selenak: (Black Widow by Endlessdeep)
The other day, I could hear Arundhati Roy present her new novel and talk about the situation in India today in Munich. And reinforced that by now, I'm not just bugged but disturbed by part of Kala's storyline in Sense8, because it's so exactly in contrast to Indian reality, and so exactly what a vicious government propagandist would want people to believe, that I'm starting to wonder whether the reason why the Wachowskis and JMS came up with it wasn't that they otherwise would not get permission to film in India. Spoilers for both seasons of Sense8. ) Why? Because consider the depth of current day Hindu fundamentalism from Modi (the PM) downwards. Arundhati Roy mentioned the saying "there are just two places for Muslims - the grave and Pakistan", which gets said by officials in the country with the second largest Muslim population in the world (Indonesia has the largest). People get lynched for the crime of possessing or eating beef. Modi belongs to the RSS, the same organisation Gandhi's assassin did, and the vocabulary of said assassin is now mainstream politics. A popular taunt makes the word "secular" into "sickular". An MP could say Arundhati Roy should be used as a human shield in the war in Kashmir to punish her dissent, and not get reprimanded but applauded. (For more, check out check out these statements by today's most famous Indian origin writers.) Basically: the kind of story Sense8 tells is about as likely to happen in this India as a story about, say, a rabid atheist rising in Saudi Arabia's government and starting to persecute Muslims would be. Or, to bring it closer to home, a story about a fanatic atheist becoming a US government official and starting to surpress Christians. Which, of course, is what Breitbart & Co. tell their ilk already happened under each Democratic president. ("War on Christmas", anyone?) Which tells you what type of propaganda this is.

Now don't get me wrong: I don't believe the Wachowskis and JMS are aware. At first, I thought it was simply that they wanted Kala to be a faithful believer and needed some type of conflict for her that wasn't about her not wanting to get married, picked Hinduism as the most popular Indian religion (and the one with the film friendly statues), and didn't do much research about the Indian present. But now I wonder whether they did tell some staff member to do research, and that person came back with this storyline, getting it as a condition for the crew filming Kala's story in India. Because it's just too perfect BJP propaganda to come across by accident, my inner conspiracy theorist says.

For distraction, something lighthearted:


Up in the air, Junior Birdman: in which the Avengers (plus Maria Hill, Sam Wilson and Rhodey) go camping. Set at some point between the frst and second movie, this Natasha-centric story is ensemble-tastic, and has Bruce as co-lead.
selenak: (Catherine Weaver by Miss Mandy)
I had an extremely busy last few days, of which pictures will follow in due time. (Attended a conference in Switzerland, am en route back to place of residence, which is a looong trip.) But even when busy, I did have the chance to check out the news now and then. Seems the Orange Menace was even more obnoxious close up than he was in what we saw on the news, because Angela Merkel is a) a confirmed Atlanticist, and b) extremely cautious in her public statements. I mean, this is the woman who if anything got critiqued through the years for not showing emotion and spontanity, who had to put up with the likes of Putin trying to spook her with a dog (she was bitten as a child, which he knew), Dubya going for an unwanted shoulder squeeze, Berlusconi being... Berlusconi, and of course supposed ally and adorer of autocrats Horst Seehofer lecturing her on stage in public for fifteen minutes on how she sucked a little more than a year ago. And she never flinched. She's no stranger to boorish and/or game playing male polticians, is what I'm saying, and she never comments. Well, commented. (It took her eons to say something about the NSA/her phone being bugged in the Obama days, too, and when she finally did, not least because the nation was seething, she left it to her press secretary.) So for her to publically state what she did, see here, is in Merkel terms downright letting her hair down.

Meanwhile, in fannish news. During the last few weeks, I watched both the second season of Sense 8 and the second season of I Zombie. (Am looking forward to the second season of The Last Kingdom, which was just put up today.) On to the S8 review.

Sense8: continues to be a wild mix of good and bad. As now all the regulars know each other, it could focus on them providing support and being found family in their interactions, as opposed to having the "getting to know you" stage first. And that was delightful. So were almost everyone's interactions with their non-Sensate friends/loved ones, several of whom got showcased as well and given more background. Team Nomi and Team Lito were my favourites here, between the spoilery things ), and other spoilery things ). Also liked Sun's plot and the new characters we meet in it, though am vaguely amused that the directors never seem to miss an opportunity to show her in her underwear. Yes, your sister is the Terminator, boo-hiss villain.

On the other hand: Kala's subplot started with a season 1 problem I had, to wit, that her spoilery degree of relation ) still makes zero sense to me in terms of rl Indian politics. Sorry, as long as a Hindu fundamentalist party like the BJP is in power, no rich industrialist who hopes to make it in politics would as much as admit to an atheistic thought. And "anti idolitary law"? This sounds about as likely as, say, the governor of a Bible Belt state in the US pushing for a law that would ask any pregnant woman to be told about the joys of abortion. Which is to say: it sounds like a crazy right wing fantasy designed to make the dominant power into the persecuted minority, and I don't know what JMS and the Wachowskis are thinking. Thankfully, this particular bit of weirdness stops being mentioned after episode 4 or so. My other problem with Kala's plot line is that whenever an element that's new and would seem to demand a reaction changing things shows up, it seems to be counteracted. Spoilery example given. )

Kala was still doing better than Wolfgang this season, though. He had hands down the worst plot line. His interactions with Felix, hands down some of the most enjoyable aspects of Wolfgang's story last season, were kept to a minimum, the new characters felt like rejects from a cheap gangster movie (and sadly not one starring Lito), and if I never have to watch again a supposed femme fatale named Lila, it'll be too soon. I mean, I loved Lilah Morgan on Angel. But the Lila on Dexter later was extremely annoying instead of smart and alluring, and this one now just follows suit. The one point during Wolfgang's plot line where I perked up because my inner X-Men fan couldn't help it was, of course, when something spoilery happened ). Even the interactions Wolfgang has with his cluster, other than Kala, were kept to a minimum, when virtually every Wolfgang & character other than Kala from the cluster combination would have interested me more.

Capheus' storyline I'm a bit divided about, because I'm so rl burned on the universal adoration of the "honest, honest outsider person who never was in politics is the ideal solution for a troubled country" and lines like "we're not looking for a politician, we're looking for a leader" make me flinch for just that reason. Otoh I liked the reporter, AND the argument that if you eternally bitch about politicians yet refuse to get into politics yourself, you're part of the problem resonated with me.

Will and Riley: had a bit of a role reversal this season, as due to last season's ending Riley was the one getting to do the active stuff while Will was the damsel. (Though not entirely. And btw, the two pay offs for his cat and mouse games with Whisper were great.) Unexpected Sylvester McCoy was fun to watch, and I hope for more of him next season. Otherwise, I was okay with their story without being either wildly enthusiastic or irritated by it.

Angelika: though dead, turns from a plot device into a character this season as we learn more and more about her. Jonas, meanwhile, stays a plot device, albeit a good looking one.

Lastly: Nitpicking of the travelling type ).

All complaints not withstanding, though, I do enjoy the show, its unabashed emotionalness and commitment to diversity in all forms, and its ensemble spirit. And I look forward to season 3!
selenak: (City - KathyH)
Netflix put it up, I watched it. Short version: if you're already a fan, it's ideal. If you're a new watcher interested in checking the show out, it's incomprehensible, so don't start there. Now it's rambling, more a collection of feelings-evoking scenes than a story, and in the first half a bit too much reliant on song montages, but what the hell - you're not watching a Christmas Special for the thoughtful storyline. Emotions-wise, it hit all the right notes, and thus it's ideal seasonal distraction, except for a factor in Wolfgang's part of the tale which nobody making the special could have anticipated when making it. Also, we did get to know a bit more about our characters and their background, so it's by no means skippable. Oh, and the actors were all delivering.

Read more... )
selenak: (Six Feet Under by Ladydisdain)
This is a song with obvious Six Feet Under associations, but it still works beautifully for this show, its ensemble and the way their connections with each other form:

Breathe Me (9 words) by Butterfly
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Sense8 (TV)
Rating: Mature
Warnings: Graphic Depictions Of Violence
Relationships: Capheus/Kala/Lito/Nomi/Riley/Sun/Will/Wolfgang, Amanita/Nomi Marks, Hernando/Lito Rodriguez
Characters: Capheus (Sense8), Kala Dandekar, Lito Rodriguez, Nomi Marks, Riley Blue, Sun Bak, Will Gorski, Wolfgang Bogdanow
Additional Tags: vid

I am not just a me. I am also a we.

selenak: (Philip Seymour Hoffman by Mali_Marie)
Not dead, just busy hiking through mountains and marathoning Orange is the New Black. However, I did hear the good news about Sense8 getting renewed. I'm glad. It wasn't perfect, but there was a lot to love about it, and room for improvement in the first season is almost a given.

Also: This article makes me wonder, like the author quoted, why no one wrote a novel about Harper Lee and Truman Capote's childhood friendship before. I'm now very curious about this one. (And amused the author got the idea while watching Capote, because yes, the Harper Lee scenes therein are golden.)
selenak: (Abigail Brand by Handyhunter)

Brian Bendis seems to be in ecstasy about the Jessica Jones tv show. (And has as hard a crush on Luke Cage as ever, which cracks me up. Seriously, if there was ever a creator in love with his creation's love interest...) There's also the first photo of Krysten Ritter as Jessica Jones. I'm so looking forward to this show!


Accomodation: lovely Capheus pov, exploring him processing what happened in the show's finale.
selenak: (Black Sails by Violateraindrop)
Briefly, as conference duties call:

Black Sails:

At last a collection of beautiful icons! The lack of Black Sails icons has been depressing. I used this bunch to rectify the situation immediately. Oh, I should add there's male nudity in some, I suppose, so if your employer frowns on that sort of thing, beware, etc. (The same icon post also has Daredevil icons, btw.)

Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Two positive reviews not despite but because of Natasha's part in the movie, praising it:

Here and here.

And lastly.

Sense 8:

Trailer for a new Netflix show which is of fannish interest because JMS (that's J. Michael Straczynski for non Babylon 5 people) wrote it. Oh, and those Wachowski guys are producing. It does look interesting. Caveat: JMS obviously is very interested in mutants/superpowered people and the way they're intrumentalized and/or persecuted by societies, since he's been dealing with that subject not just with the Telepath arc on B5 but repeatedly in comics - Supreme Power, The Twelve, Rising Star (not sure about the last title, I may misremember it). This had results ranging from the fascinating to the Byron, and I am not thinking of the poet. And then there's the part where Supreme Power petered out after a strong start because he lost interest, and we never got the Telepath War, and, well, I want my complete story, is what I'm saying, he's spoiled me on B5. All this said? I'll definitely tune in.


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