Hurt and Hope in ‘Short Term 12’

I avoided Short Term 12 for a long time because I thought it was going to be really hard to watch. It’s a 2013 indie film set in a group home for at-risk teens, and with a topic like that, I was expecting a tragic film about the pain, loneliness, and despair of being human. I had heard it was good though, so I finally psyched myself up and watched it.

[Warning: Spoilers for a 3-year-old movie within]

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It’s the White Whale, Charlie Brown!

A daydreaming introvert, I sometimes catch myself thinking about how strange and esoteric human connection seems to be sometimes (at least to me), like ancient arcane rituals that our mortal minds cannot comprehend. What makes connections happen? What exactly do they feel like? How do they function? What makes them last? I’m overthinking things, I know, but, I can’t help it! We live in a scary, fascinating world filled with unique people that I doubt can ever be fully understood, and yet we’re practically expected to—somehow—know and get along with each other.

I’m not sure if I can ever fully grasp the concept, but there are two beautiful movies, The Peanuts Movie and The Boy and The Beast, that explore why it’s worth accepting anyways. One is a playful, nostalgic tribute to the comics and animated specials preceding it, while the other is a Miyazaki-esque fairy tale filled with gorgeous animation and introspective themes. Together they show how easily one can connect to others and why it’s important to do so in the first place. Continue reading

Dream vs Reality

There’s a tension inherent in artistic pursuits. On the one hand, you have to be indomitable in the face of rejection and failure. After all, most great artists have faced major setbacks and discouragement. There are lots of stories of writers and actors who were one rejection away from quitting altogether, only to land the starring role on Mad Men and transform their entire careers (metaphorically, except for Jon Hamm).

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Just Extraterrestrials

You know what’s great about space aliens? They literally represent a whole new world of possibilities for a story. Whether they come in peace or come to destroy us, their presence represents thoughts and actions that are immensely different from our own, often coupled with rich Sci-Fi backstories that are out of this world. Close encounters with them usually make for some good entertainment and creative storytelling. We could fight them, learn from them, help them, or even teach them; the possibilities are nearly as vast as the stars in the sky. As a gesture of goodwill to any aliens who might be living among us, here’s a list of some of our favorite characters and races not from this earth.

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Just Moms

Happy Mother’s Day! In honor of this wonderful day, we’re paying tribute to all the great Moms from our favorite stories. Enjoy, and add your own favorites in the comments!

  • Helen Parr (The Incredibles)
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  • Clair Huxtable (The Cosby Show)
  • Vivian Banks (The Fresh Prince of Bel-air)
  • Marge Simpson (The Simpsons)
  • Wilma Flintstone (The Flintstones)
  • Harriette Winslow (Family Matters)
  • Drew Saturday (The Secret Saturdays)
  • Martha Kent (Superman: The Animated Series)
  • Susan Storm (Marvel Comics)
  • Dexter’s mom (Dexter’s Laboratory)
  • Maddie Fenton (Danny Phantom)
  • Agent K (The Replacements)
  • Margaret (Adventure Time)
  • Suyin Beifong (Avatar: The Legend of Korra)
  • Ursa (Avatar: The Last Airbender)
  • Kya (Avatar: The Last Airbender)
  • Pema (Avatar: The Legend of Korra)
  • Linda Flynn-Fletcher (Phineas and Ferb)
  • Bunny Bravo (Johnny Bravo)
  • Joyce Summers (Buffy, the Vampire Slayer)
  • Linda Belcher (Bob’s Burgers)
  • Joan Holloway (Mad Men)
  • Betty Draper (Mad Men)
  • Jane Gloriana Villanueva (Jane the Virgin)
  • Naomi Bunch (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend)
  • Lila Ames (Gilead, Home, Lila)
  • Melian the Maia (The Silmarillion)
  • Karen Tyler (Wonderfalls)
  • Rosa Hubermann (The Book Thief)
  • Dana Hartz (Happy Endings)
  • Molly Weasley (Harry Potter)
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Just Vehicles


Needless to say (though I’m gonna say it anyway), having a classy ride is a bold statement, even for fictional characters. When our favorite characters drive by onscreen in their favorite rides, we can’t help but look on like a bunch of SoCal pedestrians, slide off our sunglasses, and think, “there they go again in their awesomely sweet ride. Looking good!” Characters always have somewhere to go, but, thanks to their iconic transports, they know they’ll always be riding in style. Here’s a list of some of our favorite vehicles, in no particular order. Continue reading