Issa Rae’s hit show, Insecure, is back and we finally get to see what Issa and Molly have been up to. In season two’s finale, we found Issa moving in with ex-boyfriend Daniel after losing her apartment. The beginning of this season’s premiere confirms the awkward situation living with Daniel creates, as we see him having excessively loud sex with someone who’s not Issa. Issa’s sheer disbelief while listening on the couch is so real I had the same loss for words expression while watching. The awkwardness between Issa and Daniel doesn’t stop there. Daniel is so clearly being petty when expressing that he “didn’t know” Issa was home when he had a visitor. In his defense, Issa’s wishy-washiness over her feelings for him would irritate anyone, especially if he’s allowing her to stay at his home. But, he also could’ve told her she couldn’t move in, for both of their sake.
“Shit, still in Wind Gap,” Detective Richard Willis (Chris Messina) mutters as he wakes up in his sweltering hotel room. Yes, Willis, we are still in Wind Gap and we’re now halfway through Sharp Objects. The fourth episode in the series is a kick to the face, addressing sexual assault, sexual tension, and the festering pain of the Preaker-Crellin family.
Adora is still whimpering about her hand, which she cut while trimming her roses. The small flesh wound is now being used as an excuse to have her husband, Alan, cut her breakfast and to cancel her social engagements. This means Camille must go meet Jackie (Elizabeth Perkins) and friends alone. The older women are just as gossip-focused as the rest of the town; No one is safe from their sharp tongues.
In contrast to the murders of the teenage girls addressed in the first two episodes, Sharp Object‘s third episode opens with a group of kids out partying after the mandated curfew, including Amma. The wild child then goes on to crash a golf cart in her mother’s rosebushes and is discovered by her “dangerous” big sister, Camille. As Camille nurses her drunken state, Amma bombards her with questions about her life and declares how much she wants to know her sister, though her sincerity is questionable. This spurs another one of Camille’s flashbacks, this time revealing that, not long before returning to Wind Gap, she checked herself into rehab for her cutting. While there she meets her roommate Alice, a young girl who wears long, black clothes and listens to music through headphones, much like Camille in the present.
As episode one ended with Natalie Keene’s death, episode two begins with her funeral. Here, Camille must finally show her face to the whole town in quite a public way, all while trying to report this story. We begin to see Camille battling memories and anxieties, not just associated with her mother, but with returning home to a town full of secrets and whispers. Episode two explores the toxicity and gossip of Wind Gap, the anxieties that arise when coming home and the destructive ways we cope with those anxieties.
As Camille sits at the funeral, Jackie mutters a stream of gossip right into Camille’s ear, pointing out who is who in the family, remarking about Natalie’s brother crying too much, and more. Not even funerals are sacred in this town — in fact, this just throws more fuel on the gossip fire. The gossip only continues at the funeral reception in the Keene home. The whispers are amplified when Camille arrives, making you painfully aware that people are talking about her. It echoes the experience of returning home so well: you enter a crowded house, pretend to smile, but have a heightened sense of awareness as people stare too long or whisper behind their glasses. How does Camille cope? The drink, of course.
RuPaul’s Drag Race, for all its flaws, has become a staple of the reality television calendar. Mixing pop culture with petty drama, Drag Race provides light entertainment to audiences regardless of sexuality and gender – and highlights some of the greatest talents of the queer community at the same time. The show may have become more mainstream, but one thing has remained: the infamous lip-sync for your life, a two minute battle between contestants to establish who truly has the charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent to impress the all-seeing, all-powerful RuPaul.
To celebrate ten fantastic seasons of the show, I’m taking a trip down memory lane and counting down my favourite lip-syncs in Drag Race her-story.
Good horror television is difficult to come by these days. Sure, there is the exploitative and ridiculous American Horror Story, but not many that rely on a slow, atmospheric pace that creates thick-as-fog tension like AMC’s, The Terror, whose finale aired last week. The Terror introduces a new type of horror television, one that is disgusting, devastating, and thoughtful. It marries the supernatural with the potential of a desperate and terrified man, to create a freezing tapestry of unspeakable horrors.
Based on the 2007 novel by Dan Simmons, The Terror follows the failed Franklin expedition made up of two ships, HMS Terror and HMS Erebus, from 1845 to 1848. Led by Captain Sir John Franklin (Ciaran Hinds), their mission was to trek into uncharted Arctic territory in search of the Northwest Passage. However, Sir John was perhaps not the best choice for this journey, and his poor decision making leads to the ships becoming trapped in ice. What comes next is the slow unraveling of the ship’s crews and leadership, with help from a strange polar bear with a human face called Tuunbaq and something very wrong with their food supply.
Episode five of Westworld picks up from episode three’s cliffhanger where a mysterious man wielding a katana charges at Maeve. Enter Shogun World–this is the park where guests come when they find Westworld too tame, a concept which emphasizes guests’ desire for a stereotypically “exotic” experience. In an entertaining and cinematic episode, writer Dan Dietz and director Craig Zobel play with the nostalgia of Westerns and samurai films. While it featured stellar performances from Rinko Kikuchi and Thandie Newton, this episode shows how Westworld continues to subject its female characters to trauma to prove their strength.
When Maeve and company enter Shogun World, writer Lee Sizemore (Simon Quarterman) reveals that, in an effort to write as many stories as possible, he took their Westworld storylines and gave them a stereotypical Japanese twist to make it “new.” It is fascinating to watch these “doppelbots” recognize each other, particularly Maeve and the geisha, Akane (Kikuchi). They’re both sex workers, seen as pieces of meat to hosts and guests alike; they want to protect their own (Maeve and her daughter, Akane and Sakura, a young geisha); they both must suffer to grow.
Maeve discovers she can now mentally control other hosts. But, this new ability only comes after being beaten and choked by a ninja. As she gasps her last breaths and her eyes roll back into her head, Maeve realizes she can stop her assailant, even when she can no longer speak. Her suffering to gain this new ability is only one example in this episode of female characters needing to experience trauma to prove their strength.