All posts by Fangirlu

More Iris West Please

Recently, The Flash released its tirisrailer for the show’s January mid-season premiere (remember the days when there was just one premiere and one finale a season?).  We actually got a glimpse of Iris West and Westallen, and it almost made me excited for the show’s return.   Almost.

I’ll admit that I’m incredibly jaded.  This show has let me down too many times in the past to truly allow myself to get overly excited about what may or may not be coming.  I haven’t been at all happy about the way that Iris has been sidelined so far this season in favor of setting up the upcoming spinoff Legends of Tomorrow and devoting precious screen time to Barry’s current love interest, Patty Spivot.  Iris’ journalist arc hasn’t materialized, her screen time has been woeful, and once again, she hasn’t been given a point of view.   I still don’t know how she feels about Eddie’s death as we haven’t been allowed to see her grieve; and the storyline with her mother’s return was more about Joe than Iris.

I’m tired of watching everyone else get to express how they feel, while being forced to piece together how Iris feels via other character’s observations.  I’m tired of the telling and not showing when it comes to the show’s female lead.  It wasn’t acceptable last year, and it’s even less acceptable halfway through the second season.  We shouldn’t still be having these complaints.

Here’s hoping that now that the writers no longer have to split their time between setting up Legends and trying to make us fall in love with Patty, they can concentrate on finally giving Iris West the storyline that she deserves.

Lupita Nyong’o ‘Star Wars’ Rumors are Untrue

HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 22: Actress Lupita Nyong'o arrives at the 87th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 22, 2015 in Hollywood, California.  (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)
 (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)

It was reported last week that a lot of Lupita Nyongo’s scenes had been cut in the upcoming Star Wars:  The Force Awakens movie because her performance wasn’t up to snuff.  Needless to say, I wasn’t pleased.  I was already disappointed when I learned that she’d been cast as a completely computer-generated character, but this news was like having salt rubbed into the wound.

As a huge Star Wars fan, I was still excited about the movie, but that excitement had definitely been taken down a notch.  Fortunately, it looks like I have may have gotten upset over nothing.

But Abrams told Page Six in a statement: “The number of rumors floating around about ‘The Force Awakens’ is truly stunning. Some are wonderfully funny, others simply preposterous. But the only one more ridiculous than Jar Jar Binks being a Sith Lord is that I cut Lupita Nyong’o’s performance because it wasn’t satisfactory.” [Page Six]

Whew!  The last thing I wanted to do was go and see this movie with anything but the most positive feelings.  Now I can settle into my theater seat this Saturday with a large popcorn, a large drink and a large smile to match.

This still makes me angry however.  Actresses of color already have it hard enough in Hollywood, and since they typically don’t get the benefit of the doubt or third and fourth chances to get it right, rumors like this can have a detrimental effect on someone’s career.

I’m glad that J.J. Abrams came out and smacked these rumors down so that people wouldn’t continue with the mistaken impression that her talent was somehow lacking.  It’s bad enough we’re not getting a live-action Lupita character; this would have been too much.

Have We Finally Met Lupita Nyong’o’s ‘Star Wars’ Character?

Ever since Lupita Nyong’o was cast in Star Wars:  The Force Awakens, I’ve been dying to know what her character was going to look like.  Due to the general lack of women of color in the Star Wars universe, I’ll admit to being disappointed when I found out that she was going to be a completely computer generated character.  But my love for everything Star Wars and my excitement at Lupita’s involvement and her own excitement with the project have helped me to reconcile those feelings a bit.

And thanks to eagle-eyed YouTuber Emergency Awesome, we may have finally gotten a peek at her character, Maz Kanata, in a new teaser trailer.

I think she’s kind of cute in her own googly-eyed way.  Either way, I’m sure Lupita is going to kill this role just like she has all of her other ones.  I’m already super-hyped for December 18th, and this has only made me more excited (if that’s even possible).

Amazing Photo Series Showcases Black Superheroines

As a huge superhero geek and amateur photographer, I fell in love with this photo series the moment I saw it.    Four friends of blogger Paola Mathé, envisioned as superheroes and photographed for posterity.

The photos really are amazing and make me want to both grab my camera and cosplay at the next available Comic Con.

*bows down*

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Continue reading Amazing Photo Series Showcases Black Superheroines

Whitesplaining Explained

Franchesca Ramsey’s MTV Decoded videos are some of the best things ever posted on YouTube.  Her discussions on race and racism are timely, informative and don’t pull any punches.  I love them all, but her recent video “White People Whitesplain Whitesplaining” is probably one of my all time favorites.

It shows how even someone who truly thinks they’re doing something good and well-meaning can be harmful and offensive.  Watch and be amused amazed:

And if that wasn’t awesome enough, one of the comments that the video received certainly is.  Just not in a good way.

Continue reading Whitesplaining Explained

Black Women of Bond

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Gloria Hendry, Trina Parks, Halle Berry and Naomie Harris

Ahead of the release of Spectre this past weekend, the lovely black actresses that have been Bond girls over the years all shared a stage to celebrate the black women of Bond.  Halle Berry, Naomie Harris, Trina Parks and Gloria Hendry were brought together at the California African American Museum, where they recounted what there contributions meant to such a lauded and long-lived franchise.

According to Variety, Gloria Hendry was Bond’s first black love interest when she appeared in the 1983 film, Live and Let Die.

Hendry, who appeared in 1983’s “Live and Let Die,” became Bond’s first African-American love interest. Little known fact: Hendry’s love scenes with then-Bond Roger Moore were cut when the film was initially released in South Africa because it was prohibited by the apartheid government. At the time, her romantic role with Moore was a feat that she never imagined.

“When I was asked to do this movie, I said, ‘I’m not tall, I’m not blue-eyed, I’m not busty and I’m not white. What do they want me for?’” she remembered. “A week later I was cast for it.”

While I’m loving Naomie Harris as Eve Moneypenny, but I certainly hope this doesn’t mean we’re only going to be seeing her stuck behind a desk and away from the action.  I also hope that there won’t continue to be such large gaps between the films being cast with black women and other women of color in major roles.

It’s 2015.  With all the talk of Idris Elba possibly taking up the mantle of James Bond when Daniel Craig finishes his run as the suave spy, I’d think they can do a little better when it comes to hiring actresses of color.  Here’s hoping.

(Photo credit:  Chelsea Lauren/Variety/Rex Shutterstock)

Abbie Mills Needs Love Too

I have a question for all the television showrunners and writer’s rooms out there:  Why is it so difficult for you to write for women of color?  Why is it so hard to write us as fully-formed human beings with all the emotions, flaws, weaknesses and strengths that everyone else has?  Why do television writers continue to bungle this so badly?

Recent case in point:  Grace Abigail Mills.  During the last season of Sleepy Hollow, Abbie was sidelined in service to showrunner Mark Goffman’s baffling attempts to make Katrina Crane relevant.  Abbie essentially became Ichabod’s sidekick, relegated to bravely swallowing her own pain and fear while acting as a caretaker, marriage counselor, and financial support to the Cranes.  For those of you who aren’t aware, this bait and switch resulted in Sleepy Hollow shedding millions of viewers over the course of the season and caused the show to teeter on the verge of cancellation before FOX renewed it for a third season.

I’d venture to say that if it wasn’t for an outcry by the fans, Abbie would still be playing second fiddle to the now-dead Katrina Crane (who likely wouldn’t be dead) and would still be mistaken for Ichabod’s sidekick by the media (yes, that happened).

I’ll admit that while the show has mostly reinstalled Nicole Beharie to her rightful place as Sleepy Hollow’s co-lead, some improvements with Abbie’s characterization still need to be made.  Sure, it’s nice that she’s an FBI agent now and that we actually got a chance to see her relaxing at home for a change, but what about things of a more interpersonal nature?  We’re into the show’s third season and we’ve yet to see Abbie date, be kissed, or even be told that’s she’s beautiful.  The folks over on Bones didn’t seem to have a problem remarking on Abbie’s beauty during the recent crossover, but for some reason the Sleepy Hollow writers can’t seem to muster up the ability.  And you know what?

Continue reading Abbie Mills Needs Love Too

Review: Ash vs Evil Dead

There were a lot of shows that I was looking forward to this fall, but none with nearly as much eagerness as Ash vs. Evil Dead.  I’ve been a big fan of the Evil Dead franchise since I was a kid, so I was beside myself with joy when I found out that Starz was turning it into a television show.  That elation skyrocketed into the stratosphere when I learned that Girlfriends and Sleepy Hollow alum Jill Marie Jones was cast as the female lead.  She plays Amanda Fisher, a State Trooper who is tracking down Bruce Campbell’s character Ash Williams.

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It took a year of not-so-patiently waiting, but the wait was definitely worth it.  Dropping an extended pilot on Halloween (could the date have been any more perfect?), the premiere had plenty of humor, gore, and Bruce Campbell’s perfectly-timed one liners that left me clamoring for more.  Call me greedy, but I can never get enough of Groovy Bruce.

But let’s get back to the wonderful Jill Marie Jones, shall we?  I was wary about what the treatment of her character would be, because up until recently it didn’t seem like Jill got all that much promotion.  She didn’t go to San Diego Comic Con, and every time I saw an article, they generally tended to discuss Lucy Lawless’ role on the show and mentioned Jill only in passing.  So naturally, given my distrust of Hollywood because of their terrible treatment of people of color, I was hopeful–but not convinced–that Ash vs. Evil Dead would do right by her.

Continue reading Review: Ash vs Evil Dead