next_to_normal: (original musical)
I'd say you can keep suggesting topics, but at the rate I'm going, I would not blame you for being skeptical that I could finish any additional posts before the end of the month. But, I mean, you can, if you want. I promise I'll write them all eventually.

This topic comes from[personal profile] slaymesoftly:

Unironic musical love! )
next_to_normal: (bitch please)
LOL so I think the next few posts of this meme are all going to be bumped back a day or so? I cannot be confined by your puny schedules! (Or I'm just a flake who can't keep track of days... oh by the way I still have not started my Christmas shopping, so that'll be fun.)

Yesterday's topic comes from [personal profile] chaila:

FNL ladies! )
next_to_normal: (Juliet)
ARGH. So, I had a whole linkspam post typed up, which included a review of The Sound of Music live broadcast and a random digression into American Girl dolls, and then my computer decided to spontaneously shut down and when I rebooted it, IT WAS ALL GONE. *sob*

Rather than try to recreate that brilliance, I'm just gonna move on...

Keep telling me what to talk about!  Today's topic comes from [personal profile] pocochina.

Lost spoilers )
next_to_normal: Steve Rogers, looking down; text: so much older than I can take (Steve older)
I am a day late in posting this, because I did not anticipate that yesterday's office holiday party would be OFF THE CHAIN. This year, the organization did away with the traditional office lunch for unknown (but probably scandalous) reasons, and just gave us the afternoon off. So some of my coworkers decided to have our own holiday lunch at this German bar where beer comes in three sizes: half-liter, liter, and DAS BOOT.

SEVEN HOURS LATER, when we were paying our second tab (because they made us close out the tab when they switched from lunch to dinner, lol), the bartender jokingly asked us if we would like to see a breakfast menu. We kinda laughed, but also kinda wanted eggs and bacon.

While I suspect a rambling post written under those circumstances would have been HILARIOUS, I also kind of had serious thoughts about this one, so... here we are.

Today's - er, yesterday's topic comes from [personal profile] pocochina, and remember that I am still taking requests. Tell me what to talk about!

Captain America )
next_to_normal: (Tony (Skins))
So [personal profile] ever_neutral and [personal profile] semele have both started this meme, thus shaming me into finishing the damn thing myself. :-P

The full list of days, if you want to play along.

Read more... )
next_to_normal: (Caroline headtilt)
* A very thorough analysis of the pros and cons of Downton Abbey season 3 (mainly spoiler-free). I agree a lot more with the negatives than the positives, although basically it boils down to I will watch this show as long as Maggie Smith and Michelle Dockery are on it and fuck everything else.

Downton
has taken a lot of (wholly justified) flak for its precipitous fall from grace, but I wonder if it's not a bit of a Homeland situation, where it hasn't gotten a lot worse so much as it just was never really as good as we thought? I mean, let's not forget, season 1 included a foreign dignitary dying in Lady Mary's bed, and a late-night cover-up to get rid of the body (or at least put him back in his own room). As soap operas go, that's pretty sudsy. I think the trouble with Downton isn't that the plotlines have gotten more ridiculous (although they have, but that doesn't have to be a bad thing). It's that the drama is focused on all the wrong things. I mean, for God's sake, NO ONE CARES ABOUT BATES. Seriously, no one would mind if he'd rotted away in prison for the rest of the series, as long as we never had to see him again. There's a lot of great conflict to be mined from these characters and their relationships, but "Will Mary and Matthew get married?" "Will they lose the estate?" "Is modernization the work of the devil?" and "What exactly is the point of Branson's continued existence?" are not the most interesting questions for the show to explore.

* The Vampire Diaries has a Big Bad problem? LOL no. While I definitely agree that there is a PROBLEM with Klaus, I don't know that the Buffy Big Bad model is necessarily better? I quite like that TVD blurs the line between good and evil, that the so-called good guys are often just as terrible as the people they're fighting against. I'm even a fan of the way that all the "bad guys" seem to switch sides whenever it's convenient for them, because it seems like a much more truthful depiction of human nature - that we are, ultimately, motivated by self-interest more than abstract ~morals. It's not about good vs. evil; it's about conflicting desires and priorities that aren't necessarily right or wrong.

The problem with Klaus, though, is that the show wants to have it both ways. It wants Klaus to be the mustache-twirling villain, but it also wants him to become part of the gang and make googly eyes at Caroline. Which is a totally valid character arc (see also: Damon/Elena), but you can't do that and then expect us to take him seriously as a villain. Damon still does some horrific, unconscionable things, but he hasn't been the "villain" in a long time. Nor is anyone actively trying to defeat Damon anymore, the way that everyone seems to be trying to defeat Klaus, except when they're not, because the show wants to keep him around forever (apparently) and so they can't ever actually succeed. And that makes both Klaus and everyone else look foolish, because they've been in the same basic stalemate for two seasons now. I don't think it's a coincidence that the mid-season finale was the first time in a while I've really enjoyed the Klaus plot, because it was the first time in ages someone's actually made an effort to oppose him and forced them out of the stalemate. (Also, ripping out hybrid hearts to Christmas carols? EPIC.)

The OP absolutely has a point here: "I can’t help but feel that if TVD were less focused on converting any potential baddie into a series regular for us to get to know and love, we could focus more on what makes Elena, Stefan, Damon, Caroline, Jeremy and Bonnie tick." But not because we need Big Bad Villains to root against. The cast is simply too damn big and the show doesn't have the time or interest to give them all interesting storylines and character arcs. "Potential baddies" like the Originals can still be complex and morally grey, while also being ushered off-stage when they've served their purpose. This show just doesn't know when to let go.

* GPOY courtesy of [personal profile] per_aspera_ad_astra: How I lost my virginity, in gifs.

* For any other political/musical nerds out there: Les Fiscal Miserables.

next_to_normal: (Ahhhhh)
No, I haven't forgotten about this meme, lol. I just have so many things half-finished, I need to sit my ass down and finish something. I am the WORST MEME-COMPLETER EVER, you guys.

The full list of days, if you want to play along.

Read more... )
next_to_normal: (Carrie/Brody shots)
Or, "how I learned to stop worrying and love serialized TV."

So... major things happened on Homeland this week, which I won't spoil, but the episode - and, frankly, the entire season - is pretty much bonkers. In a good way, for some viewers (including me, but then again, some of my favorite shows ever are completely ridiculous), but this latest episode has prompted a LOT of critical discussion over the issue of plausibility and just how much sense we expect our TV shows to make. It's especially interesting to me, as I've been reading The Revolution Was Televised and consequently revisiting my Lost feels - which bore a striking resemblance to the conversation that's now happening around Homeland.

(The rest is behind a cut for length. I've tried to keep it as spoiler-free as possible, although all the links I include have spoilers for various shows.)

Read more... )
next_to_normal: (Elena strong)
LOL this is probably where I start to offend some people?



The full list of days, if you want to play along.

Read more... )

next_to_normal: (Nick/Cassie)
The full list of days, if you want to play along, is here.

Read more... )
next_to_normal: (Carrie/Brody shots)
Finally - FINALLY - decided to start posting, in the hopes that it will motivate me to complete the rest of the days (I have the first seven, as well as a few random later days, picspammed). The full list of days, if you want to play along, is here.

Read more... )
next_to_normal: Eowyn in battle, text: heroine addict (heroine addict)
I was listening to the Firewall & Iceberg Podcast today, and one of the topics they addressed was the fan reaction to the wives of anti-hero characters. Think Betty Draper, Skyler White, or Carmella Soprano - in any other context, they'd be the sympathetic partner, even considered a victim, but because their husbands (despicable as they may be) are the show's main characters, the women tend to get a lot of hate for (a) inadvertently complicating the husbands' secret lives, (b) trying to find out their secrets, and/or (c) daring to call them on their shit. As if wanting to know what your husband is hiding from you is an unreasonable expectation. As if being appalled is an inappropriate response to the revelation that he is a murderer/drug dealer/mob boss/cheater/scumbag/whatever.

Okay, preaching to the choir here, I know. Anyway, the comment that prompted this post was wondering whether the reaction would be the same if it were a female character who was the anti-hero, and her husband/partner was the one standing in the way of her criminal enterprise, or if their respective genders matter. Now, the podcast is made by dudes, so I'll forgive them for not knowing the obvious answer (yes, of course gender matters) and skip right to what I think is most interesting:

This is entirely a hypothetical question, because as far as I can tell, there are no female anti-heroes like that, much less ones with a hated spouse/partner to use as a comparison.

Seriously - can anyone think of one? Because I'd probably really like that story. The closest I can come up with is Veronica Mars, who's a ruthless and occasionally cruel person who has no qualms about breaking the law to get what she wants. The parallel is strongest in season 3 - before that, she's still the plucky, albeit flawed, heroine, whereas in season 3 she becomes flat-out unlikable at times. But even then, I don't think she ever reaches the level of a Don Draper or a Walter White.

Similarly, characters like Katniss or Buffy or Elena, although they may go through unlikable phases, never lose their "heroine" sheen. They're just good people going through remarkably difficult situations. And frequently THEY are the ones who get the fan hate, not their put-upon male partners, which goes back to the thing about gender influencing fan reactions.

I suppose that answers my own question about why there aren't more female characters that could be considered anti-heroes, doesn't it? If fans will react so negatively to flawed female heroines, God only knows how badly they'd eviscerate a female Don Draper. But y'all know how I love me some flawed characters, especially ladies, so if you can think of any - or have any other thoughts on the subject - please chime in!
next_to_normal: (Damon/Elena dance)
Lots to say about this episode but I'm just going to talk about That Scene at the End. Priorities. I has 'em.

Read more... )
next_to_normal: (J/A worse ways to end a day)
This one has spoilers up to "A Human Reaction" and vague foreshadowy things for... well, everything else.

(Seriously, am I still on season 1? This is going to be the meta to end all metas, apparently.)

Read more... )
next_to_normal: (Aeryn)
Time to start the Farscape reviews!

I watched Farscape when it initially aired in the same primetime block as Sliders, which was, at the time, my favorite show in the universe (this one or any other). I kind of lost track of Farscape when Sliders was canceled, though whether because I was boycotting the SciFi Channel in protest or because I just didn't have enough of a reason to tune in anymore, I don't remember. From what I can tell, I'd seen season 1, but very little (if any) of season 2, given that I remembered Chiana, but not so much with Scorpius and Stark. I recall liking it, but not being terribly impressed, which also makes sense if I only watched the first season, since it is, on its own, somewhat less than impressive. (Having seen the whole series now, I'm kind of in awe of how well-done the character arcs are, right from the beginning.) It's a little cheesy, a little too on-the-nose with all the "HEY GUYS THESE ARE ALIENS LOOK HOW DIFFERENT THEY ARE" commentary, and there's a significant absence of logic in some of the plots. But the first season is clearly just laying the foundation for future awesomeness (and, you know, the first season, when you watch it the second time, is better than the third season...), which is to say, I tried to keep this spoiler-free for [personal profile] snickfic, who is watching Farscape for the first time, but thoughts on how certain events fit into larger arcs kinda kept creeping in. Mostly, though, it's general overview and episodes 1-9 of season 1.

Let's do this thing. )

Whee!

May. 27th, 2011 12:47 pm
next_to_normal: (Bossa Nova)
I OWN PROPERTY YOU GUYS!!!!11!!! I am officially a grown-up or something. :)

Anyway, how about a little linkspam?

* SMG talks about her new show, Ringer.

* Hunger Games casting news: Lenny Kravitz is indeed Cinna. Not at all who I would have picked, but the rumors from weeks ago are helping me to ease into it, lol.

* The first set pictures of Jennifer and Liam! I am excite!

And, because I accidentally meta-ed all over [livejournal.com profile] catbirdfish's Hunger Games reaction post, I figured I'd recopy it here, because y'all can never get enough of my blathering, am I right? :)

Read more... )
next_to_normal: (no time for kissing)
The rumors about Hunger Games casting seem to be getting slightly closer to actual fact. I really just want them to announce something official so people will stop speculating. I'm also amused that, judging by the most talked-about names, there are NO sixteen-year-old actresses in Hollywood capable of playing this role. Seriously, why is the choice between a 14-year-old and a 20-year-old? There must be someone in between. (Then again, I'm sure there are a few, and we just haven't heard about them.)

Anyway, that's really just a segue for me to blather on some more about the series, in which I relate it to the other two things I can't stop talking about: Buffy and Next to Normal.

Spoilers! )
next_to_normal: (Thinky James)
My sleep schedule is still pretty out of whack after almost two weeks off from work, so I haven't quite managed to fall asleep at a reasonable time or adjusted to getting up early again. This is not aided by the fact that I was up until 2am reading The Hunger Games last night. (In my defense, it's about a week overdue at the library, so really, it's in everyone's best interest for me to finish it as soon as possible.)

That is to say, this is perhaps not the best time to be attempting to construct logical meta, but what can I say, I didn't have a book to read on the bus this morning. :)

Anyway, I have been sort of vaguely keeping an eye on the recent discussion of the S8 comics, and although I have absolutely no intention of commenting on the content of those arguments, I did observe something interesting (to me, anyway, maybe not to you, lol) about the nature of the arguments.

I am rambly, yo )

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