Gay Turbo Hell: November ’20 Roundup

Surprising absolutely no one, I’ll be prefacing this roundup with another “it’s been a weird month!”. I’ll also be keeping things brief, because some combination of doomscrolling, Switch playing, and holding books open at weird angles while I sit improperly on couches (as is customary for my people), has quite possibly inflamed the tendons in my thumbs and wrists, and I am trying to avoid using my hands for a few days. Because, you know, this might as well happen (at least it’s happening after my hard deadlines are done…)

As always, enjoy the content below, both mine and made by others, and take care of yourselves (and your tendons) in these strange times we live in.

On the blog:

In Which Rent-a-Girlfriend Goes Off the Rails – you ever tell the world that a show has potential and then it disappoints you?

Queer YA Spotlight: Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me – an anti-love story of sorts about how sometimes the girl of your dreams is an asshole, and true happy endings come from self-respect.

Bonus: do you know I also write about books in more fleeting shortform on Tweeter? Here are some quick review threads for some books I read this month:

Adachi and Shimamura vol. 1 (the introspective tale of two disaffected teens who are terrified to discover they have feelings for one another. I picked it up to compare it to the show, and… at this stage, I might like the book better?)

Somebody Told Me (a harrowing coming-of-age story about how communities can bring great joy, but also foster harmful power structures that go unchecked, featuring the Catholic church and… cosplay)

Under Shifting Stars (twin sisters share a story about grief and about navigating the way the world sees you, and how the right people will love you no matter how “weird” you are)

The Mermaid, the Witch and the Sea (a seafaring fantasy of pirates, floating islands, and the horrors of imperialism, featuring The Sea as the ultimate mum)

Web content for your perusal:

Video games are becoming more and more cinematic, but that inspiration is a two-way street.

Quibi was a new streaming service set to take the world by storm, but… well, didn’t. This breaks downs the reasons neatly from a perspective of marketing and content. And man, that content!! Amanda the Jedi has some analysis of said content if you want a deeper primer into just how weird it is.

If you’re fond of food history like I am, you might enjoy the channel Tasting History, where a well-learned and upbeat fellow walks you through recipes from everywhere (and everywhen) from Ancient Rome to Victorian England (accompanied by Pokémon plushies who diligently sit in the background).

You may have seen the internet explode over a development in the show Supernatural. Here is a brief rundown (and some of the best memes)

The Branding Behind Seraphine, the New League of Legends Champion, is Gross – maybe don’t give your fictional character carefully-marketed mental health struggles as a media exercise?

Adventure Time Challenged Cartoons’ “Girly Girl and Other Girl” Stereotypes – a brief history of the tropes that The Girl Character inevitably falls into in children’s cartoons, and how Marceline and Bubblegum shatter those, particularly in their new instalment Obsidian.

The Uncanny Valley of Culture – a game dev writes about their frustrations with how America-centric the English-speaking media market is, and how works that are made or set elsewhere are often expected to dull or change the aspects that may make them “unpalatable” or “foreign” to US audiences.

Thinking Outside the Circle: Accessibility and Education in Witch Hat Atelier – now that I’ve caught up, I can read and recommend Dee’s lovely article about how Witch Hat’s magical narrative explores discrimination in big and small ways, and serves as a critique of rigid and prejudiced educational structures.

The Half-Death of the Black Widow – published a year ago but unfortunately still relevant, particularly given how COVID “killed off” the Black Widow solo movie and served as just one of many awkward and unhappy endings of Natasha.

Let’s wrap it up there, and haul ourselves into December. Take care everyone!

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