Tag Archives: friends

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.

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Television Tuesday :: death on television (there isn’t always enough)

22 Nov

I’m not saying death is good.  It’s not.  But death is a part of life, it’s just something that exists no matter what.  And when characters go entire seasons without anyone they even remotely know dying, it just starts to feel unrealistic to me.  I don’t know.  Maybe I’m just morbid.

I’m the kind of girl whose reaction to television death is usually one of three things:

  1. Good!  That character deserved it, because they were bad and mean.
  2. NO!  My baby, you can’t die, I love you too much.
  3. I’m sad that you’ve died, yes, but I’m also applauding the writers having the courage to kill you off.

3 is my pretty constant refrain when watching, say, Buffy (I was originally going to make this a statistics problem, comparing how many people die in various television shows that represent various genres, but then I realized that it would take too long to count how many people die on Buffy, because seriously, SO many people die, random people and important people both; one of these days I will do Depressing Whedonverse Deaths, but that’s not today).  Lately, though, I’ve been attributing it to other things: True Blood, at least the last season (which we all know), and though Sons of Anarchy hasn’t killed off that many people, it’s putting a lot of people in near-death situations this season.

When characters are prone to dying on television, it’s more high-stakes, and that makes it more fun for me.  If I think that a character might actually die, I get tense, and I get more wrapped up in the story as a result.  If I think that a main character could die, I have to applaud the writers.  It’s not unheard of, but it’s rare.  (To say again how much I adored this last season of True Blood, I will just point out that they spent the first two seasons playing it pretty safe.  They killed off random waitresses that boinked people and random vampires and random hillbillies, they killed off their Big Bads.  Season three was a little more risky.  Season four, though… I mean, the season finale saw the deaths of how many characters in the opening credits?  Four?  And Marshall Allman, who played Tommy, had died previously, but was still in the credits, so that makes five. That’s a lot of death.)

Not every show has excuses for massacres, and that’s perfectly all right.  It makes more sense to have higher body counts on Buffy or True Blood or The Walking Dead or even Dollhouse, because of the nature of the programs.  There are monsters (or technology, or guns, or some combination thereof) that will kill you, period.  You don’t have to kill off everyone on, say, Mad Men, but I wouldn’t be opposed to someone not ancient (I’m looking at you, Ida Blankenship [Randee Heller]) getting killed off somehow.  (Not my girls, my Joanie [Christina Hendricks], Peggy [Elisabeth Moss], Sally [Kiernan Shipka], not Don [Jon Hamm], but someone… maybe a little bit less important but still important enough to have more than one episode’s worth of impact, like Greg [Sam Page].  He should die due to army things.)

Generally, the number of television deaths can be sorted out pretty easily:

  1. Anything Joss Whedon touches
  2. HBO
  3. Showtime/Starz/etc.
  4. Other programs about monsters or an apocalypse; sometimes war-related things too
  5. FX/AMC/etc.
  6. Miscellaneous medical/criminal dramas
  7. Network dramas
  8. Regular comedies, if you’re lucky
  9. Sitcoms (seriously.  During the entire run of Friends, less than ten characters died.  That’s not even one per season.)

I know.  I’m morbid.  I don’t even care.

–your fangirl heroine.

Television Tuesday :: 10 series finales and my thoughts regarding them

5 Oct

10. Friends, 10×20, “The Last One”
Friends… probably went on too long. I mean, ten seasons?  When they started trying to hook Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) and Joey (Matt Le Blanc) up when Rachel was having Ross’s (David Schwimmer) one-night stand baby, that was a sign they were probably running out of ideas or some such.  But Friends was a big, big part of my youth.  I remember watching parts of it when I was little and my parents changing the channel when it got too sexy (and then, rewatching those same episodes later – I’ve seen most of the earlier Friends episodes about seven times each – I’d go “really?  This isn’t even that bad”) and I remember when it ended.  I was in eighth grade, and it was a big deal.  I ­was bidding farewell to something I’d grown up with.  Not the toughest farewell I’ve endured over television time, but still farewell.

9. The Tudors, 4×10, “Death of a Monarchy”
It wasn’t as if it could have gone on longer.  The series was always going to last as long as Henry’s (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) life and wives did, and it wasn’t a particularly heartwrenching end since I knew that.  (I’m still hoping they do something with Mary [Sarah Bolger] and Elizabeth [Laoise Murray in her oldest incarnation] later, though adult Mary is a bit craycray – I absolutely adore the Mary & Elizabeth drama, though.)  They did a very good job with the end, though.  It was a good use of “ohai dead wives” and such things.  And that’s good, as I’d been worried that would be too cheesy.

8. Gilmore Girls, 7×22, “Bon Voyage”
Gilmore Girls is probably the first television program I felt seriously emotionally invested in (‘cause Sailor Moon doesn’t count) and I was genuinely sad when it ended.  My mom definitely cried; I didn’t, but I was sad nonetheless.  It was something we did together, Gilmore Girls every Tuesday (or sometimes whichever night we could once we had TiVo) and the end was upsetting. I was in high school by that point, getting to the place in life where I started thinking about the rest of my life, and though it was a not-entirely-fairytale ending, I was happy with it.  (Rory [Alexis Bledel] had been a hero of mine when I started watching the show, being very much like me in a lot of ways, but I felt like I didn’t know her as she grew up; her decision to put career over Logan [Matt Czuchry] and the fact that she didn’t change her mind to make for a happy romantic ending was one that made me feel like maybe there was a bit of my old Rory in there.)  A fitting ending to the show’s impressive seven season run.

7. United States of Tara, 3×12, “The Good Parts”
Tara was my favorite kind of comedy: quirky, occasionally morbid, quirky again, and dark as hell.  The finale didn’t disappoint in any of those regards.  We’d all been saying that yes, Tara (Toni Collette) needed to seek some very serious help after everything that went down this season.  She was definitely in a downward spiral.  But everyone’s lives were just spinning farther and farther from each other, between Charmaine (Rosemarie Dewitt) and Neil’s (Patton Oswalt) baby, Marshall (Keir Gilchrist) trying to figure out what to do with his life, Kate (Brie Larson) getting in touch with her grown-up self, all of Tara’s mess and how Max (John Corbett) had to deal with it.  They wrapped it up as best they could, and their decision to start “killing” alters when they got their cancellation notice was both writerly gutsy and fitting, in a way.

6. Dollhouse, 2×13, “Epitaph Two: Return”
Again, I didn’t cry.  I don’t cry. But I was this close to crying while watching this episode.  The last three episodes of Dollhouse are this endless parade of everyone I love most (Bennett [Summer Glau], Mellie [Miracle Laurie], Topher [Fran Kranz]… well, and Paul [Tahmoh Penikett] too, which was sudden and upsetting, though he was never on the tippy-top of my I love you list like the other three) getting killed in not particularly pleasant ways.  And I’ve always been of the mind that the “Epitaph” episodes of Dollhouse are some of the best ones: doing the first one with another season left, setting up that there’s this endgame that’s going to happen, was a brilliant, brilliant choice.  It made season two quite ominous, and I’m a fan of ominous television.  One of these days, I swear I really will do my giant love letter to the “Epitaphs,” but until then… just know.  This is a perfect finale in my morbid, weirdo opinion.

5. Rome, 2×10, “De Patre Vostro (About Your Father)”
Rome is one of those shows that just ended too damn soon.  I try not to be too angry about this, because HBO may pull things too quickly at times, but then they produce other amazing things too.  It’s a bit of a trade, but it’s one I’ll deal with.  Rome, though… they kept saying they were going to make a movie, but the most recent articles I could find online were from more than a year ago.  I’m not holding my breath, even though I’m pretty sure I’d shriek with delight if such a thing did come to be.  “De Patre Vostro” is my favorite kind of finale: it, too, is an endgame.  There are plenty of places a movie could go, but the series wrapped it up as best it could, and with a lot of death and sadness and a lot of people feeling the effects of the terrible things they’d done.  And Titus Pullo (Ray Stevenson) with his son that was allegedly Caesar’s, uttering the titular line of the episode as the credit music starts to roll and they walk off… perfect.

4. Firefly, 1×14, “Objects in Space” / Serenity
We Browncoats are lucky to have the follow-up in Serenity that we do, though a lot of people still have unanswered question angst.  (I’ve mentioned the Mal [Nathan Fillion] and Inara [Morena Baccarin] thing a thousand times, I’m sure, and I wouldn’t be opposed to seeing more of Simon [Sean Maher] and Kaylee [Jewel Staite] as an item; but really, a lot of peoples’ unanswered questions, like Shepherd Book’s [Ron Glass] history and the potential existence of a Wash [Alan Tudyk] and Zoe [Gina Torres] baby, can be answered in the various Serenity comics.  That’s my not-so-subtle way of begging everyone to read them.)  But, though there would have been much frustration had “Objects in Space” been the end end, I’m still of the mind that it’s a pretty perfect television episode in its own way.  For a hundred different reasons, between River (Summer Glau) being River and the manic but excellently written evilness of Jubal Early (Richard Brooks) and the amazing use of everyone’s being everyone and just… everything about it.  I’m glad that Serenity (and the comics) could wrap things up for us after the untimely departure of what I’m fairly sure is my favorite show of all time by now, but “Objects in Space” is a genius episode.

3. Deadwood, 3×12, “Tell Him Something Pretty”
Deadwood was supposed to have two movies made to wrap the series up, but HBO axed that plan.  Still, though, articles can be found online saying that there’s always an outside chance, and I think that, too, would be brilliant.  I have no idea what would happen, but I want to see what they come up with.  Again, I don’t expect it, but I can pray.  This episode is an endgame in a way as well: not a lot of people die (but… sob, Ellsworth [Jim Beaver] – sob) but a lot of people’s lives as they know them end.  Alma (Molly Parker) and Sofia (Bree Seanna Wall) leave the camp, Trixie (Paula Malcomson) and Sol’s (John Hawkes) relationship changes, Seth (Timothy Olyphant) isn’t going to be the sheriff anymore.  Changes, man.  Beautiful, heartwrenching changes… it doesn’t entirely feel complete, but it’s fairly perfect nonetheless.

2. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, 7×22, “Chosen”
We’ve all gotten to read my rant about the potential Slayer business before, so I’ll spare everyone that again.  Though there are the season eight and now season nine comics (which I desperately need to get, and nobody’s railing against them can convince me otherwise – I don’t care if Dawn turns into a centaur and Angel’s calling himself Twilight now, I just… I need to know for myself, okay?) “Chosen” is a pretty definite end.  It’s the end of Sunnydale, it’s the end of a lot of characters (and as much as I love Spike [James Marsters], I was… surprisingly a little sadder about Anya [Emma Caulfield] – I think it’s sudden deaths that get me more, not necessarily knowing, semi-premeditated sacrifices… though, y’know, those can be devastating too and I’m totally not just thinking about my Topher, nope), it’s the end of a plotline and a two-season set that a lot of people questioned.  I’ve heard it said that the show might have been better ending with “The Gift,” and I can see that, but I trust that Joss knows what he’s doing with his worlds, and when he has more time, I’m not gonna complain.  Even if more time means more heartbreak and angst both for the characters and the viewers.

1. The Sopranos, 6×21, “Made in America”
From what I’ve seen and heard, the reactions to this episode were extremely mixed.  Some people loved the ambiguous ending; some people were outraged.  But I tend to side more with the “love it” camp.  Ambiguous is the name of the game with these people.  A sense that maybe it’s not all real, that maybe anything could happen, that maybe the family (James Gandolfini, Edie Falco,  Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Robert Iler) going to die tomorrow or maybe they’re going to live to be a hundred and two years old… you don’t know.  They don’t know.  They can’t know, it’s the nature of their lifestyle.  And I feel like this episode celebrates that: the last few episodes of the series feel like they’re building to something terrible, that doom is going to take place in twelve different ways, but building to nothing is almost more foreboding, in my opinion.  That’s how they live, and it’s brilliant.

–your fangirl heroine.