Wednesday, July 15, 2015

“How exactly would you like me to be decisive"



"and stick to my vision and be strong about what I want, and yet not upset anybody? Please give me the secret to that. It is a fail-fail situation.”

Oof. It certainly is, Lexi Alexander.

This Bloomberg Business Celluloid Ceilings documentary would have been better had it included even one more nonwhite woman directors, e.g. current media darling/incredible business person Ava DuVernay.

Though incomplete, the film did point out some necessary truths, like the fact that Catherine Hardwicke turned a $37 million dollar budget for the first Twilight movie into an almost $400 million box office, thus paving the way for not only the over $3 billion saga, but also similar YA franchises like The Hunger Games and Divergent. Despite the success of Catherine Hardwicke's film, there have been no other women directors on any of the subsequent Twilight films, nor on the Divergent or Hunger Games films. Catherine Hardwicke also got paid less on her next movie.

Whaaat???


Update (7/15/2015): Lexi Alexander let me know that she is Palestinian.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

THE MR. J TEST: INSIDE AMY SCHUMER



From Wikipedia:

Inside Amy Schumer is an American sketch comedy television series created and hosted by its star, Amy Schumer.


Episodes watched by me:

Most of them.


Does the series pass the Bechdel Test? (Two female character speak to each other about something other than a man.)

Yes. There have been multiple sketches in which Amy and her character's female friends all talk about themselves, each other, or other women.


Does the series pass The Mr. J Test? (Two nonwhite characters speak to each other about something other than a white person.)

This episode could count since Sasheer Zamata does speak to her black male coworkers over the loudspeaker. But they don't speak back to her. Also, the sketch is about how Amy's character thinks all the black men in the store look alike. So...


Does the series pass the Unicorn Bonus Round? (Two nonwhite female characters speak to each other something other than a man or a white person.)

I have only seen a handful (five) of nonwhite female characters on the show, and they primarily speak to white women. So, no.


Will I keep watching?

Probably. Though, not because of Amy's lackluster apology. Because there aren't many other comedic shows that comment on feminist issues, like military rape culture or unrealistic expectations of female friends, partners, customers, millionaires, and strangers.


Would I recommend this series?

I have recommended certain episodes and sketches before, but some of Amy Schumer's jokes, both on and off the show, have been racist. So watch the series at your own peril.


Final judgments?

More funny women on my television, please. I can't keep watching reruns of The New Adventures of Old Christine to get my fix.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

THE MR. J TEST: HUMANS




From AMC.com:

"HUMANS is set in a parallel present, where the latest must-have gadget for any busy family is a Synth – a highly-developed robotic servant, eerily similar to its live counterpart."


Episodes watched by me:

"Episode 1" and "Episode 2"


Does the series pass the Bechdel Test? (Two female character speak to each other about something other than a man.)

Yes. Anita, Laura, Mattie, and Sophie--who are all female characters--all speak to each other about each other at some point in time during the first two episodes.


Does the series pass The Mr. J Test? (Two nonwhite characters speak to each other about something other than a white person.)

So far, no. Each of the nonwhite characters--Anita, Max, Fred, Harun, Niska's madam, the scientist on the TV, and the government lady whose name I don't know--only speak to white characters. Additionally, the characters with the most agency in their lives and plotlines are all white men: Leo, Joe, even Dr. Millican--who is being bossed around by his new government-issued synth--has more control over his body than Niska, the able-bodied female synth forced into abusive prostitution.


Does the series pass the Unicorn Bonus Round? (Two nonwhite female characters speak to each other something other than a man or a white person.)

Not even. For that to happen, using the characters that we have now, Anita would have to talk with Niska's madam about maybe the government lady. Right now, Anita's trying not to get molested by her boss's sexual predator son.

Every story is so reliant on the choices that the white male characters have made. I wonder what led Humans creators (and white males with hairSam Vincent and Jonathan Brackley to create such goal-oriented white male characters, while many of the female characters are portrayed as sexual objects, assault victims, likely adulterers, jealous shrews, domineering harpies, bad mothers, or some combination thereof. Hmm...

BTdubs, the two black male characters on the show currently fill the role of Bagger Vance (Max) and dead slave (Fred). So there's that...


Will I keep watching?

For now.


Would I recommend this series?

Considering that I can name characters on fellow AMC series Mad Men that had more insight into human nature, less misogynistic views, and greater respect for colorful people--including serial cheater, xenophobe, and blackface enthusiast Roger Sterling--no.


Final judgments?

Instead of Humans, watch a holiday marathon of the original Twilight Zone on Syfy. This classic created by Rod Serling (another white male with hair) presented more progressive ideas in 1959 than this modern day series does in 2015.