GLAAD has released their annual media award nominees this week and as per the usual, it’s straight fucking fire. Comics nominees are Saga, Love is Love, Black Panther, Midnighter/Midnighter & Apollo, DC Bombshells, Lumberjanes, Kim & Kim, The Woods, Patsy Walker aka Hellcat & All New X-Men. Other nominees include Star Trek Beyond in film; Super Girl, Black Mirror, Wynonna Erp, Orphan Black & Stevens Universe in TV & former podcast recommendations Blood Orange Freetown Sound & Frank Ocean’s Channel Orange in music. Wow. Details at GLAAD’s website
Fifty years ago NBC premiered a new science-fiction series entitled Star Trek. Despite being canceled after three seasons due to low ratings, the show would firmly lodge itself into geek fandom. From there its popularity would grow until it settled comfortably into the prominence among popular culture. Along the way it would add several spin-off shows (the latest debuts in 2017), an animated cartoon series, books and thirteen films, the most recent of which arrived in theaters this past weekend. Star Trek Beyond is the third movie since the franchise was rebooted in 2009 with J. J. Abrams’ Star Trek. In some ways, Beyond is a fresh start with director Justin Lin and screenwriters Simon Pegg & Doug Jung stepping into those roles for the first time. (Pegg, for his part, has been involved with the reboot from the beginning, playing the role of Scotty). While the new creative team do add some of their own flavorings, they also hew strongly to the template that Abrams employed for Star Trek and its sequel Into Darkness. At the same time, though, they avoid many of the mistakes of the latter film. Beyond may not be classic Trek, but, on its own terms, it is an enjoyable ride, whose strongest attribute is some great character work.