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Take Two

May 13, 2013

Time it marches on.

Another Monday another examination of some of my favorite older cultural pieces.

-Sometimes I forgot that the women’s movement is a living breathing entity. Then I remember pieces like Jessica Valenti’s ‘Why Are Feminists So Angry’ and remember that we’re in the middle – far from the begining, but no where near the end.
-Breaking the fourth wall is a time honored tradition made even better by this awesome video.
-The Hollywood love scene is done for. This EW piece reminds you of why that’s sad.
-I never thought I’d say this, but I think we need more Xander Harris’s on television.
The overuse of the word  real annoys me. I’m glad the feeling is universal.
-“Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal…”

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Leading The Way With Old Fashioned Views of Race, Women, And Power

April 17, 2013

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I’ve been catching up on two dramas I really enjoy Deception and Scandal.  Deception a starring Megan Good as Joanna Locasto an African American police officer who returns to the white, wealthy family she grew up with to investigate the murder of her childhood best friend Vivian. Scandal, the better known of the two, is about a Washington fixer starring Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope.

Both shows have their share of intrigue, family secrets, and power struggles, which make for fun television, but they also share an obsession with its characters being colorblind that’s less endearing. That trait, along with a habit of placing their female leads in the middle of the action without any given them any lasting agency over their larger actions connects the two.

They enjoy a method of storytelling that attempts to talk about race without actually talking about it, which is disappointing given the opportunity that both shows provide for that type of discussion. As the daughter of a maid it’s a question, not an assumption that Joanna would have been completely included in the family or that the thought of her dating their son wouldn’t have been a potential pitfall either because of class or race. The family isn’t racist, but to not assume that those elements are part of the conversation is naïve. Olivia Pope, on the other hand, is a woman in power that simply doesn’t address the potential trials of also being a woman of color.

The two leads both engage in inequitable relationships, Olivia as a former employee and sometimes mistress of the President and Joanna acting undercover as an assistant at the family business of her childhood love and as an FBI asset governed by her current love interest. No matter their actual station in life, at the end of the day, both take orders. Both characters are also driven by writers who seem enamored with a certain type of women, one who act as either super professionals or as property.
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Take Two

April 15, 2013

Time it marches on.

Another Monday another examination of some of my favorite older cultural pieces.

-I’ve been listening to Sarah Kay’s spoken word poetry for years, but I hadn’t heard ‘An Origin Story’ until recently. It really adds nuance to their working relationship for listeners.
Blue is and always will be the greatest relationship album. You should give it a listen.
-Some of my favorite shows have alter egos, a fact that AV Club also appreciates.
-There are some crazy theories about movies and I have to say some of them are pretty compelling.
– “My Reputation” is one of my favorite episodes of This American Life. Act two is one that I’ve listened to countless times.

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How I Met Your Mother- Party of One

April 10, 2013

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Warning: This post contains spoilers for the March 2tth episode of How I Met Your Mother

There’s been a lot of criticism of the last few seasons of How I Met Your Mother. Claims that the show is milking the idea of the mother or that the premise of the show has worn itself out or put plainly that the show just isn’t as funny as it once was.

Some of those complaints are valid, but I think the overall problem is a disagreement about what the show is, because critics are right if the show is exclusively about Ted finding his wife then it’s a failure—I just don’t think that’s what the show’s about.

Yes, the show’s basic premise is that Ted is a lovesick romantic who wants to find the love of his life, but that’s just the shows basic framework—the wrapping paper that showcases the way it sees the world around it. Instead HIMYM is really about how Ted and his friend s go from point A to Point B. How they grow up and create their own families from scratch.
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Take Two

April 8, 2013
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Time it marches on.

Another Monday another examination of some of my favorite older cultural pieces.

– There are tons of conspiracy theories about literature ranging from Harry Potter and Sherlock to The Great Gatsby.
– I still love Robert Downey, Jr’s performance in Ally McBeal and apparently so does The AV Club.
What ‘Rape Culture Means’ is still a great info-graphic.
– Lena Dunham and I apparently have a shared love of inappropriate questions.
– For anyone who’s ever wondered why the AV Club avoids ‘F’ letter grades in their reviews.
– The new Beyonce Pepsi ad might be good, but nothing will ever beat 2010s.

Take Two

April 1, 2013

Time it marches on.

Another Monday another examination of some of my favorite older cultural pieces.

– I really hope the “Painting Reality” is an ongoing art project.
– With Netflix’s release policy for their original programming we really need to address a new version of the spoilers code.
-I started watching The League this month and I have to say Alyssa Rosenberg’s commentary on the gender politics of that show is worth a read. You can find it here and here.
– In need of a little inspiration? Check out out Steve Jobs’ graduation speech. Gets you every time.
-Now this was never my experience (hello old supervisors!), but this, “Welcome Letter To Interns” from Thought Catalog is hilarious.
– If you haven’t heard Sarah Kay’s slam poetry yet, you shouldn’t wait another second to check it out.

Complexity, Slut Shaming, and Modern Adaptions: Exploring The Lizzie Bennet Diaries’ Lydia Bennet

March 27, 2013

Lydia Bennet: “Rule #1: Lizzie’s diaries are Lizzie’s diaries and she sees what she wants to see.”

I’ve written about The Lizzie Bennet Diaries—a modern vlog version of Pride and Prejudice before, but in honor of it’s  finale I wanted to touch base on the series evolving portrayal of commentary of young women and their sex lives and the consequences of that public commentary. LydiaBennetLizzie

When the series began, it received criticism from feminist blogger for its treatment of Lydia Bennet. Writers were rightly concerned that the show was presenting her from a slut shaming perspective. Over the past year, the writers have not only answered questions about a few early interactions amongst its main characters, but also called themselves and their fans on its treatment of Lydia Bennet through the series use of meta communication.

Since the retelling happens across many platforms; (Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, other vlogs, etc ) you’re able to understand more fully realized pictures of characters you don’t see as three dimensional in the novel and their (and the writers) reactions to viewers.

That view makes it much harder to forgive Lizzie’s at times judgmental personality, but it does give the audience a greater investment in other audiences. The line, “There are few people whom I really love, and still fewer of whom I think well,” from the original novel is truer here. That characterization is related to both how she sees the world around her and herself as well as the ways those views are changing—after being proved wrong time and time again.

In the novel Lydia Bennet marries George Wickham—after she runs away with him seemingly on a childish whim—and Darcy forces him into that marriage only after Mr. Benet meets the financial requirements that have been negotiated.
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