Category Archives: television

5 Reasons Why Galavant is my New Guilty-Pleasure Comedy

I love watching comedies when I’m in school. It allows me to check out mentally on those days when I feel like I can’t seem to turn off my brain. Although I am looking for thoughtless fluff, I still want to avoid straight-up terrible writing and plots. This makes my comedy search a little more difficult. Luckily, John and I came across Galavant, which provides what I am looking for in at least the following five ways.

1.It’s funny, without being offensive

I hate Seth MacFarlane. Just don’t like the guy at all. Yet his form of humour (i.e. let’s see how far we can push the line without getting in too much trouble) seems to dominate contemporary comedy. There certainly have been times when I have laughed at Family Guy or American Dad, but more often than not they leave me with a sour taste in my mouth.

One of the only gif’s from Family Guy that made me laugh instead of cringe.

I still want something that will surprise me into laughing out loud, but I don’t want to only ever be surprised because the punch line was too offensive for me to be expecting it.

Unlike McFarlane’s shows, Galavant is all about pushing around puns and being- well, for lack of a better word- silly. After being bombarded with jokes that make fun of real life trauma, it’s nice to be able to laugh at something because it’s just silly.

“Maybe they’re up your butt”

Continue reading

2 Broke Girls, S4E9 “And The Past and The Furious”: A TV Review

s2e9

It sure is weird that CBS released their first 2 Broke Girls episode of the season on January 5th, and then skipped a week. Not a great way to build up momentum. Not that I’m complaining, honestly, because a) it’s always nice whenever I get to take a break and b) that last installment was super racist and I was not having it.

Thankfully the worst part about this episode is that I can’t find any gifs of Jenko freaking out about lambos from 22 Jump Street. Man, that’s a franchise I am always going to be behind. Anyway, to the episode-

This is one of those weeks where not a whole lot happens in these twenty-some minutes of TV. In fact, I think I can summarize it in half a dozen bullet points:

  • It’s Caroline’s birthday! She is optimistic.
  • Her dad, Martin Channing, bought her a Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4 Roadster! But they have to return it in the morning.
  • Caroline is now pessimistic.
  • Max roofies her and drives her to the Hamptons, which she waxed poetic about.
  • They squabble at the beach, but make up and return to the diner!
  • Oleg means to propose to Sophie and then does so.

That being said, this was not a bad episode overall. Continue reading

2 Broke Girls, S4E8 “And the Fun Factory”: A TV Review

funfactory

This is not a great start.

Look, this is my first post of 2015, but even that can’t offset the fact that before this I saw the 13th, and last, episode of Selfie, a show that never even got a proper season finale while this show staggers forward into the second half of its fourth season. That already had me primed to be somewhat less than gracious, but then we have the following happen in the first five minutes:

  • the diminutive Asian diner owner referred to as “Han Jobs”
  • the implication that he knows more about gadgets than Caroline because “formerly rich doesn’t beat currently Asian”
  • his immediate defence of the Australian woman he’s flirting with online, saying “she’s part Aboriginal but has a great personality!”

So allow me to say, right now, eff absolutely everything about this show. This is some straight-up racist garbage and it physically pained me to have to listen to these lines. They made me want to visit the writers’ room with a sock full of so many quarters people would think I was about to spend two weeks at the arcade. Continue reading

2014’s Cultural Battleground – Evan’s Account

EDITOR’S NOTE: We end this year by each taking a look back and picking our five best posts, explaining both their importance to us and to the world we currently live in.  Clicking the banner images will link you to each post, so as 2014 comes to a close join us in remembering how far we’ve come, but also how far we still have to go.

kissingbannerI chose to sort these posts in the order they were published, so we start things off on a very personal note, one which set the tone for many of the others I wrote in 2014. Our individual choices regarding how we approach physical intimacy can and should differ, and here I thought “out loud” with my fingertips, recording how exactly I got to where I am today.

My stance had its pros and cons weighed, both those other people may see and the ones that I do personally. In exploring them I covered how many other Christians view the act of kissing, used a number of really fantastic gifs, and even embedded a poll [the most responded to on the site] which asked readers which direction I should take from this point onward. No, it had no real effect my personal life choices. Yes, it actually is a dead even 50-50 split at the time of this writing.

2musicvideosbannerIf you had told me at any point during the year that I would be writing not one, but two analyses of music videos in the very same month I would not have believed you [here’s the other one]. I also would not have been able to guess that the one discussing both Ingrid Michaelson and Jennifer Lopez’s songs would be my personal favourite of 2014.

Sexism continues to be a problem, in popular music especially, and both artists sought to upend how men and women are normally portrayed in the medium of music videos. Unfortunately the results appear to merely perpetuate the status quo [in Lopez’s case] or miss the point entirely by resorting to cross dressing [in Michaelson’s] and likewise continuing to depict the female subjects much more sexily than the male ones. If it’s the thought that counts then consider both successful, but if we want to move anywhere beyond that they’re severely lacking.

posterchildwhiteprivilegebannerI know this post had to make my list because just thinking about it continues to make me angry. No, it’s not the clickbaity title of the original article, it’s the place from which the writer, Tal Fortgang, addresses all those who dare ask him to “check his privilege”.

My breakdown started before Fortgang’s own open letter, choosing to first pick apart the introduction written by The College Fix associate editor Jennifer Kabbany. It ended with a close analysis of his argument that being both White and male in the United States of America, born to Caucasian parents born to Caucasian parents, has afforded him no advantages in life [FUN FACT: it has].

The number of friends [and I use the term loosely] who I saw sharing this on Facebook drove me to write a counterpoint, and one that I only wish more people could have read. Being told to “check your privilege” should never result in a person writing 1,300 words about why they shouldn’t have to, it should lead them to ask themselves what they just did that was insensitive or wrong.

orderupbannerThis post isn’t the first one to open up with a short work of fiction to prove a point, and come the end of this year it isn’t even the first parable [a feature I may consider adding], but it is a genuine depiction of how Asian and Asian-American viewers feel when being presented with much of today’s pop culture.

Big Hero 6 was a film that should have, given the original source material, starred an all-Japanese cast. Instead we were presented with characters bearing a wide ethnic range not one of which was full-blooded Japanese. As Hollywood and much of the rest of the entertainment industry tunes in to their increasingly more diverse audience choices will be made, and some that will be made to, ostensibly, appeal to more people will instead disappoint those who it should have reached out to in the first place.

After seeing the film for myself I had more hard evidence to back up my original thoughts, but at the end of the day this was an animated children’s movie that could have shone a genuine, earnest light on an actual, single corner of the world and decided not to for the sake of what we’ll call “accessibility”.

johnchobannerHow we view ourselves has so much to do with what we see of ourselves in the media, and that’s just as true when it comes to thoughts of attractiveness as anything else. While pop culture’s depiction of women and how it has impacted the self-esteem of females both young and old the world over has taken centre stage in this particular discussion, and for good reason, what’s often skipped over is how racial minorities are in the exact same boat.

I trace my feelings of aesthetic inadequacy back to a conversation I had several years ago and draw it to the present, where my favourite new sitcom of 2014 a) stars an Asian-American male as the romantic lead and b) has been cancelled. The latter not withstanding, Selfie was more than just hilarious [and it was], it introduced on national TV the concept of Asian men actually being desirable, and it deserves all the credit in the world for that.


The 2014 Culture Wars were, for me, extremely personal. That’s never more apparent than when I picked apart my stance on locking lips, but it also cropped up in my criticism of one of my favourite musical artists. How every one of us chooses to process the world we live in is our own little foray into the conflict this blog takes its title from, and it’s often a conflict in more ways than one.

It falls to every one of us to field our intellectual and emotional reactions, whether it’s to a “Poster Child for White Privilege” or an animated children’s movie that we expected that much more from. This year I decided to let my feelings steer me towards the aspects of culture that directly affected my own life. Who I am as a male Christian Asian-Canadian now-24-year-old provides me with a perspective that you may not share, but my hope is that my observations resonate with you nonetheless.

This year I decided to voice how our culture was impacting me, and it’s an activity that I hope I, and every one of you, will do much more of in 2015.

-Evan.

2014’s Cultural Battleground – Kat’s Account

EDITOR’S NOTE: We end this year by each taking a look back and picking our five best posts, explaining both their importance to us and to the world we currently live in.  Clicking the banner images will link you to each post, so as 2014 comes to a close join us in remembering how far we’ve come, but also how far we still have to go.

jianghomeshibannerThe Jian Ghomeshi scandal was a big deal for most Canadians. Ghomeshi felt like someone we all knew, someone who had been a regular presence in our homes (and cars) as long as he had hosting Q on the CBC.

In October, the CBC put pressure on Jian Ghomeshi to go on a leave of absence. Shortly afterwards, he wrote a post on Facebook accusing the CBC of firing him over his preference for rough (but consensual sex). Many fans believed Ghomeshi when he claimed the women who had accused him were liars who just wanted attention.

Given his popularity, I understood why people jumped to defend him when the first few allegations of sexual violence came out, but there was something about his Facebook post that just felt wrong. It seemed unlikely that anyone, much less more than one person, would make a sexual assault accusation just for attention. As I started to do my own research on the topic, I quickly realized that false rape reports are so rare that they are almost non-existent, and that the tendency to believe Ghomeshi over his (at the time) anonymous victims spoke to a much bigger systemic issue.

injusticesystembannerIt’s really hard to care about how terrible our justice system is unless someone close to you has gone through it. In this post, I discuss some of the things I noticed when I visited someone close to me during his stay in jail. Despite firmly believing that this person deserved to go to jail, that experience opened my eyes to the way prison (and the bureaucracies surrounding it) take damaged people and make them ever worse. As someone who works in special education, it made me even more angry to realize just how many of the adults in prison are individuals with special needs.

problemwithpuritybannerThe conversation around the purity movement tends to be very divisive; feminist websites like Jezebel have called it creepy, while many Christian communities staunchly defend the practice. Since I consider myself both a Christian and a feminist, I wrote this post to point out the really great intentions that are (usually) behind the purity movement, while still drawing attention to the damage it can cause.

duckdynastybannerAfter the Duck Dynasty star spoke out against homosexuality and was kicked off his show, my Facebook wall started to fill up with “I support Phil” memes. This made me really, really angry.

Having grown up Evangelical, I understand how many Christians feel they cannot accept homosexuality as something that honours God. Personally, I no longer accept that dogma, but I can understand it. I didn’t even write this post to argue with that branch of theology. I wrote this post because I was furious that Christians are happy to defend a millionaire because he broke his contract and got kicked off his TV show, but are unwilling to acknowledge that homosexuals are being killed and actually persecuted all around the world.

voluntouristbannerI’ve written many posts that address the Christian community. I do this because I still consider myself a member of that community, and I want to call out the issues that I believe are distracting from the message of love we claim to be sharing. Despite my many critiques of the church, some of the most amazing people I’ve known are Christians. I wrote this post about my experience living in a missionary community in Niger, where I was surrounded by people who I truly respect.

This post also addresses “voluntourism”, since my own selfish motivation to move overseas was something I felt personally convicted about during my stay in Africa. Recently, however, the discussion of the voluntourism trend has made westerners afraid to express interest in foreign aide at all. I believe both extremes can be damaging to international relationships.


Looking back, it’s sometimes scary to think about how much I have shared with you guys. It’s always a vulnerable step to publicize our personal opinions, it’s even more so with details about our personal lives. Intimidating as it can be, I’ve loved how many amazing discussions the blog has opened up in my life. Your comments (in person and online) have helped me reevaluate my own biases, and challenged me to think more deeply about the social, religious, and political issues we love to debate here at Culture War Reporters.

So here’s to a fantastic year. I can’t wait to see what the next one brings.

– Kat

2 Broke Girls, S4E7 “And a Loan for Christmas”: A TV Review

loanforchristmas

Can you imagine if all TV shows handled their midseason finales the same way The Walking Dead does? Which beloved character would we create petitions to resurrect? Would the Williamsburg Diner be short a staff member or lose their most valued customer? Honestly, just thinking about it makes me wish it would happen, if only to really mix things up.

“And a Loan for Christmas” is a direct sequel to last-last week’s episode, “And the Brand Job”. To save you the time of watching it for yourself, or even reading the review, that installment of Max and Caroline’s wacky adventures concerned their respective business plans, with the former’s coming to life in the cold open: snarkily decorated cupcakes and t-shirts are on full display. What’s more, these new wares are doing great [no surprise, really]. So great, in fact, that there’s talk of acquiring some capital, because you need to spend money to make money-

– and I want to stop you [and Caroline] right there and be upfront with you all: I don’t know a lot about finances. Continue reading

2 Broke Girls, S4E6 “And the Model Apartment”: A TV Review

modelapartmnet

The last “big” guest star I can remember 2 Broke Girls featuring was Grammy-nominated rapper 2 Chainz in what was hands-down the worst episode of the show I can remember reviewing. Similar to that last instance network synergy is what brings the Victoria’s Secret Angels to the sitcom, with The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show airing tomorrow night on CBS. The creative push behind this particular twenty-some minutes of television finds its source not in the writers’ room but in a boardroom, and the results are far from stellar.

Remember when I wrote a single review about the pilot episode of MTV’s Underemployed? That was a show entirely about young attractive men and women who were just barely making it through life [note the title of the show] while at least 1/3 of the cast lived in one of the biggest, nicest apartments I have ever seen. That lines up pretty well with Max and Caroline of Broke Girls
constantly making note of how tragically poor they are while residing in an enormous apartment that has, revealed in this episode, a literal barn attached to it complete with sunroof.

WHAT IS THIS WHAT IS GOING ON

WHAT IS THIS WHAT IS GOING ON.

I remember how in the pilot episode Max explained that she didn’t pay rent because the previous tenant died yet continues to pay for it with his pension cheques or something along those lines but are you kidding me? My suspension of belief already took a beating when they decided to keep the horse, but now to find out that they have an entire barn? Is that why they’re so poor? Otherwise, honestly, it makes no sense since they both work two jobs and none of what they make goes towards rent. Continue reading