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by Crispin Kott

13 Apr 2011


Though she’s since become known to fans of the contemporary remake of the sci-fi television classic V, in a former TV life Morena Baccarin was known to fans the world over as an interplanetary prostitute on Joss Whedon’s heralded but short-lived series Firefly.

Inara Serra was really more than just a mere hooker in Firefly (and its follow-up feature film, Serenity). In the late 25th century world concocted by Whedon, Companions like those played by Baccarin are really high-society courtesans and part of the social fabric. Naturally, Inara Serra is something of a tormented soul. Coming as Baccarin’s first steady Hollywood gig, it was also an unforgettable experience.

by Kit MacFarlane

6 Oct 2010


According to recent news reports, Katy Perry’s recent duet with Elmo for Sesame Street won’t be aired thanks to complaints about Perry’s low-cut top (although it’s still available on YouTube—see below).

Unfortunately, all debates about breasts ever seem to do is draw attention away from the real points of concern.

Perry’s outfit is no big deal. More concerning is the typical warped viewpoint that sees a little cleavage as a huge problem, while the actual content of Perry’s mind-numbing ideologically stilted nonsense (referred to as ‘music’ by her marketing company) draws no attention whatsoever. Defenders of Perry’s outfit are no better, responding with either a hip shrug or sexual-liberation self-righteousness, but similarly turning a blind eye to the fact that this immensely disturbing ideologue does her real damage in more insidious ways.

by Lana Cooper

22 Jul 2010


When I was a kid, I remember my mother and father talking about the then-new concept of reality television. Shows like MTV’s The Real World had spearheaded the movement with competition reality shows such as Survivor soon followed suit. Following the writers’ strike of 2000, reality television soon permeated the airways in an effort to bolster networks’ television schedules affected by a lack of show scribes, reality television received a surge in popularity that stuck well beyond the strike.

One of the most frequent points that cropped up in my parents’ conversation regarding reality television was one or the other griping: “It’s only a matter of time before they show somebody die on television.”

As it turns out, my folks were right. It happened. Death was televised and broadcast to the masses—this time in entertainment form, rather than via newscast.

by Chris Conaton

21 Jul 2010


Deadliest Catch has found itself with a fine line to walk in its sixth season. One of its crab-fishing boat captains, Phil Harris of the Cornelia Marie, suffered a massive stroke in January on his boat and passed away in an Anchorage hospital a few weeks later. Deadliest Catch has been The Discovery Channel’s highest-rated show for several years now, and as such his stroke and subsequent passing were much-publicized in the mainstream news media. Since these events happened in the middle of filming, there was no way for the show to gloss over his death. In fact, Harris himself insisted that the cameras keep rolling while he was in the hospital.

by Diepiriye Kuku

14 May 2010


“The Outcast” shows our Enterprise crew on a peaceful mission on some far off planet. That’s the back-story. The front story is that this new species is a genderless society, or as Trekkie Michael Ricci writes: an androgynous species (cast entirely of female actors) known as the J’naii who do not have typical gender roles of male and female.” The episode, “The Outcast”, then proceeds to thread through several clichés to establish the fallacy of ‘gender’ when it comes to sex. One of the genderless people falls in love with the Enterprise’s First Officer Will Riker. Riker is the known playboy of this crew—he embodies the libido of captain James Kirk from the original series. I suppose someone has to screw their way around the universe.

The Star Trek franchise has dealt a lot with sexuality, but always through the backdoor. In the Deep Space Nine (DS9) series, for example, there is the character Dax, a genderless worm that is hosted by a gendered humanoid being, a Trill, through several lifetimes. Hence, Dax is effectively transsexual, having lived several times in male and female bodies, always retaining the life experiences and memories of each previous host. In an episode from The Next Generation, “The Host”, Dr. Beverly Crusher fell in love with a Trill in male host, only to end the relationship when the worm remerged with a female host—although still the same ‘person’. Yet, that was just one episode. There are loads homoerotic and homosocial moments through DS9 built around Dax, including a Ferengi cross-dresser who comes out to her.

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