selenak: (The Americans by Tinny)
Which had two ZOMG moments for me. One of which expected but one not.

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selenak: (The Americans by Tinny)
Watching a show about Russian spies set in the 80s is increasingly weird when contrasted with the current day reality. If only the KGB had known back then how incredibly easy it is to get the entire Republican party to do their bidding…

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selenak: (The Americans by Tinny)
This was a bit of an odd episode for me, full of fragments from stories that did almost, but not quite fit together.

More beneath the cut )
selenak: (Claudia and Elizabeth by Tinny)
I'm currently at a conference, thus can only be online very rarely. Sorry for delayed replies etc. Anyway, onto the 80s and their spies.

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selenak: (The Americans by Tinny)
In which there are family meetings and goodbyes.

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selenak: (The Americans by Tinny)
In which our antiheroes are back, but not in the USSR.

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selenak: (Black Sails by Violateraindrop)
1. Your main fandom of the year?

As in previous years, I remain a multifandom woman. An old fandom I got somewhat back into was Star Wars, but not due to The Force Awakens, due to finally marathoning The Clone Wars. Of shows with an open, not yet concluded canon, I continue to love The Americans, Better Call Saul and Bates Motel, but Black Sails is probably the one I feel most intensely for. However, due to tumblr aversion, I’m not exactly in the fandom, as not many Black Sails fans seem to be on dw or lj.


2. Your favourite film watched this year?

Slash. I watched it at the Munich Film Festival in summer, attended the Q & A with the director, and have not changed my impression, which was: I loved and adored this movie. It filled me with joy the same way Galaxy Quest did for a lot of similar reasons. Currently, there are some people badmouthing it on the internet, usually people who haven’t watched it, and that irks me the way it always does when people shit on something you love, especially at a time when fandom is my escape from the horrors of the real world. But such is life, and thankfully the movie will still be there when the haters have moved on to the next subject.


3. Your favourite book read this year?

I read a lot of non fiction this year, the most impressive of which was probably The Pigeon Tunnel by John Le Carré. But the one I loved best was probably fiction, to wit, Oath Bound by Jo Graham and Melissa Scott. Oh, and I did a reread of the Angelique series I’d loved as a child and teen, and enjoyed those novels as much as ever.


4. Your favourite TV show of the year?

See above: Black Sails, which had a fantastic third season and keeps getting better and better. I’m ready to get my heart broken by the fourth and final season, and am confident it will be done in a narratively satisfying way. Incidentally, all my shows except for Elementary had great seasons in 2016, and I didn’t give up any the way I did in 2015.


5. Your favourite online fandom community of the year?

Still [profile] the_americans.

6. Your best new fandom discovery of the year?

Very unexpectedly, this was Class, the Doctor Who spin-off which premiered this fall. As far as DW spin-offs are concerned, Torchwood had had a very rocky first season, and while I adored The Sarah Jane Adventures, I went into it because of Sarah Jane, and all the Class characters were new, so I had no idea what to expect. Certainly not the strong first season and ensemble-tastic tale I got. Go show! May you get many seasons more.


7. Your biggest fandom disappointment of the year?

None so great that it drove me to abandon the show, but Elementary’s fourth season, with the exception of the Paul Cornell episode, had been a let down, and season 5 alas hasn’t pulled off the season 3 trick yet of coming back strong. It’s still enjoyable, though.


8. Your TV boyfriend of the year?

In terms of “who would I actually date”, still pre-Saul Jimmy McGill. In terms of “whose ongoing adventures was I most emotionally invested in” , John Silver. In terms of “who would I definitely not date, not even for a one night stand, but good lord, am I emotionally invested, as evidenced by the fact I’ve been writing him again: Anakin Skywalker, human disaster extraordinaire. I had never lost my fondness for Anakin, of course, but The Clone Wars brought back the urge to write him in a big fashion.

9. Your TV girlfriend of the year?

Kim Wexler from Better Call Saul was the core of the second season and a Queen among women, and I adore her, I completely fell for Ahsoka from The Clone Wars, but this year, there can only be one choice (not least due to what happened): Norma Bates, the most doomed mother ever, antiheroine of my heart, so flawed, so passionate, so human, so capable of utter joy and utter rage.

10. Your biggest squee moment of the year?

It’s a tie between John Silver deciding the way to win James Flint’s respect is to tell him Silver has managed to screw him over re: the Urca gold while they’re en route to some shark fighting, and that this tactic works, in Black Sails 3.03., and Norma Bates in Bates Motel 4.06. responding to perceived blackmail with one of her extraordinary raw emotional outbursts, laying her past wide open, and the thought to be blackmailer instead actually repairing her window while the guy she was sure she’d lose by this honesty instead responds with “Where are we going?” Which is the most romantic line you’ll ever hear on this show, in context.


11. The most missed of your old fandoms?

Class made me nostalgic for Buffy. But not for the ship wars. Good lord, not for the ship wars. Also, Highlander.

12. The fandom you haven’t tried yet, but want to?

Mr. Robot, with the eternal “if I find the time” disclaimer.

13. Your biggest fan anticipations for the New Year?

Black Sails season 4, American Gods the tv series, and Arrival, of which I have heard very good things but which I haven’t managed to watch yet. I hope it’ll stick around in the cinemas until I can.
selenak: (Sternennacht - Lefaym)
Dear Yuletide Writer,

thank you so much for writing a story for me! I’m greatly looking forward to it, and hope you’ll enjoy writing it. We share at least one fandom, and hopefully some of my ideas will be of interest to you.
General likes/dislikes: Generally, I’m fond of canon settings. By which I mean: I don’t want to read about the characters in a coffee shop AU, or a high school AU, or in a story where no one evolved beyond their pilot characterization and the plot went totally differently from there.

This isn’t an absolute demand. I’ve come across A U s which I have truly loved, and some had pretty cracky premises. So if you are truly inspired to write about, say, Lily Frankenstein’s adventures in space, fine, go for it. “If possible, canon era setting” is a guideline, no more.

On the other hand: no A/B/O, please. Can’t stand it. Also, no character bashing. By which I don’t mean characters can’t have negative opinions about other characters. But there is a difference between that and story intent. To choose a Black Sails example: Jack Rackham having no good things to say about Eleanor Guthrie post s3 would be in character and more than likely. Flint, otoh, passing judgment on Eleanor on one particular act given what he did to Mr. Gates would be hypocritical, and if the entire story is devoted to all the characters hating on Eleanor and Eleanor getting humiliated by the narrative, we’re definitely in bashing territory, and I want nothing to do with it.

Slash, het, bi, poly: I’m fine with it all, and you can write non-generic sex scenes, more power to you, I’m envious (I tend to go for the discreet cut between scenes not because I’m against explicit writing but because I’m not good at it), but I’d prefer it if the story consists of more than just an extended sex scene.

On to fandom specifics.

Penny Dreadful )

The Americans )

Black Sails )

The Last Kingdom )
selenak: (Allison by Spankulert)
Briefly, as I am travelling:

Emmys: I'm thrilled Tatiana Maslany has finally won. She deserves this. I mean, I was rooting for one of the actresses on this particular occasion, but Tatiana Maslany does so amazing things on this show and in all these roles that she can win any time and I'm satisfied.

Otoh "Battle of the Bastards" winning best written episode over ANY episode of The Americans, season 4, is just baffling. (Yes, Sansa's scene at the end is great, and the overall direction is good, but the script otherwise? Ah well. Spectacle over character drama, I suppose.)

Politics: dire dire dire dire everywhere, including my own country. For some reason, the Washington Post coming up with a journalistic first of the most cynical type is my current personal least favourite, though. They published Snowden's original revelations together with the New York Times and won another Pulitzer for it, and now they're asking for him not to be pardoned but to go to prison. Somewhere, Nixon is cackling. And Ben Bradlee is turning in his grave.

Trying to cheer myself up: since it's "talk like a pirate" day, I give you Black Sails' version of Anne Bonny, in the s2 finale:

I can't be your wife, Jack. But you and I are gonna be partners till they put us in the fucking ground. "

(The Anne and Jack relationship: forever great.)

Also, going back a bit in (my) fannish time, here's the pirate king herself, Elizabeth Swann (sidenote: why I've never been tempted to watch any Pirates of the Caribbean movies post the third one - for me, that saga was Elizabeth's story, and the trilogy told it, completely), rallying a fleet: Hoist the Colours!
selenak: (Flint by Violateraindrop)
ETA: it has been pointed out to me that the other condition, "more than a 1000 words per story", filters out a great deal, which means Black Sails is still below the 1000 works limit and thus still eligible. Yay!


The rules for this year's Yuletide: alas, with 1020 stories at the AO3 Black Sails is now over the magical 1000 fanworks limit to be eligible. Season 3 really inspired a lot more writing, which on the one hand, yay, but on the other, it robs me of a Yuletide fandom I meant to be request and offer. Ah well. It means I can nominate characters for The Americans after all, and hope someone will write either the Martha or the Gabriel story of my dreams for me.

In the meantime, here's a new Black Sails story I spotted this morning: a Miranda pov set during season 1, with spoilers for s2, though, so season 1 watchers who don't want to be spoiled beware:

Vain Empires
selenak: (Malcolm and Vanessa)
Penny Dreadful, of course. There's at least one idea I really want to write, and more than one I'll request. We should coordinate our efforts, oh flist/circle, to get in more characters. I don't think any of us need to nominate Vanessa, or Ethan, they are a given. Sir Malcolm is not, so he'll be one of my four. I also want Lily, Caliban/John Clare/The Creature, Catriona Hartdegen and Dr. Seward, so if anyone would take one of them among their PDs? Pretty please? I also hope urgently someone will nominate Lyle, but more due to sympathy than to a concrete story idea.

The Americans: I love the show as much as ever, but I won't volunteer to write it this year, because I've ended up as the sole person writing The Americans stories for two years in a row, and I want to try something else. Depending on the prompts and whether I have time enough, I might write a The Americans treat, but for my main assignment, I want another fandom.

Black Sails: Pirates! Someone else will undoubtedly nominate Flint and Silver, and Billy is also popular enough to end up nominated on his own. Ditto Charles Vane, Jack Rackham and Anne Bonny. I'll nominate Madi, Max, Eleanor and Miranda, who aren't shoe-ins. Would be grateful for Mr. Scott, the Queen and Woode Rogers.

Books: I'll nominate the Shardlake mysteries again, not leaving it to accident. Last year someone wrote a beautiful aftermath of Lamentation story; maybe they can be seduced into writing more? Characters: am still hankering after a Guy past or present tale, but other than that, I have only vague ideas. I'd ask for Matthew being Elizabeth's lawyer in the upcoming Thomas Seymor fiasco were it not for the fact that I'm pretty sure Sansom will write that novel if he writes another book, given how Lamentation ends.
selenak: (The Americans by Tinny)
Determinedly non-political entry, since the times, they keep getting dreadfull-er: when I lived through the 80s as a teenager, I never expected to feel so nostalgic about them. But I've started to watch Stranger Things on Netflix, and wow, does it ever hit those unexpected buttons. Also, based on the first two episodes, it's a wondrous crossover of Stephen King tropes and Steven Spielberg visuals.

(Key difference between the Steves of the 80s: while in E.T., the sequence where Elliot's home is invaded by white decontamination suit wearing government officials is viscerally scary, in the end said officials aren't depicted as evil but benevolent. They really want to help E.T. (and Elliot). Meanwhile, in a Stephen King novels, you can rely on such types being really truly evil, and probably co-responsible for the horror of the day in the first place. So far, Stranger Things, despite paying visual homage to E.T. like no one's business, seems to be on the King end on the spectrum, content wise.)

And speaking of the 80s - the most joyful thing when this year's Emmy nominations were released for me was that The Americans finally got five of those, including best actor and best actress, best drama and best writing. My loyalties are slightly split because Better Call Saul also got nominated for best drama, writing and best leading actor, but much as I love Jimmy & friends, I think overall I'm rooting for Team Undercover Spies here, comrades.

Also, the BCS nominations frustrate me a bit because not only they're leaving out Rhea Seaborn, whose season the second one was, for supporting actress, but pick Jonathan Banks as Mike over Michael McKean as Chuck for supporting actor. Call me crazy, but I think acting nominations shouldn't be about which character is more beloved or likeable. Chuck does some awful things in s2. Micheal McKean also gets a hell of a lot acting to do and layers to sell (what he pulls off in the last two episodes of s2 especially!), while there's no s2 equivalent to s1's grand Mike vehicle, Five-O, and while Jonathan Banks continues to do his solid stoic supporting act superbly, he didn't do anything we hadn't seen before in several seasons of Breaking Bad and now Better Call Saul.

Mind you, the perennial favorite Game of Thrones illustrates that likeability trumping acting thing in this years' nominations as well. Yes, Peter Dinklage is awesome in general, but in this season Tyrion didn't have much to do. And Emilia Clarke over Sophie Turner, seriously? Must be the dragons. Lena Headey, otoh: deserved. And because they didn't nominate Alison Wright for best supporting actress in a drama series in The Americans or Rhea Seaborn for Better Call Saul, see above though perhaps it was because she went from supporting to virtual co-lead in s2, I can even root for her.

Next goal: get the Emmy crowd to watch Black Sails. Considering they've kept nominating Downton Abbey long beyond its expiration age, they're bound to be Maggie Smith fans, so pointing out her kid is doing amazing things as the lead could help...
selenak: (The Americans by Tinny)
In the immortal words of Kitty Pryde as written by Joss Whedon, Yeahbutwhat?

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selenak: (The Americans by Tinny)
In which someone gets busted, and it's not just the SPOILER.

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selenak: (The Americans by Tinny)
In which more revelations happen, and not always those I expected.

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selenak: (The Americans by Tinny)
In which Pastor Tim pulls a classic Pastor Tim, and things, they are changing, indeed.

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selenak: (The Americans by Tinny)
Which was one long "I remember the 80s!" sensation for me, I mean, more than usual on this show. Not surprisingly, the title of this one was The Day After.

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