My Runway: Body Swap Gender Bending Fun!

Check out my Gender Bending YA Fantasy Novel, Brother Bewitched!

My Runway on Netflix

What is it to be a male?  A female?  How closely does anyone really adhere to the stereotypes?  No nation explores these ideas with as much creativity and vigor as Korea, and My Runway, now available on Netflix, does a wonderful job exploring these questions while also having a lot of fun.

In the series, a guy and a girl swap bodies.  Been done before, right?  But the choices here make it more interesting from the start.  The male, Jae Boem, is the world’s top male model, and very much a spoiled princess.  Arrogant, haughty, and superior, he swans around like the the world is beneath him, disrespects others and is perfectly confident in his beauty.

The female, Na Jin Wook, is a high-school student with bad grades who dreams of being a model and refuses to listen when people tell her she is too short.  Spunky and full of pep, she believes that she can succeed through hard work despite her unfavorable genetics.

They swap bodies and suddenly Jae Boem finds himself the cute but imperfect girl, physically over-powered by another high-school girl and dragged into a mundane life.  Meanwhile,  Na Jin Wook finds herself sharing a house with a bunch of super hot guys, including a male model she has been crushing on from afar.

Of course, there are romantic complications and lots of drama.  The types are all mixed up, too, with guys who obsess over designer fashion and hair, aggressive girls and a lot of mixing and matching of gender types that reflect reality more than most shows.

I don’t want to say much more because it is all fun and a lot of that fun comes from surprise, but if you are interested in gender identity and what makes us who we are, check out this fun and super-well-acted and written series!

Second Nature: Sneaky Good!

Image result for second nature film

Amazon

How would a man and a woman from our world change if they found themselves in an upside down world where women had all the privilege and men faced constant objectification?  Would they?  Are we who we are, or the products of our environments?

Amanda (Collette Wolfe) and Brett (Sam Huntington) into a world where traditional gender identity and roles are reversed.  Women are aggressive and emotionally stunted, while men are passive and sensitive.  At first, each character just finds it weird, and they search for a magic mirror which can switch them back to their own world.

But, as times passes, Amanda (notice the irony of her name?) finds she likes living in a  world where the deck is stacked in her favor.  She is now the boss at her company, and is considered a shoe-in to win her race for mayor simply because he opponent is a man.  Meanwhile, the constant barrage of sexism Brett faces wears on him, and he finds himself become more emotional and insecure in response to the way he is treated.

For a time, the movie has fun playing with the flipped world.  Amanda loves telling her male subordinates to go and get pedicures on the company, slapping men on the butt and going to Peckers, where the wait staff consists entirely of men in tiny little shorts, their outfits clearly patterned on Hooters.  Brett, meanwhile, finds he can’t go into a bar without being pestered by aggressive women, who bombard him with lame come on lines, grope him and try to get him to kiss other guys for their amusement.

Amanda also begins to confront the way the stereotypes cut both ways.  A friend asks her is she’s a lesbian because she has been “acting like a boy” and she starts to feel that winning the election just because she is a woman negates the achievement.  Ultimately, she decides that the gender flipped world is just as bad as her own, and that she is against privilege and discrimination in any form.  Did I make the sound a little too noble?  It doesn’t come across that way in the film.  It just came across as a human being who was tempted to become the thing she hated and refused.

One of the nicer moments in the film involves a scene between Amanda and Brett when they are driving together after being stuck in upside down world for a week.  Brett is frazzled, demoralized, insecure, and he complains about the way he is treated in this world.   Amanda says something like,  “Only here a week, and look at what it’s done to you.”

“Don’t,”  Brett says.  ‘This is all an exaggeration of the way things are in our world.”

“It really isn’t,” Amanda says, and she is speaking to all those who have not faced objectification.

This is a good watch.  Collette is especially fun as she finds herself on top and for a time just kind of becomes a callous dude reveling in the privilege.  She doesn’t come across as vengeful or bitter or any other stereotype, and in fact pretty much seems like the female version of a bro– content and amused and happy to have it all easy due to her sex.  Sam does well showing how his character is demoralized by the sexism.   Watch it!