Ask AfterEllen.com (Feb. 17, 2009)

 
 

Want to know the status of a particular movie, TV show, or band? Wondering what a certain actress is up to these days? Send your entertainment-related questions to askafterellen@gmail.com — with your first name, city and country — and we’ll try to answer as many as we can.

Question: What’s up with the second season of Exes & Ohs and when will it be aired? And by the way, is Marnie Alton gay?

— Katrin, Cologne, Germany

Answer: I checked with Logo, and the second season of Exes & Ohs will debut in the U.S. this summer. I don’t yet know what’s in store for the show, plot-wise, but you may be able to glean some tidbits from writer/star Michelle Paradise’s vlogs about making the second season. (Although she’s pretty good at keeping things secret!)

As for Marnie Alton, she’s not gay, sadly, although she is very, very gay friendly, and described herself as 42% on the "one to gay" scale in her appearance on The Julie Goldman Celesbian Interview Special last year.

Question: I’m a big fantasy fan, so I’m excited about Comedy Central’s new fantasy parody show Krod Mandoon, especially the cute woman in the cast with the sword. Is it any good?

— Camilla, Nashville, TN

Answer: Eh, it’s…OK. At least, that’s my take on it after watching the pilot.

First, here’s the official description of the series for those who aren’t familiar with it:

Kröd Mändoon is a thin-skinned and underconfident freedom fighter, who is the last great hope in the struggle against the evil ruler, Chancellor Dongalor. To help fight the great fight, Kröd has assembled a band of remarkably ineffectual freedom fighters: Aneka, the beautiful Pagan warrioress whose weapon of choice is sex, Loquasto, the oafish servant with bad aim, Zezelryck, the young warlock whose greatest magical gift is spinning BS, and Bruce, who’s simply fabulous. Together, they must overcome a myriad of evil obstacles in their quest to save the world, including name-calling, hired assassins and bad hair days.

While a spoof of fantasy movies is ripe for the making, I’m not sure this works as a TV series. It seems like a better idea as a movie. The writing in the pilot is very hit-and-miss — while there are some funny scenes and lines, the jokes gets a little stale and predictable after awhile.

The way they’ve written the female character, Aneka (India de Beaufort), doesn’t help. She is described as "a fierce warrioress skilled with many weapons but none more so than her unbridled Pagan sexuality." Which basically means she’s a sex object with a sword.

Aneka (Inda de Beaufort) and Krod (Sean Maguire) in Krod Mandoon

Although she does wield the sword well, Aneka’s greatest weapon is her sexuality (sidenote: is anyone else hearing Jenna’s voice from 30 Rock when you read that?). Aneka distracts bad guys by luring them to dark corners and servicing them, and there’s a running joke about her not wearing underwear.

And lest you think this is all done in an intelligent, subversive way that’s actually mocking sexism in fantasy movies: it isn’t. It’s just sexist.

The writers could have successfully parodied female fantasy characters like Xena, the White Witch or Susan in the Narnia movies, or Arwen in Lord of the Rings, but apparently they decided to model her after Red Sonja, instead.

And did I mention she’s the only woman among the cast and supporting characters? Yeah, a female-friendly show this is not.

Maybe it’ll get better over time. But I kinda doubt it. Watch this extended trailer and decide for yourself:

The series premieres April 9 at 9pm on Comedy Central; go to the show’s official website for more info.

If you’re a big fan of fantasy, check out the new website TheTorchOnline.com, which has news and reviews related to all things fantasy in entertainment.

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