So last we, I reviewed the first episode of HBO's new series "Lovecraft Country" on our Geeks From The Trap Podcast. I thought I had a grasp on what to expect from this series and what kind of show it will be but last nights episode made me realize this show is more than a horror dark fantasy allegory about racism. There was so much to unpack from last night's episode, I had to read collider articles about what the hell I just saw (which I will proceed to share with ya'll).
There was so much process with the newest episode of HBO’s Lovecraft Country, “Whitey’s on the Moon”: This episode focuses on Atticus’ (played by Jonathan Majors) continuing search for his missing father, Montrose (played by Michael Kenneth Williams), with the help of his uncle, George (played by Courtney B. Vance), and Leti (played by Jurnee Smollett). Our main characters finds themselves off the map in Ardham, Massachusetts, in the centuries-old lodge of Samuel Braithwhite (Tony Goldwyn) and his daughter, Christina (Abbey Lee). It’s revealed in the episode that the Braithwhites lead a secret order and Atticus has familial ties to both this white family and the Secret order and Tic maybe the long-lost tool Samuel needs to return to the Garden of Eden (yep, it went there). The episode explores the ways in which white supremacy manifests and the ways in which white ownership over occult practices throughout time allows whites to reinforce their perceived superiority.
“Whitey’s on the Moon” suffers from pacing problems compared to last week’s premiere. A lot seems to happen in the space of an hour, but seems to be happening very slowly. When the show opens with George and Leti waking up in the Ardham Lodge to the sounds of Ja’net Du Bois singing “Movin’ On Up,” the theme to The Jeffersons.. I couldn't help but to think how coonish the sequence was. I don't know why but I do. I love the Jeffersons but like Atticus, I was more focused on the monsters from the previous episode but I get it. George and Leti find themselves in what they considered luxury. In George room, he finds himself surrounded by classic literature, and all the time in the world to read it. In Leti, it’s a closet filled with the latest fashion, all of it perfectly fitting her. These are fantasies are made clear when we cut to Atticus sitting silently in his room, with no one singing 70’s TV theme song but they are intoxicating George and Leti, and to the viewers who get to watch Courtney B. Vance and Jurnee Smollett radiate delight as they dance and sway to the music. From there the episode goes into slave shippers, grand wizards, the freemasons and the KKK.
The one aspect the episode that caught my attention is how the systemic force of classism intersects with that of racism. Especially in the scene where Christina claims "My father and his associates would never fraternize with the Klan," while having a heated conversation with Atticus, "they're too poor." This sentiment, that the only exception between one group of racists and another is the pretense of wealth and pedigree, is echoed in later when Atticus and George attend a special dinner in Atticus’ “honor.” The room of white old men sit awkwardly and grows silent as the two take their seats. “Don't mind the others,” William tells Tic “Just because they don't want you here, doesn't mean you're not supposed to be.” These scenes make the episode’s finest moment all the more palpable, as the so-called “Sons of Adam” are pushed away with their figurative tails clenched firmly between their legs. In one of the episode’s best sequences, Tic realizes that his bloodline means that he technically outranks the other members of Samuel’s heinous cult, and he’s able to order the racist wizards out of the dining room to more directly confront the man in charge. In the end, though, Samuel’s wealth and literal power doesn't mean anything to Tic’s legitimate legal claim, which… feels very familiar today, you know?
The plan to rescue Montrose comes at a cost however. While attempting to escape, Leti is mortally wounded and pitted as a bargaining chip in order to coerce Atticus’ surrender and cooperation with Samuel’s plan. Leti’s wounds are healed, but not without her seemingly suffering a nervous breakdown as a result. It would seem that the near-death experience of resurrection has left a visible mark on Leti’s psyche, one that may or may not shape her behaviour throughout the rest of the season. This episode feels like it could of been a season finale. It didn't feel like a second episode at all, as if they rush through it. If this was a netflix series, I'm pretty sure the first 2 episode we've just witness would of been the whole first season spanned 8 hours. The choice to invoke Gil Scott-Heron’s classic 1970 spoken-word piece as not only the episode’s title, but as the accompanying soundtrack to its dramatic climax, is a savvy one. The juxtaposition between Scott-Heron’s searing condemnation of white affluence and upward mobility — both literal and figurative — at the expense of the black and brown communities with the imagery of a cult of white aristocrats attempting to sacrifice a black man’s body to gain purchase to paradise is a powerful one. Its execution, however, leaves something to be desired, with the scene's sound mixing and overall direction rendering moot what should have otherwise been a rousing emotional finale.
I didn't read the book so I have no clue where the story goes from here but I am here for the ride!
Recently I found myself talking to a baby boomer who told me I had an old soul and asked for my age. I told them I was turning 27 in April and they proceeded to tell me Im a millennial and how I was just coming into the world of nostalgia and he was right. Lately we’ve been getting our nostalgia fix on a daily. With new sequels, remakes and reboots. New Star Wars, Transformers, Jurassic Park, Zoolander, Spiderman, Mission impossible, Ghostbusters (I could literally go on) we’ve been getting a big dose of yesteryears. TV was no exception. Watch any Jimmy Fallon clips and you’ll see what I mean.
Teen Wolf, MTV’s Scream, Shows like “Full House” (now Fuller House) and Gilmore girls are having second lives on Netflix, That’s so Raven coming back on the Disney Channel and I wonder how long it will go. One reboot just officially ended and that’s Disney sequel to Boy meets World, “Girl Meets World”. Premiering to widespread critical acclaim back in 2014, Girl Meets World focuses on Riley Matthews (Rowan Blanchard) – teen daughter of BMW super-couple Corey (Ben Savage) and Topanga (Danielle Fishel) – and her journey through middle (and later high) school alongside friends Maya (Sabrina Carpenter), Lucas (Peyton Meyer) and Farkle (Corey Fogelmanis).
I grew up watching Boy meets world, saw every original broadcasts on ABC (remember TGIF?) and the reruns on the disney channel and ABC family so I was initially excited to see them bring the show back. I thought it was cool to see what Corey, Topanga, Feeny, Shawn and Eric been up to. So I tuned in to the premiere to see what the show would look like. I haven’t watched Disney channel in years and I didn’t have my Godson around me as much so I have no clue whats going on in children programming but I wasn’t waiting to have a kid to see what Girl meets world looks like (you should of seen the midnight screening crowd I was in to see Finding Dory, not a kid in site!). I truly felt what Nostalgia felt like. It was like the character been living their lives the whole time and it felt good to see them again...but you know how it feels to see an old friend and you just want to rekindle and catch up on old times until things get played out and you can’t wait for them to go home so you can rekindle another time? That’s how I felt trying to keep up with the series.
Like I said before, I don’t have any children so I literally have no reason to tune into Disney channel so I keep forgetting the series was back on(I did go back to Nickelodeon at times to see old episodes of All That and Rugrats). Thanks to blogs, I sometimes got an update that older characters were appearing on the show and tune back in to see Shawn get Married by Mr Feeny or when Eric came to visit but I really had no interest in the series in total. The cast was great but the show is for a new demographic, nostalgia goes out the window when it’s time to focus on the kids (it is on disney channel). For that fact, I never tuned back in but when I heard it was ending (again, through blogs) I had to come back and see how the show was going to end.
The series creator Michael Jacobs revealed that there was early talks are underway to continue Girl Meets World on another platform but he stressed that those talks were in the very early stages, and nothing was for sure yet so as of now, the season 3 finale on Disney Channel is now a series finale.
So I called my twin brother and we tuned in together for another nostalgia fix knowing they would bring back the older cast and when I say they brought back everybody, THEY BROUGHT BACK EVERYBODY. I was shocked to see the original little sister Morgan and her replacement both on set at the same time, they even joked about it (it was in way better taste than the full house cast joke about the Olsens not being there). The show started off great but I was quickly reminded why I never continued watching the reboot. The transitions to the same location over and over with annoying guitar riff, the fact I had no clue who any of the other children were, the fact Corey is a grown a** man still behaving as he did in season1, (it was insulting). I was seeing the old faces but not getting the same feeling I got watching the ending of the original Boy Meets World. It felt forced. Im sure for kids who watch the show and are big fans might feel different but as an adult fan of the original series, it’s just not the same. It’s good to see old friends and family but I know for a fact if the show comes back on Im not tuning back in.
Which made me wonder how long until we get tired of the remakes, reboots and Sequels? I loved Star Wars Rogue one but with a new installment or spin off every year with the next Marvel or DC or Pixar sequel (there are way too many franchise sequels and remakes to name here). Either or, I know Im going to keep seeing these films in theaters, still see these reunions on TV because like most American millennial, I need that dose of Nostalgia but I can already see that this is going to fade out soon..maybe after the scarface remake?
I haven't caught up with the Philly gang for quite some time. When It first started on Comedy Central years ago I tuned in every week and did the same when they switched to FX but as I got older and busier, I've only caught repeats and reruns. If I didn't see it on SVOD platforms like Netflix or during a meeting with Flip The Hood Co-Creator David Campbell playing in the background, I didn't see it at all but recently I seen an ad for the Season 12 Premiere and I just had to see it. I didn't know how to feel. I didn't know if I should be offended but I was laughing at the concept. These characters aren't good people, so what would happen if they were black for a day? I mean, do you remember when they went black face to play Danny Glover in Lethal Weapon? (I got to admit tho, I thought it was pretty funny).
The series follows "The Gang", a group of five depraved underachievers: twins Dennis Reynolds (Glenn Howerton) and Deandra "Sweet Dee" Reynolds (Kaitlin Olson), their friends Charlie Kelly (Charlie Day) and Ronald "Mac" McDonald (Rob McElhenney), and (from season 2 onward) Frank Reynolds (Danny DeVito), the man who raised Dennis and Dee. The Gang runs the dilapidated Paddy's Pub, an Irish bar in South Philadelphia.
Each member of the gang shows varying degrees of dishonesty, egotism, selfishness, greed, pettiness, ignorance, laziness, and unethical behavior; they are often engaged in controversial activities. Episodes usually find them hatching elaborate schemes and conspiring against one another and others for personal gain, vengeance, or simply the entertainment of watching another's downfall. In their latest episode, the gang get struck by lightning and wake up in black bodies. They name different movies and series trying to understand what happened to them. Wizard of Oz? Freaky Friday? Quantom Leap? To Me, this reminds me of the film Watermelon Man, a 1970 American comedy-drama film, directed by Melvin Van Peebles. It tells the story of an extremely bigoted 1960s era White insurance salesman named Jeff Gerber, who wakes up one morning to find that he has become Black. The premise for the film was inspired by Franz Kafka's Metamorphosis, and by John Howard Griffin's autobiographical Black Like Me.
Unlike the film, the Sunny gang have a different but very similar experience, the biggest difference is they believe they were in a musical (because it was easier to explain the plot in song, and not because black people are musical). Frank sings waiting for the moment he can say the N word (he doesn't) and the others get their white privilege checked at the door while asking "What are the rules?" (they could of got a copy of Hidden Colors 1-4 and got their answer). I think this episode is my favorite episode out of all of all 12 seasons. I wasn't as offended as I thought I would be when I saw the ad and actually ended up appreciating it. It was funny and insightful to hear what the other half think what "black life" is and the question I ask all the time when it comes to white supremacy, What are the rules?