The Galavant Finale Ruined Isabella

KAREN DAVID

**Spoilers for Galavant ahead. Proceed with caution**

When I first saw the previews for Galavant, I was unabashedly excited. After it started, I realized it wasn’t the greatest thing ever, but I was still firmly on board. It was just good fun and though Galavant himself could get pretty damn annoying, the other characters were solid. My favorite was King Richard (mostly because I love everything Timothy Omundson does) but Isabella was a close second. I liked that she wasn’t the typical damsel in distress, that she could sword fight, and that she occasionally called Galavant out on his crap. Of course I knew she had Galavant were going to get together, but I was hopeful that they wouldn’t totally destroy her independence in the process.

My hopes were dashed in the season finale.

The ending was designed to set up the second season: King Richard is sentenced to death for drunkenly planning to kill his brother (while singing the BEST song of the season), so Gareth has to break him out of jail. Gareth breaks Galavant out of jail as well, sending him with King Richard and commanding Galavant to protect the King. Meanwhile, Isabella and the others are used as collateral to ensure Galavant’s cooperation. When the Queen orders everyone killed, Gareth lets all of them escape except Sid, who apparently is still acting as Gareth’s collateral. Next thing you know, the Queen has killed King Richard’s brother and Gareth sits on the throne next to her. THAT was a good ending.

Isabella, on the other hand, immediately leads her group to her cousin’s castle. Her cousin is a pre-teen boy to whom Isabella happens to be engaged. Isabella says she has nowhere else to go and her cousin responds by placing her in a large, locked room covered in pink. And Isabella just walks inside, then stares out forlornly. The narrator asks whether Isabella will have to wait forever.

So, to recap, of the three main characters, Galavant is off on adventures with Richard, Sid gets a ring-side seat to King Gareth’s rule, and…Isabella gets to wait in a big box. Not only is that completely lame, but it’s also completely out of character. Isabella never struck me as someone who would just accept that fate; this is the same woman who took out a group of pirates! The very least the show could have given us is to show Isabella and her crew traveling and left the whole “Izzy in a Box” storyline for the possible second season where the reasons for her change of heart could be explained. But no, just get her captured and pitiful so that Galavant can come rescue her and “prove” his love.

Sigh.

There might be plans to redeem this abysmal end, but since a second season seems unlikely, Izzy will be waiting for a proper end forever.

Advertisements

Black Lives Matter

CHARLIE RIEDEL, AP

CHARLIE RIEDEL, AP

Please accept this post which has nothing to do with pop culture. What’s going on in Ferguson is too important to ignore. At the bottom are links to other articles on this issue. If you only read one thing out of this article, read one of those.

Let’s play “Which is More Important.” On one hand we have property damage, gunshots, and bottle-throwing perpetrated by a few members of a community suffering extreme grief and anger. On the other hand we have the widespread, nation-wide murder of young black men committed by representatives of the government who are never punished for it.

Yes, the burning buildings of option A make for a better picture and an easier headline, but the right answer is emphatically option B.

So it is incredibly depressing to see the media focusing entirely on the violence in Ferguson without discussing the reason behind it. I want to see national media coverage on why black people in Ferguson and across the country are angry rather than salivating over the broken store windows. And, while I’m wishing for unlikely things, how about having some people of color explain those reasons?

I am not black or brown person, so I feel unqualified to talk about the experience of interacting with police as a person of color. Nevertheless, I, and anyone else who cares to look, can find a wealth of evidence that black people are treated horrendously in our justice system, starting with the police and ending with the prison system.

For instance, just today we have a story of a 12-year-old black boy, Tamir Rice, shot and killed by a policeman because he was carrying a toy gun at a playground. Similarly, John Crawford, was shot by police in a Wal-Mart because he was carrying a toy gun. Both of these incidents occurred in open carry states. I’d like to emphasize that because even if those people had been carrying real guns, it still would have been legal behavior and yet, they were shot without warning or opportunity to explain. And one of them was a child.

Then we come to the case of Marissa Alexander, a black woman in Florida who, to scare off her abusive husband, shot in his direction but didn’t hit him. She spent almost three years in jail through the process, was convicted on three charges, and faced 20 years in prison for it. For not killing someone, remember. Except this is the same state that said a man who killed a black teenager wasn’t guilty because of Florida’s stand your ground laws.

If this doesn’t convince you that black people and white people are not equal in our justice system, then how about Eric Garner. Or Vonderrit Myers.

I could go on, but I think you get my point.

The fact that the people of Ferguson are angry is understandable and the fact that the media is using this as an excuse to continue to ignore the larger issues is despicable.

The truth is that America has a racist justice system and it’s not going to get better until we acknowledge and examine the racism in our society. Covering the rioting without making the reasons clear only provides a mechanism to reinforce racist beliefs that black people are inherently violent and their concerns should be ignored.

Instead, we should all be appalled by the treatment black people are subjected to by our government. We should all be standing with the people of Ferguson and demanding change. That change will be difficult and it won’t happen all at once. But it will start when we can recognize, as a nation, that racism in our society is the real problem, and it’s bigger than any rioting in any city.

Here are some more commentary on this issue and Ferguson. You should read them all:

About Ferguson, White Allies and Speaking Up When It Matters by Luvvie

If There Are Good Cops Out There, Prove It by Albert L. Butler

Youth are On the Frontlines in Ferguson and They Refuse to Back Down by Muna Mire

A Letter to My Unborn Son by George Johnson

Will My People Ever Truly Be Free? by Khadijah Costley White

On Ferguson – The System Isn’t Broken, It Was Built This Way at The Belle Jar

Citizen Radio: (2014/11/26) Darren Wilson acquitted by Ferguson grand jury, false equivalency of comparing property damage to murder by Jamie Kilstein and Allison Kilkenny

Happy Halloween!: My Top Ten Villain Song List

Since everyone and their brother was doing a review of scary movies for Halloween, I decided to do something a little different and list my favorite villain songs. I’ve always been inordinately interested in the villains, even when I was a kid. I think I had picked my favorite villain in a Disney movie before I picked my favorite princess (it was Ursula, naturally). I’ve also been a huge fan of music, so villain songs are something I’ve thought about a lot. This list is a result of that thought, but also completely based on my own preferences and no real objective criteria.

So, without further ado, the list:

10. Madam Mim’s “Mad Madam Mim’s”

Madam Mim is volatile, arrogant, and has more than one screw loose. Her song encapsulates that personality as she feels compelled to show off all her awesome transformations even though she fully intends to eat poor Arthur in the end. I love this song because it makes me laugh and for Mim reveling in both her evilness and being “an ugly old witch.” Plus, I think this is the villain I would be if I were a Disney villain. She’s more silly than devious and she turns into a DRAGON. Done and done.

9. Rasputin’s “In the Dark of the Night”

Despite it’s historical inaccuracies, Anastasia is a wonderful movie on all counts, but Rasputin’s song is a stand out. The song style is appropriately creepy, building to an epic crescendo as Rasputin leaves purgatory to complete his curse on the Romanov family. As with other Don Bluth movies, there are elements that make this scene in a kid’s movie actually scary (what with the human skeletons forming the pillars of Rasputin’s cave and him summoning actual demons). Still, my favorite thing about this song are the little touches like the deep voiced beetle providing the “Find her” echoes toward the end and Rasputin putting on the Anastasia wig. Also, Jim Cummings is amazing as evidenced by the fact that he sang this song and also plays the voice of Tigger. Talk about versatile.

Continue reading

5 Reasons Why Columbo’s Wife is a Cool Lady

Anyone who has watched Columbo (everyone should; it’s on Netflix instant streaming), knows that he talks about his wife a lot. She never actually shows up in the series, but she is still a constant presence known only through the Leiutenant’s references to her. But, if you pay attention, you start to realize that Mrs. Columbo is actually a really cool person, who is actually more interesting than some other female characters who DO appear on screen (I’m looking at you, Dawn).

tumblr_mtz7oftIJ61seen3bo1_500

What’s up with that?

So, in tribute to this elusive lady, here are five reasons why Mrs. Columbo is cool¹:

1. She’s super smart

When Columbo was solving the murder at the Mensa group, the murderer gave him a limited information puzzle to solve to test his IQ. According to Columbo, he couldn’t solve it, but Mrs. Columbo could. Also, Columbo talks to her about his cases and she’s given him the solution in several instances.

Continue reading

My Monday Pop Obsession: Avengers: Age of Ultron

Now presenting the trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron and I am SO FREAKING EXCITED.

It’s a different tone than the first Avengers, which was much more…well…cheery, I guess. There was a more light-hearted mood, even in the trailer. This one, though, is all intense all the time. Ultron looks and sounds truly terrifying and the did you see all the anxious/devastated/furious faces?! Captain America’s SHIELD WAS BROKEN, guys! This movie means serious business.

Also, good job setting the trailer to that eerie version of Pinnochio’s “I Got No Strings.”  That definitely won’t haunt my dreams tonight.

“Forever” Tackles Gentrification and Steps in a Pile of White Savior Complex

Warning! This post contains instances of nitpicking (and spoilers). Proceed at your own risk.

Have you seen Forever? It’s only on it’s sixth episode, so you’d be forgiven for having missed it. The premise is this: an immortal medical examiner in New York City solves murders with his trusty cop sidekick. I’m really enjoying it so far, though I have to wonder when the whole “protagonist is involved in every major historical event” will become too implausible to be borne.

tvpreview-forever__span

Starring Mr. Fantastic from The Fantastic Four

In the fifth episode, Henry, the aforementioned immortal, is trying to solve the murder of a black man in Alphabet City. It quickly becomes apparent that this man was fighting against the arrival of a new, shiny set of million-dollar apartments in the poor neighborhood he lived in, and it appears that the developer building the new apartments is the murderer.

Continue reading

Matthew McConaughey has a Sad about Losing the Word “Redskins”

matthewmcconaughey

In an interview with GQ (presented with the tagline “We keep getting older, and he just stays the same age”), Matthew McConaughey chimed in on the debate surrounding the name of the Washington Redskins football team:

What interests me is how quickly it got pushed into the social consciousness. We were all fine with it since the 1930s, and all of a sudden we go, “No, gotta change it”? It seems like when the first levee breaks, everybody gets on board. I know a lot of Native Americans don’t have a problem with it, but they’re not going to say, “No, we really want the name.” That’s not how they’re going to use their pulpit…

It’s not going to hurt me. It’s just… I love the emblem. I dig it. It gives me a little fire and some oomph. But now that it’s in the court of public opinion, it’s going to change. I wish it wouldn’t, but it will.

The poor thing! He’s going to lose some “oomph” because he can no longer treat a race of people as mascots for his football team.

tiniest_violin

Here’s a sad song on a tiny violin.

Continue reading

My Monday Pop Obsession: Sleepy Hollow

What do you get if you cross the X-Files with Supernatural and throw in a lot of Revolutionary War references? Why, my favorite new show Sleepy Hollow of course!

0902-sleepy-hollow-fox-3

The show follows the adventures of Ichabod Crane and Abbie Mills. Ichabod is the most well-connected soldier in the American Revolution who was put into stasis in the 1700s only to wake up in modern times. Abbie is a no-nonsense cop with a troubled past. Together, they try to stop the biblical end of days from arriving and do battle with the four horsemen of the apocalypse. They get help from Abbie’s guerrilla-fighting, badass sister, the police chief, and Ichabod’s wife, who is a witch and was, for a time, trapped in purgatory.

I know it reads like the most ridiculous thing ever, but trust me, it works.

Continue reading

Blood Waterfalls and Re-Victimization in Maroon 5’s “Animals”

This blog is not very old, but so far, I’ve only criticized things that I do not like. I’ve never been a fan of the Washington, D.C. football team, and though I recognize that Meghan Trainor’s songs are catchy, I’m not a fan of her, either.

But I am a fan of Maroon 5. I downloaded “She Will Be Loved” from Napster and I root for Adam Levine’s team on the “The Voice.” So I was incredibly disappointed when I finally watched the video for their new song “Animals.”

Upon first listen, it sounds like a pretty normal Maroon 5 song. The lyrics by themselves are also open for interpretation. There’s some creepiness, but it could be interpreted as a song about a toxic relationship.

Take this for example:

You can find other fish in the sea
You can pretend it’s meant to be
But you can’t stay away from me

It could be about a girl who can’t get over her boyfriend despite the boyfriend being bad for her.

But then, you watch the music video (trigger warning for scenes of stalking and implied violence):

Continue reading

My Monday Pop Obsession: Sia’s “Chandelier”

Since I’m going to be complaining about pop culture a lot, it seems only fair to talk about some things I love. I’ll try to make it regular thing. This week, it’s Sia’s song “Chandelier” and especially the accompanying music video.

The key to a good music video, in my opinion, is to do something interesting without getting in the way of the song. A lot of music videos are just there. It’s an excuse to put the artist in a variety of outfits and have them lip-synch into a camera. They’re fine, but just powerfully uninteresting and forgettable.

What I love about the “Chandelier” video is how much it complements the song while also being so simple at the same time. The choreography is amazing, beautiful and silly and frenetic all at once, and the dancer, Maddie Ziegler, is phenomenally talented. Picking a stark, run down room as the setting reflects an underlying sadness. Together, the video creates a sense of vulnerability that actually made me listen to the lyrics more closely and realize that the song is not just about partying your face off.

For example:

Party girls don’t get hurt
Can’t feel anything, when will I learn?
I push it down, push it down

Help me, I’m holding on for dear life, won’t look down, won’t open my eyes
Keep my glass full until morning light, ’cause I’m just holding on for tonight

Gotta get out now, gotta run from this
Here comes the shame, here comes the shame

Despite the chorus’ focus on swinging from the chandelier and pounding shots, the entire song makes it clear that the partying is an attempt to escape from an inner desperation. The beauty of the video is that it enhances this aspect of the song without pounding you over the head with it.

The best example of this in the video actually comes in the last shot, where the Ziegler puts on a fake smile and practices her curtsy before sending the video with a long shot on her standing, in the dark, in the doorway. It’s a beautiful, forlorn moment without a single fake tear in sight.

It might have been a risky move to make music video focused entirely on a contemporary dance routine without the actual singer making an appearance. But it worked out perfectly. Together, the video and the song stand out as an amazing work of art.