Monday, April 27, 2015

Last Picture Show

Hey, so I wrote about the pathetic lack of lesbian and bisexual roles for actresses in my latest Woman and Hollywood column. (Click on over, read, enjoy, comment.) It’s so appalling that only two films featured lesbian characters and five featured bisexual characters – out of 114 major studio releases. The irony of this is that most of us who are old enough to buy beer legally saw our first glimpses of ourselves on screen thanks to films. Granted, they were small independent films that for the most part only other lesbian and bisexual women know, love and can recite by heart. But today, young LGBT folks are much more likely to see themselves on television. And they’re much more likely to see a more accurate depiction of themselves on television. Way to get eclipsed by your upstart little sibling, movies.

While I applaud the great gains the not-so idiot box has taken in recent years, I’m perplex at the lack of progress in film. Actually, that’s a lie. Of the top-grossing films of last year only 30 percent of the speaking roles went to women. And only 12 percent of those film had a female protagonist. Yep, that means 88 percent of the films featured male protagonists. And don’t get me started on the lack of diversity in movies. Really don’t get me started. I will Feminist Hulk Smash all over the place.

Right, where was I? Oh, yeah. Movies need to step the fuck up. Stop being such a wanker, Hollywood.

Friday, April 24, 2015

My Weekend Crush

You guys. I know I already posted about Amy Schumer this week. But you know what, fuck it, it’s my site and I’ll be repetitive if I want to. And, you know what else, Amy deserves another post for giving us hands down one of the most feminist comedy sketches in recent history. Naturally, it co-stars some of the most feminist actresses in Hollywood – Tina Fey, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Patricia Arquette. Please, allow these ladies to explain the “Last Fuckable Day” to you. I mean it, seriously, you should really watch.



The entire premiere episode of “Inside Amy Schumer” this week was filled with unabashedly feminist humor. Besides this takedown of sexist Hollywood attractiveness standards, the show also full-body tackled of rape culture with a “Friday Night Lights” parody. I mean it. I’m almost begging. You should be watching this show.



Would it help if I told you Amy is practically BFFs with Tilda Swinton. Yes, Tilda FUCKING Swinton. Oh, you think I’m kidding. Tilda stars in Amy’s new film “Trainwreck” and they’ve formed a mutual admiration society. Amy introduced Tilda at the Gotham Independent Film Awards last December. And Tilda waxed poetic about Amy for the Time 100. No, I mean it. SHE WROTE A FUCKING POEM FOR AMY. And in it, in part, she wrote, “She’s an honesty bomb. And she’s coming for you.” Yep, exactly. Happy weekend, all.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Mother of Bad Decisions

While we are on the subject of people undergoing dramatic character shifts this season, can we take a moment to discuss Daenerys? This season she’s more like Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen, the First of Her Name, the Unburnt, Queen of Meereen, Queen of the Andals and the Rhoynar and the First Men, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains, Mother of Dragons AND Bad Decision Machine, amirite? Looks, we all knew last season that locking up her beloved dracarys would be a very, very bad plan. A dragon is not a slave, remember? But now my favorite albino-haired claimant to the Iron Throne is having a hell of a time of it. (p.s. No, I have not read the books. Yes, I am aware all kind of shit is going to happen. No, please don’t spoil it for me.)



I guess this falls under the “Conquering Is Easy, Ruling Is Hard” life lessons. We all knew it would be difficult. But in a show that has made its female characters struggle and endure so (though, to be fair, it’s been fairly shitty to the men folk, too), it’s kind of crushing to watch this particular stumble. Or maybe I’m just upset for the dragons. Like I want to foster them for her for a bit and tell them it’s OK and that their mama is coming back for them, I promise. Yes, leave it to the lesbian to want to adopt the poor, stray dragons.



I guess the only good things about this particular predicament is my eager anticipation for the moment when Daenerys gets her shit back together and has another, epic drop the mic (or whip, as it was) moment. Thought, this being “Game of Thrones,” that’ll probably be like 30 beheadings, a dozen skull crushings, 10 burnings alive and three smoke baby monsters from now. Damn, show. The things you make us go through.

p.s. What does it say about me that I’m actually starting to like Cersei Lannister more as the seasons wear on? Wait, don’t answer that.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Delphine? More like Delfine!

Can we talk about the Season 3 “Orphan Black” premiere? No, wait, that’s a lie. I only sort of want to talk about the Season 3 “Orphan Black” premiere. I mostly want to talk about Delphine. There is no other character on “Orphan Black” right now that I am more simultaneously scared of and turned on by than Delphine. This new, straight-haired, no-nonsense, socket-squishing Delphine is quite something. I know some are calling her “Mean Delphine,” but she is so much more than that. She has become perhaps the clones’ most fierce protector. And as such she appears to be willing and capable of doing whatever is necessary to protect the, all of them. In short, you don’t fuck with her. Goodbye old Delphine, hello Boss Ass Bitch Delphine.



I actually greatly enjoy this new development, and not just because strong, badass women are sexy. It’s because since the start Delphine’s true motivations have been a little suspect. I’ve never doubted her love and connection with Cosima – that always felt real. But I’ve wondered what her end game really was. Was she in it for Dyad? For science? For herself? Now the answer appears to be evident: She was in it for the clones and one clone in particular, Cosima. But as the song goes, “If you love someone, set them free…” So to truly love and protect Cosima she had to let Cosima go. So as Dyad’s new Rachel, she does just that. Oh, cruel fate. You heart-crushing bastard.



So while I still dislike the boy clones (way to make them completely indistinct from each other aside for wispy facial hair and/or scars, show) and the increasingly convoluted layers of conspiracy (First Dyad now Topside, oy, if this thing ends with Overlord Xenu I’m going to be pissed), I do like this new clearly focused Delphine. Granted, she scares the shit out of me. But I respect the hell out of her, too. And, you know, she can get it anytime. Anytime at all.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Fudge Machine

Amy Schumer belongs to what I like to call the Amy Poehler School of Comedy. For those unfamiliar with this particular comedic genre, it follows the simple yet profound mantra: "I don't fucking care if you like it.” It’s not about being cute or acceptable or cool. It’s about being fucking funny about whatever the fuck she wants. Some folks find her a little crude. But so what? Dude comics get called all the time, with pride. All I know is that I laugh my ass off at almost everything she does in “Inside Amy Schumer.” So I couldn’t be happier about it coming back tonight. And this video? Let’s just say I’ve been singing “This is where the poo comes out” under my breath at work all week.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Naked Lady Monday

You know, I haven’t always been the biggest fan of the annual Allure Naked Truth issue. Nothing against naked ladies, obviously. But the images tend to be too Photoshopped and artificial for my taste. If you really want to celebrate truthful female beauty, let some of our so-called flaws show. Otherise it’s just a cheesecake naked photo, you know. As such I tend to prefer the ESPN Body Issue, especially when it showcases the athletes actually doing the athletic feats they’re famous for. But this year’s nude feature is pretty exceptional. It’s not necessarily because actresses I like including “Sleepy Hollow” star Nicole Beharie, “The L Word” alum Sandrine Holt and continual “D.E.B.S.” crush Jordana Brewster are featured. It’s that Laverne Cox is featured. And that, friends, is a big fucking deal. Celebration of beauty in the transgender community is far too often something that has to be taken, instead of given freely. Our rigid, all-too-narrow standards leave out anyone who (as the New York Times would put it) is “less classically beautiful” than the ideal norm. That norm, of course, leaves out most of us. So then to have a black transgender woman be selected to appear in the Allure Naked issue matters. And that’s exactly why Laverne did it:

“I said no initially, thought about it, and said no again. But I’m a black transgender woman. I felt this could be really powerful for the communities that I represent. Black women are not often told that we’re beautiful unless we align with certain standards. Trans women certainly are not told we’re beautiful. Seeing a black transgender woman embracing and loving everything about herself might be inspiring to some other folks. There’s beauty in the things we think are imperfect. That sounds very cliché, but it’s true.”
Now that, that’s beautiful.

Friday, April 17, 2015

My Weekend Crush

So “Orphan Black” is back and I am of course excited. For two seasons now it has been one of the most thrilling shows complete with one of the most exhilarating performances by an actress I’ve seen on TV. But here’s the thing, I’m really not really thrilled about Project Castor. The twist of male clones to me is kind of, well, disappointing. It’s not that I think they’ll do a bad job with the storyline. Or that I think they’ve picked a bad actor to portray the boy clones. But it’s just that from its start “Orphan Black” has been about the struggle for female agency. It’s about these women taking their lives back from the unseen forces attempting to monitor, control and modify them. It’s been about these women, these fascinating women. And now it’s about these women and these guys. Call me grumpy, but I don’t want to share.

Yet, I’m still open-minded. I love this show enough to trust they’ll do a good job with these new characters and do good by these women we know and love. Plus the promos, particularly the “You Don’t Own Me” nature of the campaign, highlights and magnifies the show’s central theme of agency. So I have faith they won’t squander the good thing they’ve got going with this story and their force of nature of a star. In Tatiana Maslany we trust. Happy “Orphan Black” weekend, all.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Women of a Certain...

Look, I’m naturally going to be interested any show with two female leads. I’m naturally going to be interested in a show with Lily Tomlin as one of those female leads. And, you know, Jane Fonda is no slouch either. So when I heard about the new Netflix series “Grace & Frankie” I was thrilled. Like, seriously, how fun. And then there was the LGBT aspect with the husbands of Grace (that’s Jane) and Frankie (that’s Lily) coming out as gay and in love with each other (they’re played by Martin Sheen and Sam Waterston, respectively).

And the trailer looks fun, too. Like a Nora Ephron turned into a full-length series. I mean, who doesn’t want to watch Lily and Jane rib each other. The only way it could be better is if these two ladies fell in love, too. Late-in-life coming outs for everyone!



While normally I would be a little cranky about a show as unabashedly about rich white folks as “Grace & Frankie” seems to be, I think given the other unprecedented nature of this series I can cut it some slack. I really can’t think of another TV show centered around septuagenarian women. Can you? Women of a certain age so very rarely get the spotlight. “The Golden Girls” was about a group of women in their 60s (in fact Estelle Getty’s Sophia was actually a year younger than her “daughter” Bea Arthur). “Hot in Cleveland” is mostly about women in their 50s and 60s – and Betty White, bless her heart. So a show about two broads in their 70s, yeah, that makes me pretty happy.

This is the beauty of choice. Subscription streaming services like Netflix and Hulu – and the expansion of cable offerings – have helped broadened the field. We can have shows about women of all ages and colors in prison, a trans parent and her adult children, a doomsday cult survivor and her new actor, dancer, homosexual roommate. I could go on. And that makes me very, very happy.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Trailer Watch: True & Dark

So late last week two new trailers for two new shows were released. One was for the second season of the anthological drama “True Detective” on HBO. The other was for the new graphic novel-based series “Dark Matter” on Syfy. They couldn’t be more different. One is sci-fi, one is crime drama. But each one of them interested me for only one reason and one reason alone. Can you guess the reasons for each? Yep, you guessed it. A lady being a badass.

Let’s start with “True Detective.” I didn’t watch the first season because I’d heard all about its celebration of white male misogyny and I just don’t have time to invest in that sort of bullshit, no matter how good the acting and beautiful the cinematography. I just do.not.care. So I wasn’t expecting much from the trailer and for 99.9 percent of it met my exact expectations. Grim-looking white guy. Grim-looking white guy. Grim-looking white guy. And then, all of a sudden, hellooooo, Rachel Mcadams.



Yes, sometimes all it takes is a badass-looking lady walking purposely with a gun in her hand to pique my interest.

So then let’s move to “Dark Matter.” This is based on a graphic novel and set on board a spacecraft where it passengers wake with no memory of their past lives. While the story sounds interesting enough, I really only care because Zoie Palmer. She plays the ship’s Android. So I watched the whole trailer playing “Where’s Zoie?” And then, BOOM. Fuck. Yeah.



Yes, sometimes all it takes is a badass-looking woman walking purposely with a lead pipe in her hand to pique my interest.

Is it shallow to reduce two trailers to their two most important screencaps? Maybe. But sometimes all you need is just that one frame. So, which seemed most promising to you? Admit it, all you cared about was Rachel and Zoie, too.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Tank Top Tuesday: Wrecking Ball Edition

Do believe the hype. Do. If you have not watched the Anne Hathaway vs. Emily Blunt “Lip Sync Battle” episode, run – do not walk – to your television. It is one of the most fun half hours of television you will watch this year. The show is just a joy. I mean, if your heart isn’t filled with indescribable happiness while watching the full video of Anne Hathaway sing “Wrecking Ball” in a tank top and tightie whities then I highly doubt your ability to feel glee. This is my new go-to video to watch when I need a little pick me up. How can the world possibly be all terrible when this is happening? It can’t, that’s how. Yep, this is what happens when high school drama nerds really, really go for it as adults, folks. Happy Tuesday, universe.

http://dorothy-snarker.tumblr.com/post/116358533910/source-kaoxintouch