Hard NOC Life 261: SWANASA Excellence (Feat. Swara Salih and Simone Ashley)

Dominic and Britney are joined by our very own Swara to break down episode two of Disney+’s Moon Knight and continue the debate over Kamala Khan’s power set in the latest Ms. Marvel promo. Then, newest NOC Lyra interviews Bridgerton star Simone Ashley about representing on the popular Netflix series before the crew speculates about what Ezra Miller’s predicament means for the future of The Flash in the DCEU.

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NOC Review: ‘Moon Knight’ Raises the Bar for What the MCU Can Be

Many new viewers may ask themselves “Who the hell are Moon Knight and Marc Spector?” The protagonist of the titular Disney+ series, Steven Grant, grapples with the same question as he’s swept on a psychological and mythological ride across the globe.

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The ‘Moon Knight’ Team on the Making of the Series

Moon Knight meets the hype as one of the most standout Marvel Studios productions. Combing elements of psychology, horror, Egyptology (that for once doesn’t feel Orientalist), and action-adventure, it’s sure to make a distinct impression on audiences so used to the Marvel formula. But what exactly went into the creative process of this series?

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‘Moon Knight’ Featurette Gives New Look at the Upcoming Series

We’re only weeks away from the hotly anticipated new MCU series Moon Knight, and Marvel has given us a new look at the series with a new featurette. We see sweeping landscapes of the Egyptian desert, Egyptian tombs, and new looks at Moon Knight and his master Khonshu, God of the Moon. It promises an epic and psychological adventure

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The Gift of Sanaz Toosi’s ‘English’

What goes into learning a foreign language for your livelihood? How does one prepare to become a foreigner in an unfamiliar country? Encapsulating the migrant experience through the microcosm of a TOEFL class in 2008 Karaj, Iran, Sanaz Toosi’s searingly beautiful play English, directed by Knud Adams, answers all of this and much more, running at The Atlantic Theater in New York City to critical acclaim.

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The Middle Geeks Episode 35: ‘Archive 81’ Review

We discuss Netflix’s new horror series Archive 81, which headlines two SWANA stars with Mamoudou Athie and Dina Shihabi! What did we enjoy about this creepy series? Would it have been better if Mamoudou and Dina’s characters were SWANA coded? What do we want from a Season 2?

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The Middle Geeks Episode 34: ‘A Hero’ Review and Reputation

We are joined by the Organizing Director of the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), Donna Farvard, and our friend and Vulture critic Roxana Hadadi to discuss acclaimed Iranian director Asghar Farhadi’s latest film and award-buzzed film, A Hero.

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The Middle Geeks Episode 33: ‘Gaza Mon Amour’ Review and Holiday Edition

Even though there’s not a lot to be merry about, we count our blessings and make it merry! We also discuss the wonderful 2020 film Gaza Mon Amour by director brothers Tarzan and Arab Nasser, which shows old love in the middle of Gaza, starring our fave Hiam Abbass. We also discuss the exciting news of We Are Lady Parts Season 2 renewal, Mena Massoud’s new Netflix rom-com coming out soon, and much more!

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The Middle Geeks Episode 32: The Promise of ‘Star Wars: Visions’

We’re excited to have Meg Humphrey of Rogue Podron on to discuss Star Wars: Visions, the new anime anthology on Disney+ that breathes fresh life into this franchise with Japanese creators, crafting stories in a universe that was *heavily* inspired by their own culture.

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The Middle Geeks Interview: Abubakr Ali of Netflix’s ‘Grendel’

We are delighted to welcome Abubakr Ali on the podcast, who will be playing the titular role in Netflix’s Grendel, making him the FIRST Arab and Muslim actor to headline a comic adaptation in TV/Film! We discuss what got him into acting, his career so far, what his favorite superhero and other media are, and much more. Enjoy the conversation!

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Hard NOC Life 240: ‘Dune’ is Coarse, Rough, Irritating, and it Gets Everywhere

On a new episode of Hard NOC Life, Dominic and Britney review Denis Villeneuve’s remake of Dune, break down Hayden Christensen’s official return to the Star Wars universe, and discuss on-set safety after Alec Baldwin shot and killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and Ruby Rose revealed the working conditions on the Batwoman set.

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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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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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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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Is ‘Dune’ Truly a White-Savior Story?

Not according to Denis Villeneuve.

Recently, members of the press, including The Nerds of Color, were given the privilege of speaking directly with the visionary director behind Dune. During the conversation, Villeneuve was asked about Dune being an example of the White Savior trope, among many other questions, and he wanted to make it specifically clear that while many have taken the surface-level concept of the story and expressed condemnations for it based on that, interpreting the story as such would actually be missing the true point of it.

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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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The VO Actors of Global Majority You Need to Know: Ryan Colt Levy

Over the past three years, I’ve encountered some truly remarkable voiceover actors from the PGM (People Of Global Majority) community, so remarkable that I thought it would be a worthwhile endeavor to dedicate an article about themselves, their accomplishments, and where you can find them and do so every week. When will this end? Most likely never so as I cackle at the infinite posts this may generate, I am so very happy to tell you all that my spotlight for this week is on Ryan Colt Levy! (Banner design once again done by the incredible VO artist/graphic designer Belsheber Rusape Jr.)

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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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