deird1: Faith looking thoughtful, with text "deep thought" (Faith thought)
I've been rewatching Castle. Towards the end of each season, they break up Castle and Beckett's friendship in some new way, and send them off to do their own thing. Then, the next season, they repair their friendship, and resume the status quo. Eventually, you get very cynical about the latest kerfuffle: "Oh noes, they're broken up for real this time!!! ...wonder how many minutes this one will last."

I think I've decided it's a problem of having a show that's both character-based and team-based.

Veronica Mars, for instance, is a character-based show. The narrative follows Veronica, and other characters appear or disappear as they become relevant or irrelevant to Veronica. If Veronica had a nasty argument with her best friend, we could be genuinely uncertain as to whether the friendship was over or not.

(But clearly, Veronica won't actually die, or the show would be over.)

NCIS, on the other hand, is a team-based show. The narrative follows the team, and various characters appear or disappear as they join or leave the team. If a character is in danger, we can be genuinely worried as to whether they'll survive or not - because the show will keep going with or without them.

(But clearly, NCIS won't completely disband, or the show would be over.)

And then there's Castle. Which is not only character-based - and about TWO characters rather than one - but also team-based.

So, Castle can't die, or the show would end. And Beckett can't die, or the show would end. And Castle can't leave the crime-fighting foursome, or the show would end. And Beckett can't leave it either, or the show would end.

It removes far too much uncertainty. And the show is the poorer for it.
deird1: Kennedy looking stubborn, with text "And you'll be stopping me... how?" (Kennedy stopping me how)
Suspect is interviewed by the police, speaking with a perfect American accent.

Suspect is revealed to be French criminal in disguise.

Their disguise revealed, suspect now smugly starts declaring that they're going to get away with the crime - in French-accented English.



It's just...

*sighs*

My German accent is very good. And rather Bavarian. I don't go around talking in more Aussie sounding German just so I can tip off all the Germans that I'm a foreigner. Someone who can speak in another language with a good accent isn't going to switch to a clumsy foreign accent just for funsies.*



* Unless you are Hercule Poirot, who does just that.
deird1: Faith and Wesley, with text "rogue demon hunters" (Faith Wesley rogue demon hunters)
Kidlet is watching Playschool. Playschool guy is singing "Boom-de-yada".

I am sitting here, with Playschool, xkcd, and US television ads all clashing in my head... WEIRD...
deird1: stick-figure Aang, controlling elements (Avatar xkcd)
These are the Marvel superhero movies, with the ones I've seen in bold:
list of movies )

Why did I start watching them?
- Superheroes are fun!

- Superpowers can make for really interesting action scenes (rather than the kicking and shooting that's all that's available in most action scenes, Lara Croft on a bungee notwithstanding).

- I love somewhat angsty, finding-your-identity stories.

- I love somewhat angsty, looking-for-redemption stories.

- I love silly costumes and silly names.


Why did I stop watching them?
- There started to be too many plotlines per movie. (For instance: Spiderman 3 and X-Men 3.)

- There stopped being silly costumes and silly names. What is the point of having superheroes if they don't embrace the silly?

- The movies started prioritising as follows:
(1) snark
(2) action scenes
(3) plot
(See: Avengers, which had an immense focus on Tony Stark snarking at Captain America, action scenes that were entertaining enough, but a bit forgettable, and a plotline that... vaguely held together.)

I want to see:
(1) plot
(2) action scenes
(3) snark
(X-Men, for instance. Which had two snarky lines - that were awesome - and some really interesting plot and action. Or Spiderman 2, which had incredible action scenes, and a plot that totally held together.)


And the main reason:
There is just too much continuity between movies. To understand Avengers, I had to have seen at least four previous movies (not a problem, because I had). To understand the following movies, I had to keep seeing all the following movies. They all build on each other! Which is really annoying, because the movies have a totally different feel from each other.

I decided early on that I wasn't so interested in the Thor movies - and yet, they still form part of the overall plot that I'm supposed to be familiar with.

It's much more frustrating than with a television show. Sure, watching all of Buffy is essential to properly understanding later episodes of Buffy - but this is more like having to watch Buffy, Angel, Firefly, and Dollhouse in order to understand later episodes of Buffy. That's too much to ask.



It may be just me. But the Marvel movies have lost at least one viewer - which is a real shame.
deird1: Willow dressed as vamp!Willow, with text "ceci n'est pas une vampire" (this is not a vampire) (Willow (french vampire))
The thing about dragons being fictional is that every author gets their own chance to decide what dragons are really like (see also: vampires and werewolves). As far as I can remember, the order I encountered them was as follows:


a short list )
deird1: Fred looking pretty and thoughful (Fred pondering)
Met some of my new coworkers this morning.

Our desks are arranged into groups (or "pods"). My pod has apparently been christened "Rivendell". We are preparing for a pod-decorating competition against the other pods, including the nearest: "King's Landing".


...I think I'm going to like these people.
deird1: Anya looking stern (Anya glasses)
Is there a word for being flagrantly anti-adoption?

I'm used to reading Agatha Christie and thinking "my WORD, Christie, you're so RACIST". Right now, it's a whole lot of stories making me think "my WORD, Christie, you're so [insert word for thinking that adoption doesn't really count in making you family]", which admittedly makes a change, but...

Values dissonance up the wazoo, that's all I'm saying.
deird1: Joey and Pacey at the prom, with text "I remember everything" (Joey Pacey remember)
So, I was thinking about opening credits that I like...

Kinda just what it says on the tin, really...

several samples )

Notice any similarities?

All of them are about 50 seconds long, and show a great deal of the theme of the show, without showing anything at all of the show itself. With funky music of the appropriate style.

And aren't they cool?


Honourable mention must go to The American President (a movie, so disqualified, but the credits make me feel proud to be an American and I'm not one), Battlestar Galactica (for the initial theme-part combined with the spectacularly fast race through the upcoming episode), and Farscape (for being the coolest set of credits that don't fit my description of credits-I-like above).
deird1: stick-figure Aang, controlling elements (Avatar xkcd)
Took a week of sleep to recover from England - but the trip was definitely worth it!


On an entirely unrelated subject...
- At the end of season 2, Joyce finds out that Buffy is the Slayer.
- At the end of season 2, the American people find out about the President's MS.
- At the end of season 2, Lois finds out that Clark is Superman.
- At the end of the second movie, Mary-Jane finds out that Peter is Spiderman.

Coincidence? Or is it simply that two seasons is as long as a "main character has a secret" plot can run before it has to change?
deird1: Buffy and Willow smiling at each other (Buffy Willow friends)
If anyone would like a free copy of Joss Whedon's Much Ado for their downloadable enjoyment, I've got one going begging.

It's valid for the US only, which is why I'm not using it myself.


(ETA: nabbed by [personal profile] velvetwhip)

a theory

Mar. 19th, 2014 12:16 pm
deird1: Willow's pencil-stuck-in-a-tree, with text "I don't have issues" (pencil issues)
No matter how bad you are feeling, listening to the Star Wars theme will make you feel better.


*da-da-da-DAH-DAH, da-da-da-DAH-DAH, da-da-da-DAH-DAH, da-da-da-DAAAAAH...*
deird1: a fictional creature called an Alot, being hugged by someone, with text "I care about this alot" (Alot)
Am currently experiencing a bout of nausea. Every time that I go to say that I feel nauseous, Josie Gellar frowns at me and says "Nauseated. You feel nauseated." and I hastily amend my grammar.
deird1: Kennedy looking stubborn, with text "And you'll be stopping me... how?" (Kennedy stopping me how)
So, Buzzfeed released a ranked list of Buffyverse characters, and put Kennedy dead-last.

Leading to this snippet of conversation:
Mez: "Quite apart from my rabid Kennedy fangirling - the worst character? Really? Worse than Sam Finn? Than Adam? Than Scott Hope? Than Forrest? REALLY?"
A friend: "Yes. Really. I have my own disagreements with the list but that one was spot on. No I didn't expect Willow to become a nun after Tara's death but Not. With. Her."


To which my only question is... why not?

Why not her? And, if not her, then who? Should Willow go out with a Tara clone? Should she reconnect with Oz? Or what? And what, precisely, is so thoroughly objectionable about Kennedy? What is the one thing that makes her so damn unsuitable a girlfriend that people are ranking her below The Anointed One, The Beast, Rack, and Parker Abrams? Why???



The more I think about it - yeah. I do think people expected Willow to become a nun after Tara's death. I think they wanted her to never move on, and were prepared to hate her next girlfriend purely because that girlfriend wasn't Tara and it was too soon. It could have been ten years later, and people still would have cried "too soon!" and "not Tara!" and hated whoever Willow finally made a life with.

(And yes, I agree that people are allowed to dislike whatever characters they choose. But the overall dislike of Kennedy is so pervasive that I think there's something else going on here. Also – this is a rant. Logic has no place in it.)
deird1: Buffy looking annoyed, with text "I'm a bitch. Ask me how." (Buffy bitch)
Things I knew about characters after the first-ever episode of the show:

Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Buffy - is the Slayer, doesn't want to be, likes fashion, is fighting with her mother, snarks at lurky guys in alleys
Willow - is nice, nerdy, insecure, and into books
Xander - is into Buffy, has a Whedony way of talking
Giles - is a Watcher, is studious, really keen on his new job helping Buffy

Firefly
Wash - likes playing with dinosaurs and being silly
Kaylee - cute, perky, shiny, cheerful, and nice to everyone
Mal - damaged
Simon - loves his sister, very smart, nervous when holding guns

Tru Calling
Tru - into medical stuff, track star, sucks at undercover
Harrison - gambler, likely to get beaten up by mobsters
Davis - nervous around women

Once Upon A Time
Emma - loner, excellent bounty hunter, great at undercover, not so great with kids
Henry - idealistic dreamer, but loner, has issues with his mother

NCIS
Gibbs - is happy to steal bodies from the FBI
Tony - is happy to assist in said body-stealing by pretending to be a corpse

How I Met Your Mother
Ted - idealistic dreamer, sucks at dating
Marshall - in love with Lily
Lily - in love with Marshall, teacher
Robin - likes dogs, likes Ghostbusters, likes scotch, likes Ted
Barney - catch-phrase obsessed, suit obsessed, skirt chaser

Agents of Shield
Coulson - died mysteriously (or maybe didn't die, mysteriously), is perfect team leader who knows all
kung-fu chick - does... kung-fu
secret agent guy - does... secret agent stuff?
tech guy - ...does tech stuff?
science chick - ...does sciencey stuff??
hacker chick - ...does hacking???


It doesn't take that long to establish some sort of personality for your characters. And yes, the drawn out explanation of that personality might take a while - but you need to give that single line, that little glance, that something that establishes at least a molecule of actual person. Otherwise, there's no reason for your viewers to care.

Xander's stuttered "Can I have you?", Niles's chair-dusting, Joey hitting on Rachel (yes, I am accusing AoS of making less of an effort than Friends), Hardison's slightly smug "This is not the room you're looking for.", Katara's iceberg-destroying rant – all those things showed us who the characters were, in such a simple way. They let us know who we were looking at – which is a good thing, because if you don't know, you can't care.

But Agents of Shield? It never let me in on the secret of who I was watching.
deird1: Dawn raising an eyebrow, with text "srsly?" (Dawn srsly)
So, not only is my birthday already Geek Pride Day, Towel Day, the first showing of Star Wars, and the Glorious Twenty-Fifth of May, but now it's Barney and Robin's wedding day – and hence, the day that Ted meets the mother.


What is it about geeky writers and my birthday?

stuff

Oct. 9th, 2013 08:34 am
deird1: Faith and Wesley, with text "rogue demon hunters" (Faith Wesley rogue demon hunters)
It's supposed to be hot today. Being aware of this, I am currently sitting in my freezing cold house, shivering, and reminding myself that turning the heater on would be a boneheadedly stupid thing to do.



Saw Agents of Shield the other night. It... reminded me of Torchwood.

By which I mean that it had the central leader guy who knew exactly how to handle the other characters and did nothing wrong, and a whole bunch of other characters whose entire personality could be summed up by their jobs. There's "tech guy", "kung-fu chick", and "secret agent man" – but, so far, I know nothing else about any of them. Are they sarcastic? Do they like chocolate? Have they ever been really bored? It's a mystery.

So far? Not intrigued. Not enough to keep watching. I like investigation-of-the-week shows, but every show like that that's ever drawn me in has done so through the characters – and, so far, I haven't seen any of those.



(Yes, still planning to fic... Rather delayed by life...)
deird1: Illyria, with text "Godking" (Illyria godking)
I'm not entirely ready yet to forgive JJ Abrams for Lost and Armageddon, but if he keeps producing movies like this, I might just.

one brief paragraph of spoiler )

Every time Kirk, Spock, and McCoy start having interrupty conversations over the top of each other, I burst out laughing. Forget exploding planets - I'd be happy just watching that for a few hours.

Also? One of the first effective uses of a failing gravity drive that I've seen. Bravo.



This show is really making me appreciate Galaxy Quest so much more. The more I see of Star Trek, the more I get how on the money GQ's references really were.
deird1: Andrew - with James Bond style intro (Andrew james bond)
I have this hobby. Just inside my head - but a hobby, nonetheless.


There's a group of streets near my house that are all Camelot-themed. Street names like "Camelot", "King Arthur", "Chivalry", Excalibur", and so on.

So - when I'm bored, I pick a fandom, and then start naming streets.


I try to see how many street names I can come up with before it becomes blatantly obvious what I'm doing. The trick is to keep it subtle, while still getting as many character names in there as possible.


For instance:
Summers Drive, Harris Street, Willow Road, Rupert Avenue, Dawn Road, Finn Street, Calendar Close, Chase Avenue, Angel Street, William Drive, Master Court, Wilkins Crescent, Adam Avenue, Glory Road, First Street, Osbourne Drive, Jenkins Lane, Tara Road, Faith Court, Joyce Street, Wells Road...

Or:
Potter Street, Granger Drive, Ronald Road, Owl Court, Albus Grove, Minerva Avenue, Twin Crescent, Ginevra Street, Griffin Road, Serpent Grove, Badger Crescent, Raven's Claw Road, Riddle Court, Auror Avenue, Ruby Road, James Drive, Lily Street...


I think it's rather fun.
deird1: Dawn glaring at Buffy, with text "Dawn Summers demands an explanation for this bullshit" (Dawn bullshit)
Saw the World War Z trailer today. (Also saw Iron Man 3 (the movie not the trailer), which totally rocked!)

Was expecting to be annoyed by action scenes, explosions, and Brad Pitt being his movie-star-ish self.

In the end, wasn't annoyed by any of those, because I was too busy restraining myself from yelling angrily about the FAST ZOMBIES.


The zombies were running. RUNNING. In WORLD WAR Z. Running. It was like it was an action movie or something. An action movie with FRELLING FAST ZOMBIES.


Do they not understand the point of the book at all?


*weeps for humanity*

OOH SHINY

May. 2nd, 2013 09:10 pm
deird1: Anya and Willow gazing after RJ, with text "if you'll excuse me I'm having a fangirl moment" (Anya Willow fangirl)
Okay, you guys were right. Lost Girl is fabulous.

I'm three episodes in, and I'm already squeeing every few minutes, and also shipping Bo and the doctor.

Currently I'm watching Kenzi be tortured by having to pretend she likes pink. Heh.

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deird1: Fred looking pretty and thoughful (Default)
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