Category Archives: television

The 50/50 Fallacy [Yes, It’s Another Big Hero 6 Post]

So, as I said I probably would, I did end up seeing Big Hero 6 this past Tuesday. While I ended up enjoying it a fair amount the problem, if I can call it that and which the post I just linked to addresses, was in the back of my head the entire time. To reiterate it here, the idea that both a city and almost the entire cast of superhero team had to be altered to make it more relatable, presumably to a Western [read: American] audience.

As mentioned I did like it, but during and after the film I was struck by the fact that a balance, if that’s what the creators were truly going for, was never really attained. To start with, San Fransokyo.

Based off of the name one would assume that this would be equal parts American and Japanese city, a blend that encapsulated the best of both worlds. The actual design approach is laid bare when considering the words co-director Don Hall used when describing the setting [emphasis added]:

an alternate version of San Francisco.

“I love the Painted ladies. We gave them a Japanese makeover; we put a cafe on the bottom of one. They live above a coffee shop.”

“Where Hiro lives, it feels like the Haight. When you get to the downtown area, that’s when you get the most Tokyo-fied, that pure, layered, dense kind of feeling of the commercial district there. When you get out of there, it becomes more San Francisco with the Japanese aesthetic.”

To put this in more musical terms, this isn’t so much a mashup as it is a remix. The former is a blend of two or more parts with both being displayed prominently, the latter is a modified version of something, the original of which is typically easily identifiable. Continue reading

2 Broke Girls, S4E5 “And the Brand Job”: A TV Review

brandjob

Consider the placard in the image above to be fairly representative of my views of this episode: things are looking up for 2 Broke Girls. No, this episode didn’t feature Han gloating over his ability to both ride a bicycle and maintain an erection [no easy feat], but it did bring the focus of the show back to what it ostensibly should be. That’s right, we’re finally back to watching Max and Caroline try their darndest to make some money.

That’s always been one of my favourite things about the show, because, well, the struggle is real. Now granted, I say that as someone who had free room and board at his grandfather’s while he spent months unemployed, but I bought gluten-free pasta recently because it was on sale for cheap and that stuff is not good. My personal financial state aside, the journey of two young women doing their best is a compelling one, plain and simple.

Now you’d think that upon discovering that she’d been shanghaied into attending a seminar called “Business Bump” Max would-

-leave forever, never to return-

right after making a joke about teen pregnancy, and you’d be half right.

Continue reading

When Life Gives You Don Lemon

By now, most of you are probably familiar with the recent scandal involving CNN anchor Don Lemon’s comments to Joan Tarshis, an alleged rape-victim of Bill Cosby. Lemon had blindsided his guest with the question of “Why didn’t you resist”, which beyond being a shockingly insensitive thing to say to any assault survivor, carries with it a host of the most vile, victim-blaming myths imaginable. Time already has an excellent point-by-point take-down of Lemon’s statements, none of which needs my repeating here.

See, I started off writing this post with the intention of revealing the man as nothing more than an inept clown, motivated by bumbling ineptitude rather than malice or spite. The more research I did, however, the less I found myself able to support that idea. There’s nothing innocuous or innocent about Don Lemon.

While many of us were probably unaware of Lemon until his “don’t get raped” comments (or his bull**** non-apology, which we’ll get to in a second), I actually recognized him the second I saw him. Back at the end of September, Lemon, along with co-anchor Alisyn Camerota, had an interview with Islamic scholar Reza Aslan.The “interview” (the whole thing seemed more reminiscent of a McCarthyist witch-hunt) swiftly degenerated into an agonizing fear-mongering session- the very memory of which still makes my blood boil. I’ll let the ever-entertaining Cenk Uygur (of “The Young Turks”) break the debacle down for you.

Continue reading

John Cho is Hot on Selfie, and Why It Matters

Roughly six years ago I sat in a guest house in London, England, and complained to a Korean friend about not being attractive. It’s funny seeing it typed out now, and it wasn’t so starkly apparent at the time, but that’s exactly what I was worried about. We were studying abroad with a group of mostly White classmates from a predominantly White liberal arts college, and as an eighteen-year-old I had dating on the mind. That, and the beginnings of the idea that things might not be so easy for me given the colour of my skin.

And unlike John Cho and his suit, my skin does not peel away to reveal more equally-good-looking skin underneath.

My primary source was media and pop culture, and how interracial relationships weren’t showcased much, if at all [not much has changed, 2009!]. I suggested that this might create a life-imitating-art situation, where young non-hyphenated-American women might not be as open to the idea of getting together with an Asian guy due to never seeing it on screens small or large. He brought up that he’d had no problems in the past [being musical, and with that bone structure?], as well as the more damning evidence that neither had I. With that I left the topic of conversation alone, not entirely convinced or at peace with the whole thing.

Continue reading

2 Broke Girls, S4E4 “And the Old Bike Yarn”: A TV Review

oldbikeyarn

I’m not going to lie to you [and honestly, I don’t think I never have in these reviews], but this episode was as shaky as Max’s first attempts to ride a bike for the first time ever. Luckily for you, and for me, if I’m being honest, I can see the silver thread of yarn in every horrific knitted street art installation. With those very appropriate references aside I actually think this marks a positive turn towards giving the secondary cast a little more of the spotlight.

Max and Caroline’s plot revolves around the latter trying to teach the former how to ride a bike, and like I said in the first sentence it is rough. Running with the idea that deliveries will help them add an additional surcharge to their $5 cupcakes [already pretty steep, if you ask me], Ms. Channing steals a bike from out front and puts her plan in action. It’s when she realizes that she is sweating-enough-to-smell-like-Greek-food-out-of-shape that she realizes she needs to instruct Max in an important life skill. Regardless of how I chose to describe it, it’s far from riveting stuff. Continue reading

2 Broke Girls, S4E3 “And the Childhood Not Included”: A TV Review

ITSTEDDYRUXPIN

.
I’ve gotta admit, I’m sincerely impressed by just how much happens in this episode. Max and Caroline actually have two separate plots, and while one appears to exist for the sole reason of having Beth Behrs show off her legs [which are admittedly pretty great] while giving birth to a fish baby, the other appears to be propelling this season forward to actually introducing Max’s mother.

The Season 3 finale was a pretty big disappointment to me in that they built up to finally showing a character referenced in pretty much every other episode, only to have it be a total fake out that fell back on this whole “diner family” we’re supposed to love. In this episode, however, we return to Max’s earlier days with a Teddy Ruxpin doll named T-Rux, which now that I type it out realize might be a reference to the dinosaur and not some sort of gangster moniker. Having received it in the mail from her mother Max’s immediate reaction is to send it right back. This helps her to very easily fall back into waxing poetic about her horrific upbringing, but it’s not until a snobby little gay boy [and over half of this review could be dedicated to his character, I swear] wants to buy her stuffed animal that the real feelings come out. Continue reading

2 Broke Girls, S4E2 “And the DJ Face”: A TV Review

djfaceokay

Look, internet, I get it, you want to know the answer to life’s tough questions. “Why did Max and Deke break up?” you cry, both to yourselves at night and to Google. They were a snarky, unstable relationship just waiting to fall apart, which was likely why we grew so attached to them and which made it all the worse when Eric Andre disappeared from the show without so much as a good-bye. The 2 Broke Girls writers know they have a lot to live up to with Deke still so fresh in our minds, and given that it’s high time [no pun intended] Max developed a new love interest we are presented with Sebastian.

Sebastian, previously known as “…”, because he and Max were doing the dirty on Tuesdays completely anonymously. This episode features probably the speediest turnaround I’ve ever seen between someone wanting to know absolutely nothing about the person they’re bumping uglies with and them thinking eh, why not, let’s just give in to their invitation to come out and watch them DJ. The swerve here is not a secret if you saw any of the ads [one of which I glimpsed while tuning into Survivor] for this week’s episode: Sebastian DJs at a Whole Foods. Continue reading