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Awesome / Lindsay Ellis

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  • Actually managing to analyze why Starscream is so memorable in Loose Canon, explaining that you can have the deepest backstory ever, but if a character doesn't want something then they're useless, which is the difference between him and the other Transformers.
  • Her huge rant on Oz: The Great and Powerful, and how can she take a lot of shitty things that the movie does, but she cannot stand that the reason why the Wicked Witch is wicked is because she's Woman Scorned.
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  • Her 45 minute long review of The Phantom of The Opera, where she uses all her film-school expertise to theoretically and academically explain why the film failed.
  • In a similar way, she takes a good 37 minute long look at Hercules to properly explain the movie's fundamental flaws with motivation, tone, and plot.
  • After threatening to do so for years, Lindsay put together a video essay in 2016 tearing into RENT full force - and not just for themes she's already touched on in other reviews (divorcing yourself from the system while enjoying its benefits and acting so above it all). Lindsay tore into RENT because it's a work set against the AIDS epidemic. But unlike the ACT-UP protest that directly engaged the system, demanded the government do something about the problem, and fought tooth and nail to gain acknowledgement, the cast of RENT... just divorces themselves from society and mainly sits on righteousness.
    Lindsay: It reinforces a worldview that in which the only way to rebel against the system is to reject it, and it might feel good to throw it on the ground, and throw the rest of the cake too. It gives you a sense of power in a world that makes you feel powerless. But in reality, the only thing it fosters is actual powerlessness, because in rejecting the system, you are not only failing to take it down, you are also forfeiting any voice within it. RENT takes an inherently political issue and depoliticizes it to create something comforting and consumable. RENT looks pretty, and does as little as possible.
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  • She demolishes the theory on how Beauty and the Beast is about Stockholm Syndrome, while addressing an issue with Disney and their focus on heterosexuality and because people keep focusing on the damn Stockholm thing, they all miss the other factors - how society rewards bullies as long they fit a certain criteria; how otherwise decent people will dismiss or punish those who are nonconformist; and how important it is for people can see the good in others.
  • Lindsay's episode of "The Whole Plate" on Male Gaze in the Transformers Film Series is strangely cathartic, since instead of tackling the often-hotly-debated subject of its relation to Michael Bay's lack of respect for women in his films, she instead goes onto discussing its relation to his lack of respect towards men as well. Specifically, Lindsay calls out how blatantly disdainful he is against his own protagonists by framing them as either pathetic or just plain contemptible, yet still in a way that's meant to be sympathetic and relatable to his own audience, because that's how Michael Bay sees them. It's both remarkably refreshing to hear and just awesome.
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  • Her pointing out that for all the flak Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame adaptation gets for "changing things", it still manages to have some really good points, including pointing out that it's the first adaptation to really explore how abusive Frollo and Quasimodo's relationship is and how Quasi eventually overcame that.
  • The "Dear Stephenie Meyer" video takes a retrospective look at the Twilight series, and concludes that while there are indeed things in the books that should be looked at critically, the series and Meyer herself really didn't warrant the sheer vitriol they amounted.
    • When Lindsay points out the Double Standard in how brainless Wish Fulfillment forms of entertainment aimed at males rarely, if ever, get the same kind of scrutiny that their female-aimed counterparts get.
    Lindsay: Both [The Fast and the Furious and Twilight] franchises are dumb cheese, but they are dumb cheese targeting different markets. So why is one dumb cheese the object of so much pearl clutching over who's a good role model for teenage girls and the other, you know, it's fine?
    • Her calling out that plenty of so-called "strong female role models" can have elements of internalized misogyny in them as well.
    • Also pointing out how Stephenie Meyer never took any sort of action on Fifty Shades of Grey, which she would've had every good reason to be ticked off over, was a genuinely admirable move on her part, stating that if Meyer really was the petty, vindictive and thin-skinned narcissist her detractors made her out to be, the very legality of fanfiction itself could've gotten dragged into court, something absolutely no one in any fandom would want.
  • Her Hillary Clinton Loose Canon video getting a shout-out from the AV Club.
  • Her video essay about screenplay structure, by her recollection, was the first time she's ever seen the comment section be actually interested in the subject.
  • After making it clear she was tired about talking about her past with Channel Awesome, she decided to start a "swear jar" where if she mentioned Channel Awesome on social media, she'd donate $50 to charity (specifically Puerto Rican relief). She even tweeted pics of the receipts to show she wasn't kidding.
  • Her three-part analysis of the The Hobbit trilogy and its shortcomings. Besides giving credit where credit is due while also giving it fair criticisms, Lindsay goes into full detail about why adapting a relatively short fantasy book into three, two-hour-plus long films will inevitably have issues. But she doesn't just stop there. Lindsay also tackles Executive Meddling, Troubled Production, and the little-known controversy that occurred during filming regarding how the New Zealand-native employees on the team were paid less than that of their coworkers—even topped with an interview with an actor from the movies! All intertwined with Lindsay actually going to New Zealand and the set of the films.
  • The entirety of "That Time Disney Remade Beauty and the Beast", a brutal yet concise and incredibly satisfying dissection of a film Lindsay very clearly feels strongly about and its failings, from its pandering attempts to "correct" the source material, to its insulting attempts at "cheap, safe, Hollywood liberalism", to the highly cynical approach the entire film was made in, which she argues goes against the philosophy of Walt Disney himself.
  • The moment in her The Producers essay where she proves the point that comedically satirizing the world's atrocities can sometimes be more effective in robbing them of their power than portraying them seriously through drama.
    Lindsay: American History X is a great example of The Satire Paradox for something that is not satire. The text of the film is explicitly anti-fascist, a cautionary tale that unmistakably condemns white supremacy. But you know what group loves the imagery in American History X? Neo-Nazis. Neo-Nazis love the imagery in this movie. The text shows Neo-Nazism and white supremacy as bad, but isn't it also kind of bad......ASS? Isn't it kind of cool, the way he's framed? Isn't Edward Norton a badass when he's an uncucked Neo-Nazi alpha? And then there's Hans Landa from Inglorious Basterds, who has become more of a symbol for fun, and charm, and charisma than of evil. And you might argue that that's the point, but how valuable is that point if what people remember the most about the movie is how fun the evil Nazi was? Audiences may have lost the thread of the intended point. And then there's "Tomorrow Belongs To Me," a chilling moment from the film version of Cabaret, which has recently been adopted by some White Nationalists as an anthem... but you know what hasn't? (Cut to "Springtime For Hitler" in all its glorious contrast.)
  • Her video for Game of Thrones, “The Last of the Game of Thrones Hot Takes”, is her laying down pretty much every single poor decision the writers made with the primary characters in the final season. It is so damn cathartic. Her main point of contention essentially is that, in what’s likely a case of working from the ending backwards, the writers and showrunners sacrificed established and nuanced characterization in order to make the plot work the way they wanted it to instead of working with it. This resulted in characters like Tyrion and Varys making numerous nonsensical decisions despite being regarded as the two most intelligent characters on the show.
    • She also directly calls out a double standard that Dany was treated with, arguing that while Tyrion, Jon and Ned all do things that are monsterous (using explosives to kill scores of men in the Battle of the Blackwater or executing several people) these events are portrayed as either awesome (Tyrion) or sad but necessary (Jon and Ned). Dany meanwhile, smartly uses her dragons to lay waste to her enemies and it's somehow presented as going just one step too far, cause she's
  • Her "Woke Disney" video articulates what a lot of audiences have generally felt about Disney's live-action remakes of their classic films; that it only gives lip-service to progressive politics while doing nothing to address unfair power structures (big business, monarchies, prejudices) because that would mean capitalism is bad, and Disney can't have that. In particular, she notes how Disney has given their Princess films an ironic feminist bent, because that's easier to market.

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