Rant: Monthly Dee-Lights (12/20)

Just a quick note of some of the funnest content I consumed last month (in no particular order):

Jennifer Tilly with her 'Tiffany' doll (circa 12/20)Jennifer Tilly posted a picture with her ‘Tiffany’ doll on Twitter, wearing coordinated Christmassy outfits!

– I revisited Rachel Bloom’s classic seasonal song-parody “Chanukah Honey”, from the album Suck It, Christmas!!! (2013) [Note: I just clicked this link to check it, and apparently the video “is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Philip Springer” (one of the original composers of “Santa Baby”)! Why’d he have to wait 7 years, just to mess with my blog post???]. I also got a kick out of Ana Gasteyer’s holiday album Sugar & Booze (2019), which mixes reworked classics with original comedy songs. On a more topical tip, Charly Bliss recorded a socially-distanced track/video about, uh, being socially-distanced, called “It’s Christmas and I F*cking Miss You!” (and, yes, it did make me a little weepy… but then pretty much everything does, these days…)

Sage Hyden (aka “Just Write”) posted a surprisingly moving video-essay about why the original animated Mulan (1998) “holds a very special place in [their] heart… and why the new live-action adaptation is less than satisfying.”

Patti Harrison posted a home-made skit in which she announced the winner of the “Car of the Year Award”, while crawling across the floor in a glamorous frock, staring directly into the Sun! Meanwhile, I was very disappointed to discover that her “Exotic Animal Reviews” had disappeared from YouTube, though thankfully they are still available via the SeriouslyTV Facebook page.

Nova Twins (aka Georgia South and Amy Love) (circa 12/20)– “Urban punk” duo Nova Twins performed a short (but scorching) set in Kerrang’s “K! Pit”, pulling most of the tracks from their debut album, Who Are The Girls? (2020), which is currently rocking 81% over on Metacritic. They’ve also collaborated with Bring Me The Horizon on a track for their recently-released Post Human: Survival Horror EP, which apparently features guest-appearances by Babymetal and Amy Lee too!

Nigella Lawson made a welcome return to our TV screens with a new six-part serving of food-porn, titled Cook, Eat, Repeat. Personally, I think the nationwide lockdown actually improved this series, as it forced them to eliminate the cringe-y in-between scenes where she pretends to relax with a bunch of hired extras, and we get gross close-ups of them gobbling down her food while chuckling at some unheard joke. Shudder. Unfortunately, they did shoehorn a couple of those into the hour-long Christmas special, but they were mercifully brief and skippable.

Aubrey Plaza went “full witch” in quarantine, treating Stir Crazy host Josh Horowitz to an alternately erotic/insulting tarot card reading. Lucky duck.

'Doreen Green' (aka “Squirrel Girl") and 'Kamala Khan’ (aka “Ms. Marvel”) (circa 12/20)– Marvel launched a series of self-promoting documentaries, titled Marvel’s 616* (or “Marvel 616”, depending where you look), some of which were more serious/watchable than others. Of particular note/interest was ep. #1.2 (“Higher, Further, Faster”), which focussed on female characters and creatives, such as Sana Amanat (editor on various books, and co-creator of ‘Kamala Khan’ (aka “Ms. Marvel”)), G. Willow Wilson (multi-award-winning writer/co-creator of Ms. Marvel), Kelly Sue DeConnick (writer on Captain Marvel, among others, and co-creator of Bitch Planet for Image Comics), and Nilah Magruder (writer for the Marvel Rising books, and creator of webcomic M.F.K.). Despite the confusing non-linear timeline, it was a fascinating/enlightening watch… though I am kinda pissed that Squirrel Girl‘s sidekick, Tippy-Toe, somehow got more mentions/screentime than her! Also, ep #1.3 (“Amazing Artisans”) spent a goodly amount of time profiling/following Natacha Bustos, the main artist on Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur… and ep #1.5 (“Lost and Found”) featured a cameo by Rachel Bloom as part of a celebrity “focus-group” questioning Paul Scheer’s vision for a new child-friendly superhero cartoon/toy-line.

– And finally, Netflix aired Charlie Brooker’s “mockumentary” Death to 2020, which I enjoyed a lot more than some critics/viewers seemed to, though it clearly wasn’t up to the same satirical standard as the “Wipe” shows he’s previously produced for the BBC. It was definitely a much “softer” style of comedy, but apparently that was his intention, so fair enough… and Cristin Milioti was fantastic as ‘Kathy Flowers’, a crazed conspiracy-spouting “soccer mom” with heavy “Karen” energy.

– Perennial faves include Meg Tilly’s Cozy Tea Time chats, Ryan George‘s Pitch Meeting skits, and Bailey Meyers‘s gaming streams!


* In reference to the designation of the comic books’ “true” universe as “Earth-616”.

Posted in Rants about Comics, Rants about Films, Rants about Music, Rants about TV | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Plug: “Southland Tales” BR

“Southland Tales” (2006) BR courtesy of Arrow FilmI don’t generally get that excited about new releases, but for some reason I was hyped to see that Arrow Films are releasing a fancy Blu-ray edition of Richard Kelly’s flawed-but-fascinating mindf*cker Southland Tales (2006) next month!* The biggest selling-point for me is the fact that this 2-disc set will include the fabled 160-minute “Cannes cut”, which boasts a couple extra scenes of Janeane Garofalo as ‘General Teena MacArthur’! Squeee!

Hopefully this release will prove so successful that it prompts someone to reprint the g-novels in an affordable omnibus as well…?

[Sadly, I receive no payment/compensation for this plug… sniffle…]


* 25/01/21, to be precise.

Posted in Rants about Films | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Plug: “Southland Tales” BR

Rant: (Bi)-Monthly Dee-Lights (10/20 + 11/20)

Oopsie! What with Halloween (yay!), the new lockdown (boo!), the American election (yay!), and a crisis with my current scriptwriting project (boo!), I kinda let my blogging “obligations” slip… so here, for my millions of adoring readers (ho ho), is a quick note of some of the funnest content I consumed over the last couple months (in no particular order):

Amber Ruffin ala "The Amber Ruffin Show" (2020)Amber Ruffin appeared on Late Night with Seth Meyers, to proclaim that she’s “Living Her Best 14-Year-Old Boy Life During Quarantine”, and also give some behind-the-scenes insight into her own talk show (The Amber Ruffin Show, which is highly recommended). Meanwhile, Drunk History’s YouTube channel honoured her with a “Best Of” compilation, featuring clips from ep #2.1, in which she slurred her way through the story of how young bus-segregation-protester Claudette Colvin (Mariah Wilson) inspired Rosa Parks (Lisa Bonet)… ep #5.1, in which she told the story of the Civil War’s “Angel of the Battlefield” Clara Barton (Mandy Moore)… and ep #6.4, in which she told the story of the Little Rock Nine’s fight to integrate their Arkansas school (starring Amandla Stenberg as Elizabeth Eckford)… but nothing from ep #4.3, in which she delighted in the story of Carrie Nation (Vanessa Bayer) “smashing saloons to smithereens”! Also this week, Allure invited Ruffin to provide a (slightly sloppy, but very upbeat and amusing) “10 Minute Nail Routine” for their channel.

– Babymetal posted a video for “BxMxC”, a track from last year’s Metal Galaxy album, that saw them, er, battling shadow-demons with their killer dance moves and digitally-altered vocals? Fun!

Katherine Parkinson ala "Taskmaster" S10 (2020)– Taskmaster returned for a 10th series, having now decamped from Dave to Ch4… and the show’s format remained much the same, although Coronavirus-related restrictions did mean that social-distancing had to be maintained during certain tasks, as well as the studio segments. This year the (stubbornly uneven) panellists included Daisy May Cooper, Johnny Vegas, Mawaan Rizwan, Richard Herring, and (my favourite) Katherine Parkinson.*

– Superstore returned for a super-topical (sixth) season, successfully bringing some levity to their depiction of a chain-store’s staff adjustment to the “new normal” of face-masks, plastic shields, and hand-sanitiser-hoarding. Although it was sad to see ‘Amy’ (America Ferrera) depart in the opening episodes, I’m hoping it will mean an increased amount of screentime for ‘Cheyenne’ (Nichole Sakura (nee “Bloom”)), who has now stepped into her shoes as “floor supervisor”. Fingers-crossed!

Michelle Buteau starred in her own Netflix special, Welcome to Buteaupia (2020), which was a very funny, very rude exploration of “parenthood, cultural difference, and the overlooked value of short men.” Top stuff.

Sarah Cooper as 'Sarah Cooper' in "Sarah Cooper: Everything's Fine" (2020)Sarah Cooper made her big “small-screen”-acting debut as the star of Everything’s Fine, a satirical sketch-show-special directed by Natasha Lyonne, who managed to wrangle an ace supporting cast including Aubrey Plaza, Winona Ryder,  and Jane Lynch! Still, Cooper proves that she’s a very capable comic actress in her own right, as she portrays a variety of characters, including the slowly unravelling host of a “breezy” morning news show, and ably holds her own while sharing a screen with the veteran scene-stealers…

Supernatural reached the end of its run… and [SPOILER!] I’m assuming that ‘Becky Rosen’ (Emily Perkins) did return/resurrect in the penultimate episode along with everyone else who’d been Thanos’d out of existence, but she only appeared onscreen as part of a mass flashback clip montage. Boo! However, ET Canada have posted a socially-distanced/dual interview with Perkins and Katharine Isabelle to mark the 20th Anniversary of Ginger Snaps (2000), which is apparently going to be remade as a TV series…!? (Note: The click-baity title of the video is “‘Ginger Snaps’ Stars Share Whether They Will Appear In TV Reboot”, which is very misleading, as all they really say is that they’d like to be in it, not whether they actually will/won’t be in it. Tch!).

‘Daphne’ and ‘Velma’ in "Be Cool, Scooby-Doo!" (S1) (2015)– I finished watching the first season of Be Cool, Scooby-Doo! (2015), which applies a Family-Guy-esque aesthetic and sense of absurdity to the time-tested characters and (fake)-monster-hunting tropes. I’m a long-time ‘Velma’ fanboy (especially when she’s voiced by Kate Micucci), but this version of ‘Daphne’ (Grey Griffin) almost edged her out of my affections, with all of her madcap antics (such as casually deciding to wear a beard about town, or practice life-saving puppetry)… and I loved how they kept referring back to her previous stunts in later episodes, to give it a sense of continuity.

– Aaand my Halloween-y movie of choice was Happy Death Day (2017), starring Jessica Rothe as the initially-off-putting-but-eventually-adorable anti-heroine of a “feel good” horror-flick that has been succinctly described as “Groundhog Day meets Scream“. I thought it was a barrel of heart-warming fun, even though I made the dumb-ass mistake of watching the trailer for the sequel first, which totally spoils the whodunnit mystery at the core of this story, so… yeah… don’t do that!

– Perennial faves include Meg Tilly’s Cozy Tea Time chats, Ryan George‘s Pitch Meeting skits, and Bailey Meyers‘s gaming streams!


* Not my favourite to win, of course, because she’s terrible at the actual tasks… but she’s always very poised and gracious about it… bless her…

Posted in Rants about Films, Rants about Music, Rants about Stand-Up, Rants about TV | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Rant: (Bi)-Monthly Dee-Lights (10/20 + 11/20)

PSA: A Bloom By Any Other Name…

A random promo for the forthcoming season of Superstore alerted me to the fact that one of its stand-out cast members, Nichole Bloom (born “Nichole Sakura O’Connor”), had recently chosen to change her stage-name. To quote her Instagrammed explanation:

Nichole Sakura as 'Cheyenne' in "Superstore" (S1)“I get asked a lot of questions about my name, and now to add to confusion I just changed it back to Nichole Sakura. Thought I would share why: Being half Japanese, my mom’s side always felt like a prominent part of my identity. As a kid, I was called Sakura at home, brought bento boxes to school, and loved visiting my relatives in Nagoya. When I arrived in LA as a teenager to pursue acting, I was told by my first agent that getting cast would be a challenge for me because I didn’t fit into any one category- I didn’t seem Asian or White enough. The fact that I wasn’t able to book roles enforced this perspective in me. I began to look at my Japanese side as a hindrance to my career, and something that would lessen my odds of getting work. So I stopped using my middle name and picked the last name Bloom to seem as ambiguous as possible and downplay my Japanese side. (Bloom was born out of Sakura, which means Cherry Blossom). Whether this ‘worked’ to my benefit or not, I don’t know. I’m still finding my place in an industry that is now beginning to include more people of color and mixed backgrounds. However, as I’ve grown into myself and my career, I’ve come to feel more and more how important it is to embrace who I am, including my name. So call me Nichole Sakura from now on.”

Will do! And let’s hope that all the casting directors are taking note too, because she’s absolutely hilarious, and I want to see much more of her in the future! But until Superstore returns at the end of the month, there’s always the “Nice Girls” skits she recorded with comedy-partner Elizabeth Guest to (re)watch…

Posted in Rants about TV | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on PSA: A Bloom By Any Other Name…

PSA: The Mortdecai Mistake

A misleading listing for "Mortdecai" (2015) from Hive.co.uk (circa 10/20)Short: No, Aubrey Plaza is not in Mortdecai (2015).

Long: Certain online retailers allow you to search their stock by actor, to see all of the available titles they appear in… and for some reason WHSmith, HMV, Hive, and Zoom all (currently) accuse Aubrey Plaza of appearing in the 2015 “box office bomb” Mortdecai… despite a total absence of supporting evidence on any reputable film sites. Out of curiosity/confusion, I decided to watch the movie and find out for myself… but quickly grew irritated at the style/tone of the humour (it’s basically a big-budget, throwback “Carry On” caper, without the charm), and ended up hitting the fast-forward button sometime around the half-hour mark, after which I switched back to normal speed every now-and-then to see if it had improved at all. It did not. So, I can’t conclusively say that she isn’t in it, but I can say that she doesn’t appear in it for long enough to be visible at double-speed, and she certainly isn’t listed in the end credits. What a cruel and despicable hoax!

Oh, and on a vaguely-related topic, Amber Midthunder is not in the new season (S4) of Fargo, despite some sites still suggesting she is! The role she was once rumoured to be playing, ‘Swanee Capps’, was actually filled by Kelsey Asbille… unless she’s an impostor, and the real Swanee will appear in a later episode to reclaim her name? It’s kinda hard to be sure with Noah Hawley’s shows…!

Posted in Rants about Films, Rants about TV | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on PSA: The Mortdecai Mistake

Rant: Monthly Dee-Lights (9/20)

Just a quick note of some of the funnest content I consumed last month (in no particular order):

Amber Ruffin ala "The Amber Ruffin Show" (2020)– After consistently stealing the spotlight from Seth Meyers on his Late Night show, Amber Ruffin has earned her very own topical late-night comedy conduit, The Amber Ruffin Show. Apparently it airs on NBC’s new streaming service Peacock, but they’ve been nice enough to post clips on YouTube for all of us around the world to see. Hurrah!

Cole Escola recycled a clip from his hilarious/horrifying home-made sketch-show specialHelp! I’m Stuck! with Cole Escola” (love that title!), specifically touching on the topic of “Gender Reveal” parties, which were in the news again recently when celebratory fireworks seemingly sparked a devastating wildfire in California… so, not just super-creepy, but also super-deadly!

Samantha Bee shared a video of her rather un-glamorous struggles to pry/chisel-open the consolation prize she was sent after losing the Emmy for “Outstanding Variety Talk Series” to Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. SPOILER: It’s a $28 bottle of “champagne”! Certainly not worth the injuries she could have incurred, during her battle to unbox it!

Alice Lowe circa 2019Alice Lowe talked to the Guardian about her “teen obsessions”, revealing her goth-y roots, and a fetish for bearded men that I found comforting in my delusional solitude…

Paloma Faith released a new single/video titled “Better Than This”, which is either about a troubled relationship or a troubled civilisation… or possibly both…? The vid seems to be evoking a 1980’s-yuppie-horror vibe, and may even be referencing an old movie that I don’t recognise… regardless of the inspiration, it’s certainly not for the squeamish! Apparently Faith has been working on a whole new album while she’s been on lockdown, so at least there’s something to look forward to in the near-future…?

– I finally got around to watching The Pistol Shrimps (2016), a documentary about the eponymous all-female (recreational) basketball team, which happened to feature Aubrey Plaza as a star player. She doesn’t take centre-stage in the film itself though, which mostly profiles her lesser-known team-mates, such as Molly Hawkey, Angela Trimbur, and Jesse Thomas, while (loosely) following a competitive season of “balling”. It’s all very low-key and (relatively) low-stakes*, but also very amusing, uplifting, and inspiring… a “hang out and chill” kinda flick, perfect for these stressful/isolating times. I’m also pretty proud of myself for spotting Stephanie Beatriz, who appears here in her capacity as a member of the L.A. City Municipal Dance Squad, who perform halftime shows during the games… sadly she isn’t featured very heavily in the doc, and isn’t even credited on IMDb!

Aubrey Plaza as Gina Gershon as ‘Cristal Connors’ in a "Showgirls" parody (2020)Renee Plaza posted a hack-edited homage to 90s-era Charmed, co-starring her sister Aubrey and a selection of cheap wigs. I’ve absolutely no idea what’s going on in this video plot-wise, but Aubrey gets to do her “crazy eyes”, so that’s gravy to me. I should also recommend a socially-distanced skit in which she and Sarah Ramos re-created the “Doggy Chow” scene from Showgirls, with Aubrey as Gina Gershon/‘Cristal Connors’, and Ramos as Elizabeth Berkley/‘Nomi Malone’. In happier times, this might have sparked a bidding war over a feature-length adaptation, but sadly all we have for now is that brief snippet…

– I (very) belatedly discovered that some kind soul had posted the promo video for a song called “Lorraine’s Car” by Cake Like, one of my fave 90s rock bands. I’d always “known” that their lead singer, Kerri Kenney-Silver, went on to appear in comedy shows like Reno 911 and Superstore, but I’d never really been able to connect the voice to the face in my brain before now… so seeing her lip-syncing and strumming away here really helped in that regard. Meanwhile, the direction by David Wain, and a cameo by Ken Marino make it well worth a watch for fans of their work!

– Perennial faves include Meg Tilly’s Cozy Tea Time chats, Ryan George‘s Pitch Meeting skits, and Bailey Meyers‘s gaming streams!


* In the sense that no-one gets mauled by a tiger, or anything like that…

** A quick Google led me to the show’s Wiki-page, which reveals they were riffing on the episode “Primrose Empath” (S03E06), with Aubrey playing Shannen Doherty as ‘Prue Halliwell’, and Renee playing everyone else!

Posted in Rants about Films, Rants about Music, Rants about TV | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Rant: Monthly Dee-Lights (9/20)

R.I.P. Diana Rigg (1938 – 2020)

Diana Rigg as ‘Emma Peel’ in "The Avengers" (S4-S6-ish)Sadly, iconic action-heroine Diana Rigg has passed away, at the age of 82. Although she delivered a wickedly-wry performance as ‘Lady Olenna Tyrell’ in Game of Thrones (S3-S7), I’ll always remember her most fondly as slinky secret-agent ‘Emma Peel’ in The Avengers (S4-S6-ish), quipping and karate-chopping her way through all manner of eccentric adventures!

Apparently she was still hard at work, so there will be several posthumous releases to come…

Posted in Rants about TV | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on R.I.P. Diana Rigg (1938 – 2020)

Rant: Charly Bliss

Charly Bliss (circa 2019)I was a little shocked/disappointed in myself a couple days ago, when I posted my previous “rant” and realised that it was the first time I’d even mentioned Charly Bliss on this blog, despite being a fan for a while now. I’m assuming that oversight occurred partly because I’m so terrible at writing about music I like, and also because I have such a huge crush on lead-singer Eva Hendricks I’m nervous about coming off as a creepy old man (too late!). All that being said, they’re a great “bubblegrunge” (!?) band, with some very emotive/inspiring material, and Eva’s* voice is pure ear-candy, so I highly recommend checking them out… and apparently it’s “Bandcamp Friday” again, so this is the perfect time to head over to their page and sample/buy some tracks!


* FTR, I’m only referring to Miss Hendricks by her first-name there because her brother Sam’s also in the band, and has the same surname, so…

Posted in Rants about Music | Tagged , | Comments Off on Rant: Charly Bliss

Rant: Monthly Dee-Lights (8/20)

Just a quick note of some of the funnest content I consumed last month (in no particular order):

Bailey Meyers in "GooseDrunks: Vampire Breath" (8/20)Bailey Meyers posted a new (feature-length!) GooseDrunks video, and this time around she tackled the goofy-gothy Vampire Breath (1996), resulting in a very funny/sweary read-through of a very holey narrative. Classic!

Charly Bliss posted a short (socially-distanced) sequel to Ignorance Is Bliss, the faux-reality-show they created to promote the release of their album Young Enough, back in May 2019… and frankly it’s a little galling to see how adept they are as comedy writers/actors, on top of being such cute/talented musicians! Gah!

Tara Strong “broke down” her most beloved voices for Vanity Fair, explaining how characters like ‘Timmy Turner’ (The Fairly Oddparents), ‘Bubbles’ (The Powerpuff Girls), and ‘Raven’ (Teen Titans) came to sound the way they do. She also told some very sweet stories from her long tenure as a convention guest that are guaranteed to give you what youngsters call “the feels”. She clearly loves her craft, her fans, and cartoons in general, so we applaud/adore her for that… even if it is kinda spooky to see her switching between voices so swiftly!

‘Harley Quinn’ in "Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League" (2022)– Meanwhile, DC released a teaser trailer for an upcoming video-game (from the makers of the Batman: Arkham series) called Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, co-starring Strong as ‘Harley Quinn’ (hurrah!). As far as I can tell the finished product won’t be released until 2022, but this is a cool little short, with enjoyable jokes and a properly unsettling “twist” ending, so well worth a couple views by itself!

– I also re-watched the first season of Nahnatchka Khan‘s Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23 (2012), in the as-written order (not the mangled mish-mash it was originally broadcast as), and laughed myself silly all over again. It really is one of the greatest sitcoms of the past couple decades, but sadly also one of the most under-rated and cruelly/carelessly mishandled. Boo!

– On a more serious note, I’ve been trying to wrap my little pea-brain around the concept of “Defunding the Police”, and have found Franchesca Ramsey’s reports for MTV Impact very helpful and informative… especially the latest episode, which lays out some promising alternatives, and explains “how we can reinvest in our communities with proven programs that enhance community safety without the looming threat of police violence and prison.” Yes, please!

– Perennial faves include Meg Tilly’s Cozy Tea Time chats, Ryan George‘s Pitch Meeting skits, and Bailey’s gaming streams!

Posted in Rants about Films, Rants about Games, Rants about Music, Rants about Politics, Rants about TV | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Rant: Monthly Dee-Lights (8/20)

Rant: “Z Nation” (S2)


Pisay Pao as ‘Cassandra’ in “Z Nation” (S1)Gah! I can’t believe I let Z Nation screw me over again… and in the exact same way it screwed me over the first time around! To recap (from my bitter/biased perspective), the first season premiere (2014) introduced the character of ‘Cassandra’ (Pisay Pao) in an intriguingly enigmatic way, with the ragtag crew of zombie-apocalypse survivors finding her crouched in the middle of a large metal cage surrounded by noisy/grasping zombies, seemingly asleep but uncoiling into an attack as soon as she’s “woken” by one of the heroes, then appearing disoriented about how and when she got there… all of which suggested to me that she might be some sort of wacky military experiment with secret super-powers, who’d just been “activated”… but when we finally learned her origin story in ep #1.3, it turned out she was just a civilian runaway from a lame cannibal cult with zero bio-mechanical enhancements. Meh. Fast-forward to the season finale, where she’s dying in battle and gets “saved” by ‘Murphy’ (Keith Allan), who actually *is* a wacky scientific experiment with secret super-powers (specifically, he’s a half-human-half-zombie hybrid with psychic control over base-level Zees), infecting/preserving her with a bite to the cheek.

Pisay Pao as 'Cassandra' in “Z Nation” (S2) (2015)At the start of the second season (2015), the main cast had been dispersed by a nuclear explosion, but Cassie tracked Murphy down, and defended him against a bounty-hunter. At this point she’s a feral creature, barely able to do more than grunt, and following/adoring her saviour like a loyal (super-strong) puppy. Although it’s not even implied that he’s having sex with her, he does choose to dress her in tight/skimpy “hooker-wear”, and welcomes (or possibly even commands?) her physical affection. This isn’t a very deep, smart, or brave show, so they never really explore this “relationship” and the icky questions of consent/coercion that it presents, preferring to focus on the question of how “human” Cassandra still is. I guess acting like a “primitive” cave-woman might’ve been a fun acting-exercise for Pao, but personally I couldn’t help feeling a little sorry/angry for her in those early episodes. Ep #2.3 brought a break-through of sorts, introducing “Z-Weed”, a powerful new strain of marijuana grown in composted zombies, which actually seemed to revive her former intelligence and personality, allowing her to speak proper words again, and maybe even remember her old life…?* And that, dear reader, was where I fell into the trap of giving the writers waaay too much benefit-of-the-doubt. Her depiction up to that point had been extremely degrading and sexist/racist**, so the suggestion that there might be a “cure” for her mental decline, and that she might regain her agency to become a powerful player in the post-apocalyptic world, suckered me into getting my hopes up again…

Keith Allan as 'Murphy' in “Z Nation” and Pisay Pao as 'Cassandra' in “Z Nation” (S2) (2015)Then, in ep #2.6, she got into a stupid tussle with ‘10K’ (Nat Zang) (a young male character who’d had a crush on her when she was human), and wound up dead and buried in a shallow grave. Needless to say, she was devotedly protecting her alpha at the time, and it’s obvious that 10K was motivated as much by incel-style jealousy as he was by his intense hatred of zombies-in-general… but I don’t have the energy to unpack all of that misogyny, or the message it sends. Aside from a later flashback episode (#3.1) that added nothing to her story (beyond an exploitative shot of her nursing a zombaby), this was Cassie’s last stand, while Murphy and 10K – her slave-master and murderer respectively – got to carry on being “heroes” for the rest of the show’s run (five seasons in all).*** Feh!!! I’m officially done with this show.

P.S. As “research” for this post, I watched an interview that Pao gave after her final episode aired, and she seemed to have a very different take on it, suggesting that Cassie *wanted* 10K to euthanize her, which is why she let the fight go on so long… and overall, she seemed pretty chipper about exiting the series, so maybe I’m way off base here…?


* When Murphy deigned to deliver it to her, via a “blow-back”, natch.

** TBF, ‘Roberta’ (Kellita Smith) and ‘Addy’ (Anastasia Baranova) were still being actively badass, so I’m not calling the show as a whole sexist or racist.

*** FTR, I do actually like both these actors, and don’t begrudge either of them a paycheque…

Posted in Rants about TV | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Rant: “Z Nation” (S2)