Swooning for ‘Bridgerton’, Confused by ‘WW84,’ and What’s Good on TV? [Nerd Girl Corner]

Wazzup, wazzup, wazzup, nerds!

It’s been a minute since I stepped into this Nerd Girl Corner and for this, I truly apologize to you all to leave you with no warning. That was truly rude of me. And to make my blasphemous actions even worse, I haven’t been keeping up with the likes of entertainment as I did in the past! Yiiiikes.

But much like this blog, I’m slowly making my way back to all things that gave me joy — like nerding out over all kinds of nerdy pop culture shit, so let’s do it! And I’ve got the perfect stuff to start with…

First up, I’m going to take a stab at one of more intriguing things to come out of the holiday season, the Regency-era drama, Bridgerton. Think of it like Gossip Girl meets a Jane Austen novel with less wit.

A Netflix original, the show is a part of Shonda Rhimes’ huge deal to be the purveyor of good POC content for the streaming network. Though Shonda isn’t the creator or showrunner — she’s an executive producer — traits of the quintessential “Shonda Show” are present in the way the drama unfolds itself.

Adapted from a novel series by Julia Quinn, the show is about a young debutant who enlists a rakish Duke to help her find the perfect match, but questions if her partner in crime is her perfect match after all.

Netflix Original Series, Bridgerton courtesy: Netflix

Some of the show’s allure is its pseudo color-blind casting of its characters. Set in a time where Black people had no agency, Bridgerton reimagines a time where POC were servants, but also gentry, nobility, and royalty. And I have to say it is one of the more pleasing aspects of the drama. Another pleasing aspect? The male lead, Simon Bassett, Duke of Hastings as played by Regé-Jean Page. I mean, he’s already a slice of yum, but then you give him some old world British speak and he’s like delish.

Actor Regé-Jean Page as the Duke of Hastings

It took me a while to start the show, I’ll admit. I was a bit weary due to the fact that it read more like a dramatic version of period show versus just being a good ol’ drama. However, after being apprehensive, I found that I didn’t love it, but I liked it.

Unlike some hot takes I’ve seen, my slight disconnect doesn’t have anything to do with its subtle hints of colorism or lack of discussion around POCs integrated into society. To be honest, TV is still not ready to see two dark-skinned people in lead roles romancing all over the place in an era where we’re typically slaves. Look how long it took us to get a Black bachelor, and homie is still a half-and-half, so colorism isn’t going a damn place. And I damn sure didn’t expect the show to explain anything about how POCs were accepted into society since the source material doesn’t have not a negro in it? I think it’s kind of ridiculous to expect the show to be adapted to the be inclusive on screen AND integrate a storyline to embed the adapted casting into the storyline when it would still have not a damn thing to do with the plot of the book.

Lead characters Daphne Bridgerton & Simon Bassett, Duke of Hastings

I did roll my eyes when it was clear the romance would be between a white woman and Black man — history’s dynamic & dysfunctional duo — and I noticed the majority of the visible Black woman characters were alone or had a tragic story. But that shit ain’t new, so I wasn’t big mad about that. What I was big mad about was the lack of the sexual tensions and release on the show.

Now, I know you’re looking at me like, “Are you blind?” but lissen Linda. Period/era shows & movies are all about the intense yearning of the sexually repressed in a time where a display of affection as simple as a smirk could ruin an entire household’s name. The show gave us a few of those moments here and there, but it felt very spotty and unnatural — especially with all the gasps and sharp inhales. The deeply simmering passions barely tipping the surface wasn’t there for me.

As for the depiction of the bohemian side of good society, the show did an OK job. Sexually repressed folk are kinky AF behind closed doors, and we got a couple scenes to show just that. However, I though it could’ve gone a little further in the bacchanalia and even give some of the women control or agency in the bedroom. Yes, we know the good virginal girls are virtuous and pure but that doesn’t mean they weren’t curious. And for a show revolving around a gossip newsletter, I’m shocked no one was reading a freaky pamphelet on how to give a turn-of-the-century BJ. Like, come on. That may be asking for much, but when you have Netflix gives you control to push out TV-MA content, why not go big?

I’m sure my biases add a bit to this feeling. I’ve watched several versions of Jane Eyre, multiple Jane Austen film adaptations, and fancy myself a lover of period piece dramas and biopics including but not limited to Outlander, Gentleman Jack, Elizabeth, The Young Victory, and Belle. So this world is something I look at and enjoy watching. But bias aside, I’d check out Season 2.

Moving on…

The highly-anticipated WW1984 dropped on Christmas Day and thanks to my brother-in-law, a girl got a hookup to see it!

Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman in WW1984

It was weird because I usually avoid blockbuster films during opening weekend, so it felt like I was breaking my own rule, even while in a pandemic sitting on my mama’s couch full with Christmas dinner.

Now if I done my Nerd Girl post about this movie pre-release, you’d know that I was moderately hyped for this movie, mostly because I love the ’80s and was ready for all the nostalgia, pop culture references, and great music. In fact, one of the things that sold me on WW1984 was the use of New Order’s “Blue Monday” in a trailer where Diana swings from lightning in the sky.

The other sell was Kristen Wiig being cast as Barbara Minerva aka Cheetah. With A-list actors (Cate Blanchett, Nicole Kidman) hopping on the MC/DCEU train, I was expecting more of Hollywood’s upper crust to make their way into the genre, but not a comedian actress as a villain. Saucy.

To say I was ready for a CGI’s Kristen as Cheetah, strutting her movement was an understatement, so when I actually watched the movie, I was left, well… whelmed.

We’re teased with the intro of Cheetah, but get no real relationship between Diana and Barbara, despite a glimmer of potential when the ladies head out for drinks in one scene. I hoped we’d see the two women forming a bond, but instead it was more of Diana just barely tolerating Barbara, who also got a few moments on the screen.

Next, they resurrect Steve Trevor for no reason other than to give us a look at what the two would look like as a contemporary couple. He really served no purpose and I like Chris Pine, but I would’ve preferred to keep his ass dead in favor of a movie built around the origin of “Cheetah vs. Wonder Woman.” That would’ve more compelling instead of the story arc we got about a very broke, insecure man using magic to seek revenge.

The film felt like it didn’t know what it wanted to be; it introduced canon items to never be seen again, started going down a road that would seem interesting and abandon it, and it didn’t have a lot of action or character development. But I will say this: the wardrobe was great and Barbara’s look was FAB.

Kristen Wiig as Barbara Minerva
Kristen Wiig as Barbara Minerva aka Cheetah

Kristin was looking all kinds of sexy from head to toe and I was living for it. If only we got more time of her as, well, Cheetah. That would’ve been nice. The little cameo at the end was cute, tho.

Last but not least, since I’ve been gone, I have gotten into some TV shows and I’ve been following some shit, so here’s a quick rundown:

  • Netflix's Sex Education
  • Netflix's Big Mouth 
  • Amazon Prime's Fleabag
  • HBO's Gentleman Jack
  • Netflix’s Sex Education gives me ALL the life. A young boy who’s mom is a sex therapist teams up with a misunderstood mishap and create a sex therapy office for the teens of their high school. The show has a bit of everything with snark and wit. I love and can’t recommend it enough.
  • Netflix’s Big Mouth is my shizzle. Animated show about kids going through puberty — but it’s the X-rated version… which means it’s completely faithful to how it was when you were going through puberty. Yup, it’s raw and just hilarious.
  • Amazon Prime’s Fleabag is a dark ass show, and is really only for those who enjoy that sarcastic humor the Brits master so beautifully.
  • HBO’s Gentleman Jack which is a period biopic about an openly Gay landowner — the first of her kind — searching for a wife. Love it.
  • Netflix’s Julie & the Phantoms and Never Have I Ever are two teen rom-com shows I binged and enjoyed; Hilda is quite cute, and I watched the first season of You. Right now I’m currently watching The Queen’s Gambit and am enjoying it.
  • I’m not here for all the reboot TV shows that are coming or are hear or are in the works in the past year or so. I gave Cobra Kai a chance at the request of my sister, but as for the others coming out or here now, they don’t excite me at all. I’m mildy interested in Animaniacs, but I’m not pressed. I’d like it if people would just write something new OR give someone with ideas a got-damn chance.
  • I’m also not hear for this Coming 2 America sequel where Akeem apparently farthered a kid living in Queens?! Last time I checked, the Prince of Zemunda came to NY to get a wife, he did that and went back home. SO why does he have a child in the states he doesn’t know about? I’m won’t even bother, but here’s the trailer in case you haven’t seen it yet.
  • I will say I am here for this Dune reboot and the reason I give it a slide is because they’re doing it kind right with a feature film reboot almost 40 years later. Granted, there was a made-for-TV miniseries event about in 2000, unless you’re me, you probably don’t even remember it. I got that ish on DVD too… loaned it out never got it back. *rolls eyes*

    Anywho, this version will be better because the people of color in the book will be acted by actual people of color this time with Zendaya, Oscar Issac, and Jason Momoa being in the mix. YAAAAS! Peep the trailer below

I’ve got legit feels about this because I’ve read this book twice (and may read it again a third time), owned the DVDs, and will always watch that outdated 1984 version. It’s just filled with lots of good political intrigue and social commentary, but I’ve kept y’all reading for too long so it’ll be something I bring back in a future post.

Oh, and I started watching The Office and am deeply offended no one told me about it sooner. More on that later.

That’s all I’ve got for now, folks. I just thank you all for reading and I will be back soon! As always, you guys are more than welcome to tell me what to watch. Just holla at a girl in the comments or on Twitter.

x Nerd Girl Out x

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