Okay, as pieces go, I grant this may be divisive. And I grant I may be jumping into hot water when making the claim that Din Djarin, the titular Mandalorian from the Disney+ Star Wars series The Mandalorian, isn’t the most perfect father to Grogu, our li’l “Baby Yoda,” arguably the most adorable character in the Star Wars universe. And I grant to suggest M3GAN, the A.I. doll-cum-murder-bot from Universal Pictures’ surprise hit horror/comedy/dance film M3GAN, is a better parent to Cady than Din Djarin is to Grogu may be turning the temperature of our metaphorical water up to a scalding, life-threatening degree. But I’m not suggesting anything. I’M SAYING IT. M3GAN the A.I. doll-cum-murder-bot is by far a better parent to Cady than Din Djarin the Mandalorian is to Grogu. BOOM. I will die on this hill. But before the internet moves to crucify me (oh! that worked really well with the “die on this hill” line!), hear me out and let me know what you think. Okay? Okay.
Fair warning, SPOILERS for both M3GAN and The Mandalorian S1-3 will abound.
Years ago, out to lunch with one of my best friends, he made an observation, “You know, I think you’d be happy never getting married. You’re comfortable on your own. You don’t need someone else to enjoy life. But if you get married, I think you’ll marry a single mother. Lots of guys wouldn’t. Lots of people avoid dating single parents. But you don’t. You’re good with kids. You love kids and you’d love her kids, which would be great for everyone.” While this friend knew me better than most (at the time, we’ve lost touch a bit), he rarely weighed in on my personal life. So it was unexpected but I didn’t disagree. It felt authentic. Still, I’d’ve never guessed this would be a bridge to see a little of myself in the Joker :8. Gah! The Clown Prince of Crime. The Harlequin of Hate. The Jester of Genocide. The King of Arkham Asylum. This is the guy – thanks to HBO Max’s mind-bendingly brilliant and sensationally subversive Harley Quinn – I’m now empathizing with?? Color me surprised.
Almost as long as Star Wars has existed, there have been spin-off stories to “fill the gaps” and expand the universe. Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (or, as it was known then, Star Wars!) was released on May 25th 1977. Marvel’s Star Wars comic began on April 12th 1977, the first six issues adapting the film followed by original stories. The first Star Wars novel, Alan Dean Foster’s Splinter of the Mind’s Eye, was released in March 1978. Both continued the story George Lucas began and served to sate people’s desire for new Star Wars stories until the eventual sequel arrived. Almost as long as Star Wars has existed then, fans have navigated their relationships with such stories. Which, if any, do you read/watch? Which, if any, become a part of your experience of Star Wars? Disney+’s Obi-Wan Kenobi is one of the most ambitious of such spin-offs, with Ewan McGregor (Obi-Wan), Hayden Christensen (Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader), Jimmy Smits (Bail Organa), Bonnie Piesse (Beru Lars), and Joel Edgerton (Owen Lars) reprising their roles from the Prequel Trilogy. As with all Star Wars stories outside Lucas’ six films, Obi-Wan Kenobi forces (ha! no pun intended) fans to consider how, if at all, it fits in their experience of Star Wars. For me, the show brought many welcome, if at times conflicting, emotions.
THIS PIECE WILL HAVE SPOILERS FOR OBI-WAN KENOBI (E1-6).
On a whim, I decided to try watching Harley Quinn on HBO Max. My only real experience with Harley Quinn up to this point had been Batman: The Animated Series, obviously, and DC’s recent Suicide Squad and Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of one Harley Quinn. As I watched, I thought it’d be fun to write about the experience as I did last year, when I tried to binge-watch ninety-six episodes of Supergirl in the nineteen days I had left before the new season premiered. Instead of doing any sort of analysis or deconstruction or anything like that, I just wrote my stream-of-consciousness thoughts as I watched. Now I’ve discovered the DC Universe’s Harley Quinn show! And, while I watched at a more leisurely pace (relatively speaking), I decided to write the same sort of piece. Let’s see where this goes…
Jodie Whittaker’s debut as the Doctor was special for me. I’ve only recently come into the world of Doctor Who, watching all ten (modern) seasons of the show last year. I began in the fall of 2017 with Christopher Eccleston’s Ninth Doctor (well, technically I started with David Tennant but my friend Theresa kept making sad sighs when she heard I didn’t start at the beginning so I went back and did) and finished Peter Capaldi’s run in the spring of 2018. So Jodie Whittaker became the first Doctor I got to watch as the season aired. It was so exciting! As this eleventh season (or series if I’m being English about it) of Doctor Who unfolded, I kept thinking of a post I wrote awhile back about being exhausted by binging and streaming TV shows. Jodie Whittaker and company have consistently delivered everything I’ve come to love about a Doctor Who episode! But I think part of the magic of this season came from watching it on a weekly basis. Continue reading →