FFR #29: Invest in Sassy Droids!

In this week’s episode, it’s a sci-fi spectacular as Ebony and Caro navigate the asteroid field of a movie that is Solo. We talk everything from Ron Howard’s directing to the squandering of Thandie Newton to the Star Wars series’ gradual shift into a much less interesting approach to storytelling. We reserve particular ire, however, for the film’s treatment of its feisty, politically revolutionary droid L3-37.

From there, we travel back in time to 1984 to revisit the James Cameron classic, The Terminator! In later episodes, we’ll look at other franchise properties, but we wanted to go back to where it all began. Our discussion touches on the great supporting performances of Lance Henriksen and Paul Winfield as a couple of cynical but decent cops, how Linda Hamilton’s Sarah Connor is presented as a “virtuous” mother figure, what makes the special effects so great, and especially Arnold Schwarzenegger’s performance as a literal killing machine and how he came to embody an ideal of manhood in the 1980s.

Other topics include the cancellation of Roseanne, the brilliance of The Americans’ final season, and how so often even the warmest and most inviting children’s literature tells children of color that they are not welcome to fully enter the worlds those books create.

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Segment Timestamps:

1:00 Greetings and introductions
3:00 Yay, Carolyn is back!
6:02 Pop culture news: Roseanne’s cancellation and Samantha Bee
14:25 Solo
32:50 The Terminator
52:50 What’s Your Deal?–Carolyn on The Americans, Ebony on The Borrowers and casual racism in children’s literature
1:02:05 wrap-up

Relevant Links:

Cinemaball Episode 5: L.A. Confidential