I was into a lot of geeky things as a kid, but Harry Potter was my number one fandom, and back then, the Harry Potter stories could basically do no wrong. Now, as an adult, I realize that there are definitely things in Harry Potter that were problematic or simply things that I think J.K. Rowling could have done better, both from a writing and from an intersectional feminist perspective. We have already discussed on this site how problematic it is that many of the characters that are analogous with discrimination are all white, cisgender, heterosexual, and able-bodied, and relatedly, recently I have been seeing a lot of racebent pictures of Harry Potter characters in the fandom. It seems the two most popular are Black Hermione and Indian or biracial Harry, both of which I love, but it got me thinking about the lack of any real discussion on the intersectionality of discrimination in Harry Potter.
Another summer, another season of Teen Wolf for us to delight (or, more likely, despair) over! I wasn’t much looking forward to it coming back, and the episode wasn’t much to write home about, to be honest, but it was nice to revisit the pack (or, what of the pack is left) that I’ve come to love.
However, this episode wasted no time in jumping right into the most icky, disturbing Eichen House plotline possible, so consider this your trigger (for ableism, abuse, and general Eichen House terribleness) and spoiler warning right off the bat.
Last weekend, Nintendo gave players a chance to demo their new game, Splatoon, on a global scale. As it was only available for a select three different hours over a two day period, it seemed to double-function as a hype building exercise and a stress-test on their online servers. That said, the game looks and feels amazing! I’d love to geek out about it for hours, but now isn’t the time. However, during the one hour I played, the game felt just slightly awkward: it was hard for me to aim. In most shooting-based games (first, or third person) camera control and aiming is controlled with a second analog stick on the controller. Splatoon, on the other hand, has the vertical aiming controlled by tilting the Wii U’s controller. (I didn’t know at the time that it could be changed!) Being fairly experienced in the “typical” method, this threw me off to a high degree, which got me wondering: does everyone new to games feel this way?
Teen Wolf is coming back at the end of June and I am very excited! Last season, like most seasons of Teen Wolf, was good, bad, and problematic. Every year I hope it will get a little better and every year I’m sadly a little disappointed. Now don’t get me wrong; Teen Wolf is not at the level of Supernatural, which I watched despite the fact that I almost constantly wanted to bang my head against a wall. But Teen Wolf has its own set of problems. Despite the diverse cast, Teen Wolf still tends to portray minorities poorly (or they’re just murdered). The women tend to be portrayed decently, and are usually not just love interests, but they do have a problem with ending up dead far more often than the men. There are many problematic, ableist tones in the show, which seem to just get worse instead of getting better. And don’t get me started on the show having a token gay character, which shouldn’t even be an issue considering there have been at least four gay characters on the show. Then there is the constantly rotating cast that makes it difficult for any good writer to construct a decent plot, especially when your main characters leave every other season. I can already foresee a lot of issues in the upcoming season, but my fingers are crossed that the good parts can be salvaged.
So instead of focusing on everything that could go wrong, I decided to think about what I hope will happen in the upcoming season of Teen Wolf.
I’ve wanted to write a post about how OCD is portrayed in pop culture for quite some time now—but to be honest, there really aren’t that many obsessive-compulsive characters out there. Off the top of my head, I can name the Riddler from DC Comic’s Batman and Rabbit from Winnie the Pooh. Rin tells me that Pearl from Steven Universe also suffers from OCD, but I don’t watch that show and therefore cannot comment on it. So that leaves me with the Riddler and Rabbit, which are not that many characters at all.
Unfortunately, despite being one of the more well-known mental disorders out there, OCD is sadly not that well understood by people at large. I think this helps contribute to the lack of representation—and what representation us OCD sufferers do get is normally not that great either.
Agent Carter may be over, but that means that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is back on. Unfortunately, I liked Agent Carter a hell of a lot more than I have Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and I wasn’t sure what to think of the show when it returned. However, S.H.I.E.L.D.‘s first episode back gave me plenty of food for thought.
Spoilers up to the current episode (2.11) of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. after the jump!
I’m trying to collect myself enough to review Agent Carter’s finale, but that’s a really hard endeavor. Never before have I loved a show as much as I love Agent Carter. Since the very first episode, it has been consistently well written and progressive. Its only real downside is that it lacks representation for people of color and LGBTQ+ people. Nevertheless, Agent Carter has been phenomenal with the issues it does cover—misogyny, physical and mental disabilities—all the while telling a damn good story with some great compelling characters.
Spoilers up ahead.
Growing up, my favorite Thanksgiving movie was Addams Family Values, the 1993 sequel to the movie The Addams Family. You might think that’s because there are only a few Thanksgiving movies and the rare Thanksgiving episodes in various TV shows, but you would be wrong. Addams Family Values is my favorite Thanksgiving movie because the movie is very clear in its message that Thanksgiving is a bullshit imperialist holiday.
Now, Addams Family Values is not strictly speaking a Thanksgiving movie, though it does incorporate and critique Thanksgiving more than any other holiday. Like the first Addams Family movie, the events of the movie take place over several months. I’m actually not even sure if the Thanksgiving play that is shown in the movie is performed on Thanksgiving—I’m pretty sure it’s not—but I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s talk about the movie overall first.
A few weeks ago, Arrow’s third season began with an incredibly shocking first episode. And now, four episodes later, all the characters are still dealing with the tragedy. This tragedy—a major character death—was completely unexpected. I didn’t mind what happened, despite how much I adored said character, but dealing with the death of a loved one seems to be a recurring trend with Laurel’s character. In the first season, she was still coming to terms with her sister’s death. In the second season, she turned to drugs and alcohol after Tommy died. And now, in the third season, she is using another death as an excuse to engage in some truly ableist behavior.
Spoilers for Arrow Season 3 up ahead.
If you have seen “Breezy,” the most recent episode of Adventure Time, then you will know that something really awful happened. That’s right—Finn grew his arm back. Just grew it back. And maybe I would be less annoyed if 1) I didn’t expect better of Adventure Time, and 2) this wasn’t symptomatic of a bigger problem. “Curing” disabled characters is one of those things that happens a lot in genre fiction and it sends an awful message.