Man, last night’s episode of The Flash was fun. “Welcome to Earth-2" sent Barry and Cisco to a parallel world where Barry is a nerd in tweed, Joe West is a lounge singer, and TVs are vertical instead of horizontal. (Madness!) And yet the most amazing change is that it turned Earth-1’s Flash into an imbecile and an…
If a primary task of fiction is to explore the human experience—who we are and what we mean to each other—then the fantastic and unreal must surely be key elements in that exploration. But plenty of people still claim that fantasy and other genres are less “real” than purely mimetic fiction. And Kazuo Ishiguro has the…
I suppose hating on the inexplicable hit sitcom The Big Bang Theory for portraying nerds poorly is like hating the birds for singing: it’s just what they do. But now they’ve dragged Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples’ incredible scifi-fantasy comic Saga into their excrement.
When they announced that The Vampire Diaries was getting a spin-off focusing on the mean ancient vampires who tormented Elena and the Salvatores for a few years, I was beyond skeptical. How could Klaus’ endless dickery and Elijah’s stiff upper lip be watchable, week in, week out? But I’m here to tell you I was wrong.
The 80s were a simpler, more macho time. It was the era of Ronald Reagan, Rambo, and Bruce Springsteen’s patriotic denim buttcheek. But when I think about 80s pop culture, I think about heroes who got their asses handed to them. I miss that vulnerability and determination to keep going after a horrendous defeat.
Last night was a pretty action-packed episode of Arrow. Felicity rejoined the team after her horrific accident; she finally got her own superhero name; a major character died; and more. But all I can think about is how “AWOL” finally convinced me that Oliver and Felicity’s relationship works.
I believe that science fiction’s best days are ahead of it, because I have read a lot of science fiction. And if this genre has taught me anything, it’s optimism about human ingenuity—along with a belief that the unexpected is just around the corner. I’m not alone: Many people seem to feel like science fiction is…
I was a happy child, but I didn’t have such a happy childhood. Other kids didn’t get my weird vibe, especially in elementary and middle school. And one year in particular, we moved to a new city and a new school, and things got ugly. Only one thing kept me from losing my shit: Star Blazers.
Several years ago, I was getting burned out in my high-stress newspaper job, and I came across a fancy hardcover book listing science fiction publishers, agents and editors. I paged through it on my lunchbreak, until I found a part of the introduction which proclaimed: “Many writers now make a decent living just from…
Gillian Anderson has been pretty public about her fight to get paid the same amount as David Duchovny for her work on The X-Files. She’s clearly a badass. To Fox, though, I have to say: Are you fucking kidding me?
When The 100 premiered last year, it looked a lot like any other science fiction show on The CW: a bunch of pretty people acting out a concept that had a tinge of social awareness. But this season, the show broke out of its post-apocalyptic reenactment of Lord of the Flies and became an interesting, challenging story.
Something strange has happened in the endless war for domination of superhero movies. After years of Marvel ceaselessly kicking DC’s ass, I feel as though DC has suddenly taken the lead, thanks to the fantastic new Suicide Squad trailer and the Wonder Woman movie footage. What is even happening?
Suicide Squad has been on a bit of a media blitz lately, ahead of tonight’s new trailer airing as part of a DC Cinematic Universe special on the CW—including a new poster. It’s nothing like the sort of we’ve seen from a DC movie before: It’s vivid. Colorful. Garish, even. And it’s fantastic.
I know, okay? I know that complaining about remakes and reboots and prequels and sequels is basically pointless now. Everyone’s bitched and moaned, and nothing has changed. But I pick this hill to die on. Don’t remake Jumanji. Please.
The Wonder Woman movie is making a pretty bold change to her origin—but this isn’t just another example of DC Comics screwing needlessly with its characters. I’m here to tell you why this particular alteration is a brilliant idea. Spoilers ahead...
Star Wars is back. The space-opera juggernaut that ruled the late 70s and early 80s is once again reigning supreme over pop culture. Disney paid $4 billion for the contents of George Lucas’ toybox. But really, any movie studio that wants to can make its own Star Wars movie. (They just can’t call it “Star Wars.”)
We pretty much loved Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The things this movie got right were so much more important than the things it got wrong. That said, it did get some things wrong. Allow us to elaborate.
This has been a tough year. Pop culture let us down in many ways, even as our political system and our social institutions revealed a deeper seam of ugliness. But speculative fiction still offers us hope: not just optimism about human ingenuity, but actual reasons to look forward and keep our heads up.
Has any movie every had more pre-release baggage than Star Wars The Force Awakens? Expectations, rumors, hype—it felt like the fate of the universe was resting on this movie. So maybe it’s no wonder that I enjoyed Episode VII a lot more the second time I saw it.