Tuesday, July 05, 2022

TV: Good taste is the reason viewers ran from MS. MARVEL

DISNEY+ has been promoting MS. MARVEL for weeks now and we even had a call asking us, pleading with us, to tackle the show as the DISNEY+ exec (and friend) argued, "You applaud strong shows with strong women."

Yes, we do.

Which is why we can't applaud MS. MARVEL.

What positive thing can you say about  MS. MARVEL?  That it trades one foreign stereotype ('exotic') for another ('fat')?



She's supposed to be a superhero.  Why is she so out of shape?  You'd think all that running would give her a muscular build -- or even make her thin.  It's like watching Hillary Duff try to play Sharon Tate -- the muppet face, the thick body, the weird  voice -- it's just not believable.

When the visuals aren't failing MS. MARVEL, the story is.

If this was someone's life project, we might be more forgiving.  There are many things wrong with, for example, YENTL in terms of story telling.  But Barbra Streisand worked years to bring it to the screen and it is set in another era (a film era, not a world era).  

This isn't the case with MS. MARVEL.  It's set in today's world and there probably are first generation American teenage girls who are fighting for freedom.  Hopefully, they aren't as pathetic as Kamala Khan is onscreen (she was never pathetic in the comic books).  Her parents won't let her go to a comic-con.  She's sixteen years old.  And they won't let her do this and they won't let her do that  And her mother is always tut-tutting.

Grow up.  America couldn't have related to that 20 years ago, let alone today. 

This isn't a superhero series, it's THAT MS. MARVEL GIRL!  Diamonds . . . daisies . . . snowflakes . . . THAT MS. MARVEL GIRL.  Remember when Ann Marie had to beg her father to let her be an actress living in New York?  Remember when Chrissy Snow had to beg her father to let her live with Janet and Jack?  Yeah, it's all these decades later and it's only more pathetic.

MS. MARVEL should have been a sure winner.  In the comics, Kamala's the closest to Peter Parker which is why this televised version that turns her into a female half-wit, their Lenny from OF MINE AND MEN, is so pathetic but it is so in keeping with DISNEY+. 

They want the world to believe that the reason for the poor response to this show is sexism and/or racism.

We were told that we would get that "right away" if we took a look at the show.

What we got was that Kamala's best friend Bruno (Matt Lintz) was better suited for being a super hero -- and action scenes -- than Kamala as played by Iman Vellani is.  

Kamala is an airhead, a klutz and a stooge.  That's quite a combination.  Somehow, we're supposed to find it cute and appealing.

That's how DISNEY+ rolls, you understand.

JESSICA JONES?  That was MARVEL via NETFLIX.  You won't find adult women on MARVEL via DISNEY+ -- you just find irritating and outdated stereotypes.

WANDAVISION was complete and total sexist garbage.  Because a woman fronted it to the press, and because she lied,  the press pretended otherwise. Jac Schaeffer (a woman) told the press that WANDAVISION was not sexist and that, "It was extremely important to me that we not do the lazy thing of having a superpowered lady who can't handle her powers and goes crazy."

And the dumb idiots believed her.  First off, watch the damn show and stop pretending that the final episode redeems all that came before because it doesn't.  Second, you don't need to go past that quote to grasp that Jac has internalized sexism.  Translation, who the hell says "superpowered lady"?  Third, that isn't the 'lazy thing,' it's the sexist thing and that she can't call it that goes to how she was able to put it in the series to begin with.

No feminist talks like that.

WANDAVISION was sexist and it got applauded.  It was applauded because it was sexist.

And then came DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS which as least didn't treat Wanda like a tinkly little toy object.  It went where the TV show was too timid to go -- to the full range of Wanda's rage.

And only then, when Wanda actually got to have a real range of emotions, did the reviewers -- the same ones who had praised the sexist WANDAVISION -- turn up to decry the sexism of this concept.  They didn't care that it was sexist on WANDAVISION because they could promote as 'positive' and 'uplifting.'  Truth, Wanda was just pathetic on that TV show.

Grasp that they had no problem with WANDAVISION's Wanda -- a sexist portrayal, to be sure.  But when the character possessed anger and fury as mighty as her powers, they were stunned and offended. 


Pathetic Wanda from WANDAVISION, trapped in bad sitcoms and barely using her powers each episode for anything other than Samantha Stevens type BEWITCHED magic soothed them.

This nonsense has allowed DISNEY+ to do one insulting TV series after another with women.  Men?  They get to be FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER (the best MARVEL series DISNEY+ has produced) or MOONKNIGHT or LOKI or HAWKEYE.  Women?  They're a joke.

An 'action' show about a female superhero ignores the woman's powers to instead put her in an episode of THE BRADY BUNCH or THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW or . . .   And now a show about Ms. Marvel that ignores her super powers and her learning to use them to have her instead face the glower of her mother -- it punctuates each moment of an episode like a canned studio laughtrack.  

And what, pray tell, is DISNEY+ going for with SHE-HULK: ATTORNEY AT LAW if not laughter?  That, and that reason alone, is why you hired Jessica Gao as your writer.

They don't treat women seriously. 

So along comes this portly 'superhero' with Mommy issues and, no, no one wants to watch it.  That includes us and we're actually fans of the MS. MARVEL comic book which we started reading with issue six -- in which she goes up against Wolverine and holds her own and in which her mother isn't in a single comic book panel the entire issue.

They don't treat women seriously.  How did Kamala get her powers?  In the comic book, it's tied to a larger MARVEL storyline but in the TV show she just gets a pretty bauble from a relative.  And, in the comic books, she has multiple powers (these let her win against Wolverine) but in the TV show, she's a glorified Green Lantern with all the power coming from that pretty little bracelet.  Gone are her healing powers, her strength, her shape shifting, her . . .

You really have to look down on women when you're taking a character that was created less than ten years ago and you're removing the powers she has and you're also changing her origin -- that connected her to the MARVEL universe -- to instead make her the lucky recipient of a bracelet that gave her powers.  

MARVEL has done lousy by women for years now and that includes in THE AVENGERS films.  It's equally true that Elizabeth Olsen should have demanded Scarlet Witch in those films have actual powers and not just theatrics.  She was more powerful than Dr. Strange but we didn't get to see that.  Nor were we ever shown one reason why Wanda would fall for the machine that was Vision.  We're not saying it couldn't have been believable -- it was in the comic books -- but we're noting it wasn't even shown.  

Until the emergence of Carol Danvers in the films (Carol was the original Ms. Marvel in the comic books) as Captain Marvel, women were treated as sidekicks.  DISNEY+ chooses to treat them as jokes.  Then they want to whine that no one's watching their sexist portrayals and whine that this refusal to watch garbage is sexism.

It's not sexism.  It's being discerning.  

And Sam Rami didn't direct a sexist film.  He didn't write the Dr. Strange sequel nor did he write WANDAVISION.  He took the character that writers created and made her an amazing powerful being. At last, Scarlet Witch is a force to be reckoned with.  You can call that many things but we honestly wouldn't call that sexism.  Nor we would ever recommend MS. MARVEL -- a dull and insulting TV series that makes an episode of DORA THE EXPLORER look like KILL BILL VOL. 2 by contrast.

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