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Marvel Monday :: our thoughts on The Defenders

28 Aug

This show was very silly and quite gay.

As always, we acknowledge the criticisms and complains others may have, but honestly, we had eight hours of fun with The Defenders and we’re here to tell you about all of the silly and/or gay things we enjoyed about it. (Many. We’re kind of amazed that our neighbors have not thumped on the floor/ceiling because we’re shouting “GAY” too loudly.)

Spoilers!

Gay things

  • Foggy (Elden Hensen) and Karen (Deborah Ann Woll) are both really really in love with Matt (Charlie Cox) and they miss him a lot. Matt is also really really gay for Foggy. Matt and Karen can also be in love BUT only if Foggy is there too. Good triad.
  • Luke (Mike Colter) and Claire (Rosario Dawson) have a very good relationship that is technically heterosexual but is nevertheless very gay. At one point she reaches up to brush some debris off his head or something after he’s been rescuing people from rubble after an earthquake, and it was the cutest thing I have ever seen. Also they break a table from fucking, which sounds about right. They care so much about each other and also everyone else in the city and they trust each other’s opinions and they’re so good together. A+ good m/f.
  • There’s LITERALLY a scene where Karen and Trish (Rachael Taylor) – after musing about the current events in a mutually journalistic fashion, which is pretty cool – are discussing their relationships with Matt and Jessica (Krysten Ritter) respectively, and Trish asks Karen what Matt is to her, and Karen says “…a good friend, it’s complicated” in a way that implies the friendship was either actually with benefits or she wanted it to be. And then Trish says, “Jessica’s a good friend too. Not in the traditional sense…she wouldn’t be there to move a couch or plan a party, but when it comes to the real stuff, the stuff that’ll last forever…” And then we screamed our heads off because the narrative directly conflated an actual canon m/f relationship with Jess/Trish. Trish Walker is in love with Jessica Jones pass it on.
  • Jess and Trish also have some nice moments together, bantering over (whiskey-infused) coffee and Trish trying to convince Jess to be on her radio show and Jess worrying about her and running into the middle of a meeting to protect Trish and a hug to end all hugs and… sorry. They’re in love.
  • The narrative grinds to a halt in the final episode for a good two minutes just so Colleen (Jessica Henwick) can tell Claire about how she’s just as important as the people who have powers and how she’s a hero too. It is ridiculous. You can see her hearteyes from space.
  • Colleen also finally meets her comics gf Misty (Simone Missick) in this series. Their first introduction is at the police station, where Misty comes to comment on the katana that her fellow officers confiscated from Colleen when she was brought in. “It’s weird,” she says, but with a kind of smirk like it might be the cute kind of weird. After a discussion about Colleen’s ability to protect herself, she then returns the katana, in the middle of the police station, just in case. Misty also shows up to participate in Colleen’s final boss battle against her erstwhile mentor, which does not end well for her but it ends not-well for her in a way that people who have any awareness of the comics at all are super excited about because it means we are this much closer to The Daughters of the Dragon. That’s their team-up in the comics, and it’s probably going to replace Iron Fist once Danny (Finn Jones) dies of being such a big idiot.
  • Honestly, most of the interactions between women in this series are incredible. Claire and Misty? Perfect as always. Jess gets to bite Jeri’s (Carrie Anne Moss) head off which isn’t gay at all even though Jeri is, y’know, actually canonically gay but the yelling is always nice because Jeri is also awful. And then there is the good-bad of…
  • Alexandra (Sigourney Weaver) and Elektra (Elodie Yung), which is very very very very fucked up but also, they have a ridiculous amount of chemistry. You have to get kind of kinkshame-y because Alexandra keeps calling her “my child,” but like, you were already going to hell if you shipped this anyway so whatever. She is constantly touching her and fawning over her and they touch foreheads like four times and it is just absurd.
  • Elektra and Matt are also excellent and despite being m/f, also quite gay. I was not expecting the freight train of feelings I got about them after season 2 of Daredevil, but they have continued to ruin me all throughout this show too. They also do the forehead touching thing, which is my favorite thing in all the world for couples to do and if I hadn’t already been ride or die for them, that would have sealed the deal. I literally get incoherent talking about them but just, they have murdered me.

Silly things

  • Let’s start this with the necessary remarks about Danny freaking Rand. We hate him. We have been trying to slog through Iron Fist for continuity’s sake and also Colleen’s and Claire’s sakes, but as you can tell by the fact that we’ve never actually blogged about it we have not managed to get all the way through. This is not because of Colleen, who is in general fantastic and I’m so happy for Jessica Henwick especially after the thing that happened elsewhere (and the other thing that happened in another place, hi Lucasfilm, fuck you too) and I just really love this badass warrior who is still at heart something of a meliorist even though she’s seen all this terrible shit, and not because of Claire, who is 100% solid always, but because of (well, the supporting characters and plotlines – the Meachums we refer to as “garbage Lannisters,” for example, and not in a fond way – but mostly) Danny. Danny is just. Every bad thing. There is literally a scene in Iron Fist where he prays to Buddha. He prays. To. Buddha. There are countless edits and crops of Defenders promo material that remove Danny from the picture (thanks to one, this has earned the name “fenders,” which is appropriate because if you remove Danny it is the same thing as removing a big old d), because nobody likes him. And luckily, none of the other Defenders seem to really like him that much either. The first time Luke meets him, he immediately whoops his ass into the ground, and the only reason Danny wins is dumb luck and his magical glowstick hand. Jessica is constantly making fun of the name “Iron Fist” and calling him by different names (such as Ironside). Even Matt barely tolerates him, and Matt has a trophy in being a whiny douchebag sometimes. (We love him, but it’s true.) Unfortunately, Colleen’s one weak point is the fact that for some reason (narratively compulsory heterosexuality) she actually cares about him, but pretty much everyone else is done with him. And the show itself seems pretty done with him too. In fight scenes with the other characters, he basically acts as a video game NPC who only has like 3 programmed moves that he cycles through. He bounces around on his heels and throws fake punches that barely connect and it looks ridiculous. He’s somehow crucial to the main antagonists’ plan, but they literally only need him for his aforementioned magical glowstick hand. At one point Elektra straps him to a large metal dolly and totes him through the building, which prompted us to give him the nickname Large Box. But we guess he had to be there because there had to be someone to be useless.
  • Everybody except Jessica is so Extra about everything. The villains are Extra about their clothes and strutting around in silly villain outfits while looking as non-menacing as possible (seriously, Alexandra’s wardrobe is the most nonsensical couture I have ever seen). Elektra is Extra once she remembers who she is and takes over the Hand, and even before she swooshes her giant coat around in every battle like she’s the Phantom of the Opera or something. Matt and Danny are the most Extra people on the planet and will not cease angsting about their cities which are either dead (Danny’s) or in danger (Matt’s) and their shitty upbringings/dead parents. Matt also will not stop doing parkour in situations that don’t require parkour at all. Colleen is pretty cool, but she also walks around New York City with a katana casually strapped to her back. Even Luke gets in on it a little bit, when he’s angsting about how he wants to help the young people of Harlem avoid getting mixed up in the Hand’s business. Jessica is having absolutely none of this and makes fun of all of them at every opportunity.
  • Matt and Jess are also hilarious together. As actors, they have great platonic chemistry, and as characters, their temperaments are so constantly on opposite ends of the spectrum that it’s wonderful. Matt parkours into a building and Jess just gets on the elevator. Matt has a lot of feelings and Jess just wants a drink. There is so much banter.
  • The main group of villains is called the Hand. They’ve been a thing since season 1 of Daredevil, but the writers decided to just go to the next level of silly here and say that they have five leaders, who are called the Fingers. Grown adults unironically call each other the Hand and the Fingers. It is so goofy it loops back around to genius.

Other

  • Elodie Yung is transcendent.
  • Jessica Henwick is, as mentioned, the most wonderful.
  • Just about everyone is pretty great, honestly, but these two warrant special mention.

–your fangirl heroines.

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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.

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Sundry Sunday :: ECCC, day 3.

29 Mar

And first general pictures from the rest of the convention.  Because other people make kickass costumes too!

This is a picture of me with the only other plainclothes Peggy I saw.  By plainclothes I mean not in some variety of the military outfit or the blue suit/red hat combination from the first episode and promotional photography.  I saw dozens of either of those varieties, many of them wonderful, but there were no other alternative varieties.  So obviously, I had to take a picture with this one.

And then on Saturday, when Jemma, I got it in my mind that I wanted to take a picture fangirling over a Peggy.  When I found a Peggy, though, I wasn’t actually with any of my people so there was nobody to take the photo.  “Selfie?” this kind Peggy suggested.  So this is my fangirling selfie face, I guess.

I saw this Nick Fury and asked for a photograph.  “Oh!  Are you Jemma?” he asked.  He was the first person I’d spoken to all weekend who called her by her first name, and this was important to me, so while the ecstatic smile on my face is in character, it is also because I was genuinely happy.

FEMALE MOTORCYCLE GANG SAILOR SENSHI.

Some of the excellent Game of Thrones costumes I saw.

And speaking of Game of Thrones!  My everything friend in the Ygritte costume (with a bow and arrow set I recently modded), another friend in the Oberyn costume, and me in the updated Dany costume.  More on this later, and also pardon my face, I don’t have any other pictures of the other two from today on my own camera.

And these two as Bucky and Tasha.

ANYWAY.  Quick highlights: Chloe (who acknowledged our Skimmons enthusiastically and appreciated crafts thoroughly), Hayley (who was generally beautiful and sweet), Gina (who is a goddess), Finn Jones (who poor buddy was often lonely and thoroughly seemed delighted by the flower crown I gave him).  Panels were nice, walking was nice, seeing things was nice.  I saw a lot of costumes that I was incredibly impressed by but did not understand well enough to take a picture.  I made many line friends.  It was pleasant.

–your fangirl heroine.

Television Tuesday :: additional rules for the Game of Thrones drinking game

21 May

Original rules found here.

Creating drinking games for ongoing things is fun: there’s always the possibility for more rules.  Of course, not all of these need to be used (considering how many rules there are going to be for this one, it’s pretty much necessary to pick your poison), though there’s also the possibility that each rule will only get hit on once or twice an episode, so really, it’s your call.  And obviously there are components that are specific to certain seasons/plotlines/episodes, but that’s another reason it’s so variable.

One drink when:

  • More repeated phrases.
    “You know nothing, Jon Snow.”
    “It is known.”
    Variants on Dany’s (Emilia Clarke) “I am only a young girl” speech.
    Etcetera.  I’m sure there are ones I’m blanking on at the moment.
  • One character is writing or speaking in High Valyrian and another character inquires about it or observes that yes, in fact that is High Valyrian.
  • One character makes a personal promise to another.  This does not include things like promising to harm opponents of some stripe or political promises or general promises to a group, but rather specific promises of a personal nature.  These are noted because of their frequent tragic lack of follow-through.  Including, but not limited to:
    Ned (Sean Bean) promising to tell Jon (Kit Harington) about his mom the next time they see each other.
    (Or Benjen [Joseph Mawle] promising to have a talk with Jon when he returns from beyond the Wall.)
    Really anything that Drogo (Jason Momoa) says to Dany about their child.
    Margaery (Natalie Dormer) and Sansa (Sophie Turner) and Loras (Finn Jones) planning the Sansa/Loras wedding that wasn’t to be, really any of that can count.
    Robb (Richard Madden) promising Talisa (Oona Chaplin) that he’ll go to Volantis with her.
  • Really, it’s not just Cersei (Lena Headey) you can have a drink-along with.  Anyone is fair game, though Olenna (Diana Rigg) and Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) are also excellent candidates.

Competitive drinking categories (wherein each participant chooses certain characters/pairings that can count for a category and you see who gets hamsters fastest):

  • For characters: snark faces.  These can range anywhere from “you’ve got to be kidding” to “really?” to “bitch, please” to “oh, I am going to end you” to “ha ha, NOPE” to “I can’t believe words are still coming out of your mouth.”  And while really any character will make such a face at times, may I suggest particularly Cersei, Olenna, Ygritte (Rose Leslie), Shae (Sibel Kekilli), Arya (Maisie Williams), and Dany and any of the women who have been in her entourage (Irri [Amrita Acharia], Doreah [Roxanne McKee], Missandei [Nathalie Emmanuel]).  Actually… just of all the women.  Some of the dudes, too, but all of the women.
  • For pairings: longing gazes and/or subtext.  Considering how varyingly textual… well, most Game of Thrones pairings of choice are, and how many of the potential relationships that are expressed by paragraphs of musing and narration in the books are expressed by, well, gazes that are longing and/or flirtations and/or imploring and/or something else between either party, this is pretty easy.  (Even 100% textual couples do this sometimes, actually.)  As of the current season, Jaime (Nicolaj Coster-Waldau) and Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) are the most obvious choice, though my lady-tinted glasses also suggest that Margaery and Sansa could work.  Also, these only count if they are mutual.  One character’s unreturned longing gazes at another are not part of this.

–your fangirl heroine.

jeepers