Spoiler Alert Saturday :: our thoughts on Wonder Woman

3 Jun

DC finally did a good. A really good. A spectacularly good. A so damn good we don’t actually want to spoil any specific details for you so you can experience them on your own because it’s so worth doing that.

We are not disappointed. We are thrilled.

(Also, our entire theater lost it at both the 47 Meters Down trailer and a certain pithy declaration made by Diana [Gal Gadot]. We won’t spoil it for you but it’s perfect.)

–your fangirl heroines.

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Fashion Friday :: ah my dearest.

2 Jun

mercury

I speak, of course, of Sailor Mercury, beloved nerdy genius bisexual glasses-wearing research-doing sometimes-sort-of-British predecessor to all the things I love most.

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We’re starting with this because dots are like bubbles and bubbles are her province. The Retro Remedy A-Line Dress, ModCloth.

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I’m also sort of riffing on the routine of her more formal outfits (crop sweater/A-line) because it’s cute and she’s cute. This is a useful sweater. The Dream of the Crop Cardigan in Ivory, ModCloth.

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These are comfortable and practical! Celebratory Sweetheart Flat, ModCloth.

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And socks, because preppy darling. Just You and Eyelet Socks in White, ModCloth.

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And, of course. Worth Its Weight in Bold Sunglasses in Cobalt, ModCloth.

–your fangirl heroine.

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Marvel Monday :: Broken Code [an AIDA fanmix]

29 May

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1. Like This (Marian Call)
I’ve brought a limited set of regular expressions in your size, so use these icons for your feelings so that I can more precisely empathize, so engagement’s optimized. The resolution is so high in here, surround sound is so crisp and clear just like in the montage where we met. How it glows! And no one knows if we’ve felt our feelings yet, if we’ve felt our feelings.

2. Just a Book (Bitter Ruin)
Call, call them out from under the decks of wrecks and I’ll bet you all they’ll be loud, louder than thunder but silent in slumber. These words, nobody ever hears. Just a book to be read, waiting on the seabed under the weighty waves for years.

3. I Am Not A Robot (Marina and the Diamonds)
I’m vulnerable, I’m vulnerable, I am not a robot. You’re lovable, so lovable, but you’re just troubled. Guess what? I’m not a robot, a robot. Guess what? I’m not a robot, a robot. Can you teach me how to feel real? Can you turn my power off and let the drum beat drop?

4. Dollhouse (Melanie Martinez)
Places, places, get in your places, throw on your dress and put on your doll faces. Everyone thinks that we’re perfect, please don’t let them look through the curtains.

5 Borrowing (Halsey)
Your eyes meet mine, the lights are playing shadows right down to your collar. Tonight I’m borrowing a perfect man, I’m borrowing a broken love. Your love is calling, I’m praying you’ll do anything to stall her. Tonight I’m borrowing a perfect man, I’m borrowing a broken love.

6. Sweet Ophelia (Zella Day)
Singing like it’s a full moon, careless now that he has you. Turns you on to the right songs, promises that you’re hooked on. Oh… Sweet Ophelia, when young blood escapes vows that break go up, up away.

7. Free (Ryn Weaver)
My compass may be broke but you follow where I go and you never really seem to mind it. Sun, stare it in the eye, now I’m blinded by the light that seein’ you with eyes wide open.

8. Diamond Days (Cruel Youth)
Madness is my old friend. We don’t need fancy drinks and penthouse suites to run a riot. The diamond days are done, the diamond days are gone, and I would be a fool to carry on.

9. Green Light (Lorde)
All those rumors, they have big teeth, hope they bite you. Thought you said that you would always be in love but you’re not in love, no more. Did it frighten you how we kissed when we danced on the light up floor? On the light up floor? But I hear sounds in my mind, brand new sounds in my mind, but, honey, I’ll be seein’ you ‘ever I go, but, honey, I’ll be seein’ you down every road, I’m waiting for it, that green light, I want it.

10. Monster (Meg Myers)
You said forever, now you look right through me. You said forever, did your words fall short like you? What have I done? I’m a fucking monster when all I wanted was something beautiful.

11. How Does It Feel? (MS MR)
Pleasure in panic, just seize and hold tight, my body will follow if you hold my mind. How does it feel with my teeth in your heart? Don’t back down again, no one leaves a scar quite like I can. How does it feel when you’ve played your last card? In this together now, come this far won’t let you down.

12. Dead to Me (Melanie Martinez)
I need to say sorry, that’s the only thing you say when you lose someone. I used to say I’m sorry for all of the stupid shit you’ve done. So now I’m really sorry, sorry for being the apologetic one, but if I told you I cared, if I told you I care, you would think I was crazy.

13. Terrible Things (April Smith and the Great Picture Show)
I know that I’m inflected, but who could have predicted that monster that I’ve become? I keep things carefully covered so no one will discover that I could be the culprit, I’m sorry I can’t help it.

Broken Code at YouTube.

–your fangirl heroine.

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Fashion Friday :: a new and obvious series begins.

26 May

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Sailor Senshi, that is. Starting with Sailor Moon herself, though in Eternal form for inspiration just ’cause I know Usagi likes pink the best.

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Bear with me here. See, this dress even has a sailor collar! Assuredly Sweet Fit and Flare Dress, ModCloth.

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Layer it off with this and you’ve got your color scheme secured! The Dream of the Crop Cardigan in Fuchsia, ModCloth.

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Combine these for effect! Animated Attitude T-Strap Heel in Ivory, Take It The Chevron Way Thigh-High in Ivory, ModCloth.

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Y’know, Usagi is the kind of girl who would wear this. It’s silly but it suits her. Strike Up a Romance Necklace, ModCloth.

–your fangirl heroine.

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Marvel Monday :: our thoughts on Agents of SHIELD season 4

23 May

Bullet-pointed for… something.

  • So, Daisy’s arc sort of got shoved to the side for most of this season, which. Alright. But she did have some great scenes with Ghost Rider (Gabriel Luna), including the scene where they fight and she begs him to kill her (the spirit refuses, as it only kills those who have done things worthy of punishment). Daisy and Robbie had great chemistry together, and watching them work together in the season finale was a real treat. She also (along with Jemma [Elizabeth Henstridge]) was spared the uploading into the Framework (more on this in a minute), and together they worked to break everyone out. Some jackass decided Grant Ward (Brett Dalton) should come back in the Framework, and though she made it clear she wanted nothing to do with Ward anymore, the one misstep in her character development was when she said something OOC about how she “didn’t fully understand” the real Ward. Frustrating, but my only huge issue with her this season. They’re heading towards making her director of SHIELD, which I really hope is how the show ends.
  • Ultimately the main antagonist of this season was AIDA/Madame Hydra (Mallory Jansen). Yeah, it threw me for a loop when they announced that she’d be taking that role on in the Framework, but ultimately it made sense (more on this in a minute) and damn if Mallory Jansen is not just the most fun to watch. Over the course of the season she goes from being an amiable, if sometimes unnerving, android created by Radcliffe (John Hannah) for the purpose of protecting and defending agents (allegedly), so in effect a bulletproof lab assistant, to a thoroughly deranged character in the Framework, to a gosh darn real girl with all sorts of anger issues and raging hormones for Fitz. Who’s also got, thanks to the Framework and the Darkhold and other sinister things, most of the superpowers we’ve seen now-gone characters on the show have. She also adopts the name “Ophelia,” which I read too much into like a smarty, and turns on her creator for “demeaning” her by treating her like a robot. There kept being interesting little threads of possibility with her, some of which were followed through on and some of which were too damn meta for a television show to touch, but the true joy of this arc is Mallory Jansen’s performance. Part of me misses the bulletproof lab assistant because robot girls are fun, but also, AIDA was the most delightful antagonist we’ve seen thus far and also contributed to the undoing of… well.
  • Leopold James Fitz (Iain de Caestecker) – James, because there weren’t already twenty of those in the MCU – is on a downward trajectory. That’s putting it mildly. The beginning of the season saw Fitz lying to everyone and helping Radcliffe to build and program AIDA, despite a two-minute flash of conscience in the season premiere where he pointed out that after things like, y’know, Ultron, it probably wouldn’t be a great idea for a criminal scientist already in hot water to build a freaking robot. But all it took was a calm, pleasant explanation from AIDA and suddenly he was all aboard the robot train. As the season develops, he does such super-awesome things as guilt Daisy about her running away from SHIELD, expect his girlfriend Jemma to shoulder the burden of all of his emotional problems, save the decapitated head of the first AIDA model despite everyone including Jemma saying to destroy it but he thinks he can do something to help… and then in the Framework, he’s a sadistic torturing Nazi who happens to be fucking the same robot he’s gotten into so much trouble with already, but it’s okay because there she’s real, and using Darkhold tech he makes her a real body, which I don’t think I have to explain is the worst possible idea.
  • The Framework, as designed by Radcliffe and implemented by AIDA (the degree to which the design was modified by AIDA is somewhat unclear), was based on the premise that everyone whose consciousnesses were originally plugged in deserved to live in a nice happy digital computer world where their greatest regret was taken away. Or what Radcliffe perceived as their greatest regret. Some of these were totally reasonable – May (Ming-Na Wen) still regretting Bahrain, Mack (Henry Simmons) regretting that his daughter didn’t live past infancy, Mace (Jason O’Mara) regretting that he lied about being an Inhuman – and some were… something else. Coulson (Clark Gregg) regretted not living a “normal life” (since when was this a thing of his? Since about the episode before the Framework was revealed) and Fitz regretted… not growing up with his father. These daddy issues entered into play this season as well, and I’d previously been under the impression that he was content to have grown up with his mother, especially since according to exposition from Jemma his father was at the very least verbally abusive, but apparently not. And apparently growing up and remaining very close with his father, a class-A douchebag, led to Fitz… being a sadistic torturing Nazi. One who was nicknamed “the Doctor” no less, because that’s totally not sinister in this context. “I’m just like Ward,” he said after exiting the Framework, reflecting on the situation. Yes, yes you are, my ex-buddy, and here is why: not only did his daddy issues then shape the entire Framework into a totalitarian fascist hellscape where Inhumans were hunted and SHIELD, having been successfully taken over by Hydra, was a scrappy band of underground resistance fighters, but he…
    • Tortured (avatars of) Inhumans, several of which he later realized he’d known IRL.
    • Shot Agnes, who was the RL woman Sandwiches had modeled AIDA’s likeness on and whose consciousness and life, after she passed away IRL from a brain tumor, was uploaded to the Framework – ergo, he killed a woman.
    • Tortured Daisy, which didn’t actually harm Daisy’s RL body but if he had killed her it would in fact kill RL her because if your consciousness was plugged into the Framework if you died there you died IRL, so that was a near miss.
    • Ordered an op that ultimately killed Jeffrey Mace.
    • (As mentioned) plotted to build and then did build tech using the Darkhold, the spoopiest book of all time, to create an actual human body in the real world that would also be endowed with superpowers from all the Inhumans he’d tortured to death, so she could in effect take over the world that had done her wrong. (Even now I’m not entirely clear on how much of what ~Ophelia did in the Framework was actually AIDA and how much was a program, but either way – not great.)
    • After Jemma shot (the avatar of) his father in self-defense after trying to get him to cooperate with their goal of rescuing everyone from the Framework, Fitz tracked Jemma down and despite her screaming that IRL they were together and blah blah love blah blah he shot her (avatar) in the leg and very nearly shot her in the head and killed her. Would have likely done had Radcliffe’s avatar not intervened.
    • Oh, and I forgot to mention: while Daisy had been doing the non-terrigenesis’d totalitarian equivalent of what she does now in the Framework, Jemma was literally dead to begin with. When she awoke in the Framework she clawed her way out of a shallow mass grave. In the Framework, she and Fitz had never known each other. Despite the way that a robot version of Fitz tried to consentingly lure Jemma into the Framework with promises of happiness and marriage.
    • And the real kicker of this is: while the other people plugged into the Framework had grand revelations that either it was not a real place (Coulson) or their actions there were bad (May) or some other knowing moment of oh, shit… Fitz did not. Multiple times Fitz was given a chance to go oh, shit and repent. He did not. Also, several other characters had moments of ~knowing each other~ from RL contexts despite not knowing each other (Coulson remembered Daisy, May remembered Coulson, there was an implied flash of deja vu between Mack and Elena [Natalia Cordova-Buckley]) but Fitz looked Jemma in the eye and said that she meant nothing to him.
  • Ask us about our anti-Fitz feminist agendas.
  • In happier news, there were very good moments for the other members of the team! Coulson was a giant nerd in the Framework, which was sort of endearing; Trip (B.J. Britt) was still alive in the Framework and I miss him already; despite being the first to be replaced with a robot and hooked into the Framework, May still kicked some ass and was good; Mack and Elena are actually completely adorable together even though we all thought Mack was probably gay and we can’t even be mad that he too got roped into heterosexuality because they’re actually wonderful together; Mack was adorable and tragic with his daughter Hope (Jordan Rivera) in the Framework, even though they named her Hope when there’s already two different other Hopes in the MCU; Elena and Agent Piper (Briana Venskus) were precious and capable protecting Jemma and Daisy while they were in the Framework; Jemma my beloved was forced to sit through a lot of compulsive heterosexuality but nonetheless she was strong and badass and very good at what she needed to do.
  • But romantic FitzSimmons is dead. It needs to be dead. It needed to be dead before it even began, but it especially needs to be dead now. If any time is expended on any of the women, but especially Jemma, assuaging Fitz’s guilt complex next season, I will scream. He deserves to be guilty because he Did A Bad and while he seems perfectly capable of admitting IRL that he Did A Bad and that he was responsible for AIDA’s less than stellar changes, he never once said “I’m sorry.” He did say “I think I’m a bad person” and that’s pretty accurate. Sorry, ex-buddy.
  • The finale ended with everybody being arrested in a diner because everyone thinks SHIELD are bad guys again. And then it flashed forward an indeterminate amount of time to show Coulson on what appeared to be a spaceship, looking out at the vastness of space before getting up and “getting to work” in what seemed to be some kind of prison. I’ve seen buzz that this is leading up to SWORD, basically the intergalactic version of SHIELD, but nobody’s confirmed that one way or the other. We also have no idea if what Coulson is seeing is actually real or if he’s been put back into some kind of virtual reality or simulation to serve his punishment in. And we don’t know where anyone else is either. (We have awhile to think about it, since the show won’t be back until January 2018. Because ABC and Marvel are still trying to make Inhumans happen. It’s not going to happen.)

–your fangirl heroines.

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Things in Print Thursday :: monthly big queer book review [This Is Where It Ends]

18 May

So. I called the unpleasant ~surprise of this one pretty early on, and part of me wishes it hadn’t been there because it could have been avoided, but given the cast of characters and what they were capable of it made sense. I didn’t like it, but it made sense. My only real complaint is that it wasn’t fully dealt with, that is, it didn’t have all of the effects it could have and went largely unknown by most of the cast, and that’s something I also get but I kind of wish it had been different. But oh well.

Overall, this was a good book. I wanted to get that first bit out of the way, but it wasn’t enough to seriously detract from my enjoyment of the story. Enjoyment is the wrong word when you’re talking about a book that deals with school shootings and all sorts of auxiliary terrible things, but still. Whatever the equivalent. I’m glad I read it, and it was an important and interesting story.

Because even for the thing I was vaguely referring to in the first paragraph, or the fact that it’s about a school shooting, or the auxiliary terrible things that happen surrounding the events of the actual story (told in real-time, as it were, with shifting POVs and social media interjections – an effective way of keeping up the intensity and breathlessness and frantic pace of what was going on) the thing is… yes. All of that is bad. But it happens. It happens, and people still have to face those things, and it’s ultimately a story not about those things but about how they shape people and how people fight through and heal. And that’s what matters most, I think.

There are parts that were a little uneven, I think; a lot of the stuff with Claire, the track star-slash-shooter’s ex, didn’t feel entirely developed, like you’d gone from a to c without fully explaining b, and some of the drama between the Sylv and Autumn, or Sylv and Tomas, went in vague circles. (Also, it’s none of my business but what is it with characters in these YA books going by nicknames that awkwardly chop their two-syllable name into one syllable that ends with a v. Far From You had Trev, which made me angry. Sylv is a little better, but – I don’t know, it just feels abrupt. This is a weird etymological pet peeve of mine I guess. It’s not a flaw in the writing. Just my brain being odd.)

But ultimately, the pacing is really unique and the subject matter is important and Sylv and Autumn are very good Sapphic girls and I just wanted them to be happy. And Claire’s heterosexuality wasn’t even particularly cringeworthy, so good job, Marieke Nijkamp. (Sidenote: I also adore your first name, Marieke Nijkamp. That’s just really pretty.)

–your fangirl heroine.

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Television Tuesday :: on Brooklyn Nine-Nine (in haiku)

9 May

I care about girls.
I rarely care about boys.
But here, I totes do.

Boyle is a mess and
Sometimes he makes me cringe, yeah.
But he is not bad.

Terry is splendid.
The opposite of toxic
Masculinity.

Captain Holt kicks ass.
His differences are a part
But not all of him.

Jake is feminist.
He has grown as a person
And he is better.

And the girls, of course!
There are girls and I love them,
Always and deeply.

Gina is so odd
Because she’s flawed but also
She is woke as hell.

Rosa could kill you
But she could also kill you
With how much she cares.

And Amy speaks to
Me in a personal way.
I too am Mary Anne.

Point is: this show wins.
The representation and
The spirit and joy.

–your fangirl heroine.

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