Category Archives: No Spoilers

Liz Tells Frank What Happened In “Scandal” (Sorta.)

Dear Frank,

scandal-embed1I still haven’t watched True Detective yet. I know! I don’t have any really good excuses. It’s all available, right there on HBO Go, and I know that it is quality zeitgeist television that will Change My Life or at least Be Intellectually Stimulating.

But instead, while I work and write and keep up with the internet, I’m rewatching Season 2 of Scandal. This is in part because Scandal does not require one’s full attention. But also because ugh, Frank, Scandal is just SO GOOD.

And I say this as someone who has not typically enjoyed the television stylings of one Shonda Rhimes! I mean, mad props to her — I have the utmost respect for how she’s created three television shows and developed many more and worked with young, up-and-coming talent and the whole time remained completely true to her own voice.

But I got really mad at the Grey’s Anatomy pilot when Meredith Grey had an one night stand and OMG that one night stand was her new boss! So I never really watched Grey’s Anatomy, or Private Practice, and was totally ready to write Shonda Rhimes off forever.

And then Scandal happened! Scandal, you beautiful silly complicated slutty minx of a series. Read the rest of this entry

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Open Thread: What Should Frank Be Told About in 2014?

Time marches on, and so does the telling of Frank what happened in stuff. But what stuff should he be told about? You guys tell me!

I currently have plans to tackle RuPaul’s Drag Race in January; other currently pending suggestions include Ayn Rand’s works and Dragonball Z. But maybe you guys have ideas! Better ideas! So sound off here in the comments or one of our other social media things! And Happy New Year!

Jesse Tells Frank What Happened In All Cable Christmas Movies

Dear Frank,

Normally, I guard the honor of telling of you stuff as sacred. But after John Ross recommended a most bloodthirsty selection of “Christmas” movies yesterday, I figured we could all use an antidote. So here’s our good friend Jesse Vigil — with a different approach!

Love,
Liz

Dear Frank,

ABC Family's 25 Days of Christmas 2013I grew up Catholic and was educated by Catholics for 13 years, so naturally I am really good at swearing and having not the best relationship with faith. I am also a little Grinchy about Christmas, especially when it comes to starting the “season” prior to December 1st.

You might know me as a person who does not always have great taste in film. I do, for example, believe Michael Bay is an important artist whose dadaist celebration of the meaninglessness of “plot” has yet to be properly recognized. But I have a dark secret, Frank. Because I have seen over two dozen cable Christmas movies.

And no, we’re not talking about the classics. No White Christmas. No It’s a Wonderful Life. Not even Die Hard or Batman Returns. I’m talking about the factory-churned slew of contemporary Christmas movies that rose to prominence on Lifetime and then spread like cancer to ABC Family and even a thing I didn’t know existed: The Hallmark Channel.

I have relatives, Frank, and they watch a lot of these movies. I also stay up late, Frank, so I’ve seen more of them than my wife, whom the Sandman loves more than me. Last holiday I started live-tweeting the most outrageous discoveries I made about this whole genre of films and was asked by our mutual friend Liz to share my discoveries with you. So here are the Five Things You Need To Know About Cable Christmas Movies: Read the rest of this entry

“Star Trek: Voyager” Season 7: The Skip It/Watch It Guide

And, after seven long seasons, it’s time for erstwhile “Voyager” chronicler Whitney Bishop to bring us home. Take it away, Whitney! –Liz

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Geena Davis: “We just heard a fascinating and disturbing study, where they looked at the ratio of men and women in groups. And they found that if there’s 17 percent women, the men in the group think it’s 50-50. And if there’s 33 percent women, the men perceive that as there being more women in the room than men.”

Here, at the dawning of this last season of Voyager, I’ve got a theory for why, by the end, pretty much damn near every guest actor on the show is male — unless, of course, the character has to be a sex object, seduce someone, and/or give birth to someone, in which case that role can be filled by a lady — and that theory is basically summed up by that quote up there. The ratio hasn’t been great throughout the rest of the show, but by the end it’s just ridiculous. I think that the more time Janeway, Seven, and B’Elanna get, the more the show feels its gender quota has been filled and just defaults to male secondary characters.

I honestly think the lack of adult female roles has a lot to do with male perceptions of how women take up space. By the seventh season, Janeway still has the helm, Seven is an object of interest for many of the plots now, and B’Elanna’s pregnancy has pushed her back to frequent consideration where she once was absent from episodes entirely. Three women doing things is like having a show entirely about women, and therefore there’s no need to ensure gender diversity elsewhere.

To be clear, I’m not accusing anyone of malice or deliberate misogyny. But seeing seventeen percent and thinking it’s the same as half is just another indication of the failure of imagination that never let Voyager boldly go quite the way it should have. The show started out touting its female-led crew, but wound up not only struggling under its inability to keep up its initial promises of being Feminist Trek, but actually backsliding. That’s sort of sad.

And now, for Season 7… Read the rest of this entry

Liz Tells Frank Why She’s Been A Little Quiet Lately

Dear Frank,

I’m sorry I’ve been a little less tell-y lately, but I’ve been working on a pretty big project. One that involves watching a lot of my old favorite shows and writing literally thousands of words about them.

There will be more details soon in the next few weeks, and in the meantime I’ll hopefully have a few more real entries. But in the meantime, get excited!

Love,
Liz

“Star Trek: Voyager” Season 4: The Skip It/Watch It Guide

She! Cannot! Be! Stopped! Once again, Whitney Bishop is venturing into dark terrain — albeit dark terrain featuring a sexy Borg lady. Time now for Season 4 of “Voyager”! –Liz

star-trek-voyager-season-4I have a terrible confession to make. I didn’t like Seven of Nine.

She first appeared on the show when I was sixteen years old, and I felt she was about the worst thing Voyager had going for it. One of the reasons was, I will admit now, semi-petty: she was pretty, but she wasn’t just pretty, she was Space Magic Barbie, who had been dressed not only in a tight suit, but in a tight suit specifically made to corset her as prominently possible — and made absolutely no practical sense, to boot. Like, I understand how a plain bodysuit is a reasonably unfrivolous outfit, but really if they’d rescued a boy Borg instead, do you think they would’ve put him in a silver suit so tight you could see his balls?

And there’s nothing in the universe practical about those heels. Her core design was just so obviously someone’s masturbatory fantasy put on display to attract straight male viewers that I was uncomfortable as a young person, and I’m still more than a little uncomfortable now. (See also: Enterprise‘s Sex Vulcan — and boy, is that a show I’m not doing a Skip It/Watch It for. Or wait, here we go: just skip it.) Read the rest of this entry

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