Hi there! I'm Rachel McCarthy James. In most internet-type contexts I go by RMJ. I write and edit the recently-revived feminist blog Deeply Problematic, and I'm here to talk to y'all about some TELEVISION. Read on for some thoughts about Television, in general!
Today I focus on Nicki Minaj, a female rapper who is part of Lil Wayne's Young Money crew and has recently gone solo She's been on my radar for some time. Jonah Weiner recently wrote a Slatecolumn about her. Jay Smooth and Maura Johnston had in an interesting exchange about her for NPR. Apparently this Web site gets several searches for her as well, so she's clearly someone we should be talking about.
Today, I thought I'd turn our attention to Showtime's The L Word. I'll admit that the Los Angeles-based ensemble dramedy created by Ilene Chaiken was marred by over-the-top situations, uneven character development, hackneyed writing, a bevy of skinny femmes, and racially problematic casting decisions. It also featured one of the worst theme songs ever, which was written and performed by BETTY.
However, until the final season I was hooked. I started watching with my girlfriends in college toward the end of Sex and the City's run on HBO (L Word fans may recall that the show's original tag line was "Same Sex, Different City"). I was invested in many of the L Word's characters and their long, interconnected histories with one another. I appreciated the incorporation of lesbian icons through dialogue or cameos, and the attention drawn to lesser-known cultural practices like Dinah Shore Weekend or the prevalence of lesbian nuns. I liked the sex, even though it was often of the lipstick variety. Most of all, I enjoyed the role music played in the women's lives.
You know, when Jersey Shore aired, my first thought was "I wish they would make a spinoff of this show about Iranians, because really, we don't get enough bad press as it is." Lucky for me, MTV read my mind and is creating The Persian Version, which is, um a Persian version of Jersey Shore. From the casting call:
Two thousand years ago the Persian Empire ruled the ancient world…but they didn't have your soundtrack, your style, or your swagger! Today there's a new Persian empire growing right here in L.A. and it's ready to conquer the world all over again. It's a bad-ass new dynasty where exotic beauty and wild style dominates the sexiest nightlife, exclusive venues and hottest beaches the modern world has to offer.
You've got the means, the money, and the motivation to cut through the velvet rope and rule the VIP! For you life is all about Gucci, Gabbana, Cavalli and Cristal. From BMWs and Bugatis, to Mercedes and Movado and money is no object.
Monday marked the release of the music video for M.I.A.'s "Born Free," the lead single off the British rapper/singer/visual artist's forthcoming third album, and yet another clip from a female pop star this year that caused quite a stir. Continuing the discussion begun by the open thread Kjerstin started yesterday, I thought I'd share my thoughts.