Three Cheers for Marvel: Thor Is Now a Woman

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Marvel announced Tuesday on The View (of all places) that in an upcoming comic series, Thor will be deemed unworthy of  Mjolnir (or “mewmew” for any Kat Dennings fans out there), and the power will instead be bestowed on a previously unknown female earthling. The story will launch sometime in October with series writer Jason Aaron still at the helm.

While we should all brace ourselves for the usual cry of, “Political correctness!” let’s give Jason Aaron an extra pat on the back for this awesome statement:

“This is not She-Thor. This is not Lady Thor. This is not Thorita. This is THOR.”

Well played, Aaron.

Naturally it should be stated that this will almost certainly not have an impact on the movies in the near future. Chris Hemsworth has not been deposed — he and his biceps will still be gracing your screen for Avengers 2, and more than likely a third Thor movie as well — but a comic series is a great first step.

This also marks another strive toward increased inclusiveness on Marvel’s part. Between Kamala Khan, Miles Morales and now this, it’s nice to see that they are consciously making an effort to branch out and appeal to wider demographics.

Will you be picking up the new comic series? Are you stoked about the change, or concerned?

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You Should Be Watching Channel 4′s Utopia

The end of Utopia … or is it?

 

What do those pesky feminists want from female characters?

This debate about seems to go on forever. Not among feminists, of course, but among people who want to roll their eyes about “those feminists” always demanding that every show have a strong lead female character. Which of course is not what most feminists want from their female characters. What we want, by and large, is fairly simple: we want female characters to be people.

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The Leftovers, or Why We Need to Stop Predicting the Next Breaking Bad

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The Leftovers premiered a couple of weeks ago on HBO. Based on the Rapture-esque Tom Perrotta novel of the same name, the show follows the lives of a group of small town residents still reeling from an event three years earlier in which 2% of the world’s population mysteriously disappeared. More a treatise on grief than a supernatural mystery, both the show and the book promise a lot of dark introspection without much payoff. Which is fine, depending on how that grief plays out.

The performances are good, although I would argue that while Justin Theroux’s talent at looking angry and sweaty and shirtless is unparalleled, he’s a bit of a dull lead. And, as with all TV shows, there hasn’t been enough Christopher Eccleston yet.

Whether or not people want to spend week after week (particularly in the dead heat of Summer) meditating on grief and loss is debatable, but the show does appear to be off to a good start, lead character and his potential psychosis aside.

And while professional and amateur reviews of the show have been fairly good, there’s one thing that seems to be troubling reviewers and audience members alike: Will this be the next Breaking Bad?

Was Fargo the next Breaking Bad? Was True Detective?

Is Game of Thrones the natural successor to Breaking Bad?

Will we ever get another Breaking Bad?

In a word, no. Truly amazing, transcendent TV is extremely rare. TV is absolutely getting better, to the point where film is starting to look outdated and clunky in comparison, but it’s unfair to constantly set this expectation of brilliance for every new cable premiere.

Moreover, it’s also an expectation that cheapens the thing you consider so great by expecting a natural successor to pop up mere weeks or months after the series finale.

I don’t know yet if The Leftovers will be an amazing show, just like nobody knew what Breaking Bad would become at the two episode mark. I do know that Fargo’s brilliance was blown wildly out of proportion, but I suppose that that’s another post for another day.

In any event, can we just let a show grow and develop without heaping on it some enormous pressure to be the next greatest thing you’ve ever seen?

But seriously — more Eccleston.

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Why My Magicians Piece for The Mary Sue Was All Wrong

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I try not to wave the big pink flag of my gender around here too often, for the simple and unfortunate reason that it often gets me taken less seriously. You would think that a blog called Tea Leaves and Dog Ears would skew female in people’s minds (doubly so if they actually checked my About Me page), but somehow unless I actually open with, “As a woman…” people default male.

Which… I’m fine with. Sort of. I would rather have people both assume I’m a woman and take all of my arguments at face value, but for the moment that seems to be an impossibility. So if there’s a choice, I suppose I’d rather be taken seriously by randoms on the internet when I want to yell about TV shows and books (remember when I wrote about books?) than be dismissed as an idiot who doesn’t know what she’s talking about.

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SHIELD Needs to Just Let Ward Be Evil

[This post contains major spoilers for Captain America: The Winter Soldier and the last two episodes of SHIELD. You've been warned.]

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Scott Thompson Takes You Inside Hannibal

Scott Thompson has hijacked the Hannibal set to bring you three interviews with the show’s three leading men — Mads Mikkelsen, Hugh Dancy and Lawrence Fishburne*. The interviews are short, cute and fun for the average Hannibal fan, although now and then Thompson seems to need to be reminded that he’s interviewing and not being interviewed.

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Hoax or Not, James Franco Did Nothing Wrong

God knows that James Franco loves nothing more than an elaborate PR stunt masquerading as “performance art.” So it is entirely possible, as some people have speculated, that his recent attempt to pick up a 17 year old fan outside the stage door of Of Mice and Men was one big plug for his upcoming movie, Palo Alto.

For those who don’t know, Palo Alto, based on a series of short stories (written, of course, by Franco himself), is about a group of rebellious teens, one of whom has an inappropriate and mutual crush on her much older soccer coach (played by — you guessed it – Franco). The trailer was released the day before this all went down. Here’s it is, if you’re interested:

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