Beauty and the Beast

Honestly, I was kind of excited to see the new live action Beauty and the Beast. Like some people my age, I grew up on Disney and Dreamworks films. I knew many of the popular songs by heart and The Lion King was one of the first movies I remember watching. I would daydream of going to Disneyland or Disneyworld and while I don’t think she’s perfect, I love the idea of Emma Watson as Belle.

But there’s a part of the movie that I feel conflicted about: LeFou being gay. Because of this tiny subplot, there’s an Alabama theater not showing the film, Russia has banned those under 16 from seeing it, and Malaysian censors requesting that the tiny scene showing him dancing with another man, all of which makes me want to see it just to spite them. And from what I hear, this subplot is one of the tiniest points in the entire film.

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Diversity and Representation.

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about tokenism, diversity for the sake of appearance, and the making of one experience into a universal story. Watching shows that have more than the Hollywood typical cast of straight cis white people is often a breath of fresh air and it’s even better when the characters aren’t cringeworthy stereotypes of their identities or last longer than an episode or two. Code Switch’s recent podcast episode talks about some of these issues, especially in the context of something called rep sweats.

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LGBTQ+ Representation.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about LGBTQ+ and queer representation in media, in part because of bisexual erasure in many shows, LGBTQ+ characters often not living too long, and the queer coding of villains and queerbaiting.

Mainstream culture and media often leaves out or forgets the B from LGBT – like how many bisexual characters on television shows frequently are some of the only that “do not need labels”. (Although in the Marvel sphere of entertainment, that trend isn’t limited to just bisexual characters.) I usually end up yelling at my screen when situations like this arise – incredibly annoyed that apparently bisexual seems to be a taboo word for many characters.

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The Message.

It’s no secret that I am obsessed with podcasts of all kinds and I’ve written about some of my favorites a couple times before. Nowadays, podcasts seem just as popular as they were in 2005 – the year some claimed to be ‘the year of the podcast’.  And there are so many ones to listen to: news and radio programs, investigative journalism (like the popular Serial), others that aim to improve your love life, etc etc.

550373999_1280x720But there are some that hail back to the days of radio drama and productions like Orson Wells’ The War of the Worlds. One in particular is the podcast miniseries The Message, which seems to capture that same essence of radio drama but with a new digital spin.

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Agent Carter Season Two.

So over the weekend, I finally finished up season two of Marvel’s Agent Carter and honestly I really loved it. Spoilers ahead! This season was set in Los Angeles and the foe was Whitney Frost and the accidental creation of what they called Zero Matter. For one thing, I really loved having a female enemy that was more than a puppet in a man’s revenge plan (cough yes I’m looking at Dottie). There’s substance and depth to Whitney and her actions – through the course of the season, we learn not only about her but of Peggy Carter too.

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Hollywood’s Racism Problem.

I’ve repeatedly written about this topic like #OscarsSoWhite and diversity in Hollywood but with the Oscars happening right now, it’s important to remember the problems that exist in Hollywood and media in general. And it’s more than just the Oscars – there’s a systemic issue within Hollywood around diversity and representation. Although, Bitch Media’s brief list of terrible things white celebrities have said about #OscarsSoWhite should really say something about how some individual celebrities are reacting to the hashtag.

There are people who are calling out and talking about this issue, like April Reign who started #OscarsSoWhite or Dylan Marron who is hosting an Oscar screening party in the theme of his #EverySingleWord project (and this screening is raising money to help low income New Yorkers get involved with the film industry). And it’s important to talk about these issues and why representation is important.

Supernatural: Queerbaiting, White Men, Misogyny oh my!

Out of mostly sheer boredom and mild curiosity, I’ve been binge watching season nine and ten of CW’s hit show Supernatural over the past couple days. I used to watch the show religiously (pun intended) a couple years ago- often binge watching the first few seasons with a jar of salt clutched to my chest.

*Warning I will talk about spoilers from season one episode one all the way up to season ten episode five (the one I just recently finished).

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