Moana is the first “Disney Princess” for whom romance is never mentioned or even hinted at. This is an action-adventure story about a smart, fearless, resourceful and (to use the buzzword) strong girl setting out to single-handedly save the world (spoiler alert: she does), without a single mention of marriage, boyfriends, romance or love of any kind except her love for her island, family and the sea.
Thanksgiving is coming up this Thursday, and like most of you, I’m thinking about what I’m thankful for this year. And, in a world that’s getting scarier and more infuriating by the day, one of the things I’m most thankful for is all the fun stuff that offers a bit of escape. Which is why this week I’m talking about the Monkees, That Thing You Do!, Adam Schlesinger, and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.
If “time travel” was a key word to describe a new show, book, or movie, my imaginative ears will perk up with giddiness. Time travel is one of of my favorite genres of exploration.
I’m going to make a confession this week. One that, even by geek standards, is pretty geeky.
For years now, I’ve been writing fictional timelines.
Hang on. Put that straitjacket away. Let me explain.
Yes, of course Robert Vaughn was Napoleon Solo, the man from UNCLE. But he was also badass private op Harry Rule, cunning con artist Albert Stroller, the last of the Magnificent Seven, and so much more.
THE WEST WING and STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION are essentially the same show. They’re both optimistic at heart, filled with good people sincerely trying to do their best. No doubt about it, they have a lot in common. But the REALLY fun part is finding parallels between the characters.
Marvel’s Doctor Strange is exactly the kind of superhero movie we all wanted to see back when the ads were promising that we would “believe a man can fly.” The mystic warriors here do a lot more than fly, and it’s all visually stunning. Much more important than the eye candy, however, are the personalities involved, their histories and motivations, and the importance of what they are all fighting for or against. If those things don’t engage us, the amazing effects are just a digital fireworks display.