The title of episode 11 of ABC’s show Stumptown is a pun taken from the titles of a series of misogynist car movies, The Fast and the Furious. Stumptown itself is a show that’s supposedly about a hard living female PI, played by Cobie Smulders, and her friends and family. Before it began airing last fall, it was advertised all summer with ads that made it look like a watered down version of Netflix’s Jessica Jones. It’s really not, since Jessica Jones not only has super strength and deep core wounds, but also important relationships with the women in her life.
Waitress * Book by Jessie Nelson * Music and Lyrics by Sara Bareilles * Directed by Diane Paulus * National Tour at Popejoy Hall, UNM 12/13/19
I reviewed the Waitress first US national tour in December, 2017 HERE. This is a review of the Waitress US national non-Equity tour which began in November, 2019.
The musical Waitress is about Jenna, a diner waitress who is at a crossroads in her life, and the journey she takes as she comes to terms with the ramifications of her choices, slowly at first, then all at once. By the end of the show, her life is both drastically changed from the life she had at the beginning, but also still comfortingly familiar. Jenna manages to grow and get what she needs without losing what she already has that’s good in her life. But she also leaves the worst of her old life behind as she learns to stand up for herself and leave fear behind.
She’s contrasted with and supported by her two fellow waitresses, Dawn and Becky. Dawn is younger than Jenna, single, even more fearful and with less confidence and experience of the world. She posts a profile on a dating site under the name NewDawnRising which leads her to meet OKCWithaBullet, otherwise known as Ogie, who shares a love of Revolutionary War reenactment with her.
The Katie Hill revenge porn saga highlights much that’s wrong with our culture today, especially when juxtaposed against the Trump non-impeachment saga. I’ve watched both unfold with horror, reminded of how truly powerless we average citizens are. Of how powerless women ultimately are.
I don’t have the answers for how to stop revenge porn or Donald Trump and the Republicans. I mean, I do- enforcing the constitution and laws that are already in place would be a good start. So would treating women like the equal, dignified human beings we are. But more energetic, smarter people than me are working very hard on those crises. Sometimes the problems of the patriarchy seem intractable and like they’re only getting worse, no matter how hard we fight.
So today, I’m going to focus on the issue in a more individual way. I was struck by how victimized…
Evil’s Mike Colter, star of Netflix’s recently canceled Luke Cage, and his costar Katja Herbers, from Divorce, have a lovely working and romantic chemistry together. However, I had a little trouble moving on from his romance with Rosario Dawson/Claire Temple. After everything they went through to be together, it’s still just a little too soon.
Such are the perils of watching too much TV.
Not that Colter’s new character, David Acosta, will be getting up to anything overtly romantic with Herbers’ character, Dr Kristin Bouchard, anytime soon, since he is a Catholic priest in training and she is the married mother of four young daughters who is also the sole financial support of her family. Even though a seminary student like David, who’s only 2 years into his 5 year training program, can still walk away, especially if he entered the program out of grief and guilt over a lost loved one, as is strongly implied in the pilot. And even though a lapsed Catholic such as Kristen can break her marriage vows, especially to an absentee husband who barely contributes to the support of his family while he’s pursuing his own selfish goals.
I’ve gotten some new followers lately, so, Hi and welcome! There’s something I need to say to everyone, before we go any further.
Currently, most of you are here to read Dark, a show we all love. But the character of Hannah is the target of so much misogyny it’s scary, on the show and in the real/online world. This pertains to other shows as well, with other characters who become the target for misogynists. On Altered Carbon season 1, it was Kristin Ortega. On Agents of SHIELD, it’s Daisy. Women who think and act for themselves, without regard to what the men around them want. Just like men do.
In the real world, women like Hannah, Kristin, Daisy and me (and you, if you are a woman) die every day because misogyny isn’t recognized, so, even though some of you would like me to, I won’t shut up about it. While racism is getting the attention it needs, the hatred and oppression of women, the other motivator for mass shootings, everyday killings and abuse, is largely being ignored, even though it was the motivator for the second shooting of the weekend of August 4, 2019, in Dayton, OH. Even though violence against women is on the increase, separate from mass shootings.
Racially motivated violence is described as being ideologically motivated, a label that gives it more weight and prompts calls to action to stop the white supremacists and white nationalists. Meanwhile, “experts” and law enforcement officials acknowledge the misogynist opinions and activities of violent criminals but refuse to acknowledge that misogyny is an ideologythat leads to living a violent, cult-like lifestyle just as religious and racial extremism do.
Yet we know that many of the most recent mass shootings have been perpetrated by misogynist extremists who identify as such, calling themselves by such names as Incels (involuntary celibates) or Red Pillers (anti-feminists). It’s time we started calling out extremist misogyny as the dangerous, cult-like IDEOLOGY that it is.
This Seems Like a Good Time to Talk About Ulrich as a Horned God (Who Is Tied in Knots)
**Spoilers through Season 2 Episode 8**
Okay, let’s give this a whirl. As you might imagine, Horned Gods aren’t my specialty, so I’ve done some research. But also, by the end of season 2, everything metaphorical in Dark is twisted and tangled together, just like the storylines. In season 1, we had nice, neat metaphors presented in ways that couldn’t be missed, with deeper meanings there if you wanted to search for them.
But, before we go any further, a warning. I can’t ignore current events while I’m writing this, and that’s not what I’m about, anyway. This piece was always going to examine the characters, mythology and their connection to the real world. Then the real world didn’t give me a choice. The creators of Dark didn’t choose to have boys be the ones to disappear simply to give women a break from victimization. The boys of the real world are making themselves disappear, and they’re often doing it while armed to the teeth.
They set the show in a town which was losing its main source of employment and then put that town through a slow dystopia which led to a fast apocalypse. This is what Western culture has put itself through since the 1970s, when corporations began moving manufacturing jobs from their traditional bases, and the towns whose original farming and small business economies were destroyed by the factories in the 19th century were now destroyed by the factories leaving.
Because life is political, so is entertainment, and so is our blog. Because we know that the creators of the shows that we love can do better. If no one points out where the issues lie, how will they know where they need to improve?
We live in the real world, where mass media has an effect on people’s attitudes. It’s important to examine closely exactly what we’re being shown and what messages are actually being delivered. It’s the only way that change happens.
Whenever we start analyzing how a show is doing in regard to its male/female ratio and other forms of diversity, and compare how characters from different demographics are being treated, we are always met with the response:
But aren’t the male (and white) characters being treated the same way as the women?
This is where attention to detail becomes important, plus the ability to count, and the ability to distinguish between a named character and a background character. When we’re discussing violent acts, this argument is frequently made, because there will be so many more men running around on screen than women that, of course, in raw numbers, more violent acts are happening to men than women.
EW.com is posting their series of end of the year articles with their picks for best of everything in the entertainment world for 2018. I usually don’t get involved in those judgments, because I’m never able to pick favorites or list them in top to bottom order without long-winded explanations full of exceptions to my choices. Sort of like what’s happening with this explanation.
BUT- over the weekend, EW posted their picks for the 5 best songs of 2018 which originated on TV shows, and I have to hand it to them, as these are all great songs. I only knew of about half of them before. I have a song that I think should be added to the list, from back when Crazy Ex-Girlfriend was still putting effort into more of its songs.
I may add to this list if I remember more songs from 2018 over the next week/ish.
EW Picks, My Commentary:
“This One’s for You” sung by Sara Bareilles and Josh Groban, from the 2018 Tony Awards
How is it that these two beloved, multi-talented performers, who’ve both been around for decades, have never won anything? Well, for example, Sara Bareilles’ Broadway show, Waitress, was shut out of a Tony win the year Hamilton swept the awards. Great for Hamilton, not so great for all of the other deserving shows and artists.
This song uses humor and a great melody to emphasize their camaraderie with the losers of the night, which, inevitably, was most of the audience, and to highlight the unsung heroes of Broadway, the ensemble players, who don’t win awards but form the backbone of every show. It was ironic but classy and good-natured, setting the tone for the night.