Episode 56: Queerbaiting and Burying Your Gays

This week, Andi and Lise discuss (and rant about) queerbaiting, which is a marketing technique used in entertainment and fiction in which creators hint at a same-sex romance but don’t actually give you one and have no intention of giving you one. This is done to attract (i.e. “bait”) a queer audience while at the same time avoiding alienating cisgender heterosexual consumers. They also discuss the “Bury Your Gays” trope in which a same-sex relationship is depicted, but as soon as there’s a kiss or consummation of some sort, one of the couple is killed off or is wrenched away, thus perpetuating the idea that queer relationships are always doomed and are inherently “bad.”

Andi just finished up the CW’s Legacies, and that, unfortunately, does fall into the Bury Your Gays trope while Lise notes that cartoons like Steven Universe and She-Ra are really good at queer rep and not falling into tropes.

Extra resources:
Queerbaiting
Bury Your Gays trope: history; fanlore wiki
GLAAD report on representation in TV, 2018-2019
Autostraddle has been keeping a tally on queer women killed off in TV since 1976
Autostraddle 2016 infographic

Episode 55: Monstress

Andi and Lise are way into the first collected volume, “Awakening,” of the multiple award-winning comic series Monstress (Image Comics) by writer Marjorie Liu and artist Sana Takeda, who combines elements of manga and Art-Deco in the portrayal of this grim world wracked by violence, racism, slavery, and war. The protagonist, Maika Halfwolf, is the descendant of a wolf-goddess, but there’s something else inside her that’s older and stronger and it may or may not be key to saving this world, in which most of the world’s human population despises Arcanics – the human/deity hybrids like Maika. The sadistic witch-scientists called the Cumaea may hate them the worst, and they capture Arcanics and run terrible, painful experiments on them.

The world-building in this epic fantasy series includes steampunk and magic and nods to Asian history and culture but also Egyptian mythology as it explores themes of survival and violence, the commodification of mixed-race bodies, and women’s rage and power, and how the latter can corrupt. The world of Monstress is almost entirely female and WOC, to which Andi and Lise say, MORE OF THIS, PLEASE.

Lise also highly recommends the second season of She-Ra, Princesses of Power, streaming on Netflix while Andi is sad about the end of the AMC series Into the Badlands, though she does think it didn’t do justice to its female and queer characters in the end.

Episode 54: Captain Marvel

Andi and Lise saw the movie Captain Marvel starring Brie Larson as Carol Danvers/Marvel and they LOVED it, but also, there are some things they noticed that they bring up in their chat.

Set in the 1990s, Marvel Studios’ “Captain Marvel” is an adventure from a previously unseen period in the history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe that follows the journey of Carol Danvers as she becomes one of the universe’s most powerful heroes. While a galactic war between two alien races (the Kree and the Skrulls) reaches Earth, Danvers develops a small cadre of allies at the center of the maelstrom. –from Marvel Cinematic Universe Wiki

Also, Lise recommends the 2018 sci-fi movie Annihilation (certain trope not withstanding) while Andi suggests the 2019 movie Shazam! – great for all ages.

Episode 53: A Walk Down Memory Lane, Part 2

Andi and Lise take another stroll down memory lane, this time chatting about gaming and cosplay and Andi cleverly makes sure that Lise talks about both of those because SHE’S REALLY GOOD AT THEM! And Andi had all kinds of questions for her. 

The games that got Lise started: Zelda and Quest games like King’s Quest. She was also into Elder Scrolls and open world role-playing games. She also plays FalloutBorderlandsMass Effect, and is currently designing some cosplay elements from Skyrim (Elder Scrolls). Also, heads up on the forthcoming Outer Worlds! 

Lise posts photos of some of the things she’s designing and creating for her cosplay on her Twitter feed. (@LiseMactague) and you can find some of her other stuff at her Etsy shop: Weapons Workbench. 

Also, Lise geeks waaaaay out about Kameron Hurley’s latest novel, The Light Brigade (see episode 52). Andi mentioned the new seasons of Into the Badlands, Legends of Tomorrow, and Killing Eve as things she’s looking forward to.

Episode 52: Interview with Kameron Hurley

Andi and Lise lost their sh*t when award-winning sci fi/fantasy writer Kameron Hurley agreed to chat with them about writing and her very latest release, which just dropped March 19, The Light Brigade.

Hurley’s website bio states she’s a writer “specializing in war and resistance movements,” but she’s also known as one of the most important voices in the field engaging in intense world-building and explorations of gender, sexuality, and politics. You may know her for her essay collection Geek Feminist Revolution, which included the Hugo-winning essay “We Have Always Fought: Challenging the ‘Women, Cattle, and Slaves’ Narrative.” She is the author of the fantasy series the Worldbreaker Saga; the Bel Dame Apocrypha (God’s War Trilogy), and the space opera The Stars Are Legion (which Andi and Lise raved about in episode 19).

On this episode of LGO, Hurley dished about writing, her own process (upshot: writing is hard!!!!), her work, and specifically about The Light Brigade, which has been described by a reviewer as a cross between Starship Troopers and Edge of Tomorrow. Another reviewer described it as a “time-twisting, genre-redefining military science fiction novel.”

Thank you, Kameron, for joining us!

Find Kameron:
Website
Patreon
Twitter (@KameronHurley)
Podcast
Etsy

Episode 51: A Trip down Memory Lane, Part 1

Andi and Lise chat about the formative books, movies, and TV shows that kickstarted their geek sides and why these particular media were so important to their development as geeks and writers and why representation matters in media.

Interested in what helped shape their geekdoms? Here are a few of the things that came up:

Books: the works of Edgar Rice Burroughs; J.R.R. Tolkien’s Hobbit and associated books; Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Darkover series (disclaimer: Andi and Lise both stopped reading MZB after they became aware of the terrible); Terry Brooks’ Shannara series; Anne McCaffrey’s Harper Hall and Dragonriders series; Stephen R. Donaldson’s Thomas Covenant series; Ursula K. Leguin’s Earthsea trilogy

Movies: Star Trek; Star Wars; Goonies; Godzilla/monster movies

TV: Wonder Woman (Lynda Carter); Bionic Woman; Star Trek (original, Next Generation, Voyager); X-Files

Episode 50: Mad Max: Fury Road

Andi and Lise celebrate their 50th show with the 2015 movie Mad Max: Fury Road, an Oscar-winning post-apocalyptic tour de force with overt and covert feminist themes. Fury Road’s pulse-pounding pacing, gorgeous and brutal cinematography, and tight writing intertwine into layers of characterization and narrative. Don’t let the title fool you; Charlize Theron’s Imperator Furiosa is the focus, here, and her journey both literal and thematic provide the underlying structure of the movie while Tom Hardy’s Max is the viewer’s window into Furiosa’s life and motivations when he’s thrown into her escape plan from a tyrannical ruler. The alliance Furiosa and Max forge while they race to escape the clutches of Immortan Joe and his forces is masterful story-telling, and will stay with you long after the movie ends.

Find out more:
The Verge
Interview with director George Miller, NPR
Screenrant, behind the scenes
iO9, interview with Tom Hardy
Charlize Theron on Fury Road, Elle
Charlize Theron interview

Also, Lise geeked out about the Netflix animated series The Dragon Prince, and Andi shared her thoughts on the movie Alita: Battle Angel.

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