Tag Archives: carice van houten

Television Tuesday :: a week removed from Game of Thrones season seven, I muse.

5 Sep

Here are my thoughts, in no particular order.

  • Dudes, I am furious about the decimation of Dorne. I could write an entire essay just about my anger about Dorne, and someday I will, but right now I’ll keep it to this: the gratuitous, ruthless, and disgustingly personal slaughtering of an entire family of women of color, who are in turn our only real ties to the only part of the entire country in which the show is based that is also natively populated by people of color, is no less than an affront. Yes, it proves Euron (Pilou Asbaek) and Cersei (Lena Headey) are evil, but guys, we knew that already. How many people have those two either killed or threatened to kill? How brutal have they already been? Cersei’s role in it was at least part of a narrative arc, although undoubtedly a problematic one (that would have been 1000x less problematic if B&W hadn’t gotten their sadistic, sexist, racist mitts on it – because need I remind you that in the books, [Arianne Martell and her cousins] the Sand Snakes support Myrcella to put her on the throne and actively work to take King’s Landing down from the inside while supporting a potentially matriarchal societal view), but Euron’s hand in the senseless murder of Obara and Nymeria was no better than torture porn and fan service. Yes, fan service. I went online the night it happened and every Tweet I saw popping up immediately after was rejoicing that these characters had been brutalized and murdered, because most casual viewers of the show had nothing but antipathy for the Sand Snakes, the main reason for which was that B&W completely misunderstood, underwrote, and embarrassed them and their plotline from nearly the beginning. Any crime the Sand Snakes committed, even hypothetically, could also be attributed to other (male) characters on the show that people have never raged against. (And some that people still hated, but often even with less vitriol than they hated the Sand Snakes.) After their disastrous season five appearances, my girls were reduced to almost nothing in season six and murder in season seven, and sure, B&W claim that fan reaction had nothing to do with that, but I think we all know better. They couldn’t be arsed to do it right, so they gave into the other sadistic, sexist, racist voices clamoring for their ends. And I haven’t given up on the show yet, but you’d better believe I’m watching especially some parts of it out of the side of my eyes even more than before.
  • On a very different and much more positive note, the culmination of the Sansa (Sophie Turner) as the Lady of Winterfell arc of the season was one of the most beautiful and emotionally satisfying things I’ve ever seen. I have always hated Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen) just as much as I love Sansa and have been rooting for her to be instrumental in his end. She didn’t actually wield the weapon doing it, Arya (Maisie Williams) did, but it was after her ceremonious and brutal verbal undressing of him and deconstruction of every crime he’s committed and also her verbal reassurance that she and Arya are a team of awesome sisterhood. After watching him constantly trying to undermine and manipulate her for seasons on end but especially this last one, it was perfect.
  • Wow. My passion about these two subjects has exhausted me. The rest of this list is going to be short-form.
  • Con: underutilization of many characters. Most of this wasn’t to any criminal degree, but was still annoying. Where did Melisandre (Carice van Houten) go? Why did Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) not do as much as she could? Why was Yara (Gemma Whelan) captured and then ignored for episodes on end? (Okay, that one is kind of criminal, and I’m pretty cranky, but she’s not dead so there could still be hope. Bleh.) Etcetera.
  • Con: overutilization of some characters. Most of this was innocuous but annoying also. Jorah (Iain Glen) had so many opportunities to die and he hasn’t died yet and I’m getting really impatient and why did we have to cure him of greyscale again I hate him. Varys (Conleth Hill) is interesting but honestly the more we understand about his thought process and motivations the less I care and the more annoyed I sometimes get at him. The Hound (Rory McCann) is interesting, I guess, but not as interesting as a lot of characters who should have more screen time than they do and I’m still bitter at him because people ship him with Sansa and I am angered by people shipping any man with Sansa that’s not Willas Tyrell because Willas Tyrell, having never existed in the television show, is merely a polite cipher, the available heterosexual male Tyrell, and a bookish horse nerd so he’s probably fine.
  • Pro: what little we did get of Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel) and Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson). Missandei is fabulous any time and could probably kill a man just with her cutting wit (a good thing, as the Tyrells have been also decimated and that art was primarily theirs to practice before). Missandei is also beautiful friends with Daenerys (Emilia Clarke). But mostly I’m talking about the scene between Missandei and Grey Worm, their shy but impassioned feelingsdump followed by largely implicit sexual activity. This scene was revolutionary. One, it’s beautiful that one of the only positive sex scenes this show has had in years was between two gorgeous black folks. Two, explicit consent is beautiful. Three, the fact remains that society at large has notions of what “conventional sex” entails (boy/girl p/v etc.) and while these two are a m/f couple it’s, for reasons of Grey’s past trauma and abuse, not p/v. Their intimacy took other (unseen but implicit) forms and the fact that Grey let Missandei in despite that past trauma and abuse and the fact that they found each other is really the most beautiful thing and I am comfortable amending their “best asexual couple” status to being “best demisexual couple” status. Okay, I actually had a lot to say about this too because it was the most gorgeous thing. Back to short-form, though.
  • Pro: Sansa is a good Lady of Winterfell, somewhat as mentioned.
  • Pro: Lyanna Mormont (Bella Ramsey) is perfect and a shining star.
  • Pro: Nymeria the person may have been victim of horrible, but Nymeria the direwolf is still alive and kicking, although existing parallel to the plot instead of inside of the plot.
  • Pro: we noticed a motif of men quite literally running/jumping away from problems in battle. Theon (Alfie Allen) just nosediving off the boat, Bronn (Jerome Flynn) pitching himself off the crossbow platform and then pitching himself and Jaime (Nicolaj Coster-Waldau) into the body of water to avoid dragon attack, etcetera. That’s pretty funny and we like it.
  • Con: Theon. I am tired. He does something redeemable every season, but after having done two or three unredeemable things before that probably. I understand trauma! But your flight mode endangered Yara and that is not cool and you better get her back (but also let her get herself back because she ain’t no damsel).
  • Pro/con: Dany and Jon (Kit Harington). They have really great chemistry onscreen but not necessarily in a sexy way just in an actors playing off of each other way but I’ve known it was getting sexy for ages but it’s not great that it only got sexy because it’s now official canon that they’re related and ooh shock and also…
  • Con: I’m actually pretty ticked that they did that bull with “Rhaegar annulled his marriage to Elia and secretly married Lyanna so now Jon is not a bastard he’s the legitimate heir to the Iron Throne”? Like, I don’t care that Rhaegar and Lyanna was consensual obviously I’m good with that. But the problem with Rhaegar is that he fucked Elia over and that is just not cool but it’s especially not cool that he just officially handwaved their marriage away without her consent because shit, girl deserved at least some agency in the destruction of her life, damn. And it’s also really annoying that they’re yanking this “Jon is the legitimate heir” stuff out of nowhere. For the unknowing, this is not (yet) book canon. R + L = J is book canon, but “the legitimate heir” is some doofy convenient bull that B&W made up to create conflict between Jon and Dany and/or set up for Dany taking on a more evil queen role in the last season because she fights for what she’s worked for and really wants and Jon doesn’t even want the Iron Throne but still I can smell the conflict and/or set up for if not that Dany at least being made to submit. I don’t like any of this. The only option I like is Jon pulling a queensmoot and going “no, no, I just want to be the Warden of the North, leave me alone I hate sunshine, Aunt Dany who I only boinked one time before we realized we were related because then we stopped actually wants to rule the Seven Kingdoms so I’m going to let her because I’m a progressive feminist and I trust her and stuff.” At this point that’s starting to feel like a pipe dream, and that just fucking sucks.

There’s probably more, I’m sure there’s more. But that’s the big stuff.

–your fangirl heroine.

how20dare

Advertisements

Fashion Friday :: I am anticipatory.

2 Dec

melisandre

What will be next for Melisandre (Carice Van Houten)? I’m sure people on my mom’s message board are speculating but I don’t want to know yet.

work20up

It’s like they know I do riot grrl Melisandre. Work Up the Encourage Dress, ModCloth.

open

I love this. They know. Open Road Odyssey Jacket in Merlot, ModCloth.

originality

Mel is fun because it’s just like, matchy-matchy-matchy. She is committed to her aesthetic. Originality in Effect Boot, ModCloth.

ensemble

It works. It’s vibey. Ensemble Enhancement Thigh Highs, ModCloth.

youre20in

Not quite hexagonal, but it works. You’re in Good Hangs Earrings, ModCloth.

–your fangirl heroine.

not20sure20this20is20to20be20taken20seriously

Television Tuesday :: a season 6 wrap-up.

5 Jul

Game of Thrones‘ season six was… well, it was pretty all right. I mourn my sweet gay babies Margaery (Natalie Dormer) and Loras (Finn Jones), bless them, but overall I am not disappointed and after last year’s mess that’s something, anyway? The requisite list of positives.

11. Davos (Liam Cunningham) finding out about Shireen (Kerry Ingram).
As y’all know, Shireen being murdered was my least favorite thing to happen in season five, and that’s saying quite a lot. So I guess it was a form of catharsis to see Davos finally find out what happened to his favorite girl and get really, truly mad about it. (I also liked that when Jon [Kit Harington] found out he didn’t have Melisandre [Carice van Houten] killed immediately but instead sent her on her way with a warning.)

10. Lyanna freaking Mormont (Bella Ramsey).
What a brilliant, scene-stealing kid. I had never seen her before in my life but my reaction after her first scene was “I’m so proud of her!” Boy howdy I love Mormont women just about as much as I don’t give a damn about the most prominent Mormont man.

9. Sam (John Bradley) and Gilly (Hannah Murray).
I actually quite liked the Horn Hill scenes, just overall; I liked how nice Sam’s mom and sister were, I liked how awkward Gilly was changing her clothes for the first time ever, I liked how Sam and Gilly both stood up to Sam’s jerk dad, I like how the power of love prevailed. And I really liked the Citadel library, sidenote.

8. Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel) and Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson).
I just really like these two. I was not a big fan of all of the treading water that Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) had to do or how pointless most of his scenes felt, and in turn many of Missandei and Grey Worm’s, but Missandei and Grey Worm themselves are always wonderful. I really like how Missandei had no time for Tyrion’s bullshit plans and made no secret of that. I really like how the two of them spent most of the season dressed like dominatrixes/the male version thereof. I also really like that Missandei always calls him by his name in Valryian. That makes me smile a lot.

7. The Dornish matriarchy overhaul.
We had a beautiful moment with Ellaria queen (Indira Varma) and the Sand Snakes (Keisha Castle-Hughes, Jessica Henwick, Rosabell Laurenti Sellers) in the first episode, one cursory mention around 6.03 or 6.04 of the fact that they’d taken over Dorne, and then treaty negotiations with Olenna (Diana Rigg) in the finale. We didn’t see much of this matriarchy overhaul, but I support it fully. This puts me in the minority and I don’t give a single damn.

6. Sansa (Sophie Turner) and Jon.
Sansa and Jon really didn’t have a relationship before they went their separate ways in season one, but their reuniting was beautiful and their relationship development has been fascinating. The obvious thing to say is that it’s an indicator of Sansa’s increased maturity; it’s also giving her a chance to finally be volatile in productive-to-the-plot ways. Fucking Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen) is not looking to make this a happy ending, but it’s really interesting right now.

5. Sansa and Brienne (Gwendoline Christie).
Yes. This did not disappoint, Brienne’s loyalty is overwhelming, and I’m glad they at least still have each other.

4. Sansa and misandry.
One of the most brilliant moments this entire season was just Sansa’s facial reactions to Ramsay (Iwan Rheon) being killed by his dogs. Another thing I liked was when she yelled at Jon for not involving her in battle plans even though she knew about Ramsay more than any of them did. I also really liked her reaction to fucking Littlefinger’s completely unsurprising but nasty fantasy scenario: hand on the chest for stop, don’t touch me there, then “it’s a pretty picture” dripping disdain as she walked away. Sansa Stark is done with men and it’s beautiful.

3. Feast for Crows Cersei (Lena Headey).
Otherwise known as: I have been waiting for the Cersei I know from her POV chapters to finally get to show up and that Cersei is insane. Unfortunately, Benioff and Weiss seem too concerned with making the Lannisters sympathetic at times to allow them to be as interesting as in the books, so it was a long time coming for the full reveal. But now, after doing some horrible things and having some horrible things happen as a consequence, the Iron Throne is sat by completely bonkers Cersei, Darth Cersei, Mad Queen Cersei. I’m thrilled and Lena is going to do a great job.

2. The Targaryen-Greyjoy-Martell-Tyrell alliance.
I mean, I’m not keen on the fact that it had to come partially because of Margaery and Loras’ death, but “so Yara goes to Meereen, right, and she hooks up with Dany, and then Varys goes to get the Martells in on it because they have a thing with the Targaryens, and then the Tyrells come too because they’re awesome” sounds… not unlike some of my personal ideal scenarios. The show has less lady-kissing in this alliance (because Margaery is dead now and never confirmed queer, because they haven’t mentioned Nym being bisexual in the show yet, etc.) but it’s still happening.

1. Dany (Emilia Clarke) and Asha-Yara (Gemma Whelan).
But there might be lady-kissing here! It’s now canon that Asha-Yara likes girls (and she didn’t die!) and both actresses have mentioned that there is some definite flirtation going on between these two. They bantered about why Dany should accept these Greyjoys’ offer of ships and alliance, which is because Euron’s offer would come with marriage demands. “And I imagine your offer is free of any marriage demands?” Dany banters. “I never demand, but I’m up for anything really,” Asha-Yara declares, in a conversation that does sound just as Sapphic as my fantasy endings. I don’t know how this is going to go but dear gods let it go right. Because, quoth poor lost Doreah, “love comes in at the eyes,” and those two were making significant eyes at each other. (Also, Dany broke up with Daario [Michiel Huisman] spectacularly.)

–your fangirl heroine.

fidget

Fashion Friday :: a tricky situation.

27 Nov

game-thrones

Hey, remember when Melisandre (Carice van Houten) hadn’t murdered a little girl?  Hey, remember in the books where Melisandre also wasn’t an overt sexual predator?  She flirted uncomfortably and contemplated leeching a little boy, but… yeah.

b56ec48d1f94a8b9363ac3045b7e9b62

This dress is red and slinky and low-cut.  I was actually hoping to find a black and red dress, since that was kind of her motif this year, but there weren’t any I liked and this one is great.  Also it fits the formal thing that’s been sort of going on this year.  Reading Lady Dress, ModCloth.

ae2b092b078247e553182fe2f1e52a76

Here.  Put this on top of that and it’s patterny.  Delicate Diner Jacket in Black, ModCloth.

1b237f75ea33570fffc94a088e50ceb1

But hipster Melisandre is still a riot grrl at heart, so.  Stand Your Underground Boots, ModCloth.

It works.  Vintage Ruby-fore You Leave Necklace, ModCloth.

–your fangirl heroine.

Television Tuesday :: here we are, four weeks in.

5 May

Now, usually I talk about Game of Thrones a week or two after the season starts, and then again when it’s over.  You might be wondering why I’m waiting so long to do it this year.  Well, I said to myself, “I’m going to write about Game of Thrones once the Sand Snakes have arrived.”

This took… four episodes.

And mind, we got barely a taste of them.  But there they were.  I’m fairly sure that show!Tyene (Rosabell Laurenti Sellers) is going to be… essentially a creature of B&W’s own invention, which sucks because book!Tyene is my favorite (she’s got that cadence I gravitate toward) but I could be proved wrong, I don’t know.  She’s cute, though.  So far though, Nymeria (Jessica Henwick) and Obara (Keisha Castle-Hughes) seem true enough to book.  Obara’s monologue was pleasingly familiar, and they both have their proper weapons.

On the subject of monologues, I will say that that has been one of the things about the season so far that I’ve generally liked.  It’s as if B&W were like “oh, we’re five seasons in, better shoehorn in as much exposition as we can really really fast so we fill the show-watchers in on things they’re going to need to know that we’ve skipped in previous seasons.”  Or conversations-that-are-basically-monologues.  There have been multiple monologues per episode, the likes of which are more akin to Jaime in the baths in season three than anything else.  To wit, a list of veritable monologuers, in no particular order and doubtless incomplete:

  • Mance (Ciaran Hinds)
  • Melisandre (Carice van Houten)
  • Stannis (Stephen Dillane)
  • Shireen (Kerry Ingram)
  • Brienne (Gwendoline Christie)
  • Podrick (Daniel Portman)
  • Barristan (Ian McElhinney)
  • Daario (Michiel Huisman)
  • Obara
  • Ellaria (Indira Varma)
  • Daenerys (Emilia Clarke)
  • Baelish (Aidan Gillen)

And that’s to say nothing of the conversational exposition.  Which has been… basically everybody, and I am not going to list it all off because it would, basically, be a list of everybody in various configurations.  I’m perfectly comfortable with this.  I would probably watch an entire show that was just lengthy expositional conversations.  Sure, it’s a little jarring to go from a roundtable about Meereneese nobles to “so, Your Grace, about your father,” but I like it.  I don’t mind it at all.

Minor plot changes (having it be not-Jaqen [Tom Wlaschiha] at the House of Black and White, for example) I’m all right with.  Major plot changes (Sansa’s [Sophie Turner] line, which has elicited reactions such as “NO NO NO NO” and “nooooo, they can’t” and “Sansa just can’t catch a break” from my people who are show-watchers; the elimination of certain key characters) have been… less well-received.  But I’m not going to talk about my rage until it’s all over and done and I have concrete details to rage about.

–your fangirl heroine.

well then

Television Tuesday :: 2014 and the Bechdel test

16 Dec

At least in regards to the shows I watch, which again can be found here.

So as I’ve mentioned before, I kept track of TV seasons that started this year and whether or not they passed the Bechdel test.  I can’t promise I have an exact tally, but this is what I found.

  • In season two (I didn’t count during season one because the season started last year and since I hadn’t started counting then the tally would be inaccurate) Agents of SHIELD has so far passed the Bechdel test every episode.  Sometimes it’s kind of a sketchy pass (i.e. episode nine, “Ye Who Enter Here,” when the conversation between Skye [Chloe Bennet] and Raina [Ruth Negga] did involve Skye’s father but touched on non-Skye’s father subjects for at least thirty seconds) but it’s a pass each time.  Thank the gods for Skye, because a majority of the passes were due to scenes of hers: her and Raina (how thrilled am I about her and Raina in general?  Pretty damn thrilled, honestly), her and May (Ming-Na Wen), her and Jemma (Elizabeth Henstridge).  (Actually, all of those relationships are ones I’m thrilled about.)  Also of note is episode three, “Making Friends and Influencing People,” where the Bechdel test is smashed into tiny pieces with the multitude of interactions between Skye and May and also Jemma and Bobbi (Adrianne Palicki).  Thumbs up, y’all.
  • As SHIELD goes, I will cite a first example of times that women talk about a man but it mattered a lot: that conversation in episode nine between Jemma and Bobbi that was about both of their respective man situations, kind of, because what that did was allowed Bobbi to represent for “Jemma’s side” of the situation, to give her reassurance that she does need, and allowed Jemma to finally get to tell her side of the story.
  • You know it’s a weird world when a show that is titled simply Girls can’t even pass the Bechdel test 100% of the time.  They did rate a respectable 88%, with the one episode that failed being because every conversation was about a man if I recall correctly, but still.  Wow.
  • As I mentioned before, Justified passed 66% of the time, which is still surprisingly often compared to some of the shows on my list.  And this is because Ava (Joelle Carter) went to ladyjail.  Every episode after Ava went to ladyjail passed, because ladyjail is one place where ladies are going to narratively have to speak to one another constantly and therefore some of it will be not just about men.
  • Game of Thrones and True Blood both passed 40% of the time.  As Game of Thrones goes, good job Melisandre (Carice van Houten) who was responsible for half of those passes (once with Shireen [Kerry Ingram], once with Selyse [Tara Fitzgerald]).  And as True Blood goes, well… the what-could-have-been with Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll) and Adilyn (Bailey Noble) is the most important one to me.  The rest I’ve chosen to push out of my mind because they dealt largely with plots that I loathed and represented nothing good that could have been.
  • A lot of the conversations about men in Game of Thrones are, while note test-passing, still revealing of things that may or may not be important narratively and may or may not just make me smile: Margaery (Natalie Dormer) and Brienne (Gwendoline Christie), Margaery and Olenna (Diana Rigg), Margaery and Cersei (Lena Headey).  Also Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) and Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel).
  • Fargo, Mad Men, and Sons of Anarchy passed two times apiece; Penny Dreadful a sad one.  The new ridiculous TNT show The Librarians has passed 1/3 episodes so far, and I can pray that it picks up with that soon, as I’m praying that it picks up in other ways soon.
  • And as for total Bechdel test failures?  True Detective, From Dusk Till Dawn, Silicon Valley.  2/3 of which I was watching because other people really wanted to and I couldn’t get out of it.

–your fangirl heroine.

fidgeting

Fashion Friday :: I’m in this kind of mood.

22 Nov

melisandre (carice van houten)

This kind of mood meaning vaguely riot grrl Melisandre (Carice van Houten), since I decided last year that that was the case and I’m sticking with it.

resort to style coat (modcloth)

There’s a nice selection of burgundy-colored coats on ModCloth, actually, but I dunno, this one just struck my fancy.  Resort to Style Coat, ModCloth.

velvet, if you please dress in merlot (modcloth)

And some good ol’ crushed velvet is nice and 90s, i.e. riot grrl.  Velvet, If You Please Dress in Merlot, ModCloth.

take nothing for pomegranate necklace (modcloth)

Yep.  Mel is pretty easy to style ’cause everything is red or burgundy.  Everything.  Take Nothing For Pomegranate Necklace, ModCloth.

just trekkin' boot in burgundy (modcloth)

Combat boots with plaid.  Yeah.  Just Trekkin’ Boot in Burgundy, ModCloth.

–your fangirl heroine.

comme ci comme ca