content by

Natalie Zutter

What Rape Apologists Need to Learn From Jessica Jones

Kilgrave: “We used to do a lot more than just touch hands.”
Jessica: “Yeah. It’s called rape.”
Kilgrave: “What? Which part of staying in five-star hotels, eating at all the best places, doing whatever the hell you wanted, is rape?”
Jessica: “The part where I didn’t want to do any of it! Not only did you physically rape me, but you violated every cell in my body and every thought in my goddamn head.”
Kilgrave: “That is not what I was trying to do.”
Jessica: “It doesn’t matter what you were trying to do. You raped me again and again and again—”
Kilgrave:How am I supposed to know? I never know if someone is doing what they want, or what I tell them to.”
Jessica: “Poor you.”
Kilgrave: “You have no idea, do you? I have to painstakingly choose every word I say. I once told a man to go screw himself—can you even imagine.”

—Jessica Jones 1×08 “AKA WWJD?”

Marvel’s Jessica Jones is about rape. There’s no way around it. The comic book series Alias, in depicting the villainous Purple Man and his ability to make you follow his every command, skirts the issue. But the Netflix series tackles the subject matter head-on, using the word “rape” unflinchingly, asserting in nearly every episode what Kilgrave did to Jessica. How could it not? 2015 has been the year of rape in fiction and real life, from watching Columbia University student Emma Sulkowicz carry her mattress around campus to the triumph of Mad Max: Fury Roads Wives using their own chains to escape Immortan Joe—witnessing survivors of repeated sexual assault and slavery take back their control.

But Jessica Jones isn’t just about a survivor getting retribution for her rapist’s crimes; it also presents us with her rapist, over and over, and his belief that he did nothing wrong.

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Did You Catch Stubby the Rocket’s Cameo on The Man in the High Castle?

It’s comforting to know that, in the disturbing alternate reality presented by The Man in the High Castle, one stalwart little rocket is still chugging along! We spotted Stubby sitting alongside other antiques in Robert Childan’s American Artistic Handcrafts store. Childan collects items both authentic and counterfeit, but we know our Stubby is the genuine article.

Peter Jackson Announces He’s Directing an Episode of Doctor Who in the Silliest Way

In 2012, when asked if he would ever direct an episode of Doctor WhoLord of the Rings director Peter Jackson said, “I’m a huge Doctor Who fan… Just name a time and place, and I’ll be there!” Looks like that time and place will become clear very soon, as evidenced by this tongue-in-cheek video Jackson posted to his Facebook page over the weekend.

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Supergirl Battles the Friendzone and Tries to Have It All

“You’ve spent more time in the friendzone than the Phantom Zone.”

I think we’ve found the best line on Supergirl thus far. It’s a gentle burn from Alex to Kara, about how the latter tries so hard to make everyone happy that she’ll let James Olsen talk to her about his gorgeous ex-girlfriend Lucy Lane, instead of presenting herself as a viable romantic option. But here’s the twist—Lucy is intimdated by Supergirl.

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Dragons and Elves Finally Get Their Spot in Cards Against Humanity!

You can always count on Cards Against Humanity to come through during the holidays with some good cheer (or great trolling). But this year, in addition to unveiling special Hanukkah cards (last year it was Kwanzaa), CAH is also bringing real trolls, through its first-ever Fantasy Pack! And because the guys behind CAH don’t do anything half-assed, this year they called in the big guns: a crew of fantasy authors including Patrick Rothfuss, Neil Gaiman, Jacqueline Carey, and more to help write the cards.

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Real or Not Real: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2

Katniss Everdeen is dead. Or rather, Katniss dies at least twice during the course of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2. Held aloft as the Mockingjay, symbol of the Panem rebellion, her image is manipulated by both District 13 and the Capitol for their respective gains.

Mockingjay, Part 1 was about building up the mythology of the Mockingjay, with Katniss’ propo (short for propaganda films) team staging TV spots getting her to rally the troops. But when she’s in the thick of it, getting hit by bullets in the districts and climbing through collapsing buildings in the Capitol, it’s no surprise that both sides would seize on such footage of her in danger: Turning her into a martyr or spinning it as cutting the head off of the rebellion, either way Presidents Coin and Snow have reasons to want the Mockingjay shot out of the sky.

It’s this realization that she’s become nothing but a political pawn that spurs Katniss to regain her agency, by striking out on a suicide mission to kill President Snow.

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Watch Famous Scientists Battle Zombies and Their Scientific Rivals in Super Science Friends!

What happens when you assemble some of the greatest scientific minds of our time, add in a healthy dose of radiation/Chemical X/God knows what, then send them back in time? They become the Super Science Friends! Which is also the name of a wonderfully batty animated series from Brett Jubinville and Tinman Creative Studios. Successfully Kickstarted in 2014, Super Science Friends! has released its first episode for your viewing pleasure! (But be warned: In addition to being “just the right amount of smart, just the right amount of stupid,” as the studio boasts, it’s also a bit NSFW.)

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It’s Huntsmen Versus Evil Sisters in The Huntsman: Winter’s War Trailer

“If it’s a fairy tale you’re looking for, prepare yourselves for so much more,” intones ice queen Freya (Emily Blunt doing her best impersonation of Galadriel), followed by some rumbling EDM in the first trailer for The Huntsman: Winter’s War. What you should prepare yourself for is to root for the fabulous duo of Freya and her resurrected sister Ravenna (Charlize Theron, gamely returning from Snow White and the Huntsman) and not for Freya’s huntsmen-gone-rogue.

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Supergirl Debates Mean Girls and Who “Creates” a Villain

Due to the attacks in Paris, CBS swapped out a Supergirl episode about bombings this week for the Thanksgiving episode, with the former set to air next week. The swap likely won’t affect anything in the show’s narrative, aside from bringing mommy issues and heat-vision-cooked turkey a week early. But more importantly, this week saw Supergirl facing her first villain of her own making and Kara actually (gasp) bonding with her boss, Cat Grant.

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Chris Hemsworth and Charlize Theron Return for the Snow White Sequel The Huntsman: Winter’s War

Considering what a mess Snow White and the Huntsman turned out to be, the sequel is understandably cutting out its confused part-princess/part-Joan of Arc take on Snow and focusing on the more marketable character: Chris Hemsworth’s Huntsman. Surrounded by women, that is—Charlize Theron inexplicably reprising her role as Ravenna, plus Emily Blunt and Jessica Chastain as new characters in the wonderfully-titled The Huntsman: Winter’s War.

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Now You Can Roll a v20 in Virtual Reality Dungeons & Dragons!

With every new development in virtual reality technology, our digital avatars are more and more becoming extensions of ourselves. The company AltspaceVR (with the motto “Be together, in person”) wants to capitalize on this with a notion that, so far, seems to have taken off: VR Dungeons & Dragons. Yep, that means your and your friends’ digital avatars sitting in a virtual room with a virtual D&D board in front of you, embarking on a virtual campaign.

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Can You Survive as a Night Vale Community Radio Intern?

An internship with Night Vale Community Radio is an incredibly rewarding, absolutely unforgettable experience… if you manage not to get killed, that is. The intern death toll has become the stuff of legends and one of the best recurring jokes on Welcome to Night Vale, yet people just keep signing up! And now, here’s your chance.

Game designer, writer, and podcaster Astrid Dalmady has created Investigative Journalism, a Twine game that casts you as a Night Vale intern on a portentous assignment: The News has gone missing, and it’s your job to track it down.

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