selenak: (Call the Midwife by Meganbmoore)
In which we had multiple subplots, and I am suddenly very worried for one of the midwives in particular.

Read more... )
selenak: (Peggy Carter by Misbegotten)
Various neat (and often short) stories in various fandoms from the recent Chocolatebox ficathon.


Agent Carter: After the Storm: The last time Peggy sees Dottie, it’s in 1991, at Howard Stark’s funeral. I have a soft spot for stories tackling older Peggy, and this is a very plausible version of her and Dottie, decades later. Love it both for the Peggy/Dottie and for Peggy's reflections on Howard in the background.

The Defenders: both stories are great slices of life, Jessica pov, for these four post- their respective canons.

Three Times Lucky

Sweetest Thing

Doctor Who:

Save Thyself: Concerning Missy's fate at the end of The Doctor Falls.

Friends make Friends Pancakes: lovely slice of life for Bill and the Doctor

Mongolian History:

Taking Inventory: how Fatima came to be Töregene Khatun's favourite. (Töregene was one of Genghis Khan's daughters-in-law, but you can read the story without previous Knowledge.)
selenak: (Discovery)
I’m frightfully busy these weeks and could watch this episode only ten minutes or so at a time because of this, not due to its content. Not the ideal way to enjoy a Star Trek ep!

Read more... )
selenak: (Call the Midwife by Meganbmoore)
In which I finally get my hoped-for Beatles call-out. Good for you, Timothy.

Read more... )
selenak: (Black Widow by Endlessdeep)
No, the Orange Menace thankfully has nothing to do with this, despite the title. This Netflix show deserves all the immediate good press it got. Yes, it’s a timeloop tale, told in eight episodes which each take half an hour, written and produced by women, with Natasha Lyonne playing our heroine, Nadja, doomed to repeat her 36th birthday until she can break the loop.

Slight spoilers beneath the cut )

As an ode to human connection clad in a brash, cynical veneer, Russian Doll turns out to be incredibly charming. Highly recommended.
selenak: (Discovery)
Aka Discovery does its most unabashed hurt/comfort fanfiction yet. Also, there's David Bowie.

Read more... )
selenak: (Call the Midwife by Meganbmoore)
YES! Ever since Graham in Doctor Who outed himself as a Call the Midwife fan, I was hoping the show would reciprocate, and in this episode it did.

Find out who the Whovian Midwife is under the cut )
selenak: (Thorin by Meathiel)
Since I need fannish joy in my life and since apparently February is the month for ship posts: my recent return to Middle Earth has also reassured me regarding my inner slasher. More recently, there has been many a ship, both m/m and f/f, which I either couldn’t see or which didn’t appeal to me. But say what you want about the Tolkien & Jackson cinematic combination, they bring on the homoeroticism. (Also unexpected het couples, see Gandalf/Galadriel. Plus I’m fascinated by Tauriel & Thranduil both as an ampersand and a /, the later if it’s a slow burn.) When I was a young reader, I loved various of the friendships and was fine with, say, Eowyn/Faramir (yes, it happened fast, but he was Worthy), but it wouldn’t have occured to me to ship in the sense of seeking out fanfic, or wanting the characters to have more romance in between the platonic handholding. Fast forward a few decades, and not only did Sean Bean as Boromir plus the Philippa Boyens/Fran Walsh scriptwriting suddenly make me love a character whom I had been indifferent to, but I suddenly shipped him in every sense of the word with Aragon. (Whom I also felt much stronger about on screen than I had on the page.) The hobbits I loved in either incarnation, though I thought that maybe they were too, hm, cute for jaded old me to ship them?

The Hobbit movies a decade later proved me wrong in this regard. (And I’m even older now!) I fell for Thorin/Bilbo, hard, and, going by my Middle Earthian expeditions in recent weeks, am staying smitten. This, mind you, is a movieverse only thing, since both Thorin in general and the relationship Bilbo has with him have been significantly altered from the novel.

Again, part of it is certainly the actor: as with Sean Bean, so with Richard Armitage. But it’s also the writing. Overall, if a relationship appeals to me so strongly I need to see both parties getting something from it that is unique in their lives. Doesn’t mean they don’t care for other people and/or causes, strongly, too, but for me to root for a pairing, they more often than not need to challenge each other in a particular way.


Cut for length of ramblings about a hobbit and a dwarf )
selenak: (Sternennacht - Lefaym)
Apparantly British MPs have some kind of competition going on wherein every week, one of them must be Basil Fawlty in The Germans? With the latest entry being the one from Shropshire, who apparently never heard of the fact Britain got far more monetary aid from the Marshall Plan than West Germany did. (East Germany, for obvious reasons, got nothing.) Aside from far too many WWII movies, tv shows, books, what have you, this latest round of German bashing seems to hail from disappointment that one of the Brexiteers‘ favourite scripts – „the German car industry wants to sell cars in Britain, so they will force Angela Merkel to give us all we want, and she’ll force the rest of the EU!“ - just refuses to happen. Mind you, no one outside of Britain ever assumed it would, and most certainly no one in Germany (where both the car industry and Angela Merkel have other problems than the delusions of the British upper class) but then, that’s part of the general, ongoing problem – Brexiteers keep talking endlessly among themselves and no one ever seems to take in what the EU has (consistently) said it will and won’t accept. This article from the Washington Post sums up the Brexit developments thus far superbly, concluding with: Britain is one of the richest and most advanced democracies in the world. It is currently locked in a room, babbling away to itself hysterically while threatening to blow its own kneecaps off. This is what nationalist populism does to a country.

No kidding. Says she who lives in a country where national populism produced the worst results in human history. A few days ago, Saul Friedländer spoke in front of the Bundestag, our parliament, apropos the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. He spoke of his parents murdered there, of his own memories, of so many others, and he chose to speak in German, the German of his childhood. The horror and shame hit me all over again while I listened, and also the gratitude that he was there, alive, to be listened to. And then you get online and encounter people treating all that horror still as the ultimate role playing game with themselves as the heroes.
selenak: (Vulcan)
In which we get three plot lines.

Read more... )
selenak: (Obsession by Eirena)
[personal profile] bimo wanted me to have a go at those psychiatrists played by Russ Tamblyn who despite good intentions (or????) are less than helpful to the massively issue and supernatural phenomenon ridden girls they treat.

Spoilers for ALL of Twin Peaks, The Haunting and The Haunting of Hill House ensue )

The other days
selenak: (City - KathyH)
I promised [personal profile] falena a Rivers of London meta, but I wanted to read Lies Sleeping, the latest novel, first, and I didn’t have the chance until now. Btw: the novel very much has a series or season finale feeling, wrapping up several storylines – prominently the Faceless Man and why Lesley did what she did -, and as such is pretty action-packed. It also provides background on one of the earliest villains of the saga, uses London architecture as well as ever and Peter Grant remains one of the most likeable suburban fantasy protagonists around. In conclusion: I liked it very much.

However, the reveal of the Faceless Man’s masterplan also got me thinking about something that nipped at me in the previous novel, The Hanging Tree, where we find out the Faceless Man’s identity as well. To wit: one of the several qualities which make Peter so likeable is that he’s an unabashed geek and fanboy, throwing out the references quick and fast. As [personal profile] andraste recently pointed out re: Murderbot novels, this seems to become an increasing thing in fantays and sci fi – the fellow fan protagonist. Otoh, it’s worth pointing out that the Faceless Man is as big a fan, especially heavy with the Tolkien references, and his ultimate master plan is very much a fanboy thing (the most fanboy thing in an ongoing popular series since the Trio were the main antagonists in Buffy‘s sixth season), and so I wonder whether Aaronovich, while continuing the fannish love declarations via Peter, also pulls off a critique of (part of) fandom, some trope setters and indeed current day Britain alike.

Big spoilers beyond this point )

The other days
selenak: (Call the Midwife by Meganbmoore)
The Midwives are back, and I nearly missed them!

Very slight spoilers ensue. )
selenak: (Rachel by Naginis)
This was my Christmas present from [personal profile] kathyh, and a very entertaining Christmas present it was, too. A take on the "detective and serial killer: a tale of mutual Obsession" Trope, and an all-female one, with Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer in the main leading roles who are, glory be, still not the only interesting women around. Most prominently, there's also Fiona Shaw as the interesting yet shady boss who hides stuff from the detective. (Though my favourite female other than the leads has to be the bratty kid daughter of Villanelle's handler Konstantin. Kudos for finding that child actress, too!) And the series was created by a woman, Phoebe Waller-Bridge. (Though, I'm told, loosely based on a series of novels.)


Now, it's a law universally acknowledged that while male sociopaths, psychopaths and/or assassins central to the narrative can come in any shape or form, female ones must be sexy and preferably young. (With the glorious exception of Annie Wilkes of Misery by Stephen King fame, played in the movie version by Kathy Bates.) This is true for Villanelle in Killing Eve as well. Otoh her glossy beauty and glamorous life style are a deliberate contrast to Eve's mundane life; Eve, as played by Sandra Oh, is of course also beautiful but in a more approachable and touched by normal age way. And Fiona Shaw's Carolyn combines a no-nonsense look of a woman in her early 60s and owning it with being blatantly polyamorous, so no complaints from me on that front. Besides, Killing Eve is so unabashedly tropey while also delivering its own unique twists on said tropes, serving up most of Villanelle's murders (which are mostly, but not all very well paid for - this is how she earns her living) with the same gleeful playfulness their main Assassin displays while also managing to render at least one death truly devastating, due to the audience having gotten to know and like the victim a lot.


As far as obsessed detectives are concerned, I find Eve much more congenial to me than, say, John Luther, whom I never could really warm up to after he laid waste to his office in season 1 in a fit of brooding rage, and all I could think of was "well, who's going to clean that up and pay for all you've broken, huh? Surely not YOU!" (Meanwhile, Eve's office is tiny and cramped, which doesn't stop her deducing ingeniously from it while she does her own frustrated freak-outs elsewhere.) Eve's husband is also neither a jerk nor an angst ploy, but someone whom we can her realistically see having fallen in love with and married while also understanding why her marriage isn't enough to counteract the lure of the hunt in this particular case. Nor plays this series coy with its subtext; the sexual element in the mutual obsession our leads have going on is openly and textually acknowledged. There's a lot of black humor coming with the suspense. Spoilerly case in point. )


While there are some lose narrative ends - mostly about the mysterious organization which pays Villanelle -, I have to admit that I have mixed feelings about hearing there'll be a second season. Because right now, to me it feels like this should be the only one. If you continue the tale, either Eve would have to become a rogue assassin herself (please no - Eve is great at putting together clues and detecting, I don't want her to give that up!) or Villanelle a reformed character, the type of psycho who only kills people threatening our heroes. Either possibility to me would take from the charm of this season's set up. I'm also in two minds about the mystery organisation, because the older I get, the less I like those as a fiction device, even if they're not as annoyingly nonsensical as Hydra. What I'm also afraid of is that while this season briefly plays with but ultimately rejects the usual "tragic backstory as explanation for murderer lead" trope, a second season might go for it, and I don't want Villanelle "explained" by tragic childhood abuse or rape or what not.


In conclusion: I liked the show enormously and am so glad Sandra Oh won all the awards for her performance. Am just not sure whether I want more of it.
selenak: (Discovery)
In which Discovery tackles several Star Trek tropes at once.

Read more... )
selenak: (Galadriel by Kathyh)
None of these are new, but they may be new to you as they were to me, fellow readers.

There are notoriously few female characters in Tolkien, and even fewer allowed some dialogue and personality, but thankfully, this has not stopped fandom to work with what is there and flesh out the ladies in question. Take Bilbo’s mother Belladonna Took, of whom we solely know that she had adventures, knew Gandalf, and that that Bilbo’s father Bungo built Bag End with her money. Two stories providing wonderful versions of Belladonna:

Light words about nothing, and other pleasures : in which she encounters Thorin’s sister Dis (remember, dwarves have a far longer life span than Hobbits, who in turn live longer than humans); Dis herself, whose pov the story takes, is also a Tolkien female of whom we only know the name and whose relation she was, and who took on a life of her own in fanfiction. More often than not, she’s stuck with the role of shipping cheerleader, but not so here.

Back, and there again: Tolkien was clear on what kind of afterlife was available for elves and dwarves, but not so much for Hobbits. This means some creative liberty for fandom, and not least due to Sansukh, afterlife reunions have become an entire subgenre. In this version, Belladonna and Bungo have been waiting for Bilbo to join them after his long life is finally over. But one hobbit’s paradise is not another’s, and so Belladonna goes on one more adventure, together with and for her son.

The Crone of Bagshot Row: no Belladonna in this one, but an old friend of hers, who has been keeping an eye on her son from afar.

But of course the most famous female Hobbit in Tolkien’s world is also the one with the worst press: Lobelia Sackville-Baggins. Lobelia is usually used as comic relief (fair enough, that’s how Tolkien uses her, with one remarkable exception), if she isn’t used as in an uncanonical mean stepmother role for Frodo so he can be rescued. (As ridiculous as that is, it pales next to the AUs where Lobelia gets to be Bilbo‘s mean aunt. I mean, AU or no AU, she’s younger than Bilbo in canon, and my own preferences for AUs is that they should keep the generational outlines of the original.) [personal profile] legionseagle wrote a witty and spirited defense of Lobelia, which I urge you to read, so I shan’t repeat to her but will quote the moment of glory Tolkien gives her, during the Scouring of the Shire, as recounted to Frodo: it’s Lobelia Sackville-Baggins versus Saruman (via his henchman): ‘ “I’ll give you Sharkey, you dirty thieving ruffians!” says she, and ups with her umberella and goes for the leader, near twice her size. So they took her. Dragged her off to the Lockholes, at her age too. They’ve took others we miss more, but there’s no denying she showed more spirit than most’.

Bearing this in mind, I can entirely believe the following AUs take on what would have happened if Lobelia in her penchant for acquiring shiney objects of metal not hers (shared, as [personal profile] legionseagle mentioned, by Cousin Bilbo) would have gotten hold of the One Ring:


The curious case of Lobelia Sackville-Baggins and her magic ring

And lastly, not a female-centric tale but one of the funniest I’ve ever read (with one angsty interlude), using the movieverse circumstance of Thorin addressing Bilbo as a“Mr. Baggins“, „Master Baggins“ or „Master Burglar“ up to and until he’s entered the Lonely Mountain, at which point he switches to „Bilbo“ to spin a hilarious yet entirely in character explanation (Thorin didn’t catch Bilbo’s first name before Bilbo had won his respect near the end of the first movie and afterwards was too embarassed to ask directly) into this glorious epic:

The Naming of Hobbits
selenak: (Equations by Such_Heights)
Well, we already know there'll be Missy stories, covering her Doctor-less time. Other obvious possibilities:

Spoilers for the Twelfth Doctor era ensue )


The other days
selenak: (Companions - Kathyh)
Disclaimer re: spoilers first - I haven‘t had the chance to watch the third season of Wynona Earp yet, so not only can I say nothing based on it, but I also ask you not to spoil me in any possible comments.

[personal profile] kernezelda asked me about this, the question triggered by her remembrance that John Crichton, once he‘s adapted enough to the Unchartered Territories to carry a gun all the time, nicknames it „Winona“. Now I suspect that due to Farscape being a 1990s show, this was John being a Winona Ryder fan, bless his geeky heart, but Wynona Earp, dark haired, hard-drinking, issue-ridden sarcastic gun wielding woman that she is, would totally be his type. If he met her pre-Aeryn, that is. Pre-show John, otoh, would probably be someone Wynona had a one night stand with, at best, but no relationship. (In that hypothetical timeline ignoring scenario where they meet as adults. If you use the actual timeline for both Farscape and Wynona Earp, Wynona was a child when astronaut John Crichton left Earth the first time.)

Otoh, if they were to meet during that time in Farscape‘s fourth season when Crichton and friends made it back to Earth for a while, and if this was, say, somewhere around s1 or s2 of Wynona Earp, we‘re talking about a darker, more broken version of John Crichton who also knows what it‘s like to be, well, not the Chosen One as much as The One With The Ring (i.e. knowledge in his head put there by a third party which everyone else is after and willing to commit any crime to get at). He‘s still geeky enough to dig having an Earp (with or without Doc Holiday in tow) to talk to, and despite being exclusively Aeryn-sexual at this point would at least be aware that Wynona is hot and his type. Conversely, this version of John Crichton would be messed up and issue-ridden enough for Wynona to be actually drawn to, though if it‘s s2 she might be most interested in whether or not his government connections could prevent Purgatory from being bombed and/or members of her team getting kidnapped by again. They‘re both too paranoid for good reason to really trust each other, of course, but if they get drunk together there might or might not be an comiserating about being stuck with a curse/wormhole knowledge respectively.

She‘d be amused by the gun called „Winona“, he‘d be in stitches once he finds out hers is called „Peacekeeper“. (He‘d probably wonder whether Scorpius qualifies as a Revenant, though, given his penchant to return from certain death.) (If I were to write a non-crack fanfiction, I‘d then have Wynona realize that Aeryn qualifies as a revenant - she did die and was brought back by unnatural means, courtesy of Zhaan. Cue angst! Especially since the similarities between Aeryn and Wynona would either cause them to bond or detest each other on sight.) Wynona being bound to Purgatory, which she tried to escape most of her life, is in a way the reverse of John desperately trying to get home for most of the show only to find Moya, his friends and space have become his home now, so there might be some talk about that, too. His constant pop culture references would drive her crazy, but Waverly might appreciate them. If we handwave the timeline so Farscape‘s fourth season takes place in the here and now rather than Wynona Earp‘s first two seasons taking place in 2002/3 or thereabouts, John might be gratified to find out from Waverly that Winona Ryder made a career come back and would insist on taking Stranger Things with him on dvd once the s4 Earth interlude is over.

Lastly, Noranti would be bound to make a cryptic remark about Wynona‘s future and/or give Doc some advice that would cause trouble for the future of the remaining Wynona Earp storyline. And someone from Purgatory would try to become a stoaway on Moya.


The Other Days
selenak: (Vulcan)
It's so good to have a Star Trek show to look forward to again, I can't tell you. And Netflix put the four shorties online yesterday for us overseas fans who couldn't watch them before, so I felt all caught up when starting the new season today.

Space: Where Vulcans who want to avoid a family reunion go trekking )

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