Episode 94: Happiest Season…?

Andi and Lise are joined by fab Lambda-winning author Meghan O’Brien to discuss the 2020 holigay movie Happiest Season, in which Harper (Mackenzie Davis) is not out to her conservative family. Harper brings girlfriend Abby (Kristen Stewart) along to her family’s for Christmas and things don’t go well. Neither does the script. Andi, Lise, and Meghan talk about effective elements of a romance and queer rep. 

Find Meghan at her website and also find her work at Bold Strokes Books

Shout-outs! 

If you want to watch a coming out film, Lise recommends But I’m a Cheerleader, starring Clea Duvall (who wrote Happiest Season) and also D.E.B.S. while Andi recommends The Incredibly True Adventures of Two Girls in Love. Want some Xmas movies that have F/F elements? Meghan recommends Let It Snow while Andi shouts out Season of Love. And Meghan also would like to shout out the F/F relationship in the TV series Orphan Black

Episode 93: Anna and the Apocalypse

Zombie apocalypse Christmas high school musical! 

No, really! Andi and Lise discuss (and rave about) the 2017 Scottish film Anna and the Apocalypse, in which Anna and a few friends have to fend for themselves in a zombie pandemic at Christmas time, save who they can, and try to rescue parents from the high school. It’s campy, fun, angsty, sad, but always heartfelt. Excellent musical numbers, great songs, and great soundtrack overall. 

Movie info 

Trailer 

Soundtrack on Spotify 

Streaming on various platforms, including: Amazon Prime, Fandango,  Hulu, iTunes, PlayStation, Xbox, and Vudu. 

Shout-outs: Lise just finished spec fic author Rebecca Roanhorse’s latest, Black Sun (2020), an “epic fantasy set in a world inspired by pre-Columbian Indigenous cultures” (SyFy Wire). Also – queer rep! Andi just watched the gay (M/M) 2020 Christmas movie, Dashing in December, which is basically a cute, sweet Hallmark trope made cute and sweet and gay. Fluff, angst, and Andie McDowell!

Episode 90: Aliens

Andi and Lise talk about the 1986 movie Aliens, starring Sigourney Weaver. It’s still one of their faves and holds up really well. Probably why it won a bunch of awards for special effects (including an Oscar). Here, Ripley (Weaver) is back on Earth after 57 years in cryo-stasis (following the end of the 1979 Alien) but agrees to go back to the moon where she initially encountered the xenomorphs when a terra-forming colony’s comms stop. She accompanies a band of Marines and a corporate shill thinking they’re going to destroy the xenomorphs but one of the themes this movie explores is enemies external and internal. Also includes major women’s and girls’ badassery, and for that time, that was rare. 

More on Aliens 

Original trailer 

IMDB cast listing 

Shout-outs! 

Lise would like to shout-out  the new series Truth Seekers, with awesome British comedy duo Simon Pegg and Nick Frost (Hot Fuzz, which Andi and Lise talked about HERE and Shaun of the Dead). Here, Frost is a paranormal investigator whose team goes ghost-hunting but may have stumbled onto something bigger (available on Amazon Prime). Andi shouts out season 2 of The Mandalorian, but is bummed that one of the actors in it whose career she’s enjoyed over the years turns out to be problematic (Andi and Lise discussed problematic faves HERE). Find The Mandalorian on Disney Plus. 

Episode 88: The Night of the Living Dead

Andi and Lise decided to do a couple of spoooooky Halloween shows, and this is the first. Here, they dig into the classic 1968 zombie apocalypse film Night of the Living Dead, co-written by George Romero, who also produced and directed it. This is the origin of our pop culture understanding of zombies, but there are some other currents at play here, and Lise and Andi will chat about those, too. 

More info about Night of the Living Dead

Trailer 

A few things you might not have known about the movie 
Some behind the scenes info 

Shout-out: Lise shouted out the pulse-pounding, tense movie Pitch Black (2000), a horror/space movie with Vin Diesel. He and others end up on a planet on which monsters come out at night, but what happens when that night is a month long? Andi piled on to Lise’s shout-out about this movie; she loves it. 

Episode 85: Why We Love Antiheroes

Andi and Lise love antiheroes and all of their messy, complicated humanity. In this episode, they discuss some of their fave antiheroes and the flaws that make them relatable: Malcolm Reynolds (Firefly); Han Solo (Star Wars); Helena (Orphan Black); Parker (Leverage); Handsome Jack (Borderlands) Max and Furiosa (Fury Road); Sarah Connor (Terminator and T2); Andy (The Old Guard); Annalise Keating (How to Get Away with Murder).

Andi and Lise discussed the movie The Old Guard in episode 82; the movie T2 in episode 84; Terminator in episode 73; and Fury Road in episode 50.

Lise’s shout-out: times are tough; but she’s finding some solace in cosplay art and finishing edits on her latest book.

Andi’s shout-out is an in memoriam to stellar actor Chadwick Boseman, who died August 28 at the age of 43 after a 4-year battle with colon cancer. He was amazing and oh, he’s missed. Wakanda Forever.

Episode 84: Terminator 2: Judgment Day

Andi and Lise break down the 1991 movie Terminator 2: Judgment Day (directed and co-written by James Cameron), which they both consider is one of the best sequels ever made. Andi and Lise discuss themes, characters, pacing, plot, and nods that T2 includes to its 1984 predecessor, Terminator, and also how watching it now, in this historical context, gives them different perspectives than they had watching it both originally and over the years.

Here, Sarah Connor’s son John (he’s 15 now) is a juvenile delinquent living with foster parents while Sarah is warehoused in a psychiatric institution after she tried to bomb a computer factory (trying to destroy Skynet). But Skynet is at it again and sends a terminator back in time to kill him while the future resistance sends an alternative terminator back to protect him.

T2 Trailer

Shout-outs: Lise has been reading The Murderbot Diaries, a Hugo- and Nebula-winning novella series by Martha Wells, in which a “murderous android discovers itself”—its identity and the author interrogates that nature of consciousness through artificial intelligence (from Amazon description).

Andi does a shout-out to fellow author KD Williamson’s new YouTube channel, in which KD taste tests different hot sauces and shares recipes. She’s also bringing other authors on! Check it out at Grrl on Fire.

Episode 82: The Old Guard

RUN, don’t walk to Netflix as you’re able and PLEASE watch the movie The Old Guard, starring Charlize Theron as Andromache of Scythia who is still alive.

“Four undying warriors who’ve secretly protected humanity for centuries become targeted for their mysterious powers just as they discover a new immortal.” – from Netflix description, available HERE.

But there’s a catch…

Adapted from Greg Rucka’s comic of the same name, the story is about Andromache’s (“Andy’s”) leadership of this team and their attempts to stay undetected over the centuries, and what it means to be immortal when there are so few people in the world who are. Excellent diverse characters (two of Andy’s team are men who are soulmates who met during the Crusades and the newest immortal is a Black woman), fabulous action scenes, fast pacing, strong writing.

The Old Guard trailer
The Old Guard comic

Lise’s shout-out is for the movie Knives Out, available on Amazon Prime. A clever, engrossing murder mystery in the style of ol’ skool mysteries like Agatha Christie’s.

Andi’s shout-out is for season 2 of The Alienist on TNT, which just started airing. 19th-century New York City crime and crime-solvers. Dark and gripping.

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 79: Decolonizing Our Media

Andi and Lise have been working on expanding and decolonizing their media consumption, seeking out more creators of color and more creators who are differently abled, neurodiverse, and from different cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds than they are. They each share some of that media in this episode.

Lise:
Binti novella series by Nnedi Okorafor
Octavia Butler’s Kindred graphic novel adaptation
N.K. Jemisin, Inheritance trilogy; see also her short story anthology How Long ’til Black Future Month
Movie D.E.B.S., written and directed by Angela Robinson (We talked about this movie in our very first episode!!)
Ebony Warriors Studio, cosplay (also find on Instagram)

Andi:
Ascension, by Jacqueline Koyanagi
N.K. Jemisin, Far Sector comic series
Movie Black Panther, directed and written by Ryan Coogler
Website Black Girl Nerds (LOL Andi and Lise lost count and Andi did 4 instead of 5); NOTE: website was fine at recording time, but afterward, it appears to be undergoing some work. You can find BGN on Twitter and Instagram, too.

Shout-outs: Lise enjoyed the zombie apocalypse movie Anna and the Apocalypse while Andi was glad for Legends of Tomorrow season 5 this week.

Episode 73: The Terminator (1984)

This week, Andi and Lise watched a throwback film and dug into The Terminator, filmed in 1984. They discuss the portrayal of women, the kind of film it was, the context in which it was made, how a story can be told and moved through available tech at the time of filming, and trailblazing Gale Anne Hurd as producer and what that might have meant to the portrayal of female badasses in movies like this. (You may recognize Hurd’s name; she’s also the producer of The Walking Dead on AMC.)

Going ol’ skool!
Original Terminator trailer

More info:
Terminator at IMDB
The Verge: Gale Anne Hurd on sexism in the industry and mentorship
The Hollywood Reporter: reminiscing about The Terminator at 30, with director James Cameron and Gale Anne Hurd, among others
Film Goblin: behind the scenes of Terminator

Shout-outs! Lise just finished Rebecca Roanhorse’s post-apocalyptic Storm of Locusts, the second in her 6th World Series, and gives it two thumbs up (Andi and Lise talked about Roanhorse’s first book in the series, Trail of Lightning, in episode 71!) Andi decided to start watching Amazon Prime’s Hunters, which deals with literal Nazi-hunters in the 1970s. She got interested in what the US government was actually doing, letting Nazis into the country after WWII, and is now reading The Nazis Next Door, by Eric Lichtblau.

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