author: Eve, Personal Essay, pop culture, TV

The Pleasures and Pains of the Small Screen

by Eve Jones (V). Photograph by Sven Scheurmeier.

I’ve never really had on-screen romantic crushes, but I remember from a young age having this ache when watching my favourite actors on screen. Watching Rachel McAdams in The Time Traveller’s Wife, Rose Leslie as Ygritte in Game of Thrones, and most recently Kiernan Shipka, who plays the title character in The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (CAOS).

As I hope to be bezzy mates with these people one day, it embarrasses me to say how much I wanted to be them at one point or another. The actors and their characters merge together in my mind to create this superhuman who is everything I long to be: brave, daring, hard working, funny, likeable, confident. In the past, this led me to send off (or thankfully just keep in drawers) gushing fan mail that I was convinced they would read and immediately want to befriend me. I hoped they would understand me as I thought I understood them.

My latest foray into this kind of mania is potentially my most embarrassing yet: I’m 20 years old and I am literally crying that I will never be Sabrina the teenage witch. I’m in a social policy lecture wishing I was Kiernan Shipka. I’m eating dinner with my boyfriend wishing I was Kiernan Shipka. I lay awake at night wishing I was Kiernan Shipka.

I am aware of the ridiculousness of the situation. I have a good, privileged life and normally I love escaping into TV shows, so I was confused as to why I felt so sad just thinking about CAOS (which is brilliant, by the way). So, rather than wallow in my painful obsession, stalk every cast member on Instagram and read their entire IMDB bio, I thought I would try to investigate. How had I come to feel like this? My first clue came from a university English course book: An Introduction to Literature, Criticism and Theory (more thrilling than the title suggests). Talking about Emily Dickinson’s poetry, they wrote:

“It can feel oddly jarring, even painful to stop reading a poem like Dickinson’s. The world it creates – in the space of just 16 lines – can seem more charged and vital than the everyday reality to which we return on putting down the book.”

Isn’t it that vitality that we rewatch a film or return to a TV show season after season? How vacant our bedroom can feel in the silence after the credits roll. The further away a film or show takes us from our reality, the more banal it can seem to come back, absent of those characters and their purpose. And we love to take ourselves deeper, turning the lights off, binge-watching, youtubing cast bloopers, researching plots. It’s no wonder that a detailed, enchanting other world, whose characters are scripted to be special and lovable can have such an impact on us. They create something delicious and we devour it with relish.

But it wasn’t the show that I missed, it was the life that I was temporarily able to live (and knew I never fully could) that made me so melancholy. So I kept searching and eventually while watching a School of Life video on Youtube, I came across another potential answer. The narrator suggested the idea that the beautiful scenes in films sometimes make us more sad than morose:

“The loveliness is drawing our attention to some of the struggles we face, and to some of the things we really want, but are finding it so hard to get: reconciliation, forgiveness, tenderness, an end to the fighting, a chance to say sorry. We start to cry at a brief vision of a state of grace from which we’re exiled most of the time.”

Again, I’m aware that this idea of being exiled from a state of grace all sounds very dramatic, but feeling separate from those on-screen joys and experiences resonated with me. Instead of reconciliation, forgiveness or tenderness, what I so desired was the admirable traits of the characters and the chance the actors had to produce something worthwhile. Being positive, fierce and willful felt so unattainable as, having just started university, I moped about feeling like sleep-deprived, friendless potato.

It is easy, especially with social media, to become fascinated by the actors who get to make the art that you love and be closer to that world you so want to be a part of. I longed to be both Sabrina and Kiernan Shipka as they lived extra-ordinary lives: Sabrina playing with literal witchcraft, Shipka with the magic of magazine covers and TV sets. It was easy to concentrate on what I didn’t have in light of what they did, who I wanted to be in light of who they already were.

Now, I’m trying to let go of this desire. Instead of cringing at myself, I’m attempting to develop some of those characteristics that I admired in Sabrina, her friends and Shipka. Maybe I can’t be a courageous witch, but I can try to be a more confident, a better friend and make change that matters. I’m still eagerly awaiting the next season of CAOS, which will hopefully be equally abundant with teen rebellion, defiance of the devil’s patriarchal systems and diverse representation.

I just hope that next time I don’t get quite so entwined in the pain and can simply be grateful for the pleasure of some good TV.

Eve’s essay, “The New Female in Film” appears in Issue 04 of Boshemia Magazine.
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author: Eve, Boshemia recommends, Boshemia Staff, Collab, current events, pop culture, recommendation, Toots & Boots

Toots & Boots // This Week in the World

Fabulous elections, depressing budgets, generally lovely music… Boshemia are here again to take you through their pop culture peaks and troughs with Toots & Boots!

TOOTS 🎉

The Rainbow Wave

So much emotion followed the American Midterm elections this week, but as well as democratic gains and an amazing voter turnout, we have to give a HUGE TOOT to every new representative contributing to a more diverse and progressive American government. Check out E’s lowdown of some sad losses (Beto <3) but also the astounding ‘firsts’ that these people represent.

Ezra Miller’s divine GQ shoot

The actor’s (Perks of Being a Wallflower, We Need To Talk About Kevin) most recent cover shoot for the men’s magazine sees him dressed queer head to toe in lipstick, hot-pink velvet gloves and printed blazers. Not to mention his love sickness-inducing eye contact. Less happy about his involvement in the latest Fantastic Beasts film which stars Johnny Depp.

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photograph by Yoshiyuki Matsumura

Noname’s album Room 25

This album is HOT, as is everything Fatimah Nyeema Warner (A.K.A Noname) produces. It’s bold, black, poetic perfection. If you’re new to her music, start with Telefone and you’ll soon be addicted.

Believed – a podcast from NPR

This cutting series explores how Larry Nassar, the Olympic Doctor for the U.S. Women’s Gymnastics team, got away with sexual abuse for so long and how he was brought to justice.

Paris Against Trump

The protests are planned against the president’s visit to France’s Capital this weekend. Recently rattled by the midterm results, hopefully our folk on the Parisian ground can shake him up some more. Follow @parisagainsttrump for details.

Some live music toots

Parcels: a funkin’ pop band who synthed their way into V’s heart this week with their glittering performance in Leeds. Andy Shauf: a ‘dreamy long-haired, folksy, crooning Canadian’ one of our beloved designers is seeing live as I write.

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Parcels via Notion Magazine

BOOTS 💩

Pamela Anderson on modern Feminism: ‘it paralyzes men’

Stopping perpetrators of sexual assault and violence in their tracks and undermining their power is something we should be aspiring to. The idea that making men pause, think about consent and be held accountable for their actions is going ‘too far’ is completely bananas.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg being hospitalised

After a fall at the office, RBG has been hospitalised with three fractured ribs. With Brett Kavanaugh newly sworn in to the U.S. Supreme Court where the pair serve, we need this fierce woman on top form now more than ever. We’re sure she’ll still be cutting some serious side eye from the bedside though. Get well soon RBG!

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via TIME

The UK budget’s latest claim that ‘austerity is coming to an end’

This week Phillip ‘fiscal Phil’ Hammond made the happy announcement whilst piling yet more money into a fragile and regressive Universal Credit system. We call BS.

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author: Eve, current events, review, TV

Becoming Gilead // How ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Continues to Mirror Trump’s America

By Eve Jones. CW: contains spoilers for Season 1 and 2 of The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu.

A patriarchal society which relies on women suffering and the elite turning a blind eye for power: sound familiar? This is the basis of the dystopian state, Gilead, in Margaret Atwood’s novel The Handmaid’s Tale. The book, which was last year transformed into a thrilling, critically appraised television series, follows Offred (Elisabeth Moss) who is one of the few remaining fertile women in America. She is consequently conscripted as a ‘Handmaid’ to endure monthly rape to reproduce for the families most faithful to the state.

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author: Eve, opinion

the problem with call-out culture

words by V. photography by Clem Onojeghuo. 

 

Is there a problem with our call-out culture? Are we scaring allies into silence?

Calling out ignorance is a necessary part of deconstructing oppression. Even small language choices can add to the exclusion already faced by minorities and normalise the prioritisation of one’s convenience over other folks’ comfort and safety, so it is essential that we are made aware when we are practising harmful behaviours. Call-outs should be positive tools for change.

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author: Eve, feminist art, music, pop culture

Suck My Culture // riot grrrl punk in Plymouth

 Suck My Culture is a 5-woman punk band who are reigniting feminist discourse in Plymouth. Recently involved in a city-wide art exhibition, We The People Are The Work, and fundraising for domestic violence charities with their music, they have proven themselves to be not just cultured, but conscious and committed to the riot grrrl movement. V was lucky enough to chat with them.

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author: Eve, feminist art, pop culture, recommendation

Cornerstones of My Feminism // V’s Feminist Pop Culture Syllabus

Boshemia founders asked the staff writers to think about what pop culture creates their feminist practice. V shares her feminist syllabus.

These are the feminist materials that have punctuated my life: my basic syllabus of feminist culture. It is by no means conclusive and there are many more pieces that I would recommend for in-depth study, but if you want to get my everyday feminist references, look no further.

another round buzzfeed

Tracy Clayton & Heben Nigatu co-host ‘Another Round’ // photo via David Bertozzi) 

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