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Sometimes the ape is just an ape.

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"In his film, ape loves woman, and woman loves ape."Peter Jackson‘s "King Kong" raises some old unhappiness about what that whole ape/woman relationship is supposed to be mean, exactly. Kwame McKenzie at the London Times brings up concerns dating back to the first "King Kong": "The story feeds into all the colonial hysteria about black hyper-sexuality. This imagery has a long history and is difficult to shift." While McKenzie comes out of the film pleasantly surprised by Jackson’s reinvention of the relationship between Kong and Anne Darrow, there’s still a few things he’s unhappy with:

If I had not been at a premier with my transfixed son I would have been out of the door soon after the wide eyed, homicidal, half dressed, blacker than black natives of Skull Island started cavorting one hour in…I could not help but feel that if Jackson had put as much thought into the rest of the racial imagery as he did into the relationship between Kong and Darrow this could have gone down as a much less offensive film. As it is it leaves a bitter sweet taste in my mouth and a complex discussion on negative stereotypes that I have had to have with my son.

At the end of the article are wide-ranging reactions from readers.

Joshuah Bearman at LA Weekly covers some similar ground, sans the race issue. Which would leave the sex. (When we launched this blog, we never dreamed we’d be discussing bestiality twice in one week. We thought, oh, every other week, tops.). He picks John Guillermin‘s regretted-by-many 1976 remake as the most sexualized of the three "Kong" incarnations, but finds this latest version of the giant ape the most emotionally resonant: "Jackson’s Kong is so expressive that he elicits the most sympathy of any beast in cinema history."

And at Slate, Meghan O’Rourke has her own essay on the different angles on the woman/ape relationship presented by the three films, and Jackson’s updating of the original’s sexual politics.

+ Big black and bad stereotyping (London Times)
+ Monkey Love (LA Weekly)
+ Kong in Love (Slate)

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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