When I first heard that NBC was planning a pilot (and then actually picked up a show) based on the character Hannibal Lecter from the Thomas Harris books, I thought it was the worst idea I’d ever heard. Well, maybe not the worst, but definitely in the top 10. I mean, we’re talking about a character that is OWNED by Anthony Hopkins.
In fact, when I googled Hannibal Lecter, This was the first image that appeared:
How in the world was the creative team behind this fiasco possibly going to find someone to out Hannibal Anthony Hopkins? Believe it or not, Bryan Fuller and company have actually found someone who can take the roll and make it their own in the person of Mads Mikkelsen. Among other things, he played the delightfully creepy villain in the James Bond reboot, Casino Royale. Honestly, I can decide if I find him incredibly sexy or terrifying, and that is exactly what makes him perfect for this part.
Hugh Dancy is doing a great job as Will Graham. I was actually pleasantly surprised by his performance. Nothing else that I’d seen him in had suggested that he had this level of performance in him. Caroline Dhavernas, Gina Torres and Lawrence Fishburn are also welcome additions and doing fine jobs.
The real star of the show, though, is not an actor. It is the LOOK of the show. It is quite simply one of the most visually stunning shows on t.v. right now, maybe ever. If you appreciated the cinematography behind Bryan Fuller’s other shows (Pushing Daisies, Wonderfalls, Dead Like Me), you’ll find that he’s really kicked it up a notch here. In fact, I’d venture out on a limb to say that it is the best looking show on network t.v. right now. It wouldn’t look out of place on HBO or one of the other cable networks. I’m not even going to try and give a description, just give at a look for yourself – the pilot is below.
Are you watching? What do you think?
Easter egg for Wonderfalls fans: In the second episode, I caught at least three nods to Wonderfalls. See if you catch them.
The other day, the hosts of Wake Up with Taylor were talking about the flap against the video for Robin Thicke’s new song, Blurred Lines. They couldn’t quite wrap their minds around why people thought it was sexist, objectifying, and degrading to women. I mean, just because a bunch of fully clothed dudes are ogling half-naked women prancing around them, that’s not sexist, right? It’s just that the U.S. is afraid of boobs and things that are sexy.
This hit a chord with me because it seems as if the kids these days (yeah, I’m going full-on curmudgeon on you today) have ignored all of the strides and the research we’ve done that shows society is damaged when sexist behavior and gender inequality continue. No good comes when people are unequal.
I’m sure you’ve heard that young women such as Katy Perry can’t bear to be called feminists, even though they like women’s rights and all. And the continued debate over whether women should be guaranteed the same wages for the same work points out why it is a problem that feminism is still some scary, radical word. Unless we women are treated as equals in pop culture and society, we will never reach the same level of financial success as our male counterparts.
So, why does this particular video perpetuate sexism and inequality? It’s reliance on the objectification of women and the male gaze.
When men view women as sexual objects, they don’t see them as human beings with thoughts, feelings, and the need to be equal.
When women are objectified, we perform at less than our full potential.
For more examples of female objectification and discussions of the problems behind sexism, check out this site — that Hustler cover is shocking and disturbing.
And, to quote the ever-funny Janeane Garofalo, don’t trip on my soap box on the way out.
In the 80s and 90s, the big problem with rap music’s portrayal of women was the near-constant use of the words “bitch” and “ho.” There was a lot of talk about why the use of those words to describe women was less than ideal and why it sent a message to the youth who listened to the music that women were second-class citizens, categorized into only two groups, the sexually freewheeling hos and the bitches, aka the ones who said no.
In the rap music I have heard recently, I don’t hear those words, although I continue to hear the same messages that women exist solely to provide sexual gratification for the rappers. (I will admit that the rap music I hear is limited to what is played on the radio, so the deeper tracks might still contain the blatant language.) The remake of You Spin Me Round and Lollipop are two that come to mind.
The attitudes toward women that are portrayed in the songs extend off the lyric sheet to rapper’s off-stage personas, too. And making it rain is the most disgusting display of that.
To be clear, I think just about everything that happens in a strip club is degrading to women. Women are teased with small amounts of money to perform sexual acts with men and with other women, given a dollar bill here and a $20 there. You can call me a prude or not sexually open all you want, but that is how I feel about strip clubs.
Making it rain takes it to whole new low.
This phenomenon involves rappers taking a few stacks of dollar bills — you know, 25, 50, or even 250 thousand — into a club and throwing them up in the air for the dancers to fight over. The most recent was Drake, who got his start on a teen drama show, so probably needs the publicity for such activities to up his street cred.
And the biggest issue for the media is whether that can be written off as a business expense on their taxes.
What do you think? Is making it rain a valid part of the rap lifestyle or just another way that society teaches women that the only way they can make money is by using their sexuality to gratify men?