Episode 81: Disclosure

This week Andi and Lise discuss the brand new documentary on Netflix, Disclosure, about trans representation in media. Laverne Cox is the executive producer and the documentary includes commentary from several trans actors, scholars, and creatives who discuss the harmful and dangerous tropes that trans characters have been subjected to for decades, but also the double-edged sword of that representation, a question Lise and Andi grapple with: is bad rep better than no rep? And how do we negotiate bad rep with visibility? Andi and Lise loved this documentary, they learned a lot, and they’ll be watching it again. It stays with you – as it should.

Find Disclosure on Netflix.
Watch the trailer HERE.
List of cast and crew HERE.

Shout-outs!
Lise highly recommends the book Planetfall, by Hugo-winning author Emma Newman. It’s part of her Planetfall series. Follow Ren and Lee Suh-Mi as they decide to seek out another planet beyond Earth that promises to reveal the truth about our place in the cosmos.

Andi is reading the graphic novel Archival Quality, written by Ivy Noelle Weir and illustrated by Steenz. Celeste loses her job at a library and takes another at a museum as an archivist, but it’s not what it seems and she soon finds herself confronting her relationships, her mental health, and possibly her grip on reality as she starts to dream of a woman she’s never met.

Episode 70: A New Year of Geeking Out!

Andi and Lise are getting ready for a new year of geeking out! They each chat about movies they’re looking forward to, books/authors they want to read and other geekly things. To that end, here are some things they’re looking forward to:

Movies:
Wonder Woman 1984 (trailer)
Possibly the re-make of Dune, though both are a little more cautious of that. (trailer)
No Time to Die (latest James Bond; trailer)

Books:
Lise is looking forward to more Seanan McGuire
Andi will be reading more Rebecca Roanhorse and N.K. Jemisin
Both Andi and Lise are really looking forward to reading more diverse spec fic. Here’s a good anthology to get started finding some authors: New Suns: Original Speculative Fiction by People of Color

TeeVee:
Andi is finally watching the animated series Star Wars: Rebels and she’s loving it; she’s also watching the latest season of Dr. Who (Jodie Whittaker as the Doctor); and will be continuing on with her usual series.

Gaming:
Lise is stoked to check out Cyberpunk 2077 (info).

Episode 59: She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, Season 2

Andi and Lise fangirl over season 2 of She-Ra: Princesses of Power, which is sadly only 7 episodes but they love it anyway, especially the way the characters interact and how they deal with very human problems as they’re caught up in bigger issues. In this season, there’s a bit of an impasse between the princesses and the Horde, though Catra is trying to prove she can take over the world while the Princess Alliance tries to work together to keep the world safe. S2 is more about characters and relationships, past and present, and adds a lot of depth to the storylines and character arcs.

You can watch Seasons 1, 2, and soon (August 2!) 3 on Netflix.

Also, Lise recommends the D&D podcast Spell Check, which is a group of YA authors playing…you guessed it. D&D! Find it on Soundcloud and all over the podverse.

Andi caught the latest Hayley Kioko video, starring Hayley and a group of friends as teenaged witches at private school. The song is “I Wish.”

And ClexaCon has opened registration for its April, 2020 event. Also, another queercon will be taking place in Tampa at the end of May, 2020. Find out more at QFX Events.

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 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 49: She-Ra and the Princesses of Power

This week, Andi and Lise gush over the 2018 Netflix animated reboot of She-Ra Princess of Power, which is now She-Ra and the Princesses of Power (note the plural). Fab artist and writer Noelle Stevenson is the showrunner (and the writing team is all women); you’ve heard Andi and Lise rave about her with regard to her work on Lumberjanes and Nimona. The new She-Ra explores character development and the relationships between characters (something Stevenson does really well) as well as the ramifications of choices they made. 

She-Ra and the Princesses of Power is the story of an orphan named Adora, who leaves behind her former life in the evil Horde when she discovers a magic sword that transforms her into the mythical warrior princess She-Ra. Along the way, she finds a new family in the Rebellion as she unites a group of magical princesses in the ultimate fight against evil. –Fandom Wiki

Further info: 

IMDB: The original She-Ra 

SyFyWire: 32 reasons why She-Ra is the best thing ever 

Polygon: breakdown of the characters and how they’ve changed 

Screenrant: updated She-Ra voice cast and character guide 

The Verge: Noelle Stevenson talking about She-Ra

This week Lise geeked out about the second season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, while Andi recommitted herself to the movies of Star Wars.

Episode 40: Wynonna Earp: Season 2

(Note: Because of the way this episode was recorded, the audio isn’t as clean as usual. Everything is audible, but some of the hiccups that get edited out couldn’t be this time.)

Andi managed to get Lise into the paranormal Canadian awesome that is Wynonna Earp and now here they are doing a talk about Season 2, which gave more of everything that is so good about the show, but also delved even more into the relationships between characters and introduced a few more—one becomes part of our Earp posse, the other proves a nice foil for Doc Holliday and the others prove to be amazing paranormal villain-types.

Both Andi and Lise love how the writing of the show is so strong and weaves so many subplots into the main themes and narratives and how you miss things the first time through and when you re-watch, it’s a richer experience, in some ways, than the first time through because you then see how the threads of the show are woven together so tightly and how the character arcs evolve.

Andi and Lise talk about Season 1 of Wynonna Earp

Season 2 trailer HERE

Watch Season 1 and 2 on Netflix (US and Canada).

Watch Season 3 live or stream episodes on SyFy (US) and Space (Canada)

Episode 30: Killjoys

Andi and Lise totally geeked out over the SyFy series Killjoys, which is about to enter its fourth season. It’s an absolutely delicious space opera that explores all levels of political intrigue and its effects on personal relationships.

Killjoys, in the show, are galactic bounty hunters that operate in a four-planet system called the Quad, which is beholden to “The Company,” which in turn is tied to a group of families called “The Nine,” who have worked hand-in-glove with the Company to leverage political and cultural influence. It’s a hierarchical society based on class ties, but also blood and political ties. The Company has, of course, extended its greedy and often corrupt power grabs all over the Quad, stripping areas of their resources and leaving godawful pollution and crap in its wake.

This is the backdrop for an intriguing maelstrom of excellent storylines!

Andi and Lise highly recommend this show.

Catch it on SyFy.com and Amazon and DVD on Netflix (check your country’s listings).

Episode 28: Lost Girl

Andi and Lise love themselves some Lost Girl, the paranormal urban fantasy series that launched in 2010 and ended with Season 5 in 2015. The series follows main character Bo, a succubus, in her quest to find her true origins, but she’s buttressed by several strong secondary characters, both human and fae. The show’s premise is predicated on there being two worlds – fae and human – and the former attempt to stay hidden from the latter while dealing with conflict between light fae and dark. The show is full of strong women characters and includes strong positive LGBTQ rep. Bo is considered bisexual and engages with both male and female love interests.

Andi and Lise agree the show is full of great, strong characters, excellent writing, great plots, and explorations of moral ambiguity with regard to the conflicts between light and dark fae as well as how individuals engage with both sides.

The show is currently available on Netflix and Amazon Prime in the U.S.

And check out the Waystation podcast, all about Lost Girl.

Episode 20: Stranger Things, Season 1

Andi and Lise totally geek out over the Netflix original series Stranger Things. The acting, the pacing, the tension, the writing – it’s all brilliant. It’s a hybrid horror/thriller/sci fi set in the early 1980s in the American Midwest.

Synopsis:
A love letter to the ’80s classics that captivated a generation, Stranger Things is set in 1983 Indiana, where a young boy vanishes into thin air. As friends, family and local police search for answers, they are drawn into an extraordinary mystery involving top-secret government experiments, terrifying supernatural forces and one very strange little girl. –Rotten Tomatoes

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