All posts by Rachelle

Stranger Things’ Problem with Mad Max

Stranger Things season two premiered on October 28th. Set in a time when nerd culture — D&D, video game arcades, Ghostbusters — was an underground club of passionate people so devoted to their obsessions they were willing to be bullied incessantly for it, Stranger Things celebrates the creativity and drive of its central characters, Mike, Dustin, and Lucas. The boys solve puzzles mostly because they can connect the dots between D&D and real life. Stranger Things finds success not just from nostalgizing the past, but by being juxtaposed by what nerd culture is today. As evidenced by everything from the Zuckerbergs of the tech world to the multi-billion dollar Marvel franchise, it’s now as lucrative to be a professional nerd as it is fun to be a nerd footsoldier.

But this season we don’t just get the boys — we get a new character who is as real today as she was in 1980: the nerd girl.

The girl in question is named Max. A skateboarding ginger with anger issues, her game of choice is the 1982-classic Dig Dug. Upon discovering Max has beaten their high score at the arcade (Max’s pseudonym: Mad Max), Dustin and Lucas instantly fall for her. After all, she’s a gamer. She’s not like most girls they know; she’s like them Continue reading Stranger Things’ Problem with Mad Max

The Return of Darren Criss

On December 15th, Darren Criss played a show at the Globe Theater in downtown Los Angeles in which he took the audience on a journey through his life of songwriting, acting, and performing. Spanning a little over a decade of work in the public eye, the concert showcased never-released favorites like “The Muse,” revitalized a few songs from the catalogue of his time on Glee, and even reached back for classics from his college theater company’s viral sensation A Very Potter Musical, in which Criss played Harry Potter himself.

The concert also doubled as a debut party for his latest release, the Homework EP. Homework is Criss’s first solo project since the self-released Human EP seven years ago, which he wrote at fifteen and published at 22.

Consequently, it was exactly seven years ago—almost down to the day—that I had last seen Criss play in L.A., at the Roxy in Hollywood on December 18th, 2010.  Continue reading The Return of Darren Criss

The Last Jedi is Damn Near Perfect Fanfiction Material. Here’s Why.

After its December 15th debut, The Last Jedi has proven to be one of the most divisive Star Wars films of all time. New problems are pointed out every day, only to be met with disagreement from someone else. The weirdest part about this, though, is where those lines are drawn—and typically, from the bizarre complaints about the modern humor to the cultural anxiety around the diverse main cast, the crack reveals itself to be positioned between the old fandom and the new fandom, not the critics and the fans.

Speaking of fandom: What does the Star Wars fandom look like these days? One might typically interact with two types of people in their daily fandom life: First, the hardcore fan who grew up with the Luke Skywalker as their hero and who hold the original trilogy up as perfect cinema, and second, the equally as hardcore fan who had their awakening sometime between the prequels and Carrie Fischer’s death, who embraces the evolution of the media with open arms.  Continue reading The Last Jedi is Damn Near Perfect Fanfiction Material. Here’s Why.

Yes, Publishing the First Female Doctor’s Nude Screenshots is Still Sexist

On Sunday, the BBC announced that Jodie Whittaker would be taking over as the 13th Doctor for the upcoming season of Doctor Who. After decades of male Doctors, and several seasons of a showrunner whose gender politics are less than kind to women, the change is long overdue. Ratings drooped under Steven Moffat’s reign and the imagination doesn’t have to stretch far to connect the dots–female sci-fi fans expect better, and it looks like we’re finally getting it.

Not everyone is so pleased by the change, however. As the average misogynist took to twitter to complain about how they “they don’t call it Nurse Who for a reason,” several British publications bizarrely voiced their opinion by way of digging up screenshots of nude scenes Whittaker had done in previous work. The Sun, among a few other British magazines such as Mail Online and The Daily Star, published nude screenshots of Whittaker under all variety of disturbing headlines–Whittaker’s “saucy screen past” and her “Dalektable” figure were put under a microscope mere moments after her accomplishment was praised by previous actors who played the role.  Continue reading Yes, Publishing the First Female Doctor’s Nude Screenshots is Still Sexist

Recapping Riverdale: Chapter 13, “The Sweet Hereafter”

Turns out the drugs from last episode were part of a large-scale heroin operation–finally, none of that “omg weed is so dangerous” nonsense that they tried to give us with FP’s confession last episode.

The introduction to this episode features not just Jughead’s voiceover revealing the story, but also Alice Cooper’s as she pens a story for the paper. Betty is writing too. Because Riverdale can’t just let us sit with a conclusion, they rehash what went down: Clifford killed Mustang and tried to implicate Hiram Lodge to cover up killing his own son and the drug operation he ran in Riverdale. He threatened FP by holding Jughead’s life over his head if he didn’t confess. And he would’ve gotten away with it, too, if it weren’t for those meddling kids.  Continue reading Recapping Riverdale: Chapter 13, “The Sweet Hereafter”