My Felicity Problem

Last night on Arrow, Felicity Smoak kissed Ray Palmer.

90s Sitcom Laugh Track: WOOOOO!!!!

90s Sitcom Laugh Track: WOOOOO!!!!

As played by Superman.

Sorry, Brandon Routh is doing a really good job with that character, it’s just really hard to not see, you know, Superman, when watching the guy who played Superman on a superhero TV show.

UGH.

Anyway, today over on The AV Club, they have a piece about how Felicity needs to rise above her role of simply being Oliver’s tech support, and that such characters (pretty girl hackers) should maybeee not be quite so overused.

This is a fair point, but deputizing Willow into your argument is not a great idea, since Willow’s arc is amazing. Off topic, time to focus.

I’m noticing another disturbing pattern when it comes to Felicity.

Barry Allen

Oliver Queen

Ray Palmer

Felicity is becoming a superhero groupie and that’s a really bad look for a character that I really, really, like. And it annoys me because it’s something that we’ve seen before.

Oh hey Lois. What's up?

Oh hey Lois. What’s up?

Smallville did some really cool and interesting stuff with Lois Lane. She was a breath of fresh air when she came in at the top of season 4 (5? Whatever, somewhere in the middle), linked her to the cast by making her Chloe’s cousin and developed a really fun bantering relationship with Clark during the height of the Clark/Lana “good relationship” stuff. And the Clark/Lana break up stuff. And the Lana/Lex awesome stuff. And sad Clark because of Lana/Lex. She and Chloe were often off doing their own thing that was waaaayyyy more interesting than the main action.

She also hooked up with Aquaman and Green Arrow during that time. And I get it, to an extent. Lois had to end up with Clark. Regardless of how it happened, in the end, they had to be together. It was one of the few cases of their inevitability working well. So having her mark time with other Superheroes, specifically Oliver Queen (never more of a cut rate Bruce Wayne than he was here) who was working so closely with Clark, was a good way to do that without losing her to side plots.

Oh HEY Smallville Green Arrow. (Not pertinent, just nice to look at occasionally)

Oh HEY Smallville Green Arrow. (Not pertinent, just nice to look at occasionally)

But it also seemed kind of weird and unnecessary.

I liked the Oliver/Lois relationship and I’m already on board for Felicity/Ray, (even if it means the death of Felicity/Barry! WHHHYYYY????) but it represents an overall pattern of not knowing what to do with female characters besides pair them up! I like pairing people up and I do it all the time. But also, it doesn’t need to happen. I refer, as ever, to my beloved Revenge.

Emily has relationships. She has guys, but this season, she’s not with anyone. The romance ship has long ago sunk with Jack (thank God) and Daniel is a moron, and her fiancé Aidan is dead. So no romance for Emily and it’s not distracting because she’s doing other things. If Felicity was running Queen Consolidated (now Palmer Technologies) and working in that world, and not having a guy thing happening, she’d still probably be compelling and fun.

That said, we saw Brandon Routh shirtless last night. And it was nice.

Thanks CW, never change.

Sailor Moon Check In: What EXACTLY is happening here?

Oh, hey guys. It’s Sailor Moon Crystal week so it’s time to check in on what’s going on with my head and these characters. Hooray!

Sailor Moon

Manga

Gah! NO, still not Manga. Leave me alone already, self.

Original Anime

I’m going to miss this arc when it’s gone. It’s so silly. Ail and An are so vain and petty and stupid, but not like totally incompetent like someone I could name. (Kunzite.) Mamoru and Usagi babysat a kid while his mom was in a coma and we got to see that Mamoru is like, a super good dad. (Which of course will come to be important very soon, I’m guessing.) And of course there’s a weird run about Makoto’s boobs and being cast in Snow White. Made me uncomfortable. Also, Rei wants to be a pop star? Which, I mean, I thought that was Minako? And speaking of Minako…

Crystal

Ugh, what is with her here? She knows everything but isn’t telling anyone anything. Luckily that’s all dispensed with because Queen Serenity finally explained it to them when they all went to the Moon. (How cool was it when they went to the moon?) Of course, now we have brainwashed Mamoru to deal with. At least here it will probably only last an episode or two not like a million years like in the original. Oh, right, and The Four Kings of Heaven and The Inner Senshi were in love.

Because Shipping.

Yay!

In a less sarcastic way? This doesn’t mean too much to me, but I do love the image of the four and four staring at one another across a field in a memory of a past life. Here’s a question…why back in Silver Millenium did Serenity get a pretty dress and the Senshi still dress like Sailors? That seems, incongruous?

Other Stuff

No other stuff to report, really. Considering a Princess Serenity cosplay, since I actually have a dress that might work for it. But I’d have to buy the wig and make props. So, maybe not. Also, I’m considering illegally watching the original dub. I’m curious to see just how awful it is. (I’ve heard nothing but terrible things and I’m honestly super curious…) That’s going to depend on how much time I have going into the holidays!

It’s Happening!: A Gotham Check In

Gotham Logo

So, Gotham still isn’t what it could be, what with it’s perfect cast and interesting atmosphere and all, but it’s certainly gone from “confusing and terrible,” to “watchable and often quite good.” Gordon and Bullock have settled in as partners. The gang war almost happened and it was pretty glorious. We met Tommy Elliot and saw him recontextualized from a kid who was friendly with but always jealous of Bruce, to Bruce’s childhood bully.

But that’s not what I’m talking about at all.

That’s not what’s happening.

I mean, those things are happening, certainly, but what I’m talking about is last night’s episode “Harvey Dent.”

We met it’s title character and he’s smarmy, young, confident and good looking and full of rage and kind of perfect, but it’s nothing to the image of Selina balancing a Ming Vase in her hand while Bruce awkwardly introduces himself to her and she notes that he can get a replica in Chinatown for 5 bucks.

THIS MOMENT WAS EVERYTHING I WANTED IT TO BE!!!!!

And as the episode moves forward he continues to be awkward and she continues to try to be a badass and it’s perfect and awesome. There are puppy eyes and accidentally hurt feelings and OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG! THEY ARE GOING TO FALL IN LOVE AND HAVE A BABY SOME DAY!

Selina lies about her family and they both know she’s lying. She offers to kiss him. He is unbearably awkward about it.

They have their first chase, throwing pastries at one another.

I repeat THE FIRST TIME BRUCE WAYNE CHASES SELINA KYLE IT’S AROUND HIS LIVING ROOM AS THEY THROW PASTRIES AT EACH OTHER! Knowing their destiny (some version of it anyway) just makes this whole thing all the more adorable.

Camron Bicandova and David Mazouz sell it pretty well, and I was disappointed to miss this one live, although my tweet stream would have been along the OMG OMG OMG SQUEEEE lines.

It’s happening people.

To use the language of my people: I ship it.

But to be more specific, a few months ago, Crystan, Aless and I talked about how fangirls should run TV. I’m entirely convinced that Gotham is pulled 90% from Batman fanfic, because I mean, Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle chased each other around Wayne Manor throwing pastries.

I cannot stress enough that this is a thing that happened in a canon version of a Batman story.

It’s a wonderful time to be alive people.

“I Am Satisfied With My Care”

Big Hero 6

I haven’t gone to see two movies in a weekend in a really long time, and even as I settled into my seat to watch Big Hero Six on Sunday afternoon, I wasn’t sure if MAYBE after 3 hours of Interstellar this wasn’t a great idea.

I cannot stress this enough, people!

GO TO SEE BIG HERO 6. Go as soon as possible. This is a wonderful, wonderful movie.

Disney been on a roll since John Lasseter took over the animation studio, The Princess and The Frog wasn’t a hit, but is a competently made and fun twist on a classic fairy tale. Tangled reminded a lot of people what we saw in those princess movies to begin with. Wreck It Ralph was a return to the kind of classic comedy cartoon that Disney’s always done well. And Frozen, I mean, it’s Frozen.

Big Hero Six keeps the streak going. This is a beautifully animated movie, full of fun energetic and colorful characters. It’s based (very loosely, according to all) on an obscure Marvel property that no one has ever heard of. It features a team of scientists and their stoner comic book nerd mascot and their cuddly robot nurse pal.

Hiro and Tadashi Hamada are two genius brothers, Hiro’s smarter, but Tadashi is harder working. While Hiro, who graduated high school at the young age of 14, spends his time building unbeatable robots for back alley battles, Tadashi has been working hard in college building Bay Max, a healthcare companion who can diagnose and cure just about any physical ailment.

One night after they get arrested when Hiro hustled the wrong guy, Tadashi brings him to his lab, where he meets Gogo, Honey Lemon, Wasabi and Fred, and sees what they’re working on. He also meets Robert Calaghan, a noted robotics expert and decides, maybe college life is for him. He invents some amazing “microbots” as his application, but the night of his big presentation there’s a fire that apparently kills both Tadashi and Calaghan.

Hiro withdraws until Bay Max decides to help him deal with his grief and enlists the rest of the gang to help. They have some encounters with a guy in a Kubuki mask who is using Hiro’s microbots.

The voice performances are stellar, with special shout outs to Scott Adsit’s Bay Max and TJ Miller’s Fred who just nail everything about their characters. Miller’s isn’t much of a stretch for him, since Fred is basically a G rated TJ Miller, but it’s an entertaining performance none the less.

I am also, for the record, already hard at work on a Honey Lemon cosplay. It’s going to be a good one.

The pre movie cartoon about a dog who becomes addicted to human food and then helps his owner find the love of his life was absolutely perfect. I love that these shorts come before all of the Disney animateds now, not just the Pixars.

Rankings:

  1. Guardians of The Galaxy
  2. Big Hero 6
  3. Interstellar
  4. Godzilla
  5. Chef
  6. X-Men: Days of Future Past
  7. The 100 Foot Journey
  8. The Judge
  9. How To Train Your Dragon 2
  10. Lucy
  11. The Boxtrolls
  12. Jersey Boys
  13. Maleficent
  14. The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Trailers:

I was hoping for Into The Woods here, but alas no.

Little Boy looks exceptionally awful, but I bet youth ministers are going to LOVE this movie. It looks like fabulous lock in fare.

Annie. All roads lead to Annie this winter.

Penguins of Madagascar. There isn’t enough NO in the world.

Bad Feminist Review: It’s a book, and also my point of view

I had a big consumption weekend, I saw two big movies, I finished up Yes, Please and (almost) got caught up on the 3 week stack of comic books I’d allowed to accumulate. All this while maintaining my National Novel Writing Month Word Count. (I’m not bragging. I mean, I’m bragging a little.) But I also read Roxanne Gay’s fabulous book of essays Bad Feminist.

I was vaguely aware of Gay because of her work on Buzzfeed and she wrote Vulture’s Outlander recaps which so perfectly understood how I felt about the show. (She liked it, she definitely did, but struggled with the “Why?” of it all) And the title alone was enough to draw me in, so I was excited to give it a chance.

First, I want to apologize to the guy I’m seeing right now. If you’re reading this, I was feeling combative and self righteous because of this book. If I was mean or overly argumentative with you at dinner on Saturday because of this feeling, I’m like 50% sorry. I mean, it’s early in our knowing each other for you to see that side of me, but I get that way sometimes.

Next,I want to say how extraordinary this collection of essays is. Gay deals with her childhood, her feelings about her rape at a young age, a lot of pop culture and literary criticism (honestly, the chapter about Twilight and 50 Shades is UNREAL in how good the analysis is.) and the viewpoint that as humans none of us (specifically Gay herself) are not capable of being a perfect encapsulation of a philosophical idea, like a Feminist is amazingly cogent and relatable.

There were a few things about the book that really stood out to me. I disagree with a lot of Gay’s stances on a lot of stuff, and it made me angry, and then gleeful, that I knew enough about what she was talking about to have an opinion and to understand, at least theoretically, her point of view.

This alone made me miss Academic Feminism, my women’s studies curriculum and the safety and civility of the classroom to have these conversations. Women’s Studies classes my last two and a half years of college were some of the most amazing intellectual times in my life and while I still look at just about every story I read or consume from a literary theory perspective because I JUST CAN’T HELP IT, I haven’t engaged in a real fully understood think about feminist philosophy since graduation.

On Friday night I pointed out to my brother, during a heated discussion that, “I did know more about this than him,” (the “this” was the general philosophy of privilege and diversity, which is a shitty thing to say to someone who isn’t related to you and isn’t required to put up with your bullshit occasionally.) and this and reading both Amy Poehler and Gay’s books reminded me how much I miss engaging in dialog about feminist text.

So I don’t know, is there a way for me to engage with other people who know what they’re talking about on a regular basis when it comes to feminism and also NOT go for a master’s degree in gender studies? Because I have little to no interest in that. (Getting a masters in it. That’s a lot more work than I’m willing to put in) But I miss these conversations, I miss this kind of reading.

Anyway, I’m a bad feminist, as we all are, from time to time. It’s OK.

“Rage Against The Dying of The Light”

Interstellar

I don’t want to spoil Interstellar for anyone because the twists and turns of this movie are part of what make it so excellent. This is a fun, funny, smart, emotional Sci-Fi extravaganza, and if you’re not the kind of person who’s going to cry about robots, then this movie isn’t for you.

Interstellar is long. It’s epic. It’s about fathers and daughters, and humanity’s capacity for love and survival. It’s also about black holes and relativity and “science” which is of course different than science.

It’s what happens when you push 2001: A Space Odyssey and Close Encounters of The Third kind and zap them with a Nolan ray.

It’s what happens when you put top notch actors like Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Michael Caine, John Lithgow, Jessica Chastain and Matt Damon to work to tell a story that could only be told on film.

It’s visually interesting and had all of those Nolan touches of weirdness and twistyness that probably won’t hold up if you overthink them but are REALLY COOL while they’re happening.

And it’s about hearing “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night” seventeen times, and seeing several characters interpret the poem in very different ways.

Yes, this movie about rockets, and robots, and black holes and saving humanity also takes a HUGE chunk of it’s run time to talk about poetry, and interpreting it. I cannot even begin to express what that means to me. Dylan Thomas, repeated over and over again in a big blockbuster movie about space. THIS IS AWESOME!

So, that’s how I feel about that! It’s still movie season (and this was a big weekend! Big Hero 6 review is coming tomorrow!)

Here are the rankings as they stand now.

  1. Guardians of The Galaxy
  2. Interstellar (I loved this movie, but not as much as Guardians…sometimes I don’t think I’ll ever love anything as much as Guardians…)
  3. Godzilla
  4. Chef
  5. X-Men: Days of Future Past
  6. The 100 Foot Journey
  7. The Judge
  8. How To Train Your Dragon 2
  9. Lucy
  10. The Boxtrolls
  11. Jersey Boys
  12. Maleficent
  13. The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Trailers:

Big Eyes: Again, I can barely breath when I think of how wonderful this movie looks. I mean, REALLY. So excited to see Tim Burton go outside of his comfort zone again. Of course it may turn out weirder than it looks, but I hope not.

Chappie: Neil Blompkamp is at it again, making challenging Sci-Fi awesomeness, with actors I love. Chappie is about AI and Dev Patel being mega cute and wide eyed. HOORAY!

Fast 7: Probably won’t see. Trailer made me cry. Because of Paul Walker. Not because it was particularly emotional.

This was a lacking review, in a lot of ways. I’m going to have to wait a few months before I can discuss the actual moments that made this movie special, but I don’t want to spoil! Go see it!

But First, Let me Take A Selfie

I didn’t expect Selfie to be my favorite new comedy this year.

Selfie

I was 100% ready for that to be Mulaney or maybe Marry Me.

I don’t think Mulaney is even John Mulaney’s favorite new comedy, sadly and Marry Me has loads of potential but hasn’t quite found it’s rhythm. I pray it does because Ken Marino and Casey Wilson as a new world Rob and Laura Petrie is like, my favorite concept in the entire world.

Selfie wasn’t my favorite concept, but then I realized, wait, yes it was.

Emily Kopnek created the show, and she also created Suburgatory which was one of the best shows ever. It stars Karen Gillan (AMY POND YO!) and John Cho (Sulu, bitches). And oh right, it’s a modern adaptation of Pygmallion and My Fair Lady and is about people working for a pharmaceutical company.

This is the best idea ever. One of the best parts is that if anyone can handle platonic but maybe not flirting for multiple seasons, it’s Gillan.

Best Non Couple Ever!

Best Non Couple Ever!

And if anyone can sell the sort of socially weird thing that totally categorizes a modern take on Henry Higgins, it’s John Cho. The show is a perfect capsule of zaniness, and if you know the play and musical well (I do…like, really well…) there are all kinds of fun things to catch. (Freddy, the feckless rich boy who courts Eliza, is here recast as her Friend With Benefits, who Henry pushes her to have a real relationship with, for example.)

What made Subugatory special is also on display here, a strong two some, surrounded by lots of zany characters, and not doing anything in particular.

And each episode just seems to be getting better and better, as tends to be the way with early comedies, as you get to know the characters, spending time with them and seeing their interaction gets better. It’s why, for me, I often find Season 2 or 3 of a comedy to be it’s best. I’m looking forward to where this goes.

Quick Note: I watched this week’s Mulaney while I was writing this and it was much better. Either John got some acting lessons, or maybe it’s just that they shifted the focus to Martin Short (rightly, he’s FABULOUS and has been since the pilot) but if you bailed on it, I recommend giving it another shot. Imagine if we’d bailed on The Office or Parks & Rec after their disastrous first few episodes? We’d have missed out on Little Sebastian! Horrific.