True Crime: Where’s The Line?

Wrestling with the balance of entertainment value of True Crime vs its insight.

 

The true part of true crime always gives me pause. It’s not that I am distrustful of documentarians, reporters, or even murder enthusiasts on podcasts. But engaging with true crime content makes me uneasy in the same way I felt nervous as a child when I did something I knew was wrong. For all the commentary these pieces offer, for all the new perspectives they provide or questions they raise about the quality of our justice system, these programs are first and foremost always about engaging an audience. To call them entertainment might seem crass, but therein lies the rub. True crime series and documentaries are inherently voyeuristic and thrilling. There is entertainment to be gained from real human suffering, and while we might learn something, it becomes a hard balance to reconcile.

 

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Samantha Garrison belongs to a Saint Bernard named Laddi, so her life is an endless stream of drool. She believes in Ewoks, the true saviors of the galaxy far far away, Tilda Swinton, and a world without Jurassic Park sequels.

Why I’m Hooked On Horror

Guest columnist Michaela Bayas walks us through the horror films that made her fall in love with the genre!

 

The first movie I remember being so scary it kept me up at night was Signs. I know that’s not, according to the world, a scary movie. But to be fair, I was only eight when that it came out, and I already had problems sleeping at night because I was (am) weird. After graduating high school, finishing Navy boot camp and A-school, and moving out of the country, I decided I was ready to take on horror movies. Little did I know, it would be a dive into my now favorite genre.

 

So there I was, living in Navy barracks in Rota, Spain. A nOOb to life and the Navy. I saw a story about Ed and Lorraine Warren and one of the many hauntings they investigated. This, oh man, this was right up my alley. You see, my mom got me big into ghost hunting shows in high school. In fact, we watched one, Paranormal State, in which Lorraine appeared many times. You can say what you want about demons and the Warren stories, but I like that shit. Anyway, it was time! One of their stories is now a two-hour movie, and I must see it!

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Michaela Bayas

Michaela Bayas is a Navy veteran, a world traveler, and now, a college student. She’s a badass chick married to an awesome dude and raising a great dog. She thinks she’s a stand-up comedian, but she’s just got above-average wit and enjoys making herself, and sometimes others, laugh.

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

Sam’s first dive into fandom!

The end of summer always brings with it a sense of nostalgia. Even though I am not longer concerned with back to school or even the changing weather, the end of easy summer traffic and dearth of action movies still makes me wistful. In reflecting on summer’s past, I often find my thoughts drifting back to 2003. It was the summer before I began high school. I had just discovered my beloved Lord of the Rings trilogy and with it, one of my first celebrity crushes: Orlando Bloom. Because he was such a new presence, there was only so much I could consume, but I waited with baited breath for his next lead role: that of Will Turner in Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.

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Samantha Garrison belongs to a Saint Bernard named Laddi, so her life is an endless stream of drool. She believes in Ewoks, the true saviors of the galaxy far far away, Tilda Swinton, and a world without Jurassic Park sequels.

The Racism We Don’t Notice

How BlackkKlansmen Made Me Rethink My Own Racial Bias.

 

White people in America have a weird binary view of racism. If you say the N-word, you’re racist. If you don’t, you’re in the clear. But racism doesn’t begin and end with that word. There are a thousand ways white people contribute to a racially charged atmosphere that we may not even realize, even if we have the best of intentions.

 

Since watching BlackkKlansman, I’ve been thinking about some of my own ingrained prejudices. I’ve always had this sort of “Ugh” attitude toward Spike Lee. Didn’t know why, just never really liked him. And when I went to see BlackkKlansman, I started to wonder what the source of my dislike was. That’s when I realized that my parents constantly bashed him when I was a kid. That’s it. That’s the only reason. He is a black man who tells stories about the black experience and racism and it made my parents uncomfortable, so they talked about how much they disliked him. So I disliked him too, even if I didn’t understand why.

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Emily Blake writes screenplays with lots of fight scenes. She is a vocal advocate for feminism, polyamory, kink, and sex positivity. She makes most of her money as a script supervisor for film and television, but she also makes cosplays for clients out of her little apartment in Los Angeles.

Why Can’t DC and Marvel Just Be Friends?

“I’m more of a DC guy.  I’m a Marvel girl.”

 

Everyone I’ve ever known who was into comics has said a version of this at some point in their lives – myself included, and to some extent, I get it. Much like the old Coke vs Pepsi argument, while being essentially the same product, they have a slightly different flavor.  But as I’ve gotten older I’ve sort of started to soften on my edges and ask why? Why, if I love Star Wars is it forbidden to love Star Trek? Xbox vs Playstation? Chicago Hope Vs E.R.? Okay that last one is a bit of a throwback, but you get what I’m saying.

 

It’s very strange to love something, so much that you’ll fight with your friends and family for hours about it, when from an outside perspective, it’s all basically the same thing! Personally, I think the ultimate argument is DC vs Marvel. It’s a huge rivalry, and it’s entirely stupid.  Throughout the history of both of these companies, they have ripped each other off so many times that the argument of who is better is moot; they are the same. I’m going to go through some of the big arguments and see if I can poke enough holes to try to end this crazy rivalry.

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Bryan is the Host and Producer of After the Hype. He loves talking. About everything. But mostly Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Power Rangers, and Batman.
 
He also lives in Los Angeles and works in TV Post Production

Crazy Rich Mommy Issues

Move over, Thanos. Eleanor Young is this year’s most formidable and well-written movie villain.

 

This past week saw the release of Crazy Rich Asians. Based on Kevin Kwan’s popular book of the same name, the film tells the story of Rachel Chu, a Chinese-American economics professor who goes to her longtime boyfriend’s home of Singapore to meet his family for the first time. Nick Young, her handsome and humble beau, neglects to mention that his family is one of the wealthiest in Singapore. Rachel is tossed into a world where social status, protocol, and family are everything, and she has to justify her love for Nick despite coming from what they consider nothing. Her biggest detractor is Nick’s mother Eleanor, played by Michelle Yeoh.

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Samantha Garrison belongs to a Saint Bernard named Laddi, so her life is an endless stream of drool. She believes in Ewoks, the true saviors of the galaxy far far away, Tilda Swinton, and a world without Jurassic Park sequels.

San Diego Comic Con 2018: A Tale of Many Steps

Emily recaps her favorite week of the year!

 

I’m a little late on this post. I had the bright idea to move three days after Con ended, so after 10 days straight of walking a billion steps and being socially active and then packing and picking up heavy things and then cleaning, I passed out in my new bathtub and soaked there until I woke up and realized I’d put off my recap for way too long.

 

So here it is, my rundown of San Diego Comic Con 2018, a distant memory now, of the time before the great migration to New Apartment. But I like to share my five-day journey for all the people who couldn’t be there, or for anyone who wants to relive the greatest week of the year.

 

Before you read this, know that I had plantar fasciitis the entire time. I walked like, 20,000 steps a day while sort of pretending everything was totally fine. It was not fine, and eventually my foot just fell off, but I kept walking. Heroic? Maybe. Painful? Definitely. Worth it? Present Me will say yes and let Future Me deal with the long-term consequences.

 

If you learn nothing else from this article, you should take my advice on two points: 1) Do not move the week after Comic Con and 2) Don’t have plantar fasciitis the week of con.

 

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Emily Blake writes screenplays with lots of fight scenes. She is a vocal advocate for feminism, polyamory, kink, and sex positivity. She makes most of her money as a script supervisor for film and television, but she also makes cosplays for clients out of her little apartment in Los Angeles.

When Gossip Is A Virtue

Time to give gossip the credit it deserves!

 

In the same way that most the fine folks here at After the Hype consume comic books and graphic novels, I devour celebrity gossip. No, I’m not talking about misogynistic trash like TMZ, I’m talking about the groups of women who have been writing under the guise of fashion, fame, and who’s dating whom as a means of sharing information and dissecting popular culture. This used to be my guilty pleasure, but in the wake of #MeToo and #TimesUp, in which whisper networks fueled by entertainment rumours and musing grew to a shout, gossip is finally getting the credit it deserves.

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Samantha Garrison belongs to a Saint Bernard named Laddi, so her life is an endless stream of drool. She believes in Ewoks, the true saviors of the galaxy far far away, Tilda Swinton, and a world without Jurassic Park sequels.

The Strange Beauty of Dr. Pimple Popper

A show that allows us to revel in our imperfections!

 

Two weeks ago, “Dr. Pimple Popper” made its debut on TLC. The show follows dermatologist Dr. Sandra Lee as she treats patients with unusual skin conditions. She earned her name through her Youtube channel where she post “popping videos” in which she removes cysts and blackheads. Popping videos have their own unique subculture, but because hers are produced in a sterile environment with top of the line tools, she’s seen over 2 billion views.

 

Beyond the ick factor of watching graphic skin procedures, there’s a lot that gives pause about the show: TLC, as a network, does not have the best history when it comes to exploiting the real-life people on its shows; outside the surgery, this could come across as a freak show in which we marvel at people with strange lumps, like this is a PT Barnum joint in the 1920s; and there is something terribly perverse about living in a country where healthcare is so expensive that people will go on television in order for low- or no-cost necessary care. Needless to say, I went into these first two episodes with a fair amount of skepticism. Instead of gross medsploitation, however, Dr. Lee and her patients taught me both about my skin and the vital importance of being able to put our best face forward.

 

 

What really struck me in watching the two existing episodes is the constant refrain of people who put off treating their skin conditions because it’s deemed cosmetic by insurance companies or because they felt it was vain and there were better uses of their time. For as much as we take it for granted, our skin is an organ. If we had a benign lump on our heart or spleen or kidney, we would still have it removed, just in case. But because our skin is something we decorate and moisturize and treat more like our clothing than the vital body part it is, no one seems to take it as seriously.

 

Doctor Lee, however, takes skin very seriously. But she does so with a kindness and compassion for her patients that I find absolutely refreshing. Because she’s seen it all before, she talks to people who have felt shame and gives them a sense of hope. One woman in episode two suffered from a rare condition called hidradenitis suppurativa that caused severe, painful series of fistulas all over her torso. Since she was eight years old, no doctor had taken her seriously. Because sweating exacerbated her condition, she could not do much physical activity, which caused weight gain, which led to one physician dismissing her condition as weight-related. It was heartbreaking. But Dr. Lee did not shirk away from the problem. She treated this woman with respect and put her in touch with another woman who had the condition, making this woman feel less alone. It was a beautiful moment in which the audience got to see that health is not just being free of physical ailments, but also a matter of mental and emotional well-being.

 

 

Although most people would never mock or bully someone with a visible skin condition, “Dr. Pimple Popper” is a lighthearted reminder that what may seem gross or horrific at first glance is actually very human. She treats patients of all ages, ethnicities, sizes and shapes, and each lump and pustule is for Dr. Lee not something to be feared, but something to examine. Her curiosity is infectious. After removing the largest lipoma she had ever seen from a woman’s neck, she encourages the woman to look at what was inside her with the sort of glee I normally reserve for puppies. They weigh it together, and she explains that it’s just fatty tissue.

 

Our bodies are capable of the strangest, most bizarre phenomena. They are imperfect machines that sometimes scar or grow cysts or glitch in a way that can be visible and embarrassing. What “Dr. Pimple Popper” does is to remind us that our skin is not scary or foreign, that it doesn’t have to be perfect, but that we can embrace it for the fascinating organ that it is.

 

Samantha Garrison belongs to a Saint Bernard named Laddi, so her life is an endless stream of drool. She believes in Ewoks, the true saviors of the galaxy far far away, Tilda Swinton, and a world without Jurassic Park sequels.

Frisky Dingo: The Best Show You Never Watched

If I were to say to you, “People let me tell you about my new best friend, BARNABY JONES!” How would you reply?

 

Most of you would look at me oddly and move on with your lives.  A very small number of people would scream NAP at me.  These people are my people.  They get me.  These are people who have spent the 4 hours experiencing one of my all time favorite shows of all time Frisky Dingo.  Frisky Dingo is a show from 2006 that was canceled after it’s second season, and really no one cared.  I was right there the whole time, loving every second of it, and was truly heart broken when it went away.  I’m going to explain why you should start up your Hulu account right now and dive into the this wonderful show as soon as humanly possible, and take a few guesses at why it went the way of Ronnie under a huge pair of pants.

 

bye Ronnie…

 

LET’S DO THIS!

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Bryan is the Host and Producer of After the Hype. He loves talking. About everything. But mostly Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Power Rangers, and Batman.
 
He also lives in Los Angeles and works in TV Post Production