ruuger: My hand with the nails painted red and black resting on the keyboard of my laptop (Default)
([personal profile] ruuger Sep. 2nd, 2015 02:02 pm)
I've switched my silly-stand-alones-only rewatch from Buffy to Angel, so a few thoughts:

  • This show is basically Women Get Hurt and then saved by Angel: The Series, isn't it? It seems that the more of Joss' works I watch, the more hypocritical his horror movie rant a few years ago seems (See also: Cabin in the Woods, or: At Least The Director of Hostel Doesn't Claim to be Against Misogynistic Torture Porn).


  • I'd completely forgotten just how much of a 90's procedural the first season is. It's basically about a Vampire consultant detective who solves crimes and gets on the nerves of a by-the-book ladycop. You can clearly see that it was influenced by Millennium and The Profiler. And strangely it has a far more of a 90's feel than Buffy - even those seasons of Buffy that were made more firmly in the 90's.

    I'm again wondering, though, if Kate was supposed to be a more prominent character? Because it feels like the show was building towards a reationship between her and Angel, and then suddenly she just pretty much disappears. Did the plans change, or was the whole thing just a twist on usual TV tropes like killing off Doyle in the middle of the first season?

    eta: I looked her up in the Buffy wiki to see how in how many episodes she'd appeared and WTF?
    It was rumored that Kate would return for a cameo in later seasons, either a working girl in the supernatural bordello visited by Angel and the Groosalugg in Couplet or as one of the strippers entertaining Spike in Soul Purpose. Unfortunately, Elisabeth Röhm was too busy appearing in the series Law & Order and was unable to appear.


    ...the hell? This is like that Inara gets raped by reavers rumour on Firefly!


  • Something that I was already thinking about while rewatching Buffy is that Joss often gets praised for the casting in his shows, but I feel like he's not so much good at casting good actors, as he is good at casting actors who are good at that one role. There are some very talented actors in his casts, like Alexis Denisof, Amy Acker and J. August Richards, but I feel like most Jossverse alumni go on to play the exact same character over and over again.

    (this thought was brought to you by me switching from DVD to TV after finishing an episode and catching the end of a Bones episode)

    (sidenote: I recently rewatched Black Swan, and Mila Kunis in that movie is basically Faith as played by a more talented actor. Seriously, if you like Buffy/Faith, you have to watch that movie)


  • I wonder what happened between S1-S2 because the quality of the writing suddenly goes up in the second season, even more radically than it did on Buffy. There are still standalones in S2, but they have a better pacing and dialogue, and the humor feels less forced. It almost seems like in S1 they were trying too hard to separate itself from Buffy, because it lacks almost completely all the good elements of Jossverse.
sholio: (Who-Rose)
([personal profile] sholio Sep. 1st, 2015 11:26 pm)
I used to post about TV here all the time, but I really haven't had much to post about lately. I think the last show I watched more than a sporadic episode or two of was ... Agent Carter. In March.

However, the new season of Doctor Who (series eight) is up on Netflix, and that's one of the ones Orion and I like watching together, so we watched the first three episodes tonight. I got the general impression from fannish osmosis that a lot of people didn't like this season, but I absolutely loved it. Actually, I think I had more fun tonight than I have watching the show since Donna left.

Not terribly spoilery; just general rambling about the new Doctor )

So, yeah, the tl;dr is that I'm really enjoying this season and I hope this Doctor sticks around for a while.
I forget how much I dislike reading historical!KingArthur scholarship until I try it out again, ugh. It's all that thing in "The Monsters and the Critics" - the questions that are being pursued in the research are overwhelmingly documentarian-historicist when what i want is mythopoetics and sacred/social anthropology, I don't care if Arthur was real or not I just want to talk about who was telling what stories when and with what meanings -

I was trying to find out about Arthur, land-magic, and British-Isles colonialism. I want to know if I can legitimately make the land of the Thames valley react to Bran Davies as the rightful king come again, being that he's not English but Welsh. I would be confident having the Welsh mountains react that way to Bran, and the Thames valley would absolutely react to say T.H. White's Arthur, who isn't Welsh at all - but I'm not entirely clear on how it works, having a Welsh king function as a unification figure for Britain, when Wales has had a subordinated position in the British Empire since basically forever.

T.H. White's is the version of the canon that I know the best, and it doesn't deal with that aspect, being pretty post-Tennysonian in its characterization of Arthur and the meaning of his reign; and I mean I've also got a bunch of MZB bouncing around in the back of my head, but that's not likely to help me much in terms of either clear politics or good history. I turned up a book by Jeffrey Jerome Cohen, whose work I've liked before, on the postcolonial Arthur that I mean to read, and I've had J.D. Graham's book on sacral Britain on loan from my dad for about forever; but unless I turn up something explicit to prohibit it, I do think that Susan Cooper gives me enough in-text justification to cross British regional folklore traditions, if not to completely intermingle them. I feel like DiR very much lets particular traditions wash over each of the books in the series, leaving behind a series of overlapping residua. There's the never-explained Bran/Herne connection, for one thing, to justify the linkage; Herne is very solidly Thames-region-specific, and Bran Davies has his eyes.
Killjoys got renewed for Season 2! This pleases me greatly.

It doesn't make up for Haven getting canceled...but we all knew that was coming, so.

That said, given that the creators went back to Haven for the final installment, I'm very curious to see how they'll end the series. Once upon a time, I thought they were doing something very cohesive and interesting with the power of love - "Love Will Keep Us Together" playing when Audrey crashed in the pilot, "Love Conquers All" engraved on the Crocker box - but the show has strayed so far from its roots that I have no idea if they'll be able to pull it out in the end. If it ends up being some Audrey/Nathan bullshit I shall be displeased, especially since it's so obvious the truly significant romance of the show is Duke/Nathan. (I daren't even hope for the OT3.) I suppose we shall see.
Welcome, September. I for one will be glad to see summer go. It's going out like a lion rather than a lamb--the monsoons--but "bye bye."

I tend to hibernate in summer, and this one was no different in that respect. We also got mega busy at work in the past month or so, and I have veered between long days at work and sleep. OTOH, I found out recently I will lose a week's accumulated vacation if I don't take it before mid-November. So I will have 5-6 three-day weekends in the next month and a half. Can't say I mind. I was saving up days for next year's Australia trip and possible days off due to my back procedures, and have not nearly had enough days off.

Watched Season 4 of OUAT when it came to Netflix. Still poorly executed, but it makes more sense the second time through when you know they aren't throwing free will off the table.

Anyone seen the new Star Trek online movie, Renegades? I just started it. Planet and ship special effects are much better than 90's series, but the ship interiors and some of the characters look like amateur YouTube Trek. This despite it being a collaborative project of several Trek veteran actors.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eE2Wgop9VLM

GF and I are watching Farscape. First time for her, second time for me. Enjoying it more the second time around. I guess seeing it before changes my expectations for it.

In writing news, I sidelined the novel I've been working on for the past few years because it was spinning out of control and not getting finished. Started a short story in a writing class that has now turned into a novella. How does this happen to me? Plan: learn the art of plotting for brevity.
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[community profile] ladiesbingo -- a challenge for fanworks about relationships between women -- signups are happening! I'm excited to participate although I'm not sure I'll manage to actually get a bingo. But it will be fun to participate and it should help motivate me with vidding.

Yesterday I opened Premiere for the first time since, like, April and dropped my Aeryn Sun vidsong onto the timeline and added some notes (using titles on the sequence itself) about how I'm going to structure the vid. I got warm fuzzies just opening up Premiere! So hopefully the motivation to actually vid will return. But I still need to rewatch that last run of S3 and then see if I can salvage anything from S4 -- I hated a lot of what they did with Aeryn that season.

Also I'm probably going to officially do festivids this year. Between that, [community profile] ladiesbingo , and my goal to finish the Aeryn Sun vid for Wiscon next year, I have a rough plan for getting my mojo back.

darchildre: the seventh doctor explaining things to ace (seven explains the plot)
([personal profile] darchildre Sep. 1st, 2015 01:47 pm)
So, I have a very mild synesthesia thing, in that I associate smells very strongly with certain colors and shapes. This occasionally leads to me having slight difficulty in talking to other people about what things smell like, because I'm trying to translate my colors-and-shapes into smell words. So I'll tell people something smells fruity when it doesn't, really - it just smells very red and a little bit spiky, and so does some fruit.

Today, a gentleman came into the library stinking of gasoline. Later, after he'd left, my coworker said something like, "That was really pungent!" and I have to admit, that seemed like entirely the wrong word. But I looked it up and it does indeed mean what she meant it to mean - it's just that gasoline is a very narrow, yellow-grey smell and I think of pungent things as being a lot wider and possibly a lot more brown.

Brains are funny.
echan: Kaworu Nagisa from Evangelion (Default)
([personal profile] echan posting in [community profile] vidding Sep. 1st, 2015 01:30 pm)
Title: The Organization and the Assets
Song: I Know You Are but What Am I?
Sources: Bourne movies, Salt, Winter Soldier, other movies, tv shows, and a video game trailer; full list in the vid
Download: link on my website
Notes, including details how the audio was accomplished, are in my DW

This vid premiered at VividCon 2015 Challenge show, theme of Memory. It is about the common threads in so many recent movies and tv shows -- the shady organizations, the foot soldiers doing the dirty work, the lack of accountability or even all that much morality, and the resulting disrespect and lack of personal autonomy for the assets.
elisi: (Default)
([personal profile] elisi Sep. 1st, 2015 07:06 pm)
Last week I wrote a long rambly post about this story, trying to explain it.

The short version is - I wrote a story.

It's called 'George: An Ordinary Boy', and started out as a coming out story, but then became so much more. His family intruded a lot and demanded a lot of time, but most of this is a story about a very ordinary and quiet 15 year old boy, who never thought anyone would really notice him, or that he was anything special. (Technically it's fic, but it's *thisclose* to being original, and there's no need to know anything about Doctor Who, trust me.) No aliens, no big hero moments, no world saving. Just one boy learning and growing and understanding and accepting what it means to be himself. Oh, and there's no such thing as 'ordinary'.

So - if you're at all interested, please give it a try? (Only 2 chapters posted so far. Will post at a steady pace, but it *is* finished.)

George. Chapter 1
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baranduin: (Default)
([personal profile] baranduin Sep. 1st, 2015 09:14 am)
Why has that clerk in Kentucky not been fired already for refusing to do her job? I guess this has to play out somewhere in some jurisdiction.
musesfool: Princess Leia (so what level up)
([personal profile] musesfool Sep. 1st, 2015 10:29 am)
September 1st and the Mets have a 6.5 game lead on the Nats and the softest schedule in baseball for the next month. Will they collapse again, or will they make it to the playoffs? Only time will tell!

It's at times like these that I really miss my mother. I mean, I miss her every day, but I still sometimes pick up my phone to call her after the Mets do something exciting (either good or bad) and then I remember and I'm sad. I still text my brother and sometimes my dad, but my mother was the rabid baseball fan in the family, and it was always fun to hear her talk about the Mets. Sigh.

***

Here's the August writing roundup:

Parenting: A Guide By Bruce Wayne (on DW)
DCU; Bruce, Alfred, Damian, Cass, Jason; g; 1,600 words
Three times Bruce was a Batdad to his Batkids.

Hide Yourself for Me (at AO3)
Star Wars; Ahsoka Tano, Bail Organa, Leia Organa; g; 2,200 words
Ahsoka won't teach Leia to use the Force, but she can teach her to hide herself within it. (Contains spoilers for the Rebels s2 premiere.)

you live like that, you live with ghosts (at AO3)
Batwoman; Kate/Renee; adult; 855 words
Sometimes, Kate just can't help herself.

Three small unexpected stories, not anything I was planning on writing before I sat down to write. I'm especially surprised by the Ahsoka & Leia one, because for all my years of being a Star Wars fan, and for all my years of writing fanfic (15 as of this month - the first time I ever posted a story was on 9/4/2000), I never wrote anything for the canon except a couple of kiss ficlets on request. But I really needed this story, because Leia is my all-time favorite and Ahsoka is my new favorite, and given that Ahsoka is working with Bail Organa to form the Rebel Alliance, they must have met, right? And all the parallels that relationship creates would be amazing. I'm just saying.

***

As I posted on tumblr last night, I think I'm close to the end of the VMars/MCU crossover, and I texted [tumblr.com profile] angelgazing and said, "I don't think I can fit Dick in!" and then I was like, "...that's what she said."

So then I was chatting with [personal profile] snacky and I was like, "I'm trying to figure out how to shoehorn Dick into this story," and she was like, "There's always room for Dick!" and I was like, "...that's what she said."

There's always room for a dick joke, is what I'm saying. I still haven't figured out if I can get him in, but Cliff did appear and actually helped move the plot - such as it is - along, so that's good.

***
littlerhymes: (literature)
([personal profile] littlerhymes Sep. 1st, 2015 11:52 pm)
Miss Marjoribanks - Margaret Oliphant
The Man in the High Castle - Philip K. Dick
The Tragedy of Dido, Queen of Carthage - Christopher Marlowe
Hot Head - Damon Suede
The Locker Room - Amy Lane
Black Butler (Kuroshitsuji) 20 - Yana Toboso
Chew 10 - John Layman and Rob Guillory
Baba Yaga's Assistant - Marika McCoola, illustrated by Emily Carroll
Lumberjanes 1 Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, Brooke Allen

books, or let me pick up my guitar and write a song about the myriad ways I love Miss Marjoribanks )
aris_tgd: Arya Stark "Though she be but little, she is fierce" (Arya little fierce)
([personal profile] aris_tgd Sep. 1st, 2015 02:03 am)
Ten days later.

Real life has intervened, but I decided to crank this out tonight to try and get something written.

Writeup of In the Best Families for [community profile] milk_and_orchids is coming, I swear!

7 – Have you ever had a fic change your opinion of a character?

Hm.

That's an interesting question.

I'm sure the answer has been yes, but honestly, I feel like writing fic has had more influence on my opinion of characters than reading fic. When I write fic, especially character-POV, I have to do a lot of work to understand a character's motives and make them some level of sympathetic, and that generally influences how I think about a character. I mean, I have slightly different headcanons for different fics, but I like making sense of why a character I don't like does things, even when I don't think those reasons are good or even well-thought-out.

The rest of the questions under the cut. )
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vilakins: (nikau (NZ!))
([personal profile] vilakins Sep. 1st, 2015 06:58 pm)
Oamaru is a great place: a fraction of the rain here, great weather, beautiful Victorian limestone buildings, friendly people, excellent amenities, and there are no mosquitoes and flies in summer. Or insane traffic. I can't wait to move there!

Our offer on this house is about to go unconditional, though we won't be moving for a few months yet as we have to do some alterations here (kitchen and bathroom) and sell our current place. It was built in 1927 of the beautiful Oamaru limestone and looks out over the Oamaru Gardens and sea, and you can even see the snow on the alps in the other direction. We'll rent it out till we move down; apparently there's a shortage of rental places there. Once we do, there's some work to be done, but it's worth it.

I have some cool photos (incl. the Steampunk Museum) but I lack the energy to edit and post them. Oh, and all the streets are named after British rivers. Our new place is in Stour Street (which rhymes with "tour", not "sour"). For B7 fans, Avon Street is on a hill with magnificent views (I took a photo) with a B&B called Federation House a couple of blocks down the hill. :-) We considered staying there, but instead chose a much smaller place, and this worked out well as we made friends with the owner who is also a builder; we'll be hiring him to do some work.

In unrelated news, I bought something called ginger nuts from the supermarket last week. No, not the dunky biscuits, but nuts coated in ginger, and they were so yummy I polished the whole lot off this afternoon.
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sholio: sun on winter trees (Default)
([personal profile] sholio Aug. 31st, 2015 10:18 pm)
Lately I've been trying to work my way through my unread paperback box. These are a grab bag of books acquired from used bookstores, garage sales, and heaven knows where else, most of them by authors I've never heard of. Usually this results in a lot of dreck with some tolerable reads, but sometimes I'll stumble onto a gem.

Like this one: Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin. It's partly a murder mystery and partly a slice-of-life glimpse of small-town Mississippi, moving back and forth between the early '80s and the present day.

Thirty years ago, a secret friendship develops between Larry, a white redneck farm kid, and Silas, the son of the black squatters who live on their land. Things blow up between them in ways that are probably predictable given that it's rural Mississippi. Three decades later, Silas got out, went to college and became a cop, while Larry got sucked into the downward spiral of small-town poverty and is now the town pariah, blamed for the rape and murder of a young woman who went missing after a date with him.

Now another girl has gone missing under similar circumstances, and Larry is the prime suspect. Silas has to figure out whodunnit while also confronting everything that happened between him and Larry all those years ago.

Content warning: the plot revolves around the rape/murder of two young women, and this is very much Silas and Larry's book, so there are only a handful of female characters anyway and all of them are in the background. I know that's an understandable dealbreaker for some. Also, due to the book's setting and theme, there is a ton of textual racism and racial slurs to be navigated, as well as the sharp edge of rural poverty.

However, this book hit my friendship/family/reconciliation buttons hard, while also managing to avoid (at least I felt so) most of the cliches that I would expect to run into in fiction about race relations in the South in a book written by a white author. The characters are flawed and unpredictable, the general depiction of life in small-town Mississippi (the good and the bad) felt believable for both the black and white characters (the '80s are not the '50s are not the 2000s, and the different flavor of life in different eras was well done, I thought). Nobody learns a ~valuable lesson about racism~, and Larry's unconscious racism and Silas's cutting defense mechanisms are both realistically portrayed. It's a painful book at times, an uncomfortable one at others, but overall there's a sense of warmth and optimism that flows through the book -- a feeling that things could either careen headlong into tragedy or come out okay, and at any point, individual characters' choices could give it the push that's going to turn it one way or the other: is this the time we do the right thing, the humane thing -- the time we manage to be better than our past selves, better than the people we grew up around ... or not?

On the basis of this book, I also checked out The Tilted World from the library, co-written by Franklin and his wife Beth Ann Fennelly, and set during Prohibition in rural Mississippi. Very good so far, with a female bootlegger, a pair of prohibition agents investigating a murder deep in moonshine country, and an Accidental Surprise Baby they acquire after a shooting.
oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (Default)
([personal profile] oyceter Aug. 31st, 2015 10:07 pm)
It's good I've heard so much good stuff about this from various people I trust, because otherwise I would have never made it past episode three and missed out. It is sad that Jenji Kohan felt that she needed to use white, blonde, upper-middle-class Piper as a kind of Trojan horse to get people to watch something primarily about women not seen on TV as often—queer women, women of color, women of various body types, trans women, old women, etc.—but I don't doubt its true.

(On a side note, I love how we've finally gotten a few shows with POC in leading roles and already there have been concern troll-y "But what about the white men?!" articles.)

Anyway, once the episodes stopped focusing on Piper, I started liking the show much more.

Spoilers got time )

Also, the opening song is the best.
And is this happening?

No. No it is not.

On the plus side, I a: figured out what I needed to do with that character who was driving me 'round the bend the other day; and b: realized I could write in some subconscious girl flirting in a much earlier chapter for fun AND foreshadowing.
.

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