Jun 22, 2019
Which, by the way, is an acronym for the magical beings who bestowed the power upon him: Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles, Mercury.
It's all very silly, and it provides a new problem: how to give Captain Marvel a girlfriend, when he's really a teenage boy with muscles? He can't very well be dating Lois Lane.
And, in the absence of a girlfriend, they have a gay-subtext romance.
Plus one of his foster-home buddies, Pedro (Jovan Armand) appears to identify as gay when they hide out in a strip club and he says "not my thing."
The result is a pleasantly non-heterosexist superhero movie, which also has a surprising number of hunkoids in the cast.
1. Adam Brody, Freddy's adult superhero alter-ego (left).
2. Zachary Levi.
4. Pedro (Jovand Armand) into D. J. Cotrona
Jun 21, 2019
Plus 14 producing credits, including: Aloha Fluffy, The Fluffy Movie, Hey It's Fluffy, Fluffy's Food Adventures, and The Fluffy Shop.
Of course, his social media presence is much more important these days: 14 million followers, 370 million views of his youtube videos.
Not homophobic. In his stand-up routine, he's thrilled that a gay man made a pass at him: "I turned on a man! I called my girlfriend and said 'You'd better be careful. I've got options."
After all that, it seems rather a let-down to star in a Netflix sitcom, especially a copy of Welcome Back Kotter : a caring teacher tries to reach a class of underachievers (the blurb says overachievers, but it is mistaken).
Mr. Iglesias even teaches the same subject, American history.
The main difference seems to be:
1. A mostly black and Hispanic cast.
2. An emphasis on the teachers rather than the students
The two main male teachers are Tony (Jacob Vargas, left) and Carlos (Oscar Nuñez, who played a gay guy on The Office)
Gay characters: Not that I can tell.
Gay references: The new inclusivity guidelines have proper terms to use for "gender and orientation." Weirdly closeting the term "sexual orientation."
1. Mr. Iglesias' lectures are oddly superficial. The first was a riff on powdered wigs. The second, on Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Slayer.
2. The teachers spend a lot of time flirting with each other.
3. The boys spend a lot of time being hetero-horny. In Episode #2, Mikey can't do his oral report properly because the female teacher evaluating him is too hot. Mr. Iglesias advises "Concentrate on what's up going on up here (points to his head), and forget about what's going on down there (points to his crotch)."
What's the Point:
Well, at least there are a lot of anti-Trump jokes.
Jun 20, 2019
Last summer I watched Season 1 of The Detour (2016-), about married couple Nate and Robin (Jason Jones, Natalie Zea) and their kids (12-year old Delilah, and 11-year old Jared) on a mishap-filled road trip from Syracuse, New York to Florida.
I liked the misunderstandings that humiliated the social justice warriors by making them appear racist or homophobic.
I liked the gradual unraveling of the "perfect" nuclear family, as both Nate and Robin reveal game-changing secrets.
Season #2 wasn't about a road trip -- they moved to New York. And none of the big questions were answered. It was like Lost, more and more convoluted, with flashbacks that turn out to be flash-forwards, and questions inside of questions. I stopped watching halfway through.
I gave Season #3 a pass, although heard that they were now hiding out in Alaska.
Season #4, which premiered June 18th, drew me back in with the promise of globetrotting adventure: Delilah has gone missing, and left word that she doesn't want to be found. But she keeps sending video clues, so the family jmps on the nearest plane. First up: Paraguay, Tibet, and New Zealand, with references to Japan and Peru.
Location shots, I assumed. Maybe some interesting shots of Lhasa. So I watched.
In a Tibetan monastery, the monks chant "Let's Be Weird," a song they found on youtube. And by the way, in Tibet they speak Tibetan, not Chinese.
Jared, now 13, has gone hetero-horny, and kisses lots of bikini-clad girls in a dream sequence. In real life, he gets a Tibetan girlfriend, only to discover, to his horror, that she is 10 years old (don't worry, the actress, Tiffany Alycia Tong, is an adult). It's not clear how far he's gone with her, but after his discovery he is desperate to get away.
The obsession with Jared's body continues. In a cringeworthy scene, Nate and Robin are sleeping with Jared between them, naked to share body heat (they're on a mountain in Tibet, after all), when Jared gets an erection. Nate thinks it's "weird" to have his son's erect penis pushing against his penis, but if they turn Jared around, he will be pushing against his mother's vagina, even more "weird."
Robin points out that boys that age get erections randomly; it doesn't mean that he is attracted to either of them. And they're being good parents by keeping their son safe.
Am I the only one who didn't think this was funny?
Or posting a comment about his feet to his instagram page.
But Jared is only 13, and I still don't want to hear about his penis.
Sacralization of the Family: Lots of "Famiy is everything!" rhetoric
Gay characters: No.
Beefcake: No. No adult beefcake, I mean.
See also: The Detour
Jun 19, 2019
I sat stunned. Blurbs about movies with gay people don't include the terms "romance" or "spark of attraction." They say "forbidden love" and "attraction that threatens to destroy their lives."
And the title would never be Always Maybe. It would be something like Alex Strangelove. But the illustration -- it's hard to see from across the room -- seems to show two men. And Sasha and Marcus are both boys' names.
Remember Sasha Mitchell, sitcom star turned martial artist (top photo)?
Could a gay romance be presented so nonchalantly, as "a romance"? Could gay people be just....people? How come we overcame, and nobody told me?
Just to be sure, I checked the byline: Ali Wong, Randall Park, James Saito. Two of those people are Sasha and Marcus, and all three are men.
So I turned it on.
More after the break.
Jun 16, 2019
Sounds like a good story in there, right? Netflix brought it to the small screen as the short series How to Sell Drugs Online (Fast). But of course for...um...narrative purposes, the writers had to make a few changes.
1. Instead of booming cultural capital of Leipzig, Moritz Zimmerman lives in Rinseln. There is no such town in Germany, but it's described as insular, boring, and depressing, where everyone wants to get away.
2. He has a best friend, who happens to be in a wheelchair.
3. He has some family issues.
4. He decides to sell drugs only in order to win the GIRL of his dreams (actually the GIRL who just dumped him).
That's right, the most cliched, conformist, heterosexist, offensive plotline imaginable.
Hint: gay boys exist, and even heterosexual boys occasionally do things for reasons other than to WIN GIRLS.
Besides, you can't win A GIRL. They're not prizes in a competition. If a GIRL is not interested in a social relationship with you, leave her alone.
Who's responsible for this slap in the face of gay people and GIRLS everywhere?
I just ran through it on fast-forward, to see if there might be any beefcake or gay characters to partially redeem the mess.
Beefcake: None. Nobody unbuttons a button.
Gay characters: No.
One episode guide has Lenny "confiding in a new friend," suggesting some gay-subtext buddy-bonding, but guess what -- the "new friend" is a GIRL.
Well, do the actors at least have a gay connection? .
1. Moritz is played by Maximilian Mundt, otherwise known for a few guest spots on German tv and Tigermilch (2017), about two teenage GIRLS who witness a murder (top photo shows Max and his buddies in another movie ogling a GIRL).
2. Lenny is played by Danilo Kamber, otherwise known for Die Pfferkorns, a long-running series about kids who solve crimes. Two boys and three GIRLS.
But he also stars in Das schönste Mädchen der Welt (2018), a retelling of the Cyrano de Bergerac story about a boy trying to win THE GIRL of his dreams. And his demo reel is about a boy trying to win a Muslim GIRL.
6. Max Von Pufendorf has nothing to do with How to Sell Drugs Online (Fast). But he popped up when I was searching for "Danilo Kamber" "schwule."
You could do worse. Like spend more than 5 seconds watching Moritz trying to win The Girl.