Archivo de la categoría: Mixology

The Ares delusion on Batman v Superman.

Let me start by setting the record straight, Batman v Superman is not a good movie, it’s entertaining, and somewhat fun, but not good, nonetheless. I could easily spend the entirety of this post ranting about how Snyder and co. totally misused and wasted their feminine cast (even though they succefully managed to make a wonderful, but shoehorned, appearence from Wonder Woman), or how all their actors and actreesses turned out to be used as a bunch of one-note characters, or even to take on how a convoluted mess is the movie as a whole. However, I’m here to talk about something else: the main conflict (or what it seems to be a conflict) between our heroes.

When the movie begins, and before we get to see yet another scene with Bruce Wayne’s parents being brutally murdered for the billionth time, we found out that one of Wayne Enterprises’ tower (full of people) was destroyed as a result of the fight between Superman and Zod on  Man of Steel, bringing about Bruce’s anger towards the Kryptonian god-like figure.

Clark, on the other hand, has problems of his own. His girlfriend Lois Lane is being constantly kindapped whilst he have to fight against the belief of half of the United States pouplation -specially the government- who happens to think that he could be a dangerous threat to their nation.

As you could see, the movie kicks off by introducing a well-known trope on the world of alien-like stories: xenophobia. Initially, I thought it was a great way to lay the groundwork of the conflict between Batman and Superman. Xenophobia is very relatable to any given situation nowadays, and the perfect narrative tool to raise the stakes at the movie central core.

With this in mind, one would think that the film will probably go on with that particular storyline and develop an interesting analysis with it whilst preparing the audience to experience a well-choreographed fight. How wrong one was.

Batman v Superman not only single-handeldy achieve to forget this very idea halfway down the movie, but it also introduces Lex Luthor as the catalyst between the feud, and the “grand master mind” behind the scheme. So, what were Luthor’s main reasons to put these two to fight, you may ask. None whatosever, will be the correct answer. Just that he is mad evil and want to see the world burn. A “god of war” sort of speaking.


You see, the movie ask us to faithfully believe that Batman and Superman are going to fight (hell, even the title shove that very idea down our throats) without even explaining us the reasons behind it. Our main heroes fight because the film ask them to do so. Because the movie puts Luthor as an excuse to carry on with it.

Yes, Batman hates Superman for his above-the-law persona and his carefree way of thinking. Sure, Superman maybe feels threatened by Batman’s vigilante way of resolving conflict. Of course, we can even believe that Luthor planned all of this because he’s evil, but in no way Snyder would make us believe, as an audience, that this are reasons enough to carry on with a plot. Hell, not even a plot, but the core conflict that manages to reunite this two iconic figures of the DC universe without a purpose, but to feed their fanbase.

Look, I get it, and even I’m able to accept that. Nurturing a fanbase is crucial nowadays,  it even has much more impact when you’re talking about such powerful figures and stories as comics may have. Something that DC desperately needed to do before Marvel succefully managed to outsmarted them with their cinematic universe. That’s understandable.

Thus, it needed to be at least a coherent story. You know I’m not a big fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe either, but at least they are constantly trying to have a sequacious storyline, if not, a simple one, that can explain the motives behind the bad guys and the good guys intentions, whilst carrying some sorts of action sequences and shoehorned love triangles.

In Batman v Superman Batman and Superman ended up fighting (a very simple fight, if you ask me) thanks to Lex Luthor influence on them, because of reasons. He is evil and we’re supposed to play along with it without even asking any follow-up questions or reasons to support it.


The director and his team wonderfully managed to blind themselves with gratuitous easter eggs and unnecessary storylines, instead of making some must-needed groundwork with the xenophobia trope,   their core characters background stories and the DC Cinematic Universe in general.

So, when your main storyline involves a conflict between your central characters, the least you could do is to explain properly the motives behind it. If not, you’re only throwing things to the screen instead of trying to make sense of your own story.

‘Love’ and gender politics: deconstructing the Nice Guy and the Crazy Bitch.

As I’ve thoroughly explained in old posts, TV shows have become an interesting, and substantial, platform to debate, and create, topics of interest within the young, and millennial, audiences nowadays, and gender politics hasn’t been the exception.

For those of us that grew on the nineties watching sitcoms (and, as in my case, telenovelas too) the stories we were used to see depicted most of the men and women like this immovable sexist stereotype, where woman can be called a ‘Crazy Bitch’ without any remorse whilst the typical ‘Nice Guy’ will often ended stuck in a relationship with this kind of person, hoping  that all her quirks and bits would save him from himself one day.

Same stereotypes that certain movies from the early millennium loved to strengthen in their stories. Films like (500) Days Of Summer, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, 10 Things I Hate About You and Elizabethtown that conveniently converted the Crazy Bitch into the ‘Manic Pixie Dream Girl’ and left the Nice Guy to indulge himself with her savior-ish complex.


Thus, following this idea, for every Tom there’s a Summer waiting to break his heart over and over again, until Autumn arrives. For every Joel there’s a Clementine hoping to meet him again to re-enter the obsessive cycle they’re in. For every Patrick there’s a Kat wiling to enlist everything she loves about him in spite of her beliefs. For every Drew there’s a Claire awaiting to save him from suicide with the magic of an intricate map and a red hat.

You see, these stories told million of persons, for a long time, that a Nice Guy will always be that anxious, shy, type of person that, by the simple fact of being nice, is entitled to every girl he has crossed upon his life, and that the Crazy Bitch (A.K.A The Manic Pixie Dream Girl) will ever be that odd, tempered, quirky, lost soul that somehow, sometime, will eventually end up dating a Nice Guy. Yikes.

In recent years, this well-crafted and static ideas have changed. Some films, like Ruby Sparks, have engaged interesting debates around gender politics by making overhauling deconstructions of sexist stereotypes within creative tropes and vivid narratives. Ruby Sparks (the character) is written by Calvin (the Nice Guy)  to be (literally and metaphorically) the Crazy Bitch that’s gonna save him from himself. As we all know, things don’t end quite well.

Some TV Shows like Love, the  new Judd Apatow Netflix dramedy, really managed to put the finger right on the gender politics debate by developing a story, full of cliches and tropes found on traditional rom-coms, that falls right into an elaborate and well-thought deconstruction of their protagonists, who happen to be a Nice Guy and a Crazy Bitch.


Gus is  an anxious, insecure geek guy whose major trait, which he can be proud of, is his niceness that he gawkily shows off to everyone he can. Mickey, on the other hand, is a self-absorbed, tactless addict who has no interest in anything on particular. They both meet thanks to a twist of fate and, immediately, embark  on a new adventure together. The typical boy-meets-girl story.

When they are together, or with any other people for that matter, they’re perfect showing their best facade: he is nice, she is blunt. He goes around rubbing into people’s faces that he is rather solicitous whilst she is indifferent to anything and anyone; the perfect sexist stereotypes.


Thanks to the fabulous narrative tool of portraying each others lives individually (they spend more time by themselves than together) the creators allow themselves to deconstruct, and reconstruct, this stereotypes to their core to help us understand the true meaning of both ideas.

As it turns out, Gus’ niceness is not that nice at all, and his kindness quickly transforms into hostility. He’s so convinced that he is such a good person that he thinks he deserves a great life, with the perfect Manic Pixie Dream Girl to go with it. He sees that life with Mickey and immediately idealizes her as that free-spirited girl who came into his life to give it some meaning, but when Mickey doesn’t give him that in return, all hell breaks loose.


Yes, Mickey is a troubled person, with her own complicated stuff to deal with, but that doesn’t mean that her only goal in life is to look for someone who can solve her problems and instantly make them go away, even if a Nice Guy might seem the perfect choice to do so. She’s also an addict, and she needs to be with someone that fulfills her needs whilst helping her to recognize them. She is not a trophy or an ideal of a woman. She is who she is, nothing more, nothing less.


He can call her crazy as many times he wants to and still she will not be the Crazy Bitch he imagines she is. She can look for that Nice Guy who can be the wonderful exception on her love life and still feel empty and undesired. Relationships are hard, and people can get lost between the idea they have of a person and the actual person that’s in front of them.

That’s what stereotypes do. They erase every trait, feature and bit that makes a person unique and, somehow, manages to put everyone that shares something (anything, really) inside a box with blurry limits and a bunch of heavy prejudices to live by.

The Nice Guy and the Crazy Bitch exists only inside our minds. In the real world people are much more complex than that. We are not our gender, and our gender does not defines us. We can be nice, crazy, depressive, manic, happy and sad and still not want to be a part of any stereotype. We should, and we must, deconstruct the stereotypes that surround us in order to understand the way paradigms in gender politics  affect us and how do they work.






Mental Illness on Television: A real depiction.

TV has given us a lot of great stories to talk about, from extensive thesis of love to raw depictions of certain groups of individuals. Notwithstanding, mental illness had never been part of this particular interest before, until now.

2015, as I thoroughly explained before, saw the blossom of a new and greater TV era. Whilst characters, narratives and platforms improved subsequently their quality, with consistent achievements in their stories, actors, writers and producers sought for better and extraordinary ways to portray reality as real as possible.

Thus, we got down-to-earth trans characters like Maura  on ‘Transparent’, Sophia on ‘Orange Is The New Black’ and Nomi on ‘Sense8’, flawed and broken families looking for better ways to communicate with each other like the Rayburns on ‘Bloodline’ or the Gallaghers on ‘Shameless’, and even simple individuals looking for some peace of mind in their lives like Josh on ‘Man Seeking Woman’ or Sharon and Rob in ‘Catastrophe’.  Thereby, characters suffering from a mental illness  -a topic so typically overused when it came to mock people on TV- hit last year right in the bull’s-eye with their magnificent performance.

Mental illness is nothing to laugh about, nor its depiction on a TV show. With more than 450 million people around the globe suffering from it, it was only a matter of time for (american) television to get their act together around their faulty representation they have been managing on their narratives for so many time before.

Long gone are those bipolar characters whose only purpose on the story was to serve as a comical relief, or the clinical depressive  individuals who only made an appearence every now and then to remind the protagonists the dangers of self-medication.

Nowadays, we can learn about mental illness from well-constructed characters like Rebecca Bunch from ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’ whose anxiety permeates and drives every aspect of her life (even in her show title), or Gretchen Cutler whose clinical depression merely cost her her job and love life in ‘You’re The Worst’, or Ian Gallagher whose bipolar disorder almost got him into jail on ‘Shameless US’.Yes, they suffer from a mental ilness but neither of them are limited by it or reduced to it in any kind of way.

When we first met Gretchen, in ‘You’re The Worst’, she’s a cynicall, carefree young woman whose only goal in her life is to get wasted every day. Indeed, Gretchen’s not a lovable character, she’s totally devoid of empathy and respect for others, something that, in a way, makes her even more real, that, later, on season two we learn about her mental illness and the ways she depicts it in her life. If ‘You’re The Worst’ were an entire different show, the writers could readily go with the easy way out and punish her actions with it, but, in this world, mental illness does not translate to some cross she has to carry, it’s really part of her life.

YOU'RE THE WORST -- "Born Dead" -- Episode 203 (Airs Wednesday, September 23, 10:30 pm e/p Pictured: Aya Cash as Gretchen. CR: Byron Cohen/FX

Gretchen’s clinical depression is that shameful aspect of her life that she has no control over,  whatsoever. So, when it hits her, there’s nothing she can do other than embrace it and try to live through the end of it. She knows it’ll consume her, but she also realize that it doesn’t define her. She doesn’t want to be saved, she only wants people to understand the situation she’s in and, for that matter, she doesn’t wallow around feeling like a victim. Even when sadness pervades every aspect of her life, she doesn’t allow people to feel sorry for her. She had already overcame it before and she’ll certainly do that again.

Whereas Gretchen welcomes her illness in a very familiar way, Ian Gallagher denys it constantly,  because they’re just in a whole different moments of their lives. Whilst we have the opportunity to met an already clinical depressed Gretchen we also have to witness the awful process Ian is in with his bipolar disorder. By being inherited, he does think his mental illness is a cross he has to bear and for a whole season we live through his suffering.

Ian Gallagher does not want to be ill and he doesn’t want people to treat him in that way or any special way, for that matter. As Gretchen, and everyone living with a mental illness, he didn’t choose to live with it, and he does everything in his hands to avoid reality, to extricate himself from his family and everything that constantly reminds him that he’s ill. Once again, we have a character who doesn’t want to be defined by his illness and who just wants to be himself. His old self. His sane self.


I could only imagine that Gretchen hadn’t had an easy time dealing with her depression, but the way we see Ian fight through it is just devastating. He can’t gloss over the fact that his bipolar disorder is, and always have been, part of his life and, by disclaming it, he’s not only running away from his problems, but stockpiling new ones too.

Finally, we have Rebecca Bunch, a.k.a The Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, a character whose constant insecurities and over-the-top anxieties manipulate her life in ways she can barely understand. After all, she didn’t only move her entire life to her ex-boyfriend’s hometown just because it’s a great place -no matter how many times she repeats that to herself- she also ran away from her problems, her old self and her ‘stable’ life.

In a show where fucked up lives are core, and central, to the writers agenda, Rebecca’s illness is the best depiction of all. Thanks to the magic of the musical-style narrative, we get to see how her anxiety consumes her day by day. Either with a catchy song about ‘Sexy French Depression’ or with a glorified anthem for self-loathing like ‘You Stupid Bitch’, we have the opportunity to understand Rebecca’s anxiety levels.


Rebecca, above all things, is in constant denial. She  doesn’t want to be seen as a crazy person -‘The situation is more nuanced than that’ she explains to us on the opening- and she’s continually reminding every single person that surrounds her, and, to some extent, herself,  that she doesn’t have a problem,  that she’s not ill and in any way ‘crazy’.

Each and every single one of this characters are on different stages of acceptance of their illness, but they certainly aren’t upstaged by them on no means. Yes, they suffer from it, but, at the same time, they’re looking for alternatives to cope with it, to deal with it.

In a world where representation and depictions on media are key to understand the world we live in, I found very refreshing the presence of this characters on their shows. Their portrayals are nothing but real and we must certainly ask for more individuals that people can relate to without that godawful feeling of being mocked.

The Clara Oswald Conundrum: The ghost, the immortal or the impossible girl.

Fair warning: This post is entirely devoted to Clara Oswald’s presence throughout Doctor Who’s seasons 7-9. Hence, there’ll be major spoilers from the entirety of season 9 and specially from the season finale.

Well, here we are again, at the brink of yet another divisive season of Doctor Who -one of the best I’ve seen, If I must say- and, yes, we must embarce ourselves to start saying  our goodbyes to yet another magnificent companion who’s currently leaving the show: Clara Oswald, but who’s really this impossible girl? What were her motives all along during her four-ish year arc? What we’ve learned from her? Fear not my dearest, my intention with this post is to make a deconstruction-ish of this misterious girl, a somewhat Swan Song to give a proper goodbye to one of my favorite Doctor Who companions ever. Shall we?

From the first moment we met Clara Oswald, (Our Clara, not one of her echos) in the last minutes of ‘The Snowmen’, we realize that she is no ordinary girl -of course, we mostly go on with it at this point of the story because we’ve already met two of her echos before- and she is really aware of it.

Her first line (“I don’t believe in ghosts”) could perfectly be set off against her immovable belief on the Doctor’s constant regard towards his companions as no more than ghosts (something  we can remember of on a dialogue taken from ‘Hide’). Something that, in my opinion,  could perfectly sum up everything that Clara was, her motives, and the person she became at the very end of her arc. A very powerful statement indeed.

Clara didn’t wanted to be another forgotten ghost on the Doctor’s graveyard in the first place. She wanted to be remembered, to be immortal. Whilst the ghost portrayal, in Clara’s mind,  operated as a remembrance of a lost life, the immortal persona acted out as a reminder of a life well lived.

That’s why she was constantly reminding him of this (“Run you clever boy, and remember me”), unknowingly that this very idea will ultimately seal her fate. As far as we know, Clara blew in into the world as a leaf, lived all kinds of adventures and fly off as wisp of smoke by facing the raven.


When we first met her as a crucial character on ‘The Bells Of Saint John’, we learned that she was a nanny of two young children, something that her mother cared about and used to do. Symbolically, being a nanny is, at firsthand, the best way to be remembered by someone. Children often recall what they’ve learned from the regular presence of a certain individual in their childhood. Most of the times, this place goes to the nanny. This idea expanded itself when she met the Doctor.

Fearless and valiant, Clara accepted to travel with the Doctor’s Eleventh incarnation waiting to meet new and wonderful places where she can be remembered.  From The Rings Of Akhateh to Trenzalore, Clara Oswald found a way to be a constant in a lot of people’s life, and from the very moment she stepped into the Doctor’s timeline, she managed to stand by on every crucial moment of his entire life. After all, what better way to be immortal than splintering yourself throughout a Timelord’s timeline? The ultimate immortal being.

Make no mistake, Clara Oswald’s actions were not selfless. Notwithstanding, her feelings towards the Doctor were real. She did care about him, in fact, he became the most important man in her life later on. Something that messed her relation up with his boyfriend Danny Pink, in my opinion,  and narrative speaking, a character who’s sole function in the show was to humanize the already Doctor-like immortal Clara.

Therefore, one of the most Clara-like traits was, undoubtedly, her ability to always put everybody before her, specially when it came to children. Her tremendous dedication to guarantee safety and happiness in other people’s life was one of the main reasons the Doctor got another set of regenerations and, surely, why she started to teach on Coal Hill school on the first place.

Se devoted her entire life soothing children and making sure they didn’t grow up motherless (or fatherless) like she did. So, from the very beginning of her adventures, when she calmed down Merry Gejelh, to her last breath, when she sacrificed herself to the raven in order to give Rigsy’s son a full life with his dad, she  always had one thing in mind: never stand down when an infant’s life were in danger.

Clara’s actions were big and significant. Nevertheless, a great deal of them came from a reckless place of debauchery and overconfidence. Spending so much time along the Doctor’s side made her think that everything, even death, could (and should) be overcomed. Risks stopped being too dangerous and adventures became part of her life. At on point,  immortality wasn’t just only about being remembered, it also meant running away from death.


This way of thinking suited perfectly to the Doctor’s M.O. His companion, on the other hand, wasn’t supposed to legitimize it. You see, immortality is a very tricky concept to begin with. In Clara’s case, her fearless choices and brave ways of thinking were the perfect combination to ratcheting her up towards this already traced road. One thing, that in my opinion, she didn’t reckoned to achieve in a real way.

That’s why her actions forced her to face the raven and  confront the consequences. Although, with the events occured on ‘Hell Bent’, Clara succesfully managed to delay her death just in time to enjoy a handful of adventures with a TARDIS of her own and a faithful companion embodied by Ashildr’s ‘Me’, whilst she became an eternal (but faceless) print on the Doctor’s mind. In the end Clara single-handedly became the (immortal) Doctor in spite all odds (she even died in a regeneration pose, for god’s sake!). The perfect ending to an impossible girl.


So, please,  next time you think of Clara, ask yourself the next question: Clara Who?






TV and the new depiction of masculinity.

It’s true, we’re really living on the golden age of television. A golden age where we’re able to enjoy new ways of telling stories and where we can take pleasure on a certain variety  of alternative platforms to binge-watch our favorite show, or even get to know  their very own stellar productions (such as Netflix, Hulu or Amazon), and yet, nothing has drawn more my attention  than an interesting development on  characterisation of masculinity upon  male protagonists.

Nowadays, we’re more than wont  to have an stereotipical male figure on TV and films that will gladly shove down our throats his socially constructed ideas of what it really is to be man; let’s make a list of all them, shall we? A man has to be strong, powerful and dauntless, he also has to provide for his family (mostly for his selfless wife) and never (at all cost) shed a single tear  for nothing and no one. A dude with this ideals will always have the power to overcome any problem without showing neither harm nor weakness. He will always be a manly man.

Fortunately, we’re kicking off a new era, one where this stereotipic ideas are really worn out. You just have to turn the TV on to come across a whole new badge of glorious male characters depicting a new way to see masculinity. From Catastrophe to Kevin From Work, from Man Seeking Woman to Master Of None, even You’re The Worst, all acting out new ideals, breaking paradigms and demolishing old preconceptions of manhood.

The men depicted on this shows are not afraid to show his feelings (what a travesty!) and, above all, they’re used to talk about them (double travesty!), they’re also allowed to feel vulnerable and to show this side of their being without remorse or self-deprecation (The travesty apocalypse is upon us!).


 We get to see how a sensitive guy as Rob cares so much about pregnant girflriend Sharon’s feelings in spite her constant and utter denial of it on Catastrophe. The same thing happens on Man Seeking Woman, when main character Josh fantasies on meeting the perfect girl for him even though his heart is completely broken after his girlfriend left him for another guy. Even Jimmy, from You’re The Worst, has to show his true colors as he is being supportive when his girlfriend Gretchen falls through the black hole of clinical depression.

It really is a delight to come across such enlightning, enthralling and enriching new ways of portraying masculinity. We’re not empty vessels ready to be filled up in real life. Us men should, and must look for, and look up, another masculinities. Those that really defy our way to see life.

That’s why I, for one, was more  than excited to welcome Kevin’s best friend, Brian, crying his heart out for the loss of the girl he thought was his true love on Kevin From Work and, even better, having an enthralling chat about his feelings, that doesn’t seem contrived at all, with his best friend while drinking some tea. Before this, I was really starting to worry that we’re going to be cursed with the perpetual, and godawful idea, of portraying men as a nonchalant non-crying Rambos.

I even get more excited when I stumble upon Dev, from Master Of None, trying to understand the way his girlfriend felt when she was mistreated by his boss after being totally polite to him. In fact, Aziz Ansari (creator and main character of the show) takes his time to tackle the clear differences between the inequal ways society treats men and women as a main theme on one episode of season one.


So yes, I do know we will always have Rambos, Terminators and Conans The Barbarians to look up when its needed, but they’re not the only (and necessary) depiction of masculinity that the world needs. They’re the ones that the world want us to be.

Men in real life do have feelings in spite all the constant reminders, and reproachs, to not doing it so. Role models are everywhere too, we just have to look for those that matches with our way of seeing things and not by the ones who are trying to define us.