Homeland Recap: 6×01 “Fair Game”

Previously on Homeland: Quinn got gassed, and then Carrie woke him up to get information out of him about an attack, which caused him to vomit up black stuff; Carrie stopped the attack; sketchy billionnaire Otto asked Carrie to marry him; Saul tried to get Carrie to work for him, but she wouldn’t; Carrie stood over Quinn looking like the angel of death and appeared to be contemplating euthanizing him. (I wrote a GIANT rant on this topic after that episode, here.)

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Links We Loved This Week — 1/27/17

Let’s be real. There’s only one thing we’re reading about this week, and it has nothing to do with books or movies or TV. In fact, this creature we are obsessively reading about doesn’t even READ books. A fascinating specimen, isn’t he? (Just ask him!)

Here, inspired by the magic of Google’s auto-complete search box, is a giant collection of listicles: books that the world WISHES Trump would read. Taken together, it is a grand list of books about social justice, science, history, civics, logic, and morality. You know, all those niche topics that he hasn’t really had time to grasp the basics of yet.

Elle has some great, surprising choices, including one about Japanese internment camps. And who knew Ta-Nehisi Coates had written a graphic novel? Not me!

Book Riot has a list of seven, including several great books on racism and, oddly, How to Win Friends and Influence People, like, I think he’s got more influence than he deserves already, mk?

Washington Post went basic (but all strong choices), with Washington, King, and Roosevelt. And the Constitution, though we all know Trump’s not interested in THAT.

NPR went scientific, wishing that Mr. “Let’s just Build Up Our Arsenal” would educate himself on the history and science of nuclear weaponry.

The Washington Independent Review of Books has really good stuff on its list, with War and Peace alongside The Once and Future King, though it’s noticeably short on the “educate Trump about how racism is bad” thing.

Inc.com, somewhat surprisingly, put together a totally legit reading list for our fearless illiterate, including The New Jim Crow, which is amazing and was also on Book Riot’s list.

 

 

Arrival was the fucking worst

Before I get started, a few things to clarify. First, I’m going to spoil absolutely everything; personally, I think I’m doing people who haven’t yet subjected themselves to this movie a favor, but make responsible choices. Second, this is definitely a case of trying-and-failing being worse than not-trying-at-all. Arrival does definitely try, but it’s hard to name anything that it succeeds at.

Let’s dive in.
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Links We Loved This Week – 1/20/17

It may be 2017, but the internet, including us, is not done talking about the Gilmore Girls revival:

McSweeney’s published a hilarious rejection letter of Rory’s memoir.

The Millions has an essay on how Rory’s changes reflected the changed political mood of the new millennium. It’s quite brilliant, even though it woefully misquotes a scene, attributing one of Lorelai’s funniest lines to the undeserving Rory.

Meanwhile, elsewhere on the Internet:

The NYT wrote about the books that got Obama through the presidency. Among them are Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad, which I liked a lot but perhaps didn’t love, and The Three-Body Problem, which Keets definitely loved.

In Bitch Magazine, there’s an insightful exploration of the vastness of Jane Eyre‘s influence on feminist and female literature.

Links We Loved This Week – 1/13/17

Because of library software that automates purging of unpopular books, these librarians created a fake patron to “save” the unpopular titles they believed were too valuable to be purged. Boing Boing writes, “The problem here isn’t the collection of data: it’s the blind adherence to data over human judgment, the use of data as a shackle rather than a tool.”

There’s a new full trailer for The Good Fight. The trailer is very, “See? Aren’t you glad it’s on CBS: All Access? It has bare butts! And the f-word!” And I’m embarrassed to say it worked on me.

Avid.ly, LARB’s fan blog, argues that Gilmore Girls’ obsession with Clinton was just papering over their Reagan-esque neoliberalism. Fascinating piece.

This little infographic about 11 Disney Princesses whose eyes are literally bigger than their stomachs reminds me of me and my sister’s first act of feminist activism: angry handwritten letters to Disney about their princesses’ unrealistic bodies.

 

 

If It Ends Here, The OA Sends a Seriously Terrible Message

After finishing the first season of The OA (once I was done wringing my hands and screaming “WTF did I just watch??”), I initially thought there shouldn’t be a second season. Flawed as the ending was (and oh, was it flawed), it was emotionally cathartic, and seemed to tie up all of the loose ends that the creators intended to tie up. I might be skeptical of the effectiveness of the finale’s ambiguity (more on that later), but it was clearly intended to be ambiguous.

Upon further reflection, I realized that it not only should have a second season, but that it needs one. The OA started off as a compelling, if slightly frustrating, show with an enormous amount of potential, which was then squandered with an ending that was at best incredibly messy and at worst embarrassingly silly. Given another installment, The OA could have a similar arc to The Leftovers, which had a frustratingly cryptic and misery-soaked first season, only to justify everything that came before in its transcendent second season. But with only one season, The OA will be remembered more like Lost, a show notable for its fascinating mode of storytelling that was ruined by terrible follow-through on its mythology. And worst of all, as it is, we’re left with an ending that–according to one interpretation–condones brainwashing and glorifies a cultish, groupthink mentality.

SPOILERS! ALL OF THE SPOILERS! Continue reading →