The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Are Adding A Female Member, Where Will It End?!

They've dropped a real bombSHELL.

Intergenerational childhood heroes Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael and Donatello have officially been joined on their sewer-based capers by Jennika, a female turtle donning a snazzy yellow mask and some rather Wolverine-esque weapons.

Issue #95 of the IDW comics would have you witness the body-horror visual of a human woman mutating into a turtle by blood transfusion, but honestly it’s about damn time! Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have had half-shell heroines in the past, but only briefly (and kind of disturbingly), so this is some serious progress.

It’ll be pretty exciting to see what Jennika gets up to on their adventures, especially since the ‘token females’ in male ensembles have a tendency to completely steal the show.

Elaine Benes of Seinfeld was a sitcom saviour, and she owned some of show’s most memorable moments. Her origin story is surprisingly problematic – she wasn’t in the original pitch but NBC insisted there be a female character if they were to sign off on it. Despite that she ended up being complex, flawed and fun.

There are so many iconic women in television we can look back on who surprised us for being unreasonably awesome.

If you grew up on Nineties Nickelodeon you probably watched Hey Arnold!, where the brutal and bossy Helga is by far the most memorable (and oft-times relatable) character. Thank you Helga, for tearing down feminine beauty standards one eyebrow at a time – literally one.

Modern sitcoms like Brooklyn Nine-Nine feature plenty of funny female ensemble members, like Rosa and Amy, where their gender isn’t the butt of the joke.

Honestly guys, we ladies aren’t actually that different from you, if you’d stop goofing about the ‘old ball and chain’ for about 5 seconds.

In film, girls like Hermione stole the spotlight from the titular character all the time. I honestly can’t believe there’s a single person on Earth alive who doesn’t know the correct pronunciation of wingardium leviosa now.

The Marvel Cinema Universe has a controversial relationship with its ladies, but in Black Panther it was Shuri’s casual genius and Okoye’s spear-slinging skills that stunned audiences.

But things aren’t perfect yet, not by a long shot. The TV drama formula of the 2000s was basically male lead(s) + gritty plot + grey morality = profit, with shows like The Sopranos, then followed by Breaking Bad, Boardwalk Empire, Mad Men, True Detective, House of Cards… you get the idea.

If there are any “strong female characters”, you can bet they’re going to be relegated to secondary cast members. Even the ones that have shined haven’t been the protagonists. Women were the main characters in less than a third of the films released in 2018, and it was worse still when comparing the number of speaking roles overall.

So Hollywood, I have a challenge for you: Stop thinking that every ‘edgy’ story with sex and violence is the exclusive domain of males. If your hero has a female sidekick, step back and flip it. It’s not going to ruin the narrative, I promise. And making the entertainment industry a more comfortable place for women to tell those stories well would be a great place to start.

Stranger Things 3 Was A Period Drama So Here’s Your History Lesson

WARNING: Spoilers, obviously.

There is no doubt that a lot of those 40 million viewers were either too young to remember the Eighties or emerged into the world long after perms went past their use-by date. Dear reader, if you are among those embryos then you’ll have missed a lot of the more nuanced references in the latest season.

Warning: Here there be spoilers

Let’s get the obvious out of the way. Stranger Things 3 showed, name-dropped, and referenced about a zillion cult classics of film and television, including movies that established iconic tropes in the horror genre. Thank The Thing for the Mind Flayer’s bloodthirsty alien tendencies and many-legged, insect-like form, and The Blob for its new ability to explode living things into disgusting, sentient flesh sacks and absorb them.

In Chapter Seven, the Scoops Troop briefly drop in on a showing of Back To The Future. The date that the episode takes place is the 3rd July 1985, the exact same day that the movie premiered IRL. Cool nod, but not exactly subtle.

But Stranger Things doesn’t just take place in the Eighties, it also parodies the era and romanticises it. One of the more clever ways it does this is by incorporating the political sentiments of the time into this season’s Russian villains.

The long and anxious years of the Cold War seeped into the cultural conscience of America in ways that have never been fully untangled. Most are as afraid of the ‘commies’ now as they were then, and even though the tensions had waned by the time that Stranger Things 3 is set in, the trope of the evil Russian was booming as much at the cinema as in Ronald Reagan’s re-election campaign.

The most obvious parallel is Red Dawn, the classic story of Soviet-invades-town, high-schoolers-fight-back. Though I’d say a bear in the woods is a lot less scary than an interdimensional tentacle beast with telepathic powers.

Another element of Eighties iconography that takes centre-stage in Season 3 is the blatant consumerism of the era, from the Starcourt mall setting to the product placement that is so obvious it can only be intentional. Beverages like Coke and Alexei’s cherry Slurpees get a crazy amount of screen time, and at one point the kids spend almost a full minute arguing about the taste of New Coke before Eleven interrupts them – a throwback to the release of the Coca-Cola Company’s failed recipe reworking that year.

At first, the scene is completely jarring and might have irritated you (especially if you aren’t wearing rose-tinted nostalgia glasses), but when you realise how common product placement was at the time it begins to make a lot more sense. Ray-Ban sunglasses sales got a great boost from Tom Cruise modelling them first in Risky Businessand then in Top Gun, while E.T. earned a million dollars for eating some Reese’s Pieces. Gotta love it when the Duffer Brothers can poke fun at their own nostalgia-gasm.

Unfortunately, it’s pretty much impossible to get a period piece perfect, and Stranger Things has its share of very subtle anachronisms. The most pedantic among us managed to spot one unfortunate error in Chapter Five, when El and Mike break out a packet of M&Ms at the hospital. The packet contains no blue chocolates, which is a good start since they weren’t around ’til the late 90s, but they failed to come through on the red ones – they were discontinued for a window between 1976 and 1987. Oof, so close people.

On the other hand, it could simply imply that there was a nearly decade-old packet of candy in that vending machine, which definitely isn’t impossible. Just a bit gross.

These Subscription Boxes Are Straight Fire If You Want A Gift That Keeps On Giving

You don't even have to get up.

In between Mother’s Day and Father’s Day and Christmas, let’s face it: we’re always desperate for last minute gift ideas. But that’s doesn’t mean you have to go scrambling around the shopping centre the night before.

The latest and greatest innovation in product purchasing is the subscription box concept. Pay a monthly fee and you get two wins in one – not only do you never have to leave the house, but the presents are seemingly never-ending! So much more satisfying than having forty boxes of regret turn up on your doorstep after a night of online shopping under the influence.

Me clicking ‘order’ on another novelty lamp that I don’t need

The best thing about subscriptions by far is that they work as a gift for
yourself, just as much as for friends and family. But there are so many unique boxes on the market, how do you decide which to get? Well, take a seat, we got this.

Beauty packages have been around for a hot minute, but they can get pretty expensive. Bellabox offer a great middle ground – you’ll get some brand names, but all are sample size. At only $20 though, you can’t go wrong. If you’re looking to go a bit more upmarket, especially if you’re treating Mum to something nice, take a squizz at Peony Parcel, whose luxury box is filled with all sorts of pampering goodies, like candles, candies and creams. All Aussie brands, at that.

But maybe you’re looking for something a little more unusual, maybe more practical too? Or maybe it’s your dad or brother you’re buying for, and scented lotions would go down like a lead balloon. Consider a sock subscription. Crazy, colourful wearables for your feet are all the rage right now, and if you don’t want to miss out on the fun then try Sock It Up on for size.

Maybe you want to fill out your own drawer instead, and want something a little more affordable. If you’re a fan of good boys, you can’t go past The Monthly Mutt for excellent dog content. For only $10, each month you’ll get a different breed. Shipping is fast, and free.

Tasty treats more up your alley? There’s plenty of those around too, don’t stress! Blue Mountains brand Marshmallow Club create handmade fluffy cloud of sweet goodness and will send them out to you in regular shipments, while the creative geniuses at Bake It Box have designed recipe kits for you to DIY something magnificent every month.

Whether you have kids, know kids, or are a kid (in which case I have no idea how or why you’re reading this), the best gift in the world is education. You can easily win Aunty/Uncle of the Year thanks to the geniuses over at KiwiCo, who have devised a number of monthly educational-yet-fun STEM boxes for different age groups that’ll pack plenty of learning in – and you get to enjoy a savvy b while shopping in your PJs.

Don’t let kids have all the fun – we all need to express ourselves creatively from time to time. It might seem crazy, but yes, subscription boxes do have every aspect of your life covered (at this point the only thing they can’t do is go to work for you). Sketchbox will send little projects to the craftiest designers and disaster artists alike, complete with all the materials you could possible ask for.

And if you want to kick back with something a little less involved, a subscription to Relove Print is your best bet. You get a preloved book for less than $10, and best of all it’ll be a totally unexpected story.


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