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Women in The Following (FOX)

The Following, a new thriller series on Fox, turns the tables on what women characters can do in a TV series. 

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Fox

Fox

The Following is a TV show that airs on FOX every Monday night after Bones, billed as a crime drama. The plot centers on Joe Carroll (James Purefoy), a university English professor who took the trip to crazy town a decade ago, killing dozens of women in a tribute to his hero, Edgar Allan Poe. When the show starts, Carroll has long been convicted and is on death row; but unbeknownst to the FBI, he’s cultivated a group of followers through “special technology” (Twitter?) who are eager to carry out his evil schemes in exchange for a drop of his precious British approval. One of these followers breaks Carroll out of prison, prompting the FBI to call in Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon), the retired agent who caught Carroll the first time. Although Carroll is apprehended, his followers continue to wreak havoc by terrorizing Carroll’s ex-wife, Claire (Natalie Zea), kidnapping his son, and killing more people.

One of the things that’s interesting about The Following is that all of the women in the show are bad news. Every. Single. One. You have Emma (Valorie Curry), a cute Follower with serious mommy issues who will literally cut you if you get in her way; Special Agent Parker (Annie Parisse), who is leading the investigation but seems to be feeding information to Carroll; and Maggie Kester, who at first seems like the abused victim of her husband, Rick, only to be revealed as another Follower.

What does all of this have to do with Poe? When women appear at all in Poe’s work, they’re usually dead: from The Black Cat to The Murder of Marie Rogêt, there are plenty of killings in Poe’s stories, and women are frequently the victims. Even when Poe writes about women who are meant to be idolized, as in Annabelle Lee, they are invariably dead. He once said that the most perfect poetry was about the death of beautiful women (he must have been awesome at relationships).

It makes a certain amount of sense, then, that Carroll’s serial killings focused on women, and that Ryan titled his book about Carroll “The Poetry of a Killer.” But none of that applies to the current events in The Following, where both men and women are killed with regularity and the women are often driving the men to violence. These women are not passive victims, but dangerous femme fatales who undermine the male characters’ masculinity. Emma doesn’t just boss the two men who live and sleep with her around; she convinces them to live as a gay couple. For all intents and purposes, they become homosexual because of the force she exerts upon them. Furthermore, she makes them kiss in front of her for her and the viewing audience’s amusement, sexually objectifying them in a way that’s usually exclusive to women. Awkward. Maggie, another Follower, forces her husband to stab her and lie about it to the police, all to carry out Carroll’s plans.

The only woman who doesn’t fall into this group of psycho bitches is Carroll’s ex-wife, Claire. Even if she’s not crazy, though, Claire is guilty of having an affair with the man who put Carroll away–Ryan–and separating Carroll from the physical manifestation of his virility, his son. All of Carroll’s schemes in The Following are focused on deriving some sort of revenge upon Claire for those actions, demonstrating an overriding need to reassert his masculinity. But he’s not the only character affected by his relationship with Claire–Ryan, a washed-up former FBI agent with Issues, seems to have been ruined, both career-wise and emotionally, more through his association with Claire than in his pursuit of Carroll. She might not be unhinged, but she is definitely bad news.

The Following is a show that at first appears to be a thriller, but the true tension in the story derives from the struggle of Carroll and Ryan to regain their masculinity. Like in a fairy tale, the women on The Following are monsters or temptations pulling the men folk away from their goal. Although The Following may depict violence against men and women in equal measure, the truly dangerous characters are all women. So while it doesn’t glorify violence against women, it definitely argues that a fear of women is more than justified.

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Star Wars™ Pinball: Star Wars Rebels™

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Zen Studios has concocted a ruse of amusement, it’s a trap—of fun. Star Wars™ Pinball: Star Wars Rebels™, established by the critically acclaimed animated TV show on Disney XD, Star Wars Rebels™, releases endorphins chock full of nostalgia and bliss. With all of the Star Wars talk going on as of late, it’s nice to get in your daily need of pew pew! Stormtroopers assemble and try to take down the hero of Lothal, the whole mission thing is a bit nuts. This pinball table goes to a galaxy far far away by delving into an age that has yet to be traversed by the films. Zen studios gets the balance of the force just right, do not try to get this table, do it.

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Pinball FX-2 Avengers: Age of Ultron

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Zen Studios does it again with Pinball FX2 – Marvel Avenger’s: Age of Ultron. This table is available on PC, Xbox One, and Playstation 4. Avengers Assemble! Age of Ultron quenches a thirst for adventure you didn’t know you had. Players assist Iron Man in finishing his most aspiring venture to date. The profound and climactic soundtrack will rip you out of the comfort of your chair and into the Age of Ultron. Enjoy this audacious addition to the Avenger’s universe, Thor’s might is on your side. The Incredible Hulk, Hawkeye, and Black Widow make a gargantuan attempt at arresting the nefarious Ultron. Pull yourself together and check out this game, you can’t afford more mistakes. The god of thunder favors you.

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Shaking the Habitual, The Knife | Album Review

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By The Knife

Shaking the Habitual is something every person needs more of in life. Stepping outside of boundaries and entering a new experience can have a confounding effect on the senses. Rhythm and movement resonate from the deepest depths of the soul and project outward in an array of vibrancy. 

What starts off like a indigenous ceremony quickly changes to a post apocalyptic nuclear wasteland by the third track, “A Cherry on Top.” Then, finding semblance in a 19 minute interlude, “Old Dreams Waiting to Be Realized,” the brother-and-sister duo reemerge in ritualistic fashion with the deep bass line of “Raging Lung”. Ending with an unsettling aptitude, Fracking Fluid Injection precedes the final track, Ready to Lose; providing insight to a larger contextual effect this album has in a world seeming “Full of Fire.” 

Although difficult to fully embody the composition of electronic and aboriginal noise heard in The Knife’s new album, Shaking the Habitual, any movement to the music is sure to conjure emotion. At times, the May release represents a more archetypal sound in the art of music. 

Tying together components of old and new, the Swedish duo creates a spellbinding effect with the first track, A Tooth For an Eye. Amalgamating dominant instrumentations, subtle synth lines and underlying vocals, A Tooth For and Eye entices the listener with something seldom projected over the airwaves. 

Coming off a seven year hiatus, the duo can predominate with an electronic influence, but, ultimately the seamless transition across a spectrum of sound grasps the ear. Delivered in its entirety, the lasting impression might leave one feeling like a participant of a seance.

— Rob Donovan

 

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