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Posts by Dan Wohl

  1. American Horror Story: Freak Show recap: “Tupperware Party Massacre”

    Did Freak Show finally jump the shark?

    You know what we haven't seen for a while on Freak Show? The freak show performers actually doing their performances, or really justifying their continued residency in Jupiter at all. In the opening scene of “Tupperware Party Massacre” we see fortune teller Maggie actually doing a reading for the first time in six episodes.

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  2. American Horror Story: Freak Show Recap: “Blood Bath”

    Things are getting a bit kill-y.

    Gloria Mott's entire life revolves around her son. That doesn't change in the opening scene of “Blood Bath,” but for the first time we see her doing something for her own psyche, albeit as it relates to Dandy. She's lying on a therapist's couch, cigarette in hand, discussing her (quite well-founded) suspicions that her son is a murderous psychopath.

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  3. American Horror Story: Freak Show Recap: “Test of Strength”

    Picking up right where the last episode left off, “Test of Strength” opens with Jimmy finding Bette and Dot in Dandy's house. Jimmy appeals to the twins to return to the freak show. He says that with Dandy, they're just “freaks to be gawked at”; Bette astutely points out that that's not at all different from life at the freak show.

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  4. American Horror Story: Freak Show Recap: “Bullseye”

    At the home of Dandy Mott and his mother Gloria, a new maid is serving lunch. “I liked Dora better,” Dandy says, referring to the housekeeper that he murdered two episodes ago. “Well, hindsight is 20/20, dear,” comes his mother's reply. Welcome to the twisted world of the Motts, where killing is chillingly normal, and has been for several generations.

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  5. American Horror Story: Freak Show recap: “Pink Cupcakes”

    The cupcakes are not delicious.

    When “Pink Cupcakes” opens, we're back in the American Morbidity Museum, which, as several commenters pointed out, is a real place, more or less – it's just known as the Mütter Museum in real life. Is this a flashback to when Stanley and Esmeralda were there? No: It's actually a vision of the future in which they've succeeded in bringing one of the Jupiter freak show performers' bodies back there - for a price, of course.

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  6. 10 Hardcore Female Military Leaders From History

    Power Grid

    300: Rise of An Empire came out on Friday, and its release should give Queen Artemisia of Caria some well-deserved public recognition. Played by Eva Green in the film, Artemisia was a real-life naval commander for Xerxes the Great's fearsome Persian military in the 5th century BCE. According to the writings of war historian Polyaenus, Xerxes declared that she was the finest officer in his fleet. But she's far from the only amazing female military commander in history. Here are ten others, most (though not all) of whom have never had movies made about them... but definitely should someday soon.

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  7. 15 Dark and Spooky Lady Led Musical Acts for Your Halloween Mood

    it's time to play the music

    All Hallow's Eve will soon be upon us, giving you another chance to cavort with spooks and spirits, conduct ghastly experiments, cast spells on friend and enemy alike and raise the dead from their eternal slumber. You're going to want to have a soundtrack to do all of this to. Luckily, Halloween might be the most popular music-friendly holiday there is. And with so many great Halloweenish musical acts out there that are either made entirely of or led by women, I figured it'd be fun to make a list of them. This is a non-comprehensive group that could easily have been much longer – but here are 15 such artists that I really like. Happy hauntings!

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  8. Review: Europa Report

    Review

    When it comes to alien first contact stories, there's generally two impulses to follow. Some movies, like Contact, focus on the awe that comes with learning something huge about our mysterious universe. Others, like Alien, focus on the terror that could come from encountering a species unknown to humanity. There are numerous good examples of each. But I don't think I've ever seen a film that simultaneously embodies both as well as Sebastian Cordero's Europa Report

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  9. On Female Villains, or the Lack Thereof

    Essay

    *Contains minor spoilers of Star Trek Into Darkness* Unlike our own Zoe Chevat and Jill Pantozzi, I was actually very happy with Star Trek Into Darkness overall. Having been a Trekkie for as long as I can remember, I understand that it doesn't have the philosophical weight of some past Trek stories, as well as the contention that it heavily recycles old characters and plot points. But personally I look at the “Abramsverse” as a complete remake, and my view of the new films is that they're made differently but extremely well. That's not to say that I don't agree with the gender issues-related criticisms of the film. The now-infamous Carol Marcus undressed scene was, to be sure, gratuitous, offensive and completely inexcusable. I was equally disappointed by the scene of a Starfleet Command roundtable which shows a 20-person group that's between 70-75 percent male. But where equality appears even farther away, in Hollywood as a whole, is among another realm of film characters: villains.

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  10. Star Trek Needs a Gay Character and Here’s How to Do It: One Trekkie’s Proposal

    Essay

    I love Star Trek. I don't think there's any franchise more central to my geek life. There's a lot of unreal universes out there that I enjoy learning about, but I'm sure there's none that I would more like to actually live in than the optimistic idea of our future that is Star Trek. The '60s-produced original series included a woman of color bridge officer who was cited as an inspiration by Mae Jemison (who became the first black woman in space) and Whoopi Goldberg (who ended up a Star Trek star herself). The more recent series' increased speculative-science focus led Stephen Hawking, on a visit to the Next Generation set, to say “I'm working on that” when passing the warp core prop. There's so much to feel positive about in Star Trek, and over the decades it's generally done a fine job of showing us how we could, and should, be. But there's one particular area of social justice that the franchise has failed to live up to its standards on, and it remains a blight on the series in my estimation. I'm talking about the fact that there has never, despite years of promises and false starts, been an openly gay or lesbian character in the canon Star Trek universe. But I have a proposal to change that. J.J. Abrams, if you're listening, I think you should make Sulu gay.

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