While everyone else is talking about that other (extremely good) Charlize Theron action film, we watched one from a few years ago that many people passed on. Watch out Keanu, because we're here for the Theronaissance.
Check out Leonora on twitter and Letterboxd:
As we continue our great HBO adventure, we have arrived at the film adaptation of Doctor Sleep. And Ashley has now determined she's never, ever going to watch Ready Player One. Also, Alex joined the wild rumpus and Ashley found some big old holes.
Black trans people are one of the most vulnerable populations in America. During Pride and every other month of the year, please consider giving your time and/or money to support this community. Black Lives Matter. (The Marsha P. Johnson Institute: https://marshap.org/about-mpji/)
Also, we watched a weird series(?) called Blood Machines.
We're trying to bring in the cheer with a little music... to varying degrees of success. We watched Cats (2019), Jesus Christ Superstar (1973) and Moulin Rouge (2001). Also, Alex got artistic and Ashley got toxic.
We've been responsibly social distancing, so you know what that means: binging movies about fancy men fighting evil. But what do these films tell us, other than running in tight pants is a good look? Also, Alex learned a new way to run a scam, and Ashley got prehistoric (again).
Times are hard, friends. Luckily, we can turn to video games. We discovered, though, that cozy gaming is different for different people. Also, Alex brought the hard facts and Ashley brought some old bones.
We were in a Valentine mood, so we chatted about shipping! Canon or not, these ships have a huge impact on fan culture. Also, Alex gave us another great word and Ashley was feeling peckish.
(Sorry about the audio quality, everyone! -Ashley)
Things have been busy, so we came in with our own individual topics: Season 3 of The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and the Netflix film adaptation of NiNoKuni! Which one do you think was ultimately disappointing? It's a pretty easy guess. Also, Alex got gory and Ashley predicts spring will be here soon.
It's Christmastime in this house, so we did a Christmas thing. Turns out, The Nutcracker and the Four Realms... is actually pretty ok! Also, Ashley investigated a Christmas mystery and Alex put on his Santa hat.
Music is Chiron Beta Prime by Jonathan Coulton (jonathancoulton.com)
Well, we done did the thing. At long last, we watched the Robin Hood movie and found some unexpected themes floating around amongst the bizarre costumes and chewed scenery. Also, Alex has a new toy and Ashley took us spelunking.
Well, Disney+ is out, so we went back to a couple of our beloved animated series: Star Wars: Rebels and Gargoyles. Also, Alex is not granted the rank of Master, and Ashley's got the music in her... arms?
For spooktober, we decided to watch something scary-adjacent, and we really can't believe we waited so long to check this series out. Also, Alex delved further into his family history, and Ashley provided the refreshments.
We must really like our musician biopics, because we're back at it with 2004's De-Lovely. Kevin Kline plays Cole Porter, one of the most prominent songwriters of the first half of the 20th century. Of course, we focus on the gay stuff. Also, Alex talks quaint infrastructure, and Ashley gets Classical (again...).
Boy, we were surprised to find this show was actually good! From the writing to the acting to the effects, Carnival Row completely gripped us. But what did it have to say about race, miscegenation, war, and culture? Well, you should watch it to find out, but if you want to hear what we thought about it, here you go. Also, Alex learned about our favorite rare phoneme, and Ashley sheds some light on the situation.
Leonora came over and watched The Silence of the Lambs with us, and it was a nail-biter. Even Ashley was on the edge of her seat, and she'd already seen it! Of course the big issue of queer representation had to come up, and it resulted in a great discussion. Also, Leonora has found our new political candidate, and Alex and Ashley both get mythological.
Well, it's been almost two years but it was worth the wait. Mindhunter season 2 is out, and they outdid themselves. With themes like personal agency, blame, and responsibility, as well as race and sexuality, this season gave us a lot to chew on. Also, Alex and Ashley both learned about the deep [color] sea.
The 90s had a few Big Gay Movies, and 'The Birdcage' might be the best known among them. But what about 'To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything! Julie Newmar'? We took a look at this depiction of Drag culture and small-town America to consider its high and low points. Also, Alex learned some astronomy and Ashley learned some biology.
Alex sat Ashley down to watch a couple movies she missed this decade: Snow White and the Huntsman and it's pre-sequel, The Huntsman: Winter's War. One of these movies is better than the other, but you might be surprised which it is. Also, Alex warns of unusual infrastructure concerns, and Ashley introduces you to a woman you probably don't know.
Boy howdy, this season was a lot. We run down the many cinematic homages, as well as discuss the very rude boys that the real heroes of the day had to put up with. Also, Alex got caught up and Ashley's got a sneaky new friend.
Well, we loved it. Our discussion mostly revolved around that, but we did manage to do an OK job explaining what made it so good. And just talking about how great Taron Egerton is all the time and in everything. Also, Alex learned a new word and Ashley had a craving.
It's been a long time coming, but we've finally done it: The Magicians. Super extra spoiler warning if you haven't seen the end of season 4. WE'RE SERIOUS. Also, Alex has a craving and Ashley does some time travelling.
Once again we've got some audio drops, sorry about that. We're trying to figure out how to fix it.
Did you see Jupter Ascending? Ashley hadn't and boy, was there a lot to have feelings about. Mostly that the Wachowskis didn't go far enough. Also, Ashley introduced Alex to the original original Nightstalker, and Alex learned about balls.
We sought outside help for this week's topic! Writer and friend of the show Leonora Anne joined us to discuss trans representation in film, and we had an absolute blast. Its a bit of a fraught subject, but we can all at least agree that Jared Leto sucks. Also, Alex brought us another sweet treat, Leonora found our new vacation spot, and Ashley read up on a big mystery.
Find Leonora's work:
Were you one of the many people who missed Crimson Peak? Ashley says you missed out. We're talking about our guy Guillermo and the spooky ghost movie he did. Also, Ashley learned about glamorous science, and Alex gives you a gift you didn't know you needed.
Also also, the short story Ashley referenced is Herman Melville's "Benito Cereno"
Ashley and Alex are officially roommates, and the first order of business was sitting down and watching Beautiful Creatures. How was this gem of a film forgotten? Oh right, it's target audience was teen girls. Also, Alex learned about a saint, and Ashley learned about a sinner.
What is it about Netflix's adaptation of The Umbrella Academy that connected with us, and what does it say about this generation? This episode explores the themes behind the series and contrasts it with other hero stories, and maybe manages to make a point about something. Also, Alex and Ashley both managed to see the same movie in the theater and didn't even plan it.
Because we just can't get enough we're back again with our friend Rachel, aka. brentraptor, and we're talking about the burger show and why it's just so good. Also, Alex fell down the Disney hole and Ashley is very sad about the Disney.
Find Rachel on twitter: @brentraptor
One month in, and already this year has given us a lot to talk about. We cover Kingdom Hearts 3, Polar, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and Conversations With a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes. Also, BIG NEWS EVERYONE!!!!!!
Rejoice, as the Gay Agenda(TM) claims another for our flock. Soldier 76 is gay, and we love it, but so what? What does it matter for Soldier to have a boyfriend, and what about other queer characters in other games? Also, Ashley leared about soome spooky little guys, and Alex has been watching Netflix (surprise!).
So... what even was last year? Alex and Ashley try to piece together what 2018 looked like in media, and try not to think about all the... other things that occurred. Also, Alex has strengthened his relationship with Youtube, and Ashley wants to get her gambling freak on.
It's been a while, but we're back and talking about The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: A Midwinter's Tale! Well, after the important business of those new movie trailers... Also, Alex has a new toy and Ashley has a new child.
What are we to do when a problematic person is involved with a project we like? What about when a creator we once admired has started making a lot of bad decisions? We're not totally sure we can answer those questions, but we'll talk about them anyway. Also, Alex has questions about salad, and Ashley has questions about ham.
So... what the heck is hygge? How do you even pronounce it? And what does it have to do with Hayao Miyazaki? We answer these questions and more in this extra cozy episode. Also, Alex is experiencing a time slip and Ashley has no more bones.
Now that Ashley has finished watching Avatar: The Last Airbender, we wanted to discuss what we saw as being one of the most prominent themes running through the show: the perpetuation and breaking of cycles of violence and abuse. Also, Ashley found a new favorite show and Alex has a hot date.
This episode required the help of a special guest, Ashley's husband Will! The topic of the day is movie musicals, especially those adapted from the stage. Also, Alex is still very tired, and Will and Ashley went to Black Mirror.
How has fairy lore evolved over time, and what even IS a fairy? We discuss these questions and others as we compare fairy folklore to the modern idea of fairies. Also, Ashley saw a show, and Alex just can't.
Ashley's new show!
This episode is a little different! We each went to the movies, and want to tell you about what we saw. First is Alex with Mama Mia: Here We Go Again, and then Ashley with Ant Man and The Wasp. And as a special bonus, we discuss what Ashley has watched so far in Avatar: The Last Airbender, and just how dang good it is! Also, Alex is an important poetry boy, and Ashley's legs almost fell off.
Springboarding off of an article from the New Stateman featuring Neil Gaiman and Kazuo Ishiguro, this episode is about how genre fiction is disparaged, the usefulness of genre, and how it can be used or subverted to tell great stories. Also, Alex went to the park and Ashley endured a living nightmare.
Article Discussed: https://www.newstatesman.com/2015/05/neil-gaiman-kazuo-ishiguro-interview-literature-genre-machines-can-toil-they-can-t-imagine
Things have been a little crazy for us lately, so we decided to chill out and do a nice breezy media round-up. What have you been watching, reading, or listening to? Let us know on twitter @litmeritpod! Also, Ashley is the boss now, and Alex has the water you crave.
Inspired by Mikey Neumann's "Lessons Animation Taught Us" project on YouTube, we decided to try out the concept in our own medium. We talked about Avatar: The Last Airbender, We're Back!, Princess Mononoke, and of course Quest for Camelot (as well as a few others). Also, Alex struck out, and Ashley learned why you should go to a graveyard.
If you want to join in the conversation you can find us on twitter, and please check out Mikey's original video on the FilmJoy channel as well as the various great responses other folks have made, which can be found in the Lessons Animation Taught Us playlist.
This time we're talking Neil Gaiman's Norse Mythology, God of War (again), and Troy: Fall of a City, and wondering why it's gotta be so hard to keep track of these darn pantheons. And why are the gods so dumb? Also, Alex has the sleep schedule of a kindergartener and Ashley has identified the one time when double-dipping really is the best plan.
It's been a little while since Alex and Ashley found time to chat, so this episode is a little bit of a media round-up. We're talking Infinity War, Troy: Fall of a City, and of course the Met Gala. Also, Ashley had some housing troubles and Alex met some dinosaurs.
Well this was a little bit of a weird one! Since Ashley and Alex just couldn't find the time to get together, Ashley's two best boys Dillon and Will stepped up to fill those big shoes and discuss the new God of War game with her. Also, fight choreography is hard, and GO KAYLEY O'CONNOR!!!!
This episode is all about Alex's recent experience teaching poetry to elementary schoolers, but we ended up talking about Ashley's wedding for a good while anyway. How do you make poetry accessable to beginners, and what's poetry even for? Also, Alex got some new duds and Ashley is going to live forever.
In this episode we're delighted to have brentraptor (aka. Droosy, aka. Brent, aka. Rachel) back on the show, this time to discuss their recently-launched webcomic Miriam Beach. We talk sitcoms, inspiration, insecurity, and Miss Vanjie. Also, big life changes ahoy!
Miriam Beach: www.miriambeachcomic.com
In this episode, Ashley and Alex found themselves recording in the same room! Such a treat! The topic is Coco, why so many people missed it, and why that was such a tragedy. Things ended up turning into a bit of a group therapy session, but it was mostly relevant. Also, Ashley is now terrified of the natural world and Alex keeps on truckin.
Like everyone on Earth, we loved Black Panther and we knew we had to talk about it in one way or another. We decided to focus on the rad and terrifying Killmonger, and see how he compares to other supervillains, as well as movie baddies in general. Also, Alex is giving it another go, and Ashley hates cake now.
We had a wild time talking about this one, and had to bring back an old guest to do it right. Welcome back to the show Dillon, aka Zoodle! Doki Doki Literature Club is a very popular visual novel/dating sim, but with a twist. This one gets a big, big spoiler warning. Also, Alex has a lot of time on his hands, and Ashley's staying put.
This one got a bit heavier than we expected, but in retrospect we really should have known better. The topic is queer coming of age stories, and a key phrase we hit on was "deferred adolescence." Hit play to hear what on Earth we were on about! Also, Ashley's headed northward and Alex had a snack.
Another year over... what good stuff happened anyway? Ashley and Alex look back on 2017 and the best things in it, and mostly gloss over the rest. Also, Alex joined the artistic elite and Ashley waited for a bus.
Happy holidays! In this very special episode of Literary Merit we discuss Star Wars, mashed potato movies, and a whole lot more with a very special guest! Sit down with a glass of egg nog, spiced cider, or something a little stronger and cozy up for a nice chat with good friends (and maybe escape your visiting relatives... ).
This episode's theme song can be found at jonathancoulton.com
So this episode was supposed to be about The Good Place, and it was... for a while. Things got a little out of hand. Also, Alex is more stylish than ever, Ashley's getting into the Christmas spirit, and we fixed Brooklyn Nine Nine!
This episode is all Tolkien. Well, mostly Tolkien. We discuss the varius adaptations and spin-offs that take place in Middle Earth, with a dash of Lovecraft for good measure. Also, Ashley has a new appreciation for Ryan Gosling and Alex invented a new flavor of doughnut.
Too much good stuff happened recently, so this one's a double header. Ashley and Alex may have seen two entirely different movies when they saw Thor, though. Also, Alex spent some time on the road and Ashley has a new best friend.