Thanks for tuning in for another episode of So Here’s What Happened!
On this episode, LaNeysha and Carolyn discuss their first top picks for March (can’t believe the month is over already, February took forever to end).
Once again the ladies unknowingly picked the same show and movie as their top pick for the month, which is a good thing because it shows not only that they have similar tastes but it could also be seen as a litmus test for how certain projects impact pop culture and become a cultural phenomenon. This could also mean that they spend a lot of time on Twitter chatting about the same films and shows, either way, they had fun, and lots to talk about.
Written by John Robinson IV, Scorpio is an original comic about Danny Shim, a Chinese-American innovator and millionaire, who finally realises that the legacy his father tried to pass on to him, will find him no matter how much he tries to deny it. In the first issue, readers are given a great introduction to Danny and his family. His arrogance is balanced by the affection he has for his younger siblings, and it’ll be interesting to see how their characters develop when they become involved in the battle over possession of 12 magical relics powered by the Zodiac.
Written and illustrated by Kaito
Ao No Flag, focuses on the story the third year students Taichi Ichinose, Futaba Kuze, and Touma Mita. The story begins when Taichi is roped into helping Futaba get closer to Taichi’s childhood friend and all around popular student-athlete, Touma. As the story goes on love triangles form and heart and relationships are tested. Truly a story that focuses on the good and bad times of young love.
Top TV Show
Consisting of 18 standalone episodes, Love, Death & Robots is an anthology Netflix series featuring different animation styles by multiple animators and directors from all around the world. Based on David Fincher and Tim Miller’s — who are also producers — a reboot of the sci-fi film Heavy Metal, the series features stories and locations that take place in a post-apocalyptic earth, alternate realities, and space.
Carolyn: Though the stories themselves are interesting (for the most part), felt the way female characters were treated in the majority of them overshadowed what positive message the writers intended to convey. Within a few episodes, it became evident that the creators were male because the animation is clearly geared towards the male gaze. Featuring excessive nudity — mostly female — physical violence and death I wonder where the actual representation of “Love” in the title comes from. The only example of what I would define as love was between the couples in “Suits” I can name from the episodes I saw that symbolize Love in its various forms, in a positive way. If anything I would say the most positive stories and characters, relying on mutual respect as seen in “Lucky 13” and “Good Hunting” and “Suits”.
Should Netflix give the show a second season, I hope more care will be taken in how women are portrayed and treated in the stories, and more than one woman will be on the lead writing and directing teams.
LaNeysha: I enjoyed the creativity of the stories and the various art styles of each short. There are several moments throughout the series where the digital animation on the human characters is so well done that I almost can’t tell the difference between it and live-action. I was also impressed with the amount of depth and storytelling the creators give in some of the shorts. Some of my personal favorites include “Lucky 13”, “Suits”, “Good Hunting”, “Sonnie’s Edge”, and “Witness”. My hope is that this series offers more opportunities to lesser-known creatives as a way to give them a platform to showcase their work and maybe even have the opportunity to turn it into a full series. However, my biggest critique is that even though quite a few of the shorts featured stories that centered women, which I enjoyed, but at some points, it feels like the female characters are just being hyper-sexualized for the male gaze.
When a family of four travel to Santa Cruz for a vacation at the seashore turns into a nightmare, the mother, Adelaide (Lupita Nyong’o) is forced to confront a dark secret she’s kept after a traumatic event occurred when she was a child. Adelaide, her husband Gabe (Winston Duke), their two children Zora (Shahadi Wright Joseph) and Jason (Evan Alex) must confront the darker side of themselves in order the survive.
Carolyn: For his second horror film writer and director Jordan Peele has once again used horror as a way to make audiences consider the darker side of humanity, but unlike Get Out, Us causes us to look within ourselves to consider what it is that holds, or tethers the darker side of who we are, in check. I love a film that not only makes me think, but one that makes me question just who or what the real villain is, and Us definitely does that.
Like Shoplifters, Us made me sit back and question if what we view as wrong by society’s standards and law, are actually wrong, when certain things like trauma, how children see the world, and need to survive can be used as justification for certain acts. I liken certain aspects of Us to Alice in Wonderland. Adelaide found the darker, and opposite side of herself in the topsy-turvy world of what I call Wonderland, or the underworld. It was only by looking through the mirror that Red was able to replace her. It also can’t be a coincidence that at the end Jason is seen holding a rabbit, which was Alice’s guide, and what the tethered fed on.
As with Get Out, Us is the type of film that caused audiences, myself included to look at how the world works, and how we interact with it in new and introspective ways, and while everyone may not agree about every aspect of it, the one thing we can definitely come to a general consensus on is that the actors did an amazing job. Lupita Nyongo’o was absolutely amazing in showing the sublet differences in Adelaide as the film progressed, and Red’s unsettled spirit and naivete. I have to give special mention to Shahadi Wright Joseph and Madison Curry who played young Adelaide and Red were clear stand outs to me. It’s no easy feat to play to different characters in the same project, but these two young ladies were utterly convincing, especially Curry who’s Cheshire cat grin still creeps me all the way out just thinking about it.
LaNeysha: Jordan Peele has done it again for me with Us. I didn’t know what to expect going into this film but by the end of it, I was satisfied and also trying to process everything about it. That’s something I really enjoyed because the movie is thought-provoking in many ways. From how we feel about the characters, the world they live in and also it makes us think about ourselves in a way. At least, in my opinion, it did those things. Lastly, the performances from the cast are top notch. Lupita’s dual performance was one of my favorites by far but the ones that really stole the show for me was Shahadi Wright Joseph. Her performance as Umbra is creepy and disturbing in the best ways for a horror film and she really adds to the movie overall.
Carolyn is a Freelance Film Critic, Journalist, and Podcaster – and avid live tweeter. Member of the African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA), her published work can be found on But Why Tho, The Beat, Observer, and many other sites. As a critic, she believes her personal experiences and outlook on life, give readers and listeners a different perspective they can appreciate.