Category Archives: television

Thoughts on Season 8 of Doctor Who (i.e. Will Peter Capaldi Kill the Doctor?)

I’m going to be touching on the first five episodes of Season 8 of Doctor Who in this article, so I want to give you fair warning before reading on.

Ever since Peter Capaldi was announced as the new Doctor in August 2013 Whovians have been complaining that he was “too old”. This is probably because a huge chunk of the Whovian fandom is young women who project themselves onto the companion character.

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Don’t Just Hire Minority Creators [Promote Hiring Them, Too]

It should be absolutely no secret to any and all of you that I’m an advocate for diversity. There are a myriad of different reasons for this, from the “it would be nice…” of seeing a little more colour in popular media to the more specific “think of the children” that pertains to White boys specifically [not White girls or Black boys and girls] having their self-esteem boosted by watching TV. What some people don’t realize is that the need need for diversity extends beyond actors and the characters they portray to the actual creators involved.

I’m not going to say that a White man cannot ever be involved in the creation of art that discusses or features minorities and their struggles- it’s a topic I touched on when discussing children’s author Rich Michelson and the books he’s written about the Civil Rights Movement. These stories can, and have been, and will continue to be valid, the question remains as to why we live in a world where a James Brown biopic can be created as a summer blockbuster and have “all the producers, writers, and the director [. . . be] white.” At what point should anyof these people stopped and thought to themselves, “Maybe a Black person would be able to provide a perspective on this that none of the rest of us could?” “Immediately” is the answer in case you were wondering.

This is all a lead-up to how, if this is definitely a problem in our current culture, we can change things. As history would dictate I am going to be coming at this from a distinctly comic-related perspective, but the issues therein can be paralleled across the board to TV and movies.  Continue reading

Surprise Witness: Crass Cartoons and Reprehensible Rappers

GORDON: Friends, Romans, Countrypersons! Lend us your ears! We come to try out a new twist on our weekly discussions!

EVAN: Given Kat’s absence that I mentioned prior, I took a page from what’s been going on over at Marvel to really shake things up hereabouts [while still keeping the spirit of the blog you all love so much].

So Gordon and I got to brainstorming a feature to replace Culture War Correspondence for now [?], and what we settled on was a riff on a little something called “Defending Your Sh*tty Taste”, a podcast on Cracked.com.

GORDON: As the name would suggest, “Defending Your Sh*tty Taste” simply entails each of us bring up one or more cultural elements- shows, music, trends, etc.- which are generally despised, devaluated, or looked down upon by the general public, and proceeding to talk about what value we see in ‘em and why we personally enjoy ‘em.

EVAN: Before we get started in earnest, I think it would be good to lay down some ground rules, and sort of explain the general format.

Like you said we’ll each be bringing up our own topics [which we’re well aware have their problems] and extolling their virtues. It will be up to the other person to point out the flaws. What I’m going to insist on is that we solely target the cultural element itself, not bringing up or comparing anything else [ex: “But as a communist doesn’t this conflict with your belief that _____?”]

GORDON: I’d also point out that this isn’t really a debate. We’re not here to bash each other’s pleasures, no matter how sick and indecent they might be… Evan.

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The Strain: It’s Nosferatu on Steroids

My last quasi-review on this blog was of Helix, a sci-fi horror show about a strange and deadly contagion which had overpowered a research lab in the arctic circle. My issue wasn’t with the set or the story, but rather that Helix wasn’t really about anything. Science fiction is a medium for us to explore big ideas, like the line between humanity and technology, free will, and responsibility. The horror genre functions the same way, with its stories serving as ways for us to examine the duality of our nature…

…our place in the cosmos…

…and questions of faith.

Going into The Strain, my biggest question was “what’s this all about?”, and readers, I’m not entirely sure. What I do know is that it’s a blast.

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Yahoo Saves Community

Yep, Community‘s getting a 6th season, and if you’re a sane person, your reaction to this news should probably look a little something like this:

Community is a bad show, people. Really bad. And it’s been bad for a long time and continued to get worse. The dang thing’s been cancelled twice now, and each and every time I hope it’s been put in the ground for good. But apparently you can staple the dang thing to the floorboards of Satan’s wine cellar and it still won’t be enough.

But we’re not here to talk about Community and how it’ll almost certainly continue to be a grotesque travesty of the glorious show it once was. We’re here to talk about its return in general (resurrected by Yahoo for their exclusive video service) and what ticks me off so much about it.

It actually has been one ******* ****** day, so buckle up.

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Fame Day: Leslie Jones

Saturday Night Live is a very White show.

This isn’t news for almost anyone who has been watched the late night sketch comedy mainstay at any point in the last four decades. Still, this fact was made all the more apparent when they announced the six new cast members that would be coming aboard last September. In case you didn’t know, they amounted to five men and one woman, all Caucasian.

Given the fairly sizable [and reasonable] amount of outcry over this, Lorne Michaels and the powers that be ushered in Black comedian Sasheer Zamata. Given the speedy response to their complaints the internet quieted, content with SNL and how it was dealing with race for the time being. That ended, of course, this past Saturday.

While Zamata’s casting was lauded by many, something else occurred concurrently which was less publicized, though arguably just as important: LeKendra Tookes and Leslie Jones, both Black women, joined the show’s writing staff. Ideally such a move would help the show to broaden its comedic range given life experiences that differ vastly from that of a White person, male or female, living in the USA. That particular perspective was showcased front and centre when Leslie Jones made her on-camera debut during the most recent episode’s Weekend Update-

goodjobleslie

Watch the video here or here.

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2 Broke Girls, S3E24 “And the First Degree”: A TV Review

firstdegree

The season finale to any show is, to put it bluntly, important. It’s the culmination of several episodes, hours of television, and must assure viewers that their time was ultimately well-spent. Narrative arcs being drawn to a close is a given, and many series are burdened with the added responsibility of this installment potentially being their very last. It needs to work as a cap to the season, but also possibly for the show as a whole.

Seeing as 2 Broke Girls was renewed for a 4th season two months ago, the latter issue was not one the writers had to grapple with. The problem is that even when concentrating on the bare minimum of what’s expected this finale barely passes. Kind of like Max Black and high school. Flawless Segue Achieved. Continue reading