Final Space dropped this year and it grew on me like a beautifully animated fungus.
For those not familiar with the show, IMDB describes it as:
“An astronaut named Gary and his planet-destroying sidekick called Mooncake embark on serialized journeys through space in order to unlock the mystery of where the universe actually ends and if it actually does exist.”
I describe it as Invader Zim meets Star Wars with a dash of found-family and a nice helping of pathological sincerity. It’s great. Which of course means I’m now going to critically rip it to pieces. It’s how I show my love.
Here are some lessons — good and bad — that we should all take from Final Space.
SPOILERS AHOY! (Also very slight spoilers for The Haunting of Hill House)
Happy belated May the fourth, my good nerds!
I had an excellent Star Wars day myself, drinking good beer with good friends while wearing the physical proof that we’re not in the dark timeline after all.
But while some of us yelled about the stars aligning perfectly to give us Donald Glover’s casting as a young Lando Calrissian over Star Wars themed beverages, others chose to highlight their distaste for certain aspects of the franchise.
Now. As someone who’s spent a few thousand words detailing her own distaste for certain Star Wars storytelling choices, I’m not one to throw stones in this, the most fragile of houses.
Except people are coming for my very favourite trash sand lesbian and I will not have it.
I want to talk about Love, Simon. But first I need to talk about another queer coming-of-age movie.
When I was 16 my best friend and I stayed with my dad for the school holidays. On that trip, we went to Video Ezy and rented some of the trashiest movies we could find, determined to turn the entire two weeks into some sort of extended sleepover. One of those movies was But I’m a Cheerleader.
It was everything 16-year-old me wanted in a movie – awkward humour, flipping the bird to gender roles, and cheezy declarations of love.
It was also HELLA gay.
Spoilers for Thor: Ragnarok ahead! I also allude to scenes and sequences from Star Wars: The Last Jedi and both Guardians of the Galaxy movies just FYI.
I saw Thor: Ragnarok in cinemas when I was having a particularly rough time and for a brief, shining moment the world was good again. My pain was forgotten, my depression cured, flowers bloomed beneath my feet as I left the cinema and bunnies stood poised to break into song.
Taika Waititi is the sort of storyteller I would step over a body to have a beer with. As someone who’s been steadily falling out of love with the Marvel Cinematic Universe over the last few years, Thor: Ragnarok was like a shot of adrenalin. It was funny, it was heartfelt, and it broke so many rules but in the best of ways.
Here’s my rundown of what writers can learn from Thor: Ragnarok.
Spoilers for The Shape of Water ahead!
The Shape of Water is out in cinemas and I’ve never been more creatively in love with Guillermo del Toro. This isn’t a surprise, honestly. Del Toro’s previous movies are some of my absolute favourites and I have a long-standing obsession with all things fairytale, both as a reader and a writer. So I entered the cinema with high hopes and left with actual, literal tears of happiness on my face.
But while I could spend 1000 words waxing poetic about The Shape of Water in general, I instead want to spend 1000 words waxing poetic about what The Shape of Water can teach writers. Because, my dudes, this movie is a finely-crafted masterclass of storytelling.
Here, in no particular order, are the main writing lessons I took away from The Shape of Water.