Tag Archives: Season 2

Thandie Newton gives back-to-back mean mugs in “Westworld 2” and “Solo: A Star Wars Journey” trailers

Thandie Newton as Val, sitting by a campfire in Solo: A Star Wars Story and as Maeve in Westworld Season 2

While the Philadelphia Eagles won the Super Bowl and made their city proud, I think it’s safe to say the real winner of the Super Bowl, as far as celebrity exposure goes, was Thandie Newton.

The veteran actor was seen in the splashy (and scary) trailer for the second season of HBO’s Westworld. While the first season wasn’t my most favorite thing in the world, Newton was one of the handful of women actors who buoyed the entire production and made it a lot more interesting that would have been without them. If I were to strap myself in for another season of body horror and acts of physical and sexual abuse, the only reason I’d watch were to see what would become of Newton’s sympathetic and righteous character Maeve.

The day after the Super Bowl, we finally got the full trailer for Solo: A Star Wars Story. Like with the image of Lando in the Super Bowl teaser trailer, we only see Newton on screen one time as mysterious mercenary Val. And, like with the uprising of Twitter over the lack of a Lando movie, I wish there was an entire movie about Val and how she fits into this wild galaxy. Basically, I just want a film with Lando and Val doing awesome bounty hunter stuff. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.

In any event, Westworld and Solo: A Star Wars Story places Newton as one of the reigning queens of Black Women in Sci-Fi, and I’m extremely excited to see what she does in both Westworld and Solo. But, while the Solo does look incredibly beautiful, I’m still not sure if I’m sold on the plot or on Alden Ehrenreich as Han. We’ll see I guess.

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“RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars” Season 2: Did Michelle Visage Go Overboard?

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The question of the day is this: Did Michelle Visage need to flay Adore Delano like that during the judging portion of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars? Couldn’t she have just said “Adore, this look isn’t working for me?”

To refresh everyone, let’s check out some video of the horrid proceedings:

First, I want to know what you think. Tell me your opinions in the comments section. Until then, I’ll go over what I’ve been mulling over and maybe we can reach a consensus.

The fact that Adore dresses grunge isn’t anything new. She’s been dressing like this for years now. If we go by what was said during the deliberation portion of RuPaul’s Drag Race All StarsAdore and Michelle have been arguing about it for years now, also. Which leads me to think that Michelle’s outburst shouldn’t have been all that warranted. I mean, Adore clearly isn’t going to change her aesthetic. Secondly, why have this kind of outburst on national television? That kind of a spat seemed like something that was just a cut above vicious. It almost seemed like a planned attack, particularly after Michelle saw Adore singing in that black sequined (or as Roxxxy Andrews would say, sequinced) boxy, oversized minidress.

The fact that the ordeal obviously embarrassed Adore on the national scale is one thing; that by itself is something to tsk-tsk Michelle about. It’s also something everyone can identify with; who wants to be embarrassed in front of your peers by someone you respect? It’s another issue that the spat hit right at Adore’s personal battles revolving around confidence. At the time, I don’t think Michelle realized just how deep she had cut at Adore. Getting your point across  when you’re mad is something that no one really knows how to do well, but sometimes even our worse attempts are better than just going for the jugular. That’s really the thing about it: Michelle went straight for the jugular. Did she think doing that would finally get Adore to wear a corset? Maybe the other question should be is if a corset is really worth all of that hand-wringing and nastiness. I mean, doggonit; it’s just a corset. If actual grungy women don’t wear corsets, then why should Adore have to wear a corset to dress like a grungy woman? I mean, IT’S GRUNGE.

There’s the argument that Michelle wanted Adore to step up her game if she’s on All Stars. I get it. The black dress and gloves didn’t help matters. But what I personally think Michelle has been trying to say (despite never using the right words for this) is that she just wants Adore to be a little more thoughtful and purposeful with her aesthetic. The main reason why Adore keeps getting the critique of being sloppy or lazy from other queens outside of the show is that the aesthetic, while making sense, doesn’t always look like Adore is in on the joke. Sometimes, it just looks like she’s just wearing a shirt and jean shorts. The whole concept isn’t always brought together into a cohesive look. Despite Adore being a part of the grunge, Riot Grrrl look, some tailoring might be needed to really take the look from “real girl” to “drag queen Riot Grrrl realness.” I think for Michelle, the element of drama and eleganza is gone because Adore doesn’t play to that. If Adore could meld just a sense of that eleganza magic with her aesthetic, then Michelle would probably leave her alone.

Maybe she’s already left Adore alone; after Michelle started receiving tons of hate from RPDR and Adore fans alike, Adore tweeted for folks to leave Michelle alone, that they had filmed that well over a year ago and that she loves Michelle. Clearly, some tough talks were had at some point for the two to get where they are now, because what we’re seeing now is Adore at a rough spot with Michelle and, if rumors are true, Adore walks out by the second episode. I’d be interested in knowing how they patched things up, and how Michelle is taking the backlash now (because while what Michelle did was questionable, it’s not as if she should be subjected to hate either).

Overall, I think Michelle just had a “straw that broke the camel’s back” moment, but it seems odd that it would happen during filming. I’m not saying anything, I’m just sayin’ drama makes for good TV.

What did you think, though? I want to hear what you’ve got to say; I’ve been discussing this all day and I want to know other folks’ opinions on this wildly divisive moment so early in the All Stars season.

“Tyrant”: Why Do People Love That “Sex” Article So Much?

It’s Tyrant season again! I’m already having to play catch-up (for those waiting on my Entertainment Weekly Community Blog recaps…just give me a second), but I thought that until I give my opinion the Season 3 opener, I’d jot some quick thoughts down about something that’s troubled me a long time; the popularity of one of my Tyrant articles, “Tyrant Season Two Quick Thoughts: Sex Scenes + an Ahmed Shout-Out.”

"Tyrant" Season Two Quick Thoughts: Sex Scenes + an Ahmed Shout-Out

The article itself isn’t the problem. In the article, I use a quote from my EW Community recap for one of the Season 2 episodes. The quote focuses on how uncomfortable I was with the show giving us a sex scene between Leila and Jamal, a scene which seemed to be misogynistic and exoticizing at the same time.

Did we need to see the sex scene, though? I know I’m a prude about some things, but did that [sex] scene really illuminate any kind of character beats? Or was it another way to objectify Middle Eastern women (particularly since we mostly see Leila’s face, not both of their faces)? I leave that as an open-ended question, since having sex really had nothing to do with the conversation they had about Bassam’s death later on. It’s strange pillow talk, at any rate.

This article is consistently one of the top articles on my site. Usually, I’d be glad about an article doing well. But in this case, I’m a bit disturbed. Why, out of all of the articles I’ve written about Tyrant, and out of all of the articles I’ve written in general, is this the one that becomes popular?

You could say I’m over-thinking this and am blowing things out of proportion, but I’m of the mindset that this article is popular just because it’s about a Middle Eastern woman having sex on-screen.

The fetishizing of non-white women, in this case Middle Eastern women, is nothing new. It’s been used in movies and television over and over again. Increasingly, such fetishizing is being used in basic news narratives, particularly when it comes to hijabis; there’s usually a narrative of how “restrained” they are and how they need “saving,” so to speak, which is usually a Western and/or white feminist code for losing identity and becoming a product for someone else’s enjoyment, whether that means adhering to white feminist rhetoric or taking on some other, more sexual mantle. It would appear the same thing happens in Tyrant from time to time.

The scene I wrote about had camera angles that were specifically showing a male voyeristic view of Leila’s part in the sexual episode. It focuses primarily on her and her body, not Jamal’s. The blatant objectification of Leila in the throes of sex leaves me feeling uneasy. Here we have a character who is already saddled with the pressures of being an object for a monster of a man, a man she doesn’t love. We already focus heavily on how her expensive wardrobe is an extension of her glamourous prison of a palace. Is it then necessary to then show Leila a prisoner to the camera as well? Hasn’t Leila been exploited enough?

To that end, I’m not exactly sure who is reading the aforementioned article, and why they are reading it. Most of the traffic for that article comes from people specifically looking up “Tyrant” and “sex scene.” As to why someone would want to watch a sex scene between a prisoner (because that’s basically what Leila is) and a rapist (because that’s definitely what Jamal is) is beyond me. Thus, the only reason I can come up with is that there must be some fetishizers out there. I know I’m baiting the folks who look up “Tyrant” and “sex” by writing this article, since some of the same tags will be used to define this article. But hopefully, this article gives me back some of the ownership over the Tyrant conversation as it relates to sex and fetish. I felt like I needed to interrupt the cycle.

But, my view of why the article is popular could be absolutely wrong. What do you think about this? Give your opinions in the comments section below.

"Sleepy Hollow" Season 2 Post-Mortem: Part 2

I took on the challenge to rewatch Season 2 of Sleepy Hollow to see just how good or bad the season actually was without the fandom influences of #AbbieMillsDeservesBetter and other fan-based movements. I wanted to see the series just like how the average non-fandom viewer would. I even took notes. The results were interesting.

This is a continuation of Part 1 of the post-mortem, which you can read here.

Sleepy Hollow Season Two Primer: What Happened in S2.1

Sleepy Hollow is literally almost upon us, and as such, some of you might have either forgotten what led us to this critical point in the season and others of you out there might be scratching your head, trying to catch up from Season One. Since I’ve been following this show religiously, I’m here to catch you up on what went down this season in a series of bullet points and links to posts. Grab your popcorn, your special talisman or holy water, and read along.