Today Mary and guest blogger Todd Osborne talk about one of their new favorite shows, Runaways, a Hulu original based on the Marvel comic series of the same name.
The show follows a group of friends--Alex, Chase, Karolina, Gert, Molly, and Nico--as they discover that their parents are not what they seem.
As always, this post will be full of spoilers (though lighter ones than usual). Read more under the cut!
Because I’m a masochist, I decided the best way to read Carrie Fisher’s memoir, The Princess Diarist, was not to read it at all, but to listen to it. I knew going in that it was Fisher herself who narrated her story, detailing her life before, during, and after Star Wars: A New Hope. Like many of the people Fisher writes about in her memoir, I was introduced to Star Wars at a young age. I think I was seven; my brother would have been two. We rented A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi on VHS and our lives were never the same. I wrote ardent fan mail to my heroes — addressed to Leia, Han, and Luke. My brother wept openly when Darth Vader died. We kept A New Hope, never returning it to the video store down the block. It was, and is, part of our lives.
One of the things Fisher said she loved hearing about most was which characters the littlest Star Wars fans loved. But The Princess Diarist isn’t just the ultimate cache of knowledge for the nerdiest of us all. Instead, Fisher’s memoir works through some of the most fundamental questions that a woman is faced with as she grows up, in each stage of growing up. The memoir can be split thematically into three sections—before, during, and after—though they weave together throughout the entirety of the book, which gives the listener a sense that Fisher is speaking directly to them. Storytelling, the way you might talk to a friend as you recount the most important things in your life.
If you’re a DC fan like me, then you probably had veiled and desperate hopes for this month’s Justice League—anything to replace last year’s Batman v Superman. And if you’re like me, then you were perhaps pleasantly surprised by the latest film. It maintained the seriousness of the DC comics, as well as the darkness of the threat its main villain carried. And since the threat is darker, the team assembled to fight it is darker. But thanks to Joss Whedon’s influence, we got more comedy in the balance. The overall disappointment with this film was the blatant male gaze that uplifted the macho and the overbearing, and belittled the feminine and the powerful. I will point out things the film did well, but unfortunately, that aspect tainted the majority of the storyline, so much so that it wrote the title of this article itself. Nevertheless, let’s take a look at areas where this film succeeded and failed, starting with the team itself.
Watch out for spoilers after the cut!
Can I be totally honest with y’all and tell you the reason why I’m not an animal person? They’re too easily won. I know you’re gonna say I’m wrong, animals are really smart, they’re intuitive about people’s intent, they will guard your house, et cetera. I think it stands to reason, though, that they guard your house because you’ve trained them to do it. That if, let’s say, a gangster drug dealer trained his pitbull to attack you, they’d guard his house and him, too.
I point this out to say that if the family in The Witch hadn’t trusted their many animals, all that shit might not have gone down the way that it did.
I just need to make myriad worldview statements first before I get to my points about The Witch, because I want y’all to consider perspective when contemplating the genius of this movie, and it’s important to me that you know where I’m coming from so you can see this one perspective, which I haven’t seen addressed yet.
Here are two important things that I want to say about the nature of evil and my Christian upbringing:
[**Here’s where the spoilers start. If you haven’t seen The Witch yet, go stream it on Amazon Prime —you get a free year trial with an .edu address!—but do it in the light of day, with a friend who you know and trust. It is seriously SO GOOD. Truly beautiful and compelling. I really can’t oversell it.]
Perhaps the best thing about this season of American Horror Story was the two-minute trailer for mother!, Oscar-winning filmmaker Darren Aronofsky’s newest project. The preview promises a psychological thriller starring Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem as a couple who live in a beautiful, secluded mansion, which—to the dismay of Lawrence (the eponymous Mother) and the delight of Bardem (known only as Him)—is soon invaded by two strangers played by Ed Harris and Michelle Pfieffer (credited as Man and Woman, respectively).
Friday afternoon we went into the theater knowing little more than this basic premise and that the movie was meant to be an artful, fatalistic meditation on the destructive and irredeemable nature of mankind. Mother! picks up on themes of religious failure and climatic disaster introduced in Aronofsky’s previous film, the remarkably unremarkable Biblical epic Noah. In his latest project, Aronofsky returns to Judeo-Christian mythology for inspiration, this time with a heavy-handed Biblical allegory about humanity’s destruction of the earth. Even so, with a title like mother!, one might reasonably expect to see a film more obviously concerned with women. In a recent interview, Lawrence describes the movie as “incredibly feminist,” but suggests it’s “much bigger,” echoing Aronofsky’s insistence that the film engages with universal allegories that are “not male or female, it’s all of us.” But what we actually get is a (probably not very self-aware) film about how men use women.
Beyond the cut are many, many spoilers. You have been warned.
Ten minutes and forty seconds into the first episode of the Homecoming podcast, David Schwimmer deadpans: “Heidi, I’m gonna stop you right there.” It’s a situation that many women have found themselves in countless times -- their expert opinions being overridden by mansplainers. In Homecoming, the role of women — in particular, Heidi Bergman — is pivotal, deeply frustrating, and also true to life. In this way, Homecoming is a show that makes the point of view of women a dynamic and realistic one.
Aziz Ansari’s acute consideration for building realistic, dynamic characters in his exceptional Netflix show Master of None is maybe the series’ greatest strength, with the exception of Francesca. Francesca is an Italian woman from Modena, where we find Ansari’s character Dev learning to make pasta at Francesca’s family’s restaurant in the beginning of season two of MoN. She is also the main love interest of the season. Francesca is easy on the eyes, fashionable, feminine, has a charming Italian accent and can make pasta. While that looks and sounds nice, she’s unfortunately missing real substance.
This week Mary and guest blogger Bryana Fern share their thoughts on Wonder Woman. Mary tackles her prejudices against the character in general (and boy did she have a few prejudices), while Bryana tackles why the film is so important for women, but also for the superhero genre in general.
We want to hear your thoughts about Wonder Woman, too! Shoot us an email or tweet or find us on Facebook to let us know what you thought of the film and how Wonder Woman has been important to you.
About the Blog
The authors of this blog are four women with opinions about pop culture. That's all you really need to know.