If anything has characterized pop culture in the year 2020, it’s streaming media. From Hamilton to Tiger King, during the COVID-19 pandemic, with the essential elimination of out-of-the-home entertainment, we as a people have been absorbing a great deal of content from our couches through the magic of streaming. This is a world made for Netflix. And a couple months ago, at the tail end of October, Netflix released the epic miniseries, The Queen’s Gambit. Starring Anya Taylor-Joy, the series explores the life of Beth Harmon, an orphaned chess prodigy and her struggles with substance addiction, mental illness, and sexism as she competes in the male dominated world of chess in the 1950s and 60s.
And it is riveting!
On this week’s special supersized episode, Katya and Mav welcome returning guest, Stephanie Siler, and new guest, Anastasia Kārkliņa, to review what we might be the best TV show produced this year. We break down the series (SPOILERS abound) and deconstruct its views on gender, race, sexuality, substance abuse, mental illness, intelligence, class, psychology, fashion, and a wealth of other topics. Join us for our in-depth discussion and let us know your thoughts on the series in the comments.
Citations and Links:
- This episode’s Call for Comments
- The Queen’s Gambit on Netflix
- The Queen’s Gambit by Walter Tevis
- “The Missed ‘Magical Negro’ Trope in ‘The Queen’s Gambit'” by Gloria Oladipo
- “A theory about Russian spies in ‘The Queen’s Gambit’ explains one of the show’s unanswered questions” by Kim Renfo
- Thank you to Maximilian’s thoughtForm Music for our theme
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