prodigy: "Blondie" from Leone's Old West trilogy accompanied by Pikachu. (gun-man)
Okay, now that was a Burn Notice episode. That was a real return to form. The writing in that episode was solid on everyone, the actors did great by their line delivery (particularly Jeffrey Donovan and Sharon Gless, I mean, damn), and though I had some idea it was going to be a Michael-Maddie episode from the title, I had no idea how much of a Michael-Maddie episode. Nor how heartwrenching of one. Damn. I have to commend this ep for actually making Michael do things that are repulsive to him and disturbing to watch -- it's hard to accomplish on a show like BN where breaking his moral code usually involves, like, "having to work for someone evil," but it's hard to get really broken up over that. This, on the other hand... wow, it really went there.

Which is why it was all the more glaring that Burn Notice has some recurring problematic flaws of genre and bigoted tropes -- they were the extra 20% that the episode was missing, and it was really uncomfortable to see them play out. I would say especially in this episode these were 1. general handling of Fiona in the storyline and 2. general handling of characters of color and especially foreign characters, in this case Japanese. Take up the white man's burden, Westen crew!

Spoiler: Someone needs Michael's help. He sees what he can do. )

In other words: I am done with Yellow Peril bullshit in Hollywood, and I'm especially done with it when it's used so Mighty Whitey can rescue submissive Asian women from the clutches of cold-hearted Asian men. Well, Ming the Merciless weighing in over here, and I say this trope can take itself outside for a rousing game of hide and go fuck itself. Stay classy, San Diego.

Oh! So, other TV news. Other USA Network news, actually. So this new show Sluts Suits just came on last week, same day as BN, airing after BN. We were thinking it looked massively derivative and unappealing, like a lawyer-show amalgam of White Collar and Psych and "generic USA buddy cop show with an unconventional genius working for The Man to get things done," but it turns out Sluts Suits is actually pretty charming. For one, I can't stop reading it as "Sluts," so actually we just call it Sluts now. But mostly, Mike Ross the child prodigy character is utterly adorable, played by a precious NPH-ish kid, and sort of hard to not root for -- like, the show so far does a good job with the Roald Dahl-ish sense of "unwinnable situations with all odds stacked against you" and also what a horrible job lawyering is. He's less of a would-be-Caffrey and more of a talented but desperate and naive kid, intelligent and way out of his league.

Also, the show is basically a lawyer-themed yaoi manga. I mean yaoi manga specifically, not generic slashbait, as it is exactly about a wide-eyed idealistic youngster thrown together with a rich, cynical, douchey, domineering older man who treats him badly and won't acknowledge attachment until some other rich, cynical, douchey, domineering older man threatens his claim. I'm not even kidding. I am pretty sure White Collar has been straighter than this thing so far. I dunno if Sluts is going to be any good, but they definitely could have marketed it more honestly. Like "Okane ga Nai, but legal!"
prodigy: "Blondie" from Leone's Old West trilogy accompanied by Pikachu. (stephen - o rly)
You know, normally Burn Notice coming back would be the main focus of my day, but Meet the Medic was coming out today and I hurt my back something fierce a few weeks ago, both of which kind of one-upped BN when it came to occupying my thoughts. As it turned out, we didn't even remember that today was when it was back until [personal profile] relia was browsing the TV schedule and found out 50 minutes before it was due to come on. Thank god for that, Rel? Then again, USA reruns everything, we would've caught it in short order one way or another.

My name is Michael Westen. I used to be a vague spoiler. )

Can we talk about the trope of using Latin American countries as playgrounds for spy shows and action movies? Nothing in this episode made me specifically uneasy, but the trope in general does -- I feel like aside from the idea that they are full of "jungle," IE undiscovered land where bad guys can put compounds and people can be stranded, film and TV directors assume that their viewers aren't going to have any factual accuracy alarms going off in their heads and they can treat the laws and infrastructure there with alarming impunity. Whereas in Miami viewers may go "wait, Miami doesn't work that way," who's to say whether Venezuela works that way? It's some far-off Spanish-speaking country! For all they know it works that way! So let's stick all the corruption and firefights in here we like! Haha -- ah, no.

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prodigy: "Blondie" from Leone's Old West trilogy accompanied by Pikachu. (Default)
the late, or rather, later Henrik Egerman

September 2016

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