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.Continue reading “The Gift of Sanaz Toosi’s ‘English’”
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.Continue reading “The Middle Geeks Episode 32: The Promise of ‘Star Wars: Visions’”
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.Continue reading “The Middle Geeks Episode 31: ‘Dune’ Review”
“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.Continue reading “NOC Review: A Unique Premiere for a Unique ‘Legends of Tomorrow’ Season”
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.Continue reading “Showrunner Keto Shimizu Discusses Season 7 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.
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.Continue reading “NOC Interview: Shayan Sobhian of ‘DC’s Legends of Tomorrow’”
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.Continue reading “NOC Interview: David Ramsey’s Arrowverse Journey Continues”
The following has minor plot setup spoilers for the Legends of Tomorrow Season 6 episode “The Satanist’s Apprentice.”Continue reading “NOC Review: Astra’s a Hell Queen Out of Fire on ‘Legends of Tomorrow’”
We discuss the most recent IDF and Israeli government brutalization and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in Gaza and East Jerusalem and discuss what the world and the US need to do to help those affected and end the occupation. We discuss what the daily reality is like for Palestinians in the West Bank through Farah Nabulsi’s brilliant short film, The Present, which you can watch on Netflix. Please do what you can to help Palestinians in need.
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.Continue reading “NOC Interview: Tala Ashe of ‘DC’s Legends of Tomorrow’”
The following has minor plot setup spoilers for the Legends of Tomorrow Season 6 episode “The Ex-Factor.”Continue reading “NOC Review: Tala Ashe Shines in the Latest ‘DC’s Legends of Tomorrow’”
The following has minor plot setup spoilers for the Legends of Tomorrow Season 6 episode “Ground Control to Sara Lance.”Continue reading “NOC Review: ‘DC’s Legends of Tomorrow’ Starts Season 6 Off with a Bang”
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.Continue reading “Co-showrunner Phil Klemmer Discusses New Season of ‘DC’s Legends of Tomorrow’”
We’re excited to have on TV writer, blogger, and Star Wars fan Arezou Amin on to discuss the long history of MENA people being excluded from Science Fiction and Fantasy media. Why are we constantly ousted from stories that were, in fact, inspired by works based on the Middle East and our culture? Where could we even find ourselves? We discuss Arezou’s project with Postcards from the Galaxy’s Edge featuring Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) Star Wars fans, and what she and the podcast hoped to achieve with it. We also discuss various DCTV news, including the Legends of Tomorrow panel at DC FanDome and the future of Zari and Behrad Tarazi in Season 6, Supergirl ending with Season 6, and Caity Lotz’s bufoonish tweets, and the news that Alia Shawkat is creating and starring in a series based on her family’s Iraqi immigrant experience!
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.
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!
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!
This month on The Middle Geeks, we’re joined by our friend and fellow DCTV fan Andy Behbakht to discuss why we love the character Zari Tomaz/Tarazi on DC’s Legends of Tomorrow so much. This character brings such wonderful representation, for which we’re very grateful. What does Tala Ashe bring to the role in her excellent performance of the character? What do we make of Zari’s story over the seasons and how she is written? How does Zari, through her cultural background, story, and personality, represent us as Middle Eastern people? We also discuss the news that we may be getting an Aladdin (2019) sequel, whether we feel excited about it, give our recommendations, and much more!
This month on The Middle Geeks, we discuss Waad Al-Kateab’s stunning documentary For Sama, which provides visceral insight into the Syrian Civil War and the experiences of citizens under siege. The film has been nominated for numerous accolades, including the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. In much lighter topics, we discuss the upcoming return of Zari (Tala Ashe) on Legends of Tomorrow, and the news that Iranian and other people of color will be leads in Middle Earth on Amazon Prime’s Lord of the Rings series!
In the latest installment of The Middle Geeks, we review Wajib by Palestinian director Annemarie Jacir. Mae and Swara talk about what we enjoyed about the film, and how we thought it offered a realistic portrayal of families dealing with generational oppression and how meaningful it is for Annemarie Jacir to tell an intimate story of her people. We also discuss the great news that the upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi series for Disney+ will have an Iranian-British writer with Hossein Amini, how we’re looking forward to the Arrow spinoff starring the Canaries, and give our recommendations of what to watch.
(We start our Wajib discussion at the 21:12 mark.)
In the latest installment of The Middle Geeks, we review Nadine Labaki’s 2018 heartbreaking masterpiece, Capernaum. Mae and Swara reflect on the state of conflict in the region, how institutions fail children, immigrants, and the most vulnerable, and how generational trauma affects us as Middle Eastern-Americans. It’s a hard but necessary set of discussions to have. On much lighter topics, we discuss the slew of news from D23, and express our dismay at a change in DC’s Legends of Tomorrow‘s upcoming season.
(We start our Capernaum discussion at the 32:51 mark.)