All posts by Arturo

The Racialicious Roundtable For ‘Flash Forward’ 1.10

Hosted by Special Correspondent Arturo R. García

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Can I just tell you all how much I hate “press conference” scenes on film or television? And the one in “A561984″ was one of the worst yet. I don’t know where they wrote that bunch of goons to get their training from, but with all their RABBLE RABBLE RABBLE crap, we never got to hear:

* Exactly how Lloyd and the Hobbit came to think they caused the GBO
* What the test yielded apart from the blackout
* Where they got their funding for their SCIENCE!
* Who the hell is paying for all the damages their little stunt caused

Instead, these idiots gave the boys a chance to get away – and what kind of lame-ass security guard gets jacked by a *reporter*? Where was this thing held, a Sarah Palin signing? What a horrible way to kick off the show.
Diana: It was a bit lame. And those were obviously amateur rent-a-cops. I was kind of with the Hobbit on this one. They should have had more info on if they actually caused it before making it that public. They could have gone to the feds first. But that makes too much sense.
Carmen: Yeah especially after Lloyd and Charlie (sorry, I’m a Lostie) tried to act all cool during that Texas Hold’em showdown… this press conference showed them to be the dorks that they are.
Andrea: But the Hobbit/Charlie/Dan Brown-Sounding Philosophy Dude did go to Stan and tried that whole “I Got Something You Might Be Interested In” bit. And Stan bit a bit…though Janis saw through dude’s ruse. To eyerolling effect. On that I give Janis daps.
jen*: The whole confession/press conference was ridic. I understand Lloyd’s guilt, but what scientist tells everybody his experiment caused chaos when he has no proof? Just coincidence. How could they even have held a press conference without going to the FBI or something first? Continue reading

‘Jersey Shore’: Believe The Hype

By Special Correspondent Arturo R. García

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Three weeks in, Jersey Shore has played out exactly as you expected: the gang of eight Italian-Americans gathers at the hot tub to sip some wine and reflect upon their heritage and culture, including a unanimous vote to use their newfound platform to protest the depiction of the Italian justice system during the Amanda Knox case.

Just kidding.

In terms of presentation, there’s little separating Jersey from MTV’s other “reality” offerings: the cast members are, at any given moment, clueless, conniving, crass, or crunk. Last week’s episode spent almost 10 minutes following Nicole (aka “Shnooki” or “The Princess of Poughkeepsie”) as she debated leaving the house after one night because she embarrassed herself by drunkenly making out with numerous housemates. And not surprisingly, almost all of the roommates complained about having to work at a nearby t-shirt shop until (gasp!) 9pm, despite it being a condition of their living in the usual gauche bachelor/ette pad. The musical score hammers the “appropriate” mood into the viewer’s head while we watch each of these people act out and lash out in a manner befitting sex-crazed buffoons. Continue reading

The Racialicious Bye Week Roundtable For ‘Flash Forward’

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Hosted by Special Correspondent Arturo R. García

What, you thought these guys taking a week off was going to stop us?

First off, we’re happy to welcome a new addition to Team Snarklight Express: the boss of bosses at New Demographic herself, Carmen Van Kerckhove!

Carmen: Hey there! Thought it was about time I started pulling my weight. And if that means taking on the burden of watching John Cho every week, so be it.
Andrea: Hey Carmen! Welcome to the ‘Table. Soooo…now that you’re here, can we officially make John Cho the new Patron Hottie of the R? :-)
Mahsino: I agree, ’tis a heavy burden having to watch all that hotness surrounded by wooden acting.
Diana: Welcome to the snark fest, Carmen! Ditto, Andrea, on Cho as the Racialicious Patron of Hotness.
jen*: Welcome, Carmen! (two hands up for Cho-licious moments at The R)

To prep everyone for the return of the show this week, we sat around and tossed some ideas back and forth, mostly from these clips we found on a FF site … uh, Andrea, where did we find this, again?
Andrea: The site is in Polish. I recognized the language on the site before I saw the extension. Eight years of going to Catholic mass where the misalettes were in Polish and English.

Carmen: I sure hope that Mark and Demitri just happened to wander onto the set of a TVB costume drama or something, cause believe it or not, people in my hometown of Hong Kong don’t usually walk around dressed like this:

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The Racialicious Roundtable For ‘Flash Forward’ 1.9

Hosted by Special Correspondent Arturo R. García

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By now, dear reader(s), you’ve probably heard that ABC has given the turkeys at Flash Forward an extra-long Turkey Day hiatus in order to give the writing a punch-up. Of course, if you read this space, you know we could solve the problem for the creative staff in four words: MORE CHO, LESS FIENNES. And it’s not just us who are off the Bedford bandwagon. As AfterEllen notes:

But honestly, Joseph Fiennes gets annoying after awhile, with his one-note performance (the one note being angst) as Mark Benford. How can someone be as grim as he with a wife like this?

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Still, perhaps we’ve all been too hard on Captain Non-Charisma; as the Roundtable’s own Andrea points out, one of the men behind the scenes of Flash Forward is Brannon Braga, who helmed Voyager and Enterprise, the two Star Trek properties that don’t, ah, get mentioned as much as their sister series.

Ok, back on a regular sched now. Hope everybody’s doing well and avoided the Twi-hordes
Mahsino: I just watched the original Twilight a couple weeks ago. To put it in perspective, it’s somewhere between Heroes and Dollhouse: bad, but entertaining enough that you can’t bring yourself look away. It’s a decent clean-the-house and fold laundry movie.
Diana: I was sucked in, but survived. I don’t think I’ve ever been in a theater with so many women, even compared to when Sex and The City came out. But for hangin’ with my girls, I probably would have waited to see it on Netflix.
jen*: Successfully avoided. I’m more of an Angel fan.
Andrea: Here’s me, not giving a f-ck about Twilight and the latest vampire trend in general. I work in a commercial building that containing a shopping mall; I’m more worried about the Black Friday/Christmas hordes.

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Memo To Tim Kring: You Are Who You Work With

By Special Correspondent Arturo R. García

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If you think that Racism and Sexism are thematically integrated in HEROES then you may want to check your intelligence before worrying about it being insulted.
- Jim Martin, Heroes writer and assistant to Tim Kring, on a (since-deleted) tumblr post

Dear Mr. Kring,

It’s been about a month since I stopped watching your program. As you’re no doubt aware, my friends and fellow reviewers at this site and myself are far from the only ones who have left Heroes behind; just look at the ratings, right?

But I’m not writing to gloat about your commercial and critical misfortune. I’m writing to suggest that your staff isn’t helping the problem. Consider the statement from Mr. Martin’s tumblr. Sure, he deleted it, but you know us sneaky internet people – we’ll save things when you’re not looking and remember them, and share them.

So consider this a tip for your future endeavors (because Heroes is almost assuredly ending this season, isn’t it?): You want to continue engendering good will from your fanbase? How about you work with people who won’t issue statements like this:

* Anyone who thinks they can do better… I dare you. Go ahead. :) I’d love to see it.
* Look up the diversity programs for writers in tv. Ask anyone in the tv world. There is a distinct disadvantage to be a white male when trying to be a staff writer.
* I’m fully aware of what you are referencing, but I don’t think its a problem on Heroes and I don’t think white privilege is an issue in Hollywood at this point.

Clearly, Mr. Martin hasn’t been reading Fade In Magazine. Continue reading

The Racialicious Roundtable For Flash Forward 1.8

Hosted by Special Correspondent Arturo R. García

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Maybe we’re just bad luck.

I mean, you saw what happened to Heroes on the Roundtable’s watch. Now comes word that Flash Forward is slipping, ratings-wise. If I’d known about this effect sooner I would’ve started convening Glee roundtables.

Just kidding, Mahsino!

But, anyway, dear readers, what do you make of this show getting beat out in the ratings by … by the Vampire Diaries? In the meantime, let’s cover “Playing Cards With Coyote”:

al1Best thing about this week’s episode: consistent (or at least, constant) follow-up on Al’s “gift” to Demetri. I also thought Celia getting 15 minutes of fame out of it was an interesting touch. Your thoughts?
Diana: I don’t know if I missed something, but the logic seemed kind of flawed to me. I did not know Al knew Celia’s full name/identity. With that said, I still mourn Al’s loss and wonder if there could have been a less drastic measure to achieve the same outcome. But then I guess it would not be as dramatic and worth putting on the front page of a newspaper that the future could be changed.
jen*: I’m with you Diana – how would Demetri know to deliver the letter to her if Al stated in the letter that he didn’t even know her last name? Maybe he used Mosaic?
Arturo: I think Al mentioned cross-referenced her with his vision in Mosaic during last week’s ep. It stands to reason – though, in retrospect, it should’ve been spelled out – that Dem or somebody did the same.

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‘Couples Retreat’ Advertising: Now You See POC, Now You Don’t

By Special Correspondent Arturo R. García

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Let’s play a little game of Photoshop sleight-of-hand. See the poster up there for Couples’ Retreat? Now look below:

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Presto! Somewhere over the Pond, Faizon Love and Kali Hawk disappeared from the poster, as the 2nd version was the one used to promote the film in the U.K. As reported on Yahoo, a spokesman for the film’s distributor, Universal, said the move was made “to simplify the poster to actors who are most [recognizable] in international markets.”

But two years ago, in a New York Times article, BET head Reginald Hudlin had a different theory:

“I always call international the new South … In the old days, they told you black films don’t travel down South. Now they say it’s not going to travel overseas.”

Both the Times and Entertainment Weekly cited, among other films, Dreamgirls as an example of the “doesn’t travel well” theory, noting the discrepancy between its’ showings in the international and U.S. box-offices; only 38 percent of its’ total business came from markets abroad. But that was a marked success compared to, say, Hustle & Flow, which only got 6 percent of its’ business outside of the States.

While reading the EW article, here’s one theory a reader posted regarding this trend:

I believe that as Black Actors make more movies that don’t SEEM to be made for African-American Audiences. they’ll do better abroad. As much as I like Eddie Murphy, his movies from Norbit to The Nutty Professor are more, how can I say it, aimed at what he thinks Black audiences will enjoy. And they don’t have international appeal.

So here’s some questions, readers: Is more critically-acclaimed fare like Hustle & Flow and Dreamgirls getting dragged down by the Norbits of the world? Is this a response/push-back against the American film industry relegating more diverse stories to the art houses and film festival circuit? What are your thoughts?

NOOOOOOOOOO!: The Racialicious Roundtable For Flash Forward 1.7

Hosted by Special Correspondent Arturo R. García

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“The Gift” marked, I hope, a real transition point for our team of protagonists. Because we got to see Al as not only sympathetic, but close to well-rounded; his sacrifice, I feel resonated for the viewers. More on this later. Meanwhile, this episode provided another glimpse into why the death of our alleged lead protagonist, Mark, would *not*.

The big problem with Mark is this: until he wore that Police shirt under his jacket, I had no idea the guy *liked* anything. We’re told he loves his wife, but the chemistry between them hasn’t ever been there, even in the “good times.” Until this week, he didn’t crack one joke (compared to Demetri, who’s been at least able to pull off the facade of joviality at times). Like I said last week, he’s a melodramatic character in an action-oriented series. (Another symptom of forcing melodrama where it doesn’t belong: The “pensive” little music videos that seem to close every episode. This week it might have stirred genuine emotion, had we not had to deal with one for most of the season.) I also don’t think Mark is as engaging to the “casual” fan as the showrunners may want to believe. If Brannon Braga and Co. aren’t careful, they might have another Claire Bennet on their hands. Continue reading