S3 E24: The Queen’s Gambit: the refreshing fairy tale we need in 2020


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The “Queen’s Gambit,” the new Netflix show about chess genius Beth Harmon, has managed to give us some joy amid this long period of listless pandemic-induced depression.
Hosts Ina, Juan and Diaodiao bring you this free-form, overly enthusiastic discussion filled with feminist (and other types of) rage where we try to get to the bottom of why this show is so damn satisfying to watch even with all its limitations. If you are expecting an intellectual, philosophical conversation about the most pressing social issue of our time — this is not it.

But we had a ton of fun. We hope you enjoy listening to this episode as much as we enjoyed recording it.

P.S. Do you ship Benny/Beth or Beth/Benny? ; )


03:00 - 08:00 Why is the “Queen's Gambit” such a perfect show for women of our time? Why is it important that the show is set in the 50s?

08:30 - 11:00 How does Beth’s relationship with Beltik flip the traditional gender dynamics on its head; why does Beltik remind us of women in Chinese Wuxia novels/films?

11:25 - 15:00 The show’s portrayal of sex and love and Beth’s relationship with Benny and Townes

15:30 - 21:00 Female characters in the show: who is Alma and why her life is a tragedy we can’t take our eyes off of; why her story reminds us of “Why women kill” and resonates with so many middle aged women in China?

21:30 - 25:00 Why the discussion of whether women should work or stay with families is one of the most talked about pain point in present day China; how the show portrays women’s trauma and resilience

25:30 - 27:20 Is the show trying to pit women who conform against those who don’t?

27:30 - 29:00 Why is the portrayal of “tragic and helpless housewives” so offensive in China?

29:14 - 32:28 Is the character Jolene the “deus ex machina” of the show and why the show’s treatment of race draws criticism?

32:30 - 38:00 What kind of actual hurdles did Beth overcome and were they too easy? The reality of gender inequality in chess and other industries in 2020. Why do we say “Queen’s Gambit” is a fairy tale set in an alternative universe?

39:50 - 40:00 Knowing all the limits of the show, why do we still welcome MORE stories like this one?

41:00 - 43:00 Time to shamelessly ship Benny/Beth; Jolene/Beth; Beth/Cleo

44:00 - ENDING Maybe we need and deserve some pure joy in this f-ed up world.


AO3: Queens Gambit fanfics (Oh we support this tag: #Benny watts is bisexual I can tell bcs of his stupid little hat)


Older women on China’s TikTok are being scammed by flirtatious fake celebrities, highlighting a prevalent problem on the platform


Chinese fans go wild over dark drama ‘Why Women Kill’ as season one ends



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