First of all, if you haven’t watched the Gilmore Girls: A Year In the Life revival on Netflix yet, please stop right here and go binge for about 6 hours like the rest of us.
Musical theater is a divisive medium. For some, it produces endless delight and fanatical devotion; for others, bafflement and fierce avoidance.
For me, musicals have always been a source of enjoyment. I grew up watching The Sound of Music once a year, every year. I spent most of the last academic year reviewing Broadway tour productions for my college newspaper (best gig ever – great seats for the low, low price of 500 words). I’ve even been in a musical or two myself.
But not everybody is musical fan, and understandably so. Musicals can be just plain baffling. Why is everyone singing? Why does everyone just accept this? Real life isn’t actually like this! (As a person who sings throughout my day, I beg to differ, but the point stands.) Musicals aren’t exactly a 1:1 reflection of everyday life.
But some musicals do try to tackle the question of “why are we singing?”. Some musicals seem to take place in a world where everyone sings and spontaneous extravagant musical numbers go unquestioned. But some musicals have a group of people consistently baffled by the theatrical antics of the main characters, a mirror for the audience who are less than spellbound by this perfectly choreographed and harmonized world.
I’ve been thinking about these questions recently and the worlds that musicals create. Specifically, because I recently binge-watched the first season of the CW show Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (a musical comedy), I’ve been thinking about how these questions are addressed in musical television, both in shows that regularly feature musical numbers and ones for which musical numbers are a rarity.
Today, I’ll break down four of my favorite examples of musical TV and attempt to answer one question: do they know they’re singing?
Welcome back from our mini-hiatus. Due to an unprecedented bout of bad weather where I live, coupled with that lovely portion of college life I like to call midterms, my schedule has been a bit off. But, we are now back in full swing! This week we’ll be discussing the episodes for the past two weeks, A Sin to Err and Snafu, which I actually find fit rather well in a review together. So, without further ado:
This week on Marvel’s Agent Carter, we got our first glimpse of the baby Black Widow spiderlings in the midst of their daily routine. Wake up, share stolen bread, learn English from Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, (isn’t Marvel lucky it’s a Disney property) and then engage in combat to the death. Just your everyday, average little girl stuff. And with that opening sequence, we plunge into this week’s episode.
To say that Lorelei (Lauren Graham) and Emily Gilmore (Kelly Bishop) have one of the most turbulent cinematic mother-daughter relationships would likely be an understatement. The dysfunction present throughout all seven seasons of Gilmore Girls between these two strongly willed ladies could likely fill years of psychological journals.
But for the purpose of this very brief, 1,000-word blog post, I want to focus on the ways that Emily Gilmore works, both as a character and a reflection of the strong-willed lady in all of us. (You too, gentleman readers!)
First of all, with only a few exceptions, Emily Gilmore, like so many ideologues and family matriarchs, never errs from her firm opinion that her actions are not only in the right, but are what is best for those around her. This habit is regularly exemplified in her dialogues with Lorelei, in which Lorelei says one thing and Emily steamrolls right over her.What I love about the beginning of the show is that it launches us immediately into the timeframe in which Lorelei has begun (with mixed success) to improve that relationship and force her mother to hear what she is saying.
I have often thought this is very reflective of real life, where we only allow those who have torn us down to see us when we have started the assent back up. Rory is thriving despite a rocky start to life. Lorelei is successfully managing a big business with dozens of employees. To some extent and despite all her attempts to rebel from their way of life, Lorelei is still craving her parents to say that she has done well. It’s a praise she never fully receives. But that’s a digression for another day.
Welcome back to Marvel Mondays, where Leah gushes about all things Peggy Carter and contemplates cutting her hair so as to better cosplay our favorite leading lady.
This week on Agent Carter was less action and more exposition, giving us a little breather after the shocker that came at the end of last episode. Tuesday’s episode also saw the return of Howard Stark, genius, billionaire, and everyone’s favorite scoundrel.
…well, perhaps not everyone’s favorite. Howard Stark is a pretty polarizing character, even in the fictional Marvel world. Today’s review is going to dissect what we saw of Howard, look at Peggy’s fantastic upbraiding of him, and take a guess at why it is that many viewers — and Peggy herself — just can’t bring themselves to dislike Howard, despite all his faults.
Welcome back to our Agent Carter reviews!
Since we had a week of hiatus (boo) and also a special feature last Monday, this week we’ll be talking about the episode that aired two weeks ago, “Time and Tide”. (Spoilers for the episode below the cut!)
This week I’d like to examine a theme that occurred to me as I was writing my first draft of this piece. Originally, I planned to divide this review into two sections: one about Jarvis and his character revelations, and the other about Peggy and her battle with injustice. But as I was looking over my notes and thinking about the two, I realized that this episode isn’t just about Peggy’s battle with injustice. In fact, Jarvis’s story too, is a battle with injustice in a way, as are a myriad of other small moments in the episode. So today, we’re going to take a look at prejudice and injustice in the world of Agent Carter. Continue reading