On Jessica Jones, the trauma is present from the start and so is the recovery.
Netflix dropped Marvel’s Jessica Jones on Friday and the internet hasn’t been able to shut up about it since, particularly when it comes to a corner of the internet that tends to be particularly hard on media: Feminists. The latest screen iteration of Marvel’s sprawling universe of properties is an intriguing standout and a reminder that comic book movies these days are really more grimdark than frothy spandex suits and fun, embodying a visual and cultural aesthetic that’s perhaps reflective of some considerable social changes. Viewers now are less innocent, and they want something harder, sharper, murkier around the edges, which Jessica Jones definitely delivers.
There’s something oddly fitting about namechecking a tower of balls covered in spun sugar as a response to a terrorist organization determined to assert itself as a worldwide caliphate.
US late night television is a cultural institution that keeps night owls up with comedy, political commentary, and satire, with some programmes like Saturday Night Live stretching back decades. Often at least partially pre-taped, with carefully planned scripts and segments, late night often finds itself faced with the necessity of responding quickly to breaking news that disrupts its regular programming — woe betide the show that fails to adjust its script to accommodate a tragedy in the West, as it will be cast as politically insensitive and behind the times.
In art, the antidote to terror isn’t necessarily harmony, or beauty, or calm. Sometimes it’s plain old stupidity.
[SPOILER ALERT: If you’re not caught up with The Walking Dead, or haven’t watched the show at all but are thinking about watching it and don’t want to know about one major plot twist, then STOP READING NOW. Or else DON’T BLAME ME LATER]
Has the Bond series run its course yet?
SPECTRE opens in a burst of colour and noise on the streets of Mexico City as James Bond fights his way through crowds of Day of the Dead celebrants and into the customary attempted assassination/explosion sequence that leads nearly every Bond film. As viewers, we know what to expect: Fast cars, beautiful women, glorious explosions, shaken not stirred, fine guns, a venerable franchise that’s famous around the world. SPECTRE wasn’t greeted with much enthusiasm, though, including from its own star, who went on multiple bitter rants during its publicity blitz to the effect that he thinks the franchise is outdated, misogynistic, and tarnished—of course, he already knew that he wouldn’t be coming back.
Ansari is filming a programme about the Indian-American immigrant experience, about what it’s like to be a man of colour in the US, even about what it’s like to be a man of colour in theatre and television.
Aziz Ansari, like many before him, has taken to Netflix as the platform for an intriguing series that allows him to explore television in a new way—with the added bite at pushing at how the United States handles and expresses race on TV. Master of None, which hit the deck last Friday, isn’t conventional television, and it’s not even conventional Netflix, either, which makes it dynamic, interesting, engaging, and, perhaps, the wave of a futuristic narrative and mode of storytelling. Ansari’s look at television through the online platform points also at growing opportunities for talent and creators from marginalised backgrounds who have difficulty being heard on conventional media.
I’m glad Hermione exists. But I wish I lived in a world where she was the center of the story.
“In Praise of Joanne Rowling’s Hermione Granger series” was all over my social-media @-replies a few weeks ago. Again. This has happened often, in the four years since I wrote the piece. Freelance writers crank out lots of posts; most of them, you publish, then forget. But “Hermione,” I remember; it was the culmination of a long-held fantasy, my chance to re-write Harry Potter the way I thought it should have been, with the series’ great hero in the spotlight, and that dopey kid with the glasses kicked off the stage.
Please Like Me is just as tender, wry, and thoughtful as ever.
Please Like Me has just begun its third series on ABC2 in Australia and Pivot in the US, and it looks to be as tender, sharp, wry, and thoughtful as the programme’s initial run. Deemed ‘too gay’ for ABC, Please Like Me hasn’t gotten nearly the critical attention it deserves, and I hope that it develops into a sleeper hit, with a slow burn and an eventual explosion into the pop culture landscape. While at first glance it might look like a slew of other Millennial-targeted shows (Girls, etc), there’s a breadth and depth that’s not apparent among many of its counterparts.
A Brief History of Seven Killings is an ambitious, clever, stimulating book. Was it the best book from this year’s shortlist?
The 2015 Man Booker Prize was announced on Tuesday, with the winner being Jamaican author Marlon James for his novel A Brief History of Seven Killings. James is the first Jamaican writer to win the Man Booker, and his victory marks Year Two of “Americans allowed in, no American wins”, in itself a satisfaction to both those who opposed the change in eligibility rules and also those who contended that the rule change would not necessarily lead to a clean sweep of the board by USians.
This is a television show about secrets.
Something is brewing on ABC, notorious for its primetime soap operas and baroque plotting, especially after the rise of Shonday, the full block of Shonda Rhimes helmed programming on Thursday nights that draws millions of viewers. Television fans have always loved schlocky drama — and the ability to say it’s highbrow by virtue of not airing during a daytime slot — and ABC is catering to them with incredible skill. In slides Quantico, one of the few new shows airing in the US this fall that’s actually not terrible, and, in a strange way, oddly good.
Graphic Journalism is emerging as one of the most compelling ways to talk about an urgent issue: migration.
Graphic Journalism is emerging as one of the most compelling ways to talk about an urgent issue: migration. From Persepolis to Vietnamerica, authors are creating stories where the political history of countries is the framework for intimate narrations.
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