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!
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’”
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!Continue reading “The Middle Geeks Interview: Abubakr Ali of Netflix’s ‘Grendel’”
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”
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’”
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.Continue reading “The Middle Geeks 30: ‘AlRawabi School for Girls’ Makes ‘Mean Girls’ Look Like Cotton Candy”
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!Continue reading “Abubakr Ali Cast as Titular Anti-Hero for Netflix’s ‘Grendel’”
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!Continue reading “The Middle Geeks Episode 29: ‘Lift Like a Girl’ and an MCU Assessment”
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!Continue reading “The Middle Geeks Episode 28: Palestine in Pop Culture and ‘Loki’”
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’”
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!
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.
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!
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’”
In the second of our interview series, author Reem Faruqi and artist Fahmida Azim join us to discuss their new book, Amira’s Picture Day, out now! We discuss the impetus for this delightful children’s book that takes place on the Muslim holiday Eid-Al-Fitr, celebrating the end of Ramadan, and what else inspired them in the creation of this wonderful story, from the beautiful art to the deeply embedded cultural elements Enjoy listening and buy your copy of Amira’s Picture Day today!
This month, we’re reviewing not one, but TWO series, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier on Disney+, and Nasim Pedrad’s Chad on TBS! What did we think of the overall series and finale of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier? How well did it handle the sociopolitical and geopolitical themes it tried to tackle? How did Chad do a good job at presenting a normal Iranian American family, and what did we make of the cringe humor style? We also discuss some VERY exciting castings of MENA actors for the Black Adam film, give our recommendations, and much more!Continue reading “The Middle Geeks Episode 25: The Falcon, The Winter Soldier, and… Chad”
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 joined once again by the wonderful Arezou to discuss and review the entirety of Marvel’s WandaVision on Disney+! What did we think the series did well, and what were areas it could have improved upon? How well did it do at exploring themes of love and grief? What do we think it says about the future of the MCU, and the standard it sets for character development and exploration going forward? We answer all that and more in this spoiler-packed installment of The Middle Geeks!
Spoilers for all of WandaVision throughout this episode
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.)Continue reading “The Middle Geeks Episode 23: ‘I Still Hide to Smoke’ and a Plethora of MENA News”
We are joined by our friend Tariq Raouf to discuss the upcoming film Breaking Fast, which features a gay Arab-American Muslim as its protagonist! We discuss what we enjoyed about the film, what director and writer Mike Mosallam was trying to say with this delightful rom-com, how well it does with representation for Arabs, Muslims, and Ramadan, and where it could have been better. Before that, in our MENA news segment, we have some GREAT news to discuss with Ramy’s May Calamawy being base in Marvel’s Moon Knight! And another of our faves, Rami Malek, has been cast in a lead role in David O’Rusell’s upcoming film! Enjoy listening!
Spoilers for Breaking Fast begin around 26:06