Of Scandals, Flashes, and the Diaries of Vampires

We'll start with Scandal, Season 5.

It seems to me that the blacker berry, the tighter the noose.  Hear me out: Scandal now openly advocates for Black lives and addresses racism and misogyny head-on.  In short, Shonda Rhimes has gotten increasingly "Blacker" and less apologetic with this show, so naturally its paler critics are more frequently throwing it under the bus.

I'll be honest, Scandal hasn't been all that great in years.  We got over the loss of Stephen because we only had him for seven episodes.  We never got over the loss of Harrison.

We got tired of Olivia/Fitz and Oliva/Jake, but like with B613, the writers just kept giving us more.

But the second half of Season 5 of Scandal showed us a new Olivia Pope, one who broke up with Fitz, aborted his baby, and then - quite literally - bashed in the brains of her kidnapper with a chair.  And when the race for the White House really began to heat up, we saw her snap and tell Jake she hadn't spent years working twice as hard only to get half and live a mediocre life.  We saw her in her cold-blooded, ruthless glory, and I for one thought, Finally...she's become interesting again.

I'm now genuinely interested to see what ShondaLand does in Season 6, and I haven't felt that way since the end of Season 2.

Middle Child Press is Now on #Shopify

Yes, we've moved our store again, and this time we're teaming up with Shopify.  It's seamless, modern, and we're very, very proud of it.


Ktown Cowboys (2016), a Review

Okay, so even though critics have had a lot of positive things to say about the Ktown Cowboys movie, they've mostly panned it.

I'm going to be a lot more lenient, for obvious reasons. I'm a huge fan of the original webseries, I had the honor of interviewing actor Peter Jae as well as actor/musician Bobby Choy a.k.a. Big Phony (twice, if you recall), and when they launched their fundraiser on Kickstarter, I donated. Donating kept me on their mailing list, so like thousands of dedicated fans, I got to read updates on this project for six grueling years. That's a labor of love, Bar Patrons, and I have much respect for that level of commitment.

Also, BIG shout-out to Ken Jeong for producing this bad boy; 'cause this is how you do things. When you make it, you gotta turn around and lend the fam a helping hand.


The Bar Pours a Sip for the Immortal King of Shade

Damn, Prince!!!!

I can almost accept David Bowie and Alan Rickman going; they were both 69 and plagued with cancer. I don't accept Chyna's death; dying at 45 is some bullshit I'm not even tryna hear right now. Scalia could've dropped at 34 and I wouldn't have batted an eye.

But Prince???? At fifty-seven????

Bar Patrons...raise y'all's glasses, sip that Purple Rain, and share your fondest Prince moments and music videos.

I'll start.


"Romeo Must Die" Reboot Dreamcast

LMAO - Okay, first of all...hear me out right quick.

Sixteen years ago this movie came out.  It was ratchet as hell, it was hilarious, and it became a "classic" even though it really shouldn't have.  That's why I humbly submit it for reboot...with a few essential tweaks.

But before we continue, lemme refresh y'all's memory:

Movin' on then....


Everything Before Us (2015), a Review

What I can say?  I finally watched this one on Netflix, and I must say...I'm impressed.

I first saw this trailer last year and wished the guys at Wong Fu all the best.  I've been entertained by their videos for over a decade now, and they've more than earned their place in the film industry.

The film is set in the near future, where the Department of Emotional Integrity (D.E.I.) oversees all romantic relationships by issuing publicly-accessible 'relationship score' that keep individuals accountable for their everyday choices. The film follows the stories of Ben and Sara, an older couple who must revisit their past with the D.E.I., and Seth and Haley, a younger couple entering their first registered and long-distance relationship with the D.E.I. (Source)
In addition to predominantly POC cast (filled with delightfully chosen cameos, including rapper Traphik and actor Khalif Boyd), I admire the premise behind Everything Before Us.  The writing is patient, thorough, and humorous, and the pacing of the film matches it perfectly.  Every concept introduced is visually explored.

The DEI concept is brilliant; it has that potential to be both amusing and horrifying. It's amusing when Randall Park (yes, that one) mediates the break-up of a young gay couple (one-half of which is portrayed by Dominic "D-Trix" Sandoval).  D-Trix's character is the one ending the relationship, and is clearly confident about about his future...until the mediator awards him 76% fault, and then reassures his now ex-lover that he will find love again.


The Art of Halves and Trick Bait (#CancelSleepyHollow)

Caption This
The demise of Abbie Mills on Sleepy Hollow has basically been the Death that Launched a Thousand Ships.  As you can see by the above hashtag, war has been declared, the fleet has set sail, and folks are straight achin' to burn this bitch down.

As someone on Twitter noted, Sleepy Hollow is currently being dragged left and right, and in multiple languages.  For real.  I'm seeing tweets in Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, and the one thing they all have in common is that damn hashtag.  I didn't know Nicole Beharie had fans like that, but damn...she's proving to be every bit the goddess I always knew she was, and the epic backlash going on right now is going to have ripple effects for a long, long time.

Like many commenters and critics, I stopped watching a while back, but every so often I'd be drawn back, not just because of the legendary Mison/Beharie chemistry, but simply because of Beharie's face.  That is a beautiful woman, y'all, and one hell of an actress.
The wound of her death is so raw and so fresh right now that it's got people talking about everything from discrimination in TV, fridging, Dead Lesbian Syndrome, and oh yes...the practice of pretending that the shows we like only have a Season One (or, in the case of a show like Scandal, Season 2).

But then, this got me thinking...isn't it usually just the first half of Season One that's good?  It's not always the whole Season.  It's like once these shows come back from that first winter hiatus (and that first change in writers/showrunners), everything goes downhill from there.


#BlackVotesMatter: The Dark Side of the Clintons

Has the current election got anyone else flashing back to 2008?
On Tuesday, former secretary of state and current presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton took the stage at BET's Black Girls Rock show and proclaimed, "There are still a lot of barriers holding back African-Americans and black women in particular."

On Thursday, black protesters attempted to highlight some of those barriers Clinton alluded to during a campaign rally in Philadelphia. In response, her husband, former President Bill Clinton, attempted to bring those protesters to heel, and referred to an adult woman who was protesting as a "girl."

So on Tuesday, black girls rock. But on Thursday, it's black girls hush.

Sure, Bernie Sanders has the bleeding hearts on lock, but the Clinton campaign is not just interested in winning over liberals and progressives. They also hope to garner votes from disaffected whites who feel left behind in the economic and demographic shifts the country is going through. And while some, perhaps even many, of these white potential voters are supporting Donald Trump, some of them are on the fence about the demagogue and are equally disinterested in his truly conservative opponents, Ted Cruz and John Kasich.

Bill Clinton was talking to those voters, letting the folks who think that today's BLM protesters are whiny, entitled, spoiled Millennial brats who don't know about following orders. And that he and, by proxy, Hillary Clinton are not afraid to put these uppity negroes back in their place. Bill Clinton is also signifying to those in black communities who find the current rhetoric of black protest too brash and aggressive, those who feel like protesters should be marching peacefully, demanding rights while they sing hymns, as the sanitized history of Martin Luther King Jr. suggests is the most respectable way to make change.
Normally, in a situation like this, I'd just be laughing at the Clintons as their ship goes down. But I'm not yet fully convinced this one's going to sink. #Shillary is trending for a reason, y'all.


Shames From My Alma Mater

So last night I dreamed about a LOT of people I have given no fucks for in years and I woke up wondering, "WTF?"

Then I remembered that yesterday I was shown an article about a middle school I attended for one year waaaaaaay back in the day; I guess it brought up some buried memories.
A homework assignment at a Kanawha County middle school is causing a firestorm of debate after it was posted on Facebook. Now, school officials are saying it was not approved and was inappropriate.

The homework assignment was titled "Black Lives Matter" and was sent home with students in a 7th grade class at Dunbar Middle School.

...The questions focused on controversial current events. The teacher, who school officials say is white, asked questions such as "how have procedures changed regarding police brutality from before the Black Lives Matter movement to after?" Another question asked "what is the difference between the treatment of Dylan Roof and Mike Brown?"

Roof is accused of killing nine African Americans during a prayer service at a church in Charleston, South Carolina. Brown's shooting death in Ferguson, Missouri generated a vigorous debate about the relationship between law enforcement and African Americans.

The assignment ended asking "how many people were killed by police in 2014?"

"It is inappropriate for a school to teach a view such as that," said Dunbar Middle School principal Amon Gilliam.
Boo, lemme stop you right there.