The superhero team-up series released its first full trailer this morning
Netflix has released its most extensive trailer yet for its Marvel superhero team-up series The Defenders
While superhero fans were off with fantasies in their heads of this week's Guardians Vol. 2 release, Marvel snuck in a bonus surprise treat for its fans this morning when it released the first full trailer for it's Netflix team up series The Defenders. The series focuses on teaming up its heroes Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist to form a street level Avengers of sorts to defend New York. Giving us our first look at the assembled team and their dynamics, here's a look at what grabbed our attention in the teaser.
In this current age of crossovers and shared universes it's easy to get jaded about the approach, but damnit if we didn't get a little thrill seeing Jessica Jones bailed out by Daredevil's Matt Murdoch from an interrogation led by Luke Cage 's Misty Knight. Right off the bat, we get the promise of the series, bringing these very different corners of the Marvel Netflix Universe and watching them try to save the day. Whether it's Danny Rand and Luke Cage showing off their super powered strength or Murdoch protecting his identity with Jones' scarf, the series definitely pitches itself as the fun team-up fans have been patiently waiting for.
The Iron Fist in the room
It's no secret that to many, the first season of Iron Fist left a lot to be desired with critics brutalizing it earlier this year. Understanding that many didn't warm up to the character or even partake in the series, the trailer had to do some work to help redeem him. And for the most part it seems successful, he's there to punch things and have his bullshit called by Luke Cage and Jessica Jones. While we don't know what the character's exact role in the series will be, the trailer paints a more encouraging portrait than we might've thought a week ago.
Elektra and The Hand are back
Another red flag entering the series was the lackluster presence of the ninja order The Hand in Daredevil's second season, a development that led the series off the rails for a spell. Yet, despite the earlier mixed results of that season, the trailer places a great importance on them with Murdoch's one-time love Elektra resurrected as a weapon and his mentor Stick warning them for battle. Hopefully the series' grander scale and lighter expositional burden may yield better results, but we'd be lying if we said we weren't at least a little concerned.
Larger questions remain
Despite being the most in-depth look at the series to date, the trailer certainly raises its fair share of mysteries. Who is Sigourney Weaver's villainous Alexandra and what role will she play in the teased "War for New York"? How did The Defenders get together, especially with Luke Cage last seen on his way back to prison? What's gone down with Jessica Jones in the almost two years since fans last saw her? Hopefully we can get some satisfying answers once the series officially drops August 18th on Netflix.
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Breaking down the bias of comfort films.
With the constant onslaught of complicated news that 2020 has brought, sometimes you just want to be able to shut off your brain, relax, and feel happy.
Enter comfort films. These are the feel-good movies that feel like a warm hug when you finish them, the ones that allow you to escape for a short while. We often turn to these types of films in times of trouble or extreme stress, and when we're not sure what films of this nature we should watch, we turn to the Internet for options.
Rivera's "Glee" character was not just important, she was groundbreaking.
As a young queer girl growing up in the south, I was lucky that my parents weren't homophobes.
My parents believed that people were sometimes born gay, and while they wouldn't "wish that harder life" on their children, they certainly made me and my sister believe that gay people were just as worthy of love as anyone else. I was lucky.
Still, in my relatively sheltered world of Northern Virginia (a rich suburb near Washington D.C.), homophobia wasn't as blatant as hate crimes or shouted slurs, but it was generally accepted that being straight was, simply, better.
In high school, it wasn't uncommon to use "gay" as an insult or for girls to tease each other about being "lez." While many of us, if asked, would have said we were in support of gay marriage and loved The Ellen Show, being gay remained an undesirable affliction.
Even more insidious, I was instilled with the belief—by my church and my peers—that if gay and lesbian people could be straight, they would. But since they were simply incapable of attraction to the opposite sex or fitting into traditional gender roles, we should accept them as they are as an act of mercy. At the time, this kind of pity seemed progressive and noble. Those in my close circle of family and friends weren't openly dismissive or condemning of gay people, but we saw homosexuality as a clear predisposition with no gray areas.
Specifically: Gay men talked with a lilt, giggled femininely, and were interested in things that weren't traditionally "masculine." Meanwhile, gay women dressed like men, had no interest in makeup or other traditionally female interests, and probably had masculine bodies and features. In my mind, before someone came out as gay, they did everything in their power to "try to be straight" but were eventually forced to confront the difficult reality that they felt no attraction at all to the opposite sex. I viewed homosexuality not as a spectrum, but as a black and white biological predisposition that meant you were thoroughly, completely, and pitiably gay.
As a child, when I began to experience stirrings of attraction for other girls, I would reassure myself that not only had I definitely felt attraction for men in the past, but I also liked being pretty. I was a tomboy as a child, sure, but as I got older I recognized that my value was increased in the eyes of society if I tried to be a pretty girl. As it turned out, I even liked putting on clothes that made me feel good, I liked applying makeup, and I liked some traditionally "feminine" things. In my mind, this meant that I couldn't be gay, because gay women didn't like "girl" stuff.
As a teenager, I began to learn more about the difference between gender and sexuality, and the fluidity of both. I began to let myself feel some of the long-suppressed feelings of queer desire I still harbored.
Still, in the back of my mind, the instilled certainty of sexuality as an extremely rigid thing sometimes kept me up at night. What if I was gay? Would I have to change the way I looked? Would I have to give up some of the things I liked? In my mind, being gay meant your sexuality was your whole identity, and everything else about you disappeared beneath the weight of it.
But then, Santana came out as gay on Glee.
GLEE - The Santana 'Coming Out Scene' www.youtube.com
If you didn't watch Glee, than you might not know the importance of Naya Rivera's character to so many queer young women like myself. Santana was beautiful, she was popular, she had dated boys, she was feminine, she was sexy, and she was gay. There's even evidence that Santana had previously enjoyed relationships with men.
But the character came out anyways, not because she had to or because it was obvious to everyone around her that she was gay, but because her attraction to women was an aspect of her identity she was proud of. It wasn't an unfortunate reality she simply had to make the best of; it was an exciting, beautiful, aspect of her identity worth celebrating.
Before Santana, it had never really come home for me that being gay wasn't an entire identity—that it wasn't an affliction or disorder, but just another part of a person. She also didn't suddenly start wearing flannels or cutting her hair after coming out. She was the same feminine person she had always been. I had never realized that being a gay woman didn't have to look a certain way. Santana and Brittany's gay storyline showed two femme-presenting women in love, and for me, that was a revolution.
If it wasn't for Naya Rivera, we may never have had that important story line.
"It's up to writers, but I would love to represent [the LGBTQ community] because we know that there are tons of people who experience something like that and it's not comical for them in their lives," Rivera told E! News in 2011. "So I hope that maybe we can shed some light on that."
While Rivera herself wasn't gay (the importance of casting gay actors in gay roles is a separate conversation), she understood how important her character was to the queer community. "There are very few ethnic LGBT characters on television, so I am honored to represent them," Rivera told Latina magazine in 2013. "I love supporting this cause, but it's a big responsibility, and sometimes it's a lot of pressure on me."
Rivera wasn't just a supporter of the LGBTQ+ community on screen. In 2017, she wrote a "Love Letter to the LGBTQ Community" for Billboard's Pride Month. In it, she wrote, "We are all put on this earth to be a service to others and I am grateful that for some, my Cheerios ponytail and sassy sashays may have given a little light to someone somewhere, who may have needed it. To everyone whose heartfelt stories I have heard, or read I thank you for truly enriching my life."
Now, as we mourn the loss of Naya Rivera, at least we can take comfort in knowing that her legacy will live on—that the light her Cheerios ponytail and sassy sashays gave us won't go out any time soon.
Excuse me, I have to go weep-sing-along to Rivera's cover of landslide now.
Glee - Landslide (Full Performance + Scene) 2x15 youtu.be
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