Bettenridge’s law of headlines dictates that “Any headline that ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no.” In the case of whether or not J.R. R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth is a fantasy land that has space for people of colour, it’s unfortunately not that simple.
The full title for the television series taking place in the same universe as the critically acclaimed The Lord of the Rings was announced just this past month, with The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power acting as a prequel set thousands of years before the original trilogy of films. Soon after followed 23 individual posters featuring the hands of different characters, a startling development for those who hadn’t been closely following casting news for the show.
As briefly discussed in my first post this year, there’s nothing more emblematic of our present-day culture than division and polarization. With every announcement decisions must be made and opinions cemented, dictating what side of any particular issue you find yourself on. To say that the same is true for the existence of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, [and] People of Colour) in a historically lily-white franchise is putting it lightly. The following tweet made by the amusingly named (at the time of this writing) “guy online” highlights the conflict accordingly:
Knowing this is the case and having these camps laid out in such stark contrast makes it awkward for me to admit that I’ve found myself in a place where I’m also side-eyeing production for casting actors of colour in various roles, a sentiment that on the surface places me in some admittedly unpleasant company. Let me explain- Continue reading
Posted in film, internet, literature, race, television, writing
Tagged actor, Amazon, BIPOC, black, casting, diversity, Dwarf, Easterlings, elf, film, Haradrim, Harfoot, hobbit, Hollywood, Peter Jackson, race, representation, The Lord of the Rings, The Rings of Power, TV
The sexual assault of a child is the most abhorrent crime in the world. As a society we curse those who commit such crimes and refuse to recognize them as anything but outsiders and deviants. Unfortunately, pedophilia is far more common than we care to admit.
Former child actors Elijah Wood and Corey Feldman recently drew attention to the problem of pedophilia in Hollywood. While Wood only pointed to events he had heard about (and last year’s documentary film, An Open Secret), Feldman referred to his own experience with abuse
Unfortunately for Feldman, even if he would like to call out the men who abused him as a child he is unable to do so for legal reasons:
I would love to name names. I’d love to be the first to do it. But unfortunately California conveniently enough has a statute of limitations that prevents that from happening. Because if I were to go and mention anybody’s name I would be the one that would be in legal problems and I’m the one that would be sued.
In a stark juxtaposition to Hollywood, Indonesia is also in the news for their dealings with pedophiles. After a 14-year-old girl was brutally gang raped and then murdered, President Joko Widodo introduced a new law that would mean the death penalty or chemical castration for the sexual assault of a minor.
After reading about the injustice of Hollywood, where survivors are unable to prosecute the predators who took advantage of them, reading about Indonesia can feel like a breath of fresh air. However, it’s worth looking beyond our gut reaction to ask if forced chemical castration, and the possibility of the death penalty, will actually work as a deterrent against the sexual assault of a minor. Continue reading
Posted in crime, news, politics, sex
Tagged abuse, An Open Secret, assault, believe survivors, chemical castration, chemical therapy, children, Corey Feldman, death penalty, defamation, disease, disgust, domination, Elijah Wood, evil, germany, hide, Hollywood, Hurt, Indonesia, innocent, legal, meme, Mental illness, myth, normal, one-dimensional, pedophile, pedophilia, Penal Reform, power, predator, prevent, prevention, problem, protection, punish, punishment, recidivism, Sexual Assault, sick, society, sued, support group, survivors, victims, Violence, virtuous pedophiles
You know what I realized after two whole weeks off of writing reviews? I don’t have to watch these episodes anymore! No, I don’t mean that the show is ending. 2 Broke Girls has actually been renewed for a sixth season alongside a slew of CBS’ other programs. What I mean is that a quick visit to their website will tell you everything you need to know about the next episode.
All of the images I use for the banner graphics above my reviews are taken from slideshows on CBS.com, which are always accompanied by captions. This week’s, for example, contains such gems as:
- Randy’s therapist breaks some bad news to Max.
- Max drowns her sorrows in tiny bottles of booze.
- Max listens to what Sophie’s guru has to say about her recent breakup.
- Max, Caroline, and Sophie return to Brooklyn after an extended stay in Hollywood.
You could also just read the synopsis given underneath the very first promo photo, which tells us that:
The girls near the end of their Hollywood adventure, which finds Caroline signing away the film rights to her life story while Max deals with the fall-out after her L.A. steady, Randy, breaks up with her via his therapist. Plus, Sophie continues to try everything she can to get pregnant on the next episode of 2 Broke Girls entitled “And The Pity Party Bus.”
Which isn’t to say that other TV shows don’t also use similar write-ups to hype their upcoming episodes, they do, but they also tend to preserve a bit of the mystery. A conflict is typically mentioned, as opposed to the conflict [Max gets dumped!] and the eventual conclusion [the girls return to NY!]. Anyway, just wanted to let you know that you could skim a dozen or so photos instead of tuning in for twenty-something minutes of TV every Thursday night. You could always just do that and then read my reviews! Continue reading
Posted in Comedy, relationships, review, television, writing
Tagged 2 Broke Girls, And the Pity Party Bus, apology, Beth Behrs, break-up, breakup, Caroline, CBS, closure, Elliott, Hollywood, John Michael Higgins, Kat Dennings, Max, maxoline, party bus, pregnant, Randy, review, S5E16, Sophie, therapist
Money has always been an integral part of 2 Broke Girls, and this episode had me thinking quite a bit about the show’s budget. Well into its fifth season and having passed the 100th episode milestone some time ago, it’s a show that CBS has some confidence in, albeit one that’s barely beating Mike and Molly in ratings, a show that is currently airing its final season. With all that said, I began wondering about how much money the network was willing to throw its way.
Almost as if reading my comments about the limited settings this three camera sitcom has to offer, and with the sole intent of having me eat my words, “And the Great Escape” is the closest the show has been to feeling like it doesn’t take place in front of a live studio audience. While that’s not necessarily a hallmark of a great episode, it’s impressive to say the least.
The first, pictured above, is Randy’s house. While the interior is nothing special, it’s the fact that production also created an exterior year that really made an impression on me. The sand and plants are a really nice touch, and it even offers an opportunity for some great physical comedy on Beth Behrs’ part [her greatest strength, in this reviewer’s opinion]. Continue reading
Posted in bizarreness, celebrity, Comedy, review, television
Tagged 2 Broke Girls, And the Great Escape, Beth Behrs, bindi, Bob, Bruno, Caroline, CBS, dog, Hollywood, J-Law, Jennifer Lawrence, Kat Dennings, Max, multi-cam sitcom, Randy, review, S5E15, set, Sophie
Have you ever watched an episode of 2 Broke Girls and thought to yourself, “That episode ended too soon”? The latest installment of Max and Caroline’s Hollywood adventures continues this week, and somehow manages to feel much shorter than its 21-minute runtime.
A large part of that is because the show largely eschews showing for telling, with two big moments taking place entirely off camera and only referenced after the fact. While this can be effective, the result is ultimately more confusing than anything else. For sitcoms the primary goal is to make your viewers laugh, but the second priority of telling a good story comes swiftly behind that. A lack of emphasis on that aspect is what leads to viewers being confused as to whether or not a love interest has been written out or not. Continue reading
Posted in Comedy, review, television, writing
Tagged 2 Broke Girls, And You Bet Your Ass, Beth Behrs, Bob, Caroline, CBS, friendship, George Hamilton, Hollywood, Kat Dennings, Max, multi-cam sitcom, old, Oleg, Randy, review, S5E14, screenwriters, Sophie, The Price is Right
Twitter has changed the way news is reported. The Black Lives Matter movement has been particularly successful in raising awareness for cases of police brutality that generally would have been overlooked by mainstream news channels.
Arguably the second most important aspect of Twitter is its ability to connect celebrities to their fan base. With the prevalence of these two features, it’s hardly surprising that celebrities and celebrity events have become more politicized.
This year’s Academy Awards are a prime example of this overlap between the celebrity world and political struggles that have been highlighted via Twitter. Below, I’ve included a few notable examples of Twitter flexing its muscles at the Oscars
I’m not going to dwell too much on the circumstances of the #OscarsSoWhite boycott, since Gordon and Evan have already thoroughly explained its context. However, I do want to talk a bit about how the controversy was handled by the Oscars host, Chris Rock.
Overall, I thought Rock did a great job calling out the Academy without reducing his monologue to a humourless lecture. However, in his article for Salon, Arthur Chu points out that,
Acting like caring about day-to-day violence in the streets and the impact media and culture have on that violence are somehow mutually exclusive — a common, frustrating, tired argument anyone who talks about racism in media will inevitably see dozens of times in the comments section — ignores history.
It ignores the many, many arguments that have been made about how the excuses made for the deaths of Trayvon Martin and Mike Brown frequently come verbatim from untrue stereotypes out of TV and movies, how the only way Darren Wilson’s description of Brown as a “demon” who was “bulking up to get through the bullets” could possibly make sense to anyone is after a lifetime of media portrayals of the scary superhuman black man. It ignores Martin Luther King going out of his way to call Nichelle Nichols and tell her not to quit “Star Trek” because having a black woman on TV who wasn’t a domestic servant mattered. It ignores the ongoing civil rights protests around the Oscars back in the 1960s and ’70s, including Marlon Brando making history as the first and only best actor winner to boycott the ceremony, sending American Indian Movement activist Sacheen Littlefeather to accept the award in his place.
Similarly, several activists have since pointed out the one-dimensionality of calling for more black representation only to appeal to Asian-American stereotypes for a laugh. Continue reading
Posted in America, celebrity, fashion, feminism, film, internet, media, politics
Tagged #AskHerMore, #BlackLivesMatter, #yesallwomen, Academy Awards, activism, actor, actress, art, Arthur Chu, backlash, black man, bullets, celebrities, chris rock, College, cultural shift, diversity, fashion, Hashtag, heard, Hollywood, host, impact, job, Lady Gaga, martin luther king, media, Men, monolgue, Oscars, OscarsSoWhite, people of color, performance, power, race, rape culture, reporter, representation, Representation project, Salon, sex, shallow, stage, Star Trek, stereotypes, superhuman, survivors, Twitter, university, Violence, voice, women, work