X Things I’d Love to See in the New Doctor Who

If you missed the news in all the hubbub of SDCC, a trailer for the new season of Doctor Who dropped. And for once I can say I'm actually excited about it, and not just because the Doctor is now a woman (but yeah, I am hella excited about that). I'm excited because this is a whole new chapter in Doctor Who's saga, and the show desperately needs that.

I mean, it's not a whole lot to go on, a whole 50 seconds. And another 40 or so seconds if you count the teaser trailer.

So let's break it down. Obviously we get the whole "new faces, new worlds, new times" bit. I guess it's only natural for the new showrunner, Chris Chibnall, to want to distance himself and mark this as a new beginning. It's not a bad strategy, either!

So what do we see? Some flaming wrecks of presumably spaceships (I won't lie, they kind of remind me of the pod racers from The Phantom Menace). A yard with some old-timey stuff: A car, a jeep, some big boilers. Another scene with the Doctor and her companions standing in the parking lot of what I'd guess is a 1950s or 1960s motel.  There's a flash of what's probably a forest, a couple of scenes in various ship (probably spaceships), an old deserted building, and of course a horseback riding scene that's possibly (probably?) a reference to the wild west.

We see the companions, obviously -- three of them, this time, and it seems like they won't know each other before they join up. Their names are Ryan, Yaz, and Graham, by the way. Check out the teaser trailer for more on that:

So what can we expect from season 11? Honestly, we don't have a lot of details. Chris Chibnall apparently wants to keep things quiet -- and again, that's probably a smart move. The less people know, the less they can tear the show apart before it even airs. The teaser doesn't even give us a glimpse at any of the monsters or creatures we might encounter, and Chibnall says we're going to see all new monsters, no familiar faces (not even Daleks!). We've got the usual blabber about "rules will be broken" and some general hype.

I'm not here to tell you what we will see. Because any sort of news will just come through the cast and then through the press. But I would like to talk a little about what I'd like to see. Because Doctor Who is one of those gateway sci-fi shows that lead people down the path to more geekdom. It's also a cultural icon. A landmark, even.

Backstory time!

I didn't get on board with the new series of Doctor Who right when it came out. But I do remember watching season 4 of the new series in college, and enjoying it. Then my friend A introduced me to Torchwood. And that immediately prompted a dive back into seasons 1-3. Suffice it to say, in a very short time I became obsessed with Doctor Who.

And then Russell T. Davies and David Tennant both broke my heart by leaving the show just as my obsession was growing. But I was obsessed and Moffat had written a few pretty fantastic episodes during his tenure. Surely it couldn't be that bad, right? It might not be as deliciously good as the RTD era, but I would still enjoy it.

I did enjoy season 5, and parts of 6. Just not as much as I enjoyed seasons 1-4. And....things just went downhill from there. People say you always love your first Doctor the most. I'm a bit of an anomaly then, because 9 is my favorite even though 10 was my first. And I liked Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi as 11 and 12 well enough. But I hated the writing. I hated the giant multi-season arcs and all the build-up just to a couple of throwaway lines.

Enough about the past, though! What's there to look forward to in the future? What can we love and appreciate about Doctor Who instead of critiquing all the bad stuff. (And that's not to say that it doesn't deserve to be criticized, because Moffat and his writing team have a LOT to answer for in my book.) Here's what I'm looking forward to seeing in series 11 of Doctor Who:

1. More Diversity

First of all, if you're complaining or in any way, shape or form unhappy about the Doctor being a woman, you probably just want to close this browser tab right now because nothing I say here is going to make you happy.

Sci-fi (and fantasy, too) for some reason have this perception as belonging to white dudes -- old white dudes especially. And there's a whole LONG list of reasons why that's a load of crap, from the numerous women who were pioneers in speculative fiction to the fact that women and people of color account for a much bigger part of the world's population than old white dudes.

During Moffat's 81-episode tenure, 3 women wrote 4 episodes. That's it. (If I'm honest, Russell T. Davies wasn't much better, with just 1 woman writing several episodes in seasons 3 and 4) And that's not counting directors either. Representation in ALL aspects of media matter. That means it matters who's writing the scripts and behind the cameras as much as who's in front of them. Moffat is on the record as saying, "Stop assuming that I'm a demon who's trying to prevent it, as opposed to the man who's done more to make it happen than anybody else," ...but he also has a long history of saying vaguely offensive and very sexist things so you can make up your mind for yourself.

Fortunately, Chris Chibnall seems really dedicated to making this happen already. First, under his tenure Doctor Who has hired its first writers of color -- and I mean first in the entire 50+ year history of the show (Editor's note: Holy Shit). The show is possibly moving toward a writers room format for some of its episodes, but among its guest writer spots are two women (and three men). Directors will be half men, half women -- and all but 1 of the editors are also women. The new comics series featuring Jodie Whittaker's Doctor will also be an entire team of woman.

And that's not even getting into the companions. We have  Tosin Cole as Ryan, Bradley Walsh as Graham and Mandip Gill as Yaz -- a young black man, a middle-aged white dude, and a middle eastern woman. Sharon D. Clarke also has an unspecified recurring role. I am absolutely excited about all of them.  Yes, even the middle-aged white dudes. Moffat and RTD both seem to have favored young women for companions, and it leads to the inevitable "young girl falling for vaguely human-ish alien who notices her feelings way less often than he should" trope. (Donna was a great break from this. At some point I will probably wax eloquent on the many ways in which Donna Noble is the best companion of all time, but not today.)

Anyway. I want to see a bunch of different experiences, a bunch of perspectives on traveling through all of space and time, and I want to see how they clash and what common ground they find in making sense of the universe in all its infinite weirdness. It sounds like Chibnall is in agreement there, too. The original show had a group of companions, and so the new batch are a throwback to that. But he also said in an interview, “I love Doctor Who as a big, popular, mainstream, accessible show. So I wanted to make sure that every member of the audience felt they had a relatable character, an access point."

I also hope it will change the dynamic to something a little more platonic. Rose was a definitely romance, with a case of jealous boyfriend. Martha was unrequited love. Donna was a good friendship. Amy had a massive "are they or are they not a thing?" with a bit of jealous boyfriend thrown in. Clara fancied Matt Smith's doctor, and then spent most of the time playing nanny to Peter  Capaldi's doctor while he made insulting comments about her appearance. Bill was a good start in breaking the cycle of romance, but there was an unhealthy and teacher-student vibe that didn't sit right with me. Which actually brings me to my next point.

2. Empower the Companions

OK, so technically Chris Chibnall is calling them "friends" now, not companions. I wonder how well that's gonna stick given how firmly entrenched the term "companion" is in the recent lore. But as I've been rewatching Doctor Who, the moments I am enjoying most are when the companions are standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the Doctor. When they help find solutions, when their thoughts and ideas are treated as valid and not 10 steps behind the Doctor.

As much as I love to see that the Doctor isn't perfect and can have flaws and moments of darkness, petulance, despair, and even childishness, I feel like 11 and 12 in particular were super prone to this sort of behavior. Clara, as a companion, was saddled with handling the worst of it. Even with Bill, Peter Capaldi's Doctor was difficult. He'd flip the dynamic entirely around and tell Bill to decide what happens, because for some reason he doesn't have that right or responsibility -- even when Bill has barely any understanding of what's going on or what's at stake. The Doctor's companions-slash-friends need to be more than just the people who tell the Doctor to quit whining/get it together/don't do this thing.

The Doctor's companions always shine brightest when they refuse to just sit back and wait for the Doctor to save the day. The moments that resonate with me are inevitably when they're leading and inspiring others; when they're doing their part to solve the mystery of what's going on. Rose had some great moments like this, especially in "Tooth and Claw." Martha in "Smith and Jones," Donna in "The Sontaran Strategem/The Poison Sky" and "The Doctor's Daughter." Amy in "The Beast Below."

Those are the companions I want to see.

So it's time put an end to the "know-it-all Doctor and bewildered companion" dynamic as well as the "Doctor is a child and his companions need to tell him to be a decent person" tropes.

The good news is it sounds like, from the trailer, that this is the kind of vibe we're going to get.

3. More Depth in Women Characters

Before I start here, I want to start by saying that I really liked Karen Gillan and Jenna Louise Coleman in the roles of Amy and Clara. The actresses are fantastic, and there were plenty of moments where I liked the characters themselves. But Moffat's tenure of Doctor Who didn't do great at giving the companions a lot of depth. If I'm honest, this is kind of a big problem in any sort of male-dominated media. Even the ones with "strong" women characters, what we get are women are who are one dimensional. They are defined by their toughness (their "I don't need no man" attitude) or maybe some sort of tragic backstory.

Amy Pond was your almost stereotypical fiesty redhead and sex object, especially in season 5. They played this up a lot in that "is she going to choose the doctor or Rory" storyline. And even in season 6 they still played on this. I mean you could probably argue they tried to be creative by giving her Rory as a fiance rather than a stereotypically sexy stud, but honestly, the hot girl falling for the nerdy, kind of awkward guy? Not that original.

And then there's Clara. And Clara had so much potential to be an interesting character. A woman who kept recurring throughout different points of time, meeting the Doctor in different forms at different points in time. Instead, we got a woman who existed solely to care for everyone else. As a nanny, as a teacher, as a companion. Even her death (spoiler alert) was because she put others' needs ahead of her own.

All of that sounds tragic and noble.... except that women are asked every day, often (and usually unfairly), to put others' needs ahead of their own. Women who don't get branded as selfish. And when the show writers opted to revamp Clara when the Doctor regenerated, they made her sassier, but it led to this weird almost-parental relationship with Peter Capaldi's Doctor, where he regularly made unkind remarks about her and she straight up slapped him when he got out of line.

River Song, when she first appeared, was an absolutely phenomenal character. She continued to be interesting the first few times she appeared after that -- even if she lost a little bit of her complexity. She became larger than life, a total badass -- whose defining characteristic was her badassery (she could make even a Dalek beg for mercy).

And then came the big reveal -- that she was Amy and Rory's daughter, and that she was a pawn (used by the Silence) destined to kill the Doctor. And that's about where River Song stopped being interesting, because she was shoehorned into this overly-complicated storyline and a destined romance that was really poorly written and awkwardly acted.

Oops -- I am ranting again. But I've hope I've made my point about the women lacking depth.

As much as I love the idea that the Doctor transcends gender and so who they are isn't dictated by whether they're in the body of a man or woman, I also want to see what happens when the Doctor tries to navigate the world as a woman. I want to see the Doctor flashing the psychic paper and some asshat still questioning it because they can't believe a woman would be the expert. Show us the companions trying to fit the Doctor into "standard" gender roles and her breaking that down.

Likewise with Jodie, I want to see some depth and complexity. I don't want a single characteristic to define her. But I'd like to see how she and the Doctor navigate their friendship, and how they deal with interacting with men -- both the other companions and an assorted cast of characters. Let's see how they handle being expected to do the things that women are often tasked with -- things that more oblivious men probably don't even notice.

That's not to say I want this entire season arc to be about the Doctor suddenly being a woman and gender politics. But it would be a nice change to see some of these issues addressed -- especially because it makes sense to do so. To ignore these issues associated with gender would be, to some extent, pretending they don't exist. Sure, in a truly progressive, advanced society they wouldn't. But they do, because we as humans aren't there yet. So let's talk about them a little. Let's see stories where the Doctor overcomes those barriers and use them to show that women are just as complicated as men -- and that our stories are just as interesting. Let's see women in all their complexity, not just the single embodiment of a typical feminine trait.

4. Better Writing (and a Better Season Arc)

Word on the street is that we won't see any two-part episodes in season 11. I'm a little bit sad about this because there are some FANTASTIC two-part episodes in NuWho canon (Human Nature/Family of Blood, for example). But on the other hand, we've only got a 10-episode season, so they may not want to invest in the fluff and filler that comes with a two-parter.

But either way, I just want to see better writing. Please.

Moffat can write great two-parters and one offs, but he's not so great at playing the long game. The entirety of seasons 5-7 got a bit convoluted with the River Song plot (plots?) combined with the Silence and Madame Kovarian and everything else. The worst part was the resolutions to some of these stories. They felt like a cheat:"The doctor is doomed to die at Lake Silencio and River Song is the one to kill him" but oh wait, it's just a robot and River Song is doing it against her will because she's already fallen in love with the Doctor!

(Pro tip: If your solution to all the plot-related complications of a character having a baby is to magically age that baby, you probably have no business writing that story. Yes, I'm looking at you, Stephenie Meyer.)

My issue with these stories (and I'll elaborate on this in a bit) is that they weren't really emotionally satisfying arcs. There weren't a lot of clues as to the resolution. Nothing was sacrificed or lost. There was no compromise of conscience or moral quandaries that made you question the Doctor. Emotionally there wasn't a lot of impact (except for "The Angels Take Manhattan").  And all of that is a let-down. Sure, it's always fun to round up the whole gang and storm the castle, but it's not much of a story to tell. With Doctor Who, I WANT to get my heart broken. I want to feel the pain of terrible things happening and not always being able to avoid them. Because those moments are what make the good moments even better.

Remember this? Think of how uplifting this moment was -- and that was because of all the heartbreak we'd experienced up to this point. Not just in this episode, but in every episode leading up to it. So many people died, on and off screen, in The Unquiet Dead, Aliens of London, Dalek, even Father's Day.

This is what emotional impact looks like.

Break my heart into a thousand little pieces; just do it well, please!

5. Focus on the Little Things

Season finales are supposed to be big and emotionally satisfying -- they're the culmination of the entire season, every story arc coming together. But there's absolutely such a thing as "too big." When you're constantly trying to figure out how to make your season openings and endings more "epic" you run into Supernatural-type problems: What do you do when you've defeated the Devil himself (several times)? Well, you take on God's sister that no one knew about. And once you've defeated literal-freaking-deities, what else is out there? What monsters could possibly be scary or more dangerous when you've essentially maxed out your leveling stats?

And that, to me, was the worst problem with Moffat's tenure on Doctor Who. Which is a goddamn pity, because the best episodes of the new Doctor Who series have always been the small ones. "Vincent and the Doctor" still makes me bawl like a baby; same with "The Girl Who Waited" and "The Doctor's Wife." From the RTD era, "Father's Day" will send be into a crying fit pretty quick. The stakes in these episodes weren't high. There was no big bad to defeat (except for House in "The Doctor's Wife"). Instead, each of these episodes is incredibly character driven. It's the interactions between each of the players that makes them fascinating.

(You wanted a reason to cry, didn't you? Right?) 

I don't think most fans need totally epic tales of good and bad with high stakes to feel happy and satisfied with a piece of media. What I want, and what I think a lot of others want, is a well-told story with compelling characters. It can be happy, it can be sad, it can be bittersweet. But it has to be well done. So I really hope that before the writers go biting off more than they can chew, they work on getting the storytelling and the characters and the little moments right.

So that's my list. It's a big, abstract list, to be sure. But that's because I'm not wedded to the idea of seeing particular villains or characters recurring. I just want a well-done show, and this is what I think it'll take to deliver.

Oh, and if you're curious? Here's a running list of everything we know about Doctor Who's new season. Which is a good amount of general information... except, of course, a release date!

What are you hoping to see (or not see) in the new series of Doctor Who?

Weaponized Music

The other day Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now by Starship came on the radio and it got me thinking about the associations we form with certain songs. In this particular case, it made me realize that ever since seeing The Skeleton Twins, whenever I hear it now all I can see is Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig dancing on living room furniture. Associations are powerful. Even if we already have a personal history with a song, a television show or a movie can utilize it in such a way that it wipes out all previous associations. Here are 5 examples of television scenes that took songs I already knew and completely re-wrote what my brain feels when I hear them. I’m sure you all have plenty of these so feel free to share them in the comments!

 

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Goodbye to You (Tabula Rasa)

Michelle Branch was big in the early 2000’s. I wasn’t particularly a huge fan but Goodbye to You was catchy. It didn’t evoke any emotion in me but I thought it was a cute pop song. Then someone who worked on Buffy the Vampire Slayer said to themselves (I’m assuming), “How I can make it so that any time a Buffy fan hears this song it feels like their heart is being pulled out of their chest?? ...wait, I KNOW!” The result was this scene. Never have I ever been able to hear this song in the 17 (17?? JESUS.) years since without thinking of Giles abandoning his surrogate daughter to return to England, Willow and Tara’s heart-shredding breakup scene, and Buffy’s profound loneliness leading her to make a truly self-destructive choice. Thanks, Tabula Rasa.

 

Supernatural: Do You Love Me (The End)

I know, I know. Carry On My Wayward Son. Eye of the Tiger. Heat of the Moment. The Holy Trinity of songs that Supernatural has co-opted and now might as well own. But everyone knows those! Those are too easy. So I thought about another really great one that hasn’t been talked about as much. The only music my mom and I could agree on while I was growing up was oldies, so I heard this song A LOT. But SPN used it in such an awesome and unexpected way (in one of its best episodes of all time) that now this is what the song is to me. Running from Croatoans (SPN’s version of zombies) and getting rescued by a bunch of post-apocalyptic soldiers. Who knew this song could be so fucking badass?? Well Ben Edlund, I guess.

 

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Just a Friend (Dennis and Dee go on Welfare)

Oh boy is this show a multiple offender for song associations, usually hilarious and sometimes awful. There were so many to choose from. Motownphilly, Vacation, Jessie's Girl (OH MY GOD THIS ONE), I Can’t Wait, Hollaback Girl, Take My Breath Away, Pretty Woman, Runaway Train... the list goes on and on. In the end I went with this one because it was the first of the many songs the show would use to create ridiculous new associations in my head. Dennis and Dee’s failed attempt to go on welfare and their subsequent crack addiction was one of the funniest things the show has done and now, goddamn it, a song I have always loved makes me think of these two assholes getting day-drunk and thinking they could play the system so that they never had to work again. The end when they turn the song up while Mac yells at them cracks me up every time. These goddamn assholes.

 

Black Mirror’s San Junipero: Heaven is a Place on Earth

I almost want to tell you not to watch this video if you have not seen the episode because this scene is so moving and profound if you have, but if you haven’t then it’s just sort of cute. The first time I watched San Junipero this scene made me weep. And a previously boppy, fun 80’s song now makes me tear-up thinking about a love story between two women that a television show developed beautifully, and that WAS ACTUALLY ALLOWED TO END HAPPILY. It was a bittersweet story overall but the ending was uplifting and glorious. And the choice of this song was perfection. If you have not seen it, please head over to Netflix and fix that.

 

Sense8: What’s Up (What's Going On?)

This 4Non-Blondes song now forever belongs to this show in my mind, and after Linda Perry showed up to the premiere of the series finale at the ArcLight theater in Hollywood and let the audience join her onstage to sing along with it, it belongs to the fans as well. I’ve mentioned previously that whenever all of the Sense8s appear in the same scene it is the best thing 100% of the time, and this is no exception. These pockets of joy in the show were always so well-placed and carried the audience through the tougher times. I used to like What’s Up because it reminded me of the 90’s, now I love it because it brings me actual joy remembering this scene (P.S. Kala and Wolfgang forever).

So, what song associations have been created, altered, or ruined for you by television??

To The Girl Wearing a Crop Top With Stretch Marks: THANK YOU

I am ugly. I am horrid. I am terrible. My reflection says to me.

If I thought I was insecure, I promise you it got way worse after I had a C-section.

Granted, a lot of it was probably the postpartum depression encouraging me to hate myself, but I looked at my large scar, the tiger stripes that now went across my body, and I cried.

I mourned for all the things I wanted to wear, all the ways I wanted people to look at me.

I am ugly. I am horrid. I am terrible my reflection says to me.

I live in an area where there is no spring, just a long, horrible winter, and an even longer, hotter summer. So my envy of girls in short shorts and tank tops goes way beyond fashion, I just wish My body was beautiful enough for me to not have to cover every inch of it all summer.

Enter, the woman, we'll call her Fran*

I never met Fran before. We were all strangers at this college graduation barbeque but all bonded instantly over our love of all things geeky. In between the Star Wars arguments and Deadpool one-liners, I found myself staring in awe of Fran quite a bit.

She was beautiful and tall. She had that glowing brown skin that was all one smooth color. Her afro bounced as she laughed when someone complimented her top. It was a burgundy crop top that said "Thick Thighs. Thin Patience." She looked so amazing in her shorts and crop top that I started to think "I wish I didn't have stretch marks on my belly so I could wear that."

Hold up, Quinzel, she has stretch marks.

I was so caught up in the comparison game, of replaying the record known as Quinzel's Low Self Esteem, that I didn't even notice that Fran was someone just like me.

And I didn't think she was ugly

I didn't think she was horrid

And I certainly didn't think she was terrible

Fran was kind, funny, and beautiful, stretch marks and all.

So what the hell was wrong with me? Why was I so judgemental with myself and so quick to see the beauty in someone else?

So this is my love letter to Fran, who made me wake up and say Fuck It, I am not ugly, I am not horrid, I am not terrible.

And I am buying that fucking crop top and rocking it.

*I made this name up, I'm not even sure I know anyone irl named Fran

Geeky Girl’s Guide to WakandaCon: Did Someone Say GAMES????

Ahh, here we are talking about gaming again. I swear, WakandaCon is right up my alley.

And if you are going to WakandaCon tomorrow, you better bring your snacks and energy drinks, cause you about to game ALL WEEKEND!!

That's right, WakandaCon is hosting a gaming tournament all weekend. The WakandaCon site says:

We're excited to partner with I Play Games! to bring head-to-head video gaming to Wakandacon! I Play Games! was founded in 2009 by experienced video game promoter and tournament organizer Kevin Fair. Playing video games at home with friends and family was a favorite hobby for Kevin, and so bringing the joy of video game entertainment to greater video game community was a natural fit.

WHO'S GOING TO THIS??? And if you're not, pretend you're going for a second. Comment below and tell me your console and what game YOU think you can kick my ass in, if we were in this tournament together 🙂

 

Geeky Girl’s Guide to WakandaCon: The Shuri Project

I don't care what you think. Shuri IS an official Disney princess. And after Tiana, she is now my favorite Disney Princess.

(For those of you who don't get the connection: Disney owns Marvel >>Black Panther is a Marvel Film>> which is owned by Disney>>Shuri is a princess>> And therefore, she's a Disney princess. Square up).

Black Panther not only put a female character who was smart, funny, and royal, she was also a Pretty Big Deal Kinda Scientist. Homegirl was creating technology that we could only dream of. The best part? She did it all without playing up the whole "nerd girl" stereotype.

Little girls all over the globe watched Shuri in awe and wanted to be just like her. Some probably even abandoned their Barbie Jeeps and Townhouses for lab coats and beakers. While at times I forget that Shuri is a fictional character, that didn't lessen the impact that she has made on millions of women and girls everywhere.

WakandaCon has a panel for just that. The Shuri Project by Henry Williams Love foundation is a summer program for girls who want to be just like Shuri. It's six weeks long for ages 8 to 12. In this mentoring program, they teach tech skills while also giving the girls a big self-esteem boost.

They gonna do a live demo of a website they've built. These babies are our future. You gotta support them.

I actually can't wait to hear more about The Shuri Project and how their website demo goes. What do you think of Princess Shuri and the impact she has on young girls today? Leave me a comment and tell me what you think!

Geeky Girl’s Guide to WakandaCon: Games as Social Justice

I don't think I ever stopped hearing the barrage of comments "oh, do you play games? aren't you a little too old for that? isn't that a waste of time" blah blah blah

Normal people have a lot of opinions, hahaha.

Not that I ever paused my game long enough to take them seriously. But of course, when that damn swatting incident happened, gamers everywhere got a bad rap. But as all Geeky Girls know, gaming can be used for good.

WakandaCon is having a panel called Games as Social Justice. This panel will take place Friday, August 3rd at 6 pm. Hosted by Kenyatta Forbes, this panel will prove that gamers are more than how we are depicted in the media. The panel description is as follows:

This panel brings together experts in the social justice and gaming to discuss the impact gaming has on raising awareness, changing behavior, or other inequalities. How might gaming be a tool for social, political, and cultural change? Join the conversation with these panelists as they share their work and take questions from the audience.

My prediction is that they will discuss different kinds of gaming that can work as social justice tools. Maybe streaming on Twitch will work better with PC gamers and a different outlet would work for tabletop gamers. If you're headed to this panel, comment and tell us what you think. And if you're not, comment anyway, I'd love to hear your thoughts on how social justice and gaming can work together as one.

Geeky Girl’s Guide to WakandaCon: Queerkanda Celebrates Black LGBT Community

I look straight on the outside, but my true sexuality can be described as "IDK????" and you know what? That's perfectly fine with me.

Because of this, I understand the importance of queer spaces not just in general, but even more so in the Black community. There's something so refreshing to be around folks who understand your struggles, your life experiences, and who are open and accepting of your sexual identity.

That's why I really commend WakandaCon for having the panel Queerkanda. Hosted by Eris Eady, the panel is described as, "A conversation about the impact of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression on blackness both stateside and abroad." This panel is going to have a huge impact on those attending. Not only through showing them support, but giving them the tools to make the LGBTQIA+ community even stronger.

 

I am so excited to see what discussions will take place at this panel. What would YOU want to talk about at this panel? Leave us a comment below and it may be a great conversation starter!

Geeky Girl’s Guide to WakandaCon: Do Your Own Stunts

See, I tend to do all of my own stunts, just usually by accident. Tripping, usually over just air, I end up in a contorted position. Upon survival, I jump up, bend my knees, hands in the air and shout "Superstar!"

While I am not formally trained in stunts, I am a lifetime member of The Clumsy and Unfortunate.

Thanks to this panel at WakandaCon, I don't have to be.

It's right around the corner though! Friday, August 3rd through Sunday, August 5th, WakandaCon will take place at the Hilton Downtown in Chicago, IL. And if Wakanda can't be real, this is the next best thing.

Another panel I need to talk to you about is the Jabari Stunt Workshop with Mark Willis. Willis was in Black Panther as a Jabari Warrior and he is M'Baku level fine, uh I mean, performed a lot of the stunts in the film. He's now taking the stunts and fight choreography used in Black Panther and teaching it to y'all, so we can all be bad-asses together!

Black Panther BTS photos CR: Courtesy of Winston Duke

This panel is happening this Friday, August 3rd at 5 pm. So if you're going to WakandaCon, comment here and tell everyone if you're going to this panel.

Geeky Girls Guide to WakandaCon: T’Challa vs. Killmonger Panel

Wakanda is just around the corner guys! If you are in the Chicago area, WakandaCon is taking place Friday, August 3rd through Sunday, August 5th. The convention is taking place at the Hilton Downtown hotel.

One of the panels that you definitely need to attend if you (like me) have been discussing the differences between T'Challa and Killmonger since February is T'Challa Vs. Killmonger: Exploring the Differences between the Diaspora and the African-American Experience.

This panel is hosted by Carla M. Kupe-Arion, Esq and takes place Saturday at 11:00 am. Below is the panel description:

"The dynamics between T'Challa and Killmonger depicted in Black Panther brought to the forefront a phenomenon that usually occurs in private circles or sometimes in academia: Oppression Olympics between African-born or Africans and American-born or "rooted" Black people. The differences in reactions to the movie have reignited a discussion this panel seeks to have.

Exploring the impact of the two different histories and systems that have and are still impacting all Black people will be the panel's starting point in order to highlight differences but also focus on the similarities between narratives and what we can do as we create new ones, a new history."

So who out there is going to WakandaCon? Do you plan on going to this panel? What kinds of question do you have for Carla? Let me know in the comments section below.

 

A New Addition to the Team

Hey there!

My name is Melissa; I'm super excited to join the Geeky Girl's Guide to Life. I hope to be bringing you all kinds of cool news about all sorts of nerdy things. Movies, television, board games, books -- just like the rest of you there's a long list of the things I love. And yeah, I could list them off. But you've got a limited attention span and a simple list of all the things I love isn't going to be all that interesting, because we hardly know each other.

So instead, I'd like to tell you a story. And it starts with a confession:

I wasn't always what you'd consider geeky.

These days, my geekiness and I are... well, we're in a good place. A happy, committed relationship, you might even say. But we've been on and off in the past. It's taken me a while to get comfortable in my own skin, and there were a few moments where I almost abandoned the geek life for the mundane.

Why would I ever do such a thing?

Well, to put it simply: Life sucks sometimes. But those experiences -- those periods of 'normality' did teach me something important. And that's why I'm here, and why I'm donating my time to writing about geeky things. And that's why I hope you'll stick around. Continue reading

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