selenak: (Katniss by Monanotlisa)

51 TV Writers Reveal Their Favorite Scenes... to have written, and as I knew a considerable part of these, I realised again I watch a lot tv. Damon Lindelof cracks me up with his description of the “WE HAVE TO GO BAAAAAAAACK!” (yes, I added all those extra A’s in the script)" scene from Lost (though seriously, I can see why that particular scene and the concept change it meant felt so liberating to him at the tme). And all my "love for fannish underdogs" buttons are pushed by the fact that Jane Espenson chose not a scene from any of her Buffy episodes, not from BSG, not from Once upon a Time, but from Torchwood: Miracle Day, especially since what she picked was actually my favourite thing about MD (which I didn't love the way I did Children of Earth but thought wasn't the worst thing ever, either, better than season 1 had been actually, just a regression after the narrative height of CoE), a sequence involving Gwen and Jack. Here's Jane E's spoilery description. ) Since I adored that sequence (I'm weird like that), I'm thrilled to bits she chose it.

The Hunger Games:

The trailer for Mockingjay Part II is out. Since nowadays trailers manage to give away key twists, I was most impressed this one manages to avoid it. If you've read the book, you know what some of the scenes we get glimpses at actually are about, the context certain lines are said in, but the trailer accomplishes two major misdirections without actually lying at all. Kudos, trailer cutting people! Also, this one is going to leave me an emotional wreck. Oh, Katniss. Oh, everyone.

Awesome British Actors:

Stuff like this is why nobody needs to RPF Ian McKellen/Patrick Stewart; they're doing it all by themselves, thank you. :) (Oh, and re: the subject of Ian McKellen's latest movie, while I hadn't felt the need for yet another Sherlock Holmes in theory, I'm of course looking forward to watching Ian McKellen playing him in practice.)
selenak: (Cora by Uponyourshore)
Still in haste and briefly:

Doctor Who:

Due to all the interest (and their server crashing), Big Finish is changing their 15 Days to 15 Offers, which each offer available for several days.

Make Mine Marvel:

Steve Rogers meta. Only connect, as Forster put it. And speaking of Steve, as you you can see in this bit from the Comic Con panel where the Avengers actors show up, Chris Evans got the most applause, which no one would have predicted a few years back. Methinks it was Cap 2 which made the difference.

Once Upon A Time:

Another SDCC goodie for those of us far, far away: The REAL reason why the writers decided to do that storyline in s4 which the s3 tag scene revealed. Read: a hilarious sketch in which the OuaT writing staff pokes fun at themselves. Complete with Jane Espenson's pizza fandom (known to the world since the audio commentary for Conversations with Dead People from BTVS was on dvd) and a cameo from a Dharma telephone from Lost. (The fact that some Lost alumni ended up in OuaT, others in Bates Motel and yet others in New Zealand doing Tolkien-Jackson stuff tells you all about what kind of a show Lost was. :)
selenak: (Owen by Linaerys)
Day 30 - Saddest character death.

And we conclude with a horrible dilemma of a question, given that the media I consume offers really a lot of death scenes, now that I think of it. However, let me specify in order to narrow the criteria: "saddest death" is absolutely not the same as "most shocking" or "most surprising". And of course, one viewer's sobfest is another viewers "hooray!" or "why hasn't X croaked it already?" Not to mention that there are some deaths which may be sad but also feel right, even necessary, i.e. no matter my fondness for the characters, I would have felt like the narrative was cheating or not giving them their due if they hadn't died. Spoilery examples for season 3 of AtS, season 4 of BSG and season 5 of SFU follow which are therefore not my choice. )

My other criteria for "saddest death": I have to be emotionally very invested in the characters involved. For example, among the many, many deaths that happen in Lost, the one I'd give the "saddest death scene in Lost" award happens in season 3 and is spoilery for same, then compared to two from season 4 ) It's not in any way an objective judgment or one dependent on writing, acting or directing of the scenes in question, but then "saddest" asks for an emotional judgment.

After trying my best to narrow it down, I came up with four scenes in close competition, which you'll find under the cut.

Spoilers for season 2 of Torchwood, season 4 of Battlestar Galactica, season 1 of Deadwood and season 1 and 5 of The Wire ensue )

The rest of the days )
selenak: (Carl Denham by Grayrace)
This was another film which deeply divided my flist into nays and yays..  As it finally was released in Germany yesterday, I watched it myself, and am firmly among the yays. It's an individual reaction. You may not share it.  But let me explain why I loved a great deal of what I saw.

Read more... )
selenak: (Ben by Idrilelendil)
1.) Benjamin Linus (Lost). What Ben does is perhaps best described at "surviving via mindgames and manipulation" with a sideline of "don't be afraid to get yourself beaten up now and then and be in a seemingly powerless possession, it makes people even better to manipulate". You could argue that Jacob and Smokey are even better at this, but I ask you back: who's still around by the time the show ends? Huh? I rest my case.

2.) Xena (Xena: Warrior Princess). There have been female warriors before and since, but I'd still put Xena against anyone else, male or female, in martial combat. (Not that I don't say "strategy" or "long term survival".) How did that great nonsense verse go... "You've not lived till you've been gored/By Xena". *hums melody from The Bitter Suite*

3.) Natasha Romanov(a) (The Avengers). Best spy of them all, clearly. Someone should write the crossover where she and Ben match mindgame and pretending-to-be-powerless-using-real-emotions-to-trick-enemy skills, but it won't be me. In my fanon, there's just one thing Judi Dench!M really can't forgive Nick Fury for, and that's for making Natasha an offer Natasha couldn't refuse before she could.

4.) Havelock Vetinari (Discworld). Best benevolent tyrant ever (except if you're a mime). As opposed to many a competent power player, he doesn't even seem to have their Achilles heel, i.e. not allowing any other competent people to rise, thereby creating a lack of goverment competence once they've shovelled off the mortal coil. (*looking at you, Bismarck*) It's point of discussion whether the Patrician is grooming Moist or Carrot as his successor, but either one would not do a bad job.

5.) Kalinda Sharma (The Good Wife). Might or might not be the world's best P.I., but is definitely the best one in the show's Chicago. If I needed either dirt to be dug up or my innocence proved, Kalinda is the Private Investigator I'd hire. If I could afford her, that is.
selenak: (Locke by Blimey)
I must admit I'm starting to get quite anticipatory for Prometheus. At first I was spectical, because our man Ridley is a hit and miss kind of director: meaning that for every Blade Runner and Thelma and Louise, there's a G.I. Jane and Kingdom of Heaven. He always delivers on the visuals, and I happen to prefer Alien over James Cameron's Aliens, but as I said: it's a gamble. Though the trailer was admittedly very tasty. Then I read that Damon Lindelof wrote the script, and now I'm really intrigued. Speaking as someone who watched Lost all the way and for all the ups and downs never failed to find it interesting. (Well, except for the episode about the origin of Jack's tattoo in season 3.) (Sidenote: I always find it irritating when Lost is seen as J.J. Abrams' baby, because as far as I can tell, Abrams never had anything to do with it anymore after setting up the pilot and some initial few things, whereas Lindelof was the showrunner through out, so both credit and blame should be laid at his doorstep.) And Lindelof certainly can write mythic, mysterious and deliver interesting ensembles. As long as there's no love triangle involved, and he gets to play to his strengths (especially with ambiguous characters and ones that prove nice and kind by no means equal dull - hello, Hurley!

And speaking of the joys and terrors of anticipation, does anyone know whether there are any news on the proposed American Gods tv series? Because that will be to me what Game of Thrones is to, well, GoT fans. I recently reread the book, and decided that of Gaiman's non-comicbook writings, tv episodes excluded, I still love this novel best. The Graveyard Book immediately after, but American Gods first among the novels. Back in the day I came to it straight from Sandman, and I used to wonder whether that was the reason, because there are obvious world building similarities - the premise that all gods of every religion exist, came into being because of the faith of various people and fade away as the belief in them fades so they have to take up a variety of crumy (or not so crummy) jobs to still access emotions and survive, plus Gaiman's interpretation of various deities in Sandman (primarily Odin and Loki, but also Bastet on the Egyptian side) is very similar-down-to-identical to the one he gives in American Gods. And let me tell you, these are by far my favourite interpretations of said Norse deities, especially of Odin. (Back when I started to read Marvel comics, I felt terribly let down, which was fortunate because by the time Thor the film came along I had learned to completely dissassociate the Marvel characters from the myth characters and for the most part, certain issues aside, could enjoy the Marvel versions on their own merits without expecting them to be like the beings of Norse myths.) Mr. Wednesday is such a marvellous character/interpretation of Odin, manipulative, ambigous-to-downright-villainous and yet incredibly compelling, and when Shadow at the end after having figured out Wednesday's scheme(s) and what Wednesday did still admits he misses him, without the narrative excusing Wednesday, it captures the effect on this particular reader precisely.

But ten years later, and so many other books later, American Gods still hasn't dated for me. Lots of book spoilers follow. )
selenak: (Obsession by Eirena)
As threatened, some ponderings on villains and which ones do and don't make me like or even love them. And, not always related: which kind of redemption stories, both in canon and fanfic, work for me and which one's don't. First, a disclaimer: I know some people declare they prefer the villains on general principle and declare the heroes to be bland and dull by comparison. That's not the case for me. If I find I only like the villain in a story and he/she is the only interesting person in it, I say goodbye to the show/film/book in question, the faster the older I get, because a good ensemble is getting more and more important to me.

So: villains. Those I like come in many different flavours. There are the lunatic EvilMcEvils, who need not be boring in their complete evilness and often lunacy if served with a defined time frame; when this happens in a visual medium and they're played by good and charismatic actors, they can be both scary and immensly entertaining. Examples who come to mind are the Emperor Caligula in I, Claudius and his sci fi twin, the Emperor Cartagia in Babylon 5, or Kronos in Highlander. (Take your bows, John Hurt, Wortham Krimmer and Valentine Pelka.) They're far from the only reasons why I love the episodes they're in, but they definitely contribute. But note: they're actually in only a few episodes, the fact that I find them scary and compelling doesn't change the fact it's their victims and Our Heroes I root for, and when they meet their demise, I'm glad. Any longer stay in the story, and either their scariness or the main characters' competence and/or believability would suffer.

Then there are the Evil Overlords and Overladies who are quite sane (except for the whole ruling-the-'verse ambition part, though some of them are happy with just efficient assasindom) and comfortable in their villaindom. They can, but don't have to be Magnificent Bastards (tm), and again, if we're talking visual medium, a good actor helps. So do competence, intelligence and wit. As opposed to the lunatics, their livespan in the story need not be limited in order for both the story and the villain to work. Temporary alliances with the heroes in order to defeat a third party are possible but won't ever last and are not to be confused with a redemption story; this type of villain, as mentioned, is comfortable in their skin and sees no need to change anything about themselves. Examples I've enjoyed watching or reading about include the Empress Livia (I, Claudius again), the Mayor of Sunnydale (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Milady de Winter (The Three Musketeers), Servalan (Blake's 7) or Lilah Morgan and Holland Manners (both from Angel).

Next, we get the tragic, layered and/or emotionally torn villains, frequently mixing company with antiheroes and sometimes crossing lines from and back to plain old heroes, and here it gets tricky, and I get more choosy as the years pass. A tragic, sympathetic villain often (but not always) has a traumatic background story: next to unbeatable in this regard is Magneto's Holocaust childhood in any incarnation of the X-Men. (Of course, it also comes with its own date problem, i.e. the reason why Magneto already had to be de-aged by Plot Device a couple of times in comicverse continuity in order to maintain physical strength - the fixed date of a real life historic event, from which we are further and further away.) Not that a traumatic past, even a Holocaust trauma, automatically creates a sympathetic character. Just look at Ultimate!Magneto, or rather, don't. (Mark Millar does his usual thing, if you must know.) This type of villain usually comes with the conviction that they're really working for the greater good, not just their own (key difference to the Magnificent Bastards), their methods for them are justified by said greater good (this is where they're mixing company wiht the antiheroes and sometimes the heroes), but they can have doubts about this, waver or even change their mind; also, they often have lasting attachments to other people, and more than one. However, all this being said, they, and this makes them villains, however tragic, are responsible for the deaths and/or ruin of a great many people, and in the most interesting stories, we're not simply told about this by a few measly lines but get to know their victims as people, who didn't volunteer to be character X's sacrifice for the greater good/punchbag for personal trauma/whatever and had their own lives before having the bad luck to encounter said villain. Other than movieverse and most times 616 comicverse Magneto, villains of this type who made me love them include Ben Linus from Lost or Arvin Sloane from Alias, and Kai Winn on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

And then there are the villains whom I don't love at all and don't like as people, either, but whom I can find interesting as a character and thus end up writing about. When I look at examples, I realise something they share, as different as they otherwise are from each other: a Me ME ME teenage frame of mind that extends far beyond actual teenage years, which comes with a tendency to blame everyone but themselves for their miseries, utter refusal to acknowledge any responsibility and an ever narrower capacity for attachment, that starts out being genuinenly there but as the character devolves includes fewer and fewer people, until only themselves are left. These type of villains might, in other circumstances, have not become villains - that helps making them interesting to me - but aren't tragic (for me, mileage as always varies) because they pass up chance after chance to change said circumstances because that would involve accepting some responsibility instead of blaming everyone else. Primarly examples: Warren Mears in Buffy, Morgana on Merlin and now Loki in Thor and Avengers. There is of course a big difference in how fandom at large responded to Warren on the one hand and Morgana & Loki on the other: Warren wasn't woobified. His own idea of himself was never shared by a majority of fandom. Morgana's and Loki's ideas of themselves, on the other hand, if fanfic and posts are anything to go by, are shared by a great many fans. And all generalisations are broad, I know, and can be unfair, but I rather suspect the reason for this isn't that Warren behaved worse than Morgana or Loki (Loki wins for attempted global genocide in Thor; his attempted conquest bodycount in Avengers and Morgana's by the end of season 4 should be about equal, and all three - Warren, Morgana and Loki, that is - are guilty of mindrape), but that the later two are played by very attractive actors and Warren (pace, Adam Busch! I enjoyed your performance and your guest appearance on The Sarah Connor Chronicles as well!) is not; also, Warren, about whose parents we know next to nothing (other than his mother moved to Sunnydale during Buffy's last two high school years or so), who doesn't have a sibling and who dominates his small group of peers (i.e. Andrew and Jonathan) offers no identification potential for the inner 13 years old temper tantrum throwing tale of "nobody understands me and Daddy doesn't love me enough!".

Now, if you get attached to a character, you usually want that character to stick around and achieve some modicum of happiness for himself/herself. Which is at the root of a great many redemption stories; not so much the need to bring the character to a state where he or she realises their actions (or at least some of them) were wrong and consequently tries to atone for them. Why do I think that? Because I've read a lot of fanfic in many a fandom, and the most popular pattern for redemption stories is this:

1) Not-much-longer-a-villain X saves the life of hero Y (usually the person the author wants to pair X with.)

2) Y and assorted other heroes are impressed in varying degrees; then they find out, if they don't know already, about the incredibly tragic backstory of X

3) Shame at the magnitude of X's sufferings in the past ensues (often, but not always, one of the hero types is held responsible for at least some of X's trauma and now gets punished accordingly)

4) X is redeemed (or rather justified, because clearly, he/she was more sinned against than sinning anyway!); happy sex with Y ensues.

Note that what's utterly missing is X being confronted by his/her victims other than Y and/or whomever of Y's friends they wronged, and these people usually, upon realising the tragic past, forgive X post haste. Characters who refuse to be impressed by X's turnabout and still hold X' deeds against him/her for some reasons are, if they are allowed in the narrative at all, the new villains of the story.

Which brings me back from fanfic to canon sources. Which don't always equal redemption with universal hugs and joyful sex, for some reason. Or even see redemption as the only way for a sympathetic and/or interesting villain to continue in the story. [personal profile] itsnotmymind once observed that one of the reasons why Faith's story on BTVS and ATS is probably the best redemption story the shows did is that Faith never was a regular, and thus didn't have to appear in every episode. Which meant it was possible for her to turn herself in and go to prison for several seasons, which wouldn't have been possible for, say, Willow. (Or Spike, leaving the later's vampire nature aside.) That's true, but Ben Linus on Lost and Arvin Sloane on Alias were regulars on their respective shows. If Alias had ended after the fourth season, you could say both got sort-of-redemption stories in the sense that they both started as villains and ended as sort-of-allies and also in a state of atonment (of sorts); since season 5 of Alias turned Sloane's story around again, he went back to villaindom. Even so, the difference between Ben and Arvin on the one hand and Loki/Morgana/Warren on the other is that pesky self awareness and responsibility thing, along with more-than-one-attachment ability. Not that Mr. Linus and Mr. Sloane don't have their massive self delusions at times as well, but they are aware that the main responsibility for what their life became lies with them. (See also: Sloane, in one of the ever popular taking-place-in-the-mind-of-characters episodes, telling his daughter Nadia in his own head that whatever he was in the past, now "I am a monster, and monsters have no place in this world".) They're also capable of voicing regrets over their actions, and, to a degree, change their behaviour (again: to a degree). Most importantly, though: their narrative doesn't let them off the hook. If the majority of Lost characters distrusts, loathes and resents Ben through several seasons, it's because of his own actions; ditto for Sloane, and at no point does the show imply the other characters are just mean and unfair to hold something like murder, manipulation and lots and lots of mind games against a fellow.

Cynical side note: the fact that Ron Rifkin and Michael Emerson were among the very best actors of the cast, with only one other actor of the same age group competing for the title, but neither of them young and particularly attractive probably helped with the comparative lack of fandom woobiefication, but the fact it didn't happen probably helped me maintain my Sloane and Benjamin Linus love.

But if accepting responsibility is such an important criterium for my personal affections, what, long time readers of my ramblings may ask, what about Battlestar Galactica's Gaius Baltar? What indeed, because accepting blame really isn't his strong suit, and as late as season 3, we have it as on screen canon (as voiced by William Adama near the end of the episode where he and Roslin torture Baltar for a confession) that Gaius sees himself as the wronged party here instead of the wrongdoer. So why do I have such issues with Loki and Morgana pulling that stunt but not with Baltar? Well, the fact that fandom didn't woobify and excuse Gaius B. probably helped, but so did his other characteristics, and the way his story played out on the show. Gaius could be petty on occasion, but by and large not malicious, and while he had a big accepting responsibility problem for the longest time, his chosen method of avoidance wasn't blaming either humans or Cylons for his miseries. In fact, he was one of the very few characters on that show who at no point succumbed to group hate and who as early as early s2 declared the entire cycle of vengeance and counter vengeance between humans and Cylons senseless and stupid (in a conversation with Head!Six on Kobol). Also, the show gave him neither the big dramatic heroic death atoning for his wrongs, nor did it make him into a moustache twirling villain (a la original Baltar in the old BSG) dying in punishment; what happened to him was simultanously the worst and the best thing for him, something he'd run from and tried to escape all his life. I wouldn't call it redemption, but it was by far the most successful personal arc completed in the very shaky way the show wrapped up. And showed you can tell a story of someone responsible for a lot of misery in an interesting way without falling into standard narrative patterns or easy cop-outs, and without ever handwaving the magnitude of what this person did away.

Back to fanfiction once more: one of my earliest Jossverse stories was Five Things Which Never Happened To Warren (using the "Five Things" format worked great with Warren, who in some makes better and in some as bad or even worse choices than in canon), and by now, Morgana has been prominent in or the central focus of five of my so far fourteen Merlin stories. As I said: I find these people interesting to write about. But none of these stories falls under the "everyone realises how wrong they were about X" type of story. (The first Morgana-centric story, Discordance, which was written in the hiatus between s2 and s3, i.e. before Morgana became a villain on the show, was actually inspired by frustration about fanon!Morgana whom I couldn't see bearing much resemblance to the character on the show even then.) Neither are they demonizations; I hope Morgana and Warren come across as capable of more than one emotion and as complicated individuals in said stories. It's just that the fictional examinations of the characters I wanted to read, and consequently wrote, weren't "X was so wronged by everyone and right all along! Team X all the way!" type of stories, but instead stories that took into account what canon has told us these characters were capable of. And I probably will end up writing about Loki sooner or later, despite yet having to feel any love of the character, because the type of Loki stories I'd be interested in reading just don't seem to get written, either.


Having ended up on an Avengers note yet again, two meta recs: Lovely, thoughtful meta on the film here and here.
selenak: (Naomie Harris by Lady Turner)
Not only of interest if you've watched him as Mr. Eko in Lost (or Simon Adebesi in Oz): a fascinating article about Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, who was born Nigerian, fostered by a (white) British family and struggled with conflicting race and class identities as well as a great many other things. He comes across as compelling as the characters he portrayed as an actor.

Also in this Sunday's Observer was something that ticked me off: the ten best historical novels. With the exception of War and Peace, there's not a single novel among them not written in the English language. So even leaving alone the extreme questionability of the "best" criterium - I always prefer titling such lists "my ten favourite etc." because that's more honest, and nobody can argue about personal preferences - I have to wonder why the critic in question didn't simply leave Tolstoy off the list and call it "my ten favourite historical novels written English". Either that, or he's truly ignorant of non-Anglo literature. I mean, for God's sake - no Dumas or Victor Hugo, who founded the genre more than Walter Scott did? No Princesse de Cleves? No Lion Feuchtwanger, Heinrich Mann, Stefan Zweig? No Mika Waltari? Boooooooooooo. Hissssssssssss.

While I'm in combatitive mood: what she said, "she" being the brilliant [personal profile] legionseagle, in relation to the use of a certain scene in The Avengers and some fannish reaction to same. The comments to her post are also good for the most part, but contain one of the most irritating examples for attempted argument derailment I've seen since [personal profile] catvalente posted about the difference of reactions had Christopher Priest (apropos his Clarke award rant) been a woman and had to deal with a troll. Also, and here it gets spoilery for The Avengers and Thor ).
selenak: (Six by Nyuszi)
I'll go for characters, and it's a trickier question than it appears to be at first glance. Because sometimes the unhappy ending is the RIGHT ending, no matter how much your love for the character makes you hurt for it. Prime example: Londo Mollari, who is my favourite tv character of all time. But a happy, or even happier ending for Londo would have been completely wrong for his story. So instead of picking a bunch of my darlings whom regardless of story necessity I wish to be happy, I'll try for characters who could have gotten happier endings in their respective universes without compromising the story told.

Spoilers for Lost, Farscape, Merlin, BSG and Twin Peaks )
selenak: (Father Issues by Raven_annabella)
Well, "worst fathers" would be like shooting fish in a barrell, given how especially American tv loves its daddy issues. So here are some great dads who come to mind:

1.) Mr. Kwon from Lost. Alas, we never find out his first name, but Jin's dad is that rarity on Lost, a genuinenly good parent. He raised Jin as his own despite the fact they're not biologically related, put up with Jin having class issues and being ashamed of him and was still there when a repentant Jin needed comfort and advice. This would make him a great father in any narrative, but on this show? Trust me, it makes him rarer than pink diamonds.

2.) Benjamin Sisko from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. After two shows where the regulars tended to have issues with at least one of their parents, usually the father, and/or with their offspring, Sisko wasn't just the first male lead to get along with his father famously, he also was a single parent raising his son and doing a stellar job of it. Not that he's perfect, but by and large, good old Ben S. s a really great father.

3.) Dexter Morgan from Dexter. He may be a serial killer, plus I think the show sort of lost its moral compass in the last season, but there is no denying it: one thing Dexter has been consistently great with from season 1 onwards is being a father, both in the emotional sense (with Rita's children, Aster and Cody) and in the biological sense (Harrison). Given his, err, impediments, that's all the more unusual.

4.) Keith Mars from Veronica Mars. Does not let the fact he's unsure about the biological factor influence his love for his daughter one bit, does a great job being there for her, does not take his own misery and angst out on her, and is in general a champion. Go Keith!

5.) Aeneas, from Greek and Roman mythology. Look, I'm the first to admit that Virgil's Homer fanfiction the Anaeid suffers by comparison to the two originals, and of course as far as wandering heroes go, the wily Odysseus wins every time. However. Aeneas, as opposed to most fathers in myths (looking at you, Laios, and you, Priam) does not try to get rid of his kid as a baby. He doesn't eat him, either (Tantalus, you had that underworld punishment coming), nor does he kill him to prove how no one should be above the law (looking at you, original Brutus) or to appease the gods (Agamemnon, step forward). Nor does he dump the boy on someone else to care for. (Looking at pretty much everyone.) No, Aeneas when leaving his burning city behind brings both his Aged Parents and his son along, and raises the later through years of questing, divine punishments, ill-fated love affairs, the occasional clash with leftover Greeks from the war and eventually settling and a new marriage. There were earlier mythological single parents, but arguably Aeneas is the first to make a success of raising his son and being a questing hero at the same time instead of giving one up for the other. Clearly a model to the earlier named gentlemen!

Footnote: if you're wondering why Jack Bristow isn't there: Spydaddy is undoubtedly willing to move mountains for his daughter and willing to sacrifice his (and other) life for her at any time, but when it comes to day-to-day parenting, his track record is a bit less stellar. Yes, there are traumatic reasons for that, but the fact of the matter is that when we meet them in season 1, the communication between them is so bad and the issues are so massive that Jack can't bring himself to have dinner with Sydney, prefering instead to sit in his car broodingly in the rain outside the restaurant where she's waiting for him. It gets far better as the show progresses, but my criterium of selection for the fathers wasn't just "fathers willing to die for their children" but "fathers actually good at communicating with and raising their children".
selenak: (Locke by Blimey)
Meanwhile, in New Zealand: Bilbo and the thirteen dwarves, i.e. the actors for the Hobbit film, out of costume for a group shot. Looking at this I again thought Martin Freeman for a younger Bilbo was an inspired choice on Peter Jackson's part. Also it's amusing to see Aidan Turner with the dwarvish beard. (And spot the Richard Armitage!)

(I wonder whether the casting will accomplish for dwarves what the LotR films did for hobbits and elves? I.e. turn a whole new brigade of slashers loose on an unsuspecting bunch of Tolkien characters whose sex lives were never the same again...)

There were a lot of fandom-themed funny valentines yesterday. Some favourites spotted:

A Very Special Battlestar Galactica Valentine Card (spoilers for the third season)

A hysterical bunch of Lost-themed Valentine Cards (naturally, the Ben one and the Locke one are my favourites, but the others are great as well; spoilers only for Kate's backstory)
selenak: (Kitten by Cheesygirl)
Assignments like Merlin/Dragon or Sylar/Cockroach would be too easy and are canon anyway. Speaking of:

1.) Benjamin Linus (Lost)/ Bunny. Practically canon as well. If you think bunnies are too harmless and not suitable for machiavellian types, read Watership Down.) (Which reminds me that Lost advertises that book as well.) Or ask Anya from BTVS.

2.) Sarah Connor (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles)/Turtle. She'll outlast them all. Also? Canon. (Yes, yes, so is the wolf thing, but that's way too obvious.)

3.) Gwen Cooper (Torchwood)/English Sheep Dog. Cute but fierce, protective and occasionally inspiring songs. Can sometimes run into things and mess up, but are tenacious and win the day.

4.) River Song (Doctor Who)/ Cat. Of several lives and not always certain loyalties, definitely knowing more than most people in a given room or good at bluffing that she does. Come on, it's perfect. Also, you know, several regenerations of a certain someone have a thing for cats.

5.) Walter Bishop (Fringe)/Walrus. Because if I am the Walrus is not Walter's theme song, it should be. Also there is a certain resemblance, pace John Noble.
selenak: (Elizabeth - shadows in shadows by Poison)
First of all, thanks for the virtual present, [profile] yetanothermask!

Secondly, links fannish and real life:


Vigilantes: set during Cabin Fever, starring my favourite Lost characters, Ben, Locke and Hurley: an introspective character potrait, capturing all three very well.

Marvel and DC comics:

It was about time someone did this parody: Superhero wikileaks

Awesome actresses at large:

Helen Mirren and her magnificent speech about women's roles, on screen and otherwise. "Hollywood's worship of the 18-25 years old male and his penis" just about sums it up.

Rosemary Sutcliff/History:

This one immediately made me think of [personal profile] kathyh. A film version of Eagle of the Ninth, hm? Well, the trailer looks great.

The two bloggings on yesterday's anniversary I found most moving:

Don't remember John Lennon today: "Because any attempt to ascribe meaning or logic to his killer's actions only satisfies the internal demons that compelled him to project Lennon into his own psychotic narrative", argues Peter Ames Carlin and then proceeds to remember John's life anyway.

For John Lennon: in which [personal profile] rozk writes a poem that finds a striking and chilling use of the myth of Orpheus and the Bacchantes.
selenak: (Gentlemen of the Theatre by Kathyh)
Darth Real Life doesn't leave me time to watch the SJA episodes just yet, let alone review them. However, there is always time for short fannish distractions, such as:


Go Between. Perfect OT3 epilogue to the most recently broadcast episode (3.10 for later readers). Rooting for Merlin/Gwen/Arthur might be a minority thing in the fandom yet, but the great fanfic starts coming, such as thish one. No wonder, with all the current canonical support.


The non-creepiness of strangers: in which post-show Claire from Lost meets just pre season 2 Nathan from Heroes. It was the first time since eons since I read Heroes fanfiction, even a crossover, and I was surprised how well it worked for me. Of course, it being set at an era when I was still filled with show love helped, as does that we're in Claire's pov, and exploring Claire after all that happened to her and through her post Lost is something I look for in fanfiction. Nathan in his pre and early s2 state is an ideal person for her to meet, in that messed up characters chatting sort of way, plus, you know, personal resonance with girls named Claire who are illegitimate daughters.

And lastly: drool over what were their names again from Inception and what's his face from Sherlock all you want, flist, but I came across this picture and was reminded once more that where British actors are concerned, two septuangarians are the ones who reduce me to putty:

selenak: (Gwen by Redscharlach)

Et in Arcadia ego: On Benjamin Linus and letting go. Spoilers for the entire show.


I wish I was James Bond: which of course is the perfect song for a Julian Bashir vid.


Gwen Day links: [personal profile] pocky_slash had the inspired idea to declare yesterday Gwen day and collect links for fanfiction, pic spams and meta about Gwen Cooper. As someone who came to love Gwen dearly in the course of the show, to the point where she's now my favourite character, I was thrilled to find those links.
selenak: (Locke by Blimey)
Name five characters who would hate attending a family reunion.

Ah, dysfunctional families. One of my favourite things to read, listen and watch.

1) Tiberius, as portrayed in I, Claudius. Not that Tiberius in any version and as described by any historians doesn't strike me as hating family reunions, but I assume the meme goes after fictional characters, so Gravesian Tiberius it is. Doesn't matter which era we're talking about, young Tiberius with his extremely awkward relationship to stepfather Augustus and mother Livia or very old Tiberius (at this point responsible for various family deaths himself) in Capri - family reunions, he loathed them.

2) John Locke of Lost. Not for nothing did he win in the evil daddy stakes in the poll I posted a few months ago, in a show with an overabundance of bad fathers. Meeting his mother didn't turn out too great, either. Let's just say that canonically, family reunions for John Locke went from bad to worse and I can't imagine him respond other than going macro and yelling DO NOT WANT at the prospect of more.

3) Aeryn Sun (Farscape). Aeryn's canonical family reunion party is called The Choice. Otherwise known as the angstiest Aeryn episode ever. Fun times, these were not, even if she hadn't been grieving for other reasons in that episode already. I don't think Aeryn would want a repetition of that experience any time soon.

4) Kara "Starbuck" Thrace (Battlestar Galactica). And then there is Kara. As many a viewer has said, she could talk with Aeryn about Mommy issues. With the mothers in question far, far away. There's also a psychologically torturous family situation she would not want to repeat from early s3. No, can't see Kara signing up for family reunions any time soon.

5) Heidi Petrelli (Heroes). I checked out of the Heroes canon during s3, but however it went down afterwards (no, don't tell me), I can't imagine Heidi really enjoying a Petrelli family reunion, between her mother-in-law indulging either in put-downs or come ons, Arthur being a creep, and Nathan and Peter doing their co-dependent arguments/hugs act.
selenak: (Buffy by Kathyh)
Name the five best "cold open"/teasers (the scene of a TV show before the opening credits)

Tricky to narrow it down to five, as nearly always. However, here are five teasers that definitely made an impression so strong that I can recall them at once when hearing the question:

1) A Tale of Two Cities, season 3 of Lost. Lost of course did good teasers galore, and far more shocking ones, but here's why this one sticks with me even more than the others: spoilery reasons ensue. )

2) Samson and Delilah, season 2 of The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Season 1 ends on a cliffhanger; the teaser starting season 2 resolves that cliffhanger as far as immediate circumstances are concerned but at the same time sets up, in only a few minutes and basically without dialogue, some of the big issues of season 2 (as well as the suspense situation for the season opener) - spoilers are still in awe and admiration about that. ) And all of this to the tune of Shirley Manson singing a gospel. It's magnificent.

3) Kobol's Last Gleaming I, season 1 of Battlestar Galactica. Speaking of great music, here Bear McCreary, as he will in the tag scene of part II, brings on his symphonic skills in a big way. The teaser of part I combines several season 1 themes - Boomer's struggle against her Cylon identity and increasing depression, Roslin's Chamalla-induced visions, the relationships between Kara and Lee as well as Kara and Gaius Baltar - in one wonderfully scored sequence. (Sidenote: as a Kara/Lee anti-shipper throughout the show who had really hoped they wouldn't go there I probably had an atypical reaction to a certain scene, but independent from that, I can't deny it was skilfully done.)

4) The Body, season 5 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Of Joss Whedon's four most experimental episodes in this show, Hush, Restless, The Body and Once More, With Feeling, which I think are four of the best hours of tv ever, Restless is probably my overall favourite but The Body is the one which affects me most deeply. As a depiction of the immediate aftermath of death, I find it devastatingly accurate, and spoilery descriptions ensue. )

5) The Sam Tyler Jacket, Ashes to Ashes season 3, episode 5. I didn't want a "real" appearance by Sam on AtA - he had his own show, you know? - and thus was not disappointed we never got one, but this use of John Simm footage by way of Alex' brain was great and cracks me up to this day; competing with that for my favourite AtA teaser is the "Uptown Girl" sequence, also from season 3, which YouTube won't let me link. I ♥ Alex Drake and her dreams, I tell you.
selenak: (Guinevere by Reroutedreams)
Name the five sweetest fictional characters.

Here they are, all coming with a "if you don't love them, you're just plain wrong" disclaimer. :)

1.) Vir Cotto (Babylon 5). In addition to being absolutely adorable and funny when he doesn't break your heart, Vir is brave, loving and not only Londo's conscience but the one of the show.

2.) Kaylee Frye (Firefly). The ship's mechanic, tends to babble, is an unabashed hedonist who loves her strawberries and her sex in equal measure, and is just a darling.

3.) Hugo "Hurley" Reyes (Lost). Definitely the heart of the show, a natural caretaker, big geek, able to overcome some significant damage. Hurley will hand you a chocolate bar for consolation even if you're a villain-gone-antihero known to put people through hell. Awwwww.

4.) Gwen (Guinevere) (Merlin). My favourite Guinevere of them all, kind and sweet, but push her too far, and she'll tell you exactly what's what. I just love her.

5.) Wilf(red) Mott (Doctor Who). Adorable grandfather, enthusiastic astronomer, known to attack Daleks with paint balls and have heart-to-hearts with Time Lords feeling their age. Also? Bernard Cribbins.


selenak: (Default)

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