TV Review – When was SNL Funny? Part 9 (of 9)

And so we come to the finale. This chunk of Saturday Night Live where they lost me. I’d watched at varying levels since I was a teenager, but by season 41, I just didn’t find it remarkably funny anymore. It certainly got worse when Trump became president, and the show pivoted into the most shallow critique of him, not on policy ever but instead on what a meanie he was or mocking his hair. Those sort of pointless jokes signals a lack of perspective, in my opinion, a writing staff that has been declawed or never had any, to begin with. All the while, the show made sure to hold up people like Jeff Bezos as heroic and pen jokes for Update criticizing citizen-led protests against Amazon warehouses. SNL affirmed its place as a comedy for the bourgeoisie.

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TV Review – Sense8

Sense8 Season 1 and 2 (2015-2018)
Written by Lana Wachowski, Lilly Wachowski, J. Michael Straczynski, David Mitchell, and Aleksandar Hemon
Directed by Lana Wachowski, Lilly Wachowski, Tom Tykwer, James McTeigue, and Dan Glass

Sense8 was one of those shows I missed out on when Netflix when it premiered in 2015. It had two seasons and got canceled due to its expensive budget since they filmed on location. I toyed with the idea of watching it for the longest time. Due to my lack of commitment to some things, I sometimes hesitate to go into things people love or find great comfort in. Word of mouth can be so grand that when you finally get you can feel like a jerk for perhaps not enjoying it as much as others do.

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TV Review – When Was SNL Funny Part 8 (of 9)

Saturday Night Live was never a controversial show. If anyone took offense to the comedy being presented, then they have to be one of the most sheltered people on the planet. You can feel the punches being pulled at every turn when it comes to politics. Or when they want to take jabs, it’s entirely superficial rather than writing clever political comedy (see everything Armando Iannucci has done). The 2010s were, for me, the sign that SNL was becoming a piece of processed cheese, it looked okay, but you weren’t craving it. The people involved were always much funnier outside the show than in it. The perfect example is 2011’s Bridesmaids, which showed Kristin Wiig being much more entertaining than I ever found her on SNL.

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Comic Book Review – Superman by Grant Morrison Omnibus

Superman by Grant Morrison Omnibus (2021)
Reprints Action Comics v2 #0-18, Annual #1
Written by Grant Morrison (with Sholly Fisch)
Art by Rags Morales, Andy Kubert, Brent Anderson, Gene Ha, Brad Walker, Cully Hamner, Ben Oliver, Cafu, Ryan Sook, Bob McLeod, Travel Foreman, Chris Sprouse, Karl Story, and more

It’s interesting to read these Grant Morrison stories alongside John Byrne’s Superman work. Byrne was tasked with rebooting Superman in the wake of the Crisis in 1986, reworking concepts and cutting away things considered to be too old-fashioned. Morrison was partially asked to do the same thing in 2011 when the New 52 initiative was rolled out. I don’t think Morrison was allowed as much leeway as Byrne because D.C. had become much more integrated alongside their parent company Warner Media. Like Byrne, Morrison is taken well-known concepts around Superman and trying to make them relevant for their time. However, they are a professed lover of the Silver Age, so Morrison isn’t entirely willing to make everything a modern parallel to our world. In true Morrison fashion, we get a tale of metaphors made reality, of meditations on fictional universes, and ultimately a vision of Superman that would be quickly discarded as editorial interference kept the New 52 from ever amounting to much.

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Movie Review – The Tale of Princess Kaguya

The Tale of Princess Kaguya (2013)
Written by Isao Takahata & Riko Sakaguchi
Directed Isao Takahata

When people talk about Studio Ghibli, you will most often hear them talk about it in the context of Hayao Miyazaki’s films. That’s completely reasonable as the studio’s most prominent work started with Miyazaki before becoming a collaborative effort. However, he was only the co-founder of Studio Ghibli, with his partner being Isao Takahata. Takahata was the director behind films like Grave of the Fireflies, Only Yesterday, Pom Poko, and My Neighbors the Yamadas. Takahata’s take on animation was quite different than Miyazaki, but both men worked to push the medium in ways it never had been, both artistically and thematically.

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Supervillain Spotlight – The Cheetah

Earlier, I looked at Max Lord, one of the villains in the upcoming Wonder Woman 1984. Today, I’ll breakdown the second villain, The Cheetah. Unlike Lord, The Cheetah has always exclusively been a Wonder Woman enemy, but there have been multiple people that worked under that name. In 1985, DC Comics launched Crisis on Infinite Earths, a company-wide event that rebooted the entire timeline and compressed many parallel Earths into one. Before this, there had been two Cheetahs, neither of whom had superpowers and were mainly knock-offs of Batman’s villain Catwoman. With Crisis, these versions were erased to make way for writer-artist George Perez’s overhaul of Wonder Woman and her continuity. This led to a new Cheetah, one who derived her powers from dark mythic gods.

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Supervillain Spotlight – Maxwell Lord

The upcoming Wonder Woman 1984 is set to feature two villains, and I am writing up a spotlight on each. First up is a character who has been both a hero and a villain, and it wasn’t until 2006 that they were even associated with Wonder Woman so directly.

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My Favorite 2010s Summer Blockbusters

The summer blockbusters of the 2010s feel like an entirely different world from what we saw in the 1980s. Not only has the technology drastically changed, but social mores have opened the door to more politically overt material and fantastic fare that obscure fascistic leanings (see almost every superhero movie). The blockbuster genre doesn’t shy from being self-reflective and commenting on itself now, yet indulges in some of the laziest nostalgia bating. These movies are slicker and, as a result, exist on two extremes of a spectrum: sharp modern fantasies & transparent corporate merchandising efforts. Our first summer of a new decade is off to an extremely troubling start who knows what the future holds for big summer tentpole movies.

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Black Lives Matter: A Selection of Films

Black Lives Matter. If you find an issue with that statement, then your presence on my website is unneeded. The comment section of this post will not be allowed to house any sentiments contrary to this. There is no free speech in my little corner of the internet when it comes to white supremacy and fascist ideals. The history of abusing, mocking, torturing, and killing black people in my home country of the United States is too long and still happening. Cinema was used as a weapon against black lives during the early silent years and into the talkies. However, films have been made that lift up black people and show them as human beings. Here are some of those movies.

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