Braindead 1×05: Back to Work: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Congress and How It Gets Things Done (and Often Doesn’t)

 

Recap

Previously on Braindead: You know. Space bugs. Most importantly, Laurel’s buddy Abby killed herself and Laurel slept with Agent Onofrio only to realize he was partially deaf in one ear (a sign of bug infection, along with balance problems). Prime quote: “You can count on him when booty calls” (of Onofrio). Also, the lightning-speed “previously-on” songs have helpfully acquired karaoke-style subtitles.

The episode opens right where the last one left off, with Laurel realizing that Onofrio—who slept in her bed while she slept on the couch—can’t hear what she’s saying unless he turns his left ear towards her. He gives her a sweet smile, which is rather unlike a bug person. But her relief is premature: when he gets up to get ready for work, she realizes he’s changed the sheets. He explains this by saying that he’s “a bit anal,” and says that there was “a wet spot.” Ew! That is so much more than I ever wanted to have to picture about the sex between those two. Laurel goes to the dryer and smells the sheets. Uh… does she know that that’s a sign of infection? Is she sniffing for brain fluid? Does brain fluid have a smell? (The internet seems to think not.) Is she sniffing for the supposed wet spot? No matter what she’s smelling for.

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The New Ghostbusters Fight Ghosts and Entitled Angry Men

In the opening sequence of the new Ghostbusters movie, the inimitably funny and awkward Zach Woods plays a haunted house tour guide who cynically trips a secret mechanism to make it look like the ghost in the basement has knocked something to the floor. But one night when he locks up, he finds out the ghost in the basement might not just be an invention to sell tour tickets. Near the end of the (admittedly kind of scary) sequence, he realizes he’s run to the exact wrong place and says to himself what we all want to say to the characters in every scary movie at least once: You’re Such an Idiot.

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Links We Loved This Week — 7/22/16

Read the heartbreaking tweets Leslie Jones posted before being chased off Twitter by racist harassment. Vox has a good write-up of the topic, too.

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Emily Nussbaum wrote a fantastic piece about Braindead and Mr. Robot. Her analysis of why Braindead succeeds despite its insane-sounding premise is spot on. (via The New Yorker)

Matt Damon did a Reddit AMA in honor of the new Bourne movie. His answers are great — or as one poster amusingly put it, “my boy’s wicked smaht.”

How well do you know Anne of Green Gables? This is a pretty basic quiz, but it should whet your appetite for the planned 2017 revival (and if you get less than 100%, you should probably just go rewatch. Actually, we probably all should).

 

Braindead 1×04: “Wake Up Grassroots: The Nine Virtues of Participatory Democracy, and How We Can Keep America Great by Encouraging an Informed Electorate”

Previously on Braindead: Spacebugs, Gareth and Laurel making out, head explosions, Abby infecting Stacie, Gustav reading a lot, Scarlett being weird, Ella getting infected, Luke versus Ella, Laurel investigating the bugs, guys sharing a candy bar, and bugs eating a cat.

Whew. It’s pretty catchy when the guy sings it though.

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Links We Loved This Week — 7/15/16

Heather at Go Fug Yourself posted an absolutely hilarious MST3K-style takedown of Vanity Fair’s dumb, sexist, Australia-stereotype-filled article about Margot Robbie. Don’t even bother reading the original — just read this.

Fun fact: Natalie Portman and Jonathan Safran Foer are longtime pen pals. Fun fact #2: Jonathan Safran Foer uses Hotmail to carry on this literary correspondence. The rest of the article is actually very interesting, but the Hotmail factoid made us laugh so hard. (via Nytimes)

The New Yorker hilariously satirizes all of the awkwardly misogynistic “thinkpieces” about female artists that have been skewered by several other outlets, most comprehensively by AV Club.

If you missed it last week, The Millions rounded up the most anticipated fiction books of the second half of the year. One highlight: the brilliant Michael Chabon is coming out with a new book! This week, they have a corresponding list for non-fiction.

At the Atlantic, read about how researchers have used sentiment analysis to analyze the emotional arcs of stories. It’s amazing how coherently many of the generated graphs hew to classic arcs identified by the researchers. (“Man in a Hole,” for example, sounds pretty much like the one we are all told to write in craft classes: things get worse, then finally they get better.)

Tracy Morgan returned to SNL after his accident last year, and this interview he did with the Times is beautifully emotional.

UnREAL 2×01 “War”: Who Wins the Battle of Oppressions?

What with Hillary Clinton’s perceived “white feminism,” the public reaction to the Bill Cosby rape allegations, and even the Black Lives Matter movement to a certain extent, the intersection between different oppressions is at the forefront of social justice, and not always in a positive way. Hillary Clinton’s election to the White House would be an unqualified win for white, privileged women in the US, while people of color and non-Americans might disproportionately suffer from her more illiberal views on economics, foreign policy, and national security. Similarly, those who called Bill Cosby’s victims attention-seekers were being misogynistic, but many of them were partially reacting to a long and painful history of black men being falsely accused of violating white women. And while Cosby 100% deserved to be publicly shamed and ostracized for raping dozens of women, did he deserve it more than Roman Polanski, or even Woody Allen, both of whom still have relatively thriving careers?

A year ago, I wouldn’t have believed that a Lifetime show would be one of the boldest and most nuanced explorations of these complex (and emotionally fraught) political issues in popular culture right now–but it is. UnREAL has always been a feminist show, which has become all the more explicit in its second season, but now, with the addition of the first black suitor, it’s also tackling racial inequality. And even better, it’s showing us the ways in which feminism and anti-racism interact, and often appear to be incompatible with each other. Continue reading →