The other week I had pure freedom to loaf around, so I firmly planted myself on the couch and hit the Netflix hard. Luckily for me, Into the Badlands, a show that had caught my eye before, was finally available. I’d only seen trailers online before for this post-apocalyptic show (brought to us by AMC, continuing their move from movies to original programming like Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead). About two minutes in, I was hooked. I honestly can’t remember the last time I was quite this excited and engrossed by a new show, which is saying a lot. How is it awesome? In every way possible. Let’s take a look!
So I have this problem.
This is the problem: a younger, more naïve Saika was so, so excited for the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie. The trailers were so good; it was a different and new premise from the typical Marvel formula… and then she was massively disappointed by the movie itself.
An older, wiser Saika then sat down to watch this trailer. And found, to her great surprise, that she was once again interested in the shenanigans of these space-faring assholes. Is it too much to ask for that this movie will be the GotG we deserve and not the fratsplosion we got last time?
My fingers are Pollyanna-optimistically crossed.
A couple months ago, I recced a fic called Where My Thought’s Escaping which was about Harry Potter‘s Cho Chang. It focused on worldbuilding, the international wizarding community, and Cho’s perspective as someone who was simultaneously part of the war with Voldemort and outside of it; and it was the first time I’d ever seen anyone attempt to engage with Cho’s Chinese heritage, let alone with Cho as a character. It was a pretty well done fic, and if that was the only fic we’d ever get about Cho, I’d be pretty pleased. Fortunately for me, though, some fanficcers are intent on giving Cho more screentime than she got in the books or the movie, and today’s fanfic is another great fic starring Cho Chang.
I recently sang the praises of the new Spider-Gwen series, but the illustrious Ms. Stacy is not the only spider-broad to get her own series coming out of the Edge of Spider-verse event. I meant to pick up the first issue of Silk when it came out last month, but my shop was sold out by the time I got there. I finally got my hands on the second printing of Silk #1 the other day, along with the first printing of the second issue, and I’m pleased to report that it’s a tremendously enjoyable read.
When I started my Classic Who review series, I did warn/promise that I wouldn’t be going in chronological order by any means. True to that, let’s talk about Paul McGann’s contribution to the Doctor Who canon: that TV movie from the nineties titled only Doctor Who.
This, ladies and gentlemen, is my strong suit: pulling comic characters you might not know about from the ether and telling you why they’re awesome. I get to be nerdy and people will read it and even find it interesting. In short, I want to tell you about more of the awesome women of Marvel Comics. We’ve talked about how important it is to pull back the veil on the representation of women in Marvel, and why it’s important to not leave people out of the coolest categories. So, while I’m on the subject on Marvel and the representation of women, I’d like to indulge the basest of my weeaboo instincts. Let’s talk about some Japanese girls.
It’s that time again, the falling leaves, the chill in the air, the dead body swinging from the tree in the neighbor’s front yard. October is truly a wonderful month. It contains the best holiday which crosses over all faiths, races, and creeds (that don’t think it’s about devil worship). I can hold a bloodied sack of candy while dressed as the Batman without anyone calling the cops, but the most important part of this wonderful holiday full of ghoulish ghosts and wicked witches, bloody vampires, and psychotic clowns, are the Halloween movies! We all have our favorites, but possibly the most beloved (or at least most well-known) Halloween movie “for families” is Tim Burton’s A Nightmare Before Christmas, a stop-motion animated movie about a bored Pumpkin King and a less-than-jolly Santa. In that same vein Burton’s latest movie Frankenweenie was released this October 5. It is based on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and the 1931 movie of the same name.
Frankenweenie is a simple story about a boy named Victor and his undead dog Sparky that he brought back to life using electricity (I see what you did there, Burton) and a special scientific formula. Aka: science is magic. Victor’s unfortunate looking classmate Edgar recognizes the bestitched Sparky and blackmails Victor into teaching him how to raise the dead. Soon some of his other classmates find the formula and after playing God for a while, end up accidentally creating giant monsters. Havoc ensues.
There were some very funny parts of the movie. Edgar had some good one-liners. The Weird Girl was also appropriately named. When Burton calls something weird, you better believe it! Overall I enjoyed the movie. The beginning was very touching; it truly showed the bond between Victor and Sparky. I cried when Sparky was hit by the car, was reanimated, and at the end of the movie. Sparky reminded me of Zero, Jack Skellington’s red nosed ghost dog and Victor reminded me of…Victor from Burton’s lackluster movie Corpse Bride. Overall I would say it was B+; pretty good, but it seemed a bit short, and I didn’t really like the Asian representation in the movie. Still, I heartily recommend it.
Because it wasn’t that exciting.
So I have a vested interest in minority representation in Doctor Who. Anyone who’s read my S7 episode reviews knows that I’m annoyed at the lack of realistic LGBTQ characters. But I’m also concerned with the overwhelming whiteness of the show. I even have an essay being published in the Doctor Who and Race anthology about the lack of Asian characters in Doctor Who. (It’s coming out next year for anyone who’s interested.) We’ve been going through the editorial process pretty constantly over the past few months, and so the issue is even more at the forefront of my mind then it usually is.
So what was it about “TATM” that made history? Well, Doctor Who has a history of avoiding Asian locations, characters, and storylines. The only time in new Who that we’ve seen a character in Asia is when the entire Chinese army becomes the Master in “The End of Time”. “The Angels Take Manhattan” marks the first time where the Doctor is shown in China doing things.
So why did it suck?
Well, first of all, it wasn’t a part of the storyline but rather a stopping point so that the Doctor could drop a note to River on a Qin dynasty vase. It was actually so brief that I couldn’t find an image of it on Google—I had to screencap this myself.
Second of all, the characters are not agents, they’re objects. They exist in the show so the Doctor can pop in and manipulate things as he sees fit and leave. You could switch out the vase from China with an artifact from any other culture and nothing about that scene would have changed. It’s not like they played an important role.
This is just another fail in a long line of fail on Moffat’s part this season. Here, have a cissexist joke about a trans* horse! Trans* inclusion! Amy’s a bridesmaid in an off-screen gay wedding mentioned in a throwaway line! Queer inclusion! Ancient China is onscreen for less than a minute! POC inclusion!
This is not okay, Doctor Who. This is not real diversity. Step up and do something that actually makes a difference.