06 September 2022

When Misogyny, Impostor Syndrome, &Female Empowerment Coalesce on/for Streaming/Television aka 'What I'm Watching These Days on TheTube' | Sailor's Log No. 22.09S.01

I won't lie. I definitely stream more movies and episodic series than I'd like to admit. Nevertheless, I don't watch everything, and I certainly do not watch titles simply because it was recommended or is a "certifiable" hit. I watch what I want to watch, nothing more, nothing less. I can't honestly say what makes me decide that I want to watch something. Sometimes it's because of the actors involved, and sometimes it's because I heard about the premise and am intrigued. About half the shows we start, we do not finish, either because it was so blah that we forgot we were watching it or because we couldn't get through the first episode. 

Movies are an entirely different beast about which this is not, at this time. Although, I will mention a few movies throughout this writing. 

My point is that I've never really been one to talk too much about cultural commodities because that's stupid and generally speaking, of little to no interest to me, but I love me some gossip, and I'm petty as shit. So, I suppose the dawning has dawned on me that I ought to talk about the shows that we (the bodybuddy/lifemate and I, cause we watch everything together, with but one exception) consume. I will undoubtedly forget one or more of them, and I will probably refrain from divulging the entire list out of shame, but for the most part, I've decided to comment on the shows we're currently watching &or do watch but they are not in season at this time. 

Alrighty, here we go! Spoilers ahead, cause I'm pretty sure I'm just gonna say whatever I want, so if you're interested in any of these shows, don't read this post. The shows are in no particular order, and I don't have something to say about all of the shows we're currently watching, and so, I'll end the post with the shows we watch but about which I have little to say. 

[DISCLAIMER]: Yea, the bodybuddy/lifemate and I do not financially support any of the shit we watch. Read this how you will. We financially supported our entertainment consumption in the past by purchasing IMAX 3D tickets for the entirety of Phases 2 & 3 of the MCU, and we will continue to do so in the future when we finally make our return to Seoul, cause if you haven't seen an IMAX 3D movie in Seoul, in the middle of the night, you haven't lived. Fact. 


I'm starting here because we finished the first season most recently. This is one of the shows that we forgot that we were watching, and so, we pretty much binged the thing in two or three sittings. The premise intrigued me from the get-go: the wife of a billionaire gets dumped, but (without a prenup? i'm hazy on this detail) she inherits (there's probably a different word for "getting" money from a divorce, yes? if there is, what is it?) half of her now-ex hubby's fortune and walks away a billionaire herself. 

Molly Wells, the wife, had been living a lavish life of luxury and had no qualms about her lifestyle until she is thrust into the world of the "normal" inside the office of her own philanthropic 501(c)(3). 

The reason why I wanted to watch this show is because of Joel Kim Booster. As a fellow Korean Adoptee, I find my responsibility to support all of his endeavors as my own, and so, I'm low-key obsessed with him.

The reason why we routinely forgot we were watching the show was because it's just a bit ... beyond the scope of what I'd consider relatable. 

Sure, it's great that a mixed female (Maya Rudolph) with an ambiguous nature to her ethnicity/race leads the show by being the person who depicts a billionaire, but I have some serious issues with the stereotypical way that the first season ended. We were on Molly Wells' journey of self-discovery, and then, at the end of the season, Wells decides that she's going to give away all of her fortune.

And then she says something that's true, for HER, but that ought not be supported as an idea. Wells, when taking the stage at the season's cumulative event, speaks to the oddity of a room full of billionaires blowing hot air about solving the world's problems. And then she says something to the effect of, "Billionaires should not exist." Here's what I believe she should have said instead, "Billionaires like me, should not exist. Nobody who has not created anything, like myself, because I 'inherited' my billions from my husband who did the creating, should go to sleep at night and wake up billions of dollars richer." 

Absolutely, there should be billionaires on this planet. There should be billionaires because there are billions of people and thus, problems are of a billion-dollar scale. It's simple math. The problem is that there should not exist the types of billionaires who have solely traded on the stock markets, making fortunes off a system that has always been rigged toward those who already have the most. 

The issue that I take with Wells' comment on the show is that she points the finger at billionaires themselves, when the problem is Capitalism-As-Usual. Capitalism is what produced Molly Wells, the Billionaire. Some people, on the other hand, men and women alike, have created billion-dollar solutions &or created a solution that helps billions of people. These are the people who are billionaires and deserve to be so. Does this mean that they should be propped up and worshiped? Of course not.  

The fact that the problem-solving billionaires exist is not a problem. The fact that Molly Wells-type billionaires exist is a massive problem. 

It's a shame that the show insisted on diminishing Molly Wells as opposed to empowering her. Like seriously, how fucking fem stereotypical is it that some woman, flush with cash, succumbs to the responsibility to give away all her money? It's so lame. If the show were to empower Wells, an uber-rich female, what they would have done is make her realize how much power her billions affords her, and instead of having her give away her power, she'd be empowered to legitimize her wealth by creating something new. 

What the show presents us with, instead, is Molly Wells as an impostor, suffering from impostor syndrome and thus, succumbing to the noise that she somehow does not deserve her wealth. And so, she makes it her mission to give it away. L-A-M-E. Lame. 

I do not wish to tune into the second season, but I must because of Booster, and so, I'm going to be forced to see how they unfold the dismantling of Wells' fem power. Lame.

Lower Decks

I'm not gonna lie, I find Mariner extremely annoying, but I also find her leading the show somewhat refreshing. Assertive females are typically always seen as annoying, so there's no groundbreaking here. The difference with the Mariner-type assertiveness is that she's a straight-up Nepo Baby, and she's treated as such. Mariner is on a long leash due to the fact that the Captain is her mother. It's fun and groundbreaking because Mariner and her mother are Globeaux. The dynamic subverts expectations, and this is what I enjoy about the show. The decisions the show makes about representation and character exploration are beyond the trifles of Earth's racism, etc. Every character on the Cerritos represents diversity. There is no "normal" being. 

I appreciate this greatly.

And as an aside, we check out the DVDs (technically they're Blu-Ray, but who says "Blu-Ray"? who ever said, "Blu-Ray" colloquially?) from our local library, and we were on a hold list behind nine other borrowers. In total, we waited about three weeks before we finally came up as the next borrowers. 

The Rings of Power

Okay. Everyone breathe and calm the fuck down! Like seriously, I do NOT understand all of the outcry, hubbub and nonsensical ramblings of the hoi polloi. I legit do not understand. All I know is that I absolutely was NOT going to watch this dumb-ass fucking lame attempt at bringing more Tolkien to life. I fucking hate Jeff Balls-Face. I had zero intention of supporting such a fucking ass wipe of thing. 

And then, after being subjected to a trailer or two, I gave the first episode a chance. 

I'm not gonna lie. I liked the first episode. It made me want to watch, or at least see, more. It was a smart decision making Galadriel one badass bitch. They took a gamble, and so far, it seems like it's working. And I bet they've captured a lot of women, while, obviously, losing the misogynists, but this was to be expected.  

The CG is okay. It's obviously not as bad as She-Hulk, because it's set in the fantastic, everything can kinda glow "wrongly." In short, The Rings can get away with the nuance of CGI; She-Hulk cannot because Walters exists in a world that we know, for ourselves, as flesh-and-blood humans. 

When I think of the Galadriel of Jackson's interpretation of The Lord of the Rings, it's believable that the show's interpretation of her is so fucking badass. She's so calm in LOTR because she's seen everything, not only psychically in her mind, but in her long life. And now, we're getting the opportunity to see all of the things that she's seen, and we know she does not die during any of this waging of war against evil. 

The other characters are cool, too, because we do, finally, get to see the diversity of Middle Earth, a place where Hobbits can somehow exist, but melanated humans, cannot? It's fucking cray the sorta shit I'm reading about how white, privileged, misogynistic men feel about the show. With Elon Musk leading the witch hunt against the rise of female power through the diminishing of the white, privileged, misogynistic men's definition of maleness being equated with bestness, the show is a triumph. It's making all of the right people angry. It's hitting a nerve. And in today's society, with the likes of celebrities being able to make cultural waves with a tweet, it's marvelous to see a show rile the patriarchy in such a pointed, specific, misogynistic way. 

To quote Chris Pine's James T. Kirk (yea, get off me about how the movies are stupid, I happened to enjoy them quite a lot, and they made way for me to eventually watch and appreciate the show, so fuck off!), "Maybe I love it." 

She-Hulk: Attorney At Law 

I'm gonna lie. I was so excited to watch this show and waited, with bated breath, for the premiere. 

Basically, the bodybuddy/lifemate just put it on one day, and I was like, dammit. 

Overall, I think the show is stupid. I think all of Marvel is a preposterous symbol of hyper-consumerism, and yet, I've seen everything. I fucking hate Disney, but this is not about that. The reason why I have a love/hate relationship with everything Marvel is because they have such enormous, ungodly budgets to make consumables. It's gross. But they use those budgets well and make some seriously entertaining shit, and the long saga of building out the MCU is a feat that I can't help but stay tuned into, cause, like, it's awesome. 

And so, we've arrived at She-Hulk, the newest installment of Phase 4.

As aforementioned, the CGI is lacking. It's mediocre at best, and like stated above, it's because of the issue of inserting a fake character into a "real" setting. The bodybuddy/lifemate made the argument that LOKI's CGI was bomb, but I made the argument that it was a much easier feat as all of the characters were "real" and they were placed into a CGI setting. From my vantage point (knowing nothing about computer animation), it seems like putting a fake character into a real setting is much more difficult than putting real characters into fake settings. But what do I know. 

And so, for me, the CG is nearly intolerable. 

But since I can sit through such short, trite episodes, it hasn't been completely intolerable, and thus, I've been watching the show, and now I understand not only what the point of She-Hulk even is, but also, I understand that she's pretty awesome. 

First things first, I thoroughly enjoy that Jennifer Walters does not suffer from impostor syndrome because she is not an impostor. This is not her struggle, thank Gao! How lame would that be? Hint: If you suffer from Impostor Syndrome, it's because you're an impostor, and you know it, either because your daddy bought you your career (see Taylor Swift) or because you know that YouTube success is no legitimate measure of your intelligence (see Jenn Im). Duh. Second, I thoroughly enjoy that She-Hulk is intimidating. Third, I thoroughly do not enjoy that She-Hulk had to diminish herself when confronted by her former boss, at his bequest, because she intimidated him in her full glory, and then he fired her ass. Lame. 

I hate the show because it's a non-stop reminder of what it's like to be a woman in a man's world. I enjoy the show because I can vicariously live through She-Hulk and trample the fuck outta any man who gets in my way. And it's fun to see the other characters outside of the shoot-em-up gang. It's just fun. And apparently, the patriarchy does not like fun, cause like, to the misogynistic, privileged, white men the MCU is SERIOUS STUFF! 

The Real Housewives of Dubai

I love me some Chanel Ayan. I haven't been able to get enough of her ever since she uttered the words at Caroline Brooks, "Look at your face, and look at my face." Classic. 

Honestly, I was never into the franchise, cause I just didn't ever really get it. And then, I heard about the international installment and heard that the cast would be diverse, and from the looks of it, I was hooked to give it a try. And then, I read this book, and it convinced me that the franchise does more than one would think, culturally. It represents more than one would think, and the first thing I think is that the show focuses on women, females. Like, what do women do all day? What does feminine mean? The societal pressures put on women are forefront. It's pretty cool. 

And as a Project Runway viewer, I couldn't help but be peaked with interest during that Real House Wives reunion challenge in the last season. Now, as a viewer of my very first location, I totally understand the reunion, and I'm all about that pettiness. Yes, ma'am. 

And now I'm exhausted, and really, like I said, care too little about cultural commodities to spend this much time talking about them (but this is a lie, cause I thoroughly enjoy cultural commodities, especially celebrity gossip; I'm just being lazy cause I can), and so, we move to the Listicle of the other shit I watch, which includes but is not limited to:

Shows I am watching and like but have nothing of substance to comment 

Never Have I Ever — This is obviously not a show that's for me as the protagonist is in high school, nevertheless, I find the show to be highly entertaining, and really, Mindy Kaling can do no wrong, in my book, and so, I find her mission to create as much content wherein her children can see themselves represented the way that Kaling (one imagines) imagines her children ought to be represented, as people with all the same issues/problems as bland old vanilla people, commendable.

Money Heist — A Korean adaptation of some Swedish book?

Modern Family — Yea, I know, it's like off the air. 

The Price is Right: The Barker Era — So, yea, we have a Roku-enabled TV, not because we love Roku so much as it was the TV at the right price at the right time, and honestly, the whole "Live TV" is pretty awesome, cause there's a channel that plays The Price is Right 24/7. But I gotta tell you, Bob is one misogynistic perv. Like seriously, a perv, and like so totally misogynistic, probably sprinkled with a bit of preference for those who are straight and bland. I only started tuning into Roku's "Live TV" a few weeks ago, but it's fun to see what constituted "hot items" back in the early '80s.   

Shows I watch and like but that are out of season, at this time, for which I am excitedly awaiting, etc.

Sex Lives of College Girls — see Never Have I Ever, except that the protagonists are in college instead of high school, but still much too young for me to relate to, healthily; nevertheless, see above.

Strange New Worlds  — Seriously, Pike's hair. Like seriously, Pike's hair. His hair. 

Righteous Gemstones — Thank you, Danny McBride. Thank you.

Succession — To say I'm obsessed is an understatement. I will be Logan Roy someday, and I will have a succession problem, like they all do. 

Billions — The billionaire do-gooder? Bah! We'll see. 

Severance — If you haven't seen it already, or you have seen it and don't get it, it's not for you, and that's okay. There are other, less-meaningful shows for you to digest, mindlessly ;) no worries. 

Project Runway — Cause I've always watched Proj-Way, and it's crazy to watch older episodes (another dedicated channel on Roku "Live TV") wherein the contestants do their work in a terrifyingly lit, windowless basement. Bravo to whomever made the executive decision to give the contestants a space wherein they may find true creativity. Just shows that Tim and Heidi never really cared about the contestants, which is obvious when considering how much the show has changed since the re-structuring of the Proj-Way asset. 

Marvel's Streaming Seasons Two (of everything) and all of Marvel's Phase Four — I can't even pretend like I'm not gonna consume all of it. 

And I definitely know that I'm missing something, but this is so wholly unimportant that I really don't care, sorry-not sorry. 

The End.