In just about any discussion about the highly illegal killing of Cecil the Lion, you’ll always find that one guy who feels the need to express the “Who Cares?” sentiment. Not here to take anyone down a peg for it, I mean I get their logic (as they love to go over it in great detail whenever they are explaining how much they don’t care about this lion). They argue that it was really just one animal’s life, that a ton of other animals are being illegally hunted and killed every day, and that we only care about this one because it happened to be a bit of a local celebrity. Hell, even Zimbabwe itself doesn’t really care all that much about Cecil, so why does the West? I would argue that this whole situation represents more than that. Cecil’s death is symbolic of a greater issue that goes beyond the illegal hunting of animals, and the timing of it is what struck a cord with the world.
Continue reading “The Main Reason Cecil the Lion’s Death is So Upsetting for People”
The simplest way to describe the Netflix original, BoJack Horseman, is as an animated sitcom that deals with the subject of depression. Its lead, the titular Bojack Horseman, is a washed up 90’s sitcom star with way too much money and time, but is listless and eternally unsatisfied with his state of being. The main question the series asks is “How can I be happy?”, and the way it addresses that question is perhaps more raw and honest than any other show that came before it. Why that is the case is something that stumped me for quite a while. Why is this show about a talking horse and his wacky friends able to hit such a raw nerve in the discussion of depression? My take on this after a lot of thought is that we are able to connect with BoJack because of how thoroughly unlikable he is. I don’t mean that we as an audience can’t like him, because people will always be able to love terrible fictional characters no matter what, but he’s certainly not someone with typical likable qualities like basic human decency. He isn’t just flawed, he’s the kind of person that continues to make terrible decisions that hurt the people around him with full awareness that what he is doing could be harmful to others. Make no mistake however, we are supposed to be rooting for him, but we definitely aren’t supposed to like him either.
Continue reading “BoJack Horseman Proves Television Leads Don’t Need to be Likable to be Compelling”
Bones, the first drama I really got invested in, and the first seemingly endless procedural I ever outgrew. Unlike with The Mentalist and the disastrous end it had with me, my break up with Bones was civil and clean. I just grew to understand that the show and I wanted different things in life, and that our continued commitment to one another would be to both our detriment. I basically wanted to settle down with a more serialized show that took more chances and had something to say, while Bones was content with falling into a routine and doing mostly the same thing over and over again. We realized we were in different places in our relationship and moved on, although it is fun to revisit and reminisce about the old days with a fresh pair of eyes.
Continue reading “Remember When Bones was Hilariously Weird About BDSM?”
Just the other day, my little brother dragged me to see the Minions movie and that got me thinking about the franchise in general. As someone who has seen and enjoyed both Despicable Me films (the first a lot more than its sequel), Minions felt like a significant (yet wholly expected) step down in terms of quality. This certainly wasn’t the case when it came to box office draw as it easily outperformed the previous films in the franchise and smashed some records of its own. This is a movie that was destined to make a lot of money mostly due to how insanely marketable the Minions have become, and its clear from the progression of their role in these movies that the creators know this. At first they were fun side characters that remained peripheral to the plot, then they became central to the plot of the second film as the villain’s plan revolved around them, and then they finally received their own movie. With steadily increasing box-office numbers to coincide with this shift, this is what I’d characterize as a “Hostile Franchise Take-Over” (or an HFT for short), and in this article I’m going to look at how this has affected the movies in the franchise.
Continue reading “The Minions and the Hostile Franchise Take-Over they Initiated”
*Hannibal Spoilers Below*
Bryan Fuller’s Hannibal is centred around a serial killer/cannibal, so you’d expect the show to have a lot of seriously evil people. In a way, the stories about the character of Hannibal Lecter have developed a bit of a rogues gallery. The villains of his universe are as colourful and theatrical as they are deadly, and the most despicable one of them all is Mason Verger. Sadistic, abusive to his twin sister Margot, and way too rich for everyone else’s own good, this character is the most sickening thing about a series that revolves around a cannibal. Perhaps the most disgusting thing about him is the clear and obvious delight he takes in the suffering of others. In Bryan Fuller’s Hannibal, Mason Verger is portrayed first by Michael Pitt, and then recast as Joe Anderson (which conveniently went along with his character’s well deserved facial mutilation). A lot of what he does isn’t motivated by anything other than his own sadistic tastes and historically this character really has always been scum, but Bryan Fuller takes him to the next level in terms of pure putridness. The legacy he will leave on television thanks to Fuller’s work will be as one of the most vile characters ever portrayed, and today I’m here to count out 5 times when he displayed that horribleness to us all on Hannibal.
Continue reading “5 Times When Mason Verger Was the Most Evil Character in Television”
Let me tell you about this awesome show called Steven Universe. It’s essentially about a boy who lives with three adoptive mothers who are aliens simply known as “Gems” that used to work for his mother (who is also an alien) who basically “died” giving birth to him. His father is a human so the boy belongs to both species, and the series definitely remembers to address the full weight of what that means. Since his mother was a controversial figure among her race (to say the least), there is a very good reason for her and her followers to have gone to Earth in the first place. She left a massive legacy for Steven himself to grapple with, and one that is quickly catching up to them in the form of a looming threat from afar. That serves as one of the show’s central dramatic tensions (the other being what it means to have a family), but another main theme that has developed recently has been the concept of fusion and the increased focus on it.
Continue reading “Fusion and Sexuality in Steven Universe”
Street Fighter V is on its way, and in its wake came a large discussion about the nature of execution requirements. To sum up, should combos be made easier or remain as they were in Street Fighter IV (not so easy)? This question has caused quite a bit of division, and here I will share my thoughts on how things should be done. First, we should go over the basis of both these viewpoints.
Continue reading “We Don’t Need Tight Execution for Our Fighting Games”
Bruce Timm recently announced at this year’s Comic-Con that the seminal Alan Moore graphic novel, The Killing Joke, is finally getting an animated adaption. Most of the reaction has been positive since this is one of the greatest comic book stories ever told, but there has been some dissenting opinions among those concerned with Barbara Gordon (AKA Batgirl) and her portrayal in this story. Famously shot and crippled by the Clown Prince of Crime, Barbara is stripped naked and has pictures of her body and crying face taken and used by the Joker as a means to drive her father, Jim Gordon, insane. Many have argued that this was a sexist way to treat Barbara (who still continued to fight crime as the Oracle after the incident), but that assumption comes with what in my opinion amounts to a fundamental misunderstanding of the story itself. I’ve written about this particular controversy before in another post, and I’ve even gone over the fact that this plot point was only ever allowed to occur due to blatant sexism (Alan Moore’s editor told him to “cripple the bitch” when he asked for permission to do this to Barbara). Even with all that, I still absolutely have to make my piece on this subject since there already seems to be a backlash brewing over this.
Continue reading “The Killing Joke Animated Movie Just Got Announced – My Response to the Inevitable Controversy”
In the past I’ve praised shows like Person of Interest for being able to forgo simplistic procedural plots and incorporating more and more complex serialized elements in its story-telling, but today I’m going to do the unthinkable. I’m going to do something different. I’m here to tell you that this show, the 2015 anime series Death Parade, needed to be more procedural. It really, really did and that’s not just because the serialized elements that were there happened to be fairly boring for the most part.
Continue reading “Death Parade – The Rare Show That Should Have Been More Procedural”