Search This Blog

Monday, September 30, 2013

OUAT: Can a new locale save the show? S3Ep1

It's the season of change: colder weather bringing with it the brand new fall TV schedule. Of course, like always the perennial favorites are still there. 'Once Upon a Time' began with a novel idea--what if fairy tales were real? What if an evil queen had cast a curse and forced fairy tale characters to live in our world as ordinary people? What if multiple world exists? All of these questions were sufficient to make the first season of 'Once Upon a Time' an intriguing premise. But last season it seemed like a lot of the same thing. Continued flashbacks to characters' fairy tale pasts made slightly less interesting by the fact that said characters now all remembered who they were. At least the end of the second season had a twist--Henry, the birth son of the Savior and the adoptive son of the Evil Queen, was kidnapped and brought to Neverland.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the series has been the attempted redemption of the Evil Queen (Lana Parrilla). This season should be particularly fascinating as 'good' and 'evil' join forces to try and save Henry.

Other ABC shows are trying to revitalize by moving their characters to different locations: in this week's premiere of 'Castle' Beckett moved from New York to DC.

Is a  new locale exactly what 'Once Upon a Time' needs to recover from its sophomore slump? 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Transgender Television

I remember the first time I was formally taught the word "transgender". I was sixteen years old and attending a summer writing workshop at the University of Virginia. One of the other students liked to borrow girls' clothing and wear it to class. I'm not sure if he* was the impetus for our session about "Sex and Gender" or if it was already on the schedule but one afternoon someone somewhere decided that it was time for us to learn the correct terminology. We learned what LGBT meant. We learned the difference between sex and gender. We learned about pronouns. Coming from a slightly conservative public high school in Virginia, and a liberal but very sheltered upbringing, all of this was news to me. Interestingly, I took it all in stride. My biggest concern was that someone should really teach him how to dress better, because the skirt and top combo didn't match at all.

Later, when I attended Smith College, these early lessons in terminology came in handy. That's not to say that Smith wasn't a culture shock, because it totally was. During a weekend for accepted students I was housed by Junior who a) had the shortest hair I had ever seen on a girl and b) was openly gay. Interestingly, all the students that she lived with seemed to veer largely toward the Lesbian side of the spectrum. This certainly isn't the case all over the Smith campus, but in that particular house my long hair-polo shirt wearing- one step away from having pearls-high school self stood out.

Three years later I would be leading a session for new students where I talked about LGBT terminology. Full circle from clueless fashion-conscious sixteen year old to more knowledgeable but still pretty clueless twenty-one year old.

Yesterday I was riding a bus through Dorchester, which is one of the poorest neighborhoods in Boston. Two Black teenagers, a guy and a girl, were talking about what drag was, which then turned into a discussion about a family friend's decision to transition. They knew the terminology. Was that because they'd read up on what to say and how to say it after learning of their friend's decision? Of course that's possible. But I also think it's possible that media is playing a role.

Castle Season 6 Premiere & Potential Spoilers

In one short week the sixth season of 'Castle' will be premiering on ABC.

Thinking back over the last four seasons, it's easy to say that 'Castle' is a show that has succeeded in character growth. Beckett and Castle have both made strides and bounds in terms of mental and emotional well-being. Now even bigger changes are coming our way.

Although ABC and Andrew Marlowe (the creator of 'Castle') have been trying to keep a wrap on details of this season's premiere, it's pretty easy to piece together the key points. Stop reading now if you want to avoid potential spoilers (though keep in mind that I haven't seen the premiere and these are merely my best guesses--we'll see if they hold true).

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Downton Abbey Season Four Update & Season 3 Recaps

I'm quite excited (see, I'm already talking like a British person) that 'Downton Abbey' is coming back in January. While I'll miss BLANK and BLANK (names redacted in case you're crazy and haven't watched Season 3 yet) I have faith that they'll give us an excellent show.

Apparently Michelle Dockery agrees.

This reminds me to plug my other blog which features recaps for all of season 3 of Downton Abbey: