Archives For culture

spiderman thinks about cash

As I’m sure you’ve heard, Sony finally decided to split custody of Spider-Man, and it looks like he’ll be visiting mom on some very important weekends in the future. After a few personal conversations, I’ve come to the conclusion that most people are pretty excited. I feel that.

A few people are worried, though. Or maybe tired is a better word. News of another “Spider-Man reboot” induces cringing for these peeps, and this is my response to them. There are certain detractors that I’m not going to convince, and to those people I say that perhaps the next decade of big-budget movies should be something that they avoid, because franchising and multi-part plots aren’t going away. That’s great news, though!

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fairy-tale-book

A while ago, I mentioned that I had the incredible opportunity to contribute to the book Channeling Wonder: Fairy Tales on Television, and it’s easily my biggest accomplishment of 2014. I’m astounded to hold my hard work in my hands (I mean, look at that pretty cover!), but most of all, I’m honored and humbled to have my name alongside several rockstar academics, such as Pauline Greenhill, Jill Rudy, and Cristina Bacchilega.

If you’re interested in fairy tales, television, folklore, or cultural studies, you can now buy Channeling Wonder on Amazon or for a limited time, you’ll get 40% off when you order through Wayne State University Press with promo code HS14. Happy Reading!

big bang theory

Before I hurt everyone’s feelings, let me say that I see the charm of The Big Bang Theory. The show has all the right elements: geeky characters, empowered female scientists, and a running theme about the importance of friendship. I want to like this show so much, it pains me. I’ve kept up-to-date with it, and I’m left trying to figure out why. Maybe I’m waiting for it to get better, or maybe it satisfies the TV-equivalent craving of eating a McGriddle, or maybe I’m trying to connect with my fellow man. To be sure, the show is more interesting than other typical sitcoms, but it has so much lost potential. While the show seemingly celebrates all the things I love—comics, cosplay, smart characters, snarky best friends— it actually mercilessly ridicules them in a way that, for me, is the opposite of fun.

Instead of celebrating geekery, individuality, and being your own person, Big Bang Theory proves everyone’s 8th-grade assumptions about nerdiness. The smart characters may have found success, but they lack social currency. At the beginning of the show, most of the jokes centered on Leonard, Raj, and Howard awkwardly trying to score dates and Sheldon just being awkward. As the show progresses, the guys snag girlfriends (and Howard a wife), but the cruxes of most of the jokes are still the same: the guys aren’t “cool” and they are into “nerdy stuff.” Nerds are so weird and impossible to understand! *Cue laugh track.*

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the one i love film

When I’d seen posters for The One I Love, I wasn’t sold. It was only after I’d found myself near a movie theater, looking for something to do and a screening of the film starting in 10 minutes that I decided to jump on board—and I’m so glad I did.

From what I’d previously seen, I worried that the film would be sappy. I don’t gravitate toward romantic comedies, and even when I’m assured it’s not a “typical” one, I usually still want the two hours of my life back. So, in an effort to avoid revealing the twists and turns of this film—I highly recommend avoiding trailers and reviews—let me just get the cliché over with and say: this is not a typical romantic comedy. I don’t even know if I would classify it as such, but there you go.

Rest assured, while the slow reveals in The One I Love keep you attentive, the film does not solely rely on the element of surprise. It’s the film’s impressive acting, honest writing, and beautiful cinematography that make it stand out as one of the best films of the year, and the practical details ring true to anyone who has asked themselves: how do you figure yourself out enough to be happy?

Rather than simply being about romantic scuffles and humorous miscommunication, the film tackles more complex ideas about how to develop meaningful relationships with people—not in the abstract, not solely in the romantic arena, and not without messiness. It’s no easy feat, and yet the film pulls it off, where lesser writing and acting would come off as too preachy or neatly-packaged.

I have to stop myself before I say too much, but please do yourself a favor and go see this film.

the one i love film 2

False Positive Booth

If you’re in the Salt Lake area, check out Salt Lake Comic-Con Fan-Xperience, Thursday through Saturday. If the event is anything like last year’s Salt Lake Comic-Con, you’re in for a treat. This has quickly become one of the largest comic conventions in terms of attendees, and last year’s crowd was unbeatable. Part of the magic of comic conventions is meeting like-minded peeps, and last year we were surrounded by so much enthusiasm and homemade cosplay, our hearts nearly exploded. This year, both Jeff and I will be working at the False Positive booth (#1811), so come by and say hello and snag some free schwag. We’ll even hook you up with a free sketch from the comic’s talented creator. See you there!

Mouths Package

If you haven’t tried Mouth Foods, you’re missing out on rare, hard-to-find goodies. We’ve mentioned this one-in-a-million gem before, when they were known as New York Mouth. Not much has changed besides the name. The company still ships high-quality, small-batch foods straight to your door. Now, Mouth Foods doesn’t just ship foods from New York but from all over the country, widening the range of crafted food available through their beautiful site. Perusing the Mouth Foods site, you’ll be overwhelmed by all the cool stuff on display. Try to remain calm. If  it helps, we highly recommend the bourbon-smoked sugar, truffle salami, and banana jam, but our favorite things to order are sinful treats.

When we get a package from Mouth Foods, it’s better than Christmas. We’re always blown away by their extraordinary attention to detail. Every piece of food is individually wrapped and carefully cushioned to make sure it survives shipping. If you think the food looks great on the site, it looks even better in person. What’s more, Mouth includes a free canvas tote, a handwritten thank-you note, and a free piece of chocolate to sweeten the deal. Plus, if your total order amounts to $50 or more, shipping is free. In our latest order, we couldn’t help but go all out.

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Although they may be everybody’s favorite sociopaths, Claire and Frank Underwood have the best romantic relationship I’ve ever seen on television. Other Western television shows and stories often depict the same relationship stereotypes ad nauseum, rather than showing  the reality of an everyday healthy relationship, let alone one that’s some 30 years old.  So, buckle in for a discussion. In case you haven’t figured, there are spoilers ahead, so if you haven’t seen the show, stop reading and start watching House of Cards.

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fairy tale book

Good news! It has been a year in the making, but I’m excited to announce my first publication in an actual book, with pages you can smell and everything! I co-authored a chapter  in Channeling Wonder, an upcoming academic work that explores television adaptations of fairy tales. My chapter, “Merlin as Initiation Tale: A Contemporary Fairy-Tale Manual for Adolescent Relationships,” is the culmination of many nights spent burning the midnight oil after getting home from my day job. Now that there’s an actual cover, it finally feels real. I’m honored to be in the company of so many distinguished academics, including Pauline Greenhill, Jill Rudy, and Cristina Bacchilega. For those of you who enjoy analyzing your favorite movies and TV shows to death (like me), look for the book in October! You can find more info here.

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In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, this month, USA Today’s pop-culture blog, Pop Candy, is featuring pop-culture love stories. If you didn’t know, the way Jeff and I met is like something out of a sappy movie, and it’s all because of a David Sedaris book. So, I wrote up our story, and it’s currently on the Pop Candy site. Check it out here!

This holiday season, show some love for the geeks in your life with a personal gift that says, “Hey, I get you.” The Internet is a magical place with an abundance of geeky gifts for gamers, gear-heads, and comic book aficionados. We’ve scoured the Internet to bring you some of the best geeky gift ideas in one place:

For Gamers

Whether you look on Etsy for a Triforce necklace or Think Geek for Portal 2 bookends, there are so many great gifts for gamers.

tri force(Triforce necklace- $15)

portal_bookends_main(Portal 2 bookends- $29.99)

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