“Television isn’t going to last. It’s just a fad” – Lucy Ricardo, I Love Lucy
Jane the Virgin, still in its first season, is already one of my favorite shows. Airing in 40 minute episodes, the show follows the alternately funny and sweet misadventures of Jane Villanueva, a happily-engaged 23-year-old education grad student living with her mother and grandmother in Miami. When Jane is accidentally artificially inseminated thanks to a mix-up at the gyno, her perfectly-planned life is turned upside down, and hilarious drama ensues.
My first review is an animated Disney superhero movie – who’s surprised? If you haven’t seen this one yet, you should. It’s still in theaters, and it’s great. Big Hero 6, directed by Don Hall and Chris Williams, is based on a lesser-known Marvel comic that Disney dug up and reinvented. Ryan Potter and Daniel Henney lend their voices as brothers Hiro and Tadashi Hamada, who are half-Japanese-half-Caucasian American (Potter and Henney are themselves of mixed heritage) living with their aunt in the futuristic city of San Fransokyo. While the brothers’ mixed background is implied, both Hamada parents are deceased and never shown. I suppose actually depicting an AMWF couple on screen would have been too much awesome for one movie…sigh.
“Until I saw people who looked like me, doing the things I wanted to do, I wasn’t sure it was a possibility” – Lupita Nyong’o My motivations for creating fictiondiversity.com are twofold: First, I watched Colin Stokes’ two excellent TED talks on gender and racial diversity in film. Mr. Stokes introduced me to Bechdel test, which serves as a lower-bound test for the representation of female characters in film. To pass the test, a movie must script: 1) at least two (named) female characters, 2) who speak to each other, 3) about something other than a man. That’s it. A movie passes the test if two female characters say nothing other than good morning to each other. And yet only about 60% of the movies produced since 1970 pass. The Bechdel test is not a new concept. Invented by Liz Wallace, it was popularized by Alison Bechdel in a 1985 comic strip. This was, however, the first I’d heard of it. I had somehow made it through several college film classes without ever coming across the …