jasika nicole

Because when the stars call, you answer. Even if you don’t know if they really called you. Even if you don’t believe that they can call anyone. Even if maybe you were just outside, like normal. Just looking up at the sky, normally. And the stars were as they always are. But you weren’t as you always are. Because the stars didn’t change, you did. And once you were different, you couldn’t live like you were the same. You had to live differently. You had to. You had to.
—  Alice Isn’t Dead, Part 1, Chapter 6: Sylvia
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Been trying to carefully craft a Wonder Woman review as the distance of its release date keeps growing. I saw it opening night with my nieces and to clarify I did like it. But, this is not what this post is about. I’ve decided to place a spotlight on an Amazon cartoon series for children that arrived on June 30th 2017. I just completed binge-watching all of the episodes. It is called Danger & Eggs and it reminds me of Adventure Time and Steven Universe with a dash of KC Green’s Regular Show with Lauren Faust’s My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic if they were all put into a blender.  

While Pendleton Ward’s Adventure Time, Rebecca Sugar’s Steven Universe, Chris Savino’s Loud House, Daron Nefcy’s Star vs. the Forces of Evil, Alex Hirsch’s Gravity Falls, Mike DiMartino’s and Bryan Konietzko’s The Legend of Korra, and, Skyler Page’s Clarence have been making strides for LGBT representation, the Mike Owens and Shadi Petosky created animated show takes it one more progressive step forward. Yes, besides being hilarious, very relevant, full of lessons (and emotions), believable, and inventive, Danger & Eggs is the first animated series to have an openly trans creator (Shadi Petosky). In fact, every aspect of Danger & Eggs has some level of involvement courtesy of LGBT community members: from LGBT actors, writers, animators, and storyboard artists alongside LGBT allies! Essentially in each stage of Danger & Eggs’ production, there was that kind of specific influence occurring. More importantly Danger & Eggs accomplishes this with resorting to any awful cliches whilst being as inclusive as possible! Examples include the non-binary musician Milo that D.D. and Phillip both use proper pronouns with plus the recently out trans Zaddie (voiced by trans activist Jazz Jennings) crooning a song of acceptance at the Pride festival (Not Rainbow Day or something akin to that like others have done. ACTUAL PRIDE DAY!) in front of her “chosen family”. I’m going to reference that term often from this day forward. 

Truthfully, every decision concerning LGBT representation in Danger & Eggs comes of as equal parts sincere and super sweet. <3 

The series is about the adventures/situations D.D. Danger (SNL’s Aidy Bryant) and her best friend Phillip (Eric Knobel) have inside Chickenpaw Park.

D.D. is the last of a generation of record-setting daredevils. Her father Roy Danger is present in D.D.’s life as a bandaged up and impossible to understand individual, a recurring gag that manages to never get old. As such, she’s up for engaging in potentially injury causing stunts or roughhouse games. Now the inverse can be said for Phillip, a rule-following always safety-first talking egg. As the theme song says the series is, “Kinda hard to explain.” The anthropomorphic Phillip’s origin gets hinted at early on before becoming confirmed in the season one finale. His mother is a colossal chicken that only appears to cluck even though her son can speak English. Despite being clear opposites in most ways, the camaraderie D.D. and Phillip share together is amusing and majestic. Their aww-inducing familial connection is best demonstrated in the episodes “Phillipcon”, “The Big Z”, “Nightmares”, and “Trading Post.”

The supporting cast is just as diverse and inventive from the yoga instructor lesbian duo of Rad and Sweet known as the Chill Twins (courtesy of the comedian married couple of Cameron Esposito and Rhea Butler), a Mayor (Angelica Ross, Her Story) that sings her arrival, a stickler for the rules (more than Phillip!) Sheriff Luke (Stephanie Beatriz, Brooklyn Nine-Nine), and D.D.’s ice-skater film hero Trix Blixon (Mary Elizabeth Winstead, if you haven’t seen her career-defining performance in 2012’s Smashed I highly recommend it! Was in last year’s 10 Cloverfield Lane). Charlyne Yi’s (We Bare Bears’ Chloe Park) apathetic Layla introduced in “Keep Off the Grass” is one of my favorites though. So is Fringe’s Jasika Nicole bringing to life the spunky Reina in “Ren Faire” as well. Co-creator Shadi Petosky even lends her voice for the wise Pigeon Lady.

All in all, I’m astounded by how good Danger & Eggs is. Creative, excellently written, droll, adorable, bizarre, and authentic are the words I’d use to sum up the series.  Have tissues ready. I sobbed happily often viewing this series, lol. Normalizing LGBT stuff for children?! Normalizing, not demonizing. Respecting, not bashing. SO MUCH YES! And if anything I’ve typed piqued your interest, I implore you to follow through ASAP. :)

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Performed by: Dante Basco, Rob Brown, Lauren Collins, Yaya DaCosta, Jenna Dewan-Tatum, Elijah Kelley, Jonathan Malen, Shawand McKenzie, Jasika Nicole, Marcus T. Paulk, and others.

Number: “Wanna Ride”

Choreographer: JoAnn Fregalette Jansen, Anthony Talauega, and Richmond Talauega

Style: Hip Hop/Salsa

From: Take The Lead (2006)

variety.com
Jasika Nicole on ‘Underground,’ Representation and Rewriting History
A good character introduction is one of the greatest joys television can offer, and in the March 8 “Underground” season premiere, viewers were treated to two of them. Harriet Tubman (Aisha Hinds) m…
By Maureen Ryan

“When character descriptions say something like, ‘Her father is black and her mother is white,’ that makes me know that’s going to be integral to who this character is,” Nicole notes. “Somebody has thought about this. When I think about my life growing up as a biracial woman in Alabama,” there were very few TV shows that she could identify with. 

 “I also know that I’ve gotten way more opportunities than black women who have darker skin than I do, because our skin color is still currency,” Nicole adds. “But when I see that [writers are] specifying those things about the characters, that makes me think they’re willing to have a dialogue, they’re willing to have those conversations. That almost beyond my comprehension.”

Looking for a good TV show?

Watch “Fringe”.

Here’s why:

- It’s finished. No waiting on episodes, they’re all there.
- It’s wrapped up after 5 seasons in a way that makes sense; it wasn’t cancelled.
- It’s science-fiction. Packed with mystery, unexplained occurrences and all the other stuff that make your curiosity perk up.
- It’s created by JJ Abrams, Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, Bryan Burk and J.H. Wyman. Some of these you might know from making the Star Trek reboot or the sci-fi TV show “Almost Human”.
- Main character is a female. She’s an FBI agent. She isn’t sexualized. She isn’t masculine. She isn’t a cliché. She isn’t made fun of for being a female agent. She is actually very intelligent and very appreciated by her co-workers.
- Her boss is a male POC.
- Another female agent is a POC as well.
- John Noble. The ‘mad scientist’ of the show.
- Leonard Nimoy. Yep. He’s a recurring character.
- Sebastian Roché and Jared Harris. Also, Blair Brown.
- Parallel universe!
- The love stor(ies) that happen don’t reduce anyone to a love interest.
- David Bowie references. (You’ll spot them, trust me)
- Cases of the week + serialisation
- Have I mentioned the fact that the characters aren’t a cliché?
- Freaky stuff. You’ll love it. It might freak you out but you’ll love it.

…and many, many other things.

Just go watch it. It’s awesome.

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Fringe rewatch:  Walter & Astrid in every episode - Pilot

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Go Home, why?  Hm?  Because i’m not safe?  You think i’m safe anywhere?  You think you can keep me safe?  You think safety is an option that’s available to me?  I haven’t been safe since I was born into this country.  This angry, seething, stupid, could be so much more than it is country.  And you’re gonna keep me safe?  Or because I would get in the way?  Or because you don’t want me to look for you, and I should respect your feelings?  And Alice, you’re right, I should.  But “You have to know when to say no,” just like you said.