PODCAST: Paul Guest Stars on Cuff’s Basement!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

I recently appeared as a guest on the hit podcast Cuff’s Basement, hosted by longtime friends and contributors to World’s Best Media, Tim Cuff and Ryan McDonald! It’s a hell of a lot of fun, so we decided to include it here for your listening pleasure. On this episode of Cuff’s Basement, we discuss one of the best TV shows of all time, HBO’s The Wire. This was a 4-Part series of episodes that Tim and Ryan we’re recording. Each part had a special guest possessing both encyclopedic knowledge and love of HBO’s The Wire. I was the fourth and final guest, so as the old saying goes: Save the best for last! In all seriousness though, all four installments are very entertaining and thought provoking, so if you enjoy this episode I highly recommend listening to the first 3-Parts of,Cuff’s Basement Presents: The Wire – A Podcast Analysis In 4-Parts! If you happen to be a fan of The Wire, then this is a MUST LISTEN! (Cuff’s Basement is available on iTunes/Apple Podcasts)

For those of you that may not know, The Wire was a series that ran on HBO for five seasons in the early 2000s. This amazing show was equal parts comedy and tragedy. Taking place in Baltimore with a stellar ensemble cast, the show began as an exploration of the Baltimore drug trade. Specially focusing on The Barksdale Organization, the most successful and power drug traffickers in the city and the police unit trying to take this criminal organization down. Unfortunately, higher ups in the department only cared about statistics and arrest numbers. The heads of the department only wanted crime statistics that reflected favorably on them, even though the numbers were not an accurate representation of crime in the city of Baltimore. For political reasons, the bosses in The BPD didn’t want to commit time, money, and manpower to the type of long term investigations that would ultimately yield an actual drop of crime and violence in the city. Yet through a combination of intelligence, subterfuge, determination, and out right luck, this group of officers managed to effectively mount a serious investigation into The Barksdale Organization, without the help or even sometimes permission, of the higher ups in the Police Department.


While the Baltimore drug trade and the Baltimore police department would continue to be a major part of the show throughout its entire run, the series was really a deep examination of a broken American city and how all our major institutions like political representatives, The Police Department, school systems, and the media, ultimately fail the people they’re supposed to serve. Those who attempt to enact real change and reform are ultimately destroyed by the systemic corruption of these broken institutions. The creators of the show once referred to The Wire as a Greek tragedy. The parallel being that, in those stories, nothing good ever comes from mortals mixing themselves up with the gods. In The Wire the gods are the institutions, like City Hall or the public school system for example, and the mortals are the citizens and well-meaning individuals working within those systems. The show was like a mesmerizing novel and it was one of the first series to showcase what the television medium was capable of. Along side The Sopranos, The Wire was a huge part of ushering in the golden age of television that we are experiencing now.


I wanted to include this video, featuring some of the best moments of one of the most iconic characters from The Wire, stick up artist and urban Robin Hood, Omar Little.

Listen here and find out: https://www.spreaker.com/episode/40479434  Or subscribe on Stitcher, Spreaker, iHeartRadio, Deezer, Podchaser, Castbox, Podcast Addict, Google Podcasts, & Apple Podcasts/ITunes…

iTunes/Apple Podcasts:    https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-worlds-best-podcast/id1246038441?i=1000489059241

Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/s?fid=185563

Thanks for listening! Follow me on Twitter @PJWrightWBM or type Worlds Best Media into the search bar, you can also like and follow us on our Facebook page; World’s Best Media. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews, go a long way to supporting World’s Best Media. We really appreciate the loyalty and support shown to us by our fans, so thanks again! Stay healthy and stay safe!

-Paul
*Cuff’s Basement is available on iTunes/Apple Podcasts

DC FANDOME: Wonder Woman 1984! The Batman! Zack Snyder’s Justice League! James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad! Trailers, Posters, & Behind-The-Scenes Video!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…


HOLY. CRAP. It is one HELL of a good day to be a DC COMICS fan! I’ve gotta say, at least when it came to delivering on big, exciting content for DC fans, DC FANDOME knocked it out of the park! We got a look at nearly every upcoming major DC project on the horizon across all major mediums (film, television, comic books, and video games, etc). In case you didn’t get a chance to see any of these awesome panels for yourself, Ive taken the liberty of getting all the goodies, the best stuff from DC FANDOME, and compiled them here for your viewing pleasure. I’ve posted all of the trailers, posters, and behind the scenes videos that were shown during today’s DC FANDOME event. If you wanted to watch certain panels, but missed them, there’s also going to be a complete encore of all the panels featured, beginning tonight and running into the morning. An on-demand style version of DC FANDOME will be available on September 22, where instead of having to watch the live feed and wait for your favorite panel to start, you can just pick and choose which of the videos and panels from DC FANDOME that you want to watch. Fortunately I’m here right now, so you don’t have to do wait to see the best content. You can just take a look at all the awesome and exciting DC Comics goodness coming our way in the near future! Enjoy!

Wonder Woman: 1984

The Batman (Directed by Matt Reeves & Starring Robert Pattinson):


The Official Logo of “The Batman”
Official promo art for “The Batman”, designed and drawn by the legendary Jim Lee
Stills from the film of Robert Pattinson as Bruce Wayne/Batman

James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad:

The Suicide Squad reveals which characters the ensemble cast are playing.
A behind-the-scenes look at James Gunn’s new take on The Suicide Squad.

Zack Snyder’s Justice League:

Darkseid. Is.

Black Adam (Starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson):
Concept Art from the film showing Black Adam and the heroes who disagree with his extreme methods, The JSA or The Justice Society of America…

Hawkman
Atom Smasher
Doctor Fate
Cyclone

The Flash:

The Flash hasn’t begun filming yet, so there wasn’t much new content to show the audience. It’s already been announced that Ben Affleck is returning to the role of Batman for this film, which will also see the return of fan favorite Michael Keaton’s classic version of The Dark Knight. The film is expected to be heavily influenced by the classic Flash story, Flashpoint. Time travel and alternate realities are big parts of that story and according to the director, The Multiverse is a major component of the movie. Which is how we have two different versions of Batman in the same film. The panel did showcase this cool concept art below that shows the new version of The Flash’s costume as he fights alongside Batman. As explained on the panel, like Tony Stark in the Marvel films, apparently this new suit upgrade will be courtesy of Wayne Enterprises, some thing built by a Batman specifically for Barry Allen. The director (who previously directed It: Chapter One & Two) described the suit as more “organic“ than the previous design. Take a look…

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Gotham Knights (the long rumored new installment in DC’s popular series of Batman video games). Coming to PS4 & PS5 in 2021:

Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League (A New Video Game available on PS4 and PS5):

The Flash: Season 7 (The CW):

Holy shit! A lot of new and amazing DC content dropped during their DC FANDOME event. This is great for DC fans because, as you can se, all of theses projects looked fantastic!

Thanks for reading! Follow me on Twitter @PJWrightWBM or type Worlds Best Media into the search bar, you can also like and follow us on our Facebook page; World’s Best Media. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews, go a long way to supporting World’s Best Media. We really appreciate the loyalty and support shown to us by our fans, so thanks again! Stay healthy and stay safe!

-Paul

Recasting the Fictional Beauties of My Childhood

Written by Michael Cole

I want to start off, by saying, this post has been written, and rewritten more than a half dozen times in my brain.  I talked to Paul about it at the beginning of the summer, and for several weeks, it seemed as though every time I was ready to write it, something new would happen in the news that would make me take pause, and wait to see how things were going to settle in the end.  As of this past week, I think they’re all settled—at least for long enough that I can comfortably write this post and publish it before it’s out-of-date.  That being said, let’s dive in.

I have maintained, for a long time now, that Mary Jane Watson and Ariel from The Little Mermaid, are the reason why myself, and many men of my generation have a special place in our hearts (I’m going with hearts, since I had crushes on both characters pre-puberty) for redheaded women.  As I grew up, most of the time I saw redheaded women, I found them more attractive on average, than a similar looking woman with any other hair color.  As I grew up, the characters that caught my attention on shows, became the women with red hair, i.e. Joan on Mad Men, and Ygritte on Game of Thrones.

Ok, one of two possible scenarios are at play here: 1. Tom Holland’s Spider-Man suit has some kind of built in plastic cup or shield around his crotch to keep his erections from bulging out of the skin tight spandex. 2. He DOES have an erection bulging out, but Zendaya’s leg is obstructing the view in this photo. Either way, you gotta respect the confidence to be filming in THAT position, in that suit, on an open set, and be willing to roll the dice.

When I learned that Zendaya’s character in the MCU/Sony Spider-Man films, was supposed to be MJ (although not Mary Jane) it didn’t bother me, but it did make me think. At first I started thinking about the impact that comic book MJ had on me, and I wondered if this may have the same effect on a younger generation toward black women.  Of course, at some point in the past few months, Disney announced that they were casting Halle Bailey as Ariel in the live-action remake of The Little Mermaid, and the question repeated itself in my mind.

Now, at first I thought, “that would be great if these characters helped another generation to find the beauty in a group of people that they may other-wise have not thought about in that way,” but I don’t think I was right on that.  First off, I think that so far with Zendaya’s MJ as opposed to comic book MJ, there is a significant amount less sexualization, and that’s probably a good thing.  I don’t remember much about MJ as a character, other than her calling Peter ‘Tiger,’ and I remember pictures of her more than anything.  Ariel is the same thing, I remember her character, and while it was problematic I always liked it, but at least half of my fascination was with the seashell bra.  This year’s Aladdin, live-action remake, did a lot of work desexualizing Princess Jasmine, and I think Disney is likely to do the same with Ariel.

Peter would have asked if he could take MJ’s coat for her, but all the blood in his brain had just plunged into his dick.

The second reason, that I think my initial thought that perhaps this idea was a good one, is that while there was something innocent about it, I do think there ultimately ends up being a fetishization of these characters, and their physical characteristics within the original material.  There are demographics, based on race and gender combinations that are more or less statistically attractive, and unfortunately, black women (along with asian men) tend to be statistically disadvantaged in this way.  I had heard and read that enough times that it supported my original idea that maybe lifting black women up in this was a good thing, and I will say this, if Ariel is bad-ass, and inspires black girls to be bad-ass, or if MJ challenges the stereotypes of women, that’s great, and so far I do think Disney is doing a great job with that.  They’re doing better than I would have, based on my own warped logic going into this.  I had to realize that there is a huge difference between fetishizing, and raising up.  Disney is raising up, and I was thinking indirectly, “hey wouldn’t it be cool if a bunch of kids ended up with a black woman fetish.”  It wasn’t my intention, but it was essentially what I was thinking.  Hell, it was initially what I was pitching to Paul.

So, now that I have that out of the way, now that I’ve talked about the two characters who really shaped much of my physical attraction, I want to shift gears slightly, and talk about a bit of news that came out the day that I was first ‘ready’ to write this.  In the next James Bond film, 007 will be played by a black woman.  There has been speculation for years about who would be Daniel Craig’s replacement in the James Bond cufflinks, with a lot of speculation going to Idris Elba (who I think would be awesome if he’s still young enough when the mantel gets passed).  Trying, I think to do two thing, test the waters, but also stir up some hype in the form of controversy, it was announced that there would be a new 007, and that it would be Lashana Lynch.

I think they were testing the waters, because they announced that she would be the new 007, and waited until speculation and feedback came in, before announcing, that in the plot of the new film, Bond has retired, and is replaced in his title of 007, and then he is pulled back in while in retirement.  It was a soft way of testing things out, to see if perhaps we’re more into 007 or James Bond.  It’s similar to what Mission Impossible did with Jeremy Renner a few years ago.  It’s not a bad plan, and we will see how it plays out in that way, but it also kind of plays into my general topic.

James Bond is perhaps one of the most sexualized male characters in cinematic history, and the way in which going about that has been drastically different from how they’ve sexualized women.  Is it possible, that we’re going to get a female version of that?  Will this change how female sexuality plays out on screen?  Also, we have a character who is very much the coolest person in the room, and definitely has shaped young men’s idea of what a man is, will a black female 007 do the same for young women?

I think he’d make an awesome Batman

In the past few years in cinema, there has been a lot of talk about representation, and for the most part I think that it has been a good thing, and honestly I’m not one of these people who get’s bent out of shape when they change a character I like, or even love.  I understand that most of these things are constantly evolving, and I don’t personally want to see the same old thing over and over.  But I really think that these three examples are interesting, because they’re a bit different than other roles.  Nick Fury, changing from a white man to a black man, had little impact as far as I can see, because the character was always one of authority, and I never associated with him, and I never felt an attraction to him, or to be like him.  I also have to consider what it means for other people, and I don’t know.  On the one hand, I think of all the black women I think are cool, or bad-ass, or beautiful, and it’s not a short list, and I wonder if that’s blinding me to a problem that’s real? Perhaps these casting decisions will help to solve that. I don’t know, but I think it’s important to ask some of these questions of ourselves.

Article by Michael Cole

Mike Cole is a published author, freelance writer, & filmmaker. He is a happily married father of one.

Editors Note: Photos and their subsequent captions were added by Paul Wright… So, you know, don’t blame Mike.