Eternals: Marvel’s Impersonal Metamyth

Eternals is a movie that purports to be about human exceptionalism, but doesn’t give us anything exceptional about humans to cheer for.

“Paul Atreides Must Die”: Dune as Bildungsroman

Immaturity and innocence must die, Dune says, for children to become adults.

Nate the Not-So-Great: Character Development and Disappointing Viewer Expectations in Ted Lasso Season 2

Nate’s finally getting a taste of what it feels like to be on top, and he likes it. 

LuLaRich and the Alluring Fantasy of MLMs

With an MLM, you give yourself over; you sell yourself to the business because you are the product. They make money off you and if you make any money, it’s off your downline.

Look to the Survivors: 9/11: One Day in America

Certainly grief fatigue is real and present with so many of us right now, but even in the midst of ongoing, present tragedy, we must pause when we can to remember why life is sacred at all.

Shang-Chi and the Mythopoeic East Asian Superhero Story

Shang-Chi’s actualization into an MCU superhero gives us a hero who comes from a culture that is more we-focused than me-focused, and I see that as a good thing.

The Suicide Squad: Dehumanizing the Superhero Story

The Suicide Squad is a genuinely bad movie because it plays on war and death for laughs in irreverent, dehumanizing ways.

My Last Name, Timeless Rhythms, and the Grace of Memory

What I discovered in My Last Name is a story that has continued to help me process not just the grief and disillusionment of these last several months, but diagnose some of our current cultural ills, as well. 

How Black Widow Tells a Better Hero Story

In her stand-alone film, Black Widow steps out of the shadows of an overly sexified characterization and becomes elevated.

How Bridgerton Turned Steamy Regency into a Story of Female Agency

With Bridgerton, viewers show up for an uncharacteristically steamy Regency romance that delivers on the tropes but also delivers a thoughtful exploration of female agency in male-dominated Regency England.

“When Your Friends Are Your Family”: The One Where They Get Back Together

But the idea that people go through a stage of “friends as family” and then graduate into “real” family is one I find to be a less-good story.

Cinderella, Strong Women, and the Courage to Be Kind

As the months of the pandemic translated into far more hours spent inside and online than outside and in person, I have seen more ugliness—more meanness—in this world than ever before.

Blood on the Shield: The Importance of Acknowledging the Complicated Narratives of American Heroism

We don’t do “once upon a time,” and we don’t get to ask for a fairy godmother to save us; in America, we save ourselves. 

Zack Snyder’s Justice League, the Ship of Theseus, and Creative Vision

If a character or a story is the Ship of Theseus, how much needs to be reshot, re-edited, cut, arranged, and composed before the original story no longer exists? 

Thinking Christianly about Telling Stories

Stories aren’t “Christian” or “not Christian.” They either tell the truth or they don’t.

WandaVision Recap: Therapist Says What? (Episode 8)

Agatha takes Wanda to therapy, and the show essentially takes its viewers to therapy, as well.