Millie Bobby Brown and the Depths of Meme Culture

No, Millie Bobby Brown isn’t homophobic. She’s not racist. She’s not a hateful bigot. I can’t believe this needs to be said, but in lieu of a series of escalating memes ironically portraying the Stranger Things-star as otherwise, this is where we’re at. The curiosity of meme culture and our insatiable thirst for the next *100K+ sensation! has unduly brought us here, and not without consequence. Millie Bobby Brown has left Twitter in response to an apparent in-joke done in incredibly poor taste. It sounds like we’ve entered a warped reality – normally an ideal setting for Eleven – except this is very real and utterly upside down.  Continue reading

On ‘Arrested Development’ and Family

I could sure use a Forget-Me-Now, though I suppose that might be the easy way around this.

Arrested Development’s latest (half) season is due to roll out on Netflix tomorrow. The cast has done the usual promoting – including Jeffrey Tambor – but it all came to a screeching halt with a fateful sitdown with The New York Times. Such articles are meant to be the high point of a media’s promotion tour. Instead, it was a Shakespearean (or rather, Bluth-ian) fall of disastrous proportions. Try as hard as they might, Netflix found out the hard way that there is no escaping the elephant in the room.  Continue reading

‘Great News’: The Satire on Harassment Culture We Need

In the days since the Harvey Weinstein allegations came to light, we have witnessed the fall of one of Hollywood’s fattest biggest moguls. Weinstein has been fired from his own company, expelled from the Academy, and morally condemned by the public. Yet the most efficient takedown came from an unexpected source – NBC’s Great News. “Honeypot!,” the show’s most recent episode, deals with a growing harassment scandal in the offices of MMN, not at all unlike Weinstein’s snowballing accounts of abuse. Most surprising of all, this was purely coincidental.  Continue reading

‘Game of Thrones’: The Pack Survives

“We are a group of people who do not like one another.” Ya think? Tyrion’s assessment may be too on the nose, but he’s not wrong. Everyone’s got a bone to pick with someone, two interactions that happen early on involving taunts and threats to kill the other. The meeting hasn’t even begun. By all rights, they should not be within proximity. Then again, Game of Thrones loves playing things close to the chest. This far into the show and that much closer to the end, everyone is well aware of what the other is capable of – who’s aligned with who, what’s motivating them – leaving little to no tricks up anyone’s sleeve, their hands shown for all to see. Or perhaps there’s one final move left to play.  Continue reading

‘Game of Thrones’: A Critique of Ice and Fire

Game of Thrones’ most astonishing accomplishment this season is streamlining its dense plot, one that is consistently marked and marred by tangents that either have nothing to do with the overarching story, or everything. What began as a political drama is now clearing away the chessboard for a world-ending scenario, forcing our heroes to set aside their lust for power and unite against a common enemy. And yet, this narrowed focus is what has made Season 7 a fascinating viewing experience as much as it has been a frustrating one.  Continue reading