Wicked Stepmothers – A Media Myth

step mother.jpgWe live in a time when anybody with the slightest complaint about our society (or life in general) plays the discrimination card.  The fact is there are so many groups claiming they’re oppressed these days that there’s hardly anyone left to do the oppressing.  The problem is, of course, in an ocean of phantom injury, the true tears of injustice frequently go unnoticed.  Which brings us to the one group who have endured and battled prejudice for centuries — stepmothers.

Over the years, the media has portrayed stepmothers as evil, wicked and, at times, even demonic.  Since the days of the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen, stepmothers have been seen as second class citizens.  The struggles they face trying to hold blended families together are demeaned and the emotional price they pay ignored.  No one weeps when Snow White’s stepmother, The Queen, discovers she is no longer “the fairest of them all” — an emotional time for any woman.

And even though our society has made massive strides in tolerance and equality in other areas, the stepmother remains a cruel cliché.  Disney Studios alone makes millions exploiting the stereotype that stepmothers are wicked creatures, capable of anything.  What child doesn’t still cringe at the sight of The Wicked Queen in Snow White?  And Cinderella’s Madame Tremaine remains an icon of evil.  It wasn’t until 1969 that a brave Sherwood Schwartz brought The Brady Bunch to American television.  Finally, a fictional stepmother, Carol Brady, who was not emotionally stilted, steeped in cruelty, hurt and harm!  In fact, the entire program practically dripped with kindness.   Alas, it was not enough.

Since Carol and the rest of the Bradys were cancelled in 1974, the media’s assault on the stepmother has been relentless.  It is a litany of shame: Frieda in Happily N’ever After, Rodmilla de Ghent in Ever After, Clementianna in Mirror Mirror, Queen Narissa in Enchanted, Queen Ravenna in Snow White and the Huntsman and, of course, Evil Queen Regina in Once Upon A Time.   And now that Disney is cranking out live action remakes, there’s no end in sight.

It’s time to end the nightmare.

Harrison Ford, You Ignorant Slut!

Harrison-FordI like Harrison Ford.  He might not be the best actor on the planet but when you’ve been Han Solo, Indiana Jones, Jack Ryan and Rick Deckard, all in one lifetime, do you really need to play Hamlet?  I don’t think so!   The problem is, lately, Harrison Ford has been missing a few rungs on the credibility ladder and he’s about to pull a Peter Pan and freefall into jackass territory.

I was willing to forgive Ford one last hurrah in Indiana Jones VS The Crystal Aliens — or whatever.   Okay, the movie was bad — all the way from Shia LaBeouf to flying CGI monkeys .  There were too many gophers, not enough plot, character or development and, no, you can’t escape nuclear annihilation by hiding in your refrigerator.  But, it was still Indiana Jones, with, I might add, Cate Blanchett as the villain, and OMG that’s Marion Ravenwood!  So, I ate my popcorn and shut my mouth.

Fast forward to George Lucas selling out Star Wars (where have we heard that before?) and the new owner, Disney, cashing in on the biggest cash cow since the mouse himself with yet another Star Wars movie.  Big problem!

The original Star Wars was released nearly forty years ago — it’s twice as old as half the people on earth — and, ladies and gentlemen, so are the cast and crew.  Yet word around the campfire is Han Solo and company are coming out of the Seniors’ Facility on Naboo to help propel a new generation of Star Warriors into battle.  Has Disney gone nuts?  These people were grandparents a generation ago.  Luke and Leia are using The Force for regularity, and Chewbacca has a walker, if he can move at all.  But let’s take a reality check.  Last year, Harrison Ford (aka Han) stumbled over a movie set and broke his leg and just recently he crashed his plane into a golf course in Santa Monica.  Are we expected to believe this guy can still pilot the Millennium Falcon?  At my house, we don’t even let Grampy play with the remote control.  Still, I’m an optimist, so, despite the problems, I’m taking a wait and see attitude.

Now here’s where the bike helmet hits the highway.  They’re making a sequel to Blade RunnerBlade Runner?  Just a damn minute!  Ridley Scott, if you want to poop on the legacy of an entire generation, go someplace else and do it.  You’re getting as bad as George Lucas, for God’s sake.  But that isn’t the worst of it.  They’re resurrecting Harrison Ford to play Rick Deckard and Ford has agreed to do it.  In the 21st century, integrity isn’t even a word anymore.

I’m done.  Ford, look at yourself.  Aren’t you the least bit embarrassed by what you’re becoming?  What next?  American Graffiti: The Retirement Years

Elsa & Jack — Power Couple

Last week (with a semi-surprise trailer) the Disney Corp announced it has made a second movie in the Frozen franchise.  Called Frozen Forever, it’s a short film that will be paired with Disney’s live-action Cinderella, set to premiere on March 13th.  Have the marketing geniuses at Disney struck again?  Sure, Frozen Forever will put tons of bums in the seats for Cinderella.  And it’s an incredible lead-in to Frozen II, probably secretly scheduled for Christmas 2016.  Plus, without even trying, “Let It Go” will continue to dominate middle school playgrounds around the globe.  But, damn it, Disney!  You screwed up — big time!  This is the movie everybody wants to see:


This would establish Elsa and Jack as Hollywood’s newest power couple and would kick Kim and Kanye into the ditch they so richly deserve.



And if Disney did it right, even the Brangelina brand would be watching its back!