Last Week’s Episode: New Year, New… Coup?

Last Week's Episode

So this week, uh… happened…

Gif of a scene from the TV show Community. Donald Glover walks into an apartment carrying three pizza boxes and as he cheerfully walks through the door, his expression changes to horror as his eyes widen in shock. The lens widens and then you see four large spots of active fires on the ground in the middle of the room. A white person on the left is swinging a piece of clothing like a mace because the end is on fire, and on the right someone wearing a pink cardigan is crouching over another person who is laying on the ground on their back.

We skipped the two employer-observed holiday weeks and now we’re back, but wow a lot has happened. I’ll try to cover the highlights, but not everything will make it in. The big news of the week was the failed putsch at the U.S. Capitol by armed white supremacist fascists, which was terrifying even just to watch from afar and (unfortunately) overshadowed the historic wins by Senators-elect Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff in Georgia (thank you to the all the amazing GOTV organizers, and Stacey Abrams!). Not really entertainment news, but I’d be remiss if these huge events weren’t mentioned at all.

Speaking of, former Hercules: The Legendary Journeys actor Kevin Sorbo was taken to task by real-life Xena: Warrior Princess Lucy Lawless when he tried to spread misinformation about the Capitol Hill mob. Apparently, there has been an ongoing feud between them for awhile, but I know who I’d rather have on my team and it’s not a misogynistic Trump supporter. Never change, Lucy Lawless. [Newsweek]

New Releases

Wonder Woman 1984 dropped on HBO Max on December 25th, bringing one of the only big blockbuster releases of the year into people’s homes, which explains the number of people who watched it and, I guess, why the third iteration is already in the works. While early reviews seemed positive, buzz about the much-anticipated sequel to the demi-god’s 2017 debut quickly turned sour as fans expressed disappointment at its confusing story choices, questionable portrayals of consent violations, and racist depictions of Middle Eastern and North African people. Our very own Louis Skye also reviewed the film here.

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is also out on Netflix, and by all accounts is stellar. This is the film in which Chadwick Boseman portrayed his last live-action role, after all, before he sadly passed away last August. Viola Davis is said to shine in the role of the titular Ma Rainey as well, and she spoke with the [Advocate] about her process of crafting the character with intention, really thinking through how Rainey would have navigated her queerness in that time period and embodying an uninhibited queer desire.

The CW’s Batwoman will start its second season on January 17, with Javicia Leslie’s Ryan Wilder taking up the mantle after Kate Kane (Ruby Rose) disappeared (left the show). [Entertainment Weekly] has released an exclusive first look at what this new season will entail, and so far it looks great. Also, I did not know this but the prince from 1998’s Ever After (Dougray Scott) is in this show.

Next week also brings the only piece of pandemic-adjacent fiction I’m interested in consuming. Who wouldn’t want to see Anne Hathaway and Chiwetel Ejiofor as a contentious couple who rekindle their love for one another through the planning of a jewelry heist?? Fun for the whole family!

Upcoming…

Chadwick Boseman’s actual last appearance on screen will be as T’Challa/Black Panther, but in animated form. He lent his voice to the character in Marvel’s What If…?, which we’ll see sometime this year, after WandaVision drops on January 15. [TVLine]

Alex Garland (Ex Machina) is working on a new film titled Men that will be released by A24, a return to the distributor of his first film after Paramount’s Annihilation. Indie and Small Press Editor Kat Overland is hoping he casts Oscar Isaac yet again, and I agree, though this does remind me go back and actually finish the rest of Garland’s gorgeous and unsettling Hulu series, Devs. [IndieWire]

Although HBO’s His Dark Materials ended Season 2 on a cliffhanger, it has been confirmed for a Season 3, though with the pandemic it likely will not start filming anytime soon. Probably shouldn’t expect to see the new season until maybe 2022.  [Variety]

Taika Waititi’s Reservation Dogs has been picked up by FX for one season. The show will follow “four Native teenagers in rural Oklahoma who spend their days committing crime… and fighting it,” and will be produced by the Native Oklahoman co-creator, Sterlin Harjo.[The Playlist]

We Got Issues

New Mutants director Josh Boone is in the hot seat again for casting the hearing actor Henry Zaga as play Nick Andros, a Deaf character who signs, in the CBS All Access adaptation of Stephen King’s The Stand. Boone previously came under fire for concerns about whitewashing Sunspot when he cast Zaga in that role for New Mutants. Prominent members of the Deaf acting community have signed a letter condemning the decision and calling for a boycott, citing that no Deaf talent were even invited to audition for the role. [yahoo!]

I will never pass up the opportunity to remind people that Mark Wahlberg has two separate hate crimes in his past that he’s never fully apologized for—blaming his attacks toward a group of Black children and two Vietnamese men on alcohol intoxication, instead of acknowledging his rampant use of racial slurs during both incidents and trying to make amends with those he hurt—but had the audacity to ask for the record to be expunged 26 years later so that his restaurant could get approved for a liquor license. Actor Simu Liu (Kim’s Convenience, the upcoming Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings) seemed to feel the same way in 2014 when he tweeted similar criticism, but recently attracted the attention of fans who excoriated him as a hypocrite for deleting those posts after he was cast in a movie opposite Wahlberg. [IndieWire]

Even after the outcry last year about Parasite and The Farewell and the arbitrary categories of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the white-centric image of the U.S. prevails. Minari, a film directed by Korean American Isaac Lee Chung; starring Korean Americans Steven Yeun, Alan S. Kim, and Noel Cho; funded by U.S. production companies A24 and Plan B; and set in the state of Arkansas will not be eligible for Best Picture at the Golden Globes, instead relegated to the Best Foreign Language Film category because many of the characters speak in Korean throughout the film. [i-D]

The Wrap mistakenly reported this week that Ray Fisher, who has continued to speak out about the racism he has been subjected to as an actor in the DCEU, would be written out of The Flash at his request due to executive Walter Hamada’s continued presence as President of DC Films at Warner Bros. Pictures. In a series of tweets embedded here by [Shadow and Act], Fisher clarified that the report was inaccurate and that he “did not publicly step down from anything.”

Silver Lining

During an appearance on the Sky Arts series Portrait Artist Of The Year in mid-December, Eddie Izzard stated that she wants “to be based in girl mode from now on” and specified she/her pronouns for the first time. I just think it’s neat. Very happy for her and will fight any TERF who says otherwise. [Variety]

Schadenfreude

Evidently, one unintended consequence of Brexit is that Sky TV subscribers can no longer access content in EU countries.

Rebecca Y. Lee

Rebecca Y. Lee

Lapsed poet, SoCal gal pal, equal opportunity foodie. Tweets @aquariuschicken.

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