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Thursday, 21 of September of 2017

Category » Season Recap

Season in Review: Lupin the Third: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine

“Now cease everything you are doing to gaze at me, only letting your heart still strum.”

Lupin the Third: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine title cardAround the sixth episode (“Prison of Love”) of Lupin The Third: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine, I started to feel slight glimmers of what the show may have been after. After the ninth episode (“Steamy Desire”), I had a bead on the series. By the end of series, I realized I had been more accurate than I thought. Fujiko Mine is, from the onset, about gazing, what that gaze is capable of, and how it entangles all of us, male and female. It’s about spectatorship (in the broad, psychoanalytic sense, not an individual’s reception) and its ability to satisfy wish-fulfillment impulses when we sit down to consume media.

I’m stating the obvious, though. The series isn’t shy about its aims (the words of this post’s epigraph are the first words you hear at the start of each episode), but despite its willingness to show how gazing and vicarious thrill rides through fiction fulfill us (or even sustain us), it still ultimately reaffirms the power and importance of the straight guy’s looking, and that’s hardly anything new.

This will be a spoiler-heavy discussion of the series, so if you’re at all interested in watching it (and you should be), come back later. I linked to the show’s Hulu page above, and you can watch it there. If you’ve already seen the series in its entirety, let’s continue. Just let me don my owl mask first. Read more »


Pretty Little Liars: The Season Thus Far

“Come find me, bitches.

Promotional graphic for Pretty Little Liars

Sometimes they are also Pretty Dirty Little Liars

You can’t be blamed if you haven’t watched this show. I wouldn’t even know about it if I wasn’t such a Gilmore Girls junkie and ABC Family wasn’t such a publicity whore during their commercial breaks. Seriously, the phrases “secret life” and “make it or break it” will be forever burned into my consciousness despite the fact I’ve only seen short clips of both that put together wouldn’t even amount to an episode. And then, even if you had seen a preview or two for it, you might’ve been like me and assumed some sort of “ghost in the machine” scenario, like some poor American reboot of Serial Experiements: Lain. The show wasn’t really made for me and I chose not to respond to it.

But Matt kept insisting I check it out. Since I’d already given Veronica Mars a whirl (which I liked a lot) and I gave my mother Lost Season 1 for Christmas, I decided to hit the Matt Owens Trifecta. He sold it to me as a departure from normal ABC Family fare, something more closely resembling the WB shows of the early 2000s (when Dawson’s Creek, Everwood, and One Tree Hill were at their schmaltziest). The production value is improved over shows like Secret Life of the American Teenager and Make It Or Break It and the writing was a lot tighter, he defended. So, since Hulu had the entire season up to this point available to watch, I decided I could try it out. I mean, I watched Life Unexpected; it’s not like I have a masculine reputation to upkeep. I have a Fashionista badge on Miso, for crissakes.

The show surprised me, however. I was taken by the opening sequence, a desaturated series of shots showing a body being prepared for a viewing and scored by an almost saccharine song about keeping secrets (although Aria shushing at the end almost made me turn the show off). And not only did I see the things Matt noted but I also found it interesting in other areas. I’m not saying you have to watch it but it’s something to keep your eye on. If you want to keep up without sitting through the first ten episodes (new episodes start Monday, January 3rd), let me take you through the highlights.

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