Saturday, November 26, 2011

"American Horror Story" fails at abortion story line

Yesterday, Feministe published a post on the irresponsible way The Walking Dead treated "the morning after pill" in a recent episode:
So you’ve got this storyline where Lori Grimes is unexpectedly pregnant and despairing over whether to bring a child into a filthy, chaotic, hopeless, joyless, post-zombie-apocalyptic hellworld. You know what? That’s awesome. Seriously, that’s an awesome storyline. I can totally see a person struggling with that under those circumstances, and there’s a ton you can do with that subplot. Good call, show.
So you give Glenn a pony and send him into town (even though y’all do have an actual car, but that’s another complaint for another post) to hit up the pharmacy for…
… a big ol’ handful of abortion pills.
Oh, show.
1. A big packet labeled “Morning After Pill” is like a white soda can labeled “Cola.”
That’s… just not what they look like. Plan B is actually available over the counter now, if you wanted to pick up a few just to see what they look like, in case you were interested in, like, accuracy, or whatever. You also might be surprised to learn they look nothing like Tylenol PM.
2. The morning-after pill doesn’t cause abortions.
Even if you take them by the heaping Tylenol handful, Lori. All that will do is make you feel really queasy, and then you’re sick and pregnant and living in a post-zombie-apocalyptic hellworld and your hair is really flat. Read more...

The writers of The Walking Dead aren't the only ones who could use a trip back to sex ed class. Though, I can't decide whether American Horror Story's treatment of abortion is ignorant, lazy or evil. The show, Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk's weekly camp homage to iconic horror, follows the dysfunctional Harmon family, recently relocated to the West Coast and stuck in a spirit-infested home with a long history of sordid sex and murder.

The Murder House, as the Harmon's new home is called by locals, was built in 1922 by the inept,drug-addled Dr. Charles Montgomery, who is convinced by his money-hungry wife to take a break from his nefarious Dr. Moreau-like experiments and begin earning extra cash performing abortions for unfortunate show girls. Eventually, the angry boyfriend of a patient kidnaps Montgomery's baby Lindbergh-style, returning him dead, his body cut into pieces. The now quite mad doctor stitches the child back together like one of his previous ghoulish experiments, reanimating him into an unholy evil thing that may still reside in Murder House in corporeal or spirit form.

As horror stories go, a physician who turns his murdered son into a monster is foundation enough to spark a decades-long curse. But I am convinced that the show wants the audience to think some of the house's murderousness comes from the fact that its original owner was performing abortions. The show runners prod the audience to associate abortion with the dark, unholy and wrong.

Through its narrative, American Horror Story disturbingly co-signs several conservative and anti-choice messages:
  • Doctors who perform abortions are bad: The architect of the Murder House's evil--a man with the ability to create an undying demon baby--is an abortionist.
  • Women who receive abortions are promiscuous and selfish, therefore bad: The women who come to Dr. Montgomery for abortions are show girls--"loose women" in the parlance of the time. The doctor's wife remarks to one how a baby would ruin her career on stage.
  • Abortion = murdering babies: The darkened Murder House basement still holds fully-developed babies in jars, leaving the impression that the unhinged doctor was murdering babies instead of performing a medical procedure, now legal, that involves the removal of a fetus or embryo before it is viable.  

Clearly Dr. Montgomery and his wife were not running a caring medical facility. Instead, they were enriching themselves by preying on young women with unwanted pregnancies--women who had no legal options for the termination for their pregnancies nor access to the birth control methods we take for granted today. But I think the revulsion American Horror Story wants us to feel is not about poor reproductive care in the early 20th century, but about the medically-assisted ending of pregnancy, period.

At a time when American women's reproductive rights are under attack, American Horror Story's handling of abortion is the most horrific thing about the show.

Friday, November 25, 2011

American Horror Story, Season One, Episode Eight: Rubber Man

Wednesday night's episode answered a lot of questions.  We have seen rubber man from the very beginning of the of the show, but were never given any clues as to who he was until now.  Rubber man is Tate.  It seems that he is particularly moved by Nora Montgomery's desire to have a child.  He killed Teddy and Chad, when it become apparent that their relationship had disintegrated to the point where they would not be adopting a child, in the hope that a new family would move in, and provide Nora with the child of her dreams.  His rape of Vivien was to ensure that she became pregnant with a child.

The rubber suit was originally purchased by Chad, when he learned that Patrick was having conversations online about BDSM.  He was absolutely desperate to save his relationship and so he visited a store in the hope of finding something to turn Patrick on again.   He was clearly out of his element, because he did not know whether Patrick was a top or a bottom, but when he considers that sexually he always took the lead, he decided Patrick would be submissive for Patrick in order to mix things up a bit. Unfortunately, when Chad puts on the rubber suit to seduce Patrick, he is so clearly not into it and tells him that he does not like the feel of rubber against his skin.  They begin an argument, where once again Patrick tells him that he is sick of renovating, and tired of Chad holding the house against him.  As Patrick storms out in a rage, he tells Chad that he likes leather, and Chad crumples and begins to cry desperately.

In this episode, we watch as Vivien comes slowly unglued.  Hayden has determined that she wants her vengeance, and has set about torturing Vivien with Tate's help.  Vivien knows something is wrong, because she recognizes Nora Montgomery as the woman who came to see the house earlier, but Moira tries to tell her that everyone has a doppleganger.  When she looks up the side effects of the drugs her doctor gave her, she realizes that they could potentially be responsible for everything that she is seeing. 

We know that Vivien is not seeing things and that the house is in fact tormenting her.  Moira tries again by telling her about hysteria.  Vivien seems comforted by the knowledge that the medical profession has a long history of misogyny, but what I wonder is why she didn't consider for a moment that her OBGYN is female. Obviously, women are no strangers to internalized sexism; however, this should at least have been a consideration of hers.  Moira then goes on to tell her that malevolent spirits live in the house, and that she has to get out or Ben will assure that she is institutionalized. Vivien takes this to heart and runs upstairs to get Violet and leave.  As they are making their way out the door they are accosted by the spirits of the people who broke into the home during Halloween.

At this point, I completely believe that Moira is setting Vivien up, though she defended her to Hayden.  She fed Vivien raw brains and claimed it was to help the child, but as Ben would later point out, raw organs carry infectious diseases and could potentially be very harmful. Even during the 80's when Moira was alive, this would have been true.

The next day, Ben and Vivien have it out after Violet tells him that Vivien is losing her mind and eating raw offal. Vivien accuses Ben of setting her up and he tells her that he will go to the courts if he has to, to ensure that she does not leave the state with Violet or their unborn twins. Vivien tries to tell him about the break in, but he says that according to the police report no such thing occurred, and that he believes she has had some sort of psychotic break because she never dealt with the break in at halloween.

Upstairs in her room, Violet is alone with Tate. He asks her if she is in pain because they apparently just had sex.  I do not understand why Violet is in Tate's thrall. She knows that he is responsible for a vicious school shooting, but hey, none of that matters when there is true wuv to consider.  Does she think she can reform him?  What about the fact that she has been incontrovertible proof that he is not even alive?  Violet tells him that she wishes that she could tell her mother what is going on, but he says that she can't because they will lock her up and that means that they will be separated. 

Dear Ian Somerhalder, When You Have Money It's Easy to be Well Meaning

While Ian Somerhalder is an activist on many issues and is highly well intentioned - the fact remains that intent isn’t flawless and there’s a lot wrong with this - and a whole lot of unexamined privilege and paternalism

First and most glaringly is one of class and wealth. While Ian Somerhalder is, of course, in a position where he can cavalierly ignore sales bargains, having a net worth of $14,000,000 and being paid $40,000 per episode of the Vampire Diaries. That’s $720,000 per year (note: this figure does not take into account monies earned through modelling and his modelling agency). Performing in one episode of The Vampire Diaries earns him far more than many make in an entire year. For many, black friday represents the only opportunity they will get to buy that special present or afford that indulgence. And while we can criticise the materialism of that - it’s easy to criticise the materialism when we can casually afford whatever we want.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Official City of Bones Film Synopsis

Okay, Cassandra Clare fans, I know that you have been chomping at the bit to learn more about the upcoming City of Bones film.  The official movie synopsis has been released.
'CLARY FRAY (Lily Collins) is an ordinary Brooklyn teenager until the night she meets the mysteriously tattooed JACE, who turns out to be a half-angel warrior known as a Shadowhunter. When Clary finds out her mother JOCELYN has been abducted, she desperately hopes Jace will be able to help. After a whirling golden portal transports her across time and space in a heartbeat, Clary realizes she too has the powers of the Shadowhunters. But can she harness them in time to save her mother?

Clary, Jace and their fellow Shadowhunters endure one breathtaking battle after another against vampire, warlocks and demons—only to discover Jocelyn hid a terrible secret from the fiercest warrior of all: VALENTINE. Cast out from the world of Shadowhunters, Valentine abducted Jocelyn believing she had a powerful tool known as the Mortal Cup. Using her newfound gifts, Clary finds the Cup, only to be brutally betrayed and forced to relinquish it.

Still reeling from this setback and racing to save Jocelyn before it’s too late, Clary finds herself caught in a battle between forces she barely understands. Based on the best-selling series by Cassandra Clare, THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS: CITY OF BONES is a magnificent urban fantasy rich in detail and suspense, about a girl’s journey to the darkest corners of the underworld to save those she loves.' (source)

Twi Kids Trio: Thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

American Horror Story: 7 Rubber Man Teasers You Might Want to Know

Tonight's episode of American Horror Story is called Rubberman.  We have seen this mysterious figure around the house but we know very little about him.  Ryan Murphy wrote this story and this is what he has in store for us:
  •  If you wonder if Tate (Evan Peters) actually realizes he’s dead, well, he’s not the only one. Another ghost is about to get a sad revelation tonight.
  • It turns out that latex suit that the Rubber Man hides behind was purchased to spice things up in one of the previous owners’ relationships. Clearly it wasn’t enough, though, and when all of their fighting led them to rethink wanting to start a family, something in the house-- not actually the house itself-- got to them.
  • Two grieving mothers from two very different times come together in an unlikely partnership-- perhaps almost as unlikely as Moira (Frances Conroy) and Constance (Jessica Lange).
  • We haven’t seen the last of Hayden (Kate Mara), and her constant intrusion causes Vivien (Connie Britton) to take drastic action to ensure the safety of her family. Unfortunately her drastic action has unexpected consequences.
  • Vivien plans to leave the house but her eventual destination is not where she’d imagine.
  • Tate certainly has his anger issues, but he may just be a hopeless romantic at heart.
  • If you’re looking for an emotional husband-wife moment between Ben (Dylan McDermott) and Vivien, there is a really nice callback to something that occurs in the pilot.

Wednesday Reboot: Blade

The movie Blade was released in 1998 and is based on the Marvel human/vampire hybrid character.  It stars Wesley, I've never met a Black woman I can respect Snipes as Blade, Kris Kristofferson, Stephen Dorff and N'Bushe Wright as Blade's love interest Karen.  

The movie begins on the day of Blade's birth, where we watch as his mother dies giving birth to him.  What we do not know is that Blade is destined to be a hybrid because his mother was bitten by a vampire.  He was raised by Whistler who developed a serum to help him fight his thirst to kill vampires, to keep the human population safe.  Whistler became involved in the fight because a vampire had broken into his home and killed his wife and two daughters.

There are two kinds of vampires, those who are born with the condition and those that are bitten.  This creates a hierarchy between the vampires, with both factions waring for control.Speaking to Deacon Frost about turned vampires Karen says, "Vampires like you aren't a species. You're just infected, a sexually transmitted disease." (1:21 58) Obviously, this statement is problematic, because it plays upon the stigma that those living with HIV/AIDS live with.  It is further troubling that one is better entity because of the position and or privilege that one is born into.  Having this asserted by a woman of colour, who is naturally born without White or male privilege, naturalizes the idea that identity outside of the control of the person is a valid reason to stigmatize, thus normalizing the idea that constructed identity markers are a positive attribute.

Review of Embrace the Night by Karen Chance Book Three of the Cassandra Palmer Series

I have to admit that this series is really growing on me, though Chance has not given up on her love of bringing dead stars into her stories.  In Embrace the Night we were introduced to Jim Morrison's ghost which last long enough for me to roll my eyes. 

In this story, Chance really enlarged her world which I would have believed impossible to do because she had already used so many super natural beings in the other two books. The world consists of fae, both light and dark, witches, Demons, Incubus, vampires, Ancient Greek Gods, and Merlin from Arthurian legends.  Clearly a lot went on in the story but Chance managed to keep it all straight.  I think that it takes a great imagination to have all of these mythos in one book, without having one group over power another and Chance does this beautifully.

Time shifting plays a huge role in this book, but unlike previous stories, it was extremely easy to follow.  It really added a level of complexity that lead to a brilliant story.  When Cassie was in Paris in the 1700's, the background scenery was so graphically described, that as a reader, it felt as though I was on the journey with her. This book also tied up some time traveling issues that were difficult to follow in the first two books.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Rest in Peace: Ann McCaffrey

Ann McCaffrey was one of the first authors I ever read as a child, and some of the first books that introduced me to the fantastic in writing and one of the first authors to ever make me grieve for a character. I still have a long line of her books on my shelf.

She was a legendary author who will be long remembered, Rest in Peace.

The Walking Dead - Q&A with Laurie Holden

TWD-S2-Laurie-Holden-Interview-325.jpgLaurie Holden, who plays Andrea on AMC's The Walking Dead, describes her own shooting skills and attaining a Zen-like calm. 

Q: Now that it's approaching winter, do you miss the summer heat on set? 

A: The thing that's great about our new location is that there are more trees and more of a breeze in the summer. It was not as hot and unbearable as it was last year. So we were dying when we shot it but that's the intent.

Q: Andrea looks pretty comfortable with a gun. Have you acted with guns before?

A: On The Shield, I played an agent so I used guns a little bit, but I've never... had the training I've had for The Walking Dead. I got hooked up with a shooting expert and we were going into the backwoods of Georgia on weekends for like two hours at a time. He would put bulls-eyes throughout the woods. They were tiny. When I saw that, I was like, "Come on!" He told me just to try it -- and I started nailing all of them! He said he'd never seen anything like it. I guess I have a knack for shooting I didn't realize I had.

Q: Kind of surprising for someone studying human rights at Columbia.

A; None of it makes sense! It's very bizarre.

Q: Last season Andrea was an emotional wreck. Have you enjoyed the shift in her character this season?

A: I really love what they've done with my character. Last year was awful! All I did as Andrea was cry the whole summer. She was such a sobbing, bereft, suicidal person and now she's a warrior. I am a tomboy and I love being with the boys and shooting guns and stuff. There was more acting required to be, like, scared of zombies -- it's more natural for me on the show now.

Read the rest of the interview here

Waking the Witch by Kelley Armstrong, Book 11 of the Otherworld Series

The Otherworld series shifts protagonists every book – so we get to see this amazing world from several different angles, it’s one of the things I love most about this series. In this case we follow Savannah, the ward of Paige and Lucas, daughter of the witch/half-demon/ghost Eve Lavine and the incredibly influential Sorcerer Kristof Nast. After following her as a child, we see her now aged 21, working for Paige and Lucas’ investigation firm.

And while they’re out of town she has a case, her first solo case, eager to prove herself and put into action all the training she’s received, she looks to solve the murders of three young women. But, more, as a witch/sorcerer, she also must keep a look out for an occult connection to the case – always aware of the concern of keeping humanity ignorant of the preternatural.

And the case is far from simple –or clear whether the supernatural is involved or not. With so many suspects and so many possibilities – and so many clues leading so many places, it’s hard to keep track – it’s a complicated and knotty tangle to unravel. 

And Savannah is torn between proving herself and acknowledging she needs back up and support – not just for the case but also to deal with the emotional fallout as bodies start to fall

Lost Girl, Season 2, Episode 9: Original Skin

Bo is angsting about Dyson and Ciara. Actually I thought she was over him since she hadn’t mentioned him in like 3 episodes. It was like she suddenly remembered “oh, hey Dyson, yeah!” At least it meant she could give Lauren her undivided attention. Oh speaking of Lauren, there she is! And all awkward after kissing Bo in front of her comatose girlfriend. And here’s Ciara! And she’s jealous (though she has a good point about the middle of the novel thing)… oh dear this is going to be a “love life” episode. Please don’t go there Lost Girl, love triangles give me grey hairs. And when was the last time we saw Bo feed? Y’know, as a succubus?

Oh and Lauren’s looking for who cursed Nadia – and we’re looking for a witch doctor. Oh dear. I can almost FEEL the stereotypes beginning to line up. Can’t wait for that episode

And we have an “escaped mental patient” Dark Fae. The whole “dangerous mental patient” thing is a highly destructive and stigmatising trope that is grossly overused on TV. The vast majority of mentally ill people are not a danger to others – but the way TV portrays it you’d expect non-neurologically typical folk having a weekly murderous rampage. We have created this idea that people with a mental illness are dangerous, threatening and something to be afraid of – it’s inaccurate and deeply unhelpful. And here, it was unnecessary – he’s a fae who likes chaos. He doesn’t need to be an insane fae who likes chaos. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Fangs for the Fantasy podcast, episode 42

This week we discuss the latest episodes of the Walking Dead, Grimm and American Horror Story.

We also talked about the most excellent Changeless by Gail Carriger, Embrace the Night by Karen Chance, Waking the Witch by Kelley Armstrong, Kitty Takes Holiday by Carrie Vaughn and Blood Bound by Rachel Vincent

We also discuss why we analyse Urban Fantasy through a social justice lens and what it means when we criticise a book.

Author Charlaine Harris on the Beginning and End of Sookie Stackhouse

SDCC10 Charlaine Harris
True Blood may have many years left to it, but author Charlaine Harris has announced that the bestselling Sookie Stackhouse novels on which the hit HBO series is based will conclude with the thirteenth volume (volume 12 is due out next year). I recently sat down with Harris for an extensive interview, which I'll be presenting in three parts. The next two parts will focus on Harris's thoughts about True Blood and on her upcoming graphic novel Cemetery Girl. But after the jump, you can read the first part of our conversation, in which Harris discusses her approach to writing, her influences, the creation of Sookie Stackhouse, the character's upcoming final adventures, and what she might do next. Prepare yourself for the ultimate Charlaine Harris interview.

You just finished writing the twelfth Sookie Stackhouse novel…

The penultimate book, because I'm going to finish with the thirteenth.

Is it tough to finish this series, to let it go?

It's tough to walk away from the money. [Laughs.] Yeah, it is going to be tough.

But you don't have to.

No. I don't have to. But I just felt like I'm finishing the story. I don't have anything left. That's what I've got. I don't want to keep writing when I'm running on empty. I think we all know writers who have continued to write the same characters when they run out of gas apparently. I just don't want to be like that.

You've written plenty of other novels beside the Southern Vampire Mysteries. Do you have a long list of things you've put on the back burner because of Sookie? 

Yes, I do. [Laughs.] And honestly it is so exciting to do something different.

How far into the thirteenth Stackhouse novel are you? 

Zero! [Laughs.] That's my next project. When I get home I have to go over the copy-edited pages of Sookie 12, which will be out in May. That will freshen up my memory about what I need to do in Sookie 13, to tie everything together. A seemingly impossible task.

I'm sure you've been asked this before, but could you talk about what the twelfth novel will involve?

It's called Deadlocked. It's another extension of her adventures, moving a step forward to resolve many of the issues that are brought up in previous books. She gets kidnapped – you know, the usual mayhem. She gets kidnapped, she has to get out of it. The Fey entry into her life is pretty much wrapped up. She learns a lot more about everything really. She learns a lot in this book, the truth. So it was a challenging book to write, and I tried to keep it on track more as a mystery. But there are just so many loose ends to tie up, it's just incredible. [Laughs.]

Even though Sookie is a mature woman, do you view the entire series, on one level, as a coming-of-age story? 

The growth of her character is definitely a major part of the novels, but I wouldn't call it coming-of-age. She's a twenty-six year-old woman. But she certainly becomes worldlier, more aware of the other worlds around her. She's always known what human nature was like, because she's telepathic. Which is kind of a bitter pill to swallow. But she learns how to live with a lot of things, and what she can't live with.

Read the rest of the interview here

The Fades, Season 1, Episode 4

We left last episode with some major developments – Evil!fade that eats Angelics has gone and got himself a new body. Meanwhile Paul was hit by a truck and has gone all dead. Which is why we start now with Paul as a ghost in the hospital looking at his grieving family and comatose body.  His family and friends have to deal with him on life support, and deal with whether to turn the machines off or not – and deal with him being dead. And Paul learning how to be a ghost with all the restrictions and limits there are on a Fade.

Neil and the Angelics continue to leap over the deep end – and with Paul’s death, Neil goes even further. Superman is dead, their hope, their saviour is dead. Without outside hope they aim for more extreme measures – including torturing information out of Natalie. Something 2 of the other Angelics cannot stand for – nor can Paul’s ghost.

Review: Kitty Takes a Holiday by Carrie Vaughn. Book 3 of the Kitty Norville Series

After the dramas of Kitty Goes to Washington, including her own kidnapping, Kitty needs a break. In fact she needs a holiday.

So her show is on hold, much of her life in fact, while she takes stock, finds some peace and writes a book of her memoirs (now in much demand after the dramas she’s lived through).
Of course, few things are ever that simple. Especially with curse wielding locals who are not happy to see a werewolf move into the area, unhelpful police and a campaign of intimidation from her magically capable neighbours.

Cormac and Ben show back up to see her – but it’s not a social call. One of Cormac’s jobs has gone badly wrong – Ben has been bitten by a werewolf and Kitty has to introduce him to his new life as well as herself deal with being part of a pack again. And if that wasn’t enough, the threat that Cormac hunted has followed him back to kitty – and they’re faced with the dual problems of supernatural menace and legal consequences hanging over them

And she has to analyse her own motives – is she taking a holiday? Or has she quit entirely? And not just her job, but her humanity – running off to the wilderness and succumbing more to her wolf.

The Walking Dead Season Two, Episode Six: Secrets

The episode opens with Carl up and about, and Lori feeding the chickens.  A young woman breaks the legs of a chicken, and heads to the barn to feed the  dead. They immediately pounce on the chickens, when she drops them from a ledge at the top of the barn.

As Glenn looks through binoculars, Maggie approaches him with a bucket of sundries and he accuses her of trying to bribe him.  He asks her why Hershel has a barn full of walkers and Maggie demands that he keep that information to himself.

Alone in his tent, Andrea gives a book to Darryl and asks him to forgive her.  He tells her that she was trying to protect the group and that he is fine with it.  I think this was just one more scene in the reformation of Darryl. Gee look how good he is, he forgave Andrea for shooting him.

Glenn approaches Lorri and asks if she told Rick that she was pregnant. He offers his food and she says that she does not want it.  He then tells her that she has a medical condition, and offers to go back into town to get her anything she needs, but Lori tells him that he needs to be quiet about this. I thought that this was more of Glenn's paternalism.  It really is not his place to tell her what she needs to do about this. 

Carl is finally looking like the Carl of the comic books. He asks Shane to teach him how to shoot and Shane tells him that it's up to his parents.  As Carl is walking away, Shane realizes that he has a gun tucked into the waist of his pants already. Lori is livid and she learns that Carl lied to Dale to get access to the gun.  She does not want Carl to have a gun, but Rick clearly thinks that she is being over protective. Lori angrily says that he is not mature enough to handle a gun but  Carl interjects and that that he wants to look for Sophia, and that he wants to protect their camp. He knows that he cannot accomplish either goal unless he is armed and knows how to use the gun properly.  Lori tells him that he has to take it seriously and that he must act responsibly and then acquiesces to Carl's request. I can understand Lori's concern but times have changed and Carl having a gun might be the one thing that saves his life one day.

As the others go off for target practice, Glenn makes an excuse about getting spark plugs for Dale, but when Dale appears suddenly his cover is blown.  When Dale asks him what is going on, he tries to give a cryptic explanation, but finally spits out "there's walkers in the barn and Lori's pregnant", after Dale tells him to stop being dramatic and spit it out.

At the range, it is clear that Andrea is starting to show the sharp shooter skills that we have all been waiting to see. Rick and Shane decide that she is ready for the advanced class.  Andrea points out that Shane who should be dead, is still with them and walks away before he can explain why.

Dale approaches Hershel in the barn area, and claims that he took a walk by the barn, and heard the walkers moaning.  Hershel tells him that it is unfortunate, but he is doing this because he heard the broadcast before they stopped and the irrational fear.  He feels that the walker that they killed at well was murder.  Hershel tells Dale that a "paranoid schizophrenic is dangerous too. We don't kill sick people".  Really?  I cannot believe that they felt that this analogy is okay.  The truth of the matter is that disabled people are murdered and abused constantly and I for one resent the comparison between fictional zombies and real disabled people.  I also think it's worth pointing out that people who are neurologically atypical, are more of a danger to themselves, than anyone else. Dale does his best to make him understand that walkers are not people, but Hershel says, "my wife and step son are in that barn and they're people".  Dale says that they should talk to Rick and make the barn more secure. Hershel tells him that if he wants to help that he should keep it to himself because Rick is a man of conscience but that does not mean that everyone in the group is.

Later in the fields, Lori approaches Hershel and he asks after Carl. Herschel tells her to be grateful that she doesn't have a daughter.  "If only things were as easy as wanting to shoot." Yeah, cause grown women just might have the notion that they are entitled to do what they choose with their own bodies, and that kind of resistance and agency is a pain in the ass. Lori says that they will earn their keep, but Hershel tells her that he expects with Carl feeling better that they will be moving on soon.

Shane has Andrea shooting at a piece of wood swinging from a tree but unlike at the target range, she keeps missing. Shane tells her that she shoots like a "damn girl" and says that he is trying to encourage muscle memory. Okay, I am sure we can all agree that Shane is a megadouche but the female as a pejorative is just so classically sexist. Even when talking to a woman, female is still seen as a negative and that is why Andrea should aspire to be tough and manly like him. Shane tells her that she is shooting at the walker that got Amy, and Andrea walks away in anger.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Grimm, season 1, episode 4: Lonely Hearts

We begin with a woman dressed for bed, hallucinating, running down the road and being hit by a car – the driver gets out and tries to help her and someone else kills her.

Let the detective work commence! An abusive husband, facebook messages, online pictures – and a bed and breakfast - the owner of which is supernatural  with an unpleasant diet – a ziegervolk, a bluebeard. And lots and lots of missing women – who are kidnapped, disorientated, raped and return pregnant.

And there’s a creepy French guy with a scythe engraved with German – Looking for the policeman who shot his friend (yes, that would be Nick). A reaper – a reaper who is here without the police chief’s permission. This does not make the police chief a happy man.

Yes, I am amused by Eddie playing the cello. I couldn’t say why – the idea of the Big Bad Wolf and the cello just amuses me muchly. And, of course, his reluctance to play grimopedia. He’s less reluctant to play undercover, but he also fails badly at it.

Hank is around quite a lot in this episode, which made me much happier. Usually he’s shuffled off pretty quickly so all the supernatural stuff can happen behind his back. He has more independent action to a degree, and his own role throughout the entire show. He did feel a little more side-kicky/back up than usual, probably because we’re seeing more of him

I’m a little confused and unhappy with the conflicting messages of the Blue Beards. The Blue Beards have supernatural attraction and a touch that “makes you there’s”. And they live “for the rut” one night stands with women they attract with their powers. Now it is called rape and it is identified as rape – but only after the clusters of disoriented women are found who describe themselves as being kidnapped and kept confused with “some kind of gas”. Now they never say the Blue Beard isn’t a rapist – but I wonder, since Nick didn’t label him as such when Eddie first described their powers and proclivities – would it still have been called rape if they had, say, seduced a woman, gone back to her place then left the next morning? I.e. without the kidnapping? To be clear, they never say that what he does isn’t rape (nor did they say anything that denied the scenario I described as being not rape), but I’m left with this fuzzy feeling.