selenak: (Bamberg - Kathyh)
( Apr. 18th, 2014 08:46 am)
Last year I was in London during the Easter holidays, which meant I couldn't follow one of my favourite Easter traditions, to wit, visiting the beautiful Easter Wells in our Franconian country side. This year, I did so one day early, because rain was broadcast for Good Friday (and sure enough, it's raining now), whereas yesterday it was lovely and sunny. And thus, I can share with you my annual Easter pic spam again - the wells in their multitudes of colours and eggs are there below the cut.

Easter Wells 2014 )

In case I shan't be able to post properly again during the holidays: happy Easter to all who celebrate it!
selenak: (Black Widow by Endlessdeep)
( Apr. 17th, 2014 09:18 am)
Having arrived at the APs for the holidays, I'm having a busy time as always. Here are a few links collected over the last week or so:

Remember me praising Adrian Lester in Red Velvet, a play about Ira Aldridge, first black Othello on the London stage and Shakespearean theatre star with a heavy price to play for his 19th century stardom? Here he is performing a scene from said play, albeit not in costume.

You know, I haven't read a biography of Benjamin Franklin yet, I only know him from fictional presentations (he's a main character in on of Lion Feuchtwanger's novels, and of course features heavily in anything about the American Revolution), but one of these days, I really must get around to that. Check out his advice to a young man as to why it makes more sense to take an older mistress than to take a younger one!

And now for a few Cap 2 inspired tales, the descriptions of which are all spoilery, so they must go under a cut.

Spoilery Fanfic awaits )
selenak: (Norma Bates by Ciaimpala)
( Apr. 15th, 2014 01:19 pm)
In which revelations are at hand.

Read more... )
In which someone learns you can't go back to your old life, and it's not Emma.

Read more... )
Wherein Our Antihero finally reaches the White House, but as Vice President, is profoundly depressed by the experience and then experiences a classic reversal of fortune. I'm not just kidding or making Bryan Cranston jokes when I say the whole thing reminds me of Breaking Bad, season 4, because Walt there does spoilery stuff. ) Now Robert A. Caro emphasizes not once but twice that in all his decades of research he has found nothing to suggest Johnson had anything to do with the Kennedy assassination, but otherwise there are certainly parallels.

The Passage of Power starts with the presidential campaign leading up to 1960, in which Johnson entered almost absurdly late, given that this was his life long goal. Caro suggests two main reasons for this: firstly, precisely because this was the life long goal and this was the hour; some last minute insecurity. Secondly, good old hubris; Johnson thought he had it locked, because as majority leader in the Senate, he controlled many of the worthies of the Democratic Party, and the competition were Stevenson, who'd lost two campaigns already, Stymington, whom nobody knew on a national level, and Kennedy, whom Johnson saw as a lightweight, in office only via his father's money, with no track record of his own. So there was no need to go through all the gruelling primaries. Caro then argues that Johnson, rare in his political life, made several miscaculations at once: for starters, he underestimated that the election process was changing, and the influence the new medium television had (whereas Kennedy was one of the first politicians who really understood what you could do with tv). And secondly, he seriously underestimated John F. Kennedy. Given that the Kennedys, Jack and Bobby, are in a way the antagonists in this book, as well as two of the most important "new" characters, I'm all the more impressed that Caro manages to maintain his top quality fo three dimensional characterisation with them. JFK's image has varied between dead hero and no good playboy in the tons of volumes written in the decades after his death; here in Caro's book, he comes across as more than just a pretty face and Sorensen-written inspiring words; Caro points out that all those illnesses, especially Addinson's disease, which the Kennedys were so keen to hide because they conflicted with the healthy athletic image appealing to the voters, actually made a positive point about the level of willpower Kennedy had, since he hardly spent any day in his life without physical pain and yet never complained about it. And of course he was very good at thinking on his feet and making unscripted quick retorts, which was a great advantage when campaigning. If "The Path to Power" gave an extended history on the Hill Country of Texas and "Master of the Senate" on the US Senate from the Founding Fathers onwards, the extended flashbacks in Passage of Power are first on JFK and then, later, on Bobby Kennedy.

The whole Kennedy saga is of course even in my part of the world pretty familiar in the outlines, but not from LBJ's point of view. What Johnson thought the Vice Presidency, once he'd lost the nomination itself and Kennedy had made his offer, would be be like if Kennedy won was essentially what Dick Cheney got with George W. Bush: Johnson, als the older and experienced politician with all the connections, would virtually co-rule and dominate, since the younger man was there courtesy of Dad's money anyway, and not because he could actually do stuff. He was very quickly disillusioned, and not just by the Kennedys; the first time when he visited his old domain, the senate, which as Vice President he had to anyway, according to the eye witness descriptions Caro quotes he intended to basically continue as majority leader (making his actual successor are mere prop), which was met by indignation from the senators who'd previously bowed to him. When he visited the cloakroom where he'd made many deals, he was ignored. This turned out to be tone setting for the next three years. Vice President sounds like a frustrating office in any case, but Caro points out that Johnson saw more of Roosevelt - in terms of actual meetings and shared personal time, not in terms of Roosevelt having general meetings with Congress delegations - when he, LBJ, was a young Congressman in his 20s than he did of Kennedy during Kennedy's entire time in office when he was Kennedy's VP. He'd gone from one of the most powerful men in Washington to a joke figure with no influence on anyone, and soon everyone knew it. There is one episode Caro singles out that illustrates this crystal clear: when Sarah T. Hughes, a sixty-four-year-old lawyer and longtime Johnson ally was suggested by LBJ in early 1961 for a Federal District Court judgeship, the reply from the Justice Department (headed, of course, by Robert Kennedy) was that she was too old, since they were trying to get younger judges on the federal bench. Quoth Caro:

In turning her down, however, the Kennedys had been unaware of a salient fact: Ms. Hughes was an ally not only of Lyndon Johnson but of Sam Rayburn. (...)(A)after several months Robert Kennedy realized that a bill important to him, one that he had expected to make its way smoothly through the House Judiciary Committee, was in fact making no progress at all. He asked Rayburn for an explanation - and got it. "That Bill of yours will pass when Sarah Hughes gets appointed," the Speaker said. Bobby explained that she had been ruled too old for the job. "Sonny, everybody seems old to you," Rayburn replied. Ms. Hughes' appointment was announced the next day. Rayburn's remark - and Hughes' appointment - had occured while Johnson was on an overseas trip for the President. When he returned, O'Donnell sas, "You never saw such an outrage. He went through an act which is beyond belief with the President and me. 'Mr. President, you realize where this leaves me? Sarah Hughes now thinks I'm nothing.' (...) The outrage was understandable. In the Evans and Novak summary, "The Speaker had demonstrated that he possessed enough power to make the Attorney General waive the age requirement" - and that Johnson didn't.

Being thought of as nothing, as the preceding volumes demonstrated, was just about the worst thing that could happen to LBJ. Flash forward to November 22nd, 1963: Johnson automatically became President the moment JFK died, so there was no real need for him to be sworn in, let alone be sworn in in Dallas, other than the symbolic one. However, not only did he insist on the ceremony taking place in Dallas, he also requested a specific judge: Sarah Hughes. (Who, I hear, to this day is the only female judge to swear in a President.)

Caro does make you feel sorry for Johnson through the almost three years of humiliation and powerlessness, but he never lets you forget Johnson himself had been an expert in humiliating people (and would be again). He also doesn't fall into the easy trap of playing to stereotypes in oder to win sympathy for his subject (those rich kids and poor Lyndon from the Hill Country): Robert Kennedy's darker side - the ruthlessness, the ability to hate on a match with Johnson's - Caro calls theirs the biggest blood feud in American 20th century politics - gets described, but so do his better qualities (the ability to question his own judgment, instinctive sympathy for underdogs (and actions following up on this). As someone who has read a great deal of biographies in her time: it's a rare thing if a biographer bothers to do that with people who aren't their main subject.

And then, of course, we get to Dallas. Caro builds this up like a thriller, making a good case that Johnson might not have been on the 1964 ticket and in any case had a financial scandal hanging over him through his protegé Bobby Baker, so he likely was at his most depressed and hopeless. And then, everything changes. From the moment Kenny O'Donnell tells him at the hospital that Kennedy is dead, Johnson-the-depressed-VP is gone and Johnson-the-Master-Politician has returned, taking charge, organizing the transition, and then, once back in Washington, getting bills languishing for now leven months through the house with breathtaking speed. He had very practical reasons for this: 1964 was an election year, and because of his powerlessness in the preceding years, his time as Master of the Senate had already been forgotten by the public in as much as they knew about it in the first place. If he wanted to do more than serving out the rest of JFK's term, he needed to impress, and to impress fast. And impress he did. (This included the African-American leaders of the five key civil rights organizations, with whom Johnson promptly had a strategy coordinating meeting; quoth Martin Luther King, "LBJ is a man of great ego and great power. He is a pragmatist and a man of pragmatic compassion. It just may be that he's going to go where John Kennedy couldn't.") The description of Johnson doing his cajoling, intimidating and bargaining and the bills being passed through during his first seven weeks in office make the last part of the book exhilarating to read, but Caro also foreshadows, inevitably, Vietnam, a subject his next book will deal with. He ends this volume at what he suggests may have been Johnson's finest hour: turning a tragedy which would have been the trigger of a terrible national and international crisis (especially if anyone had openly accused the Russians or the Cubans of having plotted Kennedy's death) into the beginning of a series of direly needed reforms, managing to work with people who'd openly ridiculed and despised him (for now; everyone was aware that should Johnson win an election in his own right, things might get different very quickly) instead of giving into the urge for vengeance (except for one case, and even with RFK, he limited himself to one thing), and using all his experience for the best.

Vietnam isn't the only thing he foreshadows. As in his introduction to his first volume on Johnson, Caro argues that while Nixon did much of the damage on how an US President was perceived in his country, the loss of the automatic reverence and respect for the office started under Johnson. Caro seems to regard the loss of "the respect and reference for the institution" as a tragedy, which I'm not sure I concurr with, not to mention that when I visited the US for the first time at age 14 as part of a student exchange programm, it was the year of Reagan's reelection, and the Reagon adoration in my host family and their friends was as uncritical as they come. Which bewildered me. Anyway, I should think it's good if a head of state isn't automatically revered because he's the head of state, if he - or she! - has to earn that respect first. Be that as it may: this multivolume biography is incredibly compelling, and I can only hope Mr. Caro survives to complete the last part, seeing as he's 76 already. In his books, he describes Johnson's habit of absorbing the people who worked for him; I wonder whether he ever feels this happened to him, too?
...with the caveat that there are a great many characters whose love life I couldn't care less about, independent from how much or little I like them otherwise. But hey, I do have a few whom I ship romantically, too, so here we go:

Give me a character and I will tell you...

* How I feel about this character
* All the people I ship romantically with this character
* My non-romantic OTP for this character
* My unpopular opinion about this character
* One thing I wish would happen / had happened with this character in canon.
* Something about them I consider true, even though it's only my head canon/fanon
selenak: (Holmes and Watson by Emme86)
( Apr. 11th, 2014 04:46 pm)
Oh show, you are very dear. May you not be cancelled for many years to come!

You were much loved )
Because my local library has both I - "The Path to Power" - and III - "Master of the Senate", but not II - "Means of Ascent". Nonetheless, after finishing "The Path to Power" I could not wait and went straight to the Senate years. Caro's LBJ saga has that effect. Having just finished the third volume, I look at today's New York Times, and lo and behold, another article asking essentially why Obama can't be more like Lyndon B. Johnson. Quoth the NYT:

For better or worse, Johnson represented the high-water mark for American presidents pushing through sweeping legislation — not just the Civil Rights Act, but the Voting Rights Act, Medicare, Medicaid, the Fair Housing Act and major measures on immigration, education, gun control and clean air and water. No president since has approached that level of legislative success (...).Still, few things irritate Mr. Obama and his team more than the comparison to Johnson, which they consider facile and unfair. The notion that Mr. Obama should exert more energy in cajoling, bargaining and even pressuring lawmakers is a common assessment on both sides of the aisle, but it remains unpersuasive in the Oval Office, despite Johnson’s successes.

Having read the two volumes indicated above, I can see both the critics' and Obama's pov. Leaving aside the difficulty of comparing very different eras in general, the LBJ method to gain power contains just about every unsavoury trait politicians were ever accused of, from the moment he invents campus politicis in San Marco, Texas, onwards. (Something he himself later proudly refered to as a "Hitlerian operation".) Sycophantic flattery for authority figures, bullying, blackmailing, shaming, breaking of people NOT in authority, ruthlessly cutting off allies and friends the moment they stop being useful, you name it, he did it. And that's before we get to the non-political vices like frequent cheating on his wife (once with the mistress and later wife of a best friend, thereby managing to cheat on two people at once), and constant verbal humiliation of said wife in public while she was steadfastly devoted and adoring. But, on the other hand: in between being appalled at LBJ, horrible human being, it's impossible not to be awfully impressed by LBJ, Ultimate Answer To Political Competence Kink, especially when it just so happens his interests and the public interests coincide. This starts when he's a 21 years old secretary for a Congressman in the midst of the Big Depression, with Hoover still President and thus nearly no government help for the poor available, except for young Lyndon getting support for WWI veterans anyway, kicks into high gear during the Roosevelt years when he's a Congressman getting electricity for the poorest regions in Texas and leaves one slackjawed when he's minority leader in the Senate and manages to look the just victorious Republicans who via Eisenhower conquered the White House and Congress look divided and unpatriotically backstabbing their own President, then, after the Democrats are the majority again and Johnson is hence majority leader, managing to get the first Civil Rights Bill since 83 years through the Senate without losing his Southern support and without anyone filibustering. In between, of course, he uses that competence to feed noble idealists like Leland Olds to his fnancial backers in Texas by destroying the man completely via using the anti Communist hysteria, wins the goold old boys network by being racist with them, and frames a dear mentor and fatherly friend as a traitor in order to become Roosevelt's point man in Texas instead. In sort, the ultimate Slytherin, though the people Caro interviewed, not having had the chance to read Harry Potter yet make a Dickens comparison (Uriah Heep, if, you know, Dickens had let Uriah win and also be socially popular with a great many people once he's past university; Caro presents ample quotes about how Johnson, when not bullying or flattering, would charm people and be a terrific raconteur).

(But leaving this larger-than-life-Slytherinness aside: One of the things that made Johnson the ultimate poltiical insider, who knew exactly where all the bodies were buried and where to apply pressure points, what inducements to offer and what trades, was that he worked his way up on the political ladder and that of course goes straight against the "I'm a noble outsider coming to clean up Washington" image and narrative which every recent presidential candidate from both parties tried to sell. So given Obama was a senator only a brief time, I don't see how he could apply the (in)famous Johnsonian "Treatment" to unwilling Senators to the same degree if he wanted to.) (Doesn't mean he couldn't try a modified version, of course.)

As I mentioned in another entry, Caro is great with providing context. So in Volume I, you get first a lengthy description of the Hill Country in Texas, its history and its people, before baby Lyndon on page 66 of the paperback edition makes his appearance. And in Volume III, you get a history of the US Senate from the Founding Fathers onwards until page 105 before Our Antihero enters it. Said history, btw, made clear to this non-American that the current situation where nothing ever seems to get done isn't an anamoly due to the Republicans vowing to say no to each and every Obama-suggested bill, but the rule, whereas the situation during Johnson's years in the Senate where he shorted the time during which bills were discussed from an avarage of nine days before his time to sometimes not even a day and got those he wanted to get passed passed was the anomaly. All of which reads very suspenseful, whether it's Johnson's grandmother the frontierwoman hiding from Comanches with her baby's diaper pressed agains the baby's mouth to keep it silent or the Senate putting a reality check on General MacArthur in the Truman years. Something that makes the reader trust Caro as a biographer is that he presents quotes and sources when talking about that most tricky of elements in a non-fiction book, thoughts and emotions, instead of just stating without explanation that Johnson thought this or felt that. Occasionally he frames it as a rethorical question (a la "Did he feel that....?"), but he then does provide a witness for said assumption. When his narrative directly contrasts with a Johnson statement about his own life, he explains in detail and again with quotes why he disagrees. (For example: apparantly pre Caro all the Johnson biographies described him as popular at college. When first encountering a classmate who offered a negative description of college era Lyndan instead, Caro wrote it off as jealousy due to Johnson's later success, but then found not only a lot of other corroborating witnesses but also the yearbooks with their extremely unflattering descriptions.) He also devotes equal narrative space to Johnson wielding power in a destructive way (poor Leland Olds) to Johnson being a legislative mastermind, and keeps the supporting cast, so to speak, three dimensional as well: thus Richard Russell is a terrible for civil rights not least because with his dignified demeanour, he offers a seemingly benign facade to what is actually a horrifying set of racist beliefs (not to mention a brutal track record as governor of Georgia before the Senate), making them palpable to other Senators; but also a principled believer in the constitution and willing to take risks for it, as during the MacArthur episode. Lady Bird Johnson at times comes across as a second Faithful Griselda as a wife, taking just about any humiliation with a patient smile, but also is steely enough to be able to manage her husband's office at Congress when LBJ was doing his WWII military service. There are vivid characters like Helen Douglas, the liberal congresswoman Johnson had a longer affair with who'd end up unseated by Richard Nixon, or Sam Rayburn (that would be the fatherly congress mentor whom Johnson once framed in order to get in with Roosevelt but whom he managed to win back regardless, and whom he routinely greeted with a kiss and "Mr. Sam, my beloved".) Very importantly: Caro gets into detail about just how dreadful the situation for people of color was in the US and about the black civil rights movement, without which Johnson would never have had an incentive to change his tune, so any white saviour trope is avoided.

Considering that at the very start of the first volume that his goal with this was to describe just why it came to be that the Johnson presidency offered both the Great Society - all those marvellous laws that cemented Johnson's standing as, as the late Ted Kennedy, by no means an unconditional admirer, put it, the last progressive President and the greatest after Roosevelt - and the Vietnam War, with Johnson leaving the White House to the chants of "Hey, Hey, LBJ, how many kids did you kill today?", I get the impression that his main argument is Johnson's personality for both. The irony that Johnson, liberal user of the N-Word, whose first speech as a Senator starts with "We of the South" and reassures all the Dixiecrats he's completely on their side, ends up doing more for Black civil rights than any US President other than Lincoln, is possible because his racism isn't a matter of principle and deep conviction, so to speak, but of ruthless expediency, which meant he could shed it when it was no longer expedient for becoming President. But a personality - "unencumbered by philosophy or ideology" - also has no principles to restrain itself from an expanding war in order not to look weak.

Though this is speculation on my part; Caro hasn't reached the Vietnam War yet, and I haven't reached Johnson's Vice Presidential years, which are covered in the most recently published volume which I'll read next. While regretting ever more I'm unable to watch Bryan Cranston play Johnson on the stage. If ever an actor was made for such a part...
selenak: (Norma Bates by Ciaimpala)
( Apr. 8th, 2014 11:01 am)
In which pennies drop, and people, too.

Read more... )
selenak: (Regina by etherealnetwork)
( Apr. 7th, 2014 10:23 am)
In which backstory strikes, and I'm changing my mind on a certain issue yet again.

Read more... )
Walking home after rewatching The Winter Soldier, I check twitter and what do I find? Just a day or so after it was announced that Martin Freeman will play Richard III. , the BBC confirms that Benedict Cumberbatch will play Richard III on screen, the small screen, that is, in the It's Hard Out There For A York the follow up to their Hollow Crown filming of Shakespeare's histories, to wit, the Henry VI plays plus Richard III.

I must confess I had a moment of amusement. Not that either gentleman isn't a fine actor, but still. Also, I can just hear the BBC staff meeting where they wonder which actor to hire to replicate the Hiddleston-fans-go-Shakespeare effect, and of course they pick BC. Now can we hear who'll play Margaret of Anjou? *still hopes for Amanda Hale* Anyway, given the fannish tendency to pair up characters played by Cumberbatch with John Watson and/or characters played by Martin Freeman in crossover fanfiction, I await with bated breath CumberRichard's meeting with a doctor returned from the wars. Or a hobbit. Or himself from another universe.
selenak: (VanGogh - Lefaym)
( Apr. 6th, 2014 02:45 pm)
On a somewhat more cheerful note, I managed to get my Rarewoman ficathon story done, which meant a return to an old fandom I haven't been writing in for eons, and that proved to be joyful and relaxing. Thus fortified, I started Robert Cara's multivolume The Years of Lyndon Johnson biographies reccomended to me several times over, and so far, Robert Caro strkes me as the best type of biographer: one who sets his subject in the context of the era said subject is living in, and one who while unafraid to show his subject's (massive) dark side also describes, in great detail, amazing achievements. So you get, for example, young LBJ the college election stealing sinister breaker of people, blackmailer and sadist described in detail by former fellow students, while simultanously getting young LBJ the inspiring teacher who (because he had to finance being at college to begin with, took teaching jobs in between terms) teaches Mexican-American kids to speak English and is still remembered with fondness and awe.

I'm also going to watch Cap II again in a few hours, because I was that much entranced by the movie. It feels odd, though, when going through other people's reviews and realise, not for the first time, that 99% of them contain a good deal of capslocking and "feels" (still dislike that word; am a proponent of "feelings" all the way) about Person In The Title, which wasn't what made the movie for me at all. I mean, I'm sorry for SPOILER, given what happened to him, but it's the vague kind of general sympathy that comes with the awful situation of someone whom, as a person in general, you don't have feelings about one way or the other. I seem to be that way with all the Sebastian Stan characters, be they Jefferson in Once Upon A Time, Jack in Kings, or TJ Hammond in Political Animals. As most of the fannish output in the various fandoms tends to be centered around Stan's characters, this puts me always in something of a looking for needles in haystacks position when trying to find fanfic that's not about any of them. One day he and Tom Hiddleston will be in the same film/show, and then there will be nothing for me at all in terms of fic dealing with everyone else whom I'll invariably be more interested in.
So, during the last week we had, in my part of the world, repeated headlines about the senate report on the CIA and its torture practices during the Bush years, mostly focused around the "revelation" that said torture didn't get any results and that what results were achieved by the CIA, they got first, then tortured anyway, then filed reports to make it look better for themselves by reversing the order of events. Then again, there also was apparantly pressure from above to use "enhanced interrogation techniques" against at least some field agent's reccommendations. Various comments to these articles included the suggestion that this was the CIA taking the fall for the government because of course they carried out wishes. The use of torture itself was, of course, old news. It's noticeable that after more than a decade, nobody bothers with the "a few rotten apples" disclaimer anymore which came with both the few army (Abu Ghraib) and the CIA incidents that were reported back in the day.

Meanwhile, also in the news: George W. Bush opens an exhibition of his paintings. The paintings, various reviews inform us, are nicely avarage, neither bad nor particularly good, and Dubya himself just such an affable guy.

This is why political satire has become redundant.

I mean, there never was a chance that Bush, Rumsfeld and Cheney would end up in The Hague on trial, but maybe some hope that the distaste of the public for them would last a little longer than that. And, as much as it's a "go after the tool, not the wielder" unfairness, maybe some chance that some of the actual torturers would face charges, but, so the articles on the Senate report reminded us, the Obama government had refused to charge a single CIA agent in this regard. (Undoubtedly aware that doing so would establish precedence and allow some future person to charge agents for what they did during the Obama years as well, which, while not waterboarding, still would include illegal activities.)

I wonder: did a single reporter interviewing Bush about his painting activities even try to ask him how he feels about the going two wars he started, and the fact that under his government, torture became an accepted interrogation method?

(Where is a shoe-throwing Iraqui if one needs one?)
selenak: (Lucy Liu by Venusinthenight)
( Apr. 4th, 2014 10:58 am)
In which, after another weird hiatus, my favourite Holmes and Watson are back with a great Joan character episode.

Read more... )
Rewatching the first half of s1 in the light of current events is fascinating. It also made me want to committ meta, spoilery for both seasons as broadcast so far.

Nice town you've picked, Norma )
selenak: (Porthos by Chatona)
( Apr. 2nd, 2014 09:13 am)
In which the first season concludes.

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selenak: (Norma Bates by Ciaimpala)
( Apr. 1st, 2014 10:09 am)
Which strikes me as a transitionary episode after the heavy drama of the last two, though a lot of things happen, and there is great ensemble use.

Read more... )

ETA: two things: the episode had a neat shoutout to a certain showwriter and runner of the OTHER serial killer prequel show. That's right, one bit character is called Bryan Fuller. Who apparantly watches Bates Motel for verily, he reacted instantly:

Also, the AV Club review of the episode contains a great description of Norma that sums up a reason why I'm so ridiculously fond of this show: Norma Bates is a mess. She’s a fantastic, struggling, determined mess, and Vera Farmiga never lets us forget any piece of that; even in tonight’s episode, a relatively low-key hour, there were expressions on her face that summed up the character more effectively than entire years’ worth of performances from lesser actors. And she’s a sympathetic mess, too. When it comes to Bates-mythology, Norma used to get the short end of the stick. All we ever saw was the aftermath of her death and Norman’s difficult childhood, which meant a string of psychiatrists explaining how Mom “suffocated” the poor boy and turned him into a killer. Worse, the only version of Norma that existed anymore was crazy Norman’s version—the whining, protesting, knife-wielding murderer. Norman himself was so friendly, so personable when he wasn’t dressing up in his mother’s old clothes, that it was easy to imagine Norma as the real monster. For all its faults, Bates Motel has managed to give Norma her own tragedy, and make it clear, at least in this version of the story, that she’s no vicious harpy bent on destroying her son’s life. The truth is more complicated, and a hell of a lot sadder.
selenak: (Alicia and Diane - Winterfish)
( Mar. 31st, 2014 04:35 pm)
I can't make a spoilery Buffy comparison above the cut, so let's just say: powerful episode.

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In which (some) answers are given and someone gets their characterisation back. Also, this was a great episode.

Magic always comes with a price )


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