Tag Archives: fictional friday

Fictional Friday :: 5 f/f ships around me before I started seeking f/f ships.

10 Feb

In chronological order.

5. Carol and Susan (Jane Tibbett and Jessica Hecht, Friends)
So I never really gave these two any actual thought. But Friends was always on when I was a kid, it seemed like, and my parents were never shy about what was going on. In fact, when an acquaintance of the family came out my parents explained it as “you know, like Carol and Susan on Friends.” And I said..

4. Haruka and Michiru (Sailor Moon)
“Yeah, I know, like Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune. I read about them on the internet.” I’m sure I’ve told this story before, but I learned how to internet via Sailor Moon fansites (terrible ones, black Times New Roman on white backgrounds, or worse, Angelfire or Geocites pages with pixelated star backgrounds) and I knew all about the lesbians in Sailor Moon before they came to the US. And were “cousins.” “Mom, this is dumb,” I said. “They clearly are not cousins.” And my mom shrugged and nodded. America?

3. Columbia and Magenta (Little Nell and Patricia Quinn, The Rocky Horror Picture Show)
This was a little different, because these two? They were already in relationships. Columbia was sort of in two of them. But yet, there they were playing voyeur (another thing I learned about from this movie) in their jammies and rolling all over on top of each other. And hey, if boys were kissing boys, girls could be kissing girls! Everyone was kissing everyone in that movie. And even though Magenta’s incest brother accidentally lasered Columbia to death at the end of the movie, they were still more fun to write about for me than Columbia and Frank (since he was, you know, an asshole bordering on emotionally abusive to her) or Columbia and Eddie (he was fine, and clearly she liked him, but it was just really hard for me to get into it, for reasons that are now clear to me).

2. Mary Elizabeth and Alice (The Perks of Being a Wallflower)
Later that same school year as I discovered Rocky Horror, I chanced on a copy of The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Not only did I fall hopelessly in love with its protagonist Charlie, as I’ve before said, I was delighted by the overlap of it including Rocky Horror as a frequent plot point. It never said who played most of the characters in their shadowcast, but I assumed that as the other girls, Mary Elizabeth played Magenta and Alice played Columbia. As a result, I shipped them. I had very little reason to, but I did.

1. Maureen and Joanne (Rent)
And then I saw Rent that following summer, and there were Maureen and Joanne, and they weren’t the happiest all the time but suddenly I was on my way to Officially Starting To Wonder About Myself.

–your fangirl heroine.



Fictional Friday :: a pointed haiku to media

22 Apr

Is not “special treatment,” but
It should be a right.

–your fangirl heroine.


Fictional Friday :: a brief love letter to the queens of the galaxy.

9 Jan

As I’ve before mentioned, I was obsessed with Princess Leia as a child.  I apparently drew nothing but stick figures of her for about a year; I distinctly remember moving into the house I grew up in and getting excited because I could pretend the shelf configuration in my bathtub/shower was a spaceship like Princess Leia might make use of.  I don’t really remember most of this, or what started it, but I assume I saw a movie that was mostly full of dudes and went “oh, this girl is incredible I want to be her please,” because that is the story of my life.

And now I’m a grown-up, as I’ve mentioned, here is Leia, now a General (how freaking cool is that), strategizing and continuing to be incredible and prompting thousands of words of tumblr meta, and it turns out that Carrie Fisher is also a super giant badass, talking openly and honestly about her mental illness in a way that I, as a person who also has mental illness though not the same one, find incredibly inspiring.  And I just feel really lucky, because although I kind of forgot about her for many years, I’ve grown up with Leia and she’s probably had a very positive influence on me.  I admire her as a tactician, a woman with palpable feelings, a feminist badass who weaponizes her intelligence and her femininity and men’s attempts at debasing her, as so many things.

I was in grade school when Episode I was released, and though I realize know that it is not a particularly good film, I was also obsessed with Queen Amidala, Padmé.  I remember standing in my hallway repeatedly shouting some of her lines trying to sound like her.  I remember having a party where my friends and I were on teams and tried to recreate her outfits with bedsheets (I, as the hostess, did not actually get to compete and instead stood in the back of all of the photos we took with sheets designating me as a handmaiden). 

I’m pretty sure part of it was OOH SHE IS ROYALTY SHE IS SO COOL, but what I’m glad I’ve seen others since articulate on the internet is that she, despite deserving so much better and not having been written well really at all, is that she really is cool.  She’s a politician like her daughter after her, and she can handle herself in a fight, and I’m sure what got me when I was a kid was that she was ridiculously femme while doing all of these things.  I appreciate ass-kicking, but I also appreciate pretty dresses. It’s shallow but it’s true.  I always feel more comfortable claiming the girls who do things like that, because, well, it’s stupid, but the ones who kick more literal ass I usually don’t feel like I deserve to claim them because I’m not that way.  Padmé was the kind of badass that I could hope to be, maybe.  Or something like that.  And it doesn’t hurt that Natalie Portman is gorgeous and also brilliant.

And now we have Rey.  Rey who is spirited and lovely and I just want to wrap her up in blankets and give her cocoa, Rey who’s a little more androygnous than her predecessors but that’s important in a different way because her femininity is never made issue of.  Padmé was badass in a feminine context, Leia’s original badassery was somewhat in spite of femininity and misinterpretations of it (the Huttslayer business), Rey is badass in a way that has nothing to do with her potential femininity.  And Rey is ridiculously important.

Rey and Leia also have a relationship now, which is something we haven’t seen much of before.  Rey also had a Bechdel pass with Maz Kanata, so that’s cool.  Rey is amazing.  And Daisy Ridley is also amazing.

And… yeah.  I think the point here is just, gosh, I feel lucky to have and have had these fictional women in my life.

–your fangirl heroine.


Fictional Friday :: 5 more x5 women we’d like to invent an alternate canon for

21 Aug

Haven’t done one of these in a while!   The first two contributed by my drift partner because these things are important.

5. Annabelle Riggs (Fearless Defenders)
Fearless Defenders was a 12-issue comic that ran for most of 2013 and was touted as an all-female team, and it was great. Then Marvel canceled it because no one was buying it and I hate everyone for it, because it was wonderful and I loved it. Anyway. Annabelle Riggs was a character created specifically for the comic, pitched originally as a female Indiana Jones-type but with less field experience and more theory-spouting. She was clever, brave, and loyal, and also a lesbian, as we learned in issue #1 with this panel, when she kisses Valkyrie as a thank you for rescuing her (and also because she is hot tbh). Her feelings for Valkyrie continue to be an explicit theme of the comic for the next five issues, until Valkyrie is transformed into the Doom Maiden of rage (it’s a long story) and almost destroys an entire village before Annabelle is able to stop her with the power of love. And then she’s killed because nothing can ever be nice in comics ever. Granted, within the next couple of issues Valkyrie is able to rescue her soul from Valhalla, but only on the condition that her lifeforce merges with Valkyrie’s and they share the same body. I know it’s stupid, just go with it. So basically, Valkyrie and Annabelle switch back and forth every so often and only one of them can be available at a time. I was glad she wasn’t dead anymore, but are you fucking kidding me that is ridiculous. She did get a new girlfriend in issue #11, but we didn’t get a lot of time to see them together. And then the series got canceled and we haven’t heard anything about her since, so I presume that she’s just hanging out in Valkyrie’s body and not getting panel time. Whatever. Maybe the new Thor and Valkyrie will get together, since Odinson is off pouting to himself. Like I said, I love this comic with all my heart but I still think this was one of the worst subplots I’ve ever read, and I read Ultimates.

4. Myka Bering (Joanne Kelly, Warehouse 13)
To be fair to Warehouse 13, it was doing so many good things before season 4. It was a story about a team of misfits who worked together to find and retrieve magical artifacts and keep the world safe, and it featured a variety of well-written female characters who were all distinct, interesting people. It also featured a male-female partnership that was explicitly non-romantic. So I’m not really sure what happened, but season 4 sent Myka’s character development down a path she never recovered from. The first red flag was in 4×04, when she is “whammied” by a wish-granting artifact that Pete accidentally uses to wish himself a family, and she got magicked pregnant. It’s established in the first season that Myka doesn’t want kids, and in this episode she panics and expresses a great deal of distress over being pregnant. Pete, to his credit, is apologetic and horrified that he’s caused his friend distress, but in general it’s a weird episode that plays up the magic pregnancy for laughs and doesn’t really pause to acknowledge Myka’s unhappiness (it is undone by the end of the episode, thank goodness). Then somewhere in the back half of the season, Myka finds out she has ovarian cancer. She is terrified and decides to keep it a secret from the rest of the team, but because this is television Pete finds out and acts all pouty because she never told him about it. And then in the season finale, we see her deciding to go in for surgery and it’s left on a cliffhanger. Then…she’s perfectly fine in 5×01, and it’s hardly mentioned again. It was lazy, cheap dramatics, in a season that already had too many subplots. Finally, season 5 was a disgraceful embarrassment in pretty much every way, but especially when it came to the sudden introduction of ~Pyka~. (I am incapable of writing it without the sarcastic tildes.) From the beginning of the show, Pete and Myka had been work partners, and some of their dynamic was a bit standard (think Beckett and Castle) but the difference was that Myka never showed a hint of romantic or sexual interest in him, and his flirting with her quickly petered out into a genuine fondness and respect. They referred to each other as brother and sister, sharing a very close bond that is scarce on television between different-gender partners, and it was lovely. Until, of course, the network interfered and demanded a romantic subplot because, well, apparently the Myka/HG storyline the writers accidentally wrote was too gay or something. So in the final season, we went from watching coworkers who had a deep platonic bond to watching a pair of teenagers who danced around each other like they had suddenly become aware of each other’s sexuality. There is literally a flashback scene in the final episode that they invented to pretend like the “sexual tension” had been there all along (it hadn’t) and their realizations that each is in love with the other come across less like important personal revelations and more like the confession is being dragged out of them against their wills. The big confession scene is hollow and false, especially since we know Joanne Kelly has been against ~Pyka~ since season 2 and it’s likely she was hating every romantic scene she had to film. And the worst part of it is that Myka, in the beginning of the show, is reeling from the death of her fiance (Sam) and attempting to throw herself into work to get over it. It is over the first four seasons that she learns to trust her fellow Warehouse agents and open up to them; they become a family. Her storyline is about love, but it’s not the kind of love we’re used to seeing showcased in fiction, and she barely expressed interest in getting together with any other guys after she had properly grieved for Sam. (Her story with HG was as much a surprise to her as to the writers, I think.) She had become strong on her own and she had become strong because of her love for her family, but to suddenly throw her into a romance at the end that she’s never expressed interest in before really cheapens it all. It was framed as being about Pete’s wishes more than hers (incidentally, the entire finale is all about him and his problems and how he can’t handle that the Warehouse is self-destructing and did I mention that Pete has never been the central character in this show because he hasn’t), and it was horrible and gross and upsetting and bad writing.

3. Myrcella Baratheon (Nell Tiger Free, originally Aimee Richardson, Game of Thrones)
So remember how in the books Arianne and the Sand Snakes are on Team Myrcella?  Because in Dorne they put girls in the lineage based on their age, not after all the boys, so by Dornish law Myrcella should have the throne before Tommen, and also the Martells are still not on Team Lannister but Myrcella is a nice girl and beloved of Trystane and by all accounts cleverer than Tommen anyway so she’d theoretically be a better baby monarch?  Remember how in the books Arianne exists and is all big-sisterly toward Myrcella?  Remember how in the books Ellaria is like “no, please stop all this murdering”?  Remember how in the books they didn’t make a shitshow of the entire Dornish storyline?  This is a hill I will die on too but they still have chances to redeem themselves.  I’ve even thought of a way they could semi-retcon Arianne in.  They won’t do that particular thing but they might do the rest.  In any case, though, I would settle for that timeline for poor sweet Cella right now even though it’s not exactly sunshine and puppies for her on account of, you know, the maiming and all, and it might eventually go to shit.  She’s still breathing, though.  And I mean, I guess I understand why her being murdered was the logical conclusion of what the show did, so I’m not exactly angry about it in the same way as the thing I’m about to talk about, but I am angry about it.  Cella deserves a timeline not pseudomedival in nature, where she can be adorable and happy and not be thwarted for it.  I’m not sure exactly what, but she’s got the air of a coming-of-age story about her.

2. Shireen Baratheon (Kerry Ingram, Game of Thrones)
Shireen’s murder, however, I am furious about.  Because unlike Cella, who might at least in death be a catalyst for something or another (somewhat like poor Lyanna Stark?  Certainly like Elia and Rhaenys Targaryen by way of Martell), Shireen’s death served the purpose of making the audience aware of the fact that Stannis [Stephen Dillane] was a crappy person.  (Because Renly’s murder, the subsequent other people’s murders, hadn’t done that already?  I don’t really know.  But some people were late to hop on the “Stannis is crap” train.)  It also sparked a chain of events including Selyse (Tara Fitzgerald) offing herself and many of Stannis’ soldiers, and then Melisandre (Carice van Houten), abandoning him before he went to go fight the Bolton army, whereupon they were defeated horribly (therefore proving the futility of Shireen’s murder) and then Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) came along and murdered Stannis.  Mind, I am thrilled that Brienne murdered Stannis.  But the murdering of Stannis put Shireen’s own murder into perspective.  It wasn’t done to further any plot, it was done to tie up what would otherwise be a loose end that served no purpose in the showrunners’ eyes once Stannis was out of the picture.  And that?  That is complete nonsense.  Shireen is a sweet darling girl and I want her to live in a world where she can give literacy to anyone who wants it and be happy and alive and not overprotected and I don’t even care what the details are but maybe let’s facilitate actually sending this girl to school.

1. Kara Lynn Palamas (Maya Stojan, Agents of SHIELD)
The more I think about Kara the more I want to wrap around her protectively and hiss at any bad influence that comes near.  And this is kind of a funny impulse on one hand, because we know virtually nothing about “real Kara,” what Kara was like before Hydra and then Grant Ward brainwashed her.  (And I will argue till I’m blue in the face that the latter did that very thing.  Abusive relationship, a la the Joker and Harley.  Every single thing that Bobbi [Adrianne Palicki] said about what he was trying to do to her was true.  Every.  Single.  Thing.)  But I want to know that.  I want — well, okay, back when there were rumors about a spinoff for Bobbi, I had two ideas.  One is my crack-filled Bobbi and Lance (Nick Blood) flip houses premise.  One is a road trip story of sorts where Bobbi and Lance, probably, would take off on some mission.  In a convertible, because this is important.  Along for the ride would be Kara (this premise was designed pre-finale, obviously, so I didn’t account for any of that baggage), trying to find herself again in the wake of everything (“are you sure this is the best for her, Bob?” Lance would ask.  “Director’s orders, and besides, it’s no worse than the base,” Bobbi would shrug, though she privately had the same worry).  An episode in, Lance would get murdered for reasons and Bobbi would be upset (not heartbroken, because she doesn’t love Lance because she’s aromantic, but upset, because she cares about him despite her better judgment) and then she and Kara would drive around the country like, having adventures and finding themselves and doing good agent things for those in need and probably developing a really lovely romantic friendship where they kiss even though it’s not love because Bobbi doesn’t do that and honestly Kara isn’t probably up for it but they still can enjoy each other and take comfort in each other and Bobbi would show Kara she’s beautiful no matter what or some sappy but true nonsense like that and Kara would get her mind back and all would be well.  But barring that, I will gladly put Kara in any alternate timeline where she is granted agency and respect and adoration, because she deserves that, because having one’s agency taken and being disrespected and used as a thing of convenience instead of a person, especially by someone who claims to care about you,  is one of the worst things in the world.

–your fangirl heroines.

Fictional Friday ;: adventures in MCU etymology, part three.

3 Apr

Captain America!

From the forename “Roger,” meaning “famous spear.”  Which… well, it’s the wrong shape of weapon, but.

Short form of Steven, a derivation of Stephen, meaning crown.

An occupational surname, quite literally one who uses carts.

A short form of “Margaret” (even Behind the Name doesn’t know why the consonant changes), meaning “pearl.”

Meaning “plain,” as in “where the wind goes sweeping down the” (not as in “my, that house is so”).

Occupational, sort of, for someone who lived/worked in a barn.

Again, “holder of the heel” or “supplanter.”

(Since that’s what Bucky is short for.)  Apparently means “house of the canon.”

Son of Philip, meaning “friend of horses.”  O-kay.

“Fortified place.”  Yeah, that works well enough.

“Smith, metalworker.”

A form of John, “Yahweh is gracious.”  You go ahead and keep telling yourself that, buddies.

Was not found.

“Father of many.”  Or, in this case, spiritual father of reimagined Steve.

Y’know, I’m going to split this one up into two bunches, because there are a lot of people who really only appear in Cap’s movies.

–your fangirl heroine.

so there's that

Fictional Friday ;: adventures in MCU etymology, part two.

20 Mar

This time, the Thor franchise.

Well, being as this is the name of the Norse god, it literally just means “thunder.”

Again, the name of the Norse god; apparently, it’s possibly derived from an Indo-European root that means “to break.”  Whatever that’s worth.

Again, the name of the Norse god; “inspiration, rage, frenzy.”  Or in MCU Odin’s case, he more accurately inspires rage and frenzy.

Or Freyja (“lady”) or Frigg.  Again, the name of the Norse goddess; “beloved.”  Yes, fact.

Or Siv.  Again, the name of the Norse goddess; “bride.”  Opposite of fact.

Or Heimdallr.  Again, the name of the Norse god; “home, house” plus “glowing, shining” or “dale, valley.”  That’s nice enough, I suppose.

No close analogues found.

No close analogues found.

No close analogues found.

Either a variant of Forester, or a keeper of the forest, an occupational name for a maker of scissors derived from French, an occupational name for a woodworker derived from French, or a nickname to someone who participates in foster care in some capacity.  Whatever those are worth.

A feminine form of John, meaning “Yahweh is gracious.”  Not so much.

Either derived from the forename Lewis which traces back to Louis to Ludwig to the Germanic name Chlodovech meaning “famous” plus “war, battle” or derived from the forename Llewelyn which either means “leader” or is a combination of Lugus meaning “light” and Belenus meaning “bright.”  Well, at least now I’m imagining Darcy deciding her last name means “Lite Brite.” That’s cute.

From a surname pertaining to a location in France.

Not found.

Variant of Eric, which is “ever, always” plus “ruler.”  Also the patron saint of Sweden.

Not found.

A Scottish form of John.  See above.

–your fangirl heroine.

innocent face forever

Fictional Friday :: adventures in MCU etymology, part one.

13 Mar
So it’s time for another lengthy round of etymology games, and this time I’m playing with none other than the Marvel universe, because that’s where I’m living right now, pretty much.

These are going to be vaguely logically sorted by subcanon.  And I want to look at surnames, too, because I probably should have done that before but didn’t but now I’m going to.  So… there.

Apparently, from an Old German/English nickname that means “strong, brave.”  This of course makes it vaguely appropriate in both of its prominent fictional usages.

The short form of Anthony, which comes from Antonius, which does not have a proper meaning.  As a noun, “tony” also means “high-toned; stylish,” though this is slang that was mostly only used in the late 1800s.

This is a derivative of several things: “the Anglo-Norman given name Huard, which was from the Germanic name Hughard,” comprised of elements meaning “heart, mind” and “brave, hardy”; Anglo-Scandinavian Haward, from the Old Norse Hávarðr, comprised of elements meaning “high” and “guardian, defender”; or a Middle English term meaning “ewe herder.”  Behind the Name also mentions its famous bearer, Howard Hughes, and I would hazard a guess that Howard Hughes might be part of why Howard Stark is named Howard.

Not listed in the database, but it’s a fair bet it comes from a place that has to do with pots.

Since this is Pepper’s given name, after all.  It comes from a Roman family name with an unknown meaning, but it is “long associated with Latin virgo ‘maid, virgin’” and quite a lot of its popularity, including its usage as the name of one of the United States, originated from England’s Virgin Queen, Elizabeth I.

This comes from the name of the spice.  And boy, I’m glad that they’ve never actually addressed how silly of a nickname it is in canon.  This implies to me that everyone, including Pepper, is fully aware of it and it just isn’t analyzed beyond that because it’s so damn silly.

Either means “a clearing in woodland” or it comes from a location named thus.

Since this is Rhodey’s given name, after all.  (And Bucky’s.  Oops.)  This is an English form of a Latin form of a Greek form of the Hebrew name Ya’aqov, or Jacob, which means either “supplanter” or “holder of the heel” or alternately “may God protect.”  James was also the brother of Jesus, apparently.

From an Irish patronymic that derives from a name that is a diminutive of a name meaning “young.”

Since this is Happy’s given name, after all.  Does hanging out with Tony just entitle you to nicknames?  From an Old English name, Hereweald, with the elements “army” and “power, leader, ruler.”

Pleasant, glad, pleased, joyful, lucky, etcetera.

A variant of Eberhardt, derived from Eberhard, a form of Everard, meaning “brave boar.”

A form of Christina, which is the feminine version of Christian, from the Medieval Latin name meaning, well, “a Christian.”  Christina was also a famous queen of Sweden.

A soundalike to “stain,” a discoloration or blemish or “cause of reproach.”  So.

Means “servant of Yahweh.”  Yeah, not so much.

Literally, a hammer is a tool for beating things or part of a gun.

A derivation of a derivation of Justus, meaning, well, “just.”  Except, y’know, that does not apply.

No meaning listed.

A new form of a Slavic derivation of John, which after tracing down the line of derivations means “Yahweh is gracious.”

Meaning “son of Hans,” which in turn is the short form of “Johannes,” which is a form of John, which after tracing down the line of derivations means “Yahweh is gracious.”

Either means “illusion” (Sanskrit), is a variant of Maia which has an unknown meaning but comes from mythology where she was Hermes’ mother, or means “water” (Hebrew derivation).

As a forename, it is a variant of Cillian which possibly means “church.”

Its closest found neighbor is Aldric, of elements meaning “old” and “ruler, power.”  Well, he wishes?

Its closet found neighbor is Slater, an occupational surname meaning you worked with slate.

Being as this is “the Mandarin’s” real name.  Derived from a place name meaning “big village.”

–your fangirl heroine.

pretty girls