Tag Archives: Strong Female Characters

Binge-Worthy TV: Marcella

Earlier this week, I noticed that Netflix had added Marcella, a show featuring Anna Friel (who I LOVED as Chuck in the all-too-short-lived series Pushing Daisies) and that Friel was the show’s title character AND that she was playing a detective searching for a murderer… Well, obviously I knew I’d have to watch this show. I’m always on the lookout for shows with badass female characters — and there’s a bonus if those shows involve crime-solving, because I love a mystery.

And if there’s one thing that this show has, it’s mystery. Marcella is a British crime procedural, written and directed by Hans Rosenfeldt (The Bridge). The 8-episode first season was added to Netflix shortly after it finished in mid-May, with audiences able to stream the show beginning July 1.

Anna Friel as Marcella

Anna Friel is Marcella

The show follows Marcella Backland (Friel), a retired detective who has spent the past decade at home raising a family. Marcella’s husband Jason (Nicholas Pinnock) has just left her, and in many ways her personal life is crumbling. Meanwhile, the signature of a serial killer who has been inactive for many years resurfaces. And so Marcella decides to return to work as a homicide detective and to search for the killer as she also deals with her personal life.

I have to admit that I think the show’s plot is a bit too formulaic at times, but there is enough complexity in the show’s subplots and enough strong acting that I didn’t find it distracting. Friel is a wonder to watch, giving a nuanced performance as Marcella’s obsessions spiral. She is often unlikable — volatile and obsessive, disregarding all sorts of not just rules and regulations but ethical and moral quandaries. She has a penchant for ruthlessly pursuing suspects, and she neglects to share pertinent information about the case with her fellow officers and superiors (like that she has started having blackout moments caused by extreme stress, and that one of those blackouts involved a fight with her husband’s mistress, who turned up dead).

The show also excels in its structural oddities, forcing us to do our own work to suss out the murderer by introducing us to a fairly large-sized cast of characters all at once rather than suspect by suspect. Marcella’s blackouts also add a layer of complication–we don’t see what she does, but we know that she is sometimes violent. The relationship between Marcella and Jason vacillates, both of them confused and confusing one another, both of them suspects.

And that’s really the other thing I like about the show: Everyone is a suspect, and everyone is guilty. The question is really not whether they’re guilty, but to what extent and of what, exactly.

Internet gossip suggests that the show will get a second season, but that has not yet been confirmed. Here’s hoping, because as Friel has gone on record as saying in regards to her character: “the world is changing, rightly so, and we’re maybe having the attention and the spotlight is being put on to women. It’s about time, isn’t it?”

Reaction – Season 6 Game of Thrones

GoT_season_6_official_posterI think my short reaction to the latest season of Game of Thrones is just OH MY GOSH!! This season just blew me away. After season 5 I was slightly disappointed in the series as a whole. They had done some good things, but in season 5 the show just felt a little lost. This season they really took the show and the story to the next level.

Now a couple of my favorite things about this season has been the women in power, and the reveal of some great fan theories. The female characters in this season have owned every episode that they have been in and it has been fantastic.

I think the big issue I have with this season is that they threw out any concept of time continuity and everything happened at the speed of plot. Now this kept the pace really exciting and with a limited number of episodes left in the series it really helped move the story forward, but there were definitely some ridiculous moments as a result. At the same time I am super excited to see where they take this story in the next couple of seasons! (Spoilers for Game of Thrones for season 6 after the jump.)

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Reaction – Season 6 Game of Thrones

I think my short reaction to the latest season of Game of Thrones is just OH MY GOSH!! This season just blew me away. After season 5 I was slightly disappointed in the series as a whole. They had done some good things, but in season 5 the show just felt a little lost. This season they really took the show and the story to the next level.

Now a couple of my favorite things about this season has been the women in power, and the reveal of some great fan theories. The female characters in this season have owned every episode that they have been in and it has been fantastic.

I think the big issue I have with this season is that they threw out any concept of time continuity and everything happened at the speed of plot. Now this kept the pace really exciting and with a limited number of episodes left in the series it really helped move the story forward, but there were definitely some ridiculous moments as a result. At the same time I am super excited to see where they take this story in the next couple of seasons! (Spoilers for Game of Thrones for season 6 after the jump.)

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Origin Stories in the Marvel Universe, Moving Forward

Since we all seem to be covering a few comic book themed posts this week, I figured I’d jump in with some thoughts on how I think they handled two new characters in Civil War, and what I think that means for the MCU moving forward. I’m going to do my best to keep this vague and try not to spoil anything too much, just in case you haven’t had a chance to see the movie yet.

We know, just from the trailers, that Captain America: Civil War has the honor of introducing two much anticipated characters to the Marvel Cinematic Universe: Black Panther and Spider-Man. The latter of the two has been the most talked about, considering the negotiations that had to take place for Disney to take over the character of Spider-Man from Sony. After trying to start two separate franchises based on Spider-Man and not succeeding, a lot of people, myself included, were excited to see what was going to be done with the character by the MCU. Black Panther is not as well-known by the general public (audiences who go to see the Marvel movies without reading the comics), and so his introduction to the MCU is, in a way, starting from scratch.

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Life is Strange, and so is the Game

It’s been a long time since I received a game as a present that I didn’t specifically request. It’s been longer since I received a game with the warning, “this may be a bit disturbing to you, but I think you’ll enjoy it.” Looking back, there isn’t a truer description of the episodic adventure time-travel game, Life is Strange (made by Dontnod Entertainment and published by Square Enix).

Life is Strange takes place on the Pacific Northwest over the course of one week in October. Max Caulfield, an 18 year-old student at prestigious Blackwell Academy in Arcadia Bay, is visited by a vision of a horrifying storm destroying the bay. When she awakens from the vision, she is in her photography class listening to a lecture. She rushes to the bathroom to recover from the horrible vision, but instead discovers that she has the ability to rewind time when she stops a fellow classmate from shooting a girl in the bathroom. That girl ends up being Max’s former best friend whom she hasn’t seen in five years, and the two quickly reconnect.

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