Sense8 2: Psychic Espionage, Fighting Back, and Finding Acceptance

Genre: Sci-fi

Synopsis: Eight people all born on the same day are able to communicate across great distances and access each others’ skills–they are a cluster of sensates, sharing a psychic link. A powerful organization hunts them, using their own kind to do so. And they must cooperate to stay free and alive, even while navigating their own personal challenges. Continue reading “Sense8 2: Psychic Espionage, Fighting Back, and Finding Acceptance”

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We’ve Seen Friends Team Up. We’ve Seen Rivals Team Up. But Now We Finally Get a Superhero Team-Up of…Reluctant Acquaintances? (The Defenders)

Four people standing in front of the New York City skyline.
Image: Netflix via ComicBook

Genre: Superhero

Synopsis: New York vigilantes Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist all team up–quite reluctantly–to combat an old organization of immortals who will destroy the city to get what they want. (Reluctantly, except for Iron Fist. He just wants friends.) Continue reading “We’ve Seen Friends Team Up. We’ve Seen Rivals Team Up. But Now We Finally Get a Superhero Team-Up of…Reluctant Acquaintances? (The Defenders)”

Science in Media: Handling Medicines Without the Proper Understanding of Dosage

Haven’t done one of these in a while. But there’s this scene, in Stranger Things 2, that struck me enough that I had to talk about it.

Basically, you have a character with no medical or pharmacological experience whatsoever, filling up a syringe with an unspecified drug (to put patients to sleep) and injecting a child with it. (At least twice in about a day, actually.) My immediate thought upon seeing that was, “well, if it were real life, she’s probably just killed this kid.” Continue reading “Science in Media: Handling Medicines Without the Proper Understanding of Dosage”

Galavant: Fun, Ridiculous, and Optimistic Medieval Musical Comedy

Genre: Fantasy/Comedy/Musical

Synopsis: Galavant is a knight happily in a relationship with the love of his life, Madalena–until King Richard abducts her to become his queen. Naturally, he embarks on a rescue. But by the time he gets to the castle, Madalena has decided to accept Richard’s offer of her own free will, leaving Galavant heartbroken. So Galavant gives up on his knighting, while Madalena quickly becomes a force to be reckoned with… Continue reading “Galavant: Fun, Ridiculous, and Optimistic Medieval Musical Comedy”

The Brightest Fell, and the Beautiful Tragedy of Deals with the Fae

A woman stands in a forest, with butterflies flying around her. The text reads "New York Times bestselling author Seanan McGuire, Hugo Award nominated series, The Brightest Fell, an October Daye novel"
Image: Tor

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Synopsis: October “Toby” Daye is a changeling, half-fae and half-human, not quite belonging in either world. It’s been hard, but she’s finally carved out a home and family for herself. But when her estranged and massively powerful mother shows up, demanding that she find her sister August–who’s been missing for a century–that place in the world is threatened. And the consequences of mistakes made decades ago, before she was even born, might fall on Toby.  Continue reading “The Brightest Fell, and the Beautiful Tragedy of Deals with the Fae”

The Gifted: I’ve Missed These Ensemble X-Men Works

Synopsis: The Struckers live in a world where mutants are heavily policed in the interests of public safety. Like most people, they never really think about it–not even the father, whose job is to prosecute mutants for using their powers. But then they find out both of the Strucker children are mutants, and will face the same scrutiny their own father has turned on people just like them. With the government closing in on them, the entire family is forced on the run–but they’ll never make it without the help of the mutant underground. Continue reading “The Gifted: I’ve Missed These Ensemble X-Men Works”

Revisiting the Horror Genre for Halloween

I’ve always thought that I didn’t like the horror genre. And it’s true that I don’t like a lot of what I generally expect to see in horror. But since I’ve unexpectedly found myself enjoying a few works in the genre right in time for Halloween, I’ve taken some time to think about what this means. Specifically, that I don’t like a lot of the tropes I associate with traditional American horror: lack of focus on characterization, shock value deaths, the notion that characters need to be punished. I’m not necessarily enamored with a work of fiction trying to scare me either, or reveling in the helplessness of the characters.

Still, while those things make up a lot of horror works, they don’t have to. Horror (especially psychological horror) can be character-focused. Every death can mean something, or alternatively, the threat of death could replace actual death. And while the entire point of the genre is to pit the protagonists against something far more powerful than themselves, that doesn’t mean the story can’t also be about them looking for ways to fight back. Continue reading “Revisiting the Horror Genre for Halloween”

Marvel’s Inhumans: I Wish It Made More Sense

A view of Earth and space, with the words "Marvel, Inhumans, A Marvel Television Series"
Image: ABC via TV Line

Genre: Superhero

Synopsis: A kingdom of Inhumans–people with powers that can be activated through exposure to a substance–exists on the Moon, unbeknownst to the people of Earth. But the king is overthrown by his brother, and the royal family escapes to Hawaii. Now, they must not only survive the assassination attempts and life in an unfamiliar society, but also reclaim their place before the new king does something irreversible.  Continue reading “Marvel’s Inhumans: I Wish It Made More Sense”

The Finale of Critical Role, as the Epic Adventure Closes with Just the Right Amounts of Tragedy and Laughter

A party of adventurers, arrayed in front of a forest clearing.
Image: Geek and Sundry

Genre: Fantasy RPG

Synopsis: A party of adventures called Vox Machina has achieved near god-like power towards the end of the campaign–so it’s only fitting they must save the realm from an actual god. The story is brought to life by a cast of professional voice actors, and the ever-present chance that bad planning or bad dice rolling will end their journey forever. Continue reading “The Finale of Critical Role, as the Epic Adventure Closes with Just the Right Amounts of Tragedy and Laughter”