Category Archives: television

2 Broke Girls, S6E4 “And the Stepmama Drama”: A TV Review

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First thing’s first, I’d like to apologize for how poor the quality of these header images has been lately. For some reason the 2 Broke Girls photos page on the CBS site hasn’t uploaded any new preview galleries since the premiere, so here we are, having to screenshot teasers on YouTube.

With that out of the way, this episode bears the distinction of having the A-plot revolve around characters who aren’t Max and Caroline. Instead the primary conflict revolves around the baptism of Sophie and Oleg’s daughter Barbara. In particular Oleg’s mother, Olga [Mercedes Ruehl], who deems the titular duo as being unfit godparents, which really complicates the ceremony actually taking place.

So little actually ends up happening that the twenty-some minutes feel shorter than most weeks. Given that Earl is a Universal Life minister the diner gang decides to do the baptism in secret, which leads to the brief diversion of Caroline stealing holy water from the church. After the christening Olga appears, is angry for half a second, and ultimately blesses her son and accepts her daughter-in-law.

Having summed up “And the Godmama Drama” what more is there to say in this review? Continue reading

2 Broke Girls, S6E3 “And the 80’s Movie”: A TV Review

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Even given the premiere’s botched opening it’s still a bit surprising that we return to see Max and Caroline’s Dessert Bar as having been open for a full week. As the girls’ most recent attempt at finally making it big I expected there to be more excitement surrounding it, yet we find that they’re still working at the diner due to their business having trouble taking off.

It’s strange to type the words “still working at the diner” since that’s such a core aspect of the show. All of CBS’s promotional material for 2 Broke Girls has them wearing their waitress uniforms and at this point doing away with them would be like having Howard Wolowitz in anything other than a turtleneck, or Barney Stinson without a suit. The fact that the premiere would even tease them leaving their mustard yellow threads behind  was jarring enough, however shortlived it was. Having them hint at moving away from the status quo in consecutive episodes may just be a coincidence, but if it shows up again next Monday something has to be up. It’s not to say that I expect the show to make any drastic moves right out the gate, but there does appear to be a testing of the waters.

All that being said, the A-plot of “And the 80’s Movie” isn’t anything to write home about. Seeking upscale clientele for the Dessert Bar they hit up the chicest spot in Williamsburg where they’re bound to find “models, gays, rich guys that want to have sex with models . . . and gays.” While Caroline starts rubbing shoulders with the aforementioned Max find a kindred spirit in a snarky female bouncer. This in turn leads to said bouncer showing up to the Dessert Bar with a crowd of rowdy, boisterous women who also happen to be members of NYC’s Elite Ladies’ Underground Arm Wrestling . . . Association [I’m not sure what the group is officially titled, they never say]. This of course is the opposite of what they wanted, and it’s up to them to figure out how to get them out of there. Continue reading

Miley Cyrus Bashing Supergirl Justifies Exactly Why We Need It

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I’ll be the first to admit that I could broaden my scope regarding how I engage with current events. It’s much to my chagrin that my primary news sources are Facebook’s trending sidebar and whenever my grandfather changes the channel to CP24, in that order. That said, every now and then one of the comic book news sites I visit daily will offer me a glimpse of what’s happening outside that bubble.

In the case of this topic, I was informed not of what actually happened but of the response to it, days after the fact. The “event” in question took place during Miley Cyrus’s interview with Variety, which as the title would suggest was largely focused on her role on The Voice, Donald Trump, and coming out. To be more specific, it was the following question and answer [and yes, it is in fact related to comics]:

Why do you think inequality still exists for women in Hollywood?

A lot of it could be changed if we had a female president. That would give us a subconscious boost. I think people will have to realize they’re looking really dated. For example, there’s a show called “Supergirl.” I think having a show with a gender attached to it is weird. One, it’s a woman on that fucking billboard — it’s not a little girl. Two, what if you’re a little boy who wants to be a girl so bad that this makes you feel bad? I think having a title like “Supergirl” doesn’t give the power that people think it does.

Continue reading

2 Broke Girls, S6E1-2 “And the Two Openings: Parts One & Two”: A TV Review

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Season premieres are all about expectations. On one hand a show needs to be instantly recognizable, a challenge for ensembles with shifting casts [I’m looking at you, Community]. On the other hand it also needs to live up to the promise of more to come. As Max and Caroline fall to the floor in the cold open, their clothing aflame, Oleg exclaims “now scissor a little, it can’t hurt” while hosing them down. That’s the first box checked off.

As for the second, there appears to be significantly more attention paid to continuity. While 2 Broke Girls season premieres have always had to follow-up on the last episode in regards to their business, both Parts One and Two of “And the Two Openings” play out in the shadow of a character I’m pleased to see is still with us.

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And what an imposing shadow it is.

That’s right, while on the business side of things the two girls are part-owners of the diner and finally looking to make the Dessert Bar a reality [a lot happened, okay] what’s really been on Max’s mind is Randy [Ed Quinn]. Compared to past love interests Deke and Nashit his connection with Dennings’ character has been both strong and, surprisingly, long-lasting. Having reviewed how Season 5 came to a close I can only take his continued presence, albeit via FaceTime, as being a net positive. Continue reading

When Life Gives You Don Lemon IV: If A Lemon Tree Falls In The Forest…

In 2014, I became familiar with the career of one Mr. Don Lemon, a young, charismatic news anchor over at CNN. I say “news anchor” because that’s what they call him. I assume the more accurate title of “Shameless Propagator of Tabloid Drivel Making A Mockery of Journalism” wouldn’t fit on the business cards.

Yeah, I’m not a fan.

In fact I went so far as to dub Lemon “one of the most destructive forces in culture.” A harsh accusation, but I’d argue not an unfair one. And so I try to keep tabs on the guy, hoping against hope that a Google search of his name will not result in some fresh wave of misinformation, Islamophobia, and general fearmongering nonsense. So is this our lucky year?

I’m afraid not.

Here’s what the country’s lousiest news anchor has been up to since we last checked in:

Asking A Muslim Lawyer If He “Supports ISIS”

By Muslim lawyer, I mean Arsalan Iftikhar, esteemed human rights lawyer, adjunct professor at DuPaul, and internationally recognized author and intellectual. And no, Lemon did not ask Iftikhar that question to establish for the audience that Muslims don’t automatically support terror. You can see the pained shock on Iftikhar’s face and the obliviousness on Lemon’s. And to be clear here, Lemon’s exact words were:

“Do you support ISIS?”

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That was it.

No set-up, no context, no follow-up. Just an insulting question that was (if intentional) designed to rile up Iftikhar or (if unintentional) so blithely dumb that it could have come from-

-well, the likes of Don Lemon.

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That said, baiting Muslim guests for for ratings is par for the course where Lemon is concerned, but the blatancy here seems just plain painful. I shouldn’t have to explain that one might ask with equal legitimacy if Don Lemon supports the Crips on the basis of his race, or if he supports the LRA on the basis of his religion.

But asking for a bit of incisiveness from news anchors is clearly demanding too much. Continue reading

The Evolving Feminism of Game of Thrones: Evidence that Viewers Can Change Problematic Television

There are spoilers below, so very many spoilers. Read at your own risk.

I’ve often felt conflicted about Game of Thrones. 

From the beginning, I’ve been irritated with the gratuitous sex and nudity. I understand that this can sometimes be used to move the plot in an effective way (i.e. Cersei’s walk of shame). But, generally speaking, GOT has used naked ladies as window dressing to keep straight male viewers watching. HBO has been notorious for finding any and every opportunity to throw a couple of boobs into any given scene in all of its shows. However, as CollegeHumor points out in their NSFW video below, HBO’s gratuitous nudity only goes one way.

Unfortunately, Game of Thrones’ sex scenes have not only been irritating, some have also been majorly problematic. In the first season Daenerys Targaryen is sold into marriage with warlord Khal Drogo, who rapes her on their wedding night. While their relationship eventually progresses into “love,” this first scene made it impossible for me to ever really view their relationship as a loving one. It made me even more angry when I learned that, in the books, this scene between Daenerys and Drogo was actually consensual. Continue reading

“You Might as Well Have [insert character here] Be [insert 2-4 minority types here]!”

One of the most common adages on the internet is “don’t read the comments”. While this global network that we’re all currently using [unless you somehow managed to snag a printout of this post] has given us all the ability to share and discuss everything under the sun, the unfortunate truth is that a lot of that conversation amounts to hot garbage. You could scroll down past an article to see what people are saying about it, but chances are that it won’t be a particularly uplifting experience.

As someone who spends much of his time online reading about entertainment there’s a type of comment that I’ve seen crop up time and time again. It’s existence ties directly into a lot of the recent trends in comic books, television, and film, the push towards inclusivity and the people who are actively working to make that happen. A perfect example [of a handful I’ll be referencing throughout this article] is:

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“disabled, multiracial trans women with disfiguring facial scars” – posted on “There are more (white) women starring in movies than ever before”

I’ve been compiling these for the past few months, originally with the intent of putting together another “For Your Consideration” and allowing readers to look them over and come to their own conclusions. A general [and accurate] takeaway would be to note them as being typical of inane online comments and move on, but I’d like to spend a little time breaking down the idiocy they represent.

They Perpetuate the Default

The default person, in case you needed to be informed of who generally holds the most power and screentime across the board, is a straight able-bodied cisgendered White man. I’m painfully aware that simply listing those words in successive order like that marks me as being one of the SJWs [my thoughts on that term here], but every one is important to take note of.

Take the following:

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“black Asian gay lesbian transgender Spider-man” – posted on “Dear HOLLYWOOD REPORTER: May We Have a Word About ‘Cultural Appropriation’?”

To look at the list and mark it against the checklist of what makes a default human being, in the eyes of at least a few, we have:

  • straight  ≠ “gay lesbian”
  • cisgendered  ≠ “transgender”
  • White  ≠ “black Asian”

Other comments I’ll be including later on will add examples that include disabled people, but the general gist of every one capitalizes on the absurdity of a person who doesn’t match the standard cutout. A  straight able-bodied cisgendered White woman? Not a terrible strain of the imagination. Once you start to tick off more items that don’t coincide with the norm, however, things apparently get a lot shakier.

I don’t even think that many of these commenters are aware of the implicit message behind the words they type. By listing these adjectives and identifiers they end up with a person who most of them share absolutely nothing in common with, which exposes the very reason we need diversity at all. Everyone should be able to relate to entertainment, and for too long the industry has catered to an audience that gets smaller every day. Continue reading