On September 12, 2000, Jon Stewart started The Daily Show’s Headlines segment with the following joke: “The GOP accused of using subliminal advertising. Bush says, ‘Why would we advertise underwater?’” After a run of jokes about then-candidate George W. Bush, Stewart chuckles, “He’s making it so easy.” »
I’ve seen two decent comedy films this summer. Melissa McCarthy’s Spy and Amy Schumer’s Trainwreck were both fun, but the movie about a magazine editor with a substance-abuse problem was much better than the one about the assistant spy who’s forced to go out into the field. Why is that? »
Pixels reminded us all just how shitty an actor Adam Sandler can be. But it’s worse than you probably realize. As a star, and also as a producer, Sandler has created a string of horrible, vapid comedies that have helped make us all dumber. His movies are “films,” in the same sense that colonoscopies produce films.
The new movie Ex Machina has been pushing people’s buttons. It features a seemingly vulnerable robot named Ava, who’s as beautiful as she is mysterious. But Ava’s just the latest in a long line of artificial seductresses, girlfriends and mothers. Why are so many thinking machines female? »
Twenty years ago today, Star Trek: Voyager premiered. Of the five live-action Star Trek series, Voyager is not the best. If you were ranking them, Voyager and Enterprise would probably duke it out for last place. But none of that matters, because Star Trek: Voyager meant everything to me as a child. »
He used to be so cool and unpredictable. He would breeze into a complicated situation and make it simple through the razor-sharp power of his intellect. But lately, he's gotten dull and predictable, performing the same party trick over and over. The "smartest man in the room" is overexposed lately, and he needs a… »
Everybody does it. We obsessively watch TV shows that we kind of despise, and then we mock them, and complain about them on the internet afterwards. "Hate-watching" is a thing now. What's going on — are we just masochists? Are we doing serious damage to our bodies? What's the worst thing that could happen to us? »
This fall is seeing a huge crop of comic-book TV shows, and one of the most promising is Constantine. The trench-coated antihero who copes with the unsavory side of magic is getting a more faithful portrayal. Except he won't smoke. And now we're hearing his sexuality will be toned down too. Does it matter? »
We all talk about the Bechdel Test all the time, because it's so simple: Does a story have two women who talk to each other, about something other than a man? But almost every time it comes up, we all dismiss it, because it's too simple or too arbitrary. But actually, the Bechdel Test is more important than anyone… »
I've been thinking a lot about the feminist label, and about my own personal journey towards it.
Am I a good feminist? I'm often uncertain.
Was the framework established long before I was making my own decisions? You be the judge.
A French teacher (in France) assigned what is perhaps the Frenchiest essay topic in the history of essay topics, a topic meant to spelunk the deepest, most bat-people populated depths of 13- and 14-year-old students' ennui: »