of most of the criminals in the series because a lot of their choices come right out of those books. (Also, I must be pretty criminal minded because a lot of their actions make sense within the idea of impersonal criminal activity.) From who to kill, to who to leave alive, and why. From who to betray, to immediate alliances. The only character whose actions I couldn’t predict were Diamondback’s because he had  deeply personal daddy issues, and was most likely insane. (This series version of The Joker.)

Chess gets referenced a lot in the show, but there are other types of game players.Pops has a permanent chess board set up in the shop and Turk mentions playing in the park. (Chess playing for black people is a little different activity, and a tradition to play it in the park, in NY.)  For contrast look at how Mariah plays the game, vs. how Diamondback plays it. Mariah is always several moves ahead of everyone and  is a total natural. She likes to disguise her moves as something else, and has a focused vision of her future. She is a natural Queen. (The opposing Queen would be Misty, with her nearly supernatural ability to overview and  reconstruct a crime scene). Diamondback is unsubtle and direct, and  most of the chess players (like Shades) are totally stymied by his actions. They think Diamondback is playing chess, when he’s playing something else, ( Hungry Hungry Hippos or gob knows what.)

As for musical references, Luke seems to like Jazz, and old school hip hop from back inna day, (although it’s not unusual for us to have very wide ranging tastes in music, as most of us grow up listening to, and adopting, some of our parents musical tastes, as I did.)  Method Man makes an appearance later in the series, spitting fire about Luke, over the local radio station. The local radio station is also a classic of the socially conscious black movie, (think The Warriors, Do the Right Thing, The Get Down). I’m from the Midwest and  we have that one radio station that everybody in the neighborhood listens to, along with our own homegrown rap stars. (If you’re a fan of Bone Thugs, then you know where I hang.) If you’re a fan of Gang Starr,  then you also know that the series titles are all titles of their songs. I’m not a Gang Starr fan, though. 

Cottonmouth seems  to be a fan of 90s rap. He has a huge poster of Biggie Smalls on the wall of his office, and mentions Tupac and New Jack City. Later he invites Biggie’s wife, Faith Evans to sing in his club, which is only fitting. My favorite stage entertainer was the dapper,  Jidenna, who sang Long Live the Chief. It’s one of my favorite songs and scenes. 

I’m not actually a huge rap music fan, though. I know enough to get by and hold a conversation. I recognized music from The Wu Tang Clan, Tupac, and Public Enemy, but I probably missed about half the musical references. Down below are links clocking all of the biggest musical, and comic book moments, in the series.

Later, we get a little more old school, mellower music, like The Stylistics’ People Make the World Go Round, which is one of my favorite songs. And when Mariah takes over Cottonmouth’s club, we can see she prefers classics  like, The Delfonics (actually Cottonmouth was watching them rehearse). Mariah manages to hire Susan Jones and The Dap Kings, which is one of my favorite retro-groups. She name drops some of her favorite Jazz artists, as does Pop, earlier in the show.

The entire series is basically a love letter to the entirety of Black culture., and the references come fast and furious. It’s almost impossible to catch all of them.  There were some Jazz shoutouts but since I’m not a huge Jazz listener, outside of the biggies, I can’t speak deeply on that at all, but a lot of the music in the series I grew up listening to, and is part of the background story of my life. The producer, Cheo Hodari-Coker, must be in my age range because a lot of the music had resonance for me, and I’m not even a huge rap music fan, like that. I’m pretty sure there were lots of musical references I didn’t  catch. 

On the other hand, I caught most of the comic book references. From Pop calling Luke “Power Man”, as he was called in the books, to Misty pulling down a poster for martial arts training, that was put up by her future partner, Colleen Wing, who will be making her debut in the Iron Fist series. From the mentions of The Incident (the Chitauri invasion in The Avengers), to Diamondback’s outfit, which is a callback to his look in the comic books, to Luke’s headband, and bracelets during the experiment where he got his powers, to Misty Knight’s red outfit, and blowout at the end  of the series, reminiscent of her full out ‘do in the comic books, this series is full of comic book love. 

And most importantly, no Stan Lee cameo.

Here’s a list of the comic book references:

Did ‘Luke Cage’ Break Netflix? Outage Leaves Saturday Bingers In Dark
Here’s a rundown of the most important musical references by episode:

Marvel’s ‘Luke Cage’: Every important musical moment

*Please note these links contain spoilers, and that the comments for these websites are not safe for black people to be reading because there’s going to be all manner of white male nonsense in them. Don’t bother to read them if you have a low tolerance for racial foolishness. (Foolishness which the klandom has already gotten started engaging in.)

 

Luke Cage Ep. 1: Moment of Truth

I’m not going to go too far into what Luke Cage means to me as a Black woman, but I grew up reading Power Man/Iron Fist, and I am a child of the seventies, so I remember the whole Blaxploitation era, on which Luke is based, and have a special fondness for him. He was the first Black superhero I ever read about. Before Storm, Red Falcon and Captain Marvel.

I’m not sure if people understand just how important it is for PoC to have power fantasies too, but I’ve mentioned this before. White men’s lives are full of such fantasies, in fact, almost the entire comic book/superhero industry is predicated on it, and PoC, most especially WoC, have precious few of these. So, if you can, imagine how emotional this must be for quite a few of us, especially in these turbulent racial times, to see a bulletproof Black man in a TV show, being heroic, or in some cases, just being.

I wasn’t going to do a play by play of each episode of the series but I’ve enjoyed what I’m seeing so much, that I just can’t help myself, and this is just the first episode. I enjoyed meeting all the different characters and watching them establish relationships with each other, but more importantly we get to understand Luke Cage’s relationship to his neighborhood, Harlem. Where he lives is fairly close knit. Everyone sort of knows each other. They’ve all seen each other around, even if they don’t know  each other’s names.

I grew up in a more rural Midwestern version of this environment, and its fascinating for me to see all the neighborhood nuances, speech, and body language, in a mainstream big budget TV show, that I see everyday. This show isn’t just Black because it has Black people in it. Its Black because it has BLACK people in it. Black people not filtered through a White creator’s lens.(Mostly)

Since the show’s creator is a Black man, there is a minimum of racist stereotypes in the plot. Only the usual stereotypes to be found in such an environment,  resentful fatherless teens, the barbershop banter, hanging out at the club, but done in such a way that the viewer doesn’t dwell on these things as stereotypes.

Luke, played by Mike Colter,  is one of those quiet, mystery people you always see around the ‘hood. They don’t make waves, and you don’t see them out and about too much. He just wants to live a quiet life with Pop, played by Frankie Faison. You might remember him as Barney, from Silence of the Lambs, but I remember him mostly from The Wire.

Luke works two jobs, can barely makes his rent, and is unwilling to get involved with women who give him their phone numbers, because he’s still mourning the death of his wife, which we saw in Jessica Jones. Earlier in the episode, a gorgeous, and smart, young sistah tries to invite him out for coffee, but he turns her down. Pop is the person who urges him to be more involved in living, to find a girlfriend, protect people, that sort of thing.

Eventually he does do these things. He meets Misty Knight in the Harlem Paradise, where he works part-time, as a cook or bartender. Its interesting watching the two of them flirt without giving anything away. These are two carefully guarded people trying to establish a connection, and feels almost antagonistic. Misty gives him a hard time, but he’s smart enough to keep up with her. Luke is persistent and  manages to make his interest in her evident, and she eventually responds. And yeah, this show  proves it is not PG-13, as there is a hot, sweaty love scene, between the two.

The next morning Misty lies to him about being a cop. (What is it with Luke Cage and duplicitous women?) I don’t know where the show creator is going to take this relationship but, in the comic books, Misty ends up with Iron Fist. I liked Misty, played by the lovely Simone Cook, who has just the right amount of snark ,so she doesn’t come across as the Angry Black Woman, or Sassy Black Sister.

The owner of the club (called Paradise) is similar to Daredevil’s Kingpin, only slightly less powerful, named Cottonmouth, and played by Mahershala Ali, who is every bit as badass as the snake after which he’s named. He’s so frightening that even his own female employees don’t like being alone with him. He’s engaged in some nebulous illegal activities, which I didn’t fully understand, even though I thought I was paying attention. Cottonmouth’s cousin is played by Alfre Woodard, aka Black Mariah. She’s a powerful woman in Harlem politics. In the comic books, she’s one of Luke Cage’s primary nemeses. So there are echoes of the Daredevil/Kingpin plot in this show.

Luke becomes more involved in Cottonmouth’s affairs after a young man he knows, who worked for Cottonmouth, dies when one of his co-workers steals several million dollars from his boss.  Now Cottonmouth is looking for the last remaining thief, after killing one of them. Misty, and her partner, Rafael Scarfe, (the only White guy I saw in this episode) are investigating the deaths of the two accomplices, and eyeing Luke as being involved, because he works at Cottonmouth’s club. All  of these characters are aimed right towards each other.

In the meantime, Luke gets in “game mode” by protecting his angry, loud Korean landlady, (another stereotype, which I understand why it was added, but did not appreciate in a show that’s about bucking stereotypes), from some neighborhood thugs. It’s heavily implied that Mariah has something to do with these guys little protection racket.

Its one of only three  action scenes the viewer gets in this episode, as Luke stops a bullet, fired point blank, with his hand. We often forget that Luke Cage is also prodigiously strong, as he easily tosses grown men around, like dolls. (In the comic books Luke is a direct descendant of the same Super Soldier experiments that created Captain America.)

Contrast that with the earlier scene where Luke’s friend gets shot by the thieves, which is horrifying, sad, and graphic. Luke’s scene is also very graphic, as we see bones breaking, and some small amount of gore. But the worst violence is when Cottonmouth beats a hostage to death with his bare fists,splattering blood over his own face and clothes. So yeah, this isn’t a show for young kids, really.

So, this first episode played kind of low-key for me. My minimal expectations that it be interesting were at least met and is  a typical MCU episodic formula, where the primary characters and their relationships are introduced. Its not a standout episode, nevertheless I enjoyed it very much, and I would like to go back and watch it again, catching all the cookies and eggs that I didn’t catch the first time, like Pop referring to Luke as Power Man, Raphael Saadiq singing in the club. (I love Saadiq’s music) and Cottonmouth’s painting of Biggie Smalls hanging in his office, but I need to get to the next episode.

There are comic book, and musical references, all over this episode, which can be a little distracting. I’ll discuss those in my next review.

*Edited for corrections.

Fandom Misogyny and Racism 

Okay, this is going to be a long discussion about the intersection of misogyny and race in fandom, followed by other people’s rants about White fandom “acting a fool”. I stumbled across a Tumblr blog where the focus was entirely on misogyny in fandom. There wasn’t a lot of interesectionality in it, although it touched on the topic of racism from time to time. Most of the focus on these topics has been about its manifestation in  fanfiction. I’m not really heavily involved in that part of fandom, but I pay attention and have noticed  it everywhere else, in meta analysis, critiques of movies that haven’t been released, Twitter, in my various news-feeds, and on other websites.

What is happening in fandom is happening throughout all types of fandom, (even in books). The more PoC make a name for ourselves in media where we had been systematically denied, the louder and more strident becomes the backslash, from White people who feel we’re encroaching on something that’s theirs, making too many demands, forcing diversity, or critiquing how they perform fandom.

Calling out racism seems to galvanize those individuals who ,while reluctant to move or complain about anything else in the world, will respond to protect their bottom line. That bottom line seems to be feeling good about themselves as people, while trying to justify their complete inactivity on these issues. We’re not talking about the hardcore bigots. (Those people can’t hear anything through the swarm of wasps that live in their heads.) We’re talking about your average, everyday fan, the kind who thinks they’re liberal, progressive, good-hearted people who think they bear no one any malice because they haven’t burned any crosses on anyone’s lawn. These are the kind of people who are perfectly willing to sit and watch injustice and unfairness being done to others, and do and say nothing.  I call such people ” The Peanut Gallery”. The only time they will speak up,when they feel a  need to justify their inactivity, because feeling good about themselves  is their primary goal, not speaking out against unfairness.

There is a certain type of person who, once they find a comfortable spot on the road of life, will simply sit there and do absolutely nothing. They don’t speak out, they don’t help the ones who trip and fall in front of them, they won’t move from their comfortable spot because “they got theirs”. That’s the closest metaphor I have to the racist pushback I’ve been seeing in fandom.  There are White women who  are complicit in upholding the status quo for a variety of reasons. Most of them view themselves as not participating in racist behavior because they have been victims of sexism. They fight to hold on to their sense of being feminsit and progressive, often throwing PoC, the differently abled, ,and transgender men and women under the bus to do so. They claim to support women, but not all women get their support, especially if she interferes with whatever they want for  their favorite White characters.

It’s not just angry White men, whining about women, or racebending, in movies. There’s a significant contingent of white women engaging in racism and misogyny, mostly through their analysis and fictioning of shows and movies, and through  their erasure of certain characters. In its most toxic form its “misogynoir”, the vilification of black women, which is unique and different from the treatment of men of color, and white women in the narrative. Its rare but not unheard of for White women to engage in racist Twitter  and Tumblr rants, and harassment as well, when they feel their sense of ” being good people” has been attacked.

Many of these women consider themselves to be progressive and liberal. In all senses they consider themselves to be good people, and craft elaborately baroque reasons for why certain WoC within the narrative are villains, or should be disregarded. (This is often  but not necessarily related to “shipping”.) In the words of finnorgana and artepen, these people are anything but progressive. They want to be seen as progressive, hence the elaborate, occasionally completely non-sensical reasons they create, for their dislike of certain characters. What it actually  is, is  these characters challenge their notions of the roles  PoC, roles that have been informed by decades of Hollywood racism. Rather than confront this thinking head on, because to do so might admit they have racist ideas, they have to justify their dislike for a black hero, or black love interest and will go so far as to make up, out of whole cloth, moments in movies which never occurred, or concoct wild interpretations of the canon narrative.

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*The Get Down, Black Panther, and Luke Cage

The Get Down is a show on Netflix, chronicling the lifestyles of some young  and pretty twenty something black people in seventies NY, around the popularity of disco, and the start of rap music. It has some beautiful gender representation and even a little gay/queer representation, as well. But since it’s a mostly black cast, that doesn’t prominently feature a white narrative,(Luke Cage), it is being ignored by the same people, who claim to care so much about representation of women and gays. They can make the argument that white women’s representation is good for ALL women, but can’t seem to make that same leap when it comes to Black women. The message one derives from that is WoC can’t represent ALL women. The same people telling black gay people to wait their turn when the representation is white,(Agent Carter) seem uninterested  in representation when it’s PoC.

In other words, these “good, progressive” people, who are deeply concerned with representation as long as all the characters are white, aren’t watching The Get Down, because it’s too Black. Rather than face that racist idea, they craft elaborate reasons for why it’s a bad show, while uplifting Stranger Things, which is something more familiar, with its 80s/Goonies pathos, and an all white cast. (There’s no female or queer representation  in Stranger Things.)

 
finnnorgana artepen

artepen:

what really kills me about the whole situation regarding the get down is that it’s the same annoying ass fake concerned white people who’s favorite pastime is harassing black and non black people of color to settle for fucking scraps on these terrible all white or predominantly white tv shows because it’ll either be better for white women or white queer representation, that are running up in my inbox telling me they’re not wasting their time on a show that’s a flop or they’re just flat-out ignoring it, like they didn’t read every black and nonblack person the same tired ass essay about waiting our turn because soon enough something for us is going to come and everyone will be happy and martin luther king jr’s dream about us all having sleepovers together is gonna come true!!!!! like it’s the same crusty ass white people who acted like they gave half a shit about diversity and actual positive representation that are completely ignoring the get down for the dumbest reasons, like the people who feel triggered by certain aspects of this show have an actual reason to not want to watch, like nobody’s gonna force you to watch a show that legitimately makes you uncomfortable but the people who just don’t fucking care??? the ones that are probably the same losers who tried to push black people into watching shit shows like agent carter or the 100 where we’d have to see ourselves being disrespected and ormurdered and violated on screen, y’all are trash

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Here, mouseavenger lays out the various forms that misogyny takes within the MCU fandoms. There are more examples than these, and it pairs with “misogynoir” in interesting ways. Since very few Black women have had any prominent roles in the MCU, it’s not entirely clear if that has had an effect on misogynoir. This is  just a description  of how White women are being treated by fandom , which is awful without adding any elements of race.
preach on it
mouseavenger

The Marvel fandom hates women.

  • They want a Black Widow movie..but will put down other women for the sake of keeping Nat high.
  • They want to Agent Carter renewed…but erase her from Steve’s life as if she never existed to him
  • They don’t want Bruce paired with Natasha…but also forget Betty Ross literally exists and nobody seems to even care for her because she would be “irrelevant”.
  • They want Daisy Johnson and Jessica Jones to live happy…but ship them with Grant Ward and Kilgrave
  • They want Steve and Bucky to be the first canonically gay MCU ship…but trash the hell out of Sharon Carter because she…”gets in the way of their white male gay ship.” (but they won’t hate Natatsha no?)
  • They want Marvel women to be more appreciated and loved, but will tear down others in the process and diminish them to nothing.

This fandom is so FULL of hypocrisy it’s embarrassing, we are NOT progressive, we do NOTpractice what we preach to others, we are full of misogynistic trash.

We don’t really care for Marvel women, it’s all just a joke to make us look better.

Maybe we don’t deserve a Black Widow movie or a Captain Marvel movie or Jessica Jones or Agent Carter- because all I see is endless mistreatment of women in the universe.

EDIT : I’ve had few replies saying that this is generalizing the entire fandom, I am well aware that this should not be a reflection of everybody, but as of late it HAS become more apparent, the fandom has become SO divisive since AOU, characters that shouldn’t be trashed are, ship wars are getting out of fucking control, and this fandom is about ready to finally crash and burn. And shit needs to be called out because now it is just NOT okay. I’m also aware that part of this is on Marvel for not treating the female characters with proper respect, I will not deny that- but this post is calling out the FANS who are further contributing to this problem.

There’s a difference between having legitimate criticisms over a character and just trashing a character because she’s just a bitch and needs to die for no good reason. We should not pretend women like Pepper Potts, and Peggy Carter don’t exists (there have been fics that have been said to erase these women from characters lives, something that is also not okay). How are we supporting women by shipping them with men who abuse them and rape them?

Those who are doing know who they are, and they should just stop because they’re not needed.

*The above, when coupled with race,  recreates the same situations in other fandoms, only with nasty racial overtones, the purpose of which is to  erase PoC from the narrative, restore the equilibrium of White fans who are more comfortable centering White people in the story, and lowkey express racial antagonism towards characters of color. Fans erasing the existence of canon love interests, who happen to be PoC, (Michonne, Iris West) in other shows and movies, so they can be shipped with other White characters. We even get an instance of a White woman being shipped with a character who emotionally raped her within the narrative, just so they can avoid shipping her with her Black co-star. (Rey and Finn in Star Wars)

Teen Wolf

Let’s use Teen Wolf is an example of all the worst kinds of racial behavior from the fans, and even the showrunners. Scott McCall , the teen wolf in question, is played by the actor Tyler Posey, who is Latino. He is unquestionably the star of the show. If you Google Teen Wolf’s cast, however, the first image shown is that of his White co-star, Stiles played by Dylan O’Brien, who is  not the star. So Scott’s  White sidekick is privileged over the MoC, who is the star of the show, and who the show is actually about.

Whitewashing: Over the five years of the show, it has been slowly whitewashed. What started as a diverse cast  has slowly been replaced by more and more White actors in its lineup.

Erasure of gay characters: There was a canon gay character (Danny) in the first three years of the show, which the fans ignored. The same fans crying about not having gay relationships in shows, refused to ship him with any of the other characters on the show, even though he had a canon relationship with another character on the show,Ethan. Danny, played by Keahu Kahuanui, is a MoC.

Erasure of women: The two characters most likely to be shipped together would be Scott and Stiles (Sciles), who are best friends on the show, and who have been shown being loving and supportive of each other, but the paring that receives the most fanfiction is Stiles and Derek (Sterek), with fans refusing to ship Stiles with a Latino actor, in favor of shipping him with a character who actively hates him, and whom Stiles canonically fears. Fans erase the existence of Stiles’ canon love interest, Malia, and Derek’s canon love interest, a Black woman named Braeden.

There is a canon gay character in the narrative right now, Mason Hewitt. But he’s a Black man, who will be ignored by the same fans agitating about how there’s no gay representation in media.

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Vilifying PoC: These fans also craft elaborate reasons for why Black co-stars are worthless or evil, (Braeden, Finn, Sam Wilson, Nick Fury, Michonne)  and hence not good enough for their White faves. They will erase and ignore canon narrative to get these wild interpretations, or just make them up, as if the rest of us don’t have eyeballs, and can’t see that they are lying. And contrary to popular opinion, the main culprits of these types of erasure and vilification are White and female.

Here’s a  good summation of this from theprettyfeminist:

reblogged

phoenix-ace asked:

Hey the majority of people hating Iris were always white women, even before the show aired. I agree with your post and it’s very well written but I wanted to send this correction because white fandom pretty much blamed their b.s. on phantom white guys so that white women didn’t have to own up.

theprettyfeminist answered:

TOTALLY. It’s so weird being on Tumblr and hearing white women constantly talking about feminism and protecting female characters, but the minute that woman is black or non-white, the feminist solidarity completely breaks down. And yes, I’ve definitely noticed white fansgirls blaming most of the fandom racism on white men. White men are definitely a huge problem and they never skip an opportunity to hate on a black woman, but they aren’t the only ones. White women have been the main culprits when it comes to the hate that black female characters get. Especially considering most of the hate is generated from shipping wars. Straight white men usually don’t care about the shipper nonsense. It’s usually white women.

Many of them can’t identify with a woman of color, so their ability to self-insert themselves into the narrative is taken away. But you know what? Women of color have been rooting for and identifying with white female characters for decades. We’ve always defended them and showered them with affection. From Buffy to Xena to Katniss to Hermione Granger. We’re always supportive. But the minute black women finally start getting some decent representation, white women magically come up with an excuse to dislike them. And don’t even get me started on the white girls who argue “I’m not racist because I like this other black character.” Usually that “other black character” is a side character who fits into a comfortable stereotype that validates the viewer’s preexisting world view. Characters like Iris West, Lacey Porter and Tulip O’Hare challenge their world view. These girls are not stereotypes. They’re not side characters. They’re not sexless automatons. They’re fully realized women who have relationships, goals and flaws. And more importantly, the hot male lead views them as viable romantic partners.

A lot of white women can’t handle that.

*And then there’s the response to the response. Fans of color calling out people for being racist and sexist, towards their favorite characters, get called toxic by people who are unused to having their motives questioned. As more PoC enter fandom (and even form our own fandoms based around characters of color) we  are encountering racism that had remained unchecked.

Many of us can already see this happening in the Luke Cage and Black Panther fandoms, with White fans trying to re-write potential narratives to center themselves, their interests, and their White faves. They want to take these stories and make them comfortable for their sensibilities, rather than try to identify with the characters as they are. They are so used to PoC not being the center of their own narratives, that they do what Hollywood has always classically done, which is marginalize PoC in their own stories.

Black fans keep having to explain that it is Luke Cage’s story and Jessica Jones doesn’t need to be in this one. She has her own show. It is Black Panther’s story and none of their White faves have any place in it. It is not necessary for Black Widow, Bucky Barnes, or Steve Rogers to be in Black Panther’s movie. If Thor, Iron Man, and Captain America (outside of Civil War) are allowed to have their own stories told about them, without the aid of other members of the MCU, then Luke and T’Challa should be granted the same privilege.

reverseracismtheprettyfeminist

theprettyfeminist:

There’s a particularly disturbing narrative that has been rearing its ugly head in Tumblr fandom discourse over the past year or so. Whenever a fandom that largely consists of people of color who are passionate about defending their favorite character from racism, white fans go out of their way to paint that fandom as “toxic” or “unfriendly.” A few examples:

  • The Westallen fandom – has been defending Iris West and Candice Patton for the past 3 years from racist and sexist attacks from angry white fanboys who are angry that a black actress is portraying the iconic comic book character, and from entitled white fangirls who are secretly offended by the idea that the good-looking white male hero would consider a black woman the love of his life. Candice Patton has been called the n-word, has been accused of sleeping with the producers to get the role of Iris West, has had her face photoshopped onto pornographic images, accused of bullying her co-starts, called an affirmative action hire,  has had her skin whitewashed in multiple photos to make her look white and completely sidelined and ignored by a large portion of the fandom, despite being the female lead. But whenever Westallen fans try to call people out on their racist behavior, they’re labelled bullies and are seen as “toxic.”
  • The Bamon fandom – has spent years defending Bonnie Bennett from racist attacks from Delena shippers who saw Bonnie as a threat to their ship from episode one. Again, whenever Bamon shippers try to address the racism that their favorite character has received, Delena fans call them angry and argue that their ship is invalid because the only people who ship it are angry black women – an argument that has been used against the Westallen fandom as well.
  • The Richonne fandom – constantly defending Michonne from racist white men who see Michonne as unattractive and white faux feminists who argue that Michonne is a “strong black woman” who should remain single. But again, whenever Richonne shippers try to fight back against these racist arguments, people label them as angry and rude.

This is literally a classic case of “being labelled a racist is worse than actual racism.” These people are more enraged by the concerns of fans of color than the actual racist treatment they’ve received. It’s like watching a Fox News anchor try to argue that Black Lives Matter is just as bad as the KKK. Because to them, any time a person of color speaks out against racism, it’s seen as hate speech. It’s sad to see this kind of argument pop up on Tumblr. Especially when the people here love to pride themselves on being progressive.

I wrote this after seeing a post about how “toxic” a particular fandom of color was, but all the examples they used were of fans tweeting the actors about their concerns about how people of color were being treated on the show. But in the eyes of the OP, those tweets were somehow on the same level as being called the n-word and having a black actor’s face photoshopped in the middle of a lynching.

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Then there’s the sloppy thinking and pseudo-intellectualism of people trying to justify all of the above:

stitchmediamix stitchomancy

stitchomancy:

It makes me seethe how fandom likes to wrap their dislike and distrust of people of color up in pseudo-intellectual dribble that’s supposed to read like a cohesive and academic film analysis.

Hello!

Your use of coded academic language to basically state that you don’t trust men of color near your precious white superhero booties is played out and we can see you for what you are. If you can apply reason and logic to things like “parent assassination would keep superhero from joining the group that killed them” but not “black man would not join neo-nazi hate group because of his race but also the fact that the character isn’t like that”, there’s something wrong with you.

Full stop.

Just like there’s something wrong with everyone that attacks the actions and motivations of men of color in the MCU (because so far, there aren’t any WOC as far as I can tell in the MCU Proper) when they wouldn’t (and don’t) dare to do the same with the white heroes, villains, and sidecharacters in the series.

There’s something wrong with people who write fics, headcanons, and meta revolving around how shitty Rhodey is to Tony. How shitty a friend he is. How abusive he is. How he is less important to the narrative that Tony’s got than Bruce Banner of all the freaking people.

There’s something wrong with how there are only mere handfuls of fic that cast MCU Nick Fury as someone that isn’t a manipulative, scary, stereotype of a villain.

And there’s definitely something wrong with people trying to pretend that they are ~serious critics~ as they try to theorize that Sam Wilson could be a secret Hydra agent based on the fact that the directors/writers of Cap 2 didn’t want to have this movie feel like a multi-series comic crossover by not having Tony appear to snark where no Stark-snark was needed.

Go read a book damnit.

Maybe an actual comic book about these said MOC in comics or a book about race in film not written by a white person because this whole thing about “coded/hidden racist language presented as unbiased headcanon/exploration esp when slash ships are involved” is bullshit and people will come for you to make sure you know how wrong you are.

*And finally, on fans who are against Social Justice:

*Here’s Chescaleigh weighing on the topic of anti- SJWs, when asked, by a white fan, that such people should be shown a certain level of empathy, and that both sides need to calm down and listen to each other. The kind of people Chescaleigh is talking about, are not the kind of people who can ever be reached by showing compassion, or  dispassionately explaining things to them, nor are they the kind of people I’m trying to reach. Anti-SJWs are people who make no secret of the fact that they are against “Social Justice”, and seem quite loud and proud of it.

The people who can be reached are the ones who are  asking questions because they’re at least capable of hearing an answer. Anti-SJWs can’t hear anything outside of the angry buzzing in their heads. They don’t want answers. The want to make assertions. Basically the kind of fans who are sending vicious emails (to Zendaya), splicing black celebrities  into pornographic images (Candice Patton/Leslie Jones) and then sending it to them, making rape threats, and angry videos about Anita Sarkeesian, are not the kind of people I’m talking to. 

For the record, I don’t actually consider such people to be fans. A fan is someone who loves something and wants to share that love with other people. They want to increase the fandom for the things they love. I know such people like certain books, movies and television shows, but when they do things  like harass the stars of the show, and other fans , I have no idea how to classify such people, except to say they’re not fans.

Her response is:

Source:

Lkeke’s Fall Lineup (TV)

Television

I will review the first episode of season three of The Strain this weekend. Hopefully it won’t turn into a hate-review and this season will be better put together than last season. There’s still going to be plenty of snarking on it though. I have never in my life hate-watched a show, but I really believed in the show, because its such a great idea and  the books were pretty good, and I kept hoping the show would get better.

It didn’t.

Last season had some truly awful plot points, characters, and whole episodes. I always go into these endeavors with a sense of optimism, though. I’ll try to do the same for this show as I do for all the other shows.

I will be reviewing as many of the new pilots as I can, and based on my reactions to those, I will add or subtract them to the list of weekly reviews, but my time is limited. I may not review one of your favorites. There are some shows that I’m definitely waiting to review, on a regular basis as soon as they return, like Into the Badlands (TBD/2017), and Shadowhunters, which looks silly and fun,  and The Magicians. I don’t think these will be released until next year. In the meantime, here is the list of shows I will definitely give weekly reviews for.

American Horror Story(9/14) – I have no idea what this season is about. Nobody does. The creators are keeping it a secret which is very frustrating to a lot of people who are used to knowing the entire plots of movies before they’re even released. I don’t mind the surprise, though. I do know that whatever the creators give us will be batshit crazy, so I’m expectant.

Luke Cage (9/30) – I’m so looking forward to this. it looks like its going to be fun. I will be watching for how the characters are treated, especially, the WoC, as Marvel doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to such things.I wonder if Iron Fist will get a mention, and if we’ll get to hear Luke’s catchphrase from the comic books.

Supernatural (10/13) – The show that never ends will be in its twelfth season.  Like I told you guys, I’m gonna be here to the end of the line.  I always go into every  new season with a positive outlook, and I’ll decide how I feel about a season when its over. As usual, my reviews will first be posted on https://samanddeanbrothersinarms.wordpress.com/      and then reblogged here.

The Walking Dead (10/23) – I’ve mostly avoided talking about this show all Summer. I feel really good about this season despite the presence of Negan and the absence of his victim, which I know is really gonna hurt, no matter who it is. I refuse to speculate as to who it will be.

I may or may not review From Dusk Til Dawn (9/6) and Aftermath (9/27) on the Syfy channel. Also coming up is the second season of Ash vs. The Evil Dead (10/2), which I may not review because I didn’t like how the one black woman in the entire show got treated in the narrative. I’m still pissed off about the writers fridging her  (in the   most horrible manner they could think of), just to provide some minor manpain for Ash.

There’s some intriguing new shows coming to the Syfy network , that I have no idea what to think about them, like Falling Water (10/13), and Channel Zero (9/27), which looks pretty scary and weird. I’ll review the pilots if I remember to program them into the DVR.

I still have not watched The Get Down on Netflix, and had no plans to watch Mr. Robot or Gomorrah.

 The pilots I’ll be reviewing are:

Atlanta (9/6) – this looks like a lot of fun. It has an all Black cast, and I’m casting around for a new comedy that’s as good as Black-ish and Brooklyn 99, and I like Donald Glover.

Pitch (/22) – I don’t normally watch anything that’s sports related outside of The Olympics. I definitely do not watch anything involving Baseball, but this looks so good, I’m getting kinda excited for it. I may never watch beyond the pilot but I hope it does well. Its about the first female pitcher in major league baseball, and she’s a black woman, so I hope the writers get the subjects of racism, misogyny, and feminism right.

Versailles (10/1) – I love historical shows about 17th and 18th century France. (Mostly because I love the clothes.) I’m going to check it out because its different from anything else I’m watching and will tide me over til Vikings (TBD/2017) is back on. I always have to watch at least one or two shows that totally don’t fit the aesthetic of anything else I’m watching. I like a little variety, sometimes.

Still Star Crossed (TBD/2017) – This is another historically themed show based on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, and starring a large Black cast. It looks gorgeous, and I can’t wait to see it.  I just came off  of Coriolanus,  and Macbeth, on Amazon. I’m no expert, and generally not into romances, though. I don’t study the hell out of his plays, or recite them line by line, but I know enough to get by.

Aftermath (9/27) – SyFy needs to hype its new shows more. I barely paid attention to this one but from the trailer it looks interesting. I don’t know if I’m going to tune in on a week by week basis, because The Walking Dead is enough apocalyptic TV for anyone. But this looks like one of those End of the World Christian millenialist type deals and I’m not gonna get all het up about this if I’m also watching the Exorcist.

Channel Zero (9/27) – There’s a horrible looking tooth-monster in the trailer. That’s all I got because Syfy is trying real hard to be mysterious about the creepy shows its going to be airing this Fall. I’m okay with that approach. It just means I’ll tune in to find out what the hell was going on in the trailer.

Midnight Texas (TBD/2017) – From the writer of True Blood (Charlaine Harris) and it may even star a few characters who made cameos on there. This is on NBC, which brought us Hannibal, but I’m not getting my hopes up ,that the show is going to be too wild. I think Hannibal was maybe a fluke or something.

Westworld (10/2) – I generally try to avoid HBO’s shows as they tend to rely a great deal on female violation to titillate male viewers. I’ve already read a bad review of the pilot for Westworld. On the other hand, I enjoyed Deadwood,  Carnivale, and Oz, and  I have memories of the original movie. I want to know how it stacks up.

Mascots (Netflix 10/13) – This is a comedy from the creator of Best in Show,  which is one of my favorite mockumentary films. Its about the world of sports team mascots. I expect it to be as lowkey hilarious as the movies Christopher Guest writes.

Falling Water (10/13) – I got nothing! Looks intriguing. I know nothing about it. I’m not especially impressed by the trailer and that doesn’t bode well.

Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency (10/22) – I remember reading this book in High School. The trailer looks suitably zany and Frodo is starring in it, and I like him, so I’m going to check it out and see what’s up. There’s also a BBC version of this series, which I have not seen but the trailer looks as zany as this one.

The Crown (Netflix/TBD) – Another historical series on Netflix. I’m not especially impressed with this but I may watch it.

The Exorcist (9/23) – There’s no way this is as good as the original movie but I have to watch it to find out if that’s true.

There’s a bunch of returning shows that I will probably watch but only give a barebones review for. I prefer to leave such reviews up to those who’ve been more devoted to those shows than I have been. Nevertheless I am giddy about a few of the returning shows, like:

Teen Wolf (Season 6 -11/16)

Brooklyn 99 (Season 4 – 9/20)

Agents of Shield (9/20) 

Okay, lets try this again. I haven’t been watching this show because I dislike Chloe Bennett. She’s just highly annoying to me, for some reason, although I like everybody else, with my fave being Melinda, naturally. This season is helped by having one of my all-time favorite characters joining the show Ghostrider. I read these comics as a teen, and even watched those shitty movies, starring a totally miscast Nicholas Cage, for the special effects.

Legends of Tomorrow (Season 2 – 10/13)

I kinda like this show. I cant stand to watch most of the other superhero shows on the Cw but I get through this one just fine. I’m not devoted, but I am intrigued, mostly by Firestorm, whose comic I used to read the hell out of.

From Dusk Til Dawn (Season 3)

I missed some parts of season tweo but i watched enough to know what’s going on and to look forward to season three. This show still looks great but some of the acting is a little cheesy, and the plot is all over the place, by the middle of the season. Nevertheless, where else am I going to see lots of bad-ass, Mexican vampires.

Yeah…NO!

I have no intention of looking at these shows although some of you guys might get a kick out of them.

Conviction starring Hayley Atwell –  She’s a great actress but she’s made  the horrible choice of picking a bland lawyer show to star in next and I don’t watch those.

Lethal Weapon – I refuse to relive mediocre eighties action movies, in the form of mediocre television shows.

Sleepy Hollow – C’mon! You know why!

The DC superhero shows on the CW, I don’t dislike these shows exactly, but I’m never gonna be a Supergirl fan, I don’t care who is on that show. Arrow simply wasn’t compelling enough for me and The Flash felt like it was aimed at kids, although I really like the characters.

I like the look of Gotham and I hope its improved since the second season, when I last watched it, but it wasn’t compelling enough for me, even with the addition of Jada Smith.The show looks gorgeous but its stil la show with cops in it and I’m avoiding those right now.

Lucifer has some interesting looking characters, but I’m waiting for an especially compelling trailer or something becasue so far its just not capturing me, even though it stars DB Woodside, on of my fave Black actors.

Training Day seems like a grittier version of Lethal Weapon. I’m not watching any cop shows, so this one is out.

Van Helsing – I watched the pilot. I was thoroughly unimpressed. No.

Wolf Creek – I’m not sure how I feel about this one yet. Its one of those serial killer movies, so maybe no.

Next up Movies and Books to look forward to.

Tumblr Discussions: On Black Characters

 

I have been wondering how White fans are going to approach those narratives where White people aren’t prominently displayed. Shows like Luke Cage and movies like Black Panther are not going to be a  showcase for  White people or their narratives. Will  they just ignore them as they do so much of the Indie stuff that prominently features Black people? Insert their White favorites, as is usually done?

I single out Black people because Fandom doesn’t seem to have as many problems writing and shipping Asian characters. They don’t do it very often, and aren’t much good at it, but it does get done. As shown in some of the stats below, they will completely ignore Black characters, or characters who cannot pass for white, even when those are primary characters in the narrative. The Force Awakens is a perfect example, where fandom would seem to prefer to ship Rey with the villain who tortured her in the story, than ship her with Finn, one of the narrative’s heroes.

I was also shocked at how far down Korasami was on the list. I was under the apprehension that fans were clamoring for strong female representation, and I thought Legend of Korra would be at the top of the list for that, but I was wrong, but now, I’m not wondering too hard, why.

Anyway these are the discussions being had on Twitter and Tumblr about Black fandom expectations about White fans of the *MCU and fandom in general. *(Marvel Cinematic Universe)

*If this is how fans are treating the Black men in the MCU, I don’t wanna see how they’re going to treat Misty knight when she appears. Will they just ignore her? Ship her with their White fave? Write her as every worst stereotype of Black women? We’ll see.

As for Nick Fury’s narrative in fandom, I’ve noticed that  when fans can’t find a role for a Black character, within canon, that is useful to the White characters, they will often write that character as a villain. This is the reason you see Nick Fury written as either, a screaming caricature of Samuel L Jackson, or as a bad guy, even when he commits the same actions as their woobified favorites like Tony Stark.

karnythia angelsscream

ororosmunroe:

ororosmunroe:

Is it so impossible for white fandom to imagine a place where they are not in a place of prominence? Where white people are either not there or barely existent. Where they are not the center of attention?

Wakanda is the only place where were white imperialism has not touched. Where white colonialism isn’t a thing. If you can only get into the idea of Wakanda if you insert a yt fav to “normalize” it….that says a lot about you tbh.

This is the point of the post where you self reflect and see why shoe horning a white face into a rare, completely black space is deeply f-ed up.

Also, T’challa is not a bank for your yt waves to come to when they are low on cash and or accessories/gadgets. He is not here for you yt favs in any capacity. Stop trying to shoehorn him into an assistant/benefactor/serval role. It’s really uncomfortable, gross and racist.  I thought this was common sense but here we are.

Source: ororosmunroe
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First there was #Where’s Rhodey?

Then came Heimdall the Living Telescope and Nothing Else.

Then came Sam Wilson The Stucky Cheerleader and His Home For Wayward Whites.

Now there’s Sugar Daddy T’Challa.

If I see Gangleader/P-mp Daddy Luke Cage or Sassy Black Friend Misty Knight, I’m going off on MCU fandom and you all will owe me $5000 in reparations for every fic or headcanon y’all type up.

You forgot the canon backed #FuryLies.

But the point absolutely still stands.

Source:
nerdsagainstfandomracism diversehighfantasy

russianspacegeckosexparty asked:

I sure can’t WAIT to read all these white liberal think pieces by white MCU stans on why Wakanda is oppressive, misogynistic, backwards and harmful. They’ll talk endlessly about how the whole royal family thing is corrupt and be hyper critical about it, yet they’ve said nothing about Asgard and it’s royal family. They’ll say Wakanda is selfish for “hoarding” technology + not sharing it with the outside (read: White) world. Boy, this is gonna be a wild, migraine inducing ride

stitchmediamix answered:

*There’s gonna be white people in fandom who justify reducing T’Challa to a Sugar Daddy and Vibranium dispenser for Steve and other Whites by saying “Well in the comics, he designed the Quinjet for the Avengers so it’s totally plausible…”. The way they twist and exploit T’Challa’s noble, kind nature with stuff like “He’s a good, selfless guy so he’d do this!” to shout down rightfully angry black fans is gross and tiring.

I’ve been preparing for this – all of this – from the second that I first had confirmation that the Black Panther film was in the works. One thing I don’t think most non-black members get is that from the moment that a Black character gets introduced, Black fans start worrying. They see “T’challa takes care of the Avengers” as a positive because it’s what they want from him, not bothering to look at the history of how Black characters and people have regularly been forced into playing “nanny” positions for white characters and people.

So from the moment that I was first told “Hey, just so you know, Black Panther willbe a thing,” I knew that things would get bad. They would get creepy. Fans would pant after T’challa’s BBC the way they did with every single Black character ni fandom as if Black men are only

Because we’d already been through fandom looking at Sam and seeing a psychologist, a secret HYDRA agent, or someone who exists only to serve and protect the white Avengers because they’re freaking TODDLERS.

We’d already been through #NickFuryLies being a major point of characterization in the fandom despite the fact that Nick is not even remotely required to spill his entire plans to the kind of untrustworthy Avengers who had proven over multiple times that they were incapable of being responsible.

We’d already seen how fandom literally erased Rhodey from Tony’s life becauseSteve (who Tony doesn’t even like half the time) is somehow a better friend than the man that has been with Tony for most of his life and who knows him better than he knows himself.

So really, Black fans knew that shit was going to get ugly when T’challa was officially introduced to the MCU.

And okay, I think a really huge sign that these T’challa “fans” who are slotting him into the Sugar Daddy role for the avengers really don’t understand anything about his characterization in any film/show/comic he’s been in.

Like you said, they’re all “he’s so kind and selfless so of course he’d drop a couple billion bucks on making sure the Avengers have the best toys” when part of what makes T’challa such a great character is how flawed he can be.

He can be kind and is a king, but he’s also human. Which means making mistakes and making decisions that are more selfish than selfless. But fandom is too busy salivating over the idea that the richest man in the MCU can now be at the beck and call of their white favorites to care that his actual personality isn’t a damn think like the Sugar Daddy they’re dead set on turning him into.

And let’s be very real here: on no level in any universe has T’challa ever flung money at the Avengers because it was “the right thing to do” and he’s certainly not going to start here. Yeah, T’challa has Bucky literally chilling in Wakanda, but that doesn’t mean that suddenly, the country he and his ancestors have kept safe and secluded for centuries to protect them from colonialization and whiteness is suddenly going to lay out the welcome mat for the Avengers and their assorted family members.

Fandom doesn’t get that what they’re doing is wrong with these AUs and the passive aggressive posts and the super shitty characterization they slap on T’challa because they don’t want to get it. They want to write their super racist, colonialism-worshiping AUs without people calling them on their shit. They want to reduce Black men to what’s between their legs without being criticized.

You know… because it’s just fandom.

That’s where you get the willful “oh Black Panther is for everyone, stop segregating” bs you see every time a Black fan brings up that Black Panther and T’challa have a special and specific place in Black nerd history and hearts.

I don’t think non-Black fans realize how important T’challa and Wakanda are to Black comic fans across the diaspora and how Black fans are sick to death of fandom ’s fucked up characterizations for Black characters, but they’re going to learn.

Source: stitchmediamix Antiblackness marvel cinematic universe Marvel Comicsfandom racism Black Panther racism in fandom Meta Long Post Reblog Mod P.

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One of the really sad things pointed out to me on Tumblr was that even when Hollywood and television is being diverse, and giving fandom an opportunity to view the narrative through the eyes of a PoC, fandom chooses not to do so, often erasing the PoC from the narrative, and focusing on the ANY White characters who happen to be available, even if those characters are the most minor villains like Hux (from SWTFA).

I still believe the majority of fanfiction writers are young White women, a certain contingent of whom, are absolutely insistent that there be a White gay romance in everything, even to the point of female erasure ,which is interesting , considering that this is the exact same fandom that insists it wants strong female characters. Even members of the gay community have remarked about the fetishization of gay men in these narratives. 

This is also disturbing becasue it points to a complete lack of imagination as fans follow a formula for writing these stories. Its a fill-in-the-blanks form of writing, that I personally dislike. They’ve been following this same formula since the the invention of Kirk/Spock, and seem loathe to movie themselves from it. Pretty much all it takes for any show or movie to get shipped is to have two White men in it, but making them gay isn’t as progressive as fanfiction writers would have everyone believe, since they seem to want to do so to the exclusion of all the other characters in the narrative. And then there’s this:

http://www.vox.com/2016/8/7/11950648/fandom-shipping-social-justice-ideological-warfare

Its gotten to the point where fans are demanding from the show’s creators, that their particular White male ships be made canon, even in shows that have canon gay characters in them, like Teen Wolf. In the case of Teen Wolf, the gay character is Black, so I find it interesting that fans don’t want to see him in a relationship, but they will demand that two White males, Derek (now off the show) and Stiles (who was under age), be shipped by the creators, (which erases Scott, who is played by a Latino actor, from the narrative entirely.) 

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diversehighfantasy terresdebrume

Fandom’s Race Problem and the AO3 Ship Stats

terresdebrume:

diversehighfantasy:

generalsmol:

diversehighfantasy:

centrumlumina:

After four years working on my AO3 Ship Stats project, and having previously addressed issues of misogyny in this data set, I feel like it’s past time to talk about the elephant in the room:

Fandom is kinda racist.

(Hold on folks, this is going to be a long one… If you don’t want to read all the details, skip to ‘Conclusions’ at the end.)

Keep reading

Read More Now! Read More Now! Read More Now! Read More Now!

The extra breakdowns (as opposed to just saying x% are POC) are appreciated. I saw the POC stats rise last time, and it very much showed favor to POC who are perceived as white (and are very rarely even part black). At that point, further breakdown along racial lines is necessary. I saw people patting themselves on the back for meeting an acceptable percentage of POC rep, but no one talked about how only 1.5% (iirc) was Black.

And this year’s stats show 1.5% Black as well (0.5% if you exclude biracial Black people). FinnPoe may have made the top 20 (ranked 94 overall), but that is a terrible, embarassing percentage that shows that antiblack sentiment is strong in fandom, and that, at least as far as shipping trends go, it’s not getting better.

While I think this is an incredible breakdown and brings up some valid problems, I think it is also important to point out that fandoms aren’t actually the only factor in these statistics. The results you are seeing are not only a result of fandom choice, but also of the media’s under-representation of POC, especially POC who are very visibly so. There are less characters, which means there are less possibilities for shipping.

I’m not denying that there’s racism, but keep in mind that you’re looking at a system, not an isolated group.

And yet even when a fandom represents a movie or show with people of color at the forefront, white characters are preferred by fandom for shipping, again and again. The Force Awakens is a textbook example of this, as are Teen Wolf and The Walking Dead. Quite a few of the all-white top ships sideline people of color, and those people of color are overwhelmingly Black (these include Guinevere in Merlin, Michonne in TWD, Jimmy in Supergirl, Uhura in the new Star Trek Movies, and Iris West, who is sidelined in the ‘16 Top 100 by a character perceived as white by fandom played by an actor of African descent).

As long as fandom minimizes the characters of color it’s given, fandom will have to face their contribution to the problem, and not deflect blame on the industry. At this point, let’s be real, media is trying a lot harder to be inclusive than fandom is.

Also (as a white fan) I feel like fandom is capable of putting a lot of effort into creating a character when there isn’t one already made (see the rise of Kylo/Hux or Phil Freaking Coulson who got such a fandom he got un-killed and then got his own TV show).

I mean like. Yeah, there’s a lot of reason why less representation (and bad representation) influence stats but also fandom (and specifically white fandom, I feel) needs to face up to the differences between the ways they treat white (often male, but not only) characters and the way they treat characters of color :/

Definitely true. Fandom will fixate on minor white characters and create rich backstories for them, but when it comes to minor characters of color, especially if they’re Black, the interest isn’t there. (Minor non-Black CoC such as Poe Dameron occasionally do get this treatment.)

It doesn’t matter how much potential the minor character has. Some of my favorite characters are minor, underutilized Black characters like Milo in Being Human (UK) – an ideal “blank slate” character whose mysterious backstory was only hinted at in canon. It’s a small fandom to start with, but the number of fans who recognize Milo’s potential is minuscule.

Basically, any white male character – major, minor, bad or good – is seen as having value on some level. Black characters, not so much.

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finnnorgana irisvwest

localgaysian:

i love how white people assume that people of color have to overanalyze media to find its racism. “just enjoy it!” they say, like we’re not going to notice a portrayal of our “inferiority” being rubbed in our face. “i miss the good old days when social justice warriors didn’t ruin every movie/tv show ever,” like pointing out racism ruins the media and not the racism itself. it’s the epitome of white privilege.

Source: localgaysianmmmhmm
I’ll have more on this subject later. Its depressing and disheartening to know this.

Our Semi- Regular State of the Onion Address – TV

Its time for my however many  annual list of “shows that I’ll start out enthusiastically watching, but then falling asleep on in a month, becuz I’m old and can’t stay awake”.

*Luke Cage:

This will be released on Netflix on Sept. 30th.: This shit is lit! I am here for this binging the whole weekend. It better be good! I’ve been a fan of Power Man since I was a kid, so, bear with me, as this is making me just a little bit giddy.

I probably won’t fall asleep on this one unless Jessica Jones shows up.

 

 

Iron Fist: will be released on Netflix sometime in 2017.

*I’m a lot less enthused about this teaser trailer for Iron Fist. Power Man and Iron Fist was one of my favorite superhero comics back in the day, so my problem isn’t that Danny Rand is White (although I find that disappointing) but that the actor playing him is so unremarkable. Let’s just say, he’s not as impressive, (or handsome), as Danny Rand should be.I’m going to give it a try but I’m not getting enthused about it until I see more footage. Its a good sign that Claire Temple will be in the show too, hopefully with more interesting things to do, and better treatment, than in Daredevil.

 

Teen Wolf  Season Six: November

*I understand some of the fans are very, very upset about the prominence of Stiles, in a show that’s supposed to be about the Teen Wolf of the title, (Scott), and the return of a previous villain who killed Scott in an earlier season, (Theo), but I don’t care. I’m watching this anyway, (despite the less than stellar season five), because this is the last season of this show, and it features The Wild Hunt, and I’m interested in seeing how this show will mutilate that particular folklore.

One of the cons of watching this Teen Wolf is that  its a classic “bait and switch” show, where they keep swapping out the characters of color every season, in order to add more white characters. The formula seems to be to kill off a PoC, then add two white people. (The Walking Dead has this formula down.) Now normally, I would object, but I actually like Liam and Lydia. I also do not object to having Peter as a villain again, although I find Theo deeply boring.

Some fans are deeply upset about the departure of Arden Cho, but I never much cared for Arden Cho’s Kira, mostly because her storyline became more and more nonsensical in season five, and I got bored with it. I also was not a huge fan of her cheesy, overdone, fighting style, although I realize this is a show actually aimed at teens, so yeah.

On the other hand, I’m glad that Derek has left the show for greener pastures. He’s a grown ass man. He needs to stop hanging around these messed up kids and get a life. And with his departure, the Sterek fans can come down from their hysteria, and just chill the fuck out.

 

 

The Strain Season Three : August 30th

*Ooh, look! Its the show I love to hate. Yeah, I’m going to watch this, and in all fairness, I am going to go into the third  season of this show hoping its gotten rid of its dead weight and improved from the horrible plot developments of the last , although if the trailer is any indication, they haven’t. Nevertheless,  I’m going to jump into this third season hoping that it won’t be worse than the last one.

What I’m hoping for are bigger, better, and more, action scenes, better special effects, a plot that is more coherent, has clear goals, and gets to those goals a hell of a lot faster than in season two; less annoying, conistently written characters, who have clear goals, and a much faster pace overall, with less distracting, sideplot  bullshit.

If not, there’s always the Hate-Watch!

 

Pitch: Sept. 22nd –  Fox

*I’m totally not a fan of sports shows, and I hate Network television (and Fox in particular), but this looks really good. I’m definitely going to be watching the first episode. If it gets too soapy, I can always stop and pretend I didn’t see it, kinda like how I’m doing with the show Dark Matter, right now, (pretending like I ain’t watching it).

 

Supernatural: Oct. 13th – Mini-rant

Ultimately it doesn’t matter one bit  what this season is about. I came into this show the first episode, and I’ve been faithful ever since. This show has never completely disappointed me to the point of refusing to watch it. But then I’m a grown ass woman who doesn’t freak out when shows don’t do what I want. (When I don’t like a show, I stop watching them, or mock them.)

This show introduced me to the concept of fandom, I met some great people through this fandom, and that  inspired me to start this blog, so I’m in this til the end of the series, which is why I stay way the Hell away from any of the fandom that’s too busy shitting on it, to enjoy the fact that its still on the air.

Not to get off on a rant here but this show has been on TV for six or seven years past its initial deadline, and some people are simply loathe to appreciate that shit, considering the length of airtime most shows get. I still care about these characters, and I absolutely refuse to get bogged down in which actor gets more facetime, who is shipping who, or whether or not the show is scary. Shows that last any length of time will evolve and grow, sometime in ways fans don’t foresee or agree with. That doesn’t make it a bad show, it just means either you, or the show, have outgrown one another and you need to move on, instead of going into everyone’s message boxes or personal blogs and talking about how much it sucks. Who does that serve, exactly?

Brooklyn 99: Sept. 20th

Ahhhhhhhh!

American Gods: Jan. 2017 on Starz

I haven’t read this book yet, but I’m familiar witrh some of the characters from other books that Gaiman has written in this same universe. I do plan to read the book before the series airs. This is being produced by Bryan Fuller, who last show, Hannibal, was the shit. So I’m looking forward to this.

The Walking Dead: Oct. 23rd on AMC

That I will be back for this new season is without question.

 

Ash Vs. The Evil Dead Season Two :October on Starz

They had me with Motorhead’s Ace of Spades in the trailer! There’s another black woman in this one, hopefully they won’ t piss me off by killing  her off this season, the way they  pissed me off last season. It looks a zany as ever though.

 

American Horror Story: Sept. 14th

I got nothing on this show, yet. I may even be wrong about the date because that doesn’t sound quite right.

The Flash: Oct. 4th

I’m going to try to get into this show some more. I like Kid Flash and some of the villains featured last season. My problem is that I think most of the acting is pretty bad, and  the show seems aimed at a much younger audience than me.

Legends of Tomorrow: Oct. 13th

I’m still following this show. I just like some of the heroes that are featured and there’s been some interesting character growth for some of them since the beginning of the first season.

Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency: Oct. 22nd – Douglas Adams 

I hope this is good.

 

Meh: 

These are shows I’m feeling rather lukewarm about. I don’t hate them, and I will probably watch the first episode, but I also anticipate not liking them enough to keep watching them, so they better wow me.

The Exorcist: Sept 23rd

*I love the original movie,but as a general rule, I do not watch devil possession films or shows, considering them to be little more than knockoffs of the original movie. Why watch knockoffs, when I can watch the original film, which still manages to be scary. Nevertheless, I will give it a try and tell you what-what. I know some of you are great fans of devil possession themes, so I’ll try to be as gentle as I can.

This show better be impressive because the trailer isn’t wowing me at all, although its really nice to see Geena Davis again, and the priest is really cute. Whether or not I like it will depend on what its trying to accomplish. Is it a philosophical discussion , or is it trying to scare me?

 

Lucifer – Sept 19th

Actively hated the first season, so I’m not feeling especially enthusiastic about the second, but I may watch it.

Agents of Shield – Sept 20th

I fear this show has gotten too convoluted to understand. I’m still not a fan of the actress who plays Skye, but I like The Inhumans storyline – is that over with now? I’d been following this show through social media, and the trailers looked exciting,  but everytime I looked at an episode, people I didn’t know were just standing around, talking in a non-urgent manner. So maybe it’s just me, then.

Gotham Sept. –  19th

This show is almost but not quite a hell no. I feel  some way about it but I don’t know what that feeling is. I’ll find out in the Fall, I guess.

Supergirl:

I really want to like this show. <Sigh!>

 

Does Hell Go with No!:

MacGyver: 

Nope with a side of fuck that shit! Scuze my French, but good gob!, does this look frickin’ awful.I hop

Lethal Weapon:

This is one of those nopes, where you make that “taking a shit” face, while you say it, because…

I liked the movie tho’.

Frequency:

<Gasp!> No!

Arrow:

Naw! I’m good.

Black Nonbelievers, Inc.

Walking by Sight, NOT Faith!

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