Yes, I am proposing that a major comic book institution change the race of one of its popular characters as it transitions to a new form of media. In this case, I want Marvel Studios to cast an Asian American actor to play the lead in the upcoming Iron Fist show it is developing for Netflix. It seems logical enough to me, though as always, there are fans who are urging Marvel to resist changing his race.
You know why we picked the poster for the 3D showings of Star Trek Into Darkness? Because that’s about two more dimensions than the story ended up having. Set phasers to spoilers under the cut, as we talk about Khan, Sulu, Uhura, and where the franchise might go after this — assuming the fan backlash doesn’t sink the new film series.
Poster for “Star Trek Into Darkness.” Image via thetrekcollective.com
Kendra and I will have a more thorough discussion regarding Star Trek Into Darkness on Wednesday. But, now that the film is out and a rather big racebending cat is out of the bag, I figured we’d open things up for a bigger discussion. Spoilers under the cut. Continue reading →
We start this week’s mix with Lauryn Hill, who had, to say the least, an up-and-down week: on Sunday she made a surprise appearance at Hot 97′s Summer Jam and it looked like Hill was poised to embark on the full-on comeback fans have been waiting for for years.
Then, on Thursday Hill was charged with failing to file three years’ worth of federal income taxes, sending her to a prospective court date later this month. According to Reuters, Hill could face a year in jail if convicted. Here she is in happier times with “Everything Is Everything.”
Next up is a group whose summer is starting on the right foot: not only has Canada’s A Tribe Called Red has scored an opening slot for Major Lazer in Montreal on June 29, but one of the group’s members, DJ Shub, just won the country’s Red Bull Thre3style DJ competition, meaning he’ll represent Canada in a worldwide battle in Chicago this coming September. Get a taste of their style here with “Redskin Girl,” then check out their album Electric Pow-Wowhere:
Next up is a young man who’s started drawing attention to himself–the kind that leads to the label “Mexico’s Johnny Cash.” Mexicali-born Juan Cirerol has taken a talent for punky riffs and welded it to what’s become his genre of choice, norteño music. But, even while his style has changed, his approach hasn’t.
“I like to think and do things in a DIY way. That’s how I consider myself punk,” he told San Diego CityBeat. “I haven’t left my ideologies that can be considered dominated by punk. I just decided to do it the way it’s done in my country.”
A good example is this track, “El Corrido De Roberto.”
Here’s a staggering factoid: Japan’s POLYSICS have been around for 15 years(!) and they’re celebrating the occasion with a new album, 15th P, which features not only a cover of “Mecha Mania Boy” by one of their bigger influences, Devo, with vocals from Devo’s own Mark Mothersbaugh. And, if you’re up for a little bopping around your house or desk today, here’s another track off the album, “Electric Surfin’ Go Go.”
Our last video is under the cut, seeing as how it’s mildly NSFW, both for language and (ahem) aesthetic reasons. But, since we haven’t checked in on John Cho in awhile, enjoy this deleted scene from Harold & Kumar Go To Amsterdam–it’s actually an alternate opening for the film–that Racebending turned us on to. Continue reading →
It was almost enough to make you say, F-ck The Muppets.
No sooner did Eddie Murphy give up his shot at hosting the Academy Awards in a heart-warming display of solidarity with Bro – I mean, Brett – Ratner than an online campaign recommending Kermit The Frog and friends get the job pick up some steam.
The Muppets hosting The Oscars? The most interesting part of that pairing would be figuring out which half should feel more insulted.
But at least Muppets fans are coming at this from a place of honest – if at times overbearing (wokka wokka!) – enthusiasm. It’s been more disappointing to scan around other sites and seethe samebasicwishlist of prospective replacements:
With the timing and awareness of the new Harold and Kumar movie, everyone in America who likes to smoke out will be watching the episode and even better–they’ll be too wasted to find the remote and switch the channel even if the show sucks. I noticed on your upcoming schedule that no host has yet to be confirmed for either the October 29 or November 5 episodes—either date would be perfect to take advantage of the Harold and Kumar synergy.
You also have the added insurance of two hosts so if one of them sucks, you still have a good shot that the other can carry the show. ‘Cause I’ve seen episodes where the lone host sucked and it was not a pretty 1 ½ hours. At the least, two Asian guys have to be worth one Matt Damon, right?
And lest you mistakenly think that having an Asian host will negatively effect the ratings and a segment of the audience (i.e. in-bred racist hicks in the South) will not tune in, Let me remind you that one of the highest-rated episodes in ALL of SNL’s history was when Jackie Chan hosted on May 20, 2000. That show received a 7.3 audience share. Compare that with the Justin Timberlake-hosted episode from this past May, which was considered one of the highest-rated in recent years. That outing “only” netted a 7.0 share.
Now that I’ve addressed your business concerns, let me turn to the artistic ones. Having both John and Kal co-host will definitely open up your creative options because between these two guys, you’ve pretty much got everything covered. You can do ethnic jokes, you can do stoner jokes, you can do 3-D jokes, you can do Star Trek jokes, you can do political jokes (remember Kal worked for the Obama administration), you can do musical comedy (John fronts his own band)—the possibilities are endless. Hell, you can finally do sketches like this with actual Asian people in them.
FlashForward sold itself on the promise that it could become the next Lost. Instead, it bowed out as ignomiously as Heroes, canceled after only one year, and guilty of the same major sin: failing to capitalize on a multi-cultural ensemble.
But this show actually blundered on a greater scale than Heroes – not only was it created by sci-fi faves Brannon Braga and David S. Goyer, but its’ primary POC players – John Cho, Courtney B. Vance, Gabrielle Union, Michael Ealy and Barry Shabaka Henley – were already known quantities going into the show. In a disturbing omen, you had Cho coming off Star Trek and two successful Harold & Kumar movies, but still in second-banana status behind Joseph Fiennes, who hadn’t had a hit in any medium in more than a decade. Fiennes didn’t do himself many favors with the mostly listless character of Mark Benford, who only seemed to come alive until after his marriage dissolved sloooooowwwwwlllyyyyyyy over the course of the season. Worse yet, the creative team chose to shunt these actors and their characters to the background and burn screen time on nothing characters like Aaron Stark; a pair of Magic Autistic Saviors; and star-crossed, bird-brained near-lovers (more on them later), among others.
Not that the series finale, “Future Shock,” didn’t try to redeem its’ ever-beleaguered protagonist, as Mark went into Army of One mode and ohbytheway finally solved the riddle on his wall – that the show and the series would end with a second flash-forward. In this regard, he got something denied to his his counterparts on more-ballyhooed contemporaries like BSG and Lost – a sense of agency. Here, Mark chose to literally walk into the assault he always knew was coming, and to fight his way out. Similarly, you had Wedeck figure out why his flash-forward had him, literally, on the toilet – because and Vreede chose to go in and save Mark’s ass. (Wedeck, by the way, got the episode’s only “F-CK YEAH” moment in shooting the guy in the bathroom). Continue reading →
You know what might’ve made “The Countdown” a little easier to handle? Just one more word in the title:
But seriously, this was your standard “darkest before the dawn” episode, where everybody battled the Determinism blues before next week’s Big Finish. While we’re waiting to see if this follows the finale trend set by BSG and now Lost, the Roundtable focused in on one specific plot thread: the final descent of Demetri.
So, you had Demetri finally ‘fessing up to Zoey. Props to John Cho for mustering up the right amount of groveling and contrition for the moment. But it left Dem having to hitch his wagon to Janis and Simon of all people. Your take? Andrea: I thought Gabrielle Union also brought the right amount of heartbrokenness, incredulousness, indignation, and upset to the scene. All I can say is I’m so happy she dumped Dem’s ass right there then took her freshly done sun-kissed weave and went to Hawaii with her parentals. As for Dem’s infidelity leading to his having to hang with Janis and Simon: Fuck him. Mahsino: 1.) I hated her highlights, they should’ve been a warmer tone. 2.) I almost felt bad for Demetri. It’s like he got 20 points for fessing up before it’s too late, but -1000 when he cheated in the first place. I do like how she brought up how she risked everything for him, I hadn’t even thought of that. Diana: I thought it was pretty realistic. Really, it made no sense to him to sleep with someone else because he thought he was going to die? That’s when you hold on to those you love the most. So I’m with you, Andrea, fuck him. Highlights or no, the weave was fresh. jen*: As much love as I have for Cho, I’m beginning to be ok with Demetri eating it in the finale. He should be in something else, anyway. Continue reading →
Race, Culture, and Identity in a Colorstruck World