I’ve written about review brigading before and the MCU’s newest series “Ms. Marvel” is getting some of the worst in a while. Apparently eight films centered around white actors named Chris and four projects for the Tom H.s of the world isn’t enough to balance out one lone series that represents a quarter of the world’s population.
We’ve had 25 MCU films centered on white characters, three centered on non-white ones, 13 series centered on white characters, 5 on non-white ones (I’m treating “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” and “Cloak & Dagger” as half a count each).
Nearly 25% of the world’s population is Muslim, but making two-percent of your projects about someone who’s Muslim is too woke and pandering? Who do we think they’re pandering to if 78% of their output centers on a demographic that accounts for only 10-to-20 percent of the world’s population? Because that’s what they’ve done for their white audience. White viewers are overrepresented by a factor of four, while Muslim viewers are underrepresented by a factor of 12, yet this is somehow pandering to Muslims?
The only thing less would be erasure, but that’s the point when this kind of review brigading happens. You might say to ignore it, but a lot of people decide on whether to watch a series by checking the aggregated user scores on Metacritic or IMDB. Right now both have been deflated because some people are offended Muslim people aren’t staying invisible.
I don’t know about you, but when something like that happens, I watch the shit out of whatever they’re brigading. I watched the premiere – it’s a great start to a coming-of-age superhero series and the best premiere among the Disney+ series outside “Loki”.
But that’s not even the point. I mean, we kept the MCU going after extremely subpar films like “Thor: The Dark World” and “Avengers: Age of Ultron”. That we have to prove something like “Ms. Marvel” is exceptional when we don’t even have to prove projects like “Dark World” or “Ultron” are passable – that’s the point. What if it were average? Would that mean it shouldn’t exist? Cause I’ve seen a couple of average pieces come out of the MCU, and what I always hear about them are the arguments for the parts that are good, or how they tie into other projects we’re hopeful for.
It’s the film directed by Chloe Zhao or the series starring a Muslim woman that have to prove their exceptional nature in order to be granted legitimacy to a group that already lionizes the exceedingly average. The thing is, the parts of the MCU that are new, inclusive, that tackle new ground with characters who haven’t gotten their moment yet – that’s the part of the MCU that still excites me. The crap that worships the average and seeks to repeat it over and over again, that’s the part of the MCU that feels like a bunch of unrewarding homework. That’s the part that needs to prove it’s exceptional, because I’ve already seen 20 movies like that already – if you can’t do something different, include someone you haven’t before, then I’ve seen you already. I haven’t seen anything like “Ms. Marvel”, which gives me a reason to visit the MCU again.
Ms. Marvel (Disney+)
showrunner Bisha K. Ali
While attending Avengercon, Kamala Khan discovers that she possesses her own superhero powers.
Creator and showrunner Bisha K. Ali was a data scientist and domestic violence support worker before she shifted into stand-up comedy. She moved into screenwriting on Mindy Kaling’s “Four Weddings and a Funeral”, and worked with the MCU previously as a story editor on “Loki”.
Four of the six episodes are directed by women, with two apiece from “For All Mankind” director Meera Menon and documentary producer Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy.
You can watch “Ms. Marvel” on Disney+. The premiere is available now with a new hourlong episode dropping every Wednesday for a total of 6.
showrunners Veronica Fernandez, Laura Sarmiento Pallares
A revenge porn video threatens the career of an up-and-coming politician. This Spanish series follows four women who see their lives upended by similar attacks.
Veronica Fernandez and Laura Sarmiento Pallares are both experienced writers in Spanish film, with Fernandez winning a Goya for “El Bola” and each seeing Iris Award nominations for different series.
You can watch “Intimacy” on Netflix. All 8 hourlong episodes are out.
CW: brief imagery of mass shooting
Queer as Folk (Peacock)
co-showrunner Jaclyn Moore
A new adaptation of the onetime BBC (and then Showtime) series, “Queer as Folk” follows a group of LGBTQ+ friends recovering after a mass shooting incident.
Jaclyn Moore showruns with Stephen Dunn. Moore previously wrote as co-showrunner on “Dear White People”. She famously left that show in opposition to Netflix’s support of Dave Chappelle’s transphobic remarks.
You can watch “Queer as Folk” on Peacock. All 8 hourlong episodes are out.
First Kill (Netflix)
showrunner Felicia D. Henderson
Juliette and Calliope fall in love. The only problem for the two students is that one’s a vampire, the other a vampire hunter. The series is based on a short story by V.E. Schwab.
Showrunner Felicia D. Henderson brings a lot of relevant experience to the table, with a writing and production history that includes “Fringe”, “Gossip Girl”, “The Punisher”, and “Empire”.
You can watch “First Kill” on Netflix. All 8 hourlong episodes are out.
Baby Fever (Netflix)
co-showrunner Amalie Naesby Fick
This Danish dramedy follows Nana, a fertility doctor who drunkenly inseminates herself with her ex-boyfriend’s sperm. This leads to a pregnancy she now has to explain to friends and family.
Obviously, the premise intersects with issues of donor consent and fertility fraud. I don’t know how responsibly the series handles it.
Amalie Naesby Fick created, writes, and directs the show with Nikolaj Feifer.
You can watch “Baby Fever” on Netflix. All 6 half-hour episodes are out.
Trees of Peace (Netflix)
directed by Alanna Brown
In 1994, four women are trapped together during the genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda. They work together to endure and survive.
Writer-director Alanna Brown has written on “Blindspotting”. This is her first feature.
You can watch “Trees of Peace” on Netflix.
Take a look at new shows + movies by women from past weeks.
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