Let’s Read Comics: Mockingbird

dcmarvelHey, I get it.  Comics are hard.

Hollywood can’t seem to get enough superheroes and it would seem that I can’t either.  A few years ago, I wanted to go straight to the source to get my fix, but getting into comics can be… daunting.  Where do you start?  Do you have to start with #1? There are more than 10 different teams of Avengers?!  These are the questions that haunted me when I entered the fray.

In light of this, I thought I would start a new feature here on Fangirly where I try and help you read some comics by highlighting series that are easy to begin.  I am by no means a comic expert, but we can do break into this world together.

My first piece of advice on getting into comics:  Just jump on in.

The good news is that there are new series or runs starting up all the time, but I’ve also learned that you can jump into a series whenever.  They always give a suitable summary at the beginning of each issue and re-introduce characters regularly.  Also, let’s face it, the plots to comics aren’t that complex.  The name of the comic is usually the good guy, they are more often than not trying to save the city from a bad guy, and bad guys are distinguished by some sort of scar, snarl, or furrowed brow.

The most difficult thing about getting into comics is knowing which series to read, but only you can know the answer to that and you can only find out by trial and error.   If there is a character you like from the movies or TV shows, start there.  Go to a comic book store and browse for a character or even art that speaks to you.  Or even better yet, ask your trusty comic book store guy (or girl) for recommendations based on what you typically enjoy.  There is so many different stories, styles, and characters out there that you’re bound to find something. Soon enough, you will find your niches and be into comics!

mockingbirdFinally, on to my recommendation!

For me, I have found that my niche is sassy ladies who kick some butt, so I thought I would highlight my current favorite of that variety: Mockingbird.   This is a great series to help you get into comics because while the character of Mockingbird is not new to comics, this is her first stand alone series and it is soooo good.  The new series, written by Chelsea Cain with art by Kate Niemczyk, features agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. Bobbi Morse who was recently injected with some experimental serums. As we know from other comic book stories,  that does not always work out well so Bobbi is being monitored by the S.H.I.E.L.D. medical clinic.  It is a lot of fun to see superhero medical pamphlets and cameos from some familiar faces in the waiting room.

Even more fun is the character of Bobbi herself, who is feisty, tough, but also vulnerable as she deals with the side effects of recent “enhancements”.  The series is “puzzle box” meaning that the issues will jump from story to story in a somewhat disjointed manner but ultimately culminating in an arc that will make more sense.  This could potentially be challenging to read as a series, but the individual issues are fun enough that it doesn’t bother me.  mockingbird2

I can’t recommend this series enough and really just more people to read it so I have someone to talk to about it.  Plus, this is a great series to break into because it is only 3 issues into the series, so go to your local comic book store or online comic reader and pick it up!  You won’t be disappointed (hopefully).

Do you have any favorite series?  What are you reading?  Is there one you want me to feature?  Let me know.

Fangirly Crush of the Week: Michael Fassbender

How.

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No.

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Why must God always allow bad things happen to good heartthrobs?

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YES. Exactly.

Today I made a discovery that shook me to my core. My very core. Roughly around the area of my skeleton. The boniest part of me, readers. Because I saw X-Men: Apocalypse this week, I decided to look back at the Fangirly archives and see what we’d written about star Michael Fassbender. The answer? DISGUSTINGLY LITTLE. He’s never been the crush of any week. Nary a mention to be found.

I’m nothing short of shamed and astonished. How did Iggy Friggin’ Azalea get love and recognition before this guy?

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I guess what I really wanted to say is, I’m sorry. I’m sorry that Ellen and I have so deeply betrayed the public’s trust. You’ve come to depend on us to be nothing if not exhaustive in our celebrity crushing. Such an oversight is inexcusable. We will be taking the next seven days off from writing Crushes of the Week to reevaluate, spend time with our celebrity crushes, and get our priorities in order. We’d also like to apologize to Michael Fassbender, who has been our rock through this trying time. Thank you for being the incarnation of masculine perfection.

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Whitney Weldon

Marry, Boff, Kill: The Boys of Civil War (Ellen’s Answers)

Last week, Whitney challenged me to a round of our favorite game and yours, Marry, Boff, Kill, with this round focusing on the supporting cast of Captain America: Civil War.  Whitney is notorious for always getting this wrong, so let’s delve into the CORRECT answers.

Marry Falcon

Of course you marry Sam Wilson.  The guy is quick with the one-liners, he’s an American hero who served this country with honor, and I reckon he is always willing to bust out the wings for a quick trip to the grocery store when I forgot milk.  What more could a girl ask for?

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Boff Black Panther

Black Panther is the obvious choice here because he is the only one who is a guaranteed animal in the sack.  ‘Nuff said.

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Kill Bucky Barnes

…Even though just the thought of it kills me.  He’s just far too brooding and complicated for this carefree, easygoing gal.  Also,  after the revelations in Civil War I think that it is safe to say that Buck is dealing with emotional baggage that he would rather forget.  I’m considering this a merciful killing.  Say hi to Peggy for me.

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Ellen Lloyd

Why I’m Not A Nerd, And You Probably Aren’t Either

Not long ago I was walking with a friend. Actually, not a friend. Technically, this is a person that I hate passionately but to whom I am nonetheless bound by the codes of mutual friendship, and the fact that we spend 80% of our time on the same university campus. Anyway, as I was walking with this Friend-of-a-Friend, I tried to keep the conversation as neutral as possible. And since pop culture is the only topic in which I’m remotely conversant, we mostly talked about TV. It went thusly:

I’d mention a show-

-And she’d jump in with how much she was obsessed with that show. Because, you know (*sheepish, with the slightest hint of shame) she’s just such a nerd.

Cool. I really dig it, too-

-Yeah, but I mean, not the same way she loves it. She used to watch the original series with her dad. So it’s just more special for her.

Sure.

I’d bring up a movie I recently saw-

-And she (excuse her, she didn’t mean to interrupt) couldn’t contain herself, just had to tell me about all the merch she’d gotten from that franchise. It was a lot of money, but, you know, (*still sheepish, now slightly over-selling the shame) she’s just such a nerd.

Thanks. Got it.

The appropriation of nerd culture into the mainstream has created a perfect niche for people like this girl. It allows her to feel cool and relevant, with the added thrill of feeling special, because what is Nerdom, if not a counter-culture that thrives on it’s own self-imposed exclusivity?

I not saying that I don’t love nerds. I really, really do. I admire anyone that is passionate about something, and who finds genuine joy in that passion. But like anything, there are two sides to Nerd culture. The first side loves something with so much of itself that it wants to share it with feature-kate.jpgeveryone. It wants other people to share and experience the thing that means so much to it. But once that thing is out there, is made accessible to everyone, we see the other side of Nerd mentality. It circles the wagons. It realizes that what was once it’s thing now belongs to many, and it resents this perceived loss.

For a while I thought that the popularization of nerd culture would make things more inclusive, and in some ways it has. It’s safe to say that people now feel more able to express themselves and their allegiance to their fandoms like never before. In other ways, it’s also made things more esoteric. I don’t live and breathe for the original Star Wars Trilogy, so my love for The Force Awakens must not run as deep as a real fan’s, right?

The truth is, however much you may wish it were otherwise, you are probably not a nerd. You’re probably not Anthony Michael Hall in Weird Science. You’re probably not David Krumholtz in Ten Things I Hate About You. And that’s totally fine. Do you know why?

Because it’s more likely that what you really are is a well-rounded, multi-denominational person who happens to be passionate about something, or more likely many things. You don’t need to be a nerd. You are allowed to like what you like, without trying to tailor yourself to the specifications of one group or another. Because labels, even the ones we assign to ourselves, are ultimately damaging and self limiting.

Was it Kierkegaard or Dick Van Patten who said “If you label me, you negate me”?

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Whitney Weldon

Marry, Boff, Kill: The Boys of Civil War (Whitney’s Answers)

I know, I totally get it. Too much Civil War. I give you, here and now, my promise that I will consider, potentially, at a later date, eventually contemplate posting about other things. Maybe. But this billion-dollar-summer-blockbuster-snowball just keeps getting bigger, so we are going to ride this out with our very own Civil War edition of Marry, Boff, Kill! Our contestants are Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther, Sebastian Stan as The Winter Soldier, and Anthony Mackie as Falcon. And for once, Ellen, I want a clean fight. (Psych! I’m planning to draw blood). So without further ado…

Marry Black Panther

Pros: a (bananas) sexy scientist

happens to be king of a sovereign nation

moonlights as a superhero.

Cons: none to speak of.

Conclusion: yes please.

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Boff Falcon

Mama always said, when looking for someone with whom you can share a casual, mind-blowing sexual encounter, look for a sense of humor.

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So if my mama asks, I find Anthony Mackie’s butt hilarious.

Kill Bucky Barnes 

The right sequence of words turns him into a one-man kill squad. I never stop talking. Murphy’s Law pretty much guarantees that I’m going to inadvertently turn Bucky Barnes into a metal-armed death machine. We’re… not a good fit.

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Whitney Weldon

 

 

Run-On Sentence Review: Love & Friendship

I believe that at this point it is just general knowledge that I love Jane Austen, I’m pretty sure that is something that I have made pretty clear at this point in our relationship as reader and writer, so you can take this review with a grain of salt, but Love & Friendship is frothy, fun, biting, beautiful, and hilarious all rolled into one pretty perfect movie, but this is what I would expect from an honest adaptation of Austen’s Lady Susan as adapted and directed by Whit Stillman who perfectly captures Austen’s more shrewd outlook on her society and Kate Beckinsale delivers as the calculating Lady Susan, giving us a complex woman who you will both root for and against, but ultimately love as she tries to negotiate successful marriages for both herself and her daughter, and as with any Austen tale, the supporting cast of dandies and flibberty-gibbets shine and really capture Austen’s (in my opinion, underrated) humor.

Verdict: OhMyGoshGoSeeItNow.  Especially if you are a fan of either Austen or comedies of manners.

-Ellen Lloyd

Crushes of the Week: Our Top Ten Harry Potter Crushes

Only a millennial can understand the oppressive nature of a Harry Potter crush. It’s the kind of love that won’t let you go, and to honor that love, we’re listing our most violent Potter Passions.

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10) Snape

There are two things we can’t resist here a Fangirly: a long-term undercover sting operation and undying love. So… Snape.

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We get why Lily didn’t go for it (can’t blame a girl for not wanting to live on a Hogwarts teacher’s salary?), but Snape really knew how to make stalking your childhood sweetheart seem only fractionally as creepy as it should have been.

9) Sirius Black

Sirius was my first HP crush, and the passion has yet to abate. Nine years old isn’t too young to learn that sexy bad boys are always a good choice when you’re looking for auxiliary guardianship of your only child. If they aren’t in a Dementor-guarded gulag or on the run from the law, they make bitchin’ godfathers. (Get it? Bitchin’? Cause… he was a dog sometimes?)

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8) The Shrunken Head from the Knight Bus

Would you believe me if I said I have my reasons?

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7 and 6) Fred and George Wesley

The most common of all wizarding crushes. They were funny. They were entrepreneurial. And they were identical. I want to explain why that is such a major selling-point for me, but my mom reads this blog sometimes. I’ll try to keep this post clean, even though my Fred and George fantasies are anything but.

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5) Dobby

What do you want me to say?! I like a guy with an independent streak.

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*swoon*

4) Neville Longbottom

Who could have guessed that the little chub-scout from The Sorcerer’s Stone  would become one of the franchises most reputable Dream-sicles?

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It’s fortunate for him that he finally grew into his hunkiness, because “Mrs. Longbottom” is going to be a tough sell for anybody.

3) Barty Crouch Jr.

I’m not sure what it is about Barty Crouch Jr. Maybe it’s his daddy issues. Maybe it’s the way he licks his lips like he doubled-down on his last dose of Risperdal.

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I’m only saying that if you don’t want to raise a generation of confused women, don’t cast sexy British actors to play mass murders. That’s just common sense.

2) Victor Krum

I don’t think it’s an accident that “Krum” rhymes with “yum”, you guys.

It’s also worth noting that lakeside calisthenics are the the way to any woman’s heart

And finally,

1) Tom Riddle

I understand that he grew into a nose-less genocidal maniac. I get that he murdered people. I’m aware that he had a weird relationship with a snake.

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But you need to understand that I’m only human. I can take only so much.

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And I think YOU’LL find that won’t be necessary. Let’s do this.

Whitney Weldon

Fangirl Poetry: An Ode to Agent Carter

Some TV Execs are pleased with themselves, over at ABC

“Women have never had it so good!” they’ll say in synchrony

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They’ll say, We gave them a show,

with a Lady Hero,

But cancelled ’cause ratings were low

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They’ll go on, We gave it a shot,

But the ratings were not

Worth it’s prize prime-time spot

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They’ll go,  We don’t need someone like Peg on TV

A dynamite gal, an upper-case “She”

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A character with brains, and brawn, heart

A woman who isn’t afraid to be smart

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There are plenty of others, to whom girls can look up

Like those ladies on YouTube who barf in a cup

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So we’ll let the ax fall, and give Carter the boot,

The fans, how they’ll wail, though their point will be moot

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But we on the ground know the truth, ever tragic:

With Peggy gone, TV lost something magic

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Whitney Weldon

 

Fangirly Crush of the Week: Anthony Mackie

From a fangirl’s perspective, Captain America: Civil War is really the gift that keeps giving.

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And giving.

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And giving.

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And giving.

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Tempt me not, MCU, for I am weak. And nothing makes us weaker (particularly in the knee department) than the Civil War standout, Anthony Mackie, AKA Falcon.

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Cut. The. Check.

With his indomitable charm, on-point delivery, and eyelashes that can generate their own wind currents,  Anthony Mackie took this character from chummy to scrummy.

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Falcon may not be Captain America’s best friend, but he’s certainly his dishiest.

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So we salute you, Anthony Mackie. May your damn fine self be ever present in our Tumblr feeds, and our hearts.

Whitney Weldon

(This post was brought to you by too much time on Fangirly’s hands).

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R Rating For Wolverine 3 Confirmed, Leaves Fangirly Dismayed…

Just to be clear, Fangirly doesn’t shy away from an R rating. Some of our favorite releases this year were deemed unfit for moppets of all ages. Deadpool, Spotlight, Ex Machina, Room. But, to be fair, those are the movie one expects to be hit with an R rating. Made by deadpool-2-boyfriend-picgrown-ups, for grown-ups. And what if the increasing commercial success of R rated movies causes this trend to spill into other genres?

Which brings me to Wolverine 3. We get it. Wolverine is edgy; he smokes and drinks and gets laid and takes bad guys to the cleaners. But thus far, the powers-that-be have been able to tame the characters wild side just enough to squeeze out a PG-13 rating. That was true for 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine and 2013’s The Wolverine. So why now the sudden change in direction? Well, because all the cool kids are doing it.

There is a direct line of causation between the BANANAS success of Deadpool and this new development in the Wolverine franchise. And frankly, if that were the extent of it, I apoc9wouldn’t be bothered. But I think we can all agree that superhero movies, from either side of the Marvel-DC partisan line, are getting progressively darker and, much as I hate to use
this word, grittier. To prove my point, let’s look at this summer’s latest cash cow, Captain America: Civil War.

It was amazing right? But can we all agree that with each subsequent film, the Captain cwttss11America franchise has delved deeper into that dark, self-aware realism that has made the sequels so surprisingly wonderful? As an adult audience member, I’m loving it. But I’m not the only demographic at whom these movies are supposedly aimed.

I’ve got this neighbor. His name is Jack, he’s six, and he has the most extensive collection of superhero costumes I’ve ever seen. Picture a first-grader in full batman armor and you’ve got a good idea of what I see every time I look out my kitchen window. The take-away here is that Jack loves superheroes. Which really sucks for Jack, because there’s only a handful of superhero movies his mom will let him watch.

I can’t say I blame her. Would you let your six year old watch The Dark Knight, or Captain Batman-V-Superman-Trailer-3-ArmorAmerica: The Winter Soldier? Or, maybe more to the point, should you? These movies are starting to delve into themes and employ levels of violent realism that kids like Jack just aren’t ready for. And yet these movies, and all their must-have merchandise, continue to be marketed to him.

I just worry that one day, there won’t be any good superhero franchises left for younger audiences, who are, arguably, the ones that need these heroes the most. I don’t want to look out my window and not see Jack running around his yard in full spider-man regalia, keeping the neighborhood safe from evil. I want Jack to still have on-screen heroes he can look up to. Easier said than done, when he can’t even watch their movies.

Whitney Weldon

The Reviews Are In: Captain America Civil War

captain-america-civil-war-robert-downey-jr-chris-evansMost superhero movies (actually, most movies in general) are more than willing to do the ethical legwork for you. The bad guys (easily distinguished by facial scars, a dark color pallet, or customary bad attitude) are always wrong, and the good guys (identifiable by their steely-eyed commitment to the greater good and general dishy-ness) are always right. Even those films that dip their toes into moral relativism always eventually find their way to the safer, more solid narrative ground of Righteous Hero v. Dastardly Villain. But what happens when everybody looks like a good guy? What is expected of us as an audience when everyone’s actions, including the guy in spandex we came to see, can be understood as right or wrong? For once, maybe the question of morality is open to our interpretation.

Such is the case with the third Captain America stand alone, Civil War. The film opens like 3049303-56d4dc054b73ayou’d expect: good guys going after bad guys. But when the good guys (here represented by Cap, Black Widow, Scarlet Witch, and Falcon) make a mistake with fatal consequences, there is a global outcry for a little accountability, in the form of UN sanctioned panel that would oversee the Avengers from here on out. Some, like Iron Man, Black Widow, and Vision, see this as a necessary compromise. Others, namely Cap, Scarlet Witch, and Falcon, see it as an undermining of what the Avengers are supposed to be- a group a super friends with the autonomy needed to keep the world safe from handsome alien conquistadors and shapely, artificially intelligent robots. The result can only be described as a, ahem, civil war.

1401x788-Captain-America-Trailer.jpgIf you’re worried that this movie sounds too much like a talky political drama, rest easy. Civil War has even more than the usual amount of ass-kicking. But what’s really cool about this movie is how the Russo Brothers managed to take out almost all the cartoonishness of superhero violence. There’s a scene, pretty early in the film, where Captain America falls from a ledge and gets beaten around like a rag doll before making an uncharacteristically graceless landing. And, even more surprising, he doesn’t immediately bounce back. Right away we get the feeling that, in this film at least, violence has consequences. And unlike many other action movies of it’s kind, it feels as though the fight scenes are built around the set pieces, and not the other way around. The characters have to adapt to and use their surroundings in a way that makes the idea of a super-soldier and a guy in a cat-suit going at it feel a little more grounded.

Also, I’d like to take this moment to mention Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther, andbuc0410-trl-v0141027-173551 everything I want to say can be summed up in one onamonapia: meow. Seriously, don’t change a thing.

In fact, there isn’t one weak link in this cast. Tom Holland’s Peter Parker is predictably wonderful, Robert Downey Jr. is invariably the coolest guy on screen, and Chris Evans
continues to give Captain America a depth and charm that has managed to turned one of Marvel’s most stoic (and frankly, boring) heroes into a surprisingly relatable  dude.

In this humble Fangirl’s opinion, Civil War is the best superhero movie we’ve gotten thus far. It’s beautifully made, and asks more of its audience than to simply Captain-America-Civil-War-Movie-Wallpaper-5go along for the ride. You feel obligated to choose a side, and for once, it might not be the same side as the guy with his name on all the posters. Right and wrong is a matter of perspective and actions have far reaching consequences. Does that sound a little familiar?

Whitney Weldon

 

 

 

Fangirly Crush of the Week: James Norton

Have you ever seen a man who looks so good in period clothes that you wonder why men ever stopped wearing cravats and breeches?

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Now you have.

James Norton has been a moderately progressive aristocrat in Belle. He’s played a lovelorn suitor in Death Comes to Pemberly. He’s been a laconic bad boy in Happy Valley. But most recently he’s been scorching the small screen as Sydney Chambers, country vicar who just can’t play by the rules, in Grantchester. Ne’re have I seen a dude make a dog collar look quite as Fresh to Death as it does here (I’m issuing a swoon alert on the following picture)-

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In the words of the Immortal Bard… damn.

If you’ve allowed this specimen of English manhood go unnoticed, I offer you my 1364037662126magnanimous pardon, as his CV consists almost exclusively of films and shows from the
other side of the pond. But between his increasingly impressive credentials and his perfect hair, a career in Hollywood isn’t inconceivable.  If you want to familiarize yourself with his body… of work, you can catch the latest season of Grantchester on your local PBS station. Just be warned that James Norton is going to ruin you for all other tall, blue eyed, square-jawed Brits.

Whitney

Dear Fangirly: Where We Dispense Semi-Solicited Advice, With Questionable Success

Between us, Ellen and I have about 50 years of combined life experience. Between Ellen, me, and our DVRs, we’ve racked up close to a millions years worth of knowledge and skill in all kinds of areas, like how best to keep dog hair off your toothbrush, or get rid of the vengeful spirit living in your antique doll, or how to manage your love triangle with two 150-year-old vampire brothers. And since this brand of wisdom was meant to be shared, we’re offering you our semi-solicited advice. These are real questions from real readers. The subsequent advice may be less… on the level.

Dear Whitney and Ellen,

I am writing to you both because I have one of the most common problems riddling any shy girl on the planet. I have a guy that I work with and I can’t tell if he likes me. And OBVIOUSLY I can’t just tell him and be done with it. 

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He makes me laugh and we have loads of fun talking together. He’s so confusing though and some days it does seem like he likes me and then he’ll do something strange and I can’t tell anymore. 
Just the other day we were chatting, quoting Scott Pilgrim as you do (I don’t have to defend my choices. It is one of the greatest, most quotable movies ever made. I will go so far as to call it a cinematic masterpiece) and this happens:
Me: break out the L-word. 
      Lesbians? 
Him: I’m in lesbian with you
H: Not you
H: But thats the words
H: That he says
H: In that movie
<end transcript>
I KNOW THE QUOTE. I KNOW THAT IT IS A QUOTE. THAT WAS THE WHOLE THING. WE WERE QUOTING THE MOVIE. 
So, did he feel the need to clarify because he really doesn’t like me? Or is it because does like me but doesn’t want me to think he does? Or is it something else entirely?
What is a girl to do? I’m entrusting you with my future.

-Unlucky in Lesbians

Dearest, sweetest Lesbians. First, I want to commend you on your excellent taste. Ellen and I were just saying the SPvW is a highly quotable movies that deserves more love than it ever got at the Box Office.

Next, I’ll say that you were right to bring this to us. This is a situation fraught with emotional complexity, and we think that the source of the problem is also where you can find your solution. That’s right. Let’s take at look at the relationship dynamics of Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World.

I’m sure I don’t need to remind you that Scott Pilgrim was also embroiled in a complicated romantic fracas.

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For Scott and Ramona, their relationship wasn’t so much of a “will they/ won’t they” as a “should they/ shouldn’t they”. The conversation between you and “Him” seems embedded with flirty undertones. Subtext galore. So we’ve got to ask ourselves, assuming he feels the same way you do (a safe assumption, based on the aforementioned exchange), why isn’t he acting on it? I’ve got some ideas.

Maybe, like Ramona, there are other parties involved.

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Ask around the office, or ask him directly. Is there someone else in his life? It would be easy to frame this line of questioning as a friend just taking an interest in another friend. Try to find out what is making him drag his feet. If you’re feeling really saucy, use visual cues.

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The best advice I can give is, don’t get discouraged.

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I know that this phase of relationships can drag out. Try not to feel too frustrated. But if this person is really special, if you hear Beck playing when you two are together, then he’s probably worth waiting for.

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I know, Lesbians, I know. This probably feels like the universe is hitting you where it hurts.

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But I guarantee that if you just keep being your bad self, “Him” will come around soon. And if he doesn’t, then I can safely say, his loss.

The Fangirly Girls

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The Fangirly Show: Episode # 11 Fangirling Over Reboots and Sequels

Can Hollywood make anything original?  Whitney and Ellen take a stab at answering that question and try to explore the current landscape of Hollywood. Plus, we lay down our Summer 2016 box office predictions. Who will come off conqueror in our latest competition? Will Ellen continue her total domination over Whitney?

You can listen and subscribe HERE on iTunes or you can go HERE to listen and let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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The Reviews Are In (Late): The Jungle Book

THE JUNGLE BOOK

As much as you might like the recent string of Disney live-action remakes, I think we can all agree that none of them have improved on the original story. Even if you loved Kenneth Branagh’s Cinderella, it’s not about to dethrone it’s cartoon predecessor. That being said, if enjoyable but ultimately underwhelming Disney remakes are the rule, the The Jungle Book is the exception. The
story and visuals are so improved that I left the theater, not Jonesing for the original version, MV5BMTkyNTUxMDczMF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMTUzNDA4NjE@._V1_but wanting to buy myself another ticket for this one.

It’s surprising that a movie with the combined voice talents of Idris Elba, Scarlett Johansson, Bill Murray, Christopher Walken and Ben Kingsley could find a young lead with enough screen presence to balance the screaming star-power of the supporting cast. Luckily Neel Sethi is the living incarnation of Mowgli, right down to the little red jungle shorts. He’s as precious as a little wolf puppy, which, in the context of the movie, is the highest compliment I can give.

It’s worth mentioning that this movie is definitely scarier than the 1967 cartoon you screen_shot_2016-02-21_at_10_16627afe.jpegremember. King Louie (Christopher Walken) is genuinely horrifying, as the family who sat behind me in the theater can testify. Likewise, Idris Elba’s Shere Khan is equally impressive; it’s not the first time I’ve been attracted to an anthropomorphized cartoon animal, and unfortunately it probably won’t be the last. Point is… meow. Pun intended.

I originally wasn’t sold on Disney’s plan to capitalize on former cinematic glory by maxresdefaultremaking beloved classics. It seemed like a self-aggrandizing re-mix of the company’s
greatest hits. But if the films to come have as much heart and as much charm as The Jungle Book, it’s a stance I may need to reconsider.

Whitney Weldon

TV Raised Me, and I Feel Fine

I saw my brother for the first time in months this last weekend. As insufferable as we are as individual units, we’re exponentially worse when we get together. Every other word is an inside joke (Sleepy Richard, earning your lunch meat, Pretzel Boy, moving about the house), and all the words in between are movie and TV quotes. This earns us little respect from the people around us. But this sibling shorthand we’ve developed comes from a shared childhood experience: we were raised by TV.

To be clear, we had great parents. We were always clean (ish), well-fed, and adequately loved. But when both of your parents work full time, TV is often used to fill the gaps. And when you come from a family of renowned movie buffs, a certain level of cultural literacy is expected. The problem is, when people learn this about you, you get a very specific look. It’s a look that says, “I’m so sorry for your unfulfilled life”. My response usually reflects my impeccable upbringing and unimpeachable manners.

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I appreciate your thinly veiled shade, but it is unnecessary. TV made me who I am, for better or worse. From a early age, I was exposed to movies and shows written by some of the cleverest people in the world.

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I learned social graces.

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I learned how to carefully formulate a snappy comeback.

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I realized that not everyone can be trusted.

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Sometimes these stories reflected my own experience.

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And sometimes they didn’t.

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But without them, I’d never be able to feel another person’s crushing disappointment.

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Or mortal terror.

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I wouldn’t know how it feels to watch someone you love die.

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I’d never understand how it feels to lose everything you have.

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Good TV, like a good book, gives us a window into another person’s experience,

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and explore realities that otherwise wouldn’t exist.

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TV made me empathetic, and forced me to experience emotions other than my own.

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So don’t be worried that your kids watch TV. Worry about what they watch on TV. Make sure that what they watch reflects the kind of person you want them to be. If it doesn’t…

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Make sure their shows are funny and smart.

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Make sure that they are gaining experiences beyond their own.

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And remind yourself to thank me later. I’ll wait.

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Whitney Weldon

Fangirl Poetry: Ode to Jamie Fraser

Please don’t move, sit right where you’ve sat,

Kick off your boots and untie that cravat

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‘Cause I’m dropping a beat ’bout that man among men,

That Highland Hottie, James Fraser, ya’ ken?

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For, thanks to his curls and those breeches so tight,

I can’t sleep a wink and I can’t eat a bite

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He keeps it so tight, he might rupture a tendon,

He’s the world’s most spectacular Fraser, after Brendan

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Not to be crass, and not to be crude,

But some people should never NOT be nude

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And though it’s easy to get lost in that Scottish lilt,

He’s a person, so much more than what’s under his kilt

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He can do all sorts to earn the love of a wench,

Like say, “Hey girl” in Greek and French

 

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When presented with one so sexy and bold,

One feels compelled to seek out a shower that’s cold

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And though my love for Jamie is pure,

Our courtship will surely be rated “M” for Mature

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For roses are red, and the Highlands aren’t flat,

So you can bet I’d take a bite outta that

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Whitney Weldon

 

Web Bytes: Rogue One Trailer

Check out the amazing trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story down below and if you have time read some of the utterly laughable comments from whiny white boys about how there is going to be another female led Star Wars movie. As if you guys haven’t dominated enough movies for 127 lifetimes. And I resent the argument that some of them make about how these movies are just Twilight movies now. A female led fantasy/sci-fi does not immediately devolve into that. Geez! I just can’t.

Ellen