Gender Bending – Why Does It Matter?

[Author’s Note: Because of the readily available information on film, Hollywood, and demographics of America, most statistics given are relevant to that scope. However, that doesn’t undermine the central point, if anything it makes it stronger with the monolithic nature of American culture in the current world landscape.]

So, the somewhat recent Doctor Who recasting sparked a wildfire of debate about gender bending traditionally masculine characters. Now, look, in my original draft of this piece I was very unfair towards those who were against the decision. I want this article to be more even handed, because I get how it can seem. If you focus on what is being taken away, it can seem unfair. Like Dudley Dursley bemoaning that he has one less present than last year, rather than focusing on the increased size of some of the presents. You know.

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Why I Fell Out of Love with Doctor Who

[Author’s Note: Major spoilers for seasons one through eight of the revived series of Doctor Who.]

[Author’s Note: This piece was written before the announcement of the new Doctor was made. Will the change in casting be enough to bring me back? Maybe. Depends on the writing. First step would probably be to hire more women writers.]

Okay, so we’re doing this. So let’s set up some context for this. I used to watch Doctor Who, which you could probably surmise from the title. I’m no mega-fan. I jumped in on season three of the revived series, watched the back catalogue and started watching contemporaneously around the time of the season four specials.

Similarly to Game of Thrones, I fell out of love with the series. The difference being that I stopped watching Game of Thrones following what I considered, and what is widely considered, to be the worst season. I stopped watching Doctor Who following season eight, whereas I believe that season seven is the worst season across the series.

Now, I laid out a lot of hate against the showrunners in my last article of this type. I could certainly do that in this article but I will restrain myself, despite the showrunner being, in my mind, more egregiously full of contempt for his audience. Oh boy, already I’m on the attack.

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The Man in the High Castle Has Some Interesting Things to Say About America

[Author’s note: Article will contain spoilers for Season 1 of The Man in the High Castle]

Ok, so recently I’ve been bingeing The Man in the High Castle, a show that details an alternate history wherein the Nazis won World War 2 and kerb stomped half of America into becoming a part of the Third Reich. In the series, we see that the Nazis controls from the east coast of America to the Rocky Mountains. Japan controls from the west coast to the Rocky Mountains, with the space in between being a neutral buffer zone. The show concerns the ongoing intrigue and power wrangling between the Nazis, the Japanese, and the Resistance.

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The Reason Marvel TV Doesn’t Crossover with the MCU

That title feels a little clickbait-y, doesn’t it? If it were more clickbait-y, it’d be called ‘The REAL Reason …’. I’ve been meaning to do this topic for a while. Some time ago, I heard this idea about the reason why there’s not much crossover between the Marvel TV universe and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. There are a few reasons and that could be given but I reckon there’s one big one. Though, before I get to it, let’s go on a journey first.

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Arrow’s Problem is Not Felicity

(Author’s Note: Some minor spoilers for Season Four and Season One of Arrow)

So, Valentine’s Day was a recent thing. In honour of the day that’s ostensibly all about love, I thought I’d talk about fictional character’s relationships. With that said, Arrow.

So, Arrow is a show on the CW following the exploits of Oliver Queen who moonlights as the Green Arrow. The show is in its fifth season this year and has spawned a whole mini TV universe. It is perhaps the most successful screen adaptation of the DC Universe in the current age. It’s good. TV is in some ways the perfect medium for comics. Movies can only periodically check up on heroes so they can have a habit of rapidly developing relationships between movies (see: Bruce and Natasha in Age of Ultron) or characters can stagnate (see: nearly every Batman movie ever).

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The Pop Culture Things I’m Grateful For

I’m tired.

I’m tired of being angry all the time. I want to be positive. I’ve talked a lot of shit about stuff on this website (mostly the DCEU) but I do actually enjoy stuff. I like quite a lot of stuff. I’m not some bitter, pop culture hater. I talk about this stuff because I love it. I admonish DC out of love. They can be better. I know they can. I try and write about the problems to highlight continuing bad trends in writing that hopefully, future writers avoid. This week, however, I’m not going to flagellate the sinners of pop culture. Time to reward the good.

(By no means a comprehensive list, just a collection of stuff I love. I do have to thank my partner Zoe for actually introducing me to half the stuff on this list, my tastes would be kind of boring without her.)

 

Movies

What We Do in the Shadows – Recently, when introducing a friend to this movie I described it as “a movie where nothing seems to happen until the movie ends and then you realise, yeah, something did happen”. What We Do in the Shadows is a 2014 mockumentary about vampires. Apparently, this is by at least some of the same people as Flight of the Conchords. So. if you liked that, this will be right up your alley.

The movie concerns three vampires who live in a share house is suburban Wellington. It’s exactly what that sounds like. It looks at and parodies every single vampire trope. It’s a movie that anyone can enjoy but have references to Dracula, Nosferatu, and other vampire fare. The movie has this kitschy charm to it and it’s worth the watch one night with friends.

Probably the best comparison would be to the Thor short that was released after Civil War except, you know, with vampires instead of a Norse God.

The film was directed by Jemaine Clement (who recently played Tamatoa in Moana) and Taika Waititi (the director behind Hunt for the Wilderpeople, and this year’s Thor Ragnarok).

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Not My Superman 2: Dawn of Truth, Justice and the American Way

Come on DC, it’s not that friggin hard.

So, in my last post about Superman, I talked about how to fix Superman by fixing his villains. Essentially, I was examining the plot of potential future Superman movies. From this, I sort of made the assumption that if the villain and the conflict coalesced into a coherent plot then Superman would follow via a basic fucking understanding of the character that setting up the elements of a story would allow. I realise that that’s giving DC and Warner Brothers a little too much credit.

So, let’s be really simple to the studio that still trusts Zack Snyder with their cinematic universe for some reason. DC, like the Flash before him, you’ve already created a great adaptation of the character. Your perfect Superman story is in Supergirl (I’ve been binging the series and have enjoyed it immensely). Mild spoilers for Season 1 of Supergirl incoming.

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