Let’s try this weekly recap thing

You’ve probably noticed that I haven’t been blogging as much these days. Or maybe you haven’t noticed because you’re one of the many people who doesn’t read blogs that much anymore. Which is no big deal. Internet culture changes fast, and it’s an internet creator’s job to keep up with it.

So that’s why most of my posts have been on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. lately. I’ll write up original content as a Facebook post and literally get ten times the views I would have if I’d written the same content as a blog post and shared the link on the same Facebook page. It makes sense to put my writing where the most people are going to see it.

But on the other hand, I don’t want people to stumble upon this website and find a bunch of tumbleweeds, so I’m trying something new. I want to do weekly recap blog posts where I link to my favorite things that I’ve shared on other platforms throughout the week. Might be original stuff, might be other people’s stuff that I’ve linked to. Here goes.

Oh Look, Someone Else Has Porphyria

I have a rare disease. Like, it’s been featured on House and I’m usually surprised to find that real-life doctors have heard of it. I’m even more surprised to find that someone on YouTube has come out with a porphyria-related vlog that’s informative, accessible, and entertaining. I really hope this vlogger is able to finish the series, and that his condition doesn’t get in the way of his work too much.

 

So, Yeah, Brexit Is A Thing

The United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union last weekend. President Obama addressed it by saying “One thing that will not change is the special relationship between the US and the UK.” To which I had this to say:

 

Do You Like Piña Colada (Wraps)?

I threw stuff in a pan and put it on flatbread and it was really good. I call it a piña colada wrap.

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Do You Suffer From Limerence? You Are Not Alone

It was a dark, cold, sleepless February night upon which I found myself clicking through a black hole of Recommended Articles on various clickbaity websites. I don’t even remember what random Facebook share began this vortex. But I remember happening upon a snippet that said if you still get sad feels about a romantic rejection years after it happened, you may have a serious psychiatric condition that requires medication and other professional treatment. Its name: LIMERENCE.

eros-and-psyche-ernst-roeber

I checked out the Wikipedia link because this was a completely foreign word to me and because asking for a friend. Wikipedia defined limerence as

a state of mind which results from a romantic attraction to another person and typically includes obsessive thoughts and fantasies and a desire to form or maintain a relationship with the object of love and have one’s feelings reciprocated.

This made me a little nervous, since I had first experienced these symptoms at a young age. The article further defined this condition as

an involuntary potentially inspiring state of adoration and attachment to a limerent object involving intrusive and obsessive thoughts, feelings and behaviors from euphoria to despair, contingent on perceived emotional reciprocation.

Limerent object. This term, at once so mellifluous and so clinical. I couldn’t deny there had been a few. I had to know more.

Limerence involves intrusive thinking about the limerent object. Other characteristics include acute longing for reciprocation, fear of rejection, and unsettling shyness in the limerent object’s presence. In cases of unrequited limerence, transient relief may be found by vividly imagining reciprocation from the limerent object.

How did they know?

A limerent person may have acute sensitivity to any act, thought, or condition that can be interpreted favorably. This may include a tendency to devise, fabricate, or invent ‘reasonable’ explanations for why neutral actions are a sign of hidden passion in the limerent object….What the limerent object said and did is recalled with vividness. Alternative meanings for the behaviors recalled are sought. Each word and gesture is permanently available for review, especially those interpreted as evidence in favor of reciprocated feeling.

There was no mention as to whether these symptoms were contagious, or whether they could be spread via group messages.

When objects, people, places or situations are encountered with the limerent object, they are vividly remembered, especially if the limerent object interacted with them in some way.

I had to expand my research beyond this simple Wikipedia article.

My starting point was Dr. Dorothy Tennov, whom Wikipedia cited as having “coined the term ‘limerence’ for her 1979 book, Love and Limerence: The Experience of Being in Love, to describe a concept that had grown out of her work in the mid-1960s, when she interviewed over 500 people on the topic of love.” It was much more difficult than one might think to find verification of Dr. Tennov’s theories from her colleagues. But my searching paid off, dear readers. I’ve listed some of the most insightful expert quotes I found on this rare, misunderstood condition below. Read on, and take hope in the knowledge that you are nowhere near alone.

“[My limerent object] talks to me, I laugh ’cause it’s so damn funny
That I can’t even see anyone when he’s with me
He says he’s so in love, he’s finally got it right,
I wonder if he knows he’s all I think about at night

He’s the reason for the teardrops on my guitar
The only thing that keeps me wishing on a wishing star
He’s the song in the car I keep singing, don’t know why I do

So I drive home alone
As I turn out the light
I put his picture down and finally get some sleep tonight”

– Dr. T.A. Swift 

“Baby, I’m so into you
You got that somethin’. What can I do?
Baby, you spin me around
The earth is movin’ but I can’t feel the ground

Every time you look at me
My heart is jumpin’, it’s easy to see

Lovin’ you means so much more
More than anything I ever felt before

You drive me crazy
I just can’t sleep
I’m so excited, I’m in too deep
Oh… crazy,
But it feels alright
Baby, thinkin’ of you keeps me up all night”

– Dr. B.J. Spears

“Walkin’ the streets with you and your worn-out jeans
I can’t help thinking this is how it ought to be
Laughing on a park bench, thinking to myself
Hey isn’t this easy

And you’ve got a smile that could light up this whole town
I haven’t seen it in a while since she brought you down
You say you’re fine
I know you better then that
Hey what you doing with a girl like that

Oh, I remember you drivin’ to my house in the middle of the night
I’m the one who makes you laugh
When you know you’re about to cry
And I know your favorite songs
And you tell me about your dreams
I think I know where you belong
I think I know it’s with me”

– Dr. T.A. Swift

“I still hear your voice when you sleep next to me
I still feel your touch in my dreams
Forgive me my weakness, but I don’t know why
Without you it’s hard to survive

‘Cause every time we touch, I get this feeling
And every time we kiss I swear I could fly
Can’t you feel my heart beat fast,
I want this to last
Need you by my side”

– Dr. C. Ascada

“Now, listen, honey, I just want to be beside you everywhere
As long as we’re together, honey, I don’t care
‘Cause you started something, can’t you see
That ever since we met you’ve had a hold on me
No matter what you do, I only want to be with you”

– Dr. D. Springfield

“Nothing compares
No worries or cares
Regrets and mistakes
They are memories made.
Who would have known how bittersweet this would taste?

Never mind, I’ll find someone like you
I wish nothing but the best for you
Don’t forget me, I beg
I’ll remember you said,
‘Sometimes it lasts in love but sometimes it hurts instead'”

– Dr. A.L.B. Adkins

“I walk along the city streets, you used to walk along with me
And every step I take reminds me of just how we used to be
Oh, how can I forget you, girl, when there is
Always something there to remind me”

– Dr. N. Akedeyes

“Just don’t tell my heart
My achy breaky heart
I just don’t think it’d understand
If you tell my heart
My achy breaky heart
It might blow up and kill this man”

– Dr. B.R. Cyrus

This post, nay, this entire blog, doesn’t have the space for every pop song, country western song, romantic comedy, romantic tragedy, sonnet, couplet, and cave painting created since the dawn of time, so I’ll leave you with this final quote. Happy Valentine’s Day, my fellow limerents!

“We’ve know each other for so long
Your heart’s been aching but
You’re too shy to say it
Inside we both know what’s been going on
We know the game and we’re gonna play it

I just wanna tell you how I’m feeling
Gotta make you understand
That I’m

Never gonna give you up
Never gonna let you down
Never gonna run around and desert you
Never gonna make you cry
Never gonna say goodbye
Never gonna tell a lie and hurt you”

The Unauthorized Review of The Unauthorized Full House Story

I totally didn’t mean to take the summer off from blogging. Life got busy, and when I did have time to write, I picked novel-drafting over blogging. But, the comedy gods have summoned me back to my blog with a cheesy TV movie about a cheesy TV show from my childhood.

Pictured: Not my old familiar friends.

I’ll be doing a “first impressions” style post like the one I did on Jem and the Holograms. Unlike with Jem, I am quite familiar with Full House. I watched it regularly back when the TGIF lineup was a new thing. I was young enough then (the same age as Stephanie Tanner) to find it legitimately entertaining. Nearly twenty years later, I binge-watched the whole series on TV Land while I was sick in bed. It brought back happy memories and gave me a lot of good laughs (at what my grade-school self had found legitimately entertaining). Today, I find myself looking forward to the Netflix release of Fuller House, half because I hope it’ll have as much unintentional comedy as its predecessor, and half because I’m sincerely looking forward to the nostalgia of predictability, the milkman, the paperboy, and evening TV.

In the meantime, my thoughts on this unauthorized portrayal of my old familiar friends is waiting just around the bend.  Continue reading “The Unauthorized Review of The Unauthorized Full House Story”

The Librarians: My Sunday Nights Are Booked

The Librarians premiered on TNT last night. It’s a spin-off of The Librarian, a series of TV movies that TNT launched ten years ago. I’ve seen and enjoyed all the movies, and I think I may like the new show even better. Whether or not you should watch this series depends entirely on your psychological response to the following phrase:

Ninjas in Oklahoma.

Cast of The Librarians: John Kim as Ezekiel Jones, Noah Wyle as Flynn Carsen, Rebecca Romijn as Eve Baird, Christian Kane as Jake Stone, and Lindy Booth as Cassandra Cillian.

Okay, still reading? Do you miss Warehouse 13? Then you should watch The Librarians, because The Library is pretty much exactly The Warehouse. Seriously. It’s a mystical archive run by a secret organization tasked with housing magical artifacts that can’t fall into the hands of the general public. Do you miss Leverage? Then you should watch The Librarians, because it’s executively produced by Dean Devlin and it features Christian Kane as part of a quirky ensemble cast of adventurers.

The comparisons don’t end there. The Librarians is every bit as fun, light-hearted, and imaginative as the aforementioned dearly departed dramas. It requires as much suspension of disbelief and tolerance of cheesy special effects and props. As with its feature-length predecessors, The Librarians knows exactly what it is and makes the most of it. It doesn’t try to be dark and edgy, nor does it go far enough in the other direction to become a self-parody. It’s dumb in a smart way.

The cast is likable and fun to watch. Eve Baird (Rebecca Romijn), aka The Guardian, is a great foil for recurring Librarian Flynn Carsen (Noah Wyle). She’s also believable as the group’s designated muscle, a role not falling to Christian Kane this time around. As Jake Stone, he’s more of the brain, a humanities scholar with an encyclopedic knowledge of art history and world literature. Well, Stone is half the brain. He’s the right hemisphere to Cassandra Cillian’s (Lindy Booth) left. Cassandra’s synesthesia gifts her with almost superhuman mathematical and spatial abilities. The ensemble is completed by Ezekiel Jones (John Kim), a snarky Brit who can breach any security system and evade any trap.

If I have any complaint about The Librarians, it’s Cassandra’s inoperable brain tumor. It’s the explanation for her synesthesia, but it’s an unnecessary one. I know people who were born with synesthesia in real life. I’m hoping this arc doesn’t become a source of needless drama and tragedy in an otherwise feel-good show.

I can’t end this post without mentioning the appearance of TV comedy legends Bob Newhart, Jane Curtin, and John Larroquette. Newhart and Curtin’s roles were brief reprises from the Librarian movies. Laroquette, a series regular, plays Jenkins, the caretaker who’ll be mentoring the Librarians In Training (LITs) in Carsen’s absence.

The Librarians airs Sunday nights on TNT at 8pm/7pm Central. Check it out if you like quirky ensemble dramedies, myth and magic, and ninjas in Oklahoma.

Social media guilt: Speculation on the fall of Selfie

John Cho as Henry Higgs; Karen Gillan as Eliza Dooley. Image via Variety.

Selfie, the ABC sitcom remake of My Fair Lady starring Amy Pond as Eliza Doolittle and Mister Sulu II as Henry Higgins, has already been canceled. I’m sad to see it go, because I feel like it never got a chance to meet its full potential. I’m not going to pretend to know why it’s being canceled. But what’s the point of having a blog if I can’t speculate on things I know nothing about? Here goes.

Hypothesis: Selfie failed because it was obsessed with shaming its target demographic for using what could’ve been its most effective marketing tool.

Now, it could easily be argued that the show was about Eliza’s misuse of social media, not social media itself. The possibility to take the show in that direction was what kept me watching. Unfortunately, though, it never quite got there. Each episode reinforced messages that we see everywhere: That our Facebook friends aren’t real friends. That we’ve lost the art of meaningful communication because of our communication devices. That using a digital platform to talk about yourself and your life is a sure sign of narcissism. That if you have EVER dared to take a photograph of yourself and utilize a platform that :gasp: allows other people to see it, you are a hopeless attention whore who thinks the world, nay, the universe, revolves around you.

To be fair, Selfie’s Henry Higgs is as lost as its Eliza Dooley. Although Henry prides himself on not being the type to settle for shallow digital connection, he’s as lacking in real-world connections as his insta-famous mentee. It’s obvious that Selfie wants to be a show about two out-of-balance opposites meeting each other in the middle. But this misses the entire point of the source material. My Fair Lady (like the non-musical play it was adapted from, Pygmalion) was a satire of middle-class manners. In the original, there was nothing wrong with Eliza. And Eliza didn’t substantially change over the course of the story. Her basic personality, which was fine to begin with, remained intact. Higgins simply changed the way she spoke, dressed, and comported herself so that she could successfully conform to upper-middle-class arbitrary social conventions. The guttersnipe became a princess just by putting on a pretty dress and pronouncing her consonants. The story mocked the society that accepted or rejected Eliza based on these shallow, arbitrary standards, not Eliza herself for playing their game and winning.

I feel like Selfie could’ve been so much better if it had taken its social media farce in this direction. It could’ve subverted the platitudes of social media guilt that have become as ubiquitous as social media itself. Why aren’t Facebook friends real friends? They’re actual people. They aren’t computer programs. Isn’t it your choice if you’re adding people you don’t want to be friends with, or if you’re posting shallow or drama-filled statuses instead of using this neutral tool to cultivate real friendships? Why can’t phone apps be a way to enhance meaningful communication? That funny Pinterest pin you send your sister could spark a conversation that brings you closer than ever. Why can’t people read their family’s and friends’ posts because they’re sincerely interested in these people’s lives, and why can’t you post things about your own life with the understanding that this sincere interest is mutual? Maybe the real narcissist is the person who’s annoyed by their family and friends wanting to – OHMYGOD – talk about their lives! Why does taking a selfie have to mean that you expect the whole universe to stop what it’s doing and worship at your altar? Can’t it be just another chapter in humanity’s ongoing quest to document our existence? Part of a tradition that goes back to cave paintings?

But now back to my elephant-in-the-room hypothesis. Social media is an invaluable platform for promoting a work of entertainment. Especially for a generation that keeps finding new ways to avoid viewing paid advertisements. We Millennials will adblock our favorite shows out of existence, but we’ll check out that thing our BFF keeps livetweeting. Remember my post about The Quest, another ABC show? I didn’t notice a single commercial for it, even though, unlike most of my Millennial friends, I watch programming on an actual television set. I started watching The Quest because my sister sent me a text about it. On her phone. And then my sister and I joined thousands of other people who tweeted about the show on the hashtag #TheQuestArmy. It was by no means the first show I’d consistently livetweeted. But, although I tuned in to watch Selfie every week, I can’t say I was ever inclined to livetweet a show that kept telling me in the most anvillicious ways possible to put down my damn phone.

Ironically, I think Selfie might’ve had a better shot on a different platform. Since The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, YouTube has been flooded with modern adaptations of classic English literature. Most of them, it seems, star cute redheaded female leads. Selfie could’ve easily had a place among them.

But to do that, they would’ve had to cater to all those millennial narcissists on social media.

Cindy: The Kardashians Meet The Addams Family at Disneyworld

Image via Cindy’s official Facebook page. Click to go to the kickstarter.

So, I got an email the other day that began thusly:

Larry Wilson here. I co-wrote and co-produced Beetlejuice, co-wrote The Addams Family, wrote and directed for six seasons of Tales from the Crypt.

“Sure you did,” I thought.

I found you through your blog’s review of The New Adventures of Peter and Wendy

“Okay,” I thought. “That is in fact a thing I wrote. But this could still be a creative spammer or scammer.”

and I’m so excited to share my new project with you. It’s a web series called CINDY (youtube.com/cindyseries), that I think will especially appeal to fans of Peter and Wendy.

“Oooo, linkage! And moar literary webness! I’m listening.”

The character Cindy is a foster child (read: maid, unpaid personal assistant and emotional punching bag.) Her “family” are reality TV superstars who make the Kardashians look warm and fuzzy. Then add a Fairy Godmother with a drug problem, a handsome prince who is over twice Cindy’s age, and a young PA who’s fallen in love with Cindy and is determined to rescue her, even if it ends his TV career before it’s really started.

The result is a web series with every ounce of wit and snark a Beetlejuice or Addams Family fan would expect.

“I believe wit, snark, and an intersection of pop culture and classic fantasy are relevant to the interests of Thalia’s Musings fans.” And, based on the trailers I saw, that’s pretty much what Cindy is.

We just launched a Kickstarter to raise money for the post production of CINDY…

So it came to pass that I composed a blog post to bring Cindy to my readers’ attention. Having not seen any full episodes, I can’t tell you much more about the series than what Larry’s email or the Kickstarter pitch have said about it. But the trailer and teasers were a fun watch, and I think the series will be, too, if it makes it out of post production and onto my computer screen. The Kickstarter has just 8 days left, so if Cindy looks like something you want to add to your YouTube literary obsessions, click here and check it out!

UPDATE: Cindy’s kickstarter surpassed its goal! Looking forward to seeing the finished product on YouTube B-)

Peter and Wendy: Millennials in Neverland

I’ve seen the first four episodes of The New Adventures of Peter and Wendy, and I have no idea what to make of it. It’s a lot of fun. I’m just not sure what it is yet.

Top: Kyle Walters as Peter, Paula Rhodes as Wendy. Bottom: Graham Kurtz as John, Brennan Murray as Micheal, and Lovlee Carroll as Lily. Image via The New Adventures of Peter and Wendy.

Here’s the description from the webseries’ official site:

Everyone has to grow up, right?  Well, not if Peter Pan has anything to say about it!  Peter, a late-twenties man-child and comic book artist living in the small town of Neverland Ohio, has three life goals: 1)  NEVER GROW UP.  2) Have as much fun as humanly possible while doing as little work as possible.  3) Win the heart of his best friend, Wendy Darling.  With his friends John, Michael, Lily and his fairy, Tinkerbell, Peter is nailing goals 1 and 2.  Goal 3, however, is a bit trickier. Wendy Darling, an advice vlogger and overall go-getter, is tired of the never-changing small town of Neverland Ohio and wants to see the world, to become… an adult.  It’s Peter vs Growing Up in the battle for Wendy! But is growing up really the enemy? Or is it the solution?

I heard about Peter and Wendy through Socially Awkward Darcy, a Facebook fanpage for Pemberley Digital’s projects. Producer Jenni Powell also produced The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, and lead actor Kyle Walters played Edward Denham in last summer’s webseries/RPG Welcome to Sanditon. This has a different feel than Pemberley Digital’s canon, though. It’s like comparing USA Network to Comedy Central.

And I like Comedy Central. Peter and Wendy made me laugh. A lot. This is exactly how you’d picture Peter Pan and the Darlings if they were fifteen years older and living in modern America and literally nothing else was changed about them. Peter is goofy, cheeky, and goes back and forth between charming and infuriating. John takes everything too seriously, but is really no less childish than Peter or Michael. He’s essentially Dwight K. Schrute, right down to being Assistant [To The] Editor-in-Chief of his father’s newspaper. He’s contrasted and complemented by Michael, who is Michael Scott as played by Michael Cera. In the fourth episode, Michael and Peter skip work to play video games and share a “magic” brownie. (Yeah, it’s that kind of show.) Wendy, mature to a fault and surrogate mom to her brothers, could’ve easily be written as the resident shrewish buzzkill. She isn’t. She’s quirky, sweet, and fun, and when she tells the boys (and us) that everyone has to grow up sometime, we sympathize with her and want to see Peter and her brothers reach this epiphany, too. So far she’s my favorite character.

Lily Bagha, Tiger Lily’s counterpart, has only appeared in the series trailer and opening credit sequence so far. I’m especially interested to see how the series handles her character. I’m very happy to see that they cast a woman of color, which is more than I can say about another Peter Pan reimagining in the works. This “Indian princess” appears to be of the East Indian variety. I’m not sure how I feel about that. As hugely problematic as Tiger Lily’s portrayal has been in various incarnations, she’s always had a special place in my heart as a female fantasy character whose appearance and ancestry were similar to  mine. I can’t help feeling like Peter and Wendy changed Lily’s background as a cop-out, like it was easier to avoid portraying a Native American character poorly by just not portraying one at all. But I can understand and respect the choice to err on the side of sensitivity. And, like I said, at least she’s still brown. I’m withholding judgment and willing to be convinced.

The weirdest part of this wonderfully weird show is Tinkerbell. We never see her. She’s always on the other side of the camera in Peter’s videos. And she’s a fairy. An actual fairy. A tiny glittery creature that flies and communicates through chiming sounds. And no one sees this as odd or remarkable in any way. At first I was like, “Does this mean the show is set in a parallel universe where everyone knows fairies exist and is cool with that? Does it mean there’s a deeper reason none of the characters have left Neverland, OH? Is Neverland like The Village? Or The Truman Show? Is Tinkerbell a mentally challenged human that everyone pretends is a tiny glittery fairy? Is Peter a mentally challenged human whose friends refuse to contradict his pet delusion?” Regardless, I loved the fact that Tink’s personality is exactly what it was in the Disney cartoon: a catty, jealous bitch who adores Peter and is possibly plotting against Wendy’s life. She cracked me up then and she cracks me up now.

Upon my second viewing, I discovered the Kensington Chronicle’s website and had my questions answered. Fairies are a real thing in the Neverland universe. The Chronicle’s website describes Tinkerbell as the only fairy officially in residence, but that didn’t stop a number of roleplaying Twitter accounts for fairy characters from popping up. Yes, it looks like Peter and Wendy is going to follow Welcome to Sanditon‘s footsteps in incorporating a social media roleplaying game. I hope they do a better job than Sanditon at keeping the main story as the focus. I found Sanditon hard to follow without being involved in the RPG aspect, which I know is hypocritical since I was one of the first people to join Harriet’s Music Club in Emma Approved. (That reminds me, I need to record a “Breathe and Believe” cover this week.) (Update 6/30/14 – I did.) Anyway, click on the Kensington Chronicle even if you aren’t into RP. It has backstory info like the fairy stuff I just shared, Peter’s cartooning, John’s column, and links to Michael’s Tumblr and Wendy’s Pinterest. And, of course, all the characters are on Twitter.

Want to check out The New Adventures of Peter and Wendy for yourself? Here’s the series trailer:

And here’s the beginning of the full playlist:

I don’t know if I believe yet, but so far, I’m clapping.

Thug Notes Be All Up In Y’alls Librizzle. Word.

Yo. This here Sparky Sweets, PhD. Join me as I drop some of da illest classical literature summary and analysis that yo ass ever heard. Educate yo self, son.

~ Thug Notes Facebook Page

Gentle readers, this week it is my pleasure to introduce to you a charming and insightful program devoted to bringing classic literature to the masses, aptly entitled Thug Notes.

Promo for review of The Hobbit. Image via Facebook.

Each episode of this webseries opens with a stately, elegant theme reminiscent of Masterpiece Theater. We join Sparky Sweets, PhD (played by co-writer Greg Edwards) in an elegant library filled with timeless literary classics. In the first half of the episode, Dr. Sweets summarizes the selected volume for his gentle viewers. In the second half, he delivers a brief yet impressively thorough analysis of the book’s themes and literary background, highlighting key quotes from the book and sometimes its literary influences onscreen. All of this is accompanied by delightful stick figure composite animated illustrations. The highlight, of course, is that with the exception of verbatim quotes, Dr, Sweets’ reviews are conducted entirely in the vernacular commonly associated with organized crime in urban America, i.e. “gangsta.”

Selected volumes may include  classic fantasy like The Hobbit, in which dwarves enlist the aid of Bilbo Baggins because “some dragon be shackin’ on their turf,”

Greek epics like Homer’s Odyssey, in which “[Bleep] be gettin’ real up in the kingdom of Ithica,”

Or even romances like Pride and Prejudice, in which Dr. Sweets says of Mrs. Bennet, “I ain’t sayin’ she a gold digger, but Bingley sure as hell ain’t no broke [bleep].”

You may recall me mentioning that the stereotyping of persons of Latin American ancestry as “thug” or “ghetto” is a cause of exceeding great displeasure to me. Such stereotyping is no less displeasing when applied to Americans of African ancestry. However, when a negative stereotype is satirized and subverted by a skilled comedian, that is quite another matter. Edwards and his co-writers are evidently people of excellent intellect, education, and refinement, a fact made all the more prominent by Sweets’ exaggerated thuggish persona. While the language and at times the subject matter of these reviews are unsuited for the workplace, Thug Notes are a worthy pursuit if one wishes to combine education with entertainment. Click here to peruse them at your leisure.

The Great Mosby: How I Met Your Mother Finale Feels

SPOILER WARNING. This is all about the series finale of How I Met Your Mother. Which aired a week ago. It’s taken me this long to process it enough to write a coherent blog post. If you haven’t seen the finale and want to see it unspoiled, DO NOT read further. Here’s another nice article I wrote about a popular sitcom. Go read that. Okay, you want the SPOILERS? You can have the SPOILERS. But don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Image by deviantART user Nerdcadet.

Here goes. Continue reading “The Great Mosby: How I Met Your Mother Finale Feels”

Why Amy Santiago is my favorite Latina character on TV

“You’re all…articulate. And smart.”

“So are you! Wait, why does that sound like an insult?”

~ Rosa Diaz and Amy Santiago, Brooklyn Nine-Nine

A couple weeks ago I delivered a rant about how most Latina characters on TV tend to fall into a few basic stereotypes: maids, immigrants or the daughters of immigrants, from the ghetto, thickly accented even when the actresses playing them aren’t, and hypersexualized in contrast to the prim and proper WASPs around them.

Or all of the above.

Most of the Latina characters I like fall into at least one of these. Even the ones that, overall, are unique and well-rounded. I can’t overstate my love for Betty Suarez from Ugly Betty. Betty is Jess from New Girl before Zooey Deschanel made that kind of character cool. But a major plotline in that series is the discovery that Betty’s immigrant father is undocumented. Carla Espinoza Turk from Scrubs is serious, responsible, a leader in a professional career, and attractive without being overtly sexualized. But, again, immigrant backstory, though at least her family is legal. Santana Lopez, one of my favorite characters on Glee, starts out overtly hypersexual in contrast with good blonde suburban Evangelical Quinn, whose sexuality is safely hidden under a facade of chastity clubs and purity balls. Santana’s arc is somewhat salvaged when it turns out that her earlier promiscuity was her attempt to convince herself she wasn’t a lesbian. She’s actually been pretty restrained in that regard since coming out. But, even though early episodes established that her father is a well-off doctor, in later episodes Santana claims residence in seedy, violent “Lima Heights Adjacent.” Yes, even small rural towns have a ghetto, because where else are the Latin@s supposed to live? Gloria Pritchett from Modern Family is funny, likable, and to be honest, a character I identify with in some ways. But she is pretty much the embodiment of every Latina stereotype in the history of television.

I’m throwing pinches of wood and knocking on salt as I write this, because even after an awesome first season, I’m still afraid Brooklyn Nine-Nine is going to to make a liar out of me in Season Two. But so far, Detective Amy Santiago is possibly the least stereotypical Latina character I’ve ever seen on TV. Like, ever.

Melissa Fumero as Detective Amy Santiago. Image via TV Tropes.

Continue reading “Why Amy Santiago is my favorite Latina character on TV”