Sexualized Saturdays: Motherhood vs. Fatherhood in Geek Media

I don’t know if I would say that Saga is my favorite comic, but that’s probably because it’s just so good, and so consistently so, that it’d be like saying that I like breathing air. I take it for granted that Saga is going to be one of the best comics out there every time I pick up a trade. The fifth trade collection just debuted this week and it got me thinking about motherhood and characterization. The main characters of the story are Alana and Marko, the parents of our narrator, Hazel. Alana and Marko are from Landfall and Wreath, respectively, a planet and its moon that have been at war for as long as anyone can remember. The fact that they’ve fallen in love and had a baby has put them at the top of both their homelands’ hit lists, and they’ve been on the run for the entirety of the story, trying (and failing spectacularly) to find somewhere safe to raise their child.

Alana-Saga One of the things that I love about Alana is that, while she is absolutely and fiercely dedicated to her daughter, it shows in a way that is consistent with her character. She will fuck up anyone who threatens to lay a hand on Hazel, but she’s not the best at motherhood or at being a decent person, and her best-laid plans too often go awry. She’s also still got interests and desires outside of simply raising her daughter; she didn’t stop being a person when she started being a mother. She loves the trashy romance novels that helped her bond with Marko when they first met. She developed a drug problem while trying to support her family on the run. She felt miserable and unsexy when she and Marko tried to have sex while she was pregnant. She can fire a rifle and curse a blue streak but still struggles to get along with her in-laws. In fact, Alana as a character is more in line with what we usually see of fathers in pop culture.

Continue reading

Futurama: They’re Back, Baby!

Futurama is back with a new season! Woooo! Hoooo! This one hour episode “The Bots and the Bees” and “A Farewell to Arms” was pretty awesome for a Futurama season opener. The first part was mainly about everyone’s favorite thieving robot Bender. After the purchase of a sassy beverage dispenser named Bev, things start to get interesting. What started off as a fight for the honor of two bimbo bots, Bender and Bev soon start banging, literally. Soon Bev dispenses a cute little miniature Bender. After little Ben is abandoned by his metal mama, Bender becomes a fantastic father. After a montage of father and son stealing and property-damage-based bonding Ben grows into the awkward adolescent stage of a growing robot. Little Ben’s dream is to be a bender like his dad, but he didn’t inherited it from Bender. To install it would mean to lose his memories, including those of Bender. Eventually Bender selflessly installs the bending program so that his son can follow his dream.

This was a really interesting episode; here we learn how robots reproduce (I always wondered) and that Bender, for all his evil and selfishness is capable of caring for something other than himself. Who would of thought Bender would make such an excellent dad? Though it isn’t too much of a surprise do to his occasional emotional attachment to his best friend Fry and he has often displayed emotions over such things as broken robots and helpless turtles. Even though his son eventually didn’t remember him, Bender still loves him.

The second part was about the Martian calendar and its prediction for the end of the world in 3012. Amidst the chaos is the chivalrous Fry and the lovely Leela. In classic Fry fashion Fry is constantly trying to do nice things for Leela, which always seems to backfire. While trying to join the balcony club, the two one-sided love birds are alerted to the end of the world translation. Panic soon engulfs the world. Luckily they find an ancient Martian space ship in an underground pyramid. Since the ship can only hold 30,000, the president sets up a machine that chooses each person based on merit. Due partly to his lucky pants Fry has a ticket, due to Leela’s unfortunate choice of career, she is not. Fry does the noble thing and manages to trick Leela to go on the ship to Mars without him. Unfortunately it turned out that the translation was wong, dead Wong (due to Amy.) It turned out that the prophecy was meant for Mars, not Earth. Once again Fry messed up. Mars soon starts to skim the Earth, Fry tries to save Leela, but manages to tear her arm off instead. She is saved by Scruffy and his trusty ladder.

This episode was a typical “Oh are they in love now?” episode or an “is Leela still not over Lars’s death who was actually alternate-timeline Fry and so should just be with him, damn it?” episode. Although I love Fry and Leela relationship, they have begun to wear on my rooting arm. Their ambiguous affiliation is frustrating to fans (or at least to me) and I was hoping for a little more depth, or at least some progress from these two. Fry is constantly proving his love to Leela and she for some reason does and also does not return it. Although this particular episode had a happy ending, I still was a little pissed at Leela’s attitude. If you don’t like him, reject him! If you do, accept him! Zoidberg Jesus people!

Anyhoo, overall it was an excellent start to what is sure to be an excellent season! If you have never seen Futurama, it is available on Netflix, and they often have reruns on Comedy Central. Futurama is on Wednesday’s at 10:00PM on Comedy Central.