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My one serious criticism of Luke Cage

I really enjoyed Luke Cage and thought it was awesome. I have a handful of criticisms, nothing major— except one thing was pretty glaring to me.

In episode 10 “Take it Personal,” I did not like how they made Mariah’s crusade against Luke Cage look like a successful attempt to co-opt a movement like Black Lives Matter. Her bending people’s real lives and feelings to her own ends is appropriate for her character arc, but I don’t think the way she did it scans. They showed Mariah appealing to people who were sympathetic to a pro-black safety movement, thereby invoking the suggestion of BLM. But BLM is a movement to demilitarize the police, while Mariah was calling to arm them with experimental weaponry. And instead of facing down the social structures that systematically devalue and destroy black lives, she was attempting to take down one man, and a black man at that, who had been shown to stand up for average people and was mostly cast as a threat by an attack on cops. There is no equivalence there, so to show her efforts taking in those people suggests that the people in pro-black safety movements are easily swayed by incorrect rhetoric and corrupt leaders. I don’t think they intended that, but I find it an offensive implication.

What I would have done was had Mariah increasingly side with the system to take him down, even at the expense of the people of Harlem she used to champion. Have her use the rhetoric of “law and order” and respectability politics, saying how a dangerous person like Luke Cage damages the reputation of the black community, appealing to the fear of white people of scary powerful black men to get institutions on her side to take him down. She’s on a path to darkness anyway, so to have her go from a champion of black culture to joining with the corrupt system that harms black people in order to serve her own heads would show a nice thematic following. I think that would have been a way more effective way to show her growing corruption than to draw any kind of equivalence between the rhetoric she uses to persecute Luke and the efforts of Black Lives Matter.

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( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 4th, 2016 11:33 pm (UTC)
So... it's the same as the facile Bane/Occupy Wall Street connection in The Dark Knight Rises? I'm not surprised.
Oct. 4th, 2016 11:37 pm (UTC)
I don't think it's really equivalent. I don't feel that the piece at large was taking the teeth out of the movement. I just feel the way the villain in particular interfaced with it was not well executed.

Edited at 2016-10-04 11:39 pm (UTC)
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

About Me

My name is Phoebe. I'm Boston area theater professional and English professor focused in writing, acting, directing, and modeling. I'm known for having lots of interests, lots of opinions about those interests, and a very high estimation of the value thereof. This blog is for talking about whatever's on my mind, from my daily life to my activities to musing on any number of abstract topics. Thanks for taking the time to read.

My productions:

Upcoming Productions:

MRS. HAWKING part 2 and 3

at the Watch City Steampunk Festival 2016

presented by The Chameleon's Dish

Vivat Regina
by Phoebe Roberts

at 2PM


Base Instruments
by Phoebe Roberts

at 6PM

Saturday, May 13th 2017
at 274 Moody Street, Waltham, MA

Other Achievements:

"The Tailor at Loring's End" screenplay
Quarter Finalist in the Final Draft Big Break Screenwriting Competition 2013

"Adonis" screenplay
Top Ten Percent in the Bluecat Screenwriting Contest 2015

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