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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

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Television Tuesday :: 2014 in television (some missed opportunities and some positive things)

30 Dec

Missed opportunities

Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll) and Adilyn (Bailey Noble)
Because while I was mad at gorram True Blood from the get-go thanks to the Tara (Rutina Wesley) situation that I’ve already discussed at length, the first episode at least did have one situation with promise, the one with Jessica and Adilyn.  While I still hate what happened to the other Bellefleur girls (I think I care about the auxiliary Bellefleur girls more than everyone else in fandom combined, and I’ve come to terms with this fact, but but aren’t they a missed opportunity too wouldn’t you watch the shit out of a show about baby fairies who embody tumblr and look at the world through fresh eyes and therefore are optimistic about most things while also not understanding manners 100% of the time and I’ve spent too much time thinking about this I’m so sorry) I hate more that this situation was never really resolved.  Jessica felt guilty and swore to protect Adilyn, then after Adilyn was drawn into the actual most horrible kidnap scene they… didn’t say anything to each other ever again.  Adilyn didn’t even attend Jessica’s bullshit wedding, despite the fact that it was in the daytime and Adilyn’s father was presiding over it.  What could have been an interesting, complicated friendship (with undertones?) was basically a plot device that was thrown to the side in favor of both girls getting shoehorned into unnecessary heterosexual romantic relationships that consumed their entire characters.

the entirety of Sons of Anarchy, tbh
Sons was never my favorite show, but it didn’t used to annoy me as much as it did by its final season.  And maybe some of that was just that I was blindingly mad about the Tara (Maggie Siff) situation, or that I got increasingly frustrated that I couldn’t play “how is it Hamlet” nearly as well, or maybe it was just that when every episode is two hours long it stops meaning anything that they’re that long, or maybe I don’t know anymore, but it just felt so unnecessarily drawn out.  Also increasingly sentimentalist and with an increasingly laughable score.  “I think Sons might have been better served as a three season show,” I mused, causing one of my people to berate me for questioning the creator’s artistic vision, but it stands.

all of these dead people
All of them.  Even the ones on shows I don’t technically watch.  Special shoutout to Amber Mills (Natalie Hall), who for some reason I am also really bitter about, because I mean, Sarah Newlin’s black sheep-y vampire sister could have been such an interesting storyline and… nothing.  Also, obviously, Isabelle (Lucy Lawless).  Poor thing.

the damn Orson’s beetles scene
You know.  The one before Tyrion’s (Peter Dinklage) trial where he talks to his brother Jaime (Nicolaj Coster-Waldau) about his cousin Orson smashing beetles.  And it lasts for something like four minutes and it does absolutely nothing to further the plot in my read.  This has actually become a thing with my mom and I: pointless scenes happen in media and we turn to each other and say “Orson’s beetles.”  It’s a code.  And anyway it’s a missed opportunity because that scene is, uh, not about Orson’s beetles in the books, it’s about something important that they just sort of ignored in the show and I’m not sure how that’s going to play out in the future and that scares me.

Positive things

sometimes SHIELD and ladies
It’s had its failures and its questionable moments as regard ladies (see also the above dead people collage) but when it gets things right, it really gets things right.  Jemma (Elizabeth Henstridge) saving everyone else and herself with her porcelain-ivory-steel-skinned resolve and her scientific knowhow?  Melinda (Ming-Na Wen) kicking all of the ass (hey remember that time she made a joke about how she was always on top when she and Ward [Brett Dalton] banged while beating his ass I do) and also being an important supportive figure to the entire team but especially Skye (Chloe Bennet)?  Skye growing from awestruck mouthy hacker baby to capable snarky take-no-shit agent to honest to gods superhero?  Raina (Ruth Negga) who was originally supposed to be a one-off character becoming this compelling-as-hell not quite villainous queen of moral gray areas and wide-eyed faith?  Thank you, guys.

the following Game of Thrones things

  • Oberyn (Pedro Pascal) taking time out of his busy bisexual orgy schedule to explain bisexuality (and his bisexuality specifically) to Olyvar the boywhore (Will Tudor).
  • Varys (Conleth Hill) taking time out of his busy confusing scheming schedule to explain his asexuality to Oberyn.
  • Oberyn in general.  Pretty much all of his stuff was perfect.
  • Ygritte’s (Rose Leslie) death scene.  I mean, I know that scene in the book inside and out, so there were lines I missed (why, why, why did they go to the trouble of including the “is that a castle?” “no, it’s a windmill” part in season three if they didn’t have Ygritte asking Jon [Kit Harington] “is this a castle?” while she was dying in his arms) but overall it was well handled and I wasn’t disappointed.
  • Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel) and Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson) and their out-of-nowhere crush thing.  Normally it would annoy me if they wrote crushes in that weren’t book canon, especially because in the books Missandei is a ten-year-old, but this was handled tactfully and sweetly and also, if by default, is an asexual romance!
  • The rest of this list.

–your fangirl heroine.

taking no shit today thank you

Television Tuesday :: it’s that time again!

8 Apr

I am overall content with the season four premiere of Game of Thrones.  Nothing egregiously confusing happened, and so far everything is still in a place where it could sort of wind up in more or less the place it needs to be?  Ish?  It’s hard because there are three sides of me at play: the person genuinely going “this is a well-made television program and the actors and technical crew do a nice job,” the social analyst going “okay I have to pay attention to what elements of this are problematic,” and the book fan going “time to notice every single thing that is different.”  So here is a list of things that I am content with in specific.

6.  Jon (Kit Harington) and his wildling accent
Did you notice that?  He killed with wildlings, ate with wildlings, traveled with wildings, lay with a wildling girl, and now he’s dropping his g’s like a wildling.  Linguistics!

5.  Oberyn (Pedro Pascal) and Ellaria (Indira Varma) being clearly bisexual
The book does mention their regular group sex endeavors, but I had been absolutely terrified that these were going to turn into “Oberyn bangs multiple people, one of whom is Ellaria” instead of “Oberyn and Ellaria bang multiple people.”  And when they went to Littlefinger’s brothel for said group sex endeavor, Ellaria kissed the girl and Oberyn was making advances on the boy.  (“So he’s gay and she’s a lesbian?” one of my friends asked.  “No!  Rampant bisexuality!” I shrieked gleefully.)  And said rampant bisexuality was then proved when Oberyn and Ellaria made out with each other a few seconds later.  Oberyn and Ellaria being bisexual is very important to me and so I’m glad that we got at least a glimpse of it (even though that girl prostitute probably didn’t need to be totally naked but still).

4.  The scene with Sansa (Sophie Turner) and Tyrion (Peter Dinklage)
The first trailer that showed Sansa upset and talking to Tyrion, saying that she lies awake thinking of what happened to her mother and Robb, made me very nervous.  Why, I wondered, would Sansa be confessing her feelings to Tyrion, except for the thing of how the television show likes to make Tyrion nicer than he is.  (I don’t dislike Tyrion, I think he’s very interesting, but the show has multiple times made him nicer or done things to make him seem better at the narrative expense of other characters, namely Sansa.)  “The only way this would be okay,” I said to my mother after we had watched this particular trailer three times in a row, “is if once she’s done saying that, she gets up and walks away, leaving him there.”  And, wouldn’t you know it?  That actually is what happened.  Sansa expressed her reasons for being upset and then left (“I don’t pray anymore.  [The Godswood is] the only place I can go where people don’t talk to me”).  And that was at least the best option at that point.

3.  Scenes with ladies.
Namely, ones that did not appear in the books specifically.  Dany (Emilia Clarke) asking Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel) about Meereen (tangent not pertaining to just-ladies: was Daario implying that Grey Worm had a crush on Missandei??  I… think he was?  I am not going to say what I think the ideal outcome for this would be, because then it won’t happen).  Margaery (Natalie Dormer) both with Olenna (Diana Rigg) and Brienne (Gwendoline Christie).  Ygritte (Rose Leslie) and… well, Tormund (Kristofer Hivju), who is a dude, but still.  I am perfectly okay with the addition of scenes like this.

2.  Cersei (Lena Headey) and Jaime (Nicolaj Coster-Waldau)
Just… in general.  A+ jobs guys I was good with it.

1.  All!  The!  Exposition!
And backstory and what have you.  Oberyn talking to Tyrion about what happened in the past with Elia (as pertained to Rhaegar, as pertained to Gregor Clegane, as a catalyst for his vengeance-seeking, etcetra).  Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) reading from the book about the Kingsguard, mentioning things that hadn’t really been mentioned before but are good to know.  Lots of conversations here and there that pertained to either things that happened pre-show or previously in the show, making motivations and history quite clear.  That was so welcome and good.

–your fangirl heroine.

nergirl awe

Television Tuesday :: an HBO season transition (two lists of 5)

18 Jun

Once, a friend and I were on a cross-country roadtrip with my family.  We were at Disneyland and had been waiting in line for the Peter Pan ride for about forty-five minutes in the sun, not moving and surrounded by shrieking children, when we invented a game: it was called the Optimism Game, and it consisted of just… thinking positively.  Things like “hey, we’re at Disneyland!” and “it’s a beautiful day!” and “the tour book said this was a cool ride!” and “when we’re done we can go get milkshakes!”  We continued to play this game during the rest of our trip, combating minor annoyances with ineffable cheerfulness.

I find myself thinking about this game sometimes in life, and I think that’s how I’m going to talk about this season of Game of Thrones.  Like a trip to Disneyland, I do adore Game of Thrones and can chat about it for hours, but like waiting in a terribly long line in the hot sun, sometimes I have aggravations.  I’ve rage-tagged my biggest ones on tumblr and alluded to them here as well; other parts of the internet can and do talk much more intelligently about other weirdnesses that left a funny taste in my mouth.  But there are lovely things, too, and so here is a list of five things I found lovely this season, of varying relevance and size.

5. my khaleesi being awesome.
As before discussed (I also wrote a term paper on this scene, analyzing sentence structures in book vs. TV show, and it was the most exhausting paper I’ve probably ever written, but it was worth it).

4. continuity parallels.
The best ones that I can think of: the time that Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel) and Dany (Emilia Clarke) were talking about languages (which was actually just a great little scene in general, because friends) and Dany mispronounced the same Dothraki word that she’d been struggling with in season one when Irri (Amrita Acharia) was trying to teach her things and the time that Gilly (Hannah Murray) told Sam (John Bradley) that he was like a wizard because he could learn things from marks on paper, as in his books, and Sam had specifically said back in season one that when he was a little boy he’d wanted to be a wizard.  Both times, I paused the television and flailed my hands around going “awwww,” because that was lovely.  (Continuity in a larger sense, for example with characters and how they would behave, is not always a thing this show has been super-excellent at [she said, frenziedly pointing at a certain rage-tagged thing], so I get excited when they have it and it’s cute.)

3. Margaery (Natalie Dormer) and her subtext.
Naturally, I am referring to the subtext that my lady-tinted glasses helps me spot.  A friend pointed out that another of her friends had mentioned that yellow roses with red tips (the flower that Margaery handed Sansa [Sophie Turner]) meant, well.  Here’s a good description from goldflorist.com: “a yellow rose with red petal tips could indicate that you are falling into love from friendship or a plain indication of falling in love with the person you are presenting them to.”  Taaaake that as you will, but that was the same scene in which she mentioned to Sansa that some women like pretty girls (nudge, nudge?) and talked about the complicated art of pleasing women.  I have been by no means active in the “Margaery likes girls” movement, but I fully support the cause and tout it at all possible opportunities.

2. Jaime (Nicolaj Coster-Waldau) and Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) in the baths.
That scene.  That scene, though.  One of my people (who is very much not of the internet and rarely does such things) turned into the most spectacular Jamie/Brienne shipper somewhere along the line, and I mean, I definitely am right there with.  I admit I didn’t really have a lot of particular Jaime feelings until Brienne started having them in the books, so it was sort of an adjustment to enter season three actually sometimes having Jaime feelings.  But that scene, just one guy sitting in a bathtub and talking while an excellent lady listened and emoted, was beautiful and heart-wrenching.

1. Jon (Kit Harington) and Ygritte (Rose Leslie) just… in general.
“I want you to know,” I told a friend who hasn’t read the books before the season began, “There was a moment in A Storm of Swords, a specific noticeable moment, where I fell in love with Jon Snow.  I’ve always liked him well enough, but after this, I… officially love him.  And you know I don’t say that lightly about dude characters.”  This was me talking about the cave scene, which is short but fills me with joy.  One of my people and I were warning others that from that scene on, there was not likely to be much happiness to look forward to.  But this is the thing about Jon and Ygritte: some of their stuff is cute and some of it pains me at my very core, but I think the show did it pretty well.  Not perfectly because there is no such thing, and they did change some details, but overall, it made me feel what it was supposed to make me feel approximately when it was supposed to make me feel it.

Now.  When Game of Thrones ends, True Blood begins, and when True Blood begins, I’m writing about it a lot.  Here are five things I thought and/or talked about while watching the premiere episode.

5. aw, Luna (Janina Gavankar).
As per Sunday’s Westeros logic, one of my people and I shrugged at each other when the other person asked “is she really gonna be dead?”  I dunno, probably.  That would be a bummer, I liked her pretty well and also Janina Gavankar has a nice face, but I’ve been kind-of sort-of emotionally prepared for Luna to get killed off since the middle of last season, so although it’s probably awful to say, it wouldn’t be the biggest of surprises to me.

4. this is the thing about Eric Northman (Alexander Skarsgard).
I am full-naming him because I am being very serious right now.  Sometimes this man is an asshole, Tara (Rutina Wesley) was right.  Of my always boys, he is easily the biggest asshole, and I know this.  I do not excuse it, but I acknowledge it as a fact, because when someone is one of my own, I try to acknowledge both their positive and negative qualities.  But anyway.  Sometimes this man is an asshole, and there is no denying this.  But he is also sometimes not an asshole, and I think it is a learning process: in the earlier seasons, he was definitely like “hey hey Sookie innuendos and stuff~” but then gradually and largely due to magical mind-wiping and lessons learned from it he is now in a place of “okay I am disappointed but I respect your wishes,” and that’s cool.  Attraction at first sight, love gradually (about this, Nora [Lucy Griffiths] was right, and I rather assume that she’s one of the best ones to know these things about him).  Yes, he was an asshole toward Pam (Kristin Bauer van Straten) and I do not deny this, and it makes me a bit sad because I don’t like it when Eric and Pam are on the outs, but you can’t win them all, I guess.

3. Pam and Tara.
Pam and Tara fighting evil, Pam crying her angry tears and Tara snuggling her, Pam and Tara banging on the beach soon after even though we didn’t see it, Pam and Tara fighting with each other because they both have personal opinions and background reasons for how they deal with relationship stuff, Pam and Tara Pam and Tara Pam and Tara.  We sort of got cliffhangered with them, but I’m not too worried yet.

2. Nora, obviously.
My darling.  Of course Pam and Nora don’t get along, and I mean it’s bothersome on one hand because they’re my favorites, but on the other hand Pam doesn’t get along with anyone.  Except sometimes Eric and sometimes Tara.  It feels pretty right.  Pam doesn’t like being ordered around, but in the particular situation it made perfect sense for Nora to be ordering around.  And wow, though, the narrative needs Nora right now.  Yes, Nora was part of the whole Lilith-crazed Authority mess that paved the way for this season, so that’s a thing, and while she had a pretty legitimate arc just over last season alone which was excellent, she has a very personal need to atone and make amends in the grander scheme of the world.  Is Nora the one who’s thinking the most practically about the Billith situation?  Probably-maybe.  Is Nora the one who’s least tied to any particular emotional implications in the situation?  Oh, yeah.  Really her only ties are to Eric and to atoning for stuff, but that means that she can be Mission Girl right now, and probably someone has to be.  (Also, I like that in the course of a conversation, she both talked about how basically she had done her research and snarked at Eric for not having ever done any himself.)

1. a… certain thing about Bill (Stephen Moyer) and Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll).
Me in an email to a friend, discussing my thoughts about this thing after the first time I watched the episode: “…now I’m just having really vague and uncomfortable Baelish and Sansa-situation feelings sort of.”
One of my people to the group at large after our viewing tonight (hers and my second, the others’ first), with a very loaded tone of voice that we both use when what we mean is that we are thinking about Game of Thrones-related stuff: “Is this reminding anyone else of something?”
That same person, elaborating later on that being reminded (pardon me I am probably not getting the exact phrasing right): “I’m just thinking get away from her, Littlefinger.”

–your fangirl heroine.

oh i see

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

Television Tuesday :: odds of functional romance appearing on 6 currently/recently airing television shows

14 Feb

Pretty simple.  But as of tonight, how many relationships are currently actually functional on television?

6. The Walking Dead
The only “relationships” right now are really Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies) and then Glenn (Steven Yeun) and Maggie (Lauren Cohan).  Neither of which is functional entirely.  Rick and Lori are together right now, but Lori did kind of think that Rick was dead and sleep with his best friend a bunch.  Glenn and Maggie were initiated by apocalypse doom.  Sure, she may love him, and he might love her too even if he didn’t say it.  But it’s not really functional yet.  There aren’t actually a lot of relationships on this show, but the ones that are… yeah.

5. Game of Thrones
Nope.  Weirdly enough, Dany (Emilia Clarke) and Drogo (Jason Momoa) were actually fairly functional.  Sure, she was given to him by her creepy brother to finance his power games, but they figured out a thing and were sort of working it?  And then he died.  Catelyn (Michelle Fairley) and Ned (Sean Bean) were functional, but then he died.  Cersei (Lena Headey) and Robert (Mark Addy) weren’t functional, and he died anyway.  Sansa (Sophie Turner) and Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) were never functional either, because they are children and also he’s a d-bag.  And Cersei and Jaime (Nicolaj Coster-Waldau) weren’t functional, because they’re brother and sister.  No chance of happy relationships here, nope.

4. Boardwalk Empire
I don’t care that Margaret (Kelly Macdonald) and Nucky (Steve Buscemi) got married.  They’re not functional.  He’s a gangster, she slept with Owen (Charlie Cox) that time, it’s doomed.  Jimmy (Michael Pitt) and Angela (Aleksa Palladino) weren’t functional, because they didn’t really love each other much anymore and he was a gangster and she was a lesbian and also he boned his mom.  And then they both got shot.  Lucy (Paz de la Huerta) ran out on her baby arrangement with Van Alden (Michael Shannon), who split up with his wife Rose (Enid Graham).  Etcetera.

3. Sons of Anarchy
Basically, on this show you’re either a criminal (Clay [Ron Perlman], Jax [Charlie Hunnam]) or you’re craycray (Gemma [Katey Sagal], Tara [Maggie Siff]).  Might be good for a little while, but it’s tinged with doom all over.  I don’t doubt that Jax and Tara can be forever-for-a-while loves, but they’ll never be functional.

2. True Blood
And on this show, you’re either a vampire, sleeping with a vampire, or damaged by some elaborate scheme involving vampires.  Eric (Alexander Northman) and Sookie (Anna Paquin) were having great sex, but then she decided that was a bad idea, after previously deciding that Bill (Stephen Moyer) was also a bad idea.  No relationship that girl is in can be functional, I’m pretty sure.  Jason (Ryan Kwanten) slept with Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll) after Jess broke up with his best friend Hoyt (Jim Parrack), and also the whole Crystal (Lindsay Pulsipher) mess, and every mess before that.  Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis) and Jesus (Kevin Alejandro) were fairly functional, actually, but then Jesus was murdered.  Tara (Rutina Wesley) had a string of bad relationships, but she actually seemed sort of stable with her girlfriend Naomi (Vedette Lim) until they had that whole “oops, I lied about my identity”/”run for your own good” thing and Tara got shot.  Etcetera.  No chances here, either.

1. Justified
And until tonight’s episode, I’d have said “sometimes, you do re-find love with your pregnant ex-wife!”  As weird as the Raylan (Timothy Olyphant) and Winona (Natalie Zea) history was, they seemed to be working it out, but, uhm.  Possibly just kidding.  Boyd (Walton Goggins) and Ava (Joelle Carter) have a weird kind of criminal hillbilly love, but by virtue of the fact that they’re criminals… nope, not stable either.

I just watch the most functional-romance incompatible television shows.

–your fangirl heroine.

Monster Monday :: 11 brief and highly cracky imaginings of fictional characters as vampires.

6 Feb

If, you know, we’re doing a lot of drugs and inventing the most messed-up crossover fiction of all time or something.  AKA, this list is essentially terrible fanfiction, and I know that.   But it stems from that AU meme that was floating around tumblr ages ago, and thoughts I had then, and when I have these offhand thoughts, they sometimes become lists, and… well.  As always, I’m just imagining them along the lines of Buffy or True Blood vampires, because that’s what I know best, but I’m not trying to insert them into those canons, just in the style of, and I do apologize again for the ridiculous.  I just think that we’re possibly overdue for some crack.  Or… something.

11. Basically anyone from Game of Thrones
I’m imagining this like a fantasy realm True Blood, essentially.  The same sorts of King/Queen powerplays and all that, and still a lot of bloody decapitation and stuff.  I don’t know if it would actually be that different of a story.  The various gruesome killings would just be different in nature.  Cersei (Lena Headey) and Jaime (Nicolaj Coster-Waldau) could have an even more messed-up dynamic.  Dany (Emilia Clarke) would be from a non-vampire family and marry into vampirism.  And get really good at it, in her way, because she is a badass.  Sansa (Sophie Turner) could do some things that would be awesome, even if I don’t know what they would be.  Yes.

10. …or anyone from Boardwalk Empire
Margaret (Kelly Macdonald) resists letting Nucky (Steve Buscemi) turn her for a while, but then she gives in.  Every gangster is always a vampire.  They deal in blood instead of liquor.  Or they deal in liquor anyway and laugh at all the humans.  Again, sort of like True Blood.

OH MY GOSH I don’t know how it happened that I typed this entire post out, and all of it disappeared but the first two number points, and I’m just now realizing this.  Formatting, what.  Embarrassment, quick fixing.  Apologizing for this ridiculous, but not nearly as much as in draft one.  So.

9. …or anyone from Deadwood
Not everyone, but a lot of them.  Al (Ian McShane) and Cy (Powers Boothe) would be vampire pimps.  Jane (Robin Weigert) would be human, but Joanie (Kim Dickens) would be a vampire, so it would be awkward in that “Joanie is kind of an old-timey whore lady!Angel sometimes” way.  Sol (John Hawkes) would be human, but Trixie (Paula Malcomson) would be a vampire, so it would be awkward in that “Trixie could totally be an old-timey whore lady!Spike sometimes” way.  Seth (Timothy Olyphant) could be the neighborhood werewolf.

8, 7. Betty and Don Draper (January Jones and Jon Hamm, Mad Men)
Don would be sired in the war or something, and he would sire Betty out of loneliness.  Theirs would be a relationship of awkward, but they’d think it would work, and their vampire-marriage would go on a while before crash-landing.  It would be like canon, but without children and with vampirism.

6. Babydoll (Emily Browning, Sucker Punch)
And then the High Roller would ACTUALLY BE DON DRAPER, and would go to the brothel (this is ignoring the first level of reality altogether) and while he and Baby were having their consensual deleted scene sex, he’d consensually turn her.  And then she’d contemplate getting revenge on everyone who’d wronged her, but she’d eventually decide just to spend a while protecting Sweet Pea (Abbie Cornish) from things that go bump in the night.  At a distance.  Going from lady!Spike to lady!Angel.

5, 4. Envy Adams and Gideon Graves (Brie Larson and Jason Schwartzman, Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World)
It would be like that terrible movie Suck, except instead of all being vampires, the members of the Clash at Demonhead would all be different supernatural things.  Envy would let Gideon sire her.  Todd (Brandon Routh) would just be his crazed vegan self.  Lynette the drummer (Tennessee Thomas) would be a werewolf or something.  They would try to be famous and hip.  Gideon would want to sire Ramona (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), though, and that would not go over well with her.

3. YoSaffBridge (Christina Hendricks, Firefly)
Three reasons: psychopaths make the best vampires, she would be amazing with the gift of thrall, and this.  Because…

2, 1. Alpha and Whiskey (Alan Tudyk and Amy Acker, Dollhouse)
Which is here.  Alpha/Whiskey is this twisted, terrible-for-all-involved, sadistic doom kind of ship, but I think it could work in a weird-ass vampire context where out of desperation, Alpha printed Crystal back into Whiskey (with a few modifications, probably) and then sired her.  They could go on crazy adventures.  They could team up with vampire YoSaffBridge and be like a vampiric Joker+Harley+Ivy team, but minus the obvious abuses and the Harley/Ivy undertones.  It could be demented and bloody and kind of neat.

So yes.

–your fangirl heroine.