Thar be spoilers for The Defenders!
The Defenders is out and it’s…not…bad? I mean I got all the way through it? I was entertained for the most part? I still want to get messy-drunk and punch dudes with Jessica Jones?
But for every sliver of potential, there were HOURS of failure to live up to any of it.
It’s the first week of pride month and Sense8 has been cancelled. If that’s not ironic then I owe Alanis Morissette a beer.
In the days following the announcement, there’s been a lot of sorrow, a lot of outrage, and a spate of well-rounded articles detailing the immense loss to representation that’s fuelled most of it. But still, I see a lot of people—straight ones mostly—wondering at the voracity of the queer community’s backlash at the news. And I guess I can understand their confusion. Representation is representation, right? While Sense8 certainly had a lot of it, it’s not the only show out there with openly queer characters.
But that’s just it. All representation isn’t created equal.
In an industry that queer-codes its villains, fetishises its lesbians, overwhelmingly depicts its gay men slowly dying of AIDs, and flat out forgets people of colour exist most of the time, finding representation that doesn’t make me want to put my head through a wall is like finding a needle in a pile of other needles. Finding representation that makes me cry literal tears of joy…well, lets just say I’m usually notoriously dry eyed.
Until Sense8. Beautiful, diverse, found-family, feel-good, sci-fi mecca Sense8.
I have a problem. I’m compulsively driven to read the comments on every 13 Reasons Why article that crosses my Facebook feed. I know, I KNOW, I should know better, but here we are.
The one thing this practice has given me (other than stress-induced migraines) is a singular insight into the types of comments these articles inspire. All thirteen of them (HA!). Because every comment defending 13 Reasons Why against BLASPHEMOUS criticisms levelled by THOSE ASSHOLE mental health and suicide prevention experts comes in a finite number of variations.
So here I am, answering each one so I can maybe exorcise myself of the need to repeat myself in 7347687346 reply threads.
I don’t watch 13 Reasons Why, and I never will for very specific reasons, but I’ve been following its reviews – good and bad – because it stands to impact people, and it’s a subject I’m personally invested in for reasons that are about to become apparent.
Warning: I’m about to hit on themes of suicide and self harm. I’m also going to talk about the final episode so: spoilers.
This’ll contain spoilers, y’all.
So first off, I really enjoyed the ambiguity of the show as a whole in terms of unreliable narration etc etc but there were just SO VERY MANY storytelling flubs I’m surprised I didn’t end the season rocking in a corner. The most frustrating part for me was it has all the makings of a really tight, interesting story but feels like it was rushed off the line after the second draft.
So here you go, have my draft notes.