I may not like horror for its gore and jump scares, but I do like it for its willingness to delve into dark plotlines and creative worldbuilding. Unfortunately for me, most horror stories are too scary for my taste, and as it’s the month of Halloween, I was lamenting that I wouldn’t find a creepy story that could fulfill my needs without giving me nightmares. Last week, though, I finally decided to suck it up and watch the first season of American Horror Story, entitled Murder House. All ready for the trauma I was about to subject myself to, I started off the first episode with my finger hovering over the mute button on my controller, my feet conveniently propped up in front of my face to block the screen from view should I need it, and my sister-in-law on the phone to talk me through the worst of it.
My preparations were for naught, however, as I found out, much to my own delight, that while American Horror Story is dark and creepy, it is not scary. Murder House left me with some mixed feelings—the story often falls victim to convoluted storytelling, sexist and ableist tropes, and a camera that jumps from scene to scene with very few transition shots. Nevertheless, I found the story enjoyable enough to blow through it in no time, but the more I thought about it, the less happy I was with the overall experience. Murder House suffered from some really bad storytelling decisions—it tries to talk about complex and serious issues, but fails to adequately explore those issues with the care they deserve. Murder House captivated me for the story it wanted to be, but the story that it actually is is a lot less compelling.
Trigger warning for sexual assault and ableism below.
Star Wars Rebels’s second season wrapped up just a little bit ago, and that was one of the most intense season finales I’ve witnessed. Once again, Rebels proved that it is anything but a mediocre story. The second season progressed the development of all our characters, concluded most of the major current arcs in a pretty satisfying way, and threw our main cast into complete disarray. While some endings have left me a little sad—albeit not for bad storytelling purposes—I am more than excited to see where Season 3 takes everyone when it finally comes around.
I can’t say that I was completely blown away by the final installment in The Hunger Games franchise. The movie felt a little choppy, jumped around in a few places, and had a habit of throwing characters at us without any kind of proper introduction. As Mockingjay was the only book in the franchise that I didn’t finish reading in its entirety, I found its second installment to be the most confusing of all the movies. I knew how it was going to end and I knew which characters were going to die beforehand thanks to Wikipedia, but I shouldn’t have had to rely on that in order to know who people were.
But fear not, people who really want to see Mockingjay, I would not say that the movie is all bad. Sure, it’s choppy and rushed, but it still had all the excitement that I had come to expect from it, and there were more than a few places that caused me to jump a little in my seat.
So without further ado, let’s take a look at Mockingjay Part 2. Spoilers up ahead.
It’s no secret on this blog that we greatly dislike the mystical healing trope where magic cures people of what would otherwise be lifelong disabilities. Often, this is because our disabled protagonists are portrayed as broken and needing to be fixed, and are just special enough that the mystical forces of their world deem them worthy of healing—but not the other disabled characters, like the villains.
But what about the opposite? What about when magic makes characters disabled instead of curing them? This is a trope that I love so much more, since hey, I could use more disabled characters in my life, but it’s usually combined with the mystical healing trope, which means that it unfortunately runs into some of the same ableist problems.
Today’s guest column comes via LGG&F reader Brielle Pritchard. Brielle spends her days putting her English degree to use by crafting stories and comics with characters of color in main roles.
As someone who has dealt with her fair share of MMORPGs and games with player created avatars, I’ve noticed a huge lack of real representation in the choices of avatars. You want to create an online version of yourself? Okay. Pick either a girl or boy base, make your skin one of the 5-8 shades available, pick one of the various hairstyles to choose from (unless you have natural hair then your options are even more limited). But do you want wings, horns, plushies? Go for it! Have tons of them! But what about the people who want an avatar exactly like them, along with the fancy stuff? Pumpkin Online may just be the MMORPG that they—and the rest of the world!—have been waiting for.
It has become clear to me that I will never have a normal theater experience. Seriously, theaters hate me. When I saw Godzilla, there was no sound. When I saw The Maze Runner, there was loud ass construction going on next door. And right before I saw Mockingjay, I got horrendously ill. This was all kinds of suck because not only was I sitting in the theater attempting to not breathe on anyone, Mockingjay was quite good and I really wanted to enjoy it to my full capacity.
I recently—finally—finished Arkham Origins, just watched Batman: Assault on Arkham, and have been reading Batman fics non-stop for the past two weeks. Needless to say, I’ve been a little obsessed. I can’t get enough of the Dark Knight. Unfortunately, Gotham doesn’t premiere until the 22nd, and that’s still like a whole week away.
Teen Wolf does a pretty poor job when it comes to disabilities—I’ve yet to forgive the show for how it treats Deucalion’s blindness. So it doesn’t surprise me that it has also failed to address the full scope of problems a character like Malia should have. Someone like Malia, who spent half her life—during her formative years no less—in the body of a coyote, should have numerous issues. And though Teen Wolf has thankfully remembered to give Malia some problems, such as trouble catching up in school, the show has neglected to give her other issues that she definitely should have.
Instead, it presents Malia as a fully functioning teenage girl who knows how to accessorize, do her hair, and apply makeup. Hell, despite Malia’s complaints that she’s cold because she no longer has a fur coat, she still shaves, which is not something a person in her position would be doing. But that’s hardly the worst of it. Malia turned into a coyote as a small child, and she didn’t become human again until she was in her late teens. Yet despite this, she can still function in her human body as if she’d been using it the whole time.
I just finished reading Batman: The Black Mirror. If you’re a DC Comics guy, I suggest you pick it up. It delves deeply into the concept of family and the inherent evil that comes from Gotham City. Also, it introduced me to a truly scary man in James Gordon Jr.
Spoilers for Batman: The Black Mirror begin after the jump.
If you’ve read enough of my articles, you know I’m usually a fan of DC Comics over Marvel. However, with DC’s recent record in the amazing game of “Let’s See How Many PeopleWeCanPiss Off,” I’ve started paying more attention to Marvel characters not named TonyStark.
Here is a shocker: Loki’s character is interesting as hell. But not because of his actions in the movies or comics. It’s not because Tom Hiddleston plays him so well (although he does). It’s the actions before we even see Loki the first time that make him so interesting.