My obsession with Dungeons & Dragons doesn’t seem to be going away. Playing it is so much fun, and there’s so many great D&D stories told in various podcasts and webshows, that I just can’t stop watching and listening and looking for more. I especially try to look for shows featuring female DMs and female players since most popular D&D productions, such as The Adventure Zone and even Critical Role, are male-dominated. And so today, I want to tell you about about a cool and funny all-women D&D actual play podcast: Dungeons, Dice, & Everything Nice.
It’s not often that a childhood favorite movie or book holds up to the test of time and remains as enjoyable when you’re twenty-eight as when you were eight. For today’s throwback, I want to talk about a movie which I loved as a child for several reasons and which I also love as an adult, although some of the reasons are different now. The movie is Matilda, based on the book of the same name by Roald Dahl. As a little girl, I loved Matilda and her superpowers, and now I love Miss Honey and the themes of found family based on mutual love and support.
I have been reading Lumberjanes for a while now. For those unfamiliar with the comic, it follows a group of girls at a camp who keep getting involved in supernatural shenanigans. I love it so much. However, it’s been difficult for me to identify exactly why I love it so, aside from the obvious—the diversity of female characters and celebration of their friendships. But why do I love these characters? What’s so special about the representation of girls in Lumberjanes? I was talking about this with some of our other writers the other night and they helped me realize just how unique this comic is in its portrayal of girls, in how it avoids common misogynistic tropes, and in how it celebrates all the different ways to be a girl.
I finished the second Assassin’s Creed game sometime last week, and now that I’m working my way through Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, I think I can safely say that the series is becoming one of my favorites. I loved the first game, despite its faults, and the same is true here. Thankfully, Assassin’s Creed II attempted to fix a lot of the problems from the first game, such as the lack of female characters. It wasn’t perfect, but it was still pretty enjoyable.
Two of my favorite things that continue to be way too rare in media are women who are Chosen Ones and Jerks with Hearts of Gold. So I kind of can’t believe that it has taken me so long to write about a new little show called Wynonna Earp, which concluded its first season a couple months ago. It features a great sisterly relationship, queer women, and several great female characters, one of whom is the Chosen One and a Jerk with a Heart of Gold. There are a couple of problems with it as well, but let me delve into all of it below the cut.
Here is a picture of a couple who lived happily ever after in canon to raise our spirits before delving into the depressing fates of many other queer female characters. (art by Bryan Konietzko)
I spent a lot of time trying to decide on a topic for today’s post. But I could really think only of one topic, although I tried to resist it for a while because it’s too sad and frustrating. In the end, I decided to go with it. And so today I want to join the conversation discussing the queer women that have died on our TV screens this year, the Dead Lesbian trope, and the implications of this continuing trend.
Spoilers for Lost Girl, Person of Interest and The 100 below (and of course, don’t look at any of the links if you don’t want to be spoiled about any character deaths anywhere).
I love Netflix’s Jessica Jones—even though the themes of rape, abuse, control, and PTSD make it very difficult to watch. Despite the fact that stories about female characters who have been violated is an overused and misogynistic trope, I think the way the creators of Jessica Jones approach these issues without romanticizing them is pretty great. I especially appreciate the fact these female experiences are the focus of the story and that this story doesn’t serve merely as a backstory for a “strong female character”, even though Jessica is certainly strong in more than one way. The show explores Jessica’s character and post-trauma experiences in an intimate and chilling way and that makes Jessica quite unique as a female character.
Some spoilers for Netflix’s Jessica Jones below. Also, trigger warning for rape, PTSD, alcoholism, self-harm, and abuse.
My favorite thing about Throwback Thursdays is that it gives me an excuse and an opportunity to revisit old childhood favorites that I remember loving, but have all but forgotten the specific details of. For this week’s installment, I bring you Blade, the iconic vampire movie starring Wesley Snipes. This movie was the reason I started to love vampires, but watching it all these years later, I was no longer as impressed with it as I was when I was twelve. But I feel like that’s bound to happen to most things we love as children, and Blade was still an enjoyable, grungy, bloody, and sometimes outright entertainingly disgusting vampire romp.
A while ago we had a post discussing female protagonists who are being watched over/controlled by men/patriarchal organizations. Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Orphan Black were primary examples. Today, I would like to expand on the ideas of that post and talk about a subset of this type of female characters—female characters who are not only overseen by men/organizations (often patriarchal, though perhaps not always) but are also raised to be killers and assassins against their will. I’m a bit torn when it comes to this type of character. On one hand, these women are complex and their tragic backstories allow for character development and growth. But on the other hand, the misogynistic undertones in their arcs are troubling.
Spoilers for Orphan Black, Killjoys, Firefly, and Doctor Who below the jump. Also, trigger warning for child abuse and self-harm.
In this week’s Throwback Thursday, I want to talk about my favorite sci-fi show of all time—Babylon 5. I feel like the voice-over intro which begins each episode is a pretty good summary of what the show is about:
It was the dawn of the third age of mankind – ten years after the Earth-Minbari War. The Babylon Project was a dream given form. Its goal: to prevent another war by creating a place where humans and aliens could work out their differences peacefully. It’s a port of call – home away from home – for diplomats, hustlers, entrepreneurs, and wanderers. Humans and aliens wrapped in two million five hundred thousand tons of spinning metal… all alone in the night. It can be a dangerous place, but it’s our last best hope for peace. This is the story of the last of the Babylon stations. The year is 2258. The name of the place is Babylon 5.
Babylon 5 has had a special place in my heart since I was a child. Unlike Stargate SG-1, which I wrote about a while back, Babylon 5 used to be on late at night (like, 10pm) and my dad used to watch it every week. So, sometimes after my mom had put my brother and me to bed, I would quietly get up and sneak into the living room and ask my dad to let me watch it with him. And he would sometimes let me.
Unfortunately, not much of the show stuck in my memory and what did stick might not not been very accurate, so a couple of years ago, I decided to watch it all again. I hoped it would be good, but I didn’t expect to love it as much as I did.