The Geeks OUT Podcast: X-Meh Dark Phoenix

The Geeks OUT Podcast

Opinions, reviews, incisive discussions of queer geek ideas in pop culture, and the particularly cutting brand of shade that you can only get from a couple of queer geeks all in highly digestible weekly doses.

In this week’s episode of the Geeks OUT Podcast, Kevin is joined by Josh Trujillo, “live” from HeroesCon as they discuss their thoughts on Dark Phoenix, the new trailer for Doctor Sleep, and celebrate Tracee Ellis Ross bringing back Daria’s Jodie as our Strong Female Character of the Week.

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BIG OPENING

KEVIN: New trailer for Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep
JOSH: New details released for Steven Universe: The Movie

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DOWN AND NERDY

KEVIN: Dark Phoenix, Pose, NOS4A2
JOHN: Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Chernobyl, Nintendo E3

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STRONG FEMALE CHARACTER

MTV orders Daria spinoff Jodie from Tracee Ellis Ross

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THIS WEEK IN QUEER

DC announces new Harley Quinn & Poison Ivy mini

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CLIP OF THE WEEK

New trailer for Frozen 2

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THE WEEK IN GEEK

MOVIES

New trailer for horror themed The Banana Splits Movie
• An animated Spice Girls movie is coming
• New Black Christmas remake coming this holiday

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TV

• New trailer for Veronica Mars revival
• New trailer for Pennyworth
• Syfy developing Lobo spinoff from Krypton
• New teaser for second half of Young Justice: Outsiders
DC Universe reassures future after Swamp Thing cancelation
Russian Doll renewed for season 2
Love, Death & Robots renewed with new supervising director Jennifer Yuh
• Disney+ orders new Chip ‘n’ Dale animated series
My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic introducing lesbian couple

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COMIC BOOKS

• Marvel unveils new Strikeforce
DC Black Label reimagining Harley Quinn’s origin

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SHILF

• KEVIN: Michael Fassbender
• JOSH: Jennifer Lawrence

Interview: Director Jeanie Finlay and Freddy McConnell of Seahorse

In Jeanie Finlay’s sublime, affecting documentary Seahorse, trans man Freddy McConnell embarks on a profound personal journey when he decides to become pregnant.  Freddy deals with all of the physical challenges of pregnancy plus the added stressors of gender dysphoria and other people’s reaction to an “unconventional” parent. I had the chance to sit down with both Finlay and McConnell on the eve of their world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival.  As it turns out, McConnell provided the impetus for the film himself.


“I’m a journalist as well,” he explained, “[and] I knew I wanted to share this process, this journey.  It was sort of at my instigation.”  McConnell was particularly concerned with finding a trustworthy collaborator.  He wanted Seahorse “to be different from the way a lot of other trans stories are told, which is exploitative and sensationalized.  I never would have said yes to anyone who had just approached me.”  McConnell had witnessed friends’ bad experiences with producers and journalists who proved untrustworthy.  “The reason the film is the way it is, is because of the way it was made and the way it was envisaged right from the word go,” he stated.

Director Jeanie Finlay

Indeed, the film is artfully made and incredibly intimate.  Every step of the process is detailed, from the dysphoria that results after Freddy stops taking testosterone (so as not to interfere with the pregnancy) to the painful end of his relationship with partner CJ.  Finlay spoke with a lovely, soothing British accent as she explained her role in telling Freddy’s story: “I really want to think about the film and let the film emerge.  Like if you go in too tight with a plan, the film doesn’t grow.  The point is to grow like a baby.  One of the definitions of a documentary filmmaker is to be an emotional barometer; I’m really in tune with my feelings.”  Beautiful footage of Freddy’s hometown of Deal, England, as well as close-ups of real seahorses weave through and enhance the narrative.  “I’m very sensitive to how atmospheres and the situation make me feel and I really try to think deeply about, what could that look like in a film?” Finlay said.  “How can I create visuals that can help promote what I felt in the moment?”  This thought process led to some scenes that seem abstract but subtly support the themes of Seahorse.  “Because Deal is so beautiful I wanted that to be part of the film,” Finlay stated. “The idea that we’re sort of sitting on the edge of England, looking into an uncertain future.”

Was the more or less constant filming ever too much for Freddy?  “In the moment sometimes, but the reason it was happening was because I wanted it to happen,” McConnell pointed out.  “I wanted to go out and tell the story.” 


“It’s my job to make the film feel personal, intimate,” Finlay agreed.  “Sometimes my job is to gently push, because when I committed to the film, I said, ‘if I do this, I’m all in.  I give you all my heart.  I’m gonna do this, and it’s not gonna be easy.’  Sometimes my job is to ask the difficult questions.  ‘What is this like?  What is the answer that you haven’t said out loud before?’”


“It did get hard,” McConnell said, “but the way that it was put together and the way we worked meant that wasn’t a disaster and that didn’t mean it was the end of it.  It was just part of the process.” 

McConnell wanted to share his story, in part, to let other trans and queer people know that they have options: “The information isn’t made widely available and it’s seen as something unsafe or shameful.  Things that we’re told aren’t always in our best interests by people who are supposed to have our best interests at heart, like doctors.”  He also hoped the film would be enlightening for audiences unfamiliar with, or skeptical of, trans people.  “People whose minds are racing with those issues and questions they have, debates they want to have, can maybe just  park that when they see, ‘oh, it’s just about another person who has the same desires and struggles and emotions that I do.’”


“When I commit to making a film, I want people to come on a journey with me,” Finlay added.  “’Come on, let me hold your hand and I’m gonna take you on a little journey.’  I want people to see the ordinariness, the normalness, the smallness, the ecstasy of people’s lives.” 


“I just hope that anyone who watches it can relate to some tiny little thing, or maybe some huge thing, in a way that surprises them, that they didn’t expect coming in,” McConnell said. Added Finlay: “I just always want people to feel moved, in a small way or a big way.”  There’s little doubt that anyone who sees Seahorse won’t be.


Seahorse will continue to play film festivals throughout the summer and fall.  Visit seahorsefilm.com for more.

The Geeks OUT Podcast: Scary Stories to Tell at Pride

The Geeks OUT Podcast

Opinions, reviews, incisive discussions of queer geek ideas in pop culture, and the particularly cutting brand of shade that you can only get from a couple of queer geeks all in highly digestible weekly doses.

In this week’s episode of the Geeks OUT Podcast, Kevin is joined by John Jennison, as they discuss more Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark trailers, a dark future for Swamp Thing, and celebrate a special pride edition of The Babadook in This Week in Queer.

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BIG OPENING

KEVIN: DC Universe cancels Swamp Thing & reportedly reevaluating streaming service
JOHN: New trailer for Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

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DOWN AND NERDY

KEVIN: Slasher: Solstice, Black Mirror, Dodge City, Misfit City, Doomsday Clock
JOHN: Swamp Thing, Theater of Terror, Good Omens, Dark Crystal

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STRONG FEMALE CHARACTER

New trailer for Jessica Jones

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THIS WEEK IN QUEER

Special Pride edition of The Babadook is coming out

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CLIP OF THE WEEK

New teaser for Amazon’s Undone

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THE WEEK IN GEEK

MOVIES

New trailer for Ad Astra
• A Magic 8-Ball movie is in development
• New promo for The Lion King remake
First poster for Wonder Woman 84
Black Adam finally secures director

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TV

• The Good Place coming to an end with season 4
Magic: The Gathering coming to Netflix from the Russo Bros.
• Netflix announces animated Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous
• Elizabeth Hurley is coming to season 3 of Marvel’s Runaways
• Revival of 90’s X-Men: The Animated Series being pitched to Disney
• Syfy cancels Deadly Class and Happy!
• New trailer for Starz’s The Rook
• New trailer Apple TV Plus series For All Mankind
• New teaser for Carnival Row
• The CW releasing new anthology series Two Sentence Horror Stories

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COMIC BOOKS

The Walking Dead kills off another main character
Marvel teases new event starring Angela & Wiccan on a team

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SHILF

• KEVIN: Chidi
• JOHN: Jason!

Review: My Brother’s Husband

My Brother’s Husband is an all-ages manga series by Gengoroh Tagame. It was recently collected into two volumes by Pantheon Books, the first of which won the 2018 Eisner Award for Best U.S. Edition of International Material—Asia. It tells a powerful and heartwarming story of grief, family, homophobia, and forgiveness.

The narrative centers around Yaichi, a single dad who lives in Japan with his daughter, Kana. After learning of the death of his estranged twin brother Ryōji, Yaichi finds himself preparing to welcome his brother’s Canadian husband into his home. He is uncomfortable to say the least. Ryōji’s husband, Mike, has traveled all the way from Canada to meet his late husband’s family. Although he is charming and carries himself with a cheerful demeanor, he is clearly still struggling with his own grief. He is there on a mission of his own; to fulfil a promise he made to Ryōji.

My Brother’s Husband is a relatively simple narrative that builds its strength through quiet moments and strong characters. Through Kana, Tagame shows readers the ways in which homophobia is learned. While her father is preoccupied with figuring out how he feels about his having his new brother-in-law around, Kana has no such qualms. She never struggles with accepting that her father’s brother was gay. In fact, she’s thrilled that she now has a Canadian Uncle.

The story also addresses the culture clash between the Western world and traditional Japanese beliefs. Where Japan by and large is not outwardly homophobic, there is a quiet indifference and an unspoken shame linked to queerness. While it is a stark contrast to the overt hatred displayed toward queer people in other parts of the world, it’s not exactly harmless. That last point comes into sharp focus Yaichi evolves throughout the course of the story, and he begins to see the role that he played in his estrangement from his brother.

My Brother’s Husband is ultimately a story about having the courage to change. It examines cultural barriers and family dynamics that harm queer people. It shows the power of self-examination, forgiveness, and growing beyond the prejudices of our past. It uses powerful imagery from seemingly quiet moments that allow the larger themes of acceptance and empathy to really have an impact and gravity to them.

Even though it begins with the tragedy of Ryōji’s death, and doesn’t stray from conventional storytelling, it is a well-crafted and beautifully drawn queer story that we need to see more of in the world. The full series has been collected into two volumes and published in North America by Pantheon Books.


The Geeks OUT Podcast: Twilight Sparkle Batman

The Geeks OUT Podcast

Opinions, reviews, incisive discussions of queer geek ideas in pop culture, and the particularly cutting brand of shade that you can only get from a couple of queer geeks all in highly digestible weekly doses.

In this week’s episode of the Geeks OUT Podcast, Kevin is joined by Jon Herzog, as they discuss Robert Pattinson being cast as the new Batman, anxiously await the final season of Jessica Jones, and celebrate Hulu’s new animated queer fairy tale series The Bravest Knight in This Week in Queer.

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BIG OPENING

KEVIN: Disney, WB and other production companies threaten to leave Georgia
JON: Robert Pattinson to play the new Batman

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DOWN AND NERDY

KEVIN: Rocketman, The Hot Zone, X-Tremists, War Scrolls, Heroes in Crisis
JON: Game of Thrones is over!!, POSE Season 1

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STRONG FEMALE CHARACTER

New trailer for The Kitchen

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THIS WEEK IN QUEER

Season 1 of queer animated series The Bravest Knight coming to Hulu

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CLIP OF THE WEEK

New teaser & date announcement for final season of Jessica Jones

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THE WEEK IN GEEK

MOVIES

New trailer for Annabelle Comes Home
• New trailer for In Fabric
• Captain Marvel continues to come out on top
New teaser for Pixar’s Onward
Tom King is working on New Gods movie

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TV

• First look at season 3 of GLOW
• First trailer for The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance
• Full trailer for Swamp Thing

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COMIC BOOKS

Free Comic Book Day was hugely successful for comic shops

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SHILF

• KEVIN: Elton John (as played by Taron Egerton)
• JON: Bald vampire Zachary Quinto