Tag Archives: Justifying My English Degree

JMED: We Alive, Dammit: The Unbreakable Survivors of Kimmy Schmidt

The Show: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Principal Actors: Ellie Kemper, Tituss Burgess, Jane Krakowski

Creators: Tina Fey & Robert Carlock

Synopsis: Rescued after 15 years in a cult, Kimmy Schmidt decides to reclaim her life by venturing to New York, where she experiences everyday life with wide-eyed enthusiasm. On a whim, she rents a room from Titus, a gay wannabe Broadway actor, who makes ends meet as a street performer in Times Square. The unlikely pair find they’re well-suited to help each other out, with Titus reintroducing Kimmy to modern life, and her providing him with the inspiration that you should never give up. Together they’ll make it through whatever life throws at them.

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Justifying My English Degree: The Baby Steps of Always Sometimes Monsters

The Game: Always Sometimes Monsters

Publisher: Vagabond Dog

Genre: Life-RPG

The Trailer:

The Critique: I’ve just been kicked out of my apartment, my boyfriend left me a year ago for reasons I don’t know yet, I’m out of money, low on food, my best friend is teetering on the edge of starting heroin use again, and the last mail I receive before my landlord changes the locks is a shitty royalty check and an invitation to my ex’s wedding, which is in 30 days. So, my quest is to make enough money to get to that wedding and stop him before he marries someone that I’m positive must be all wrong for him.

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Justifying My English Degree: Heroes on the Periphery: The Dynamic Villains of Once Upon a Time

God, has it been two months? Apologies for neglecting the blog, been busy with end of the year grading of papers and the like, as well as dragging myself back to work on Breaking Ties, which is 3-4 chapters out from the finish line. In the meantime, my boyfriend and I have been rewatching this on Netflix, and having the sorts of conversations about the characters that are normal to fans, which inspired me to do a JMED on it. Some spoilers follow.

The Show: Once Upon a Time

Creators: Edward Kitsis, Adam Horowitz

Principal Actors: Robert Carlyle, Lana Parilla, Jennifer Morrison, Ginnifer Goodwin, Josh Dallas

Synopsis: A woman with a troubled past is drawn to a New England town where fairy tales are to be believed.

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Justifying My English Degree: Perspective and Moral Ambiguity in Assassin’s Creed 4

Since I finally broke out of movies with going to TV, this is one that’s been rattling around in my head for a bit since I finished the game.

THE GAME: Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag

PUBLISHER: Ubisoft Montreal, 2013

PRINCIPAL ACTORS: Matt Ryan, EJ Schneider, Danny Wallace

SYNOPSIS: In the not so distant future, a new employee of a video game developer delves into the life of a little known Welsh pirate of the 18th century, and promptly finds himself caught between two long warring groups.

Warning: Some spoilers for AC4 follow

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Justifying My English Degree: The Strange Case of Shamy in “The Big Bang Theory”

The Show: The Big Bang Theory

Principal Actors: Jim Parsons, Mayim Bialik, Johnny Galecki, Kaley Cuoco

The Characters: Dr. Sheldon Cooper, B.S., M.S., M.A., Ph.D., Sc. D.A genius-level yet socially inept theoretical physicist that forms the core of the social circle that comprises the cast of The Big Bang Theory.

Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler, Ph.D. A highly intelligent and also social inept neuroscientist who serves as the most recent member of the BBT circle.

The Critique:

I often wonder how I’d react if I met Dr. Cooper in real life. Chances are we’d bump into each other at a Mensa meeting, and he’d be one of those guys who only goes to ridicule the guest speaker and call out every one of his inaccuracies, while I’d be the guy who’s there for the buffet table and free coffee. Despite our proud membership in geek culture, Dr. Cooper and I would find ourselves on opposite sides of the line. He’s hard science, I’m one of those people who studied the humanities. He went to prestigious universities for his studies, and I went to a grad school that until recently had a proud tradition of an annual co-ed nude volleyball game. He’d dismiss me as wasted potential and I’d probably roll my eyes and wonder how someone ended up with screwed up priorities. Also, I’d inform him that it’s “wasted potential” like mine that supplies him with his precious comic books. 😉

While Sheldon Cooper’s social graces are often attributed to Asperger’s, which even Jim Parsons, the actor who portrays Sheldon, claims inspires his performance, there’s another aspect to Sheldon that I often see bandied about, namely that Sheldon is asexual, and that he’s being ruined by the writers who are forcing him into “a binary gender relationship” with a bisexual woman in order to enforce societal relationship mores on them and ease the concerns of the traditional viewer.

I respectfully disagree.

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Justifying My English Degree: For the Love of the Con: “Now You See Me” and Our Desire to Be Tricked


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Justifying My English Degree: Life is Hard, the Upswell of Empathy Games

No clue why an adjunct would play a game like this. Nope. No idea.

Life is hard, few people would argue that point, though what makes it hard is always a topic for discussion. Stress, work, the whole “hell is other people” thing, it all feeds into the need to occasionally just take a break and escape from it all. I’ve told some of my students that the way that I deal with them after a long day of teaching college freshmen is to go home, turn on my Xbox, and play Payday 2.

That’s the reason we play these kinds of games, why we hop onto various and sundry online games and blow each other away and perform acts that would likely get us imprisoned, or at the very least deported. But that’s obviously not what games are for. It’s been suggested that games are becoming the new literature, a form of storytelling that demands interactivity, yet at the same time follows the same paths to the same expected point. While the Limbos and Braids and Bastions and Journeys of the gaming world have been tugging at our heartstrings and also making us believe that we were lucky to not be eviscerated by spiders during our childhood, another new genre has been creeping out of the indie market in the last few years: the so-called “empathy game”. Continue reading

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