Fantastic Spoilers and Here to Find Them

Fantastic Spoilers and Here to Find Them

Be warned there be spoilers ahead.

It's officially been a week or so since JK Rowling's "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" appeared in movie theaters, which I'm designating now as the ok to finally talk about my spoiler filled thoughts for it. As a quick warning I am going to talk about nothing but spoilers and this is your chance to leave for anyone else who hasn't seen it. I will insert this cute little picture of a Harry Potter cat as a buffer so you don't accidentally see anything while you exit out, before I start talking.

General Thoughts

It's no secret that I absolutely loved it, and I mean the signs were all there, it was in the world of Harry Potter, the screenplay was written by J.K. Rowling herself (which by the way of course I've already read the one you can purchase), and it was just perfect. There wasn't a point during the film where I didn't have a huge smile on face, my cheeks actually hurt a bit from smiling while watching it. However, I'm not going to lie when I say that I was super nervous beforehand about how it was going to be, like I may have accidentally whisper yelled at my grandma to "shhhhh" once the film started and she was still talking.

Character's wise I thought everyone did great, Eddie Redmayne as Newt kind of reminded me a bit of Matt Smith as the 11th Doctor from "Doctor Who", mannerisms wise but I was ok with that since they're both great characters. Jacob was great as the first major muggle/no-maj character in the series. Tina and Queenie were great and now I just wanna know more about them like what houses were they in, in Illvermorny, what was it like there? With Credence...I just feel like his life could've been a little better if he didn't have that really bad haircut.

By the way, Johnny Depp was in this. Yay? Although that does explain why everything was so final once people started complaining about him being in the films as a possibility but it then became actual, and that's because he's actually in the film. When you first see him it's just the back of his head and the back of his head does a great job of looking very menacing. Then you learn though that Colin Farrell as Graves was Grindelwald with some transfiguration's done to his face. Once you finally see Johnny Depp as Grindelwald it makes you realize that, Dumbledore was probably way out of his league looks wise. However,I don't know how to feel about it, I know I'll probably have to wait and see what he's like in the other films but I'm just worried he's just going to make this a copy of his other character's and that's not what I want. Don't make Grindelwald act all Tim Burtony weird. Personally I would've been ok if they just kept Colin Farrell as if he was Grindlewald the whole time because he did great as the suspected bad guy throughout the film or brought back Jamie Campbell Bower (Grindlewald from Harry Potter and Deathly Hallows part 1).

Creature's wise they all looked magical, my favorite scenes were the one's that took place in the world of Newt's suitcase. It was all so pretty and well done and I would totally spend an afternoon in there. Out of all the creatures I liked, I'm going to go the cliche route and say my favorite was Niffler because it was just so gosh darn cute, and think of all the expensive stuff it could steal for you!

However, there is one problem I had with the film though and that is at the end of it. Jacob totally didn't have to get obliviated at the end. I mean it's like did Newt forget he has a whole carry around world in his suitcase? Sure the president said there were no exceptions but she had left after she had said that! Newt could've just been like "ok we'll just lie about this and say you lost your memory Jacob, into the case you go" right afterwards instead of going through with it. Since when in the Harry Potter world has anyone followed rules, I mean come on guys. Granted I'm not upset with it and it still made for a really cute ending with him and Queenie but I mean, it was right there, he had the case in his hands!

Crazy Theories Time

All throughout the film I kept making connections to how everything we've seen in here works with everything we already know from Harry Potter and how things will play out in the future films of this franchise and here's what I've come up with. Hang on let me put on the Potter version of a crazy tin foil hat and throw on my Spectrespecs.

*"Will we die a little?": Once I saw that, that is actually what Grindlewald said to Newt the first thing I thought of was Horcruxes. If you remember when Harry killed off Voldemort's Horcruxes they described it a little as Voldemort dying piece by piece. Now the question is what would've been Grindlewalds Horcrux...oh my god breakthrough, I just realized it could've been the necklace of the Deathly Hollow's that he gave Credence. However, he said "we" does that mean him and Newt might have one together?

*Leta Lestrange: She pops up quite a few times in the film but what's her story? We all know that the Lestranges are not the nicest of families so how did the sweet Newt Scamander end up possibly having a relationship with her? My guess is that maybe the Scamander's are a family like the Lestrange's and Newt and Leta were both the black sheep of the family who ended up in Hufflepuff. Which could be possible, if you look at Tonk's mother Andromeda Lestrange who is the exact opposite of her sister's. However, Leta probably finally switched over to her family's ways after Newt was expelled.

*Obscurus: These were introduced into the world of Harry Potter for the first time in this film. An Obscurus is basically all the built up magic lashing out in a child who is being pushed down for who they truly are. If we look back to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallow's, we learn about the past of Albus Dumbledore and his little sister Ariana, a girl who was constantly locked away and pushed down for possibly being a squib. When she died nobody really knew how but my guess is, that Ariana was an Obscurus herself. Now does Newt have any involvement with it, probably not but I feel like this information could become more important in the future.

More to come

I am super excited for more of these films in the future. There's news though, hopefully rumors, coming around that Mr. Scamander won't be the main character in some of the future films. I'm keeping my finger's crossed though that, that just means the new four character's we all came to know and love will become the main character's themselves so there is no definite one main character, or that they will possibly shoot the film like a long Game of Throne's episode by bouncing between point of view. What I'm mainly trying to say is keep Newt, Tina, Queenie, and Jacob in the story please they were great character's and don't get them pushed to the back.

Well that is all for now folks, there is nothing more that I can say other than that I absolutely loved this film and would love to see it again in theaters to enjoy it some more, then probably buy it on blue ray when it comes out. Hopefully you enjoyed this spoiler filled talk I had with you and if you agree/ disagree with what I said just leave a comment!

Cover Image Credit: Movie Posters USA

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Dear Shondaland, You Made A Mistake Because April Kepner Deserves Better

"April Kepner... you're not average"

I'll admit from the first time we were introduced to April in Season 6, I didn't like her so much. I mean we hated the "Mercy Westers" in the first place, so how could we see the potential in the annoying, know-it-all resident that was trying to compete with our beloved Lexie Grey.

But then, we saw her come face-to-face with a killer and thought maybe she had potential.

We then saw her surprise everyone when she proved to be the next trauma surgeon in the making and we were intrigued.

Notice how none of these stories had anything to do with Jackson Avery. Not that we didn't love her with Jackson, but for whatever reason you've chosen to end their very popular relationship. Suddenly, you think that April is not worth further exploration but you've forgotten one simple thing. We fell in love with her before "Japril" was ever in the picture.

We love her because her story was unlike the others and she had one of the best character developments on the show. She wasn't damaged like Meredith Grey or Alex Karev who have been on their journey to become all whole and healed, but she still had to fight hard to be taken seriously. Her story has so much potential for future development, but you've decided to throw it all away for "creative reasons."

I'm sorry, but there's nothing creative about doing the exact same thing you've done to all the other characters who have left the show. We've endured the loss of many beloved characters when you chose to write off George, Henry, Mark, and Lexie. We even took it when you did the unthinkable and wrote McDreamy out of the show - killing off one half of the leading couple. (WHO DOES THAT???)

But April Kepner? Are you kidding me?

She may no longer be with Jackson, but she was so much more than half of Japril. While most of us hate that Jackson and April are over, we probably could have dealt with it if April was still on the show. Now they're done and you think there aren't any more stories to tell about her character. Why? Because she'll just get in the way of Jackson and Maggie?

How could you not see that she was way more than Jackson's love interest?

She's so much more than you imagined her to be. April is the headstrong, talented trauma surgeon no one saw coming. The farmer's daughter started off an ugly duckling who became a soldier because she needed to be one and turned into one big beautiful swan who constantly has to fight for her coworkers and family to see her as such.

She's proven to be a soldier and swan on many occasions. Just take giving birth to her daughter in a storm on a kitchen table during an emergency c-section without any numbing or pain medication as an example. If she wasn't a soldier or a swan before, how could she not be after that?

Yet, you - the ones who created her - still see her as the ugly duckling of a character because she always had to take the backseat to everyone else's story and was never allowed to really be seen.

But we see her.

She's the youngest of her sisters who still think of her as the embarrassing little Ducky no matter how much she's grown.

This swan of a resident got fired for one mistake but came back fighting to prove she belongs. Not only did April Kepner belong there, but it was her talent, her kindness, her strength that made her Chief Resident. This simply wasn't enough for Dr. Bailey or her other residents so she fought harder.

She endured the pressure but always ended up being a joke to the others. When she was fired yet again, your girl came back a little shaken. She doubted herself, but how could she not when everyone was against her.

Despite everyone telling her she couldn't, she did rise and no one saw her coming because she remained in the background. She went off to Jordan broken and came back a pretty risky trauma surgeon.

We've watched for years as she was handed promising stories that we never got to see fully develop because she was in the background. We never got to see her rise. We get the beginning and the end, but hardly ever the middle.

I thought we were finally going to have an amazing story arc in season 11 when she loses Samuel, but what did we really get? Two or three episodes of her coming to terms with the loss of her baby and then April's disappearance from the show while she's grieving off screen so that Dr. Amelia Shepherd can shine her first season on the show. Where is April's life-changing surgeries? What does April get? She's background music.

Now what?

It's season 14 and we finally get the story we've been waiting 9 years for! We get Dark April and her crisis of faith. A story arc all Christians can appreciate. Here's the chance for real character development in the foreground, but wait...

Before her story is even wrapped up, you announce that this season will be her last. So we're forced to realize that the only reason we're getting this story now is that you're writing her off.

No matter how you end it, it's not going to do her story justice. If you kill her off to end her crisis of faith story, you're not reaching the many Christians who watch the show. If you have her leaving Seattle and taking Harriet with her, you didn't know April. If you have her leaving Seattle and abandoning Harriet, you really didn't know April. So anyway you choose to end her story, you lost out on one great character.

You messed up.

Both April Kepner and Sarah Drew deserved better.

Cover Image Credit: YouTube

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Shows Shouldn't Have To Rely On Sexist Or Racist Jokes To Be 'Funny'

Punchlines that come at the expense of female, plus-sized, LGBTQ, or other marginalized characters are too common

Recently I’ve been trying to be a more conscious consumer. I bring old plastic bags with me to dining halls, religiously carry a reusable water bottle, avoid online shopping whenever possible, and buy clothing second hand. But while I try to have my environmental bases covered, I often forget to cover my moral bases.

After reading a New Yorker article by Molly Ringwald, I started to think about my role as a consumer of art and pop culture. Molly Ringwald, an actress known for her roles in John Hughes movies such as “The Breakfast Club,” “Pretty in Pink,” and “Sixteen Candles,” examines in her article the problematic aspects of the movies she starred in and whether those iconic films are or should still be relevant today.

While the #metoo movement has already brought some of these issues to the public eye, there is still much more to unpack. As allegations rolled out against men in Hollywood for their actions, the already present calls to boycott the films and projects of perpetrators such as Woody Allen or Kevin Spacey, have grown stronger. While many have their own opinions on whether this type of action is necessary or effective, I certainly see the merit in not contributing further to the fame and wealth of the people who committed these ugly acts.

However, the line gets fuzzier when the films, series, books, etc. are not produced by people who have done something explicitly wrong, but still perpetuate that same culture of misogyny and sexual exploitation. Prompted in part by the article, I thought back on some of the pop culture I personally have grown up on, and was disappointed, though not surprised, to realize how wrong some of the movies and shows I loved are.

A classic example is “How I Met Your Mother,” a T.V. show I have seen at least twice through (with that being a conservative estimate). And while I obviously never approved of the sexist and even openly rape-y character of Barney, a serial womanizer, it didn’t really occur to me to turn off the show and choose something else. Those same problematic punchlines that come at the expense of female, plus-sized, LGBTQ, or other marginalized characters are repeated over and over in almost any sitcom I’ve ever seen, from “Friends” to “That '70s Show.” The trend isn’t just T.V. shows either, but some of my personal favorite comedies and rom-coms. I try not to think too hard about how transphobic the whole concept behind “She’s The Man” is, for example.

Acknowledging that the movies and shows I love are sexist is bad enough, but a voice inside me resists condemning them totally. That voice whispers to me that comedy is supposed to be offensive, and it’s all just joking. But that voice is absolutely wrong. I may have to remind myself that occasionally, but funny doesn’t have to be racist, sexist, homophobic, or transphobic. Proving that are Trevor Noah, Sasheer Zamata, Kate McKinnon, and all the other talented comedians that can be genuinely funny without taking cheap shots at marginalized groups.

In her article, Molly Ringwald argues that despite their “blind spots” as she calls them, the movies she starred in are still valuable in the message of empowerment they gave to teenagers. But is the same true of sitcoms and shows with less artistic value? I don’t really know, but I think denouncing them totally probably won’t help. They are pop culture milestones that whether we agree with them or not, will remain relevant, at least for the foreseeable future.

While that may be true for older, already successful shows and movies for those still on the air or coming out now, we can make a choice. We can be conscious consumers and make a point that we demand jokes that don’t degrade others — comedy and art of a higher order. Because more and more, we see that it’s not just possible, but even funnier and more relatable.

Cover Image Credit: 20th Century Fox Television

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