January 4, 2019

I meant to write this post up directly after seeing Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald weeks ago and, to be entirely frank, I forgot all about it. That says a lot about my disappointment in the film and even more about our changing perspective on the Harry Potter phenomenon as a whole. Two years ago, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them released at my local theater and the line to get in—not to get tickets, those had been sold out days before—twisted down the theater’s massive steps,...

September 30, 2018

Let’s be honest for a moment. Would I really make a short blog post solely to complain about a free iPhone game that has no actual impact on my life, just because I happen to be an A+, ridiculous, highly competitive, no-turning-back-I’m-just-like-this gamer? 


Because I’m serious about Harry Potter and I’m serious about the entertainment that reminds me there’s a life outside of writing a dissertation. Because the temperature is starting to drop. Because I’m tired. All of these reason...

August 30, 2018

What makes for excellent gameplay? Surely grinding isn’t at the top of the list. Who wants to spend their time doing a repetitive, meaningless, drawn-out task that in no way calls on skills or knowledge? It’s bad enough in MMOs when you at least know you’re heading towards some serious in-game advantage. Crafting an entire narrative around grinding though… that would be foolish. 

Yet that’s exactly what we have in the new-ish mobile game Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery. It’s supposedly the game we...

February 12, 2018

It's nearly February 14th and you know what that means: it's time for Valentine's Day cards. 

No, I'm not talking about the Hallmark variety with their sickly sweet sentimentality, or the packs of cartoon characters we used to bring into Middle School, jumbo-sized so that everyone was sure to get one. Honestly, it's 2018 and the only cards I care about are the kind written in Comic Sans and posted online. 

This annual tradition is a masterclass in creative meming. I mean yeah, some of the cards ju...

February 11, 2018

It's 2018 and every time Dumbledore tries to sneak out of the closet J.K. Rowling shoves him right back in.

Look, the last two weeks have been nothing but a backlash against the announcement that Dumbledore will not be "explicitly gay" in the next Fantastic Beasts installment, so I'm not here to rehash all of that. If you'd like a refresher on the drama-----as well as a nicely summarized list of the other issues Rowling is tone-deaf to-----I'd recommend checking out how the Harry Potter univ...

December 8, 2017

We’ve made it to the finish line, friends, and wow am I happy to get there. 

Let’s move through this as smoothly as we’re able. 

With everyone realizing that Voldemort and stupid time shenanigans are a legit threat now, an “Extraordinary General Meeting” is called at the Ministry, and I laugh because that doesn’t sound at all serious and ominous, it sounds like something from Kindergarten. “Class! Every day we have our normal meeting, but today there’s an EXTRAORDINARY meeting!” Bring out the mil...

November 30, 2017

(There will be four sections of this review, one for each Act. Part 1 and 2 are here. Spoilers and ranting below).

Well, my reviewing has somewhat slowed because my reading has also slowed—to a freaking crawl if I’m frank. I never thought I’d see the day where I had to force myself to read Harry Potter… yet here we are. 

Let’s get this over with. 

For all those who’ve forgotten (and it’s a seriously wonky plot so I wouldn’t blame you), we’re now in the third timeline, the one where Cedric is s...

October 14, 2017

In our multimedia age video essays have grown in popularity and there are few channels I enjoy more than the Pop Culture Detective on Youtube. Focusing in on the intersection of entertainment and politics (particularly representations of masculinity), host Jonathan McIntosh recently tackled the Harry Potter series' latest installment with "The Fantastic Masculinity of Newt Scamander." I encourage everyone to watch the video for themselves, but for our purposes here I will simply acknowledge that...

October 13, 2017

(There will be four sections of this review, one for each Act. Part 1 is here. Spoilers and ranting below).

Well. I’ve finished Act 2 and…things have not gotten better.

They’ve gotten worse.

I’ll get to the plot in just a second, but for now let me just say that characterization is still a horrid mess. Even the characters that don’t appear get short changed. Neville—our brave, amazing Neville—is briefly mentioned by McGonagall as a good person to help them look for the missing Albus and Scorpius, b...

October 6, 2017

[A brief explanation of spork can be found here. An explanation of Throwback Thursdays is here. Also, obvious spoilers below] 

Given that this is Harry Potter, a phenomenon with more love poured into it than almost any other modern literary series—from myself most of all!—I feel the need to preface this review by saying a few things.

1. No, this isn't a recap. Rather this is a pure, responsive critique. You'll need a least a passing familiarity with Cursed Child's characters and plot to follo...

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