Since this is our last post before Christmas (we’ll be back January 6th), I have a Christmas present for you all: a new awesome YA series for you to check out! I’ve been dying to write about The Lunar Chronicles for months, and now that my semester has finally ended, I can! Be ready for a barrage of Lunar Chronicles posts from me over the next few months.
Many fantasy series use fantastical or sci-fi aspects as a commentary on issues relevant to the society in which the books were published. For instance, in the Harry Potter books, J.K. Rowling attempted to use lycanthropy as an allegory for AIDS. The Lunar Chronicles, a quartet of cyberpunk fairy tale retellings by Marissa Meyer, similarly uses werewolves to get a point across. But in this case, the “werewolves” are genetically modified human soldiers, forced to fight for an oppressive regime, just like other indoctrinated soldiers throughout real history.
Spoilers for the second and fourth books in the series, Scarlet and Winter, below.
I really used to like True Blood at one point in time—or at least I liked it a lot better than I do now—but Season 3 has to be the worst season thus far. I wasn’t happy with Season 2 and its portrayal of religion through an extremist group, but at the very least I didn’t hate everything that was happening. That’s not true of Season 3. The Tara storyline made this season painful to watch, and though it was by far the worst storyline, it was hardly the only awful thing happening. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that the writers purposefully went out of their way to make Season 3 the most offensive, difficult, triggering season possible. And Tara’s rape plot is sadly not its only devolution into straight up misogyny.
Spoilers and trigger warning for mutilation, slut-shaming, mental issues, rape, and abuse up ahead.
Werewolves have never really been the most popular monster; they’re usually second fiddle to vampires or zombies. I suppose there’s some sense to that. Vampires are sexy romantics and zombie hoards are harbingers of the apocalypse. Werewolves usually act alone, and, outside of Twilight and Teen Wolf, aren’t typically portrayed as having much sex appeal. In 1941, The Wolf Manbecame the first successful werewolf film. Our monster has a furry face, spreads his affliction through biting others, kills people, and is ultimately killed by his own silver walking stick. He’s monstrous, not sexy. We can understand why vampires and zombies scare us, too. Vampires might represent a powerful person draining us of our own power for personal gain. Zombies drawn on our fear of pandemics and the ignorant masses destroying those of us just trying to survive. But what about werewolves? The most common answer I find is that werewolves speak to the changes a teenager experiences during puberty. Pisces already explored how this dynamic works in Teen Wolf. But if that’s the case, then where are all the female werewolves?
Do you like werewolves and also body horror? Are you into sulky Skarsgårds? Do you enjoy shows with well-developed characters of color and disabled characters? Have you always been somewhat convinced that Southwest Pennsylvania is just an inherently creepy place? If so, then I have a show for you! Check out Hemlock Grove, a Netflix original series. Follow me as I introduce and discuss the first season of this macabre masterpiece; I’ll try to keep major plot spoilers to a minimum, but some are inevitable. Minor spoilers and a trigger warning for an ethnic slur after the jump.
Recently, I was reliving my childhood by watching Xena: Warrior Princess, and while I was watching Xena try to broker peace between the centaurs and the Amazons, I was struck by a curious thought: How do centaurs feel about horses? Do magical beings who are mostly human but have physical characteristics similar to certain animals feel differently about how those specific animals are treated?
Teen Wolf continues its exciting fourth season with another action-packed episode. More werewolves in Beacon Hills? Check. Last of the deadpool revealed? Check. Gratuitous berserker violence? Double check. Join me in a recap and review after the jump, but watch out for those spoilers! Continue reading →
Well, Monday has come and gone again, and with it another episode of Teen Wolf. This week, Kate is a creep, Peter gets robbed, Derek is de-aged, and Papa Stilinski is worried about time machines. Hit the jump to find out my thoughts.
We’ve talked a lot on this blog about authors who use their novels as religious allegories, but many authors also use various magical diseases and abilities as a stand-in for many touchy political or personal issues.
In J.K. Rowling’s case, she switched out a real disease for an imaginary one: lycanthropy. The werewolves that populate Harry Potter were meant to be an allegory for the real-life suffering of people with HIV and AIDS, who, up until recently, were treated with contempt and suspicion by the general populace due to a fundamental misunderstanding of what caused the disease and what the disease did. Sound familiar? Yeah, that’s Remus Lupin’s life in a nutshell. In the 2008 court case between JKR and Steve Vander Ark over the HP Lexicon, Rowling said:
I know that I’ve said publicly that Remus Lupin was supposed to be on the H.I.V. metaphor. It was someone who had been infected young, who suffered stigma, who had a fear of infecting others, who was terrified he would pass on his condition to his son. And it was a way of examining prejudice, unwarranted prejudice towards a group of people. And also, examining why people might become embittered when they’re treated that unfairly.
Teen Wolf is back, and this week we’re continuing all the mystery from the last episode. Scott, Stiles, and Allison are all still struggling with the consequences of dying in the first half of the season, Stiles’s father is about to lose his job, Malia is still a werecoyote, and we left Derek and Peter off being tortured by an unknown assailant.