Illuminated by warm orange and pink lights, Dee Rees’ Pariah (2011) is an emotionally raw coming-of-age film about a queer Black teenager named Alike (Adepero Oduye), who comes from a conservative, dysfunctional family living in Brooklyn. Rees (best known for her work in Mudbound), the movie’s director-writer, takes us on Alike’s journey. She divides the film betweenContinue reading “Pariah”


Dee Ree’s Mudbound consists of nuanced ambiguities that make it a force of moral clarity. It confronts the ugly truths of racism—lynchings, heinous verbal abuse, forced poverty—while also gesturing at the precarious, but very possible nature of hope. I can think of so many examples in pop culture where ostensibly progressive works serve to uphold theContinue reading “Mudbound”

Marvel’s The Defenders

Like most Marvel nerds, I spent the previous weekend watching The Defenders, breaking the new Netflix series into two contained binge-fests. It’s probably not accurate to call the show a money-grab, but my intuition going into was knowing that it probably won’t have the same depth as each of the original series that it jumpsContinue reading “Marvel’s The Defenders”

Cultural Artifacts from July 2017

Hello, Internet! It’s been a while since I’ve posted and that’s because I’ve been so busy! I’m wrapping up some freelance projects and a few drafts at work, so I’m back for the moment. Here are some of my favorite picks from July that I wanted to share with you. Twin Peaks  Twin Peaks isn’tContinue reading “Cultural Artifacts from July 2017”

Netflix’s GLOW and Catfight

I haven’t been blogging for a while, but I have some thoughts to share about two cool things that I streamed on Netflix recently: Catfight and GLOW.  I love how these two pieces dig into what it means to be a woman fighting, like, physically, viscerally, guts-and-blood fighting. It reminded me of a Roland BarthesContinue reading “Netflix’s GLOW and Catfight”

Netflix’s “The Keepers”

I love true crime and I love documentaries, so Netflix’s The Keepers was something of a treat to watch last weekend. But to lump the series into the true crime documentary genre would be myopic since it explores so much more beyond the case of Sister Cathy Cesnik. The Keepers, in fact, uncovers a muchContinue reading “Netflix’s “The Keepers””

Hasan Minhaj’s “Homecoming King”

I encountered Hasan Minhaj eons ago in the Invisibilia podcast episode “Frame of Reference,” where he talks about his immigrant father, a survivor of the 1947 Partition between India and Pakistan. Minhaj’s father, like many immigrant survivors of trauma, dons a poker face when it comes to conversations about racism and mental health struggles. HeContinue reading “Hasan Minhaj’s “Homecoming King””