Image courtesy of Disney+

Both The Queen’s Gambit and WandaVision prove that the ethnic sidekick trope is alive and well, in the form of a black female character playing second fiddle to a white female protagonist. I feel compelled to note that I enjoyed both of these shows in general, and was happy to see stories that center women enjoy success. But (and this should be obvious), female-centered shows can still have troubling racial dynamics, and we should still talk about them.

(Warning: Spoilers for both WandaVision and The Queen’s Gambit ahead).

In WandaVision, we are introduced to an adult Monica Rambeau, daughter of…


Image courtesy of Alexas Fotos via Pexels

By now, you’ve probably heard someone (writer of a thinkpiece, friend, coworker, some rando on social media) bemoaning that art has become too “politicized”. But what does that mean, exactly? Well, it can mean a couple of different things, like:

· The conversations around art are overly focused on its political message rather than aesthetics or quality.

· Art itself is too concerned with making a political statement.

The reboot of “Ghostbusters”, the slew of Disney “live action” remakes, “Captain Marvel”, and the latest Star Wars episodes are examples of the more infamous battlegrounds of politicized art. Its critics range…


Why is it so difficult for people to agree that there’s a rape scene in the show?

Image via Netflix

At the start of shelter in place, I was desperate for escape. Where once I would look down my nose at pop fiction and seek out literature — profound works that would stand the test of time, written by those at the height of their artistry — I struggled with having the attention span or the will to read anything too heavy, demanding, or difficult. Instead, I found myself reading more feel-good romance novels. My Kindle began pitching me regency romances, which I hadn’t realized was such a prolific subgenre. …


How to level up your writing, for free

Source: Pixabay

As new writers, we often ask ourselves how we can make our writing ready and worthy to be published, to join the ranks of authors whose work we love and stand the test of time. We wonder what separates the quality of traditionally published writing from unpublished. Is it talent? Skill? Experience? I won’t deny that these are factors, but I think there is something else that is often overlooked: having multiple pairs of eyes on your writing. And then, taking at least some of the feedback you’re given. …


Source: broadway.com

I, along with many others, watched the musical Hamilton for the first time during the week of 4th of July. I expected to be blown away by it — and I was —but did not expect to have a greater sense of admiration for the founding fathers afterwards. Whatever my public school education instilled in me, in my adult life, I’ve viewed the founding fathers as overrated; they were racist, sexist, elitist slave owners. Their intelligence and ideas, while noteworthy, were not singular and above reproach.

As I watched Hamilton, I began to wonder — were they a bigger deal…


Image via Pixabay

Disclaimer: I can’t talk about racial inequality more eloquently or powerfully than any of the black activists, thinkers, and writers of today. But as a white person, I shouldn’t be silent right now.

Lately, I’ve been hearing some variation of “I support the protests, but not the looting and rioting. It hurts their message and makes people less likely to listen to them.” There’s a major fixation on rioting and looting, mainly among whites and/or conservatives. It seems to get more of a mention from these same people than any black victim of police brutality has. That’s a problem.

Now…


Image courtesy of Pixabay

The COVID-19 pandemic has swallowed up people’s focus on the Democratic 2020 primary, and understandably so. Voter turnout has been and will continue to be lower in the remaining states, and many polling places are closed because elderly poll-workers don’t want to expose themselves to risk. Even Bernie Sanders responded to a CNN reporter when asked about the future of his campaign: “I’m dealing with a fucking global crisis. You know? We’re dealing with it and you’re asking me these questions.”

But let’s turn our attention back to the primaries for a bit. Joe Biden’s nomination seems all but inevitable…


Image courtesy of IMDB

I love “The Good Place”. It’s a rare show that combines humor and esoteric moral philosophy, all while maintaining compelling characters and a high-concept plot. If I heard its elevator pitch, I might worry the show would be preachy or pedantic, but it’s actually very accessible and entertaining. The series finale was poignant and satisfying (as many others have written about, and I will not be discussing here). At its core, the show is about faith in humanity, providing a desperately needed optimism in today’s social climate. And to top it off, the cast is diverse; no where else have…

Jenna England

I’m a professional writer (mainly Technical and Proposal Writing) based in the California Bay Area. I recently finished my first novel.

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