The CW’s Nancy Drew: Queer Ladies and Considerate Ghosts

So, full disclosure about me: I have been a Nancy Drew fan for a very, very long time. It was a big part of my formative years, and I’ve reread the books multiple times in my adult life and continue to enjoy them very much. So, naturally, when I heard that the network that brought us the insanity that is Riverdale was coming out with a dark Nancy Drew reboot, I was pretty sure it was going to be… Well. “Hot garbage” was the first term that came to mind, quite honestly.

This past Friday, however, I actually checked out said series, and I discovered to my great surprise that it is not garbage of any temperature. It is, in fact, a rather awesome and compelling show that I am now low-key obsessed with, because I binge-watched the entire series over on the CW site and endured endless prescription drug commercials in order to see how it all panned out.

And hoo boy, did it not disappoint. It’s a CW show, so you do of course have a few standards that had to be included: (a) characters making out while sexy and/or angsty pop songs play loudly in the background, (b) everyone in the cast being excessively and illogically attractive, and (c) teen heartthrobs from the ’90s now being cast as parents to these excessively and illogically attractive young folk.

But those things aside, the CW’s Nancy Drew is a freaking delight. The mystery is fascinating and multifaceted and actually turned out in a way I did not at all suspect (always a good thing), and what’s more, it actually made sense. The show does have its more Riverdale-esque bananas moments, but for the most part, it’s pretty grounded in the world it inhabits. What happens might be weird, but it fits the weirdness they’ve established for this world, and I’m down with that.

I also have to say that there is a queer element to the show that I was not expecting and was very much delighted by.

Anyway, I took some notes while watching the show, and I would now like to share those notes on the off chance that someone aside from myself may find them entertaining. I also must say that these notes of course include spoilers, so proceed with caution if you don’t wish to be spoiled.

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Thoughts on Star Trek: The Original Series

So, as I mentioned before, I’ve recently been working my way through Star Trek: The Original Series, which despite my all-around nerdiness and love of sci-fi, I’d somehow never seen before.


I know. Madness.

I’ve been very much enjoying the series (when not raging about its hilariously awful treatment of women), and have been compiling my thoughts and reactions while working my way from episode to episode. I offer them to you now, because otherwise, I have no idea what to post about.


Let’s boldly go…to my random comments on a classic science fiction series full of bad props, hilarious overacting, and rampant sexism. ENGAGE!

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Fifty Shades of What the Hell Am I Reading (Part II)

I’m about three-fourths of the way done with Fifty Shades of This Is Easily the Worst Thing I’ve Ever Read, and in the interest of maintaining my sanity through the rest of it, I thought I would take a break to share my thoughts on it so far.

Thought #1: This book sucks.

Thought #2: I mean, really, really sucks. Like, spectacularly, ludicrously, bafflingly sucks.

Thought #3:  Sucks.


1. The Writing


“My heartbeat has picked up, and my medulla oblongata has neglected to fire any synapses to make me breathe.”


On a similar note, I feel that someone needs to inform Ms. E.L. James that normal human beings do not invoke each other’s names in every single sentence they speak to one another.

A dramatization:

“Christian, I would like to say something to you.”

“What is it, Anastasia?”

“Well, Christian, I’m just so clumsy and beautiful and have three different attractive men vying for my attention, Christian, but I really feel that you, Christian, are actually the one for me, Anastasia, which is my name, just as Christian is yours.”

“Oh, Anastasia, that is correct, for Christian is indeed my name, and also my eyes are gray, and my name is Grey, and isn’t that interesting?”

“Oh, yes, Christian, yes! Ever so interesting, Christian! And my last name is Steele, which is like steel, which is gray!”

“Zomg, Anastasia, that’s astounding!”



2. The relationship


I’ve heard many a case defending Christian Grey because tragic backstory + rich and handsome = do whatever you want to women and still be considered a masculine ideal. But it does have to be said, I feel, that this is one messed up dude, and anyone out there (male or female) who is raising him up as something to aspire to needs to wake up and smell the restraining order. (Though I imagine restraining orders wouldn’t have any particular smell, aside perhaps from the scent of the paper they’re printed on, or possibly the ink. But you get the idea.)

Let’s revisit a particularly memorable exchange from the book, which occurs after Christian has stalked Ana, tracked her via her phone’s GPS, sold her car and exchanged it with one he feels is more suitable for her, freaked out when she didn’t answer his emails immediately, raged with jealousy over her associating with other men, sworn her to secrecy about their relationship (thus isolating her from family and friends), and drawn up a contract that not only discusses the sexual aspect of their relationship (which is by far the least disturbing thing in the book), but also requires her to wear what he wants, keep herself constantly “shaved and/or waxed,” and accept that she is now his “property.”

So, yes, after that, we find this gem:

“So why are you trying to change me?”

“I don’t want to change you. I’d like you to be courteous and to follow the set of rules I’ve given you and not defy me. Simple,” he says.

“But you want to punish me?”

“Yes, I do.”

“That’s what I don’t understand.”

He sighs and runs his hands through his hair again.

“It’s the way I’m made, Anastasia. I need to control you. I need you to behave in a certain way.”


These are not the words of a dark, misunderstood hero who just happens to like bondage – this is a big ole flashing neon sign that screams, “DANGER, WILL ROBINSON. RUN THE HELL AWAY BEFORE THE CREEPY SERIAL KILLER MUSIC STARTS UP, ‘CUZ YOU KNOW IT’S GOING TO ANY MINUTE NOW AND YOU DON’T WANT TO BE HERE WHEN IT DOES.”

Now, in the particular case of Christian and Ana, apparently everything turns out just gosh-golly great by the end of the series; this profoundly disturbed man is healed by the lovin’ of a good woman, and all is sunshine and rainbows. But I feel that the fans of Fifty Shades of This Book Is Seriously Awful need to remember that that is by far the least likely outcome to this sort of relationship. When one member of a couple demands total, unquestioning control over the other in all aspects of life, it generally doesn’t lead to anything good.

Also, for the record, I have no issue at all with the sexual aspect of their relationship – it’s everything else about it that disturbs the crap out of me.


Well, back to the book, then. Only 200-some pages to go…!


Fifty Shades of What the Hell Am I Reading

It was a normal February Thursday in Chicago. (Freezing, snowy, and generally stupid, though with great pizza.)


In the absence of a hardy tauntaun to transport me to the supermarket, I was amusing myself on the internet and had just posted an anti-Fifty Shades of Grey link on Facebook.

And then, suddenly, it happened. My ability to denounce the aforementioned literary vomit was challenged with this simple question:

Have you actually read it?

And shock of shocks, horror of horrors, I had to respond with:

No, I have not. (Because I am not insane.)

My critique of the book was shot down, and rightly so – for how can I possibly cast aspersions on a dreadful novel of dreadfulness that I’ve never actually read?

And so…



In coming entries, I hope to share with you my impressions of this godawful piece of crap (confirmation pending), and hopefully a good time will be had by all who are not actually subjecting themselves to the horror of reading it.



Note: If reading this book leaves me an incoherent gibbering mess who can no longer take delight in the gentle amber glow of sunshine or the innocent laughter of a child, I hope you will all remember me fondly, and see this as a cautionary tale of the dangers of delving into badly written literature just for the sake of proving a (n already well-established) point.

Farewell, my friends. Possibly forever. For now I ride into battle, perhaps never to return.


FGJ at Rainbow Reviews

Following Grandpa Jess300 dpiFor any interested parties, you can read a review of my book, Following Grandpa Jess, over at Rainbow Reviews:

A quote from the review, which was written by Lena Grey:

“A big part of the appeal of this book is its down-to-earth approach to family life. The writing is excellent and engaging without being sappy or over-the top. There aren’t any gigantic, earth-shattering events, but there are several that are, nonetheless, important milestones for Jess’s family unity. Each character is a piece of the familial puzzle which, even at best, may not fit together perfectly, but those whose greater purpose is brought into better focus with a lot of love, honesty, and introspection, all of which is achieved by remembering to follow the example left by Grandpa Jess. I recommend this heartwarming, emotional story to everyone who wants a good, thoughtful read, one which also reminds us of the importance of family love.”

News of the good variety

Just wanted to share the (somewhat belated) news that Following Grandpa Jess recently hit the bestseller list over at Huzzah!


The book was also recently featured over on Reviews by Jessewave, and if you’re still on the fence about whether or not to buy it, you can find a variety of thoughts on the book on Amazon and Goodreads.

I would write more, but my brain has turned to mid-afternoon mush and I can’t seem to string together a sentence that sounds even remotely print-worthy. THUS! I bid you adieu for now.


/reduction of caffeine not going well