I’ve already mentioned my frustration with Homeland in an earlier post. Now BuzzFeed is doing the same with the help of Pakistani activist, lawyer, and independent politician Mohammad Jibran Nasir. Given his experiences and pedigree, Nasir is able to pinpoint all that is wrong ranging from the ill-researched (language,clothing) to the downright offensive (naming the big bad after the Pakistani ambassador to the U.S.).
When you depict/reference other cultures in your programming, you owe them the due process of accurate portrayal. In fact, such flaws demote the overall quality of an otherwise well-written show.
Judging by the video, Nasir only viewed the two-part season 4 opener. Things remained checkered at best further down the season. Durban was in no way a suitable stand-in for Islamabad. Ayaan’s girlfriend not only struggled with legible Urdu, but her ‘accented’ English had the most peculiar lilt to it. Conversely, props to Nimrat Kaur who played ISI agent Tasneem Qureishi brilliantly, for getting the performance AND the language down pat.
P.S. Check out Mohammad Jibran Nasir’s initiative NeverForgetPakistan.com
Here’s a brilliant skit from Inside Amy Schumer where Julia Louis-Dreyfus joins Tina Fey and Patricia Arquette to celebrate her ‘last f**kable day’ as mandated by the media. It’s a satirical reflection of the entertainment industry’s not-so-latent ageism and misogyny.
Female actors of a certain age will either get relegated to pointless roles or be forgotten altogether in favor of young ingenues. There’s also the mention of how women will be considered ‘too old’ to be paired opposite male actors (who have no such day) twice their age. Special points for mentioning how Sally Field graduated from playing Tom Hanks’ girlfriend to his mother!
If you too feel that such treatment of women and squandering of their skill needs to stop, then watch the hilariously honest video:
Just wrote and published this piece in Style Vault Dubai that talks about how unsafe, racially insensitive, and plain idiotic this new trend with sucking on a shot glass to make your lips bigger is. Not only did I get to write a heartfelt piece, I got to quote Paul Mooney! Read it and reflect here:
This amazing analytical piece of writing in The Atlantic talks about the cultural phenomenon that is BuzzFeed and how it emulates the cultural benchmarks set by three previous iconoclastic media establishments : Time, USA Today, and MTV. Each of those were written off by more ‘serious’ rivals as an exercise in dumbing down but persistently weaved themselves into the cultural fabric as a foremost means of mass communication. Each also benefited from the rising tide of the dominant medium, which today is the internet (DUH!). The piece talks about what lessons BuzzFeed can learn from those spiritual predecessors and how it can try to remain relevant in an ever-changing media climate. The parallels drawn are surprisingly accurate:
P.S. Shani Hilton really is amazing!
Back To Black was a VERY important album, and not just for the mainstream music soundscape. It was an important album to me personally. The Neo-Jazz rhythms, the unflinchingly honest and emotional lyrics, and Amy Winehouse’s Soul-chanteuse vocals. It was easily one of my ‘formative years’ records, and my introduction to a whole new musical world. I got into all kinds of Jazz from all eras thanks to this album’s push. Love her or hate her, Amy Winehouse was a unique artist. There’s still that ever-present buzz in the music aficionado sphere that the Adeles and Duffys owe their big breaks to Winehouse’s first step. Goes without saying that Mark Ronson and Salaam Remi worked wonders with the production.
Okay, enough about the seminal record and more about the trailer. Amy, directed by Asif Kapadia is already looking like a cinematic experience. A humanized portrayal without the Lifetime biopic melodrama. A rise-and-fall chronicle without the True Hollywood Stories sensationalism. I like that the trailer has audio of a young and personable Amy rather than the incoherent, drug-addled mess she became later on. I also love the studio session of Back To Black in the background that gives the song a dark edge.
This is on my 2015 MUST-WATCH and I know tears will fall from my eyes while doing that. Enjoy the trailer here!:
You know you experienced a climatic phenomenon when your hometown is getting international news coverage because of it.This Thursday, Dubai was covered in natural sepia tone as a sandstorm (technically, it wasn’t a storm, more of an atmosphere encompassing breeze but hey, ‘Sharknado’ was a waterspout) filled the entire city. Social media couldn’t get enough. I woke up that morning and pulled my curtains to a dystopian universe prototype that was at once serene and eerie:
While the sandy shade faded by evening, the weather remained a little harsh. And while that was the prediction for the entire weekend, today things seemed back to normal. Here’s the report from Mic with more pictures to explain:
There’s more pictorial support in this article from local source The National:
P.S. What you saw in Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol was indeed exaggerated nonsense, those sandstorms are really not that common or severe. Even this recent occurrence is at best an anomaly.
Deadline has stooped to Alessandra Stanley-an lows with a horrible new piece by Nellie Andreeva implying that the increase in diverse casting for Pilot Season is possibly a bad thing because A) It means that actors of color will steal opportunities away from White actors out of “tokenism” and B) Too much diversity might be too much too soon (Over 70 years of TV can’t be ‘soon’ though).
Problem is that is most people STILL have a superficial understanding of diversity casting and what it means. Most (predominantly White) decision-makers see it as a business model rather than a way to view a wider range of stories and perspectives.
I still feel that a big way to bring the change on-camera is by diversifying voices BEHIND it. More writers, producers, directors, execs of color will make stronger decisions, and those decisions will stick. After The Cosby Show, rip-off sitcoms about Black families were tested for about three TV seasons after which the motif was abandoned because it wasn’t working. What DID work was A Different World, which told a different story despite being a Cosby spinoff. And back in 2002 when Denzel Washington and Halle Berry won Oscars in the same year, there was a brief increase in roles for Black actors, but cast mostly in those two not-so-positive molds.
The fact that this season’s breakout hits include Empire, Fresh Off The Boat, and Jane The Virgin as well as other shows with diverse casts speaks volumes about what people want to see as opposed to what Andreeva and some others think they want to see. Next fall will see television being the most diverse it has ever been, and Deadline should know that by writing this, they are causing potential damage and regression.
The article’s ‘These People’ POV has drawn the social media ire and rightfully so:
These tweets sum up a LOT of what I, and I’m sure a lot of others feel. And here’s the nonsensical article that’s been inducing some serious cringe: