What is up, my fellow geeks? Welcome to the first week of “Geek For Your Week”! This is a brand-new weekly segment, where we discuss the happenings in the geek-media-related world during the week prior to the segment’s release. For the first couple of weeks, we’ll be releasing blog-style updates (like this one). Eventually, we’ll be moving to a recorded and live-stream version of the weekly segment. We thought it would be fun to live-stream, and get some viewer/listener participation. So if you happen to come across something in geek-media news that we should discuss during our weekly segment, please feel free to holler at us on social media, or during the live-stream!
Now, on with week 1!
The Little Mermaid Live-Action Remake
Arguably the biggest in geek-media news last week was the announcement of actress Halle Bailey, slated to portray Ariel in Disney’s live-action remake of The Little Mermaid. Now, before I get into my personal thoughts and feelings regarding this decision, and the film as a whole, let’s take two seconds to discuss the elephant in the room. Yes, there are in fact big, fat, entitled a-holes out there that believe that, scientifically, mermaids cannot be black, nor does Ariel have the right to be anything but white. Honestly, I didn’t even want to address this “issue”, because I firmly believe that talking about these people only gratifies them even further, and gives them an undeserved platform to make their silly-ass argument. But I do feel like I have to throw my two cents in: My official stance is that those people can go fuck themselves. Caucasian princesses have completely dominated the Disney canon basically since Disney was a thing. So if having a black mermaid-princess is rocking your world right now, please take a chill pill. Trust me, it’s going to be ok. Oh, and mermaid science isn’t a thing. Also, Ariel totally had a family member or friend that was black. So suck it.
Personally, I don’t have any issue with Disney’s choice of Halle Bailey as the new Ariel (if you couldn’t tell already from my remarks above). I am not familiar with any of her work, but I am sure she will do a fine job in her portrayal. What I do take issue with, however, is the laziness on Disney’s part, and their quest to do live-action adaptations for EVERY. SINGLE. ANIMATED. FILM. EVER. I know it can’t be that difficult to get a couple writers together, and come up with a script at least a little bit original. There’s absolutely no excuse why a company of that size, with the financial resources they have, cannot produce something that’s not a spin-off, sequel, reboot, or live-action remake.
*SIGH* I suppose that’s Hollywood for ya.
I know, I know. Right after I went off about Disney’s never-ending mission to force us to relive our childhood through shitty remakes, I talk about the Mulan live-action trailer. Well, guess what? This is Mulan, and Mulan is fucking boss. End of story. I am so pumped for this, it’s not even funny. As I said, I know this almost completely negates my argument of there being too many remakes, but whatever.
You’ve probably already seen the trailer by now, but here, watch it again:
Stranger Things, Season 3
We’ve all been waiting for like 5 years for the 3rd season of Stranger Things to be released on Netflix. And this past week, on July 4th, our wait finally came to an end…for like a few days (for those of us that binge-watched the whole season immediately).
Also, SPOILER ALERT!!!
Overall, I am quite happy with season 3. I’m glad they decided to branch out, and do some experimenting, so the show continues to push the boundaries of…whatever you classify Stranger Things as. A horror/sci-fi/thriller/80s throw-back TV show?
Anyways, the show did a great job of holding onto the things that make it so great, but without being afraid to branch out a bit. From the very beginning, the banter between characters has been one of my favorite elements. When season one aired, the majority of the fun back-and-forth conversation took place between Dustin, Mike, and Lucas (and Will, considering his short on-screen time). But over the last two seasons, it has spread like wildfire to other characters like Nancy, Jonathan, Steve, Max, and of course El. The show is definitely beginning to hit its stride now, in terms of character development and interaction.
Another thing that has grown substantially, much to my pleasure, are the horror elements of show. With season 2, I wasn’t let down per se with the direction they went with in terms of horror, and specifically the Demo-Dogs and the Cloud-Based Mind Flayer (not the technical name, but you get it). But let’s just say it didn’t really satisfy the incredibly demented side of me, that needs to see sick shit. However, season 3 definitely upped the ante. There were TONS of oopy-goopy grossness to be seen (see exploding rats, and people turning into slime), which was a lot of fun to experience. But I think the two major MVPs in the horror department should go to Billy and the Mind Flayer. I suppose they could be considered one? Either way, both were fantastic. Dacre Montgomery (Billy) was absolutely insane in this season, and really showcased his abilities to be maniacal, sadistic, and horrific. And as I said, the Mind Flayer was pretty goddamned terrifying, with that CG being on point. I was quite curious as to what the “creature” was going to be this season, because as I stated earlier, I wasn’t exactly thrilled with the Demo-Dogs from season two, or the shadowy Mind-Flayer (although the football field scene was pretty fucking dope). However, I was super pumped to see that they found a way to revive the Flayer, but in a 100% physical form that everyone in the show can experience and enjoy and shit their pants from.
I know I already spoke a bunch to the characters/actors in this season, but I want to make special mention of Maya Hawke, who plays Robin. Introducing new characters in a show with an already well-established fan base can be super risky. When done not-so-great, they can seem tacked-on, forced, or just have that “added at the last minute” feel. But none of these cases pertain to Robin. One second, she’s a Russian-language-code-hacking badass, and the next she’s spilling her heart out to Steve, via some incredibly potent truth serum/psychedelic hybrid. I am completely baffled as to how well the Duffer Brothers were able to round out her character in just the one season. Another thing I was a little concerned about was the writers relying too much on Eleven and the other kids for the dramatic, poignant moments, as per usual. And don’t get me wrong, the kids always do a fantastic job with their dramatic acting, but one can only deal with so much drama. So it was nice to get a breath of fresh air, via Robin and her eccentric, well-rounded character.
There’s WAY too much that I can say about this season of Stranger Things, but for the sake of brevity, I shall end it here. There’s a distinct possibility that a podcast episode on this season may be coming down the pike here soon, which would be a good opportunity to explore and discuss season 3 in greater detail.
Well, that about wraps up week 1 of Geek For Your Week. I know it’s a bit light, but I feel like I rambled a bit on the few topics I did discuss. If you feel like there’s anything I missed with these topics, or anything else that happened last week, please feel free to comment here or drop it in the comments section on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
Thank you my nerds, and remember: Be kind, stay geeky, and eat lots of cheesecake.