Category Archives: TV Reviews

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

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”

Recapping RIverdale: Chapter 12, “Anatomy of a Murder”

Just in case you forgot last episode, someone planted a gun in FP’s trailer and the kids are going to go catch them. That’s a good idea. Because, you know, they’re kids. Looking for a potential murderer. No problem.

Thankfully, Good Boy Archie suggests consulting the parents before looking for Jughead themselves. They gather the adults in Archie’s living room and they argue about what to do for a minute–Hermione is angry that her daughter broke into FP’s trailer in the first place, Alice narrowly dodges responsibility on convincing kids to do illegal things yet again, and Archie just wants the truth but Fred forbids him from looking for it–until they come to the general consensus that the kids should just stay out of it in order to stay safe. That’s not about to fly with Bad Girl Betty, though–she and Archie sneak out later to look for Jughead anyways.  Continue reading Recapping RIverdale: Chapter 12, “Anatomy of a Murder”

Recapping Riverdale: Chapter 11, “To Riverdale and Back Again”

Chapter 11 opens with Jughead writing alone in the dark corner of the auditorium as the Pussycats brighten the mood with a song over the loudspeakers. I have to admit, I spent most of “To Riverdale and Back Again” longing for more of Josie’s glorious mermaid braids. But homecoming’s afoot and our main characters have a dance to plan.

Everyone comes around for reunions like these, especially the now-adult alumni who want to relive their glory days. Luckily, Archie’s mom is in town just in time.  Continue reading Recapping Riverdale: Chapter 11, “To Riverdale and Back Again”

Recapping Riverdale: Chapter 10, “The Lost Weekend”

Before I start the recap, let me just as one question–high schoolers don’t really have parties like this, do they? No? Just me?

OK, I admit, I was a nerd. A loner. An outcast, if you will. Much like another we know: Jughead Jones, who spends the majority of “The Lost Weekend” shielding himself from the sun and brooding. The theme of this week is control and chaos, and how they can sometimes get way out of hand. Just like those foolish preps, amirite?  Continue reading Recapping Riverdale: Chapter 10, “The Lost Weekend”