Episode 78: Et Tu, Guy in a Bear Suit?

Hello and welcome to This Week in Ladies!

Here's what we've got on tap for you this week:

  • This Week in Comics
    Patsy Walker A.K.A. Hellcat!, Astonishing Ant-Man #9, All-New, All-Different Avengers #10, Ms. Marvel #8, Civil War II, Bitch Planet #8, Paper Girls #6, We(l)come Back #8, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Pink #1 | Civil War II, y'all: worse than you thought. We also discuss resistance movements, joke density, the meaning of war, Kate Bishop, and this amazing Mighty Morphin Power Rangers fan film starring James Van Der Beek and Katee Sackhoff. Talk about a grab bag.
  • Sidekicks
    In our main segment this week, we talk sidekicks. What is a sidekick? Who are the best and worst? In what way is Harry Potter just like Buffy Summers? All this and Allison's favorite Star Wars fan theory.
  • This Week in Ladies Recommends
    A: Shrill by Lindy West
    B: Leverage

Thanks for listening!

This Week in Links 78

Since we record a new show every two weeks, on off weeks we do a link roundup of things we've read and want to share.

This Week in Links 77

Since we record a new show every two weeks, on off weeks we do a link roundup of things we've read and want to share.

Episode 77: Six Foot One & Tons of Fun

Hello and welcome to This Week in Ladies.

Here's what we've got on tap for you this week:

  • This Week in Comics
    All-New, All-Different Avengers #9, Ms. Marvel #7, Captain Marvel #5, Jem and the Holograms #15, Mockingbird #3, Hellcat #6, Astonishing Ant-Man #8 and Captain America #1 | The Wasp joins the All-New, All-Different Avengers, but not the one you think; Kamala Khan and Miles Morales have an encounter IRL; and, well... here's my favorite tweet about Captain America. (On a more serious note, Hello Tailor on this and "On Steve Rogers #1, Antisemitism, and Publicity Stunts.")
  • Everybody Wants Some!! (Yeah, We Do)
    Forget all the trailers you've seen for Everybody Wants Some!! that somehow emphasize the very minor romantic plot and watch this clip, in which the actors sing "Rapper's Delight," instead. Then listen to our extensive breakdown of the movie, which does, admittedly involve a fair amount of swoon (see also: gaze, female), but also some analysis of how this movie subverts masculine stereotypes while also being really entertaining. We recommend you take some time to go behind the scenes with this L.A. Times piece on the making of the movie, too.
  • This Week in Ladies Recommends
    Anthony Mackie on the Nerdist podcast

Thanks for listening!

This Week in Links 76

Since we record a new show every two weeks, on off weeks we do a link roundup of things we've read and want to share.

  • This is an interesting article about what it's like to be a "historical adviser" on period movies: I have become very adept at giving three-minute lectures to buses and tents crammed full of extras, but whenever I get the chance I usually disappear off to the props trailer to see what exciting treasures have been sourced for the day’s scenes and exploit the chance to handle artefacts in a way that is impossible in a museum or archive.
  • Racked has a super neat story about Mojoro, the woman who invented cosplay.
  • This is from a few weeks ago, but if you haven't seen the video of Chris Evans and Elizabeth Olsen dancing on Ellen, you should, and if you have, watch it again.
  • Ditto for this video of the Obamas dancing with R2-D2 and a Stormtrooper. Seriously, why are we letting them leave office?
  • The Undefeated has an interesting profile of Nate Moore, the single African-American producer of the Marvel movies, and the reason we have a Black Panther on the big screen (in other words, thank you, Nate!).
  • Um, did you know Nigeria is killing everyone at Scrabble? And they're doing it by memorizing all the short words, which totally turns traditional Scrabble strategy on its head.
  • Allison Janney showed up and surprised the White House press corps by doing a briefing. She is perfect in every single way.
  • Deandre Levy, y'all: I was 18 years old — "man" enough to drive, vote and go to war — but somehow I didn’t have the courage, or the maturity, to see what they were talking about for what it was: a serious crime.

Episode 76: So, You Like Cats

Hello and welcome to This Week in Ladies!

Here's what we've got on tap for you this week:

  • Bitch, Please
    In our last episode, mistakes were made. Allison stated that Fargo was unavailable to stream online, when in fact it is available though paid Hulu accounts and via your cable provider on the FX website. Becca incorrectly named Mary Doria Russell as the author of the Typhoid Mary novel Fever, which was actually written by Mary Beth Keane.
  • This Week in Comics
    A-Force #5, Black Panther #2, Black Widow #3, The Amazing Spider-Man and Silk #3, Poe Dameron #2, Rat Queens #16, the Free Comic Book Day Serenity story and Thunderbolts #1 | We're still a little behind on our Free Comic Book Day haul, but we had lots of other stuff to discuss this week, including bad jokes, bloody cliffhangers and the sheer awesomeness of Dazzler Thor.
  • Captain America: Civil War
    First things first, Linda Holmes really speaks to us in this piece in which she compares Iron Man vs. Cap to Hamilton vs. Burr. We go ALL IN on the latest (and definitely great, if not greatest) entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, covering everything from international politics to T'Challa fan art to 90s rom-com Only You, though we somehow managed to leave out our assessment of Scarlett Johansson's wig. #teamcantwealljustgetalong
  • This Week in Ladies Recommends
    A:
    Thunder Boy Jr. by Sherman Alexie and Yuyi Morales
    B: The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes

Thanks for listening!

Episode 75: Villains vs. Bad Credit

Hello and welcome to This Week in Ladies!

Here's what we've got on tap for you this week:

  • This Week in Comics
    InseXts #5, Captain Marvel #4, Lumberjanes #25, Howard the Duck #6, Astonishing Ant-Man #7, Welcome Back #6, Patsy Walker, A.K.K. Hellcat! #5, Ms. Marvel #6, Saga #36, Joyride #1 and Free Comic Book Day | Patsy Walker teaches bad guys an important lesson on the difference between villainy and making a mistake and Kamala Khan learns an important lesson about work-life balance. Plus, Captain Marvel and Saga are making space great again. We wrap up with Becca's Free Comic Book Day preview. Highlights include a March sampler; previews of Civil War II and the upcoming Captain America, in which Steve Rogers resumes the role; The Tick; and a new Grant Morrison series from Graphic India. Visit the Free Comic Book Day site to find a participating shop near you!
  • Real Ladies: Typhoid Mary
    Allison shares some of what she learned from Terrible Typhoid Mary: A True Story of the Deadliest Cook in America by Susan Campbell Bartoletti, a youth nonfiction book about the Irish immigrant and cook who likely infected more than 50 people with typhoid in the early 20th century. If fictionalized accounts of real events or the lives of real people are your jam and you want to read more about Mary Mallon, Becca recommends Fever by Mary Beth Keane.
  • This Week in Ladies Recommends
    A: Fargo, the TV show
    B: musical group Black Violin

Thanks for listening!

This Week in Links 75

Since we record a new show every two weeks, on off weeks we do a link roundup of things we've read and want to share.

  • The 2016 Eisner nominations are out! Including a record number of female creators.
  • How Much Would It Cost To Be Captain American? A lot, y'all. You gotta be friends with Tony Stark for a reason.
  • The press tour for Captain America 3 is starting up, which means charming bros are doing the rounds of talk shows, which is how we are now blessed to know Chris Evans knows all the words to The Little Mermaid. (Nobody call anybody a slut this time! Keep being this level of charming, guys.)
  • Kate Beaton went on a rant about "tit windows" in female comics characters' costumes, which was great, and the author of this Mary Sue post makes a good point (something we've said many times): It isn't simply that female characters "shouldn't be" scantily or impractically-clad, it's that their clothing should reflect who they are.
  • So Houston is having some terrible flooding right now, which is horrible, but the upside is this reporter rescuing a man on live TV. Of course I'm glad the guy is OK, but seriously, turn around don't drown, and also, the reporter's annoyance is my everything.
  • City Realty takes a guess at the costs of New York City homes in some children's literature classics. Surprise surprise, both Eloise and Harriet the Spy are clearly loaded.
  • In what small, meaningless ways do you rebel?
  • We lost Prince this week -- which, what the fuck, 2016 -- and you should read Wesley Morris on his sexualityIf Elvis was sex, Prince was a sexual orientation. His own. And it was oriented toward you. And you. And you.
    • While you're at it, read Alyssa Rosenberg in the Washington Post on Prince and Bowie and their visions of manhood: And now we've lost two men who had an expansive, almost luxuriant vision of what it meant to be a man and lived out that vision through decades when it was much less safe to do so.
    • And then finish off with two views of the Hamilton cast's tribute to Prince.

Episode 74: Boss of the Applesauce

Hello and welcome to This Week in Ladies!

Here's what we've got on tap for you this week:

  • Bitch, Please
    Becca corrects her pronunciation, or lack thereof, in her recommendation from our last episode.
  • This Week in Comics
    Mockingbird #2, Black Widow #2, Amazing Spider-Man and Silk #2, A-Force #4, Giant Days #13, Faith #2 & 3, New Romancer #1, C-3PO, Poe Dameron #1, Spider-Women Alpha #1 and Black Panther #1 | Mockingbird introduces a new character (or an old one, if you've been keeping up with Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D) in a way that only writer Chelsea Cain could and we approve; Becca's dream team of Charles Soule (She-Hulk) and Phil Noto (Black Widow) do not disappoint with Poe Dameron, a Star Wars: The Force Awakens prequel in which Poe charmingly says "buddy" a lot; and, duh, Ta-Nehisi Coates delivers a beautifully written first issue of Black Panther, managing to drop us into the middle of a story about a character we're unfamiliar with while neither over-explaining nor losing us. THIS is how you attract new readers to an old character.
  • Ann starring Holland Taylor
    We had the privilege and pleasure of seeing Ann, a one-woman show written and starring Holland Taylor as former Texas governor Ann Richards. We came away from it totally in awe and admiration of both women. For a little taste of the experience you don't have to travel to Austin for, check out Richards' Alamo Drafthouse pre-show warning and her 1988 speech at the Democratic National Convention. Your sense of civic pride will be stirred.
  • This Week in Ladies Recommends
    A: Frog Prince from Lipstick Queen
    B: Marvel's Agent Carter, season 2

Thanks for listening!

This Week in Links 74

Since we record a new show every two weeks, on off weeks we do a link roundup of things we've read and want to share.

Episode 73: No Sorrow in Sight

Hello and welcome to This Week in Ladies!

Here's what we've got on tap for you this week:

  • This Week in Comics
    Saga #35, Patsy Walker AKA Hellcat! #4, All-New, All-Different Avengers #7, Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #6, Jem and the Holograms #13 and Power Lines #1 | Marvel is really trying to make Howard the Duck happen and... it might be working? They're also trying to make some stupid Stepford Wives event happen and that's definitely not working at all. Saga ends on a literal cliffhanger and leaves us wanting more and Power Lines does pretty much the opposite. Not a lot of comics this week, but they sure did run the gamut. Stay tuned for lots of Marvel #1s in our next episode!
  • I Saw the Light
    For you, listeners, we saw the new Hank Williams biopic starring Tom Hiddleston. No, wait. We did that mostly for ourselves. The movie itself fell a little flat for us, but Tom Hiddleston singing honky tonk was more than worth the price of admission. For more classic country music, check out Johnny Horton (who was married to Hank Williams' second wife!) and Hank Snow, singers who featured heavily in Becca's mom's lullaby rotation. And listen to Allison's favorite Hank track, "Howlin' at the Moon."
  • This Week in Ladies Recommends
    A: "Code Name: Girlfriend" by Jessica Fox from Virtually Yours: A Virtual Match Anthology
    B: "The West Wing Weekly"

This Week in Links 73

Since we record a new show every two weeks, on off weeks we do a link roundup of things we've read and want to share.

  • Fortune has picked Dr. Carla Hayden -- who President Obama has nominated to be the next Librarian of Congress (get on that, Senators) -- as one of their World's Greatest Leaders.
  • This lady on Spain's Got Talent is full of surprises.
  • Interesting interview with YA author Anna Breslaw on portraying sex in YA and in fanfiction: For teens whose sexual interests lie outside of whatever’s being discussed or not discussed at their schools, joining fanfic communities — and reading fiction in general — is one way to explore. Which is why the way sex is discussed within these fictional settings matters. 
  • New research shows that much of the book-buying being done right now is by millennial women who read Harry Potter as teens and are now grown, and we're shaping the trends for what books go really big.
  • Um, Syfy made a movie where members of 90s boybands team up to fight zombies in the Old West? I had to Google to confirm this was real, but yes, it is.
  • I greatly enjoy the Actual Teen vs. Adult Teen Tumblr. This weirds me out in all movies/TV shows, even though I understand why you don't want to hire minors if you don't have to.
  • Jennifer Weiner in the New York TimesIn this strangest of primary seasons, women exist primarily in terms of their relationships to the men they marry or question or critique. They can either be beauties or beasts or "the love of my life." They can be "crazy" or "losers," "fat pigs" or "dogs."
  • #HowDoYouSeeMe
  • An interview with children's book author and illustrator Oliver Jeffers.
  • This month marks 20 years since "MMMBop." Yes, 20 years. The grim specter of death comes for us all: Interestingly, "MMMBop" was actually too high [the notes] by the time it was recorded for Middle of Nowhere! And we were playing it lower on our first tour.

Episode 72: Our Anarcho-Atheism Phase

Hello and welcome to This Week in Ladies!

Here's what we've got on tap for you this week:

  • Bitch, Please
    In Episode 71, "Play Like a Girl," Becca mistakenly conflated two female members of the original Mighty Ducks, Tammy and Connie. Thanks to cousin/listener Chelle for pointing it out!
  • This Week in Comics
    Insexts #4, Welcome Back #6, Silk #6, Astonishing Ant-Man #6, Ms. Marvel #5, Captain Marvel #3, Rat Queens #15, The 13th Artifact #1 and Mockingbird #1 | All of our comics this week had ladies at the forefront (yes, event Ant-Man) and it's amazing how nuanced and interesting storytelling can be when women in comics can be fully-realized characters instead of representative everywomen.
  • Zootopia
    In our main segment this week, we discuss the Disney animated hit Zootopia. It's the best children's movie about institutionalized racism you'll see this year. It's also a surprisingly solid buddy cop comedy with an mixed gender friendship at its core.
  • This Week in Ladies Recommends
    A: When a Scot Ties the Knot by Tessa Dare
    B: Bring it On: All or Nothing

This Week in Links 72

Since we record a new show every two weeks, on off weeks we do a link roundup of things we've read and want to share.

  • Paul Rudd's hotness peak is still clearly a ways off in the future. (Becca's email said, "Our readers deserve to see this photo.")
  • The women of Hamilton perform famous feminist quotes for Women's History Month. This video is giving me life.
  • The Hamilton crew were at the White House this week, and Lin-Manuel Miranda freestyled about government in the Rose Garden while Obama held the cue cards and a drummer from the Marine Band provided the beat. Did you ever in your life imagine anything like this? Goddamn I'm gonna miss this president.
  • Speaking of the White House and Women's History Month (but not of Hamilton), they'd like our help finding the original Declaration of Sentiments.
  • There is a huge plagiarism scandal happening in the crossword puzzle world: "The animating impulse of crosswords is, 'How can I do something new in this medium?'"
  • Jennifer Garner is killing her post-divorce media tour, just killing it.
  • This gorgeous NPR story about a schoolboy coining a new word -- "petaloso," meaning full of petals -- is just lovely. (It also bears surprisingly similarities to the kids' book Frindle.)
  • Entertainment Weekly takes a deep dive into the Captain America 3: Civil War trailer. Our bodies are not ready.
  • Acting in a Terrence Malick movie sounds bananas: "We're all standing there and Malick hands out these pieces of paper to all of us," Lennon said. "And the one he gave me said, 'There's no such thing as a fireproof wall.' And I ask, 'Is this something I'm supposed to say in the scene?' and he said, 'I don't know.'"
  • JJ Abrams on why Leia hugged Rey, and not Chewie. Force-powerful ladies hugging!
  • We're big fans of the Special Olympics around here, and we're both big babies about winter, so Lady Gaga doing a polar plunge in Chicago to raise money for them: well, damn, woman, good work.
  • I'm not crying, I'm just reading this story about a penguin and the guy who saved him and it's raining on my face: 'I have never seen anything like this before. I think the penguin believes Joao is part of his family and probably a penguin as well.

    'When he sees him he wags his tail like a dog and honks with delight

Episode 71: Play Like a Girl

Hello and welcome to This Week in Ladies!

Here's what we've got on tap for you this week:

  • Bitch, Please
    Our apologies to friend of the show Matthew Jackson, who wrote this great Mental Floss piece about The American President, which we definitely should have mentioned in our discussion of the movie in Episode 69.
  • This Week in Comics
    Silk #5, A-Force #3, Unbeatable Squirrel Girls #5, Astonishing Ant-Man #5, Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #4, Patsy Walker AKA Hellcat! #3, The Amazing Spider-Man and Silk #1, Black Widow #1, Cry Havoc #1, Saga #34, Jem and the Holograms #12 and Giant Days #12 | When it rains comics, it pours, y'all. Plus, some news you can use: Free Comic Book Day 2016 is two months away, but you can preview the books on their website now. Check 'em out! Finally, we'd like to shout out our local comic shop, Austin Books and Comics, for hosting another great Ladies Night last week!
  • Play Like a Girl: Sports Movies with Lady Athletes
    There may be no crying in baseball, but there was crying when we rewatched A League of Their Own for the first time since we were kids (PS its IMDB trivia page will be the most interesting thing you read this week). We talk about our Rockford Peach feels; non-romantic male-female relationships; the mysterious third Wilson brother; Julie "the Cat" Gaffney from Bangor, Maine; cheerocracies; and so much more in our sadly comprehensive discussion of sports movies featuring lady athletes. Why aren't there more of these?! We would watch one hundred figure skating or gymnastics movies. Get on it, Hollywood.
  • This Week in Ladies Recommends
    A:
    "The Women Take Over" by Dahlia Lithwick for Slate
    B: The Librarians on TNT

Thanks for listening!

This Week in Links 71

Since we record a new show every two weeks, on off weeks we do a link roundup of things we've read and want to share.

  • Disappointed to find sexism in even the Oxford Dictionary, that most sacred of texts.
  • In better reference news, I just wanna roll around in this thesaurus of colors.
  • Two great Harry Potter links: Venn diagrams (you know we love charts), and the adventures of Hogwarts' new IT guyPlease. If you need something fixed send me a text, not a bird.
  • What It’s Really Like to Work in Hollywood* (*If you’re not a straight white man.) is a damning piece from the New York Times where actors, writers, directors -- famous people you've heard of -- talk in their own words about their experiences.
  • Two great stories about famous people reaching out to kids: Kendrick Lamar took some kids from Compton (his old neighborhood) to the Grammys, and John Lewis attended a meeting of the Free Minds Book Club, a book club for incarcerated youth in Washington, DC.
  • Stephanie Toti is a badass we should be paying attention to -- she's representing Texans' right to choose at the Supreme Court right now, and as a young Latina lawyer, her opponents consistently, infuriatingly, underestimate her: As the case wound its way through the lower courts, Toti repeatedly had to remind the Texas attorneys that she is the lead counsel on the case. But they consistently directed communications to her co-counsel -- a taller, slightly older man from the international law firm Morrison & Foerster. "They would always reach out to him and not even 'cc' me," she said. "I would get back to the lawyers and say, 'Here is our position,' and the next time they would go back to him anyway." 
  • TIME looks at some of TV's greatest female friendships.
  • Talk about a real Sophie's choice: Who's Worse, Ross Gellar or Ted Mosby?
  • This video of how Oscar statuettes get engraved is pretty interesting (and features Leonardo DiCaprio doing a remarkable imitation of a chill, friendly guy).
  • Playbill has a neat piece on what's involved in some of the theatre jobs behind the scenes, like the company manager (who coordinates with the Secret Service so Obama can see Hamilton).
  • Virginia McLaurin meets the Obamas

Episode 70: And the Oscar Goes To...

Hello and welcome to This Week in Ladies!

Here's what we've got on tap for you this week:

  • This Week in Comics
    Sex Criminals #14, Huck #4, Silk #4, Lumberjanes #23, Giant Days #11, Jem and the Holograms Valentine Special, Insexts #3, Bitch Planet #7, All-New, All-Different Avengers #5, Ms. Marvel #4, Welcome Back #5 and Mockingbird | Sex Criminals breaks the fourth wall, The Vision breaks bad (maybe?), and in Giant Days, a couple breaks up.
  • Real Ladies: Oscar Winners
    Two-time Oscar winner Glenda Jackson retired from acting to pursue her second career as a member of Britain's Parliament. Like you do. Here's the Entertainment Weekly article that first brought her to Becca's attention. We also spend some time talking about how the Oscars are, like a lot of things, pretty heavily stacked against women and people of color. For some fascinating, if depressing, insight into that, please read "What Does the Academy Value in a Black Performance" from The New York Times and "The Oscars' Giant Gender Gap Isn't Closing" from Women and Hollywood. Of course, no conversation about ladies and the Oscars is complete without a mention of Meryl Streep, whose recent comments about diversity in film were, it turns out, taken out of context. Need a little palate cleanser after all that serious business? Here's an aesthetically pleasing infographic depicting the dresses of all the Best Actress winners from 1929-2014.
  • This Week in Ladies Recommends
    A:
    webseries Titus and Dronicus
    B: The Muppets, episode 12, "A Tale of Two Piggies" (read the A.V. Club review here)

This Week in Links 70

Since we record a new show every two weeks, on off weeks we do a link roundup of things we've read and want to share.

  • Welp, to the surprise of no one, Hamilton at the Grammys (#Gram4Ham) was pretty great, and Lin's acceptance speech was electric.
  • Awesome Tumblr: Women Fighters in Reasonable Armor. Also, their tagline, "ladies that actually dress for dealing damage," is pretty badass too.
  • This New Yorker article about gravitational waves really helped me understand why the hell that was such a big deal, last week.
  • In more space news, the best job title in the world -- seriously, the best -- belongs to Lindley Johnson, NASA's new Planetary Defense Officer.
  • The quail of West Texas respond to Justice Antonin Scalia's death: "Sure, Scalia conveniently discarded his entire jurisprudential philosophy in Columbia v. Heller, when he mangled the Second Amendment to allow pretty much anyone with four fingers and a thumb to carry around a gun. On the other hand, that's all we quail have EVER known. So, you know, welcome to our world, assholes."
  • Slate talks about what happened to Shiba Inus -- a once-rare breed in the US -- once they became a popular meme.
  • This video of a service dog in training meeting Pluto at Disneyland will make your heart grow three size.
  • Y'all is a Feminist Pronoun
  • The New York Times has a fascinating article about a con man who is (probably) named Jeremy Wilson, and all the scams he's pulled: He once maintained an Irish accent so well and for so long that his cellmate in an Indiana jail was convinced that he was an Irish mobster.

    "You have to give him some grudging respect," said Brian A. Clark, his cousin and also a victim, having had his identity stolen by Mr. Wilson in the early 1990s. "He's a proper villain. He's just got flair."

Episode 69: Hail to the Chief

Hello and welcome to This Week in Ladies!

Here's what we've got on tap for you this week:

  • This Week in Comics
    Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #4, Captain Marvel #2, Saga #33, All-New, All-Different Avengers #4, Spider-Man #1, Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #3, Faith #1, Paper Girls #5, A-Force #2, and Jem and the Holograms #11 | This week, Squirrel Girl visits the Doombrary; Thor plants a big, wet one on Captain America; and Jerrica wears a fierce shark bathing suit that we'd do just about anything for. Except turn evil, which is apparently what she did.
  • Hail to the Chief! Fictional American Presidents
    This week, we're all about fictional American presidents, some of whom weren't created by Aaron Sorkin (although, let's face it--his are among the best). From comedies like Dave and My Fellow Americans to serious explorations of American politics like The West Wing, we cover it all. We get emotional about great fictional presidential speeches (Bill Pullman, duh) and express our discontent that we can't even get a fictional lady into office in this country. Tune in for all this and to find out what novel about an American president we both read at an inappropriate age. Want to know more about fictional presidents? Wikipedia is, unsurprisingly, a good place to start. Check out this list of fictional Black presidents.
  • This Week in Ladies Recommends
    A:
    Columbine by Dave Cullen
    B: Lost Stars by Claudia Gray

Thanks for listening!