Tag Archives: sons of anarchy

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 :: 2014 in television (a few overarching problems and a couple smaller ones)

23 Dec

So here are the smaller ones.

1. Hallucinations
I am just… really over hallucinations, and this is 100% the fault of the fallacy (because that’s what I call True Blood‘s seasons six and seven to distinguish them from My Show).  This show has a long history of ghost visits, be they vampire ghost Godric (Allan Hyde) visiting his progeny Eric (Alexander Skarsgard) or one of the many adventures of possessed medium Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis).  Hell, my precious season five was even centered on hallucinations, but those were… openly acknowledged as such, if not by characters then at least by the narrative.  Those were the sanguinist chancellors getting high and seeing Lilith bidding them to do her will, and that actually served the purpose of furthering characters.  It was also never out of character in the strictest sense.  But I’d convinced myself that season seven couldn’t possibly make me as angry as season six did, because otherwise I didn’t know how I was going to be able to watch it (and both because of it being a socially watched show and because of my completism problem I knew I would have to) and then… it killed Tara (Rutina Wesley) in the first five minutes of the first episode.  That was, as I think I’ve said, the one thing that was so horrible I didn’t even expect it.  (I’m not kidding: I expected literally every other female vampire to die, and while I would have been angry about all of them doing I said to myself “nothing will make me angrier than if Tara dies, but they wouldn’t do that, they can’t be that bad.”)  And I resigned myself to no more Tara, and that sucked, but then… oh, surprise, here comes an entire bullshit subplot about her mom (Adina Porter) “seeing her ghost” and her ghost “trying to tell [her mom] something important.”  And that something important was “hey, Momma, forgive yourself for treating me like shit my entire life.  I forgive you for doing that.”  Man, there’s nothing worse than when your character is assassinated metaphorically after already having been assassinated literally.  I’ll get to why this pissed me off in one of the overarching problem points, but as hallucinations go: I was convinced that what Lettie Mae was seeing wasn’t Tara’s ghost but a hallucination of Tara that was created by her own psyche.  (It only appeared to her when she took V.  And she had an addictive personality.  And ghosts on this show traditionally appear in the clothes they died in, and Tara sure as fuck didn’t die wearing a white maxi dress a la season 2’s maenad parties.  And Tara wouldn’t waste her afterlife trying to assuage her mom’s guilt.  Etcetera.)

And then there was the whole business with Fitz (Iain de Caestecker) hallucinating Jemma (Elizabeth Henstridge) in the beginning of season two.  Now with 2a being done I’m trying to figure out what the point of that was, narratively, other than the effect of the first episode’s surprise reveal.  Because Coulson (Clark Gregg) said that Jemma left so Fitz would get better, but then Fitz wasn’t better, but then Fitz seemed to be better when Mack (Henry Simmons) was around, but then Mack told Jemma when she did come back that her being there made Fitz worse.  So I’m sort of confused (and also aggravated that everyone was sort of putting the blame on Jemma darling without considering her side, because while I can imagine why Fitz would have a hard time being around Jemma for the reason of her being a reminder of his previous functionality even if there wasn’t the annoying romance bit, that’s also not Jemma’s fault, that’s Jemma as an idea but in a way that’s more palatable to me).  Actually, I think I might have just figured out one of the points of that, but I won’t write it here so it has a chance of coming true.

And then Gemma (Katey Sagal) on Sons of Anarchy kept… well, not hallucinating her dead Tara (Maggie Siff) but talking to her, and that wasn’t fun either.  Especially because Gemma was the one that killed Tara.

Okay, that’s a larger problem than I thought it was.

2.  What I have dubbed the “surprise Maleficent” thing.
This is not even an overarching problem.  This strictly speaking only happened the once, on Game of Thrones, but I… cannot feel comfortable with it, because we don’t know where it’s going next.  By the “surprise Maleficent” thing I mean the end of Sansa’s (Sophie Turner) line in season four, where she comes down the stairs in the black dress with her hair dyed.  And the thing is, it is book canon that she dyes her hair.  That’s not weird.  But she does that before setting foot in the damn Eyrie, and Lysa (Kate Dickie) never knows who she is, and the other nobles of the Vale never know who she is, and she never wears a damn sexy Gothic dress and she never smirks at godsdamned Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen).  So it could be okay, but it sort of came off like they were trying to make her go dark to appeal more to the normals who find standard polite femme Sansa cloying, and this is verified to me by the fact that while Funko never made a standard polite femme Sansa (despite making a godsdamned generic White Walker) they almost immediately put out a “surprise Maleficent” Sansa.  So I’m… aggravated, conceptually.

Okay, onto the big ones.

1. Forgive your abusers.
Also the related “abuse justifies/erases abuse” problem.  This is what I was referring to in the hallucination rant.  Because while it kind of struck me as out of character at the end of season six to have Tara forgiving her mom and then promptly (and rather Greek-tragedyishly) nomming her mom, it really struck me as out of character to have Tara’s supposed ghost spending half a season running around the hallucinated woods trying to get her mom to forgive herself, especially because the whole reason for this was… drumroll, please.  Apparently Tara’s mom had been abusive toward Tara because Tara’s dad had been abusive toward Tara’s mom.  (And that’s also, uh, not a super great thing, but.)  Not only did it take far too long (and far too much semi-Biblical symbolism) for this reveal to happen, it was both forgive your abusers and abuse justifies abuse.  In her human life, Tara was aware of her dad’s abusive nature and the fact that he ran out on them, and possibly that’s part of why she kept striving for her mom’s approval anyway despite the fact that her mom was abusive (verbally, regarding neglect, etcetera), or possibly it was guilt that she had to take care of her mom, but when in season five she became a vampire and her mother disowned her, she did not beg for forgiveness.  She cried it out on Pam’s (Kristin Bauer van Straten) shoulder, but the general consensus (thanks also to Pam) was “and fuck her then,” or at least “well, too bad, I don’t need her if she’s going to be like that.”  She finally was in a position to have the power to not need to cling to a situation she could recognize as harmful.  So her suddenly forgiving her mom not once but “twice” felt like a regression and also a sapping of her brief agency.

ETA something that I previously forgot because it’s less of a narrative problem and more of a fandom problem, but “abuse justifies/erases abuse” is definitely a mentality that I see in, uh, fans of Grant Ward (Brett Dalton) and that’s messed up.

2.  Dead queer girls.
Poor Tara.  Victoria (Saffron Burrows) and Isabelle (Lucy Lawless) of SHIELD, though uh, neither of them were openly queer in show canon.  Sara Lance (Caity Lotz) of Arrow, because while I don’t watch that show I heard from all of my friends who do about how outrageously shitty it was.  I know there were more that I’m just not registering right now.  Stop.  (Dead women in general should stop, also specifically dead prostitutes, but.)

3.  Compulsive heteroeroticism.
Or heteronormativity.  And this is a case where SHIELD… did the thing but didn’t do the thing.  The whole Fitz and Jemma situation, that is.  It genuinely seemed to me like the network told the writers that they had to make there be heteronormative attraction in their case, but what the writers did was say “okay, we will give you one-sided heteronormative attraction, but it… surprise is not actualized!  And also is harmful to health.”  So.  That situation at large is complicated and not done with and I’ve already gone off about my hopes for it on tumblr but I won’t link that here because it’s also ridiculously personal and rambly and optimistic, but it wasn’t really doing the thing in the ay I was afraid of.  Once again I will cite the fallacy and its inexplicably sitcommy finale, where for some ungodly reason Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll) and Hoyt (Jim Parrack) got married despite having only been reuinted a couple nights ago (and having broken in up season four and cut ties in season five because Jessica just didn’t want what Hoyt wanted out of life) and then flash-forward to the future where they were still together and Jason (Ryan Kwanten) and Brigette (Ashley Hinshaw) who had only just met at the time that the rest of the season ended were married with a passel of children (at least one of whom looked too old to have been born in the alleged timeframe for this epilogue) and Sam (Sam Trammell) and Nicole (Jurnee Smollett-Bell) were still together with multiple children Andy (Chris Bauer) and Holly (Lauren Bowles) were still together and Adilyn (Bailey Noble) was still with her stepbrother Wade (Noah Matthews) and… yeah.

Also, here’s my drift partner talking about some more compulsive heteroeroticism on what was once her show, Warehouse 13.

Warehouse 13 was a very special show because, for multiple seasons, it avoided the cliche of “mixed gender partners with UST.” While Pete (Eddie McClintock) was established as being something of a ladies’ man in the pilot (a point of characterization that deteriorated as the show went on), Myka (Joanne Kelly) rebuffed him repeatedly and emphatically throughout seasons 1-3. And while the show did work on establishing a strong bond between them, they frequently used sibling terms to refer to each other and there is an entire episode (3×03) whose plot hinges on the fact that Myka, while under the influence of an artifact, insisted on doing something she would never do while “sober” so that she could retrace her steps when the effects of the artifact wore off – which ended up being getting in bed naked with Pete. Repeatedly, Myka reacts to the idea of being romantically involved with Pete with disgust. Pete seems more amenable to it, but Pete is generally a romantic and processes feelings in a very general lovey way. (This is another way the show was special – Pete is far freer with expressing his emotions than Myka is, and he is the one with the “intuitive” power of getting “vibes” when bad things are about to happen.)

And then in season 4 someone got it into their head that, despite years of the show emphatically avoiding the idea of Pete and Myka beyond a few weird one-off remarks, it would be good to head in that direction. This involved an objectively terrible episode in which Pete accidentally uses a wish-granting artifact to magic Myka pregnant. That was the first time I really got concerned about the direction the show was heading in, and it turned out I was right to be concerned. The consensus in the fandom seems to be that SyFy basically ordered showrunner Jack Kenny to make ~Pyka~ endgame in season 5 because…heteronormativity? IMAGINE GREATER. But it’s possible that Jack Kenny also just couldn’t handle actually having Myka kiss girls. The man had a real problem with including non-problematic queer content, particularly in the last season. Either way, season 5 took a hard right into suddenly, for no apparent reason, dropping strong nonsensical hints that Pete and Myka should get together. My personal favorite was the part in the finale, which was a fake clipshow because the final season was truncated from 10 episodes to 6, where the show literally invented a mission for them that involved Pete and Myka having awkward flirting. The desperation for the writers to make us believe that they were ~meant to be~ was palpable and would have been hilarious if it wasn’t so disappointing.

The main problem I have with this is that, while Pete had been kind of into Myka from the beginning and I could at least acknowledge that he had at some point had feelings for her, Myka literally never expressed romantic interest in Pete. As mentioned before, every time it was even hinted at her reaction was some variety of “EW GROSS NO THANKS HE’S LIKE MY BROTHER.” At one point “I don’t want your cooties!” was directed (playfully) at him. So to randomly have her blush and stammer and react in the least Myka way ever to the suggestion that she was in love with Pete…was the least convincing thing that has ever happened in the show. Including the episode where HG (Jaime Murray) went off to play house with randoms in the Midwest and kept saying “I’m fine, really, I’m happy.” It also reeks of putting Pete’s desires above Myka’s – the writers apparently decided that the finale should be all about Pete and Pete’s hissy fit about the Warehouse shutting down because, um, it’s not like most of the show was from Myka’s POV or anything. Only what Pete wants matters. And Pete wanted Myka, so he got her. Never mind that it required destroying Myka’s character development. Never mind that it killed one of the best platonic relationships I’ve ever seen on TV. Never mind that it pissed off actress Joanne Kelly so much that she will literally go off on rants about Myka’s character assassination at the slightest provocation. Never mind that it confused and upset even casual fans who don’t ship Bering and Wells. No no, this was definitely the best ending. Because boy meets girl is the only story we can ever tell, apparently. Imagine greater.

ETA because I hadn’t seen the end of the season at the time I wrote this: Sons of Anarchy, somehow getting both compulsive heteroeroticism AND queer erasure done in one fell swoop by making Wendy (Drea de Matteo), who had once been in a relationship with Jax (Charlie Hunnam) but since declared herself a lesbian (so already potential bisexual erasure), sleeping with Jax once again.

So.  That’s that.

–your fangirl heroine.

presumptuous much

Television Tuesday :: 2014 and the Bechdel test

16 Dec

At least in regards to the shows I watch, which again can be found here.

So as I’ve mentioned before, I kept track of TV seasons that started this year and whether or not they passed the Bechdel test.  I can’t promise I have an exact tally, but this is what I found.

  • In season two (I didn’t count during season one because the season started last year and since I hadn’t started counting then the tally would be inaccurate) Agents of SHIELD has so far passed the Bechdel test every episode.  Sometimes it’s kind of a sketchy pass (i.e. episode nine, “Ye Who Enter Here,” when the conversation between Skye [Chloe Bennet] and Raina [Ruth Negga] did involve Skye’s father but touched on non-Skye’s father subjects for at least thirty seconds) but it’s a pass each time.  Thank the gods for Skye, because a majority of the passes were due to scenes of hers: her and Raina (how thrilled am I about her and Raina in general?  Pretty damn thrilled, honestly), her and May (Ming-Na Wen), her and Jemma (Elizabeth Henstridge).  (Actually, all of those relationships are ones I’m thrilled about.)  Also of note is episode three, “Making Friends and Influencing People,” where the Bechdel test is smashed into tiny pieces with the multitude of interactions between Skye and May and also Jemma and Bobbi (Adrianne Palicki).  Thumbs up, y’all.
  • As SHIELD goes, I will cite a first example of times that women talk about a man but it mattered a lot: that conversation in episode nine between Jemma and Bobbi that was about both of their respective man situations, kind of, because what that did was allowed Bobbi to represent for “Jemma’s side” of the situation, to give her reassurance that she does need, and allowed Jemma to finally get to tell her side of the story.
  • You know it’s a weird world when a show that is titled simply Girls can’t even pass the Bechdel test 100% of the time.  They did rate a respectable 88%, with the one episode that failed being because every conversation was about a man if I recall correctly, but still.  Wow.
  • As I mentioned before, Justified passed 66% of the time, which is still surprisingly often compared to some of the shows on my list.  And this is because Ava (Joelle Carter) went to ladyjail.  Every episode after Ava went to ladyjail passed, because ladyjail is one place where ladies are going to narratively have to speak to one another constantly and therefore some of it will be not just about men.
  • Game of Thrones and True Blood both passed 40% of the time.  As Game of Thrones goes, good job Melisandre (Carice van Houten) who was responsible for half of those passes (once with Shireen [Kerry Ingram], once with Selyse [Tara Fitzgerald]).  And as True Blood goes, well… the what-could-have-been with Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll) and Adilyn (Bailey Noble) is the most important one to me.  The rest I’ve chosen to push out of my mind because they dealt largely with plots that I loathed and represented nothing good that could have been.
  • A lot of the conversations about men in Game of Thrones are, while note test-passing, still revealing of things that may or may not be important narratively and may or may not just make me smile: Margaery (Natalie Dormer) and Brienne (Gwendoline Christie), Margaery and Olenna (Diana Rigg), Margaery and Cersei (Lena Headey).  Also Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) and Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel).
  • Fargo, Mad Men, and Sons of Anarchy passed two times apiece; Penny Dreadful a sad one.  The new ridiculous TNT show The Librarians has passed 1/3 episodes so far, and I can pray that it picks up with that soon, as I’m praying that it picks up in other ways soon.
  • And as for total Bechdel test failures?  True Detective, From Dusk Till Dawn, Silicon Valley.  2/3 of which I was watching because other people really wanted to and I couldn’t get out of it.

–your fangirl heroine.


Fictional Friday :: 5 more x4 women I’d like to invent an alternate canon for

3 Oct

What can I say, this keeps being relevant.  You’ll notice that all but one of these ladies was on the cover of my recent fanmix, “Our Revolution is Long Overdue,” because that’s… honestly sort of the point.

5. Adilyn & Braelyn & Charlaine & Danika Bellefleur (Bailey Noble, Natalie Dreyfuss, Hannah Kasulka, Jordan Monaghan, True Blood)
I said last time I did one of these lists that they needed the context of the show.  I’ve since decided that’s not true, or at least it’s flexibly true to the extent that I don’t care anymore.  I’m pretty sure I’m the only person in the fandom who actually gives this much of a damn about the Bellefleur girls (who I’m including as one list item because they do need each other) but I really, really truly do.  Partially just on principle, because introducing four girls to kill three of them off and then drag the other one through the muck as angstfodder for (well, Jessica [Deborah Ann Woll] and) a father-shaped dude?  Lame.  But also because if given the opportunity, the Bellefleur girls could actually be tumblr.  Hipster fairy princesses all.  Flowers and glitter and laser hands galore. Am I the only person who would watch that show?  Probably, but I don’t care.  It should happen.

4. Collette Jane (Kim Dickens, Sons of Anarchy)
How angry am I that Colette (and apparently every one of the escorts at the escort service) got murdered?  Very angry.  Even though it was mostly just by default of her being Kim Dickens i.e. also my Joanie darling, Colette was one of the only characters in the show’s universe that I still care about (and considering that Maureen and Trinity Ashby [Paula Malcomson and Zoe Boyle] are still over in Belfast, I doubt they’ll be brought into the remaining plot, so at least they’re safe.  Now watch, someone’s going to fly to Belfast and shoot them.  Sorry, Maureen and Trinity) and what’s more, it’s the answer to a question I was recently asked by one of my people.  Gosh, it reads like such a gross question, but here it is: “how many dead prostitutes are too many dead prostitutes?”  It’s almost a trick question, though, because the answer is any dead prostitutes are too many dead prostitutes. Or escorts.  Whatever, for the purpose of this it’s all the same.  Just because a woman’s profession involves the pleasure of men (or women, I don’t know, I never saw any female clients at Diosa but there might have been) does not mean that they are disposable.  It’s kind of like prostitutes are the redshirts of crime fiction, and that’s not okay.  Anyway, that’s a rant.  I’d like to watch a story about Colette by herself.  I assume it would just be her taking care of the girls in her employ and whatnot, but that would be nice.

3. Jane Margolis (Krysten Ritter, Breaking Bad)
Hooooooly crap.  I just watched her final episodes tonight and was working very consciously to not scream.  I didn’t like Walter White (Bryan Cranston) to begin with, but now I really don’t like him.  What he did was a horrible thing and Jane deserved better than only existing as Jesse Pinkman’s (Aaron Paul) manic pixie dream drug girl.  I would watch a story about her being a tattoo artist and actually coping with her drug addiction any day.  I would watch a story where she wasn’t dead any day.  She interests me.

2, 1.  Victoria Hand and Isabelle Hartley (Saffron Burrows and Lucy Lawless, Agents of SHIELD)
We were talking today and the idea of a series of undercover assignments and other secret agent miscellany starring these lovely ladies came up.  It seems important.  They’d be awesome and kick ass and take names and pass the Bechdel test and kiss each other and kick bad guys’ asses.  They’d travel the world and fix things and then kiss each other more.  They’d wear excellent suits and occasionally get dolled up to go to fancy parties because sometimes being undercover requires that and then they’d kiss each other more.  Also, they’d kiss each other and nobody would ever make a deal of it.  That’s important too.

–your fangirl heroine.

shut up gross person

Television Tuesday :: Our Revolution is Long Overdue [a fanmix]

2 Sep

*for television women including but not limited to the pictured who doubtless have some words (and more) for the men in their lives/and or their writers and showrunners.  From a Margaret Cho quote.

our revolution is long overdue (back)

1. Sweet as Whole (Sara Bareilles)
Sometimes I can be perfectly sweet, hot this sugary me stuffed in my sleeve and I talk of ponies and rainbows and things and I’m just who you want me to be.  But like most creatures down here on the ground, I’m composed of the elements moving around and I grow and change and I shift and I switch and it turns out I’m actually kind of a bitch.  But that only happens when I get provoked by some piece of shit asshole we all sadly know and I sit and I write while reminding you all that mean songs are still better than going postal.

2. Black Tongue (Yeah Yeah Yeahs)
Sunny kept his ring on, red tape so ordinary, love I feel like it was gone, gone, gone, gone, let’s do this like a prison break, I wanna see you squeal and shake.  Boy you just a stupid bitch, and girl you just a no good dick.

3.  Seventeen (Marina and the Diamonds )
You’re a rich little boy who’s had to work for his toys, you’ve got all the sensibilities, oh, of an upper class guy.  No, no I’m not your little slave, no I don’t twist and turn that way, only got bad things to say.  You’re always asking what is up, up with me, could never tell you what happened the day I turned seventeen, the rise of a king and the fall of a queen, oh seventeen.

4.  Palace (Dessa)
Oh that trouble you’ve been looking for, it came looking for you shouldn’t open doors you don’t plan to walk through.  If I were you I‘d pay my dues before I lose. That trouble you’ve been looking for it came looking for you shouldn’t open doors you don’t plan to walk through.  If i were you I’d pay my dues.

5.  Demons (Sleigh Bells)
You drink the wise blood, you’re gonna hear about it, you’ll be taken down brick by brick by brick.  Burn the orphanage, you’re gonna pay for it, they will purify block by block by block.  Demons, come on, you’ve got a vision, you’re on a mission.  Demons live on, and when I die, hang me high.

6.  Flashlight (Ellie Goulding)
Coming down on you with a flashing light, there’s nowhere to run, baby you can’t hide.  Gonna make you move, make you move, make you move.  It’s too late now the table’s turned, there’s no going back and you’ll never learn unless I make you move, I’ll make you move, I’ll make you move, I’ll make you move.  And you think I’m still broken-hearted, but you’ll never win the war you started, you’ll never open your eyes.

7.  Shot You Down (Florrie)
I think about it every day, I shouldn’t have hurt you that way, but it’s a little late to say that I can erase your heartache.  Thinking about it, thinking about it, thinking about it.  Oooooh baby.  I pulled the trigger on our love, keep messing me around.  Got my finger on the gun, bang bang I shot you down.

8.  Sun of a Gun (Oh Land)
Birds sing for you, you can make the blue sky blush, you’ve got them all fooled.  But I am burned out on this rush, I want to change the orbit.  Don’t care what you do now, I want to live in darkness, don’t want to be spun around.

9.  The Lion the Beast the Beat (Grace Potter and the Nocturnals)
It’s time to meet your maker, make the road your undertaker.  Can somebody let the beast out, baby?  Can’t stop the beat, can’t stop the beat, run, but you can’t hide from the heat.  Life is a record, playing on repeat, I’m running wild, with the lion, the beast, the beat.  So don’t you try to tame the lion, just to ride on the horizon.  Can somebody let the beast out, baby?  Yeah, we all hide our desire and then we feel the beat like fire.  Can somebody let the beast out, baby?

10.  Wishing He Was Dead (The Like)
If I could snap that neck, that broken record trainwreck, I might feel okay.  If he could speak the truth or just say sorry, that would be the day.  But he made me crazy, thinking I was wrong, that he wasn’t cheatin’ all along. When I gave him everything that I could give now he’s gonna wish he’d never lived.

11. Gun (CHVRCHES)
Who are you to tell me how to keep myself afloat?  I tread the water all the while, you stuck in the knife that you held at my back.  Did it make you feel so clever?  Did you wear it on your sleeve?  Did you see another lifetime where I was not a part so far entwined?

12. We’re Out for Blood (Marian Call)
Baby you thought I was a goner but you were dead wrong.  Baby I’m back and I brought some friends along.  It’s time to start running boy if you wanna live to learn what happens when you leave your baby behind to burn, burn, burn.

13.  Kill My Boyfriend (Natalia Kills)
You’re the one I want, everything I’m dreaming off.  Don’t make me break his heart into million pieces, no.  But every time I’m with him, I imagine that we’re kissing and I’m wishing he was you all along.  And boy I’m so committed, I’m so deep, there’s no more digging, there’s only one thing I can do to solve this mess, come on.

14.  Salute (Little Mix)
You think we’re just pretty things, you couldn’t be more wrong (we’re standing strong, we carry on).  Knock us but we keep moving up (we’re moving up, yeah).  Can’t stop a hurricane, ladies it’s time to awake (yeah!)

Our Revolution is Long Overdue at 8tracks.

–your fangirl heroine.


Television Tuesday :: 2013 in television (9 dead women, 4 things that actually made me happy)

31 Dec

9 dead women

Here in collages, because I’ve at least talked about them before (or in one case I actually haven’t watched the episode yet, but I was spoiled for the fact that it happens and I’m already cranky) and this is just a little in memoriam or some such.

Ros (Esme Bianco, Game of Thrones), Talisa Maegyr (Oona Chaplin, Game of Thrones), Judi Silver (Elena Satine, Magic City),  Tara Knowles (Maggie Siff, Sons of Anarchy).

Luna Garza (Janina Gavankar, True Blood), Nora Gainesborough (Lucy Griffiths, True Blood), Braelyn Bellefleur (Natalie Dreyfuss, True Blood), Charlaine Bellefleur (Hannah Kasulka, True Blood), Danika Bellefleur (Jordan Monaghan, True Blood).

Just let that sink in.

And there were other dead women.  Catelyn (Michelle Fairley) got her throat slit, but I knew that it happened because I’ve read the books so while it hurt it was a different sort of hurt, for example.  This is a list of dead women that I did not expect (or at least did not want to expect).  There was a multitude of dead minor characters who were women.  Etcetera.  And like I’ve said before, I do not watch all of the shows, so I cannot know all of the dead women.  But here are some of the ones that really got me.

Also, there were dead men.  I know this.  I acknowledge this.  It’s too bad that Terry Bellefleur (Todd Lowe) is dead, because he wasn’t a bad guy.  Robb (Richard Madden) is quite dead, other dudes everywhere are dead.  But here is what gets me: the ways that women die as opposed to men, the narrative reasons that women die as opposed to men, and the fact that most shows have significantly more male characters than female characters, so the dead women stick out more to me.

4 things that actually made me happy

Also with collages, because right now, that’s just the sort of place I’m in.  Also, I’ve mentioned all of these things before, too.

trudy campbell (alison brie, mad men)

Trudy dumped Pete (Mad Men)
(Mentioned many places, but mostly there.)  Pete Campbell (Vincent Kartheiser) is a jerk.  I mean, a lot of these characters are, but he is at least three kinds of jerk that bother me specifically, so I’ve never been a fan of him and I was thrilled to see Trudy (Alison Brie) give him what for.

daenerys targaryen (emilia clarke)

Dany freed Astapor
It’s not as if this doesn’t have its repercussions in the narrative, I admit that it does.  My khaleesi-queen is not perfect and I don’t pretend that she is, but her heart is in the right place and also, this scene was badass.  (I include the above picture of Missandei [Nathalie Emmanuel] again because gods, I just love that look.)

jon snow, ygritte, margaery tyrell, and sansa stark (kit harington, rose leslie, natalie dormer, and sophie turner)

Jon and Ygritte were lovers and Margaery totally flirted with Sansa
The former — well, it is a prelude to pain, obviously, but I just love Jon Snow (Kit Harington) for that being his initial impulse, and Ygritte (Rose Leslie) is so wonderful and sex-positive.  And the latter — may be a prelude to pain, too, but I will gladly take all of the lady subtext I can get, especially when it means that Margaery (Natalie Dormer) gets to make her smirk face.  And even though… well.  I like to imagine a scenario where eventually this actually works in order to give Sansa (Sophie Turner) some happiness, even if that is very endgame.

nora gainesborough (lucy griffiths)

Nora did research
Nora (Lucy Griffiths) did research, she read out loud in English what was written in Aramaic and she retranslated it, and she looked so excited about the prospect of fixing everything wrong with the world that she’d contributed to, and for a minute everything looked like it was going to be okay.  Oh, and then she had a conversation with Pam (Kristin Bauer van Straten) that was actually sort of wonderful and completely seemed like it would pave the way for the two women to come to a sort of understanding, eventually, after the world had been saved maybe.  It is a scene that represents everything that could have been.

–your fangirl heroine.


Television Tuesday :: the 2013 “no” trope/plot device list, part two

24 Dec

And although I am very much tired of it, this list does not include “manpain,” because that is such a broad category with too many examples to list, and it does not include “dead women in general,” because last week got into specific dead female character tropes and again, it’s pretty straightforward and also happens too much.

5. Invisible femslash
Which is to say, romantic relationships between women that were either explicit or heavily implied being either not shown or narratively disregarded.  As seen this year with:
True Blood, Pam (Kristin Bauer van Straten) and Tara (Rutina Wesley) making out at the end of season five with such promise and then being given exactly one offscreen sex scene and one moment of high-on-the-blood sunshine elbow sex and otherwise barely interacting in a pleasant fashion.
The Walking Dead, another Tara (Alanna Masterson) mentioning in conversation that she had been with a girl before and promptly finding Alisha (Juliana Harkavy) to be in a relationship with but to never get to do more than lay on top of a bed with before Alisha went amoral and died.
Warehouse 13, which I do not watch but I heard all about the disaster with Myka (Joanne Kelly) and HG (Jaime Murray), so I asked my friend to write some on it for me, which is posted here.

4.  Varyingly pedophilic potential Stockholm
When a male character exerts an uncomfortable amount of sway over a younger female character and all you can think is “no no no, get your hands off now!” even if his hands are never actually on her.  (They usually are, though.)  Definite undertones of (sexual or non-sexual) dubcon here, too.
True Blood, Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll) inexplicably returning to Bill (Stephen Moyer) and then dressing up like a sexy schoolgirl to kidnap for him, luring the fairy girls to his house, then getting high off of their blood when she drank it and trying to make out with him.
Game of Thrones, Sansa (Sophie Turner) and Baelish (Aidan Gillen), which is book canon but which slightly felt like they were trying to slant it toward her not having as much of an issue with it for whatever reason so that was even worse.
Boardwalk Empire, Daughter (Margot Bingham) and Narcisse (Jeffrey Wright) and their whole screwed up dynamic.

3. Oedipal undertones
When a female character expresses an uncomfortable amount of interest over a younger male character that they are related to.  Often involves abuse of an emotional or sexual sort.  (And mind, I get just as angry about abusive/creepy fathers, but I’ve noticed more abusive/creepy mothers on television lately.)
Boardwalk Empire, Gillian (Gretchen Mol) having way too much interest in getting Tommy (Brady and Connor Noon) returned to her custody in lieu of her dead son and Tommy’s dad Jimmy (Michael Pitt), who she had previously also had an Oedipal relationship with.
Sons of Anarchy, Gemma (Katey Sagal) sometimes gives off a bit of this vibe toward Jax (Charlie Hunnam) though it’s not been acted on.
American Horror Story: Coven, Alicia (Mare Winningham) quite clearly emotionally and sexually abusing her son Kyle (Evan Peters).

2.  Love triangles and/or infidelity
Exactly as it says on the box.
True Blood, mainly in the six months later flash forward that set up a potential season seven Alcide (Joe Manganiello) and Sookie (Anna Paquin) and Bill love triangle since apparently show!Sookie will never be able to let Bill go, or at least the narrative will never be able to let them go.
American Horror Story: Coven, Kyle and Zoe (Taissa Farmiga) and Madison (Emma Roberts) in their messy triad that had the potential to actually be a triad but is not.
Mad Men, Peggy (Elisabeth Moss) and her boyfriend Abe (Charlie Hofheimer) and her boss Ted (Kevin Rahm) and the reduction of her usually-engaging and often work-centered plotlines to an underachieving boy-overachieving girl-authority figure love triangle.

1. Conscious irresponsibility
Not irresponsibility insofar as doing reckless things per se, but irresponsibility as in a lack of overt responsibility for one’s actions.  Often does go hand-in-hand with manpain, actually.
True Blood, Bill at least somewhat acting like he hadn’t taken Lilith’s blood at the end of the previous season with murderous intent (Jessica asking wasn’t it a good thing that Lilith was gone, Bill agreeing that yes, probably) and never once acknowledging that the whole situation with the governor’s vamp camp was taking place because he’d said at the Authority table, “hey, let’s blow up the TruBlood factories!”
The Walking Dead, Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and the Governor (David Morrissey) and every time they spoke to each other or others saying and thinking things like “I didn’t have a choice but to do [x thing]!”
Mad Men, Don (Jon Hamm) as a total person.  Actually, most of the guys in the office at least sometimes.

–your fangirl heroine.