"A new drama about a transgender teenager has been green-lit by U.S. broadcaster, The CW. The show will revolve around a female-to-male transgender teen and his family."

"One of the most frustrating things about being a person of color critically engaging with film and television is being constantly force fed whiteness as the standard for all humanity."

daxsymbiont:

structurally speaking, TV comes closer to replicating real life than any other form of media

real life is episodic, and repetitive, and has a ratio of about 4 filler episodes to 1 that moves the plot forward

people can Learn A Lesson, figure out what life is all about, or have…

(Source: andromedalogic)

Tags: TV Real Life

Glee 4.5-7 (The last bit of 5, parts of 7)

The Role You Were Born to Play and Glease:  (I’m not sure what went in what).  I never liked Finn as much as I did when he stood up for Unique to Sue.  When I think of how far he’s come since the homophobic rant he laid on Kurt…  Damn.  That is some serious character development.  Of course, being Finn, he ruined it by saying that unacceptable thing, but the rest of it?  That’s what our trans kids deserve and so seldom get.  Unique needs Burt Hummel for a father and it’s unfortunate that her parents are all to realistic.  I know, I know, they could be worse.  This why the trans youth homeless rate is so unacceptably high.  I want to hug her.  I want her to have a school where there’s a proper trans policy in place.  (Both my districts let out Trans* students choose the restroom and locker room that matches their presentation or the faculty single person rest rooms if they don’t feel safe in gendered facilities.)  I want her to have a Mother like mine to fight for her and a father like Kurt’s willing to move the world to make her feel safe.  This was hard to watch, but very, very important to talk about.  With Finn just generally, these two episodes show both how much he’s grown and also that there is a danger of him becoming Shue’s minime, which is a serious worry.

I do not understand why they didn’t instantly suspect Kitty with the waist band.  I did.  I was expecting her to do it.  Marley’s been bullied before; Marley’s street clothes fit; Tina should have her waist measurements from them taking them for the costume in the first place; they could just measure the waist band to see if there had been tampering.  If I could put this together in seconds including a way to check my guess, couldn’t they figure it out with days to do it?  Why does anyone listen to anything Kitty says anyway, given her being worse than Sue.  They know she’s toxic.  If she’s being “helpful” it’s time to get suspicious.

Tina is right to be angry and they are still ignoring her.

Teen Angel was, if anything, somehow scarier than Cough Syrup and Teenaged Dream.  I had trouble watching it and will have to rewatch when I’m more prepared emotionally.  Sorry.  I just can’t with analysis right now.

Was the scene where Beiste talks Emma into standing up for herself in this one?  Beiste: still amazing.  Also, ouch.  I’m glad they are still having her process the abuse.  The way she talked to Emma made me think she processes trauma similar to the way I do, looking it straight in the eye unflinching, never dancing around the past, but dealing with it head on for better or worse.  She is valiant and admirable.

The vignette with Santana and Brittany was brilliant.  It said so much about the ways Brittany gets underestimated on top of what it said about their relationship.

I like the way there was no closure in Finchel and Klaine’s conversations.  In real life, one more conversation with the ex after an ugly break up generally doesn’t lead to closure, only recriminations.  Instead what’s needed is processing.  I’ve said before I identify with Kurt.  (I can count characters I identify with even a little on one hand).  This means that in some ways I am too close to say clever things about his grief.  Cheating never was an issue in my relationships, but I have had bad breakups mixed in with the amicable ones, and oh, have I done the Klaine relationship dynamic back in the day.  I made some different mistakes than Kurt, but I’ve also made some of the same ones.  When I say he’s been doing a better job with this than I did in seasons 3 and 4, I don’t mean that he’s handling Blaine the way that I wish I’d handled my Blaine.  It just means that I know why he does what he does all too well and I get how impossible it is to handle something like this well unless you’ve already failed at it miserably and had time to process everything that both of you did wrong.  I had to fail my Blaine without knowing I was failing him to figure out how not to fail the next Blaine.  This may sound like I blame Kurt, but I don’t.  Blaine hasn’t figured out how to ask for help yet and he projects the Dalton “I’m okay” facade, which makes it extremely hard for Kurt to figure out when he’s seeing cries for help.  Kurt spends all of three and the early episodes of four innocently walking through a minefield that he can’t see.

Dynamic Duets: If they are superheroes, why don’t they organize to protect Unique the way they stood up for Jake? Just saying.  

Blaine going back to Faeryland and letting them tempt him with their fruit?  No, honey, no.  I’m with Sam that this is essentially self harm.  this is going back to the abusive ex.  This is punishment so harsh it could destroy him.  It’s not what he needs.  He needs to figure out who he is instead of who people want him to be and he needs to learn to ask for help, damn it!  Watching this process is painful and I keep yelling at the screen.  Blaine cheating was a shit thing to do, but it’s so obvious that he did it because he doesn’t know how to ask for help.  I am so glad, that this year, Sam has started spotting people drowning and started playing life guard, because the adults are not doing it.  I loved it that he got Btitany.  The scene I was watching when I had to turn the TV off was Sam trying to throw Blaine a life preserver.  I wish I’d been as wise at his age.

Jake is the bigger man.  Jake also has some serious leadership potential if he gets his shit together.  What he did with/for Ryder wasn’t easy, given high school boy culture.  I love Puck, but I also think he just steered his brother onto a reef.  It was nice to see more depth to Ryder.

Seriously, why would anyone trust Kitty ever?

Tags: Glee TV

Wow, Agents of SHEILD is boring.

  I literally kept forgetting I was watching it, so am not clear on what happened.  The only bit that kept my attention was the cameo at the end and not much was happening in it.  It seemed to exist to entice people into tuning back in in the hopes he’ll be in more episodes.  Does anyone involved in this show know how to write dialog?  Has anyone heard of pacing?  How about editing?  The first episode was dull, but watchable, tonight’s was a mess.  I don’t really care about the team members and haven’t learned their names.  Couldn’t we just have another season of Torchwood instead as it’s the same thing only good?  Even the worst episode of Torchwood is better than everything I’ve seen so far.  Still, I I admit I do wonder how long they’ve been cloning or whatever Coulson and how often he’s died.  Maybe he really is old enough to have been that kid in the Captain America movies.  I’m no convinced it’s worth sitting through more of this drek to find out.  I’m sure TUMBLr will tell me the answer.  I’m giving it one more week and I’m out.

What Have I Been Watching?

I’m still digesting Struck by Lightening and the Seventh Seal.  (Look, by viewing habit are pretty ecclectic.)  I’ve started season 2 Misfits nevertheless.  Damn that show really points out how less diverse and generally lower quality so most US based superhero fare is.  Why can’t we have things like this over here?

Tags: movies TV

Grim

Re: Grim’s Wu. There is a tendency to make Asian men desexualized comedy side kicks. I’d like to see them flesh him out into a whole person, because having him be just a comedy sidekick is like having a gay best friend or a magical negro. Twenty years ago it might have counted as representation, now it’s a stereotype, if that makes sense. They’ve been doing a good job iof fleshing out Hank, or I have hopes they can improve. 

Also: I hate amnesia plots the way I hate retcons.  There’s also an annoying shortage of fleshed out female characters.

Chicago Fire

I really don’t like medical/paramedic/fire type dramas.  I generally need persuading to try one.  (The Listener’s an exception, and the reason I got sucked in was the way they handled the trans episode plus the diverse and likable cast.  I watched House mostly for conversational purposes with my Mother, and my mixed feelings about it are on record).  Still, Chicago Code may have been a rip off of The Wire, but it was a pretty good rip off of The Wire given the constraints of network TV.  I still wasn’t going to watch Chicago Fire, but the toothsome and incredibly talented Eamon Walker is in it, and I am a sucker for watching him act.  It was still hard for me to make it through the first episode, but they had that lady I liked from Lie To Me (Monica Raymund), and I have nothing against Jesse Spenser despite him having been chase on House.  (I never liked the character until he deliberately killed that patient, and then suddenly his character got interesting.  The acting was never the problem and when they gave him stuff to do he did a pretty good job).  Anyway, I had trouble making it through the first one, but I stuck with it and I think it was worth it.  It helps that they are expanding the characters one by one instead of having it all be that one guy, and there is way more of Mr. Walker as it continues.  I am easily taken in by ensemble casts.  Extra points for the cast being more diverse than Chicago Code’s.  I do wish they’d gone for ambient sound instead of overly sentimental incidental music which gets right up my nose, but it’s still above average for this sort of drama with it’s long arcs and deliberate sense of forward motion.  I like it and I really don’t like this type of show, which may sound like a week endorsement, but it’s not.  Why am I writing about it here?  I just did a five episode marathon as I taped it, but was just that loath to watch it.  (I don’t have a phobia, but I’ve spent a lot of my time in hospitals over the years.  Watching hospital/paramedics/fire fighter drama is about as appealing to me as watching a drama about sitting around in airports, another activity I’ve spent way to much time doing over the years.  If someone as disinclined to watch this as I am likes it enough to do five hours in an evening on purpose, trust me it’s good.)


To be clear, I genuinely appreciate real life first responders and Medical personnel and believe that first responders and nurses ought to be better paid and have better health care than we give them in this country.

Breaking Bad

People kept talking up Breaking Bad, so I decided to give it a try.  I’m working through Season one.  It is as well written and acted as I was promised.  I actually like the way they are handling the cancer, both from a various people in the extended family dealing with it in different ways and from an economics of rationed health care and crappy pay for teachers perspective.  I also appreciate the bits of teaching and school culture are done.  I can actually believe in Wilt as a teacher.  He’s got that still a pretty good teacher, but starting to burn out feel to him that everyone’s seen if you spend enough time in the schools.  The thing that is not so believable is how nice and new the school and classroom furnishings are.  I know they shot it in a real school that was privately funded and so well stocked and furnished, but the average real world chemistry teacher is dealing with not enough desks, chairs, and gas valves, let alone decant glassware and chemical stores.  A teacher needing two jobs to pay mortgage and having a crappy HMO?  Completely believable.  Enough equipment for the students to do experiments and there to be extra glassware and gas masks?  Not so much, but it’s a small caveat and I’m definitely finding it compelling.

lettersfromtitan:

The blog is back!

Also, why The Newsroom is like Glee: we’re going to have to do a lot work.

Seeing the Criminal Minds finale this close to the Listener season opener really points out how formulaic bank robbery episodes are on TV.

I am finding the Craig Ferguson Scotland shows fascinating.

 I like them as travelog, but what really gets me is how startled he is at how beautiful it is.  You can really tell how badly he must have wanted out growing up there as a kid; his surprise at how much fun he’s having and the beauty underlines it.  I had to be away from Philly most of a decade to start appreciating the architecture on trips back, and more than two decades after I still feel trapped when I’m there.  He’s been gone longer and it shows.  He can mostly see it from outside now, and seems to be having a good time rediscovering, even with the scars and old traumas.  The stuff at his old high School tonight…  Wow.  He generally jokes about painful stuff like his addiction in a self depreciating way.  The school stuff was like that, the bad grades, the violence, and the beatings, contrasted with the much gentler modern system.  I’m looking a him in this whole new way as a person, rater than entertainment.  Watching him on this journey is surprisingly touching in between the funny bits. 

Until this week I’ve never given much thought to him as a person rather than a snarky stage persona.  I’m just generally not must interested in the personalities or personal lives of celebrities (outside of things like Sean Connery being a domestic abuser or all of Mel Gibson’s -isms.  I mostly want to know who to avoid).  There are exceptions.  Watching Johnny Depp talk about his friendship with Hunter S. Thompson, for example.  Mostly, celebrities are boring on chat shows presenting a bland persona and plugging the project with very little of real interest to say.  I don’t generally care about their small children or small talk any more than I do about a strangers on a bus.  Similarly, I don’t generally kid myself that watching a celebrity chat show host is the same as knowing them as a person.  Stephen Colbert is more blatant about it al being persona.  I tend to assume that other comedians and actors turned hosts are doing something similar, that even though there is some of them in their public persona, what they are really doing is a performance.  Craig Ferguson’s performance intrigues me, as does his deliberate deconstruction of the chat show format he’s simultaneously performing.  The “I don’t give a fuck” persona is actually frequently good at bringing out interesting performances in his guests, something rather less likely with hosts who are playing it mostly straight.  The agenda is different, and that tends to effect results in less predictable ways.

It think that’s why I’m simultaneously fascinated and unsettled by glimpses of real under the snarky performance this week.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s still performance and persona, it’s just I keep getting the feeling that the mask is slipping in spots.  I’m not used to being drawn in this way.

Glee: Season 2

1. I think I forgot to mention that I think “Isn’t She Lovely” was the best fit for Artie’s voice of any of the songs I’ve seen him do so far.
2. I think I’m going to have to rewatch most of the last disk to poke at odds and ends.
3. OMG, Rachel’s coat in New York. I can’t decide if it’s brilliant or too on the nose.
4. Breakfast at Tiffany’s FTW.
5. I know Glee is deliberately heightened reality and certain things you have to accept like them doing different songs every week with little or no practice instead of working a program week after week like we did in choir. I get that, I really do. At the same time, them writing professional level songs, practicing them with student musicians, and choreographing hem over night? Too much for my ability to suspend disbelief which is always constantly stretched. It kept pulling me out of the thing, and meant I was expecting the to fail spectacularly. Of course I was also expecting that from the over confidence. I was actually disappointed they only failed a little. Was that the effect they were aiming for? I can’t tell.

Tags: Glee tv