We had a few weeks a month back where we were seeing 10-15 entries a week. Things have cooled off in late May, but it’s not as if major series like “Obi-Wan Kenobi” or “Stranger Things” are afraid to debut new seasons.
Anecdotally, I’d suggest that international, non-English series and films have eased off the last few weeks in the U.S. I’ve also seen a drop-off in straight-to-VOD releases. I know the theatrical approach is for these to find room at the beginning and end of the year. Some of this has to do with grouping around the awards season, when international and indie-styled films get their best chance at a marketing push.
Beyond this, summer tends to be occupied by tentpole franchises. If streaming follows the same logic as theatrical releasing for these, that could explain why major franchises are still debuting new content while there are fewer non-English and indie-styled releases. Summer break has a lot to do with this, as families find series and movies to watch together and, for whatever reason, things like Finnish noir tend not to make that list.
And look, I don’t know a good segue for this, but we’ve seen this week that not all families make it to the summer. In the wake of the Robb Elementary School gun massacre in Uvalde, Texas, attention’s been called to the fact that the leading cause of death among children is now due to guns – surpassing motor vehicles for the first time since the data’s been recorded.
I don’t mean to always make the intro here or commentary in my other articles touch on issues like these, but the U.S. never really left suffering a slow-motion coup. We may have gotten Biden elected and the January 6, 2021 insurrection may have passed, but the Republican party has become one of increasing terrorism. Even in the wake of the Robb Elementary School gun massacre, Senate Republicans voted against the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act of 2022 just yesterday. They don’t want to see gun sales decreased or the white nationalism that feeds their coup impacted. Put plainly: they’d rather that domestic terrorists buy guns than lose a consumer for the gun industry. To see why, you only need look at the list of senators who receive funding from the NRA, starting with everyone’s favorite excuse for a moderate Mitt Romney at $13.6 million.
The right to an abortion, gun regulation, voting rights, single-payer healthcare, combating climate change…we could have these, but it takes an Uvalde to get engagement on our side back up to the levels it consistently hit under Trump. It shouldn’t take disasters like these to get us to fill up congressional voicemails. I’ve coordinated activism, and worked as a legislative aide and campaign manager. If we could manage the level of engagement we’re at now, or during the vote on the ACA a few years ago, we could steamroll Republicans. We could manage unprecedented turnout. It’s difficult and uncomfortable, and requires sacrifice in all of our lives, but better to sacrifice time and effort in our lives than the actual lives of elementary school children and their teachers.
This goes double for men. In every facet of activism, men have a tendency to show up to lead and not to work. Most activist calls to Congress are made by women. As men, we’re conditioned to armchair quarterback how someone else does activist work rather than to do it ourselves, as if we all haven’t complained about that exact same kind of useless manager at some point in our lives. It’s not women’s job to save children, it’s all our job. It’s not women’s job to fight for women’s rights, it’s all our job. It’s not women’s job to stave off a slow-motion coup, it’s all our job. As men, we need to show up, and listen to the voices that are leading activism in order to know what work needs doing. Then we need to actually do it, and we need to get other men to join us in this mentality.
Let’s awkward segue to the new show and film this week:
Obi-Wan Kenobi (Disney+)
showrunner Deborah Chow
Obi-Wan Kenobi lives in hiding as the Empire employs special hunters to run the rest of the Jedi down. Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen return from the prequels as Obi-Wan and Darth Vader.
Deborah Chow has directed on “The Mandalorian”, “American Gods, and “Better Call Saul”. She showruns and directs all six episodes of “Obi-Wan Kenobi”.
You can watch “Obi-Wan Kenobi” on Disney+. Two episodes premiere today, with a new one premiering every Friday.
A Banquet (Shudder, AMC+)
directed by Ruth Paxton
Sienna Guillory plays Holly, a widowed mother who tries to cope with her daughter Betsey declaring her body now belongs to a higher power. Betsey refuses to eat, but doesn’t suffer or lose weight, and Holly is forced to contend with who or what this higher power may be.
Ruth Paxton started as a production designer and art director, and has written and directed several shorts that interpret painting and dance. This is her feature-length debut.
Take a look at new shows + movies by women from past weeks.
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