I’ve had enough TV writers. I say no more! I don’t know what is compelling you to write love interests for your main characters as the most boring people on the planet, but it needs to stop. At this point, it doesn’t just feel like a failure, it feels like a choice. You are choosing to write these people as the most bland toast imaginable every chance you get and I can’t for the life of me figure it out. What is making you do this? Why introduce someone and make a conscious effort to make them as bland and unlikable as possible? Not only are they characters on your show, but they are also people you are expecting us to believe that one of your main characters are potentially falling in love with. They should be better than the average character introduced, but instead we get these milquetoast duds who are too plain to approach anything resembling memorability.
The Ford and Kavanaugh hearing was one of the most significant political events in an era rife with chaos. What Trump brought to US politics is much of what he brought to television, namely, shocking twists, moral turpitude, and an insatiable hunger for attention. So it should come as no surprise that the hearing to weigh the sexual assault claims made against Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh by Christine Ford Blasey, and his subsequent confirmation, reflected this environment. Just to get this out of the way, I believe Ford, I think Kavanaugh is lying, and he absolutely shouldn’t serve on the Supreme Court based on his performance in that hearing alone (specifically his partisan meltdown and conspiracy mongering). What got me interested in writing this though was the pathology of how many Americans responded to this, particularly the mainstream “respectable” conservatives in America. Some analysis has claimed that it was the anti-Kavanaugh side that was informed by misguided emotions, but it seemed clear to me that the American conservative movement was deeply terrified about what was happening in ways they may not have fully understood. There was palpable fear from huge swaths of of them, a fear that’s been written about before but never put on display like it was those last few weeks.
Haven’t done a straight up review in a long while, and since Crazy Rich Asians is #CulturallySignificant, it’s the perfect film for me to return with. Are these crazy rich Asians crazy good? The short answer is yes, the long answer is mostly yes. This film really succeeded as a story about an American confronting the disapproving mother of her boyfriend and navigating her way through what is basically the Singaporean aristocracy, but I’m not sure if it was a great romance. It was a fantastic film sure, but not for the reasons I feel like the advertisers were selling us.
It’s probably a cliche at this point to say “Actually, comedians are sad”, but ya… My time at a comedy club was fun and left me envious of the improvisational talent of these comedians, but it also left me a little sad about some things. Like it felt like every stereotype about comedians that I’ve heard over the years turned out to be right on the money, and that some of the sets crossed over from amusing to subtle cries for help. Another thing is that there were certain… recurring themes that I think are worth looking it.
Easily in the top 5 most embarrassing facts about myself is that I was born in Montreal but cannot fluently speak French today. I had it back then, but it slowly drained away from me after I moved as I neglected to take French immersion courses all throughout elementary and high school like a Goddamn fool. Now, it’s relevant to my interests and career to learn the language, and it’s tough. I still hate that everything has to have a gender! I hate that so many words in English come from French words, but some don’t, so you look like an idiot when you say an English-only word in a forced French accent in front of your coworkers and they laugh at you. I also think it sucks how uncultured it makes me feel as a Canadian to not know our second language, which led me to a painful truth and a horrifying contradiction.
Two big shows out now about assassins, and I actually like them both despite the fact that I’ve really grown sick of the assassin trope in fiction as of late. These killers for hire with hearts of gold that we’re supposed to sympathize with have gotten to feel stale and inauthentic. Obviously they should be written as morally complex, but often that complexity can feel self-indulgent, and sometimes even grating. Thankfully, these two shows, Barry and Killing Eve, avoid that by adding interesting twists to the characterization of their assassins.
I know it’s kind of reductive to pit “black” Disney movies against each other, but as I walked out of my Black Panther screening, couldn’t help but think about the differences between the two films, particularly in the way they handled their villains. Both are films with a mostly black cast that use black villains, who are motivated by issues of particular resonance to black audiences. One of these films expresses its themes through the villain in a way that elevated the entire story, and the other botched it so terribly in a tone deaf and borderline offensive way. The main difference that really changed the outcome in how the films conveyed their messages was how they contextualized their villain.
*SPOILERS FOR BOTH FILMS
Right now on Showtime, there is basically what amounts to a Donald Trump fanfic playing as a half-hour animated comedy titled Our Cartoon President, and as embarrassing as it is, I enjoy it. I uh, really like it, in a way that finally made me understand what it means to have a “Guilty Pleasure”. At its core, I always thought the term was dumb since simply enjoying something that isn’t actively harmful to others shouldn’t produce a feeling of guilt. Like, if you know something is dumb, and you enjoy it anyways, that isn’t really a guilty pleasure, that’s just finding the passion in a sloppily put together piece of art. This show though, is a different animal, because its subject matter is the menace that sits in the White House today.
I’m about to watch The Crown on Netflix for the first time for a number of reasons beyond my control. I will say that before recent events, this show dramatizing the history of the British Monarchy seemed super boring to me. Like unbelievably so, but I’m at a place now where I’m in the mood to see pale British people fret about nonsense things that don’t matter to anyone anywhere. I wasn’t a Downton Abbey viewer for example, as just the thought of having to spend time with these rich Brits seemed vaguely nihilistic. Like, the idea of making the conscious decision to spend time with these people felt like a choice I would only make as someone who has absolutely given up. Here I am about to watch The Crown though, so make of that as you will. I have a lot of preconceptions and predictions about this show that I want to hold onto as long as possible, so I’m gonna record them all here and now before they’re rendered meaningless. Just gonna list these off in point form…