Tag Archives: peter dinklage

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

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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

Spoiler Alert Saturday :: my thoughts on Knights of Badassdom

15 Feb

I have been waiting for this movie for a while now, and… well, I finally had an opportunity to see it (a one night only screening in my town, which was at least to its credit sold out) and, all right.

When I first started hearing about it back in the day, I wasn’t really thinking about things in the same way I am now, so yeah, I found things in this movie I could have done without (in this way, it was an accurate representation of “nerd culture,” yes):

  • yeah, it would have been nice if there were more characters who were not white dudes.  Case in point, the following.
    Pro: I don’t recall them mentioning Danny Pudi’s character Lando’s ethnicity in the script, which is on one hand nice because at least a deal was not made of it.
    Con: Lando was one of the first to die.
    Pro: Summer Glau’s character Gwen was one of the survivors.
    Pro: she was not fridged.
    Con: she stayed alive to have a romantic potential with Ryan Kwanten’s character Joe.
    Con: the fact that Gwen was in fact a woman was mentioned on multiple separate occasions.
    Etcetera.
  • regarding the instance of bisexuality.
    Pro: the line that was basically “yeah, as long as you’re having fun, it’s okay, but the second I get into it it becomes unacceptable” regarding the (Asian) girl, Andie (Khanh Doan) and her boyfriend’s offscreen threesome with another girl.
    Pro: bisexual Asian girl.
    Con: immediate makeouts with the demon in Margarita Levieva’s body (used presumably as les-yay).
    Con: immediate makeouts leading to dead bisexual girl.
  • regarding Summer Glau’s character in general.
    Pro: had a sense of humor (turned Steve Zahn’s Eric’s assessment of her ass right around into banter, for example) and kicked ass.
    Con: got her ass assessed (the once literally, other times via camera pans and whatnot).
    Pro: also turned Joe’s “it’s good of you to support your boyfriend’s interests” around on its ear and seemed to genuinely enjoy LARPing.
    Con: did so because Gunther (Brett Gipson) was her cousin and was snarky about the “nerdier” aspects of LARPing a couple of times, possibly just in a self-deprecating way but still unnecessarily.

And overall etcetera.

But cons aside, it was an amusing movie, and it was pretty much what I expected.  And it was just nice to see so many people from so many things I like all in one place (by virtue of the fact that W. Earl Brown was there, it even hit the Deadwood mafia quota).  It looked like it would have been a fun movie to film.  And it was nice knowing that as many people as turned out for it did.

–your fangirl heroine.

judging the fuck out of everyone in this room

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

Fictional Friday :: 6 ruling bodies that have made me wary of fictional ruling bodies as a whole

22 Feb

I am not, as I have said before, an inherently political person.  I have opinions, but there are only certain debates I feel comfortable getting into.  But I have learned, maybe this is just the nature of the fiction I partake of, to be exceptionally suspicious of the ruling bodies therein, especially the ones who say that they are doing things for the good of their citizens.  They might think they are, even, but I tend toward skepticism nonetheless, because it almost never ends well.

6. The s2-current and recent past political crowd of King’s Landing (Game of Thrones and also the books)
Because I don’t think anyone’s pretending that Robert (Mark Addy) was exactly aces as a king, and Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) is so very much not a good king.  And while the others are interesting, and some of them like Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) actually know what they’re doing sort of, and some of them like Cersei (Lena Headey) are cool in an antagonist way, and some of them like Ned (Sean Bean) had good intentions, it’s a mess.  Political crowd: actual rulers, those on the council, others.  Also, I am inherently suspicious of any group of thinkers that Baelish (Aidan Gillen) is a part of, because he is interesting and maybe reading more will change my opinion, but right now he just makes me uncomfortable.

5. The Watcher’s Council (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
There’s a reason, after all, that Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar) disowned them.  I like to imagine a nicer world where the Council could be this cool thing where people who aren’t Slayers but are dedicated to fighting supernatural evil an really like books and whatnot could band together to help Slayers do their thing, but that isn’t the way of it in canon.  The Council is controlling and generally not with the times, these or any other; they’re more concerned with the superficial acceptability of circumstances than the reality of what the Slayers do, and that’s not helpful.

4. The Authority (True Blood)
I think I’ve made this point plenty of times, no?  Even before season 5, when all we really knew of them was Nan Flanagan (Jessica Tuck) and a group of vampires sitting before a screen with their backs to us, the Authority seemed ominous.  The sitting before a screen thing is actually not unlike the SHIELD board in The Avengers (they are not on this list because I don’t know enough about them to discuss them beyond this mention, but I’m sure they very well could be did I know more) and tends to be a good visual representation of, again, those who are Not With The Times.  They’re detached from the reality of their constituents.  And as season 5 teaches, yep, the Authority is very much that.  Nora (Lucy Griffiths) says as much, and while she probably was being snarky because of her at-that-point secret Lilith thing, it was an apt observation.  Roman (Christopher Meloni) was so focused on an ideal that he wasn’t 100% dealing with what was actually being done, and then it all went to Lilith hell and they were all wonky because of that.  So, kind of a lose-lose.

3. Rossum (Dollhouse)
I should also clarify something: Rossum, like Angel‘s Wolfram and Hart, is a company.  Yes.  Rossum is on this list and Wolfram and Hart isn’t because (I still don’t know all of the ways that Wolfram and Hart is heinous yet and) Rossum canonically infiltrates the government, i.e. their world’s technical ruling body.  And then they start an apocalypse and preside over that.  Starting a full-blown apocalypse so you have a sad little hill (or, you know, whole world) to be the sad little king of is one of the lowest possible things you can do.  And that’s what it basically comes down to with them.

2. The Ministry of Magic (Harry Potter)
The distrust of the Ministry is established pretty early overall, and it just gets worse and worse.  These guys are easily corruptible, they’re highly fallible, they’re highly shallow, and eventually, they get pretty malicious.  It’s a fairly convoluted issue, the Ministry (or rather the British Ministry; other countries have Ministries of Magic too, but they don’t get much discussed), so if you want, here’s the wiki page.  Half of the items on this list are Whedonverse, because there is an innate distrust of ruling groups in Whedonverse mythologies, but I think it’s interesting that overall, this distrust spans a reasonable range of fantasy/sci-fi subgenres.  Fake medieval times, technology issues, vampire issues (on both sides), magic issues, future governments.  Network TV, epic series novels, cable TV, novels for adults and novels that at least started as being for children.  It’s found in many places.

1. The Alliance (Firefly/Serenity)
These guys get to be number one because they hit every single reason that other items are on this list.  They’re an evil government, they meddle, they directly and adversely affect the lives of characters, they are the sole overarching antagonist of their canon, they have many sub-contracting evildoers involved, they don’t start an apocalypse per se but they are responsible for the creation of evil space zombies, they do start a war.  They are the essential questionable ruling body.

–your fangirl heroine.

crying times

Television Tuesday :: the Game of Thrones drinking game

9 Oct

So, like always: this is meant with love, and it’s pick your poison (how strong of liquor, sips or shots, how many of the criteria you want to follow), and depending on what poison you pick, it could probably get you way to hamsters.  Some are more slanted toward season one, others to season two, but still.

One drink when:

  • House words.  You get “winter is coming” the most, and some of the house words aren’t really uttered much at all, but any are fair game.
  • Other repeated phrases, including but not limited to:
    “A Lannister always pays his debts.”
    “The night is dark and full of terrors.”
    “There must always be a Stark in Winterfell.”
    Any part of the Night’s Watch creed.
    Hell, if you were really feeling adventurous, you could even toss in Dothraki endearments, “blood of my blood” and “my sun and stars” and “moon of my life” and whatnot.
  • Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) gets slapped or reprimanded.  Because it’s so satisfying.
  • Someone, probably a dude, is called on their gō se, probably by a lady.  (Tyrion [Peter Dinklage] called on his by Shae [Sibel Kekilli].  Jon Snow [Kit Harington] called on his by Ygritte [Rose Leslie].  Jaqen [Tom Wlaschiha] called on his by Arya [Maisie Williams].  This one, being rather a matter of opinion, should require specific definition before beginning the game.)
  • Cersei (Lena Headey) drinks.  Literally match her drink for drink, or “whoops, Cersei drinking scene, all in,” or whatever variation suits your fancy.
  • Dragons.  Also requiring of definition; drink for seeing the little guys, for mentioning them, for whatever suits you.  I personally drink whenever dragons, period.  But that’s just me.

Two drinks when:

  • You just want to take someone home and bake them cookies, period.  This is a reaction I have to a lot of the characters at any given time, and since they are fictional and I can’t, I healthily sublimate my urges.
  • Any variety of Dany’s (Emilia Clarke) speech of assertive glory.
    “I am Daenerys Stormborn of House Targaryen, Mother of Dragons and/or the blood of old Valyria and/or a khaleesi of the Dothraki, and I will take the Iron Throne and/or what is mine (by rights) with fire and blood, and/or those who help us will be paid three times over, and/or those who cross us will be made to suffer,” etcetera.

Just drink as much as you want when:

  • Your heart breaks.  Subjective as well, but still.

–your fangirl heroine.

Superlative Sunday :: the 2012 Golden Globes and how I feel about them

15 Jan

By show/movie, to simplify.  With things that only got one win, but that I haven’t seen, listed at the end; things I haven’t seen, but got more than one win, I’ll usually have something to say regarding.

The Descendants (Motion Picture, Drama; Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama [George Clooney])
I… haven’t seen this.  I keep telling myself that I’m going to, but then I decide that I’m not in the mood for a serious movie about an inspirational for-all-intents-and-purposes-single-at-the-moment-as-per-his-wife’s-coma father and a teenage daughter with attitude and some other things.  My tastes don’t always run that way.

The Artist (Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical; Actor in a Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical [Jean Dujardin])
Also haven’t seen this (it’s not to my town yet, all right?  Our independent theater doesn’t have that many screens, and they usually get things on the late side of timely).  And sure, I’d have picked others in both categories (I mean, I have… weird Bridesmaids feelings, but that’s a lot to do with the marketing, and I don’t know if it was winworthy, but 50/50 was adorable) but I’m sure it’s deserving.  This does bring up the point of the “Comedy or Musical” category being… odd.  From what I can see, this isn’t a wholly comedic film.  But it’s got dancing?  My Week With Marilyn also doesn’t look particularly funny.  Not all musicals are funny, Golden Globes and other award shows.  Just because there’s music doesn’t mean it’s automatically lighthearted and silly.

Beginners (Supporting Actor [Christopher Plummer])
I don’t think I can actually say how much this movie surprisingly made me really, really happy.  I’m not one for romance, usually (and I’ll admit I mostly watched it becaues Ewan McGregor is good business and I love Melanie Laurent with all my heart) but it actually managed to win me over.  And Christopher Plummer’s performance was brilliant and heartstring-tugging, if you’re one whose hearstrings get tugged on.

Hugo (Best Director, Martin Scorcese)
So deserved.  Please let this continue to happen.

Homeland (TV Series, Drama; Actress in a TV Series, Drama [Claire Danes])
Is right at the top of my “I’m going to sit down one day when I have nothing else to do and watch all of this immediately” list, I swear.  I saw part of the first episode, and I was interested, but we just forgot to keep up (we have so many other things to do).  I will say that I’m sure it was well-deserved, even if I was rooting for Boardwalk Empire to take it again, and the periodical flashes over to the Homeland table made me happier than any other table, period.  For this very important reason:

Oh, Morena, who… may be why I originally intended to watch Homeland in the first place, but it seems like an interesting show in its own right, too.

Mildred Pierce (Best Performance by an Actress in a Mini-Series or a Motion Picture Made for TV [Kate Winslet])
I’ve said it before, and hopefully I won’t have to say it again.  I had serious Mildred Pierce problems, but I love Kate always, so I wasn’t too upset.

Game of Thrones (Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV [Peter Dinklage])
Keep on winning the awards, man.  I’m okay with this, he’s brilliant and definitely the only one in the category I actually cared about.  (Cinema Verite was good, really good, really really [okay so my Patrick Fugit was in that, too] good, but Tim Robbins played such a d-bag that I couldn’t root for him.)

American Horror Story (Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV [Jessica Lange])
Someday soon, Kelly Macdonald had better win something, because she’s brilliant, and she keeps getting nominated, but she doesn’t win, ever, and I understand why, but still.  Jessica Lange was also brilliant on this show, as messed up as it really was, as ridiculous as it could be, and I wouldn’t have pegged her for being the winner, but she did a nice job, so I’m not complaining.

 

The Iron Lady
My Week With Marilyn
The Help

Boss
Modern Family
Episodes
Enlightened
Modern Family
Downton Abbey
Luther

–your fangirl heroine.