One of the most beloved mature comics of all time is finally coming to life! Netflix is unleashing The Sandman, courtesy of its legendary creator Neil Gaiman! And at last, this week, they’ve given us a look at the upcoming series with a behind the scenes feature and cast announcement!
Check out the behind the scenes feature right here:
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.
Tala Ashe, who plays our favorite TV superhero Zari Tarazi, joins Swara for a discussion of the next Legends of Tomorrow episode, “The Ex-Factor!” They talk about the importance of Iranian, MENA, and Muslim representation, where Zari’s journey goes this season, and the experience of working on a show as exciting as Legends. Enjoy!
This is a podcast form of the interview published here for The Nerds of Color.
Since debuting in Season 3 of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Zari Tarazi (Tala Ashe) has become a beloved fixture in the CW’s zaniest (but still very heartfelt) Arrowverse show. Besides the importance of her being the first major Muslim and Iranian-American superhero on network tv, she’s one of the most dynamic and compelling members of the Legends. Things have changed tremendously for Zari over the past few years, as her relationships with her teammates develops and changes and her brother Behrad (Shayan Sobhian) has become a member of the Legends. Now, in Episode 3 of Season 6, she’s faced with more personal challenges as it’s up to her to save the day in a reality tv show competition. We at the Nerds of Color had the opportunity to interview Tala Ashe about Zari’s story this episode, and where her journey in Season 6 will be going.
The strength of a hero is not just defined by their powers. Who they are, outside of those uncomfortable looking tights, is just as important. A hero with a strong sense of character has the ability to do what’s right, and turn their long and difficult journey into a message of hope for everyone who sees them. With that being the case, Nicole Maines is just as much a superhero offscreen as she is on.
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, the wonderfully wacky and zany sibling of the Arrowverse, is coming back for its sixth season on May 2. The season five finale left fans on a cliffhanger with Sara’s abrupt abduction by aliens after the team drunkly celebrated their victory over the Fates in 1970s London. Even besides the capture of their leader, the Legends have many other team dynamics going on, and Nerds of Color was able to speak via phone call with co-showrunner and Executive Producer Phil Klemmer on what fans can expect for our ragtag group this upcoming season.
We’re joined by Mae’s sister Sonia to discuss the inaugural film of Algerian director Rayhana Obermeyer, “I Still Hide to Smoke.” How well does this film convey the experiences of living as a woman in Algeria in the mid-1990s? How are the themes explored applicable to women’s issues worldwide? How amazing is Hiam Abbas in the lead role (answer: incredibly amazing as she is in everything.) We also have a lot of MENA news to discuss, including the news that our fave Marwan Kenzari will be starring in the DCEU’s Black Adam! We also discuss Mauritanian-American actor Mamoudou Athie’s new film project, the announced tv adaptation of Hafsah-Faizal’s “We Hunt the Flame,” which takes place in a fantasy Arabia, the upcoming return of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, the Writers Guild of America forming a Middle Eastern Writers Committee, and the exciting news about the establishment of Avatar Studios, which is expanding the animated universe of Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra on Nickelodeon and Paramount+!
We are joined by the wonderful Hanna Flint to discuss Wonder Woman 1984 in this special bonus episode! We discuss the various ups and downs of the film, how well we thought the actors did with the script and story they had, and whether this movie did Diana Prince/Wonder Woman justice. We also discuss the many racist and Orientalist aspects of its depiction of Egypt and Egyptian people, and how detrimental it is for MENA representation. There’s a LOT to discuss, and we go through it all. Enjoy listening!
Spoilers for Wonder Woman 1984 begin around 11:26.
TW for discussion of rape and sexual assault 11:44 -12:57
This month we’re joined by filmmaker Shahab Zargari to discuss Netflix’s new supernatural series Paranormal, a supernatural drama set in Egypt, with a story actually told by Egyptians! We’re excited to dive into this overall excellent show. We also interview Shahab on his filmmaking career and what drives his art, discuss the roller coaster of recent Arrowverse news and what it says about DCTV moving forward, and give our recommendations. Also, we have a very special announcement!
Spoilers for Legends of Tomorrow Season 5 and some mild spoilers for Season 6 follow. Quotes have been edited for length and clarity. It’s the wackiest, one of the most beloved, and critically revered of all the DCTV shows. In a panel moderated by Chancellor Agard of Entertainment Weekly, most of the cast and some of the creative heads of Legends of Tomorrow, including Caity Lotz, Nick Zano, Tala Ashe, Jess Macallan, Matt Ryan, Amy Lousie Pemberton, Shayan Sobhian, Olivia Swann, producer Phil Klemmer, executive producer Keto Shimizu, and executive producer Grainne Godfree, the Waverider crew and more reflected on Season 5 and what fans can expect from Season 6.
Upon its announcement the DC FanDome experience was going to showcase four separate rooms to explore and a full schedule of DC fan experiences that users could choose from to create a customized itinerary. However, as you can see from the incredible Hall of Heroes event itself two weeks ago, there was justtoomuchawesometocontainto oneday.
So on September 12, for 24 hours, get ready to return to the FanDome, to explore the multiverse!
We’re starting spooky season a bit early this year with a review of Iranian-American film director Ana Lily Amirpour’s 2014 horror classic “A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night.” What makes this film so unique in its abstraction and commentary, and how effectively does it pull it off? But before that, we have a heavy news section discussing police violence and brutality in the US, the recent explosion in Lebanon that has exacerbated the country’s numerous problems, and, on a much lighter note, we discuss the plethora of entertainment news out of DC Comics’ online convention DC FanDome!
DC Universe’s Titans is set to return for a third season, but with the current state of the pandemic, not much is known about what’s to come. Fortunately, the cast and creatives revealed some information regarding the upcoming season. The Titans are moving to Gotham City this season and will be introduced to some familiar Batman characters, including Batgirl herself — Barbara Gordon.
DC FanDome is almost here! We’re just eight days away from the most anticipated virtual con event of the quarantine year, and to prepare all the good rabid fanboys and fangirls who have waited patiently on pins and needles with anticipation, DC has revealed its preliminary schedule for fans to go in and create their itineraries for the full 24-hour event.
Fans can go here to view and create their custom schedules.
Way back in June, the first details about the DC FanDome, DC’s fan-driven virtual convention, began to emerge. In said article, I said stay tuned to The Nerds of Color for more news on DC FanDome. And well, loyal readers, I aim to keep that promise, and do the opposite of what my dad did that time he promised to take us to Disneyland but didn’t!
We have a PACKED episode this month. After discussing some excellent and exciting MENA entertainment news, Mae and Swara review Netflix’s The Old Guard, which is directed by the incredible Gina Prince-Bythewood and stars one of our favorite MENA actors Marwan Kenzari! But before that, we have an open and frank discussion about “cancel culture,” why it scares powerful and privileged white people so much, and how if they just actually devoted themselves to be better people they wouldn’t have to worry about being “canceled.” Enjoy listening!
In this episode, we discuss systemic Anti-Black racism, how it crops up in MENA communities, and how we should address it. We discuss how we can start important and difficult conversations with friends and family, and how we should show solidarity with the Black community in the fight for racial justice.
We’re joined by Nawal Rajeh, a community organizer and activist who co-founded and runs the non-profit By Peaceful Means, which works with youth in East Baltimore, MD around issues of peace and justice.
In the latest episode of The Middle Geeks, we review Hulu’s Ramy Season 2, dropping on Hulu May 29! We were able to watch the season in full, and give a non-spoiler review followed by a full-length SPOILER review. We mark the timings for these discussions below, so be sure to watch the season first if you don’t want spoilers! How did this season of Ramy improve from Season 1? Why was Mahershala Ali’s character such a standout? How were the characters we were introduced to develop further this season, and how surprising were their stories? How did Ramy Youssef seek to make a messy and irreverent story about this Egyptian-American Muslim family, and how well do he and the show team do that? We also have a difficult discussion about the new show Stargirl and how specifically it relates to the lack of MENA and women of color headlined DCTV shows, give our recommendations, and much more!
Ramy Season 2 discussion beings at 15:48, with a full SPOILERS discussion 27:39-1:34:03.
Music credit: Music Laounga 79 by El Masreyen, the album “Horreia,” used as opening music for Ramy
The internet was abuzz a few weeks ago when the first photos for Denis Villeneuve’s Dune 2020 adaptation came out, but where were all the MENA people who should have been cast in a work clearly informed by the Middle East and its people, down to blatantly using Arabic and Persian words? In our exasperation at this blatant exclusion, we have our friend and lifelong Dune fan Rocky on again to discuss why this is troubling and its overall implications for MENA representation in Hollywood. Why did Warner Brothers and Villeneuve not cast any MENA actors or We’re very tired. We also discuss the return of Legends of Tomorrow and what we thought of Tala Ashe’s mesmerizing performance, give our recommendations for our collective time in quarantine, and much more!