Black Lightning: The Growing Relevance of PoC Shows (Part I)

Pop Culture Uncovered

Pop culture is living in a tumultuous social and political time lately. With everything from white supremacists marching in the streets to unashamed bigotry in the highest offices, there is a need to resist these racist movements.

Even before recent events, we had some of that in the form of Luke Cage. The third in Netflix’s Marvel series was unabashed in its “blackness,” as it presented African-American culture and confronted their issues.

This comic icon brought to life was enriched with the music, culture, and lifestyle of Harlem and New York City. Not to mention, the obvious allegories regarding gentrification and police brutality made Luke Cage one of the most relevant shows of 2016.

Of course, that was a mere month before the General Election, and the series was made long before anyone knew what was coming.


Hollywood and pop culture have been in overdrive recently, pushing hard…

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Let Black People Feel Things in Fandom 2018

Stitch's Media Mix

LET BLACK PEOPLE FEEL THINGS IN FANDOM 2018In 2016, I made a list of things that I wanted to see fandom leave behind as we moved into the next year.

Fandom left absolutely NONE of those things behind in 2017.

I’m not going to talk about the stalking, the increase in harassment, the doubling down on the claim that Armitage-fucking-Hux being a more interesting character than Finn or Poe Dameron are in the Star Wars fandom. No, I’ll save those hot takes for another day when I don’t feel quite so much like doing a salt-and-burn on several fandom spaces which have crossed boundaries I didn’t know existed.

For now, I’m going to talk about how fandom is incapable of letting Black people – real Black people and the Black characters we love – feel things without rushing to delegitimize those feelings.

borderTo a significant chunk of the Star Wars fandom, Finn is a traitor and a…

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Fear of Fucking Up: Not Actually A Good Excuse For Erasing Characters of Color

100% accurate. Reblogging.

Stitch's Media Mix

Fear of Fucking Up - Writing Header (1)
Recently, there’s been a spate of fannish and original writers claiming that they’re so afraid of negative reception and responses from people of color, that they refrain from writing characters of color in their works.

We saw this during Amy Lane’s racist mess (where she wrote a book that had a black character refer to himself as a monkey) where dozens of M/M authors rushing to defend her claimed that POC were so scary and aggressive in defending themselves from racism that they were perpetuating (racial slurs as “cute” petnames and objectification in droves) that they’d never be writing characters of color again.

We also saw it a couple months ago in fandom where BNF Franzeska decided that the best response to Black fans pointing out racism towards Finn in Star Wars to write thousands of words of white washed fandom history that contained comments about how we

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Why You Should Be Watching ‘The Magicians’

Pop Culture Uncovered

Friends, we here at PCU have been neglectful, and we’re very sorry. Usually, we cover the best in geek television, from broadcast to Netflix.

Now, we admit we can’t keep a regular tab on everything. There’s far too much out there, not to mention shows that are just plain horrible or locked behind paywalls.

Still, there is no excuse for not covering shows that are fantastic and fun. Sadly, we did precisely that when we did when we didn’t include SyFy’s The Magicians.

Well, there’s no good excuse, but there are reasons you may not have seen the show.

I love The Magicians, but I didn’t watch until SyFy offered all of Season 1 online. I’d heard about the series, based on the novels by Lev Grossman, but I wasn’t sure if it would be my cup of tea.

I can tell you now, I binge-watched…

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Why So Many Men Hate the Last Jedi But Can’t Agree on Why

Bitter Gertrude

leia.connix.leibovitz Carrie Fisher and her daughter, Billie Lourd, as General Leia and Lieutenant Connix, in a PR shot for The Last Jedi taken by Annie Leibovitz for Vanity Fair

NOTE: Many spoilers.

My feed (and yours, I presume) has been filling with people, mostly men, denouncing The Last Jedi for all sorts of reasons. Here are a few I compiled out of my own feed over the past week:

It’s too draggy and long
It’s too fast-paced
It is magically both draggy and fast-paced
It’s too much about one family
It’s not about family
The plot is terrible
The plot is fine but the acting is terrible
The plot and acting are fine, but the pacing is terrible
The plot, acting, and pacing are fine but the characterizations are terrible
It needed more humor
It needed less humor
It needed a different kind of humor
Not enough character development
Too much…

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Game Review – Life is Strange: Before the Storm

Pop Culture Uncovered

While there have been many narrative games in the past, from the first text-based DOS games to Japanese visual novels, none have struck me like modern adventure games. While Telltale is probably the best known if only for their Walking Dead series, and Firewatch earned accolades, I think the high point (so far) is Life is Strange.

Life is Strange provides a fascinating at the turmoil of adolescence, combined with a touch of science-fiction and fantasy. The primary game, released in 2015, followed the protagonist as she dealt with life and relationships, unraveled a mystery, and dealt with the power to rewind time (and its consequences).

The original game received positive reviews and won numerous awards, not only for its excellent story but also for tackling topics like bullying, suicide, drugs and alcohol, and the loss of loved ones. I also prized the fantastic soundtrack, consisting of both…

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It’s not entirely the CGI’s fault…

Well said! OGNerds know this dance.

Pop Culture Uncovered

For better or worse, the internet has become our echo chamber for everything good or bad in fandom. Sometimes we go on tears for some of the smallest things because ‘they just aren’t right’. Part of the problem that arises within fandoms is that we create such a fervor over these things that we completely forget about larger issues which may also affect our corners of fandom.

Thus, I was not surprised that within the past few weeks, people who were already kicking the Justice League movie down found a new reason to do so: Henry Cavill’s face had been CGI’ed because of his contractual obligation with the new Mission: Impossible movie saying that he could not shave.  There were others that complained about the decision to make Steppenwolf a CGI character vs using a real actor. Right behind that, new complaints regarding Thanos’ CGI rendering in the new…

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Don’t Get to the Point

Michael Wehunt

One piece of genre fiction writing and submitting advice that has always annoyed me: The speculative element must be introduced right away in a story. I saw this “rule” a lot when I was starting out, and though it’s obviously not written in stone (hence the quotation marks), it usually felt pretty rigid, a semi-official “We’re a genre magazine, so we need to see the genre front and center” mantra. I can see why editors suggest this. It might provide the “hook” or let the reader know what to expect. Editors have to make their way through a great deal of submissions, and they might feel they need to know what’s what on the very first page or else they’ll click “reject.” But I find it very restrictive and even leading to homogeneity. It’s on my mind lately because I’ve noticed I don’t read genre magazines nearly as much as…

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Fic: The Other Time Lord

The Other Time Lord [AO3] by 

McDonald’s Failure – It’s not about the sauce, it’s about the principle

Pop Culture Uncovered

This past Saturday, October 7th, saw one of the most notable failures of pop culture meets promotional campaign. McDonald’s tried to capitalize on their mention in the popular Adult Swim series, Rick and Morty.

The results were…less than acceptable.

Those who tried to participate in the promotion often went home empty-handed and upset. Videos and articles exist, regaling stories of angry customers berating employees, breaking out into fights, and bringing police out to keep the peace.

At the same time, people are berating Rick and Morty fans and the customers for their behavior. “It’s just sauce” and “stop acting like petulant man-children” are among some of the retorts.

What these tales and critiques seem to ignore is McDonald’s complacency in everything that went down. People want to blame Rick and Morty fans, or anyone who showed (regardless if they’d seen the show), for what…

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