01/20/2022 – Is It Disrespect?

I admit I felt a pang of embarrassment after having singled out Rekha Sharma when discussing Yellowjackets on the QNA Year End Review. After being the first actress you see on the show, she’s soon sidelined for a majority of the season and killed off in the finale. So, actually, it was a series of pangs. The funny thing is, in a post-show interview with the creators [which, naturally, I can’t find again], these two emphasized the ambiguity of plot events, that what you saw is not necessarily what it seemed, and the only thing they did confirm is that Sharma’s character is dead. What the hell? … More 01/20/2022 – Is It Disrespect?

01/18/2022 – Naeun’s Turn

I don’t know when you can consider yourself a fan of something, especially for things with prominent fan culture, like K-pop. For some, I imagine, being a fan is like taking on an identity. I certainly remember what it was like being a groupie, following the cast of a TV show around Hollywood for events and shows and things. It was pretty weird. I made some good friends, though. One of them so good, that when I was leaving Los Angeles last summer, he suggested we hang out and do a double feature of The Raid 2 and The Night Comes for Us, rather than go out to a bar — which I hate doing. Not a socialite, but I did sense that I was developing as a social creature with this new group, because barring my fellow Indonesian kung fu enthusiast, it was made up entirely of women. I’d had a single woman friend before – a token, but for a time she was also my only friend – but this was a new experience. Essentially, I had to learn how to talk to them, to make sure I was doing my part to maintain a good space. The show we were fans of was all about a diverse, inclusive world, so it would have been weird to not replicate it ourselves. For the most part, there was no drama, nothing weird happened, and unlike all my prior friend groups, there was no competition of any sort. No rivalries, no gatekeeping. … More 01/18/2022 – Naeun’s Turn

01/17/2022 – That’s Messed Up, Seohyun

Yeah, so this is a movie, and it’ll be out in a month. How I’ll be able to wait that long is anyone’s guess. I opened the Instagram app while the Yellowjackets season finale was paused and what was there to greet me? Seohyun’s latest post, this poster. It’s been over two hours now and I’m still shaking. That part at the end of the episode with Shauna and Jackie might be playing a part, also the incredible cold here in New England, but this is gonna distract me for a good long while. … More 01/17/2022 – That’s Messed Up, Seohyun

Great Fight Scenes | Throne Room, Star Wars: The Last Jedi

This sequence begins with the dialogue preceding the action. Supreme Leader Snoke has our heroine Rey in hand, and he’s confident that padawan Kylo Ren will strike her down (which doesn’t usually have consequences, as I understand it). The villain chatters on about destiny while Kylo surreptitiously turns the lightsaber toward him, a tense scene culminating in the shock of Snoke’s assassination. Rey and Kylo barely have time to make eyes because now the Praetorian Guard have been activated. … More Great Fight Scenes | Throne Room, Star Wars: The Last Jedi

01/02/2022 – I Really Wanted to Love This

So, in the world of K-pop, SM Entertainment recently put together a supergroup made up of members of Girls’ Generation, Red Velvet, and Aespa, all led by the Queen of K-pop BoA (as if they weren’t busy enough?). With the rush of the holidays, I barely had time to even process this, because it’s an unreal lineup: you have the superstar vocals of Taeyeon and Wendy, the crazy dance talent of Hyoyeon and Seulgi. It’s also an opportunity to educate myself, as I’m not studied enough to be able to tell BoA from newcomer Winter. I know, it’s shameful, I’m sorry. Karina is easily identifiable because she’s the one who looks like Taeyeon. I mean, it’s uncanny. And the group is called Girls on Top, a BoA callback that’s only too appropriate given the star power. They debuted their first song at SM Town Live 2022 over New Years, and, uh, I don’t know. I don’t even want to say it for fear of turning into a pillar of salt, but it’s bad. … More 01/02/2022 – I Really Wanted to Love This

12/23/2021 – That’s Messed Up, Yuri

Unless you’re a stranger ’round this way, you know that we at With Eyes East are big fan of Yuri. I’d say “fans,” but that’s a half-hearted ruse I can’t sustain for even one sentence. Born Kwon Yu-ri and famous for her membership in Girls’ Generation, Yuri quickly became one of my favorite idols for her charm and friendly demeanor. Unfortunately, we’re all subject to the old maxim: never meet your heroes, or contemporarily, never scroll through headlines. Had you not, you might’ve dodged this winner: “Girls’ Generation’s Yuri Under Fire For Eliminating A Contestant On “My Teenage Girl” For Her Visuals” from Koreaboo, with the brilliantly deadpan subheading: “She was criticized.” … More 12/23/2021 – That’s Messed Up, Yuri

Best of the Year: 2021

An annual tradition five or seven years strong is the Year End Review, in which, via podcast, I recount the ten best movies or TV shows I saw for the first time that year. Originally hosted on The Battle Beyond Planet X, it’s since migrated to Questions: We Don’t Have Answers. The three-part podcast with cohost Donovan Morgan Grant and special guest Stella Bowman is now up. The following is my individual top ten list, with Worst of the Year and Honorable Mentions thrown in for flavor. What were your picks of the year? Let me know in the comments! For once, I actually mean that. … More Best of the Year: 2021

11/27/2021 – In Defense of Mass Effect Combat

One of the last games I was playing was the original Mass Effect, this time on PS3. I played the trilogy on the Xbox 360, and Mass Effect 2 multiple times, bought them all again on PS3 and played up to the quarian homeworld in Mass Effect 3, gave the original a shot on PC once, and started the original once more on PS3. I’d gotten to Noveria when I stopped, probably because other, more pressing things than a game I play constantly, had gotten in the way. And yet, as I write this, I’m paused on Noveria, about to speak with the shopkeeper jellyfish on the Mass Effect Legendary Edition for PS4. If I can get through these three in time, I’ll finally give Mass Effect: Andromeda another shot, though technically that should come between Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3, right? Anyway, this was another characteristically boring introduction to our first segment, on the combat in Mass Effect. … More 11/27/2021 – In Defense of Mass Effect Combat