With the release of Warner Bros’ Suicide Squad , and the marketing focus on a huge part of people’s interest in the film, the Joker and Harley Quinn’s relationship, there’s been a wave of the exact same sentiment repeated ad nauseam on social media, that this relationship is toxic and should not be endorsed on any level. Going on any social media platform and searching the words “Joker and Harley” invites an avalanche of people lecturing no one in particular to “Stop shipping these 2! It’s abusive!” or some variation of “When I see a person who ships those 2 I think they are TERRIBLE and get MAD!”. The phrase “shipping” refers to basically anything having to do with wanting two people to be in a romantic relationship with each other, it usually refers more to potential couples rather than established ones, but it has evolved into being more of a nebulous term for fictional couples (and sometimes even celebrity ones). The Joker and Harley Quinn relationship has become a particular point of interest because it is not a healthy relationship, it is an abusive one between two very dangerous people. The knee jerk reaction becomes outright rejection of it among several circles of the internet, to the point of intolerance of anyone who enjoys watching them together. But it’s in that where people are overlooking what so many people liked about the pair in the first place.
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BoJack Horseman‘s third season ended with one impression that was painfully clear to me: BoJack can’t believably maintain the relationships he does any longer. It’ll be hard for him to be buddy-buddy with Todd again after Todd unloaded on his entire life the way he did. He can’t be close to Princess Carolyn again after the way he harshly fired her in her moment of need. It’ll be tough to buy that he’s still keeping the same network of people now that he’s convinced he’s poison to everyone he comes in contact with. There’s also the fact that everyone else he knows is going to be occupied with their own all-consuming plots of their own that don’t connect to BoJack’s story in any way.
Continue reading “It’s Time for a BoJack Spin-Off”
Today I’m here to levy serious accusations of plagiarism and thievery at Joss Whedon, David Greenwalt, and company. In the midst of taking a shower, I was struck with a horrifying truth, almost as if I were a tree in the middle of a thunderstorm. This truth is burning away at me right now just as this hypothetical tree would be. The truth of Winifred “Fred” Burkle from Angel being a direct rip-off of the Library Kid from Recess. I mean, it’s so obvious once you think about it, and because the team behind Angel was able to get away with this creative theft for so long, I am as frustrated as I am baffled. How dare they try to pass off Disney’s work as their own? I’m getting ahead of myself here, but hear me out.
Continue reading “Fred From Angel Was Basically The Library Kid From Recess”
Rick and Morty is funny. It’s really a show that can be anything, with characters that can go anywhere, and be in any story, but at its core it is really, really funny. It’s science fiction comedy pushed to its very limit, all fueled by the (probably unhinged) mind of Justin Roiland and tempered by the steady hand and experience of Dan Harmon (the man behind Community). The result is a half hour of insanity, hilarity, darkness, and a surprising amount of heart starring a brilliant and amoral scientist and his painfully average grandson. Even though it borrows and pays homage to so many other pieces of pop-culture history, Rick and Morty is a show like no other, and is currently my favourite one airing on TV. Here are 5 hilarious moments from the show that help illustrate the brilliance of its humour.
*Be warned, there are some “joke spoilers” here*
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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.
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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.
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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”
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.
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Everyone should go see Pixar’s Inside Out. Saying that “everyone” should see something is a pretty common way to praise something, but here I am literally saying that every single person should experience this movie. It’s important, not just as a piece of art, but morally speaking as well. If you are parent, or someone who is planning on having kids, or someone who is or has been a kid – you need to see this movie. It’s got an ambitious premise, a solid script, perfect casting, and is legitimately hilarious; but all of that isn’t as important as the lessons it teaches about being a child and being a parent. It’s also the way it conveys these messages that really gets to me, the complete mastery of metaphoric storytelling. Nothing is overly complicated, it’s all easy to follow, and yet there’s a ton of depth to it all. It’s a movie that explores the importance of sadness, the tragedy of growing up, and the nature of joy. Happiness isn’t forever and sadness isn’t something that should be suppressed, parents can say the most devastating things without realizing it, and children have to learn how to communicate their pain. These are all beautiful messages that the movie teaches so well, and I’m not sure I can do it justice by just telling you about it, but I will tell you just some of the things I loved about it (without spoiling it of course).
Continue reading “5 Things I Loved About Inside Out – A Morally Relevant Movie”