Hemlock Grove: Season 2 *SPOILERS*

I did a video review for this

it’s posted on the youtube page for the radio show I co-host, Radio Of Horror. Watch it, subscribe (there’s clips from our show, video reviews for films and interviews that won’t usually be cross posted here) and you can give us a “like” on the facebook.

But there was a few thing I wanted to elaborate on a little more. That’s why you’re here right.
one major gripe I had was that the didn’t show the threesome

And as discussed in the video, this is NOT family entertainment. In general, there’s several murders, gore, plenty of sex. Hell, there is rape. Roman rapes someone and then erases her memory in season one. Through out the series they really play up this “bromance’ between Roman and Peter (I don’t like to read it that way, it makes sense that they get along since really no one would understand them) but when Miranda falls for the both of them and initiates a threeway… …there’s a blank space between when Roman follows Miranda and Peter upstairs that lasts until they are fully clothed the next day having coffee.
Oh fuck you, Netflix.

You think it’s okay to show a teenager being raped but not consensual polyamorous sex?
Fuck you. Fucking rape culture at it’s finest.
And a prime example of sexism. On two counts.
ONE) that we were shown a young woman being victimized, but an adult woman taking charge and insisting on what she want sexually (two hot men that she has romantic affection for as well as physical attraction to) results in something that is considered too taboo for it’s audience.
TWO) the friendship between the two creeps, the alternated jealousy and tenderness they have for eachother falls into the bromance trope. but sweet jesus forbid that we see that their male parts go anywhere near each other. Why play around like that then? We saw Clementine getting out of bed with a woman in season one, so homosexual relationships have been (vaguely) shown. But two men? better not. It would destroy the “manliness” or someshit. fuck that.

On the GIRL POWER
Destiny Rumancek plays a much larger role this season. She immediately gets involved with helping Peter get Lynda out of jail and is no longer hanging around just to weave some mystical shit and lead the MCs in the right direction. She has her own agenda, goals and relationships even if they are not central to the plot. Without her to use her psychic powers and kick some ass they’d have been screwed. Destiny is played by Mohawk actress Kaniehtiio Horn. She gets to shove a dagger in someone’s balls. She looks out for Peter. She hooked up with a (probably) hitman. It’s good.

Shelley also gets a more central role. Before she was sort of an accessory. She caused Olivia discomfort. She made Roman seem more likeable and human, he treated her with kindness and she brought out that goodness and light in an otherwise creepy and psychopathic character. This season she was really out on her own, she made friends on her own, she made decisions for herself (although she was somewhat betrayed by those around her while making them). She has a sweetness and understanding that remains uncorrupted despite the horrible conniving people around her, but it’s not (all) out of naivete, she understands why her mother is the way she is and accepts that.

Olivia gets some depth. Instead of the bored icequeen she becomes more empathetic. Famke Janssen delivers Olivia’s lines impeccably. While she is being treated after her near death she begins to become more human. And she fucking hates it. But then it becomes who she is. She decides to cause less suffering. She decides to do the maternal thing and save Shelley instead of herself. She wants to be good, but when Norman and Roman don’t forgive her previous misdeeds she quickly reverts to a baby snatching crazy lady. But hey, that’s self preservation. You don’t live centuries without that drive.

Why is “gypsy” a slur?
Ok, because I have heard “I don’t understand how ‘gypsy’ is racist” a few times. Usually followed by “how come no one is mad about it then?”

“Gypsy” is an ethnic slur towards the Romani people. They have been discriminated against since the 1500s. They were banned from England because Romani were seen as godless/devilish accused of witchcraft and they were evicted. 1700s saw the Romani hung without trial, mutilated by branding or having their ears cut off to identify Romani in Austria and the surrounding areas. They were murdered en masse, including children. They were slaves in Romania until 1856. In WWII, the Nazi regime saw them on par as enemies to the Aryan race along with Jewish people and blacks. The number of Romani wiped out is unclear because of different branches and lack of record keeping but is somewhere about half a million and below a million and a half Romani. In 1997, some Romani immigrated to Canada (legally, as refugees) and there was protest from neo-nazis. As recently as 2007 Romani children were forcibly segregated in Slovakian schools.
We’re talking about people who have been mistreated, profiled, discriminated against, victimized, denied education, maimed and killed because of their heritage.
And the word “Gypsy” is connected to the word “gypped” -meaning robbed, ripped off, screwed, fucked over. But really it’s the Romani who have been fucked over. so remember that next time you’re packing for vacation and hashtag your photo #gypsylife.
really? that’s not “Gypsy life” in the least.
So now you know.

“Girls Don’t Like Comic Books” & other hot nonsense

This post has been brewing in my cranium for a while. More so since last week when I went to pick up my comics and this dumb dumb behind me said “I can’t believe girls by comic books” in front of me with my stack and the girl working there. And he follows up with: “Cute girls, too.”  And this isn’t that surprising, it happens all the time. The stereotype that how people happen to look has to have some effect on the kind of things they are supposed to like. Of course Mr. I-have-no-goddamn-social-skills-and-have-no-idea-about-what-girls-like is feeding into his own comic book nerd stereotype, but I digress.

I didn’t read comics for years. Years and years.

And then this:

Image

And I said, “Oh HELL YEAH!” (even though I will say that I got PO’d at comments on CNN.com where dudes were all “feminists better support this, they say they want equality but then they don’t like Women’s MMA, women won’t read this” here’s the deal: feminists and ALL WOMEN and really ALL HUMANS like different assortments of things. I don’t have to like everything. I don’t have to like something because an empowered woman is there if it’s not the type of thing I would otherwise like. I don’t watch MMA. You know what feminists don’t love? When men tell them they HAVE TO love something. Seriously.)

But since I was at the comic book store, I found some other stuff to dig:

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Now look at these. Look at all the females! And they are all different!

When people bring up female fronted comic books that fail, someone undoubtedly says “Red SheHulk is cancelled” Red She-Hulk is a knock off of a knock of. Red Sonja is a fierce Barbarian and adventurer, Cassie Hack is a serial killer killer out for revenge, sharp tongued enough to keep Ash to his toes. While both females are scantily clad and quick witted no one would mistake one for the other. Toni Chu bites people to see the future and works for NASA, the females of Extinction Parade bite because their vampires, Mercy wolfs out to save the soul of her dead lover. Lazarus main protag Forever Carlyle who was considered “too butch” for one male fan (who got schooled hard by Greg Rucka) would surely not be raiding Sonja or Cassie’s closets, she’s a genetic experiment who can take bullets and barely miss a beat, she isn’t funny like Cassie or serious and experienced like Sonja… because women aren’t all the same.

That why “the all girl X-men” is so frigging good. The characters have different strengths, speak differently, have their own faults, interact in ways that you think they would based on previous events. Not just “I’d better like it because there are women there.”

And then today I read this in which rape and victimization of women that are so present in comics is passed off a “okay” because it’s not “for women.” The author of the article rightly points out that it is not okay for men and young boys to be repeatedly shown rape scenes because it normalizes this behavior and, frankly, women should be concerned if men enjoy reading unadulterated rape scenes.

…”comic creators Todd McFarlane (Spawn), Mark Millar (Kick-Ass) and Gerry Conway (The Punisher) have unabashedly inferred that it doesn’t matter how they portray women in their comic creations, because comic books are not for women, anyway. “…

WHHHHHAAAAAAAATTTT? No, jackasses… your books are not for women, who you have no respect for, clearly. But there are plenty of good female centered comics out right now (some by women and some not). Why creators are trying to appeal to less of the population instead of more, I don’t know. But if you write like crap… I won’t read it. And if you build it, they will come, fuckers. “Women liking comic books” isn’t the responsibility of the women. I won’t like a female character who’s a default knock off, or who has no relationships with other women. I will not like a book that uses rape to advance the plot. I will not read one dimensional characters.

It’s like I expect you to write good or something.