The Middle Geeks Episode 31: ‘Dune’ Review

Denis Villeneuve’s Dune adaptation, based on a book that was explicitly and heavily influenced by Middle East and North African (MENA) and Islamic cultures, is out, and we are joined by our friends and fellow MENA critics Hanna Flint and Roxana Hadadi to review it.

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Padma Lakshmi’s ‘Taste the Nation: Holiday Edition’ is Coming to Hulu in November

Taste the Nation is famed cookbook author and TV personality Padma Lakshmi’s documentary series that highlights the American food of various communities of color and immigrants to the US. It’s an incisive and moving look at how BIPOC peoples all around the country have influenced and defined the nebulous and all-encompassing “American” cuisine, which is really just many cuisines from the communities highlighted in this series and beyond.

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NOC Review: A Unique Premiere for a Unique ‘Legends of Tomorrow’ Season

“The Bullet Blondes” shows our heroes in a dire place. When we left our lovable band of time-traveling misfit superheroes at the tail end of Season 6, the unthinkable happened. Their precious Waverider ship was blown up by another Waverider that simply appeared and left! Now stranded in 1925, the Legends must figure out how to time-travel out of this period and make sure they don’t mess up history along the way.

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Showrunner Keto Shimizu Discusses Season 7 of ‘DC’s Legends of Tomorrow’

Slight setup spoilers for DC’s Legends of Tomorrow Season 7 follow below:

DC’s Legends of Tomorrow is coming back already! After closing Season 6 last month! In the Season 6 finale, just as our time-traveling superheroes celebrated their victory over alien invaders in 1925 Texas, their time-travel ship, the Waverider, was blown up by another Waverider that just came and left! This is where we see them at the beginning of Season 7, and there’s going to be no easy way for them to get out of this one.

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AlRawabi

The Middle Geeks 30: ‘AlRawabi School for Girls’ Makes ‘Mean Girls’ Look Like Cotton Candy

Created by Jordanian creator Tima Shomali, AlRawabi School for Girls is a devastatingly excellent series on Netflix exploring the dynamics of a Jordanian high school. What causes these girls to escalate their psychological wars on each other? How does this series do at exploring some of the systemic patriarchal problems in Middle Eastern societies? We discuss all of that and why we love this series.

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Why this ‘American Sikh’ Cosplays as Captain America

Animator and cosplayer Vishavjit Singh has experienced tremendous trauma in his life. He survived a genocide against Sikh people in India as a young boy, and after he and his family fled to the US, he’s constantly experienced racism and Islamophobia (despite not being Muslim) in the pre- and post-9/11 era. Despite all of this, he remains an optimist for people to treat each other better, and found through his regular cosplaying as Captain America that he could somehow achieve that. But what drew him to this initially?

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Abubakr Ali Cast as Titular Anti-Hero for Netflix’s ‘Grendel’

Middle East and North African (MENA) and Muslim people have had scant options when it comes to the superhero genre or comic book adaptations generally. Arab and Persian people in particular have most often been vilified in popular media through the decades. But this is thankfully starting to change, such as with the Tarazi siblings on DC’s Legends of Tomorrow for Persian people, but perhaps now for Arab people with the news from Deadline that Netflix is developing a Grendel series, based on Matt Wagner’s comic series of the same name, and has cast The CW’s Katy Keene star and Abubakr Ali in the starring role!

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‘The Flash’ Returns This November with Five-Part “Armageddon” Premiere

Even though The Flash only ended this July with a wonderfully splendid renewal of the WestAllen vows and a family team-up against an army of Godspeeds, fans won’t have to wait long for the Season 8 premiere! And it’s going to be an action-packed doozy.

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The Middle Geeks Episode 29: ‘Lift Like a Girl’ and an MCU Assessment

Ferdosa joins us to discuss the Netflix documentary Lift Like a Girl! How well did this documentary do at showcasing the weightlifting journey of Asmaa and her team, and the depiction of everyday Egyptians? What could it have done better? We also discuss the exciting news that Black Palestinian writer and actor Yassir Lester will be the head writer of the upcoming MCU series Armor Wars, and speculate on what that might mean for the MCU’s penchant for military propaganda. Enjoy listening!

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NOC Interview: Azie Tesfai Steps into Her Power on ‘Supergirl

Since her debut in Season 4 of Supergirl, Kelly Olsen has been an invaluable friend, sister, and beloved partner of Supergirl and her close friends and family. Her relationship with Kara’s sister, Alex, has been one of the best highlights of queer relationships in superhero TV. Even though Supergirl is ending this season, Kelly still has more moments to shine, especially as she takes up the mantle of Guardian left by her brother Jimmy, who has left the hero life behind.

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Dawnn Lewis, aka Captain Carol Freeman, on the Return of ‘Star Trek: Lower Decks’

Dawnn Lewis does it all. Acting, voice acting, musicals, and more. And she can add Starfleet Captain to the list with her role as Captain Carol Freeman of the USS Cerritos. She’s a no nonsense captain who unfortunately has a lot of nonsense to deal with from her crew, including her own daughter Beckett, who may cause the most trouble of the bunch. Ahead of the Season 2 Premiere this Thursday, August 12, we at The Nerds of Color were able to speak with Lewis on how she approaches the role of Captain Freeman, her voice-acting career, what we can expect for her and Beckett’s mother-daughter dynamic, and the prospect of returning to Broadway for the musical Tina.

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John Wesley Shipp on His Return to ‘The Flash’ and the Season 7 Finale

The Flash is a superhero mantle of legacy, with several speedsters taking up the role. The Flash series on The CW has been successful at incorporating numerous elements of this line of legacy, particularly in its Season 7 finale “The Heart of the Matter, Part 2,” in which Barry must gather speedsters of past and future to defeat the villainous army of Godspeeds. This includes the original Flash of the Arrowverse Multiverse, the one and only Jay Garrick, played by John Wesley Shipp who originated the role Barry Allen in the Flash show of the 1990s.

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The Middle Geeks Episode 28: Palestine in Pop Culture and ‘Loki’

Palestinian historian and scholar N.A. Mansour joins us to discuss the situation in Palestine, where the situation stands now, how pop culture plays into the dehumanization of Palestinians, and what you can do to help and learn more about Palestinian people and their struggles. We also discuss all of Loki Season 1! What did we like about the series, and what themes resonated with us? Where could it have done better in areas? We also give our recommendations, and much more!

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The Middle Geeks: Shayan Sobhian of ‘DC’s Legends of Tomorrow’

Shayan Sobhian, aka Behrad Tarazi of Legends of Tomorrow, joins Swara to discuss his upcoming episode, “This is Gus!” They talk about how Shayan relates to his character, the importance and impact of representation, and how Behrad may be developing this season. Enjoy listening! 

This is a podcast form of the interview published here for The Nerds of Color.

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NOC Interview: Shayan Sobhian of ‘DC’s Legends of Tomorrow’

Since coming onto the Legends team in a revamped timeline in the Season 4 finale, Behrad Tarazi, younger brother of Zari Tarazi, has been a fixture on Legends of Tomorrow. But it was only this season that his actor, the mult-talented Shayan Sobhian, was promoted to a series regular. He’s the chillest member of the Waverider crew, always looking to defuse tension and make sure that he and his friends have a good time.

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NOC Interview: David Ramsey’s Arrowverse Journey Continues

John Diggle has been a beloved fixture in the Arrowverse since his inception. Played by David Ramsey, he’s often a favorite character for many fans of DCTV. Even though Arrow has ended, Diggle endures as he embarks on a new journey in the Arrowverse, appearing on the various shows that Ramsey himself directs. We were fortunate enough to speak with David Ramsey in anticipation of his directed episode of Legends of Tomorrow debuting this Sunday, finding out what exactly is going on with Diggle going forward, his previous appearance on Batwoman, and the experience of directing.

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The Middle Geeks Interview: Amin El Gamal of ‘Breaking Fast’

For Pride Month, we are so excited to have on Amin El Gamal, who plays Sam on the amazing queer Ramadan rom-com Breaking Fast, which is now on Hulu! We dig into what drew Amin to acting, the experience of filming Breaking Fast and working with Mike Mosallam, their thoughts on the current landscape of MENA and queer stories in film and, what he’d love to see more of in the industry, and much more!

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Danielle Nicolet Takes Center Stage on ‘The Flash’

The Flash has, since its inception, put a large focus on its supporting cast, many of whom have become part of “Team Flash,” aiding Barry Allen in his various adventures. Cecile Horton, played by the talented Danielle Nicolet, has increasingly become part of Team Flash, stepping far up from when she was on the outside looking in. In perhaps one of the most marked changes for a character on the show, it was eventually revealed that Cecile was also a metahuman, gifted with empathic powers and making her a strong asset to the team.

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NOC Interview: Faith Omole of ‘We Are Lady Parts’

Nida Manzoor’s We Are Lady Parts, a British series featuring a punk rock band of all Muslim women of color, premiered here in the US on NBC’s Peacock streaming service! It’s a landmark in Muslim representation for so many viewers worldwide, who haven’t been able to see themselves represented on screen like this in such a subversive, yet bold, way like this before.

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NOC Interview: Olivia Swann of ‘DC’s Legends of Tomorrow’

In the few seasons Astra Logue has been on DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, she’s gone from being a hellish antagonist for our heroes, to being a key ally, to now trying to lead a semi-normal life on Earth. But how will she adjust after all she’s been through, and where does her journey go from here? In the upcoming Legends episode “The Satanist’s Apprentice,” Astra gets more than she bargained for as she attempts to get some of the power and ease of her life in Hell back on Earth, and typical Legends shennigans ensue. We at The Nerds of Color were fortunately enough to speak with Astra’s wonderful actress, Olivia Swann, to talk about everything that her character has gone through and where she’s going as the season goes on.

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The Middle Geeks Episode 27: ‘We Are Lady Parts’ Review

We are SO excited to discuss Nida Manzoor’s We Are Lady Parts, a British series featuring a punk rock band of all Muslim women of color, including MENA women, premiering today on Peacock TV! What did we love particularly about this series, and how well does it handle representation? We also discuss the news of the additional Sandman for Netflix, including the Lebanese Razane Jammal, American Eid debuting on Disney+, and much more!

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