Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Glee-Cap: Glee Live! with Evangelia

Glee does a lot for its fans, it's pretty smart about reaching out to them. There are young adult fan novels in the works coming out in August, various ways to watch the show online, an iPhone karaoke app and yes, even concerts. In May, the actors of Glee took the stage in four cities to the delight and endless squeeings of Gleeks everywhere.

I did not get to go to the show myself, but! luckily for me, my friend, fangirl extraordinare, and 7-year-old of mystery, Evangelia, did get to go, and was kind enough to let me interview her about it. 

What was the live show like?

They sang songs and it was more like a concert than a show. Every 5 songs there would be a snippet on the big screen where Sue would mock Mr. Shue and the Glee Club.

She even had a group of evil cheerios (actually the cast members of Vocal Adrenalin –Evangelia’s Dad) where they passed out Barf Bags ‘cause Sue said the audience would need them.

What was your favorite part of the show?
When the characters walked down the rows singing because it gave everybody a opportunity to see them more.
How did it feel when Quinn touched your hand and thanked you for coming?
It was like…. So amazing, just when they walked down the rows and got close to everyone it was so cool. Quinn’s my favorite character.

What else happened at the Live show?
The actors came outside to meet people in line and sign autographs.

What was your favorite song?

Well Fangirls and Fanboys, that's it for this season's Glee-caps, while the show has its problems, it does seem like it's trying, and regardless, it's enjoyable and inspires this kind of fangirl excitment:

The Mystery of Girls' Media's Glee-Caps are syndicated at All Things Fangirl
Go there, Love them.

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Bechdel Test

If you aren't familiar with the Bechdel Test, this short explaination worth checking out.
It's not a system of telling if women are appropriately portrayed in movies,
it's a test to see if a movie has female characters in them AT ALL.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Sex and the City

Tracy Scott, from Emory University, discussing the cultural impact 
and contradictions of the SATC franchise

Friday, June 11, 2010

My other project has dinosaurs.

So I got quoted in The Daily Intel today, Squee! Read up on our campaign to get Bill Murray into Jurassic Park Slope, and if you haven't checked out my movie (in production) Jurassic Park Slope yet, you should have done that, two or three days ago... just go here.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Glee-Cap: Sincertity is the New Irony

"Who cares about what happens at the end when the getting there is so much fun?

So, Tuesday was the Season Finale of Glee– Journey– yes it was two days ago and yes I'm just now getting to this, but it took me so long because not only will I be Glee-capping the Season 1 Finale, I'm glee-capping with special guest Fangirl, Evangelia, who is 7 and a true Gleek.

So Evangelia What Happened on the Finale?
They tried to go to regionals but they didn’t win. Sue actually voted for them to win but nobody would accept that ‘cause she’s one of the main villains.

Why is she a villain?
Because she never really got along with the teacher of the glee club. 

Because they would take away from her cheer squad and they
might become more popular than the cheerios.
So, the club had to prove itself at Regionals or be dissolved. Sue became a judge because "she's a celebrity", ensuring that the glee club would lose. To parallel the story of the teachers squabbling over the future of the club, Quinn and motherhood were a storyline, also, Mr. Shue and Ms. Pillsbury had a thing.

But the real core of the finale was confidence. The show was written more confidently than many of the other episodes this season and all the characters acted with more certainty and confidence towards their goals than at any other point in the first season. That proved to be a great thing for some characters, a questionable one for others.

"Being part of something special made me special" 


The beginning of the episode, the Glee club is down because of Sue's evil machinations, but they buck up quickly because their trials and tribulations together have given them the strength to persevere and overcome obstacles to do what they love. 

But what do they love? It manifests in different ways, Finn tells Rachel he loves her and they are clearly getting back together. Finn has the confidence to do what he loves and be with who he loves despite the opinions of others.

Suddenly, Quinn's Mom pops up having left Quinn's philandering father (not because of his treatment of Quinn mind you) and wants Quinn back in her life, even offering to turn a room into a nursery for her baby. Quinn is so startled she promptly goes into labor. 
Evangelia, who is your favorite character?

Quinn Fabaray– because she was one of the top bad guys 
at the beginning but because she’s changed. 
Before she was really mean and on Sue’s side and now 
she’s nice and on Glee’s side.  She’s nice even though 
she was angry about not being in cheerleading anymore.
Labor, oh the childbirth scene. Having given labor, I can say mine didn't go that quickly, and of course Quinn looked much more quaffed than many delivering mothers. I forgive you Glee for you portrayal of childbirth because 1) that scene going for 16 hours would be lame, 2) even though no hospital would allow that many people in the delivery room it's the best Mercedes-Quinn we're going to get in this episode since it's only an hour and 3) Bohemian Rhapsody is a great song.

Pictured: Not Beth

But, the most telling sign of confidence is that, while Quinn clearly adores the baby, she has the confidence and self-possession to be startled by her mother's appearance and to stick to her guns later in the episode and put Beth up for adoption, she is confident in her decision. She is clear in her thinking, aware of her situation and making hard choices. 

So let's take it back to Evangelia:
Who do you think is the best singer?

Rachel- because she sings SO MUCH and practices so much.
She set herself a target and aimed for it the whole time.

She’s sort of like… she sometimes got so focused that she was mean to people.
Rachel confronts Ms. Cocoran who once again refuses to become the mom Rachel really wants. Ms. Cocoran does hear about Quinn's baby and by the end of the episode is adopting Beth. This has already caused a flurry of controversy online among fans, does Ms. Cocoran deserve Beth? 
For my two cents, yes, because she will give that baby a good home and will devote herself to that baby. The fact that she was not there for Rachel is tragic, but doesn't preclude her being a good mother in a different situation. Giving Ms. Cocoran the baby makes an important point, the idea that someone should be prevented from giving a child a stable, loving home if they want to is... missing the point of adoption. That is something Ms. Cocoran has the inclination and ability to do, even if she can't be emotionally available to the daughter she gave birth to and relinquished parenting of to a stable home years earlier. 

But I digress, the point is, even if Ms. Cocoran is an imperfect mother, she's an interesting and complex character and for a character who is decidedly secondary to the main storyline, that's some impressive stuff. Point to you, Glee.

On the heels of that point, Glee, let's talk about Ms. Pillsbury:

Pictured: Owl Face

Do you remember how she pretended to be in love with someone to marry them for security only to jilt them at the alter (which admittedly, the fiance saw coming) to hook up with Mr. Shue and destroy his marriage only to then decide that it was too soon and also that she was terrified of her sexuality?

Yeah, neither do I. She got into a screaming match with the principal 
and once again won Mr. Shue's love. 
That and he was jealous that she was seeing someone else.

I feel like just listing that storyline does my work for me. Let's try a little harder with her next season, shall we Glee? She disappeared for seriously, half-a-season, and now she's empowered, are you saying that, once empowered, women cease to be interesting???? like a said Glee, work harder.

Pictured: Love!...?...!

But for all my studied hatin' I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed the episode, even my husband, hiding in another room as only a man avoiding something his wife enjoys can noted that "that's a really nice version of Somewhere Over the Rainbow." I really felt like the story was pushing itself to fit as much as it could into a one-hour season finale and it did a good a job of tying those strings together as it possibly could, and even more important, it made me excited for the next season. 
So Evangelia, What do you hope that there’s more of in the second season?

I hope that there’s a stronger friendship with Mercedes and Quinn

Me too, they're great together, Anything else?

I hope there’s more Santana, she and her tricks are so cool, 
and Brittney ‘cause she is so funny.
This season of Glee is over, but tune in next week for another Glee-Cap with Evangelia 
this time about Glee Live! 
which Evangelia was lucky enough to see at Rockefeller Center
 The Mystery of Girls' Media's Glee-Caps are syndicated at All Things Fangirl
Go there, Love them.

On Motherhood.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Indecision 2010 - Primary Victory for Women
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Oh Lisa, no.

During my lip-gloss and glitter addiction years, Lisa Frank was a big part of my life. Yes, my aesthetic was one of a raver long before I had ever done been to a party more exciting than a 6th grade mixer. My mother had to be forcibly restrained from preventing me from leaving the house, not because I looked skanky, but because I looked freaking ridiculous. Yes there are pictures, and No, they most definitely are not scanned. Just imagine a 12-year-old in green eyeshadow with 4 foot long red hair in a school uniform (skirt to the knees) and enough Mardi Gras beads on her arms and neck to make Mr. T blush.  In my defense, I absolutely loved that look, rocked it, and it was the Millennium and you should have seen what people were wearing.

But enough about me and Dennis Rodman, that's not what I want to talk about. I want to talk about Unicorns and neon-penguins and the design that once graced every trapper-keeper, folder, sticker, eraser that didn't really erase anything, pencil, pen, and poorly-manufactured plastic trinket in sight in Junior High.

I remember falling in love with Lisa Frank, not just because of the obvious unicorns, bright colors and acid-trip sensibility, but because the other options for folders were barbie, tiger beat heartthrobs, and plain. The images were never some image of a girl how she should appear, but images from a young girls dreams. That is I think, why I find this revamp so very disappointing.

The use of human figures at all turns me off to them, before we even get to the sexualized aspects of them, and the well, Bratziness. Must I go cry tears of rage? Where WILL girls find images that aren't filled with girls of a certain type?

I guess the future is full of DIY art projects for the back to school set who prefers adventure and creatures of legend to shopping and baby dolls. At the end of the day, that could be worse. I just hope they keep making brightly colored paints.

Regardless, I'll let Andy Wright of SFWeekly's thoughts send us off..
"The whimsical ponies of my childhood [a]re being straddled by big-headed coquettes in hot-pink midriff tops.

Ostensibly, the purpose of tampering with a brand is to adjust for what the appeals to the audience. And while I'm sure interest in the Lisa Frank line may have waned since the color-saturated '80s and '90s, I have to wonder if little girls actually are more interested in bizarrely proportioned nymphets dressed like sexy hippies than a righteous day-glo tiger cub. And if they aren't, who are these re-designs really for?"

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Groovin with Ken

Glee-Cap: Are you funking kidding me?

 "Tell me if this is too suggestive..."

 It's not, I'm pretty bored.

Ok, from here on in, Will Schuester, is going to be called Mary Sue, because let's be honest, that's what he is. Increasingly, every time he's onscreen I open up a big old bag of not giving a shit. If you're not familiar with the term Mary Sue: here educate yourself. 
A Mary Sue (sometimes just Sue), in literary criticism and particularly in fanfiction, is a fictional character with overly idealized and hackneyed mannerisms, lacking noteworthy flaws, and primarily functioning as a wish-fulfillment fantasy for the author or reader. Perhaps the single underlying feature of all characters described as "Mary Sues" is that they are too ostentatious for the audience's taste, or that the author seems to favor the character too highly. The author may seem to push how exceptional and wonderful the "Mary Sue" character is on his or her audience, sometimes leading the audience to dislike or even resent the character fairly quickly; such a character could be described as an "author's pet".
But the major take away on the concept is that the character is so beloved by the writer/producer/whatever that they are just painfully, annoyingly PRECIOUS.

"Even your breath stinks of mediocrity"...

Also, in a storyline that literally had no utility except to provide Puck with an opportunity to sing Loser. Which I fully support. Because that was fun. The boys, Finn and Puck slashed tires of the Vocal Adrenalin's Range Rovers, in order to "Defend the honor of New Directions" after their choir room was T.P.ed. Now, this charming turn of events does give some commentary on the misguided chivalry expected of young men in this modern era, and the escalation of school prankery into astronomically difficult levels.
"Their School Statue is a Great White Shark eating a seal pup, it weighs three tons."

Even more frustrating than Mary Sue's storyline- that can I say managed to totally neutralize Sue's character which is not funny, literally, not funny in humor or being okay- we saw the return of Mrs. Sue (like what I did there?)

Quinn! Pregnantly singing with a chorus of unwed pregnant teen mothers. I'm going to call this the weekly interlude in WTF? because yeah, last week it was Artie's Safety Dance, and seriously, WTF? I've been pregnant, bouncing around like that it SUCH a fantasy. ... and group hug and back to our regularly scheduled show.

But not quite! we'll be taking a strange reprise later on in the episode, Mercedes and Quinn are moving in together based on a series of scenes that feel a little like Tyra Banks crying 'cause she had to wear a fat suit. That would be, your realization that you've been horrible means that not only are you destroyed by your own crushed vanity, but the people you've been horrid to have to comfort you as well.

I like Quinn and Mercedes as a pair, they can learn from one another, they're less crass than TyTy, but lets also be fair, if the writers are phoning this in it can go all sorts of wrong and very quickly. I applaud Mercedes ability to love thy former enemy, but also, unless you're planning to do more exploration of this storyline, and please, do more exploration of this storyline, it will be angering.

Ok Glee, lets be serious for a moment about pacing, five 30 second conversations do not BFFs make.  Also, I'm confused here, how is moving out of Puck's house the answer to all Quinn's problems? Puck wanted to step up to the plate more, and by Quinn's own words, it's ok there except that Puck's mom won't let her eat bacon. Where did I miss the squalor? Where did I miss the deep shared connection? was that pregnant chick ballet and discussion of how hard it is to be called fat the thing that brought them together?  This seems wholly precipitous and if you screw this up for me I will hunt you down and punch you in your face, show.

You did so well for me with Lady Gaga last week, lets not forget how well you did with that and see that you bring it next week at Regionals!!!