Web Crush Wednesdays: White Noise

I’ve been on quite the webcomics binge lately (reccing another webcomic for this column, you say? Shocking), but I can’t help it that the internet is so good at recommending well-written, diverse webcomics to me through Tumblr! Today’s web crush is White Noise, a complex fantastical webcomic about families and found families, the aftermath of tragedy, and prejudice.

Continue reading

Throwback Thursdays: The Fox and the Hound

the-fox-and-the-houndOriginally, I was going to review Balto for this post, but as I’m still looking for my copy of it, I instead had to turn to yet another favorite movie of mine featuring a dog. The Fox and the Hound is a 1981 buddy film about a talking fox and hound and it is really sad to watch. I actually cannot watch this movie without crying. I mean, that might not be saying much, because the same is also true for the Pete’s Dragon remake, which also went out of its way to tug at my cold dead heartstrings. The difference here is that The Fox and the Hound actually deserves my tears.

Spoilers for a thirty-five-year-old movie up ahead.

Continue reading

Oh, My Pop Culture Religion: Shadowhunters, Faith, and Prejudice

The Mortal Instruments ShadowhuntersNothing makes me angrier than when a fantasy story uses religious elements but ignores everything about the faith those elements come from. There is a way that such a thing can be done well, but often fantasy writers seem to cherry pick religious elements and then don’t discuss the religious implications that come with those elements. We see this all the time in shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, where vampires can be repelled with crosses, but nothing about why that works is ever discussed. Or in shows like Supernatural, where various gods exist all at once, but for reasons that make little sense, the Abrahamic deity and other beings like angels are more powerful than the pagan gods. I am seeing this same thing again in the TV show Shadowhunters. I don’t remember the books very well, but I vaguely remember that they did not do any better with the religious elements either. For example, despite being half angel, Jace claims he doesn’t believe in angels in the books.The TV show doesn’t have this issue when it comes to religious elements, but it does have other problems that need to be addressed. And not addressing the religious baggage that these elements bring to the table actually contradicts the message of the overall story.

Continue reading

Theatre Thursdays: Life is a Cabaret, and Cabaret is Life

cabaret_logoCabaret is returning to Broadway next month for its ninth major production in one of the two greatest holy cities of theatre: New York and London. That’s right, nine times. Let’s count the ways: Broadway opening in 1966, West End opening in 1968, London 1986 revival, Broadway 1987 revival, London 1993 revival, Broadway 1998 revival, London 2006 revival, London 2012 revival, and the upcoming Broadway 2014 revival (not to mention a 1972 film adaptation). Whew! That’s not an accomplishment many musicals can claim. What is it about this show that makes it so enduring? What makes it a force that keeps popping up again and again, demanding to be seen and heard? Let’s take a closer look.

Continue reading