Category Archives: Television

Open Thread: Scandal S03 E09: ‘YOLO’

By Arturo R. García

Olivia (Kerry Washington) contemplates her next move — if she can even find one.

As Scandal heads into its winter break, we saw just about everybody snatch defeat from the jaws of victory — and sure enough, one apparent fatality, just an unforeseen one.

SPOILERS UNDER THE CUT
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The Walking Dead Roundtable: 4.8 “Too Far Gone”

Hosted by Jeannie Chan

I stumbled across this graphic once that described the typical progression of an episode of The Walking Dead:

 

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And we’ve probably used this at various times during our stint of reviewing TWD for Racialicious but it warrants recycling! I was quasi-live recapping the mid-season finale for the recap and next to no action happened in the first 27 minutes and then all of a sudden, bodies drop and everything falls apart. Rob Errera, and Nicole Norkin join me for the mid-season finale. Continue reading below for our reactions.

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The Walking Dead Recap: 4.8 “Too Far Gone”

 

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By Jeannie Chan

Previously on TWD, we’re reminded of why the Governor hates Michonne with such a fiery passion. We begin the mid-season finale with the Governor holding court in his new camp. He’s giving his new family his Braveheart speech and tells them that he has leverage and will use them to get access to the prison. No one will have to die if his plan goes well. Yeah, right.

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The Scandal Mid-Season Finale Prediction Thread

By Arturo R. García

We’re scared to look, too, Liv.

Since we didn’t have a first-run episode of Scandal last week — something about a holiday? — this is a good time to stop and cast our best guesses for this coming Thursday’s mid-season finale. A few questions to get us started, based on our last visit with our group of antiheroes and villains:

  • We got the first glimpse of the reunion between Olivia and Mrs. Pope. Will we finally get to hear what she could have done to “merit” being thrown in a secret underground prison — by her husband?
  • Cyrus’ plan to offer up James as bait for a scandal seems to have worked too well. Even if James didn’t fall into the arms of Daniel Langston, what’s the fallout likely to be? And how much does Sally know about her husband’s activities?
  • Quinn earned her burn notice less than a week after becoming a spy. Worst of all, now she’s apparently going to be on the wrong end of a Huck interrogation. What’s the odds Charlie intercedes and sets up a fight for the soul of “Robin”?
  • To the chagrin of most of America, Fitz made his biggest pitch yet for keeping Olivia — her own White Hat House out in the boonies. Problem for him is, Mellie knows (if not about the house, then about their latest tryst). How willing is Mellie to upend his re-election bid by arranging for Olivia to join the team?
  • Who’s the clubhouse favorite for the death pool this season? My money’s still on Harrison, given the sudden amount of attention he’s been getting, with Jake a close second; somebody will have to “pay a price” for all this B613 business.

Racializens, the floor is yours. How do you see this show taking us into the winter break?

Why Orange is Not The New Black

By Guest Contributor Kimberly Bernita Ross

The prison comedy-drama, Orange is The New Black (OITNB), is projected to trump House of Cards in viewership by the end of the year, giving it the distinction of being Netflix’s most-watched original series. The show is an adaptation of Piper Kerman’s memoir by the same name, which recounts her time in prison after being convicted for drug smuggling and money laundering a decade after the offense. Actress Taylor Schilling plays Piper in the series, depicting the sometimes-comical angst that the White upper-middle class, 30-something feels, upon entering what in real life was Danbury Federal Prison in Connecticut.

OITNB joins the ranks of other popular women in prison TV and film productions like Bad Girls, Stranger Inside and Prisoner: Cell Block H. All of these shows and films touch upon relevant issues facing real women in prison, such as a lack of physical and mental healthcare, sexual assault and separation from children; yet they also draw on some of the more sensationalized themes of an earlier generation of women-in-prison (WIP) exploitation films first popularized in the late 1960s and 70s. While OITNB is a significant departure from the B- Movie, WIP film subgenre, the show still relies on subjects of female subjugation, violence, and lesbian sex, themes heavily prevalent in WIP films. And just as WIP movies often cross into revolutionary plots and sometimes Blaxploitation motifs, OITNB delves into the stories of Black and Afro-Latina women in prison. Comparing the women-in-prison film genre with OITNB is a ripe opportunity to analyze changing representations of sexual orientation, gender and race on screen.

There is a dearth of critical examination within portrayals of race and the criminal justice system. Black and Latina women’s plot lines predictably include criminal women from the “menacing urban underclass” without much nuance or context. Writers rarely, if ever, analyze the racialized society that has created the prison industrial complex in which these women find themselves entangled. Jenji Kohen, creator of the show, has been quoted as saying she used the WASP character, fashioned after Piper Kerman, as a ploy to pitch the series to different networks—a sort of subterfuge to tell other stories that the industry is reluctant to touch. The White woman lens as a means of telling the stories of women of color has been a scheme in Hollywood for a long time, and is an oft-criticized element of OITNB. At the same time, much of the show’s appeal rests on this juxtaposition of race and class and the laughable observations of an ignorant Piper. While the stories of real women of color are still held hostage by Hollywood stratagem, OITNB has developed Black and Latino characters that differ from the static, underdeveloped roles of the WIP film subgenre. But how much has really changed?

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Open Thread: Scandal S03 E08: ‘Vermont is for Lovers, Too’

By Arturo R. García

Olivia (Kerry Washington) and Fitz (Tony Goldwyn) indulge in a shared future for one night.

Score this round for the (relatively) good guys.

In the last episode before the winter finale, we saw the pieces begin to move. While Olivia and Fitz’s dalliance in the house revealed just how far Fitz’s obsession flame went — not to mention how badly he seems to want out of politics — the duo also came to an understanding, if not an outright alliance. Each would do what they had to do to unravel Eli and B613.

And now the wildest card of all has landed on Olivia’s doorstep.
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Open Thread: The Walking Dead 4.7 “Dead Weight”

 

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By Jeannie Chan

Last week, we were (at least, I was) manipulated into thinking that the Governor had become a new man. The RT’ers spent all of the last episode nervously waiting for the Governor to crack and go off on another murderous rampage. But it didn’t happen. This week, we pick up right where we left off with Martinez staring at him down the barrel of a gun. By the end of the episode, we catch up to Team Prison’s timeline with the Governor standing outside. But first, let’s talk about all the crazy things that happened in between. Let’s get the ball rolling on this open thread!

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Undo Process: The Racialicious Review For Doctor Who: The Day Of The Doctor

By Arturo R. García

The Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith, left) and the Tenth Doctor (David Tennant) find themselves confronted by their past in “The Day Of The Doctor.”

On Doctor Who‘s 50th anniversary, Steven Moffat decided to give the Doctor a birthday gift. But as with all things Moffat, it comes with strings attached.

SPOILERY-WOILERY UNDER THE CUT. And since enough of us here watch the show (often despite itself), call this a weekend special.
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