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Spoiler Alert Saturday :: our thoughts on Atomic Blonde

12 Aug

Damn, guys. I’m sorry. It’s been incredibly busy lately, and I’m just going to leave it that and move along.

Now, if you’re here you probably know all the reasons you might not like this movie. All of those are valid. But we went anyway, because we wanted to watch Charlize Theron kill guys. And of course, that’s the #1 reason that you could, in fact, like this movie. Here’s five others.

  1. The aesthetic. It’s a comic book movie (though a lesser-known comic, one I’d not heard of) and that’s pretty clear from a lot of the visual layout. The hotel room in particular is a total illustration.
  2. Charlize’s character Lorraine also has an incredibly satisfyingly cohesive and interesting wardrobe that has its themes (black and white and maybe red) without being too reliant on the 80s setting.
  3. There is a very good amount of girlkissing. Yes, this doesn’t end well. No, we’re not excusing that, and yes, we look forward to a movie where Sofia Boutella gets to be happy without being painted to look like a space alien. But there’s girlkissing (and girlsex!) that didn’t feel entirely male-gazey. They’re actually cute and converse and cuddle.
  4. Bad things happen to the men that deserve it. Pretty much all of them.
  5. Bill Skarsgard’s Merkel was oddly charming, and I’m not just saying that out of Skarsgard bias, because I didn’t actually connect the dots of who he was until the end. I just liked the character.

–your fangirl heroines.

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Fictional Friday :: 5 f/f ships around me before I started seeking f/f ships.

10 Feb

In chronological order.

5. Carol and Susan (Jane Tibbett and Jessica Hecht, Friends)
So I never really gave these two any actual thought. But Friends was always on when I was a kid, it seemed like, and my parents were never shy about what was going on. In fact, when an acquaintance of the family came out my parents explained it as “you know, like Carol and Susan on Friends.” And I said..

4. Haruka and Michiru (Sailor Moon)
“Yeah, I know, like Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune. I read about them on the internet.” I’m sure I’ve told this story before, but I learned how to internet via Sailor Moon fansites (terrible ones, black Times New Roman on white backgrounds, or worse, Angelfire or Geocites pages with pixelated star backgrounds) and I knew all about the lesbians in Sailor Moon before they came to the US. And were “cousins.” “Mom, this is dumb,” I said. “They clearly are not cousins.” And my mom shrugged and nodded. America?

3. Columbia and Magenta (Little Nell and Patricia Quinn, The Rocky Horror Picture Show)
This was a little different, because these two? They were already in relationships. Columbia was sort of in two of them. But yet, there they were playing voyeur (another thing I learned about from this movie) in their jammies and rolling all over on top of each other. And hey, if boys were kissing boys, girls could be kissing girls! Everyone was kissing everyone in that movie. And even though Magenta’s incest brother accidentally lasered Columbia to death at the end of the movie, they were still more fun to write about for me than Columbia and Frank (since he was, you know, an asshole bordering on emotionally abusive to her) or Columbia and Eddie (he was fine, and clearly she liked him, but it was just really hard for me to get into it, for reasons that are now clear to me).

2. Mary Elizabeth and Alice (The Perks of Being a Wallflower)
Later that same school year as I discovered Rocky Horror, I chanced on a copy of The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Not only did I fall hopelessly in love with its protagonist Charlie, as I’ve before said, I was delighted by the overlap of it including Rocky Horror as a frequent plot point. It never said who played most of the characters in their shadowcast, but I assumed that as the other girls, Mary Elizabeth played Magenta and Alice played Columbia. As a result, I shipped them. I had very little reason to, but I did.

1. Maureen and Joanne (Rent)
And then I saw Rent that following summer, and there were Maureen and Joanne, and they weren’t the happiest all the time but suddenly I was on my way to Officially Starting To Wonder About Myself.

–your fangirl heroine.

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Marvel Monday :: our thoughts on Luke Cage

24 Oct

So! We actually spent last Monday finishing Luke Cage, hence the lack of anything posted that night. And friends, you had better watch this thing. It is a great.

5. The aesthetic is hardcore.
So admittedly most of what I know about blaxploitation films from the 1970s and such comes from reading and Jackie Brown and then reading some more, but I think, anyway, that Luke Cage successfully owned the genre in the most empowering way it could. Luke (Mike Colter) and Pop (Frankie Faison) and some of the others at the barbershop even have a discussion about iconic heroes of that era. And there’s a hint of meta to this; Luke himself is “a blaxploitation-inspired character first created in the Seventies” (quoth telegraph.co.uk) so this discussion is a bit self-aware and a bit genre-savvy. But also, the whole perceptible vibe of the show is so damn cool. Daredevil is a classic crime story, Jessica Jones almost a modern feminist film noir, but Luke Cage has arguably the most distinctive and also most inspiring genre vibe, from the music to the color tone (where Daredevil tends to be green and gray and Jessica Jones tends bold bred-purple-blue, Luke Cage is even in its darker moments so warm) to the cast of characters and their respective designs. It’s a very passionate, loving tribute to the whole genre and history of such characters appearing in film and television, and that’s not something you see all that often, but especially not in rather white superhero canons.

4. There’s a refreshing lack of white people.
I (drift partner) have a white mom and a Chinese dad and I mostly look white, but I am also very tired of stories about predominantly white people. So I always enjoy watching something like Luke Cage (or the excellent Queen of Katwe) where there are so few white people that it’s almost comical. The only significant white character is Misty Knight’s partner Rafael Scarfe (Frank Whaley), who turns out to be secretly working for Cottonmouth (Mahershala Ali) and murders one of their key witnesses. Other than that, I’m struggling to recall a single white character that has more than a dozen lines. I’m not black, but it sure is nice to see a story about black people that doesn’t involve hardly any white people (and no slave narratives).

3. Mariah Dillard is one of the best villains in the whole MCU.
This Vulture article probably sums up why Mariah is such a great character better than I can, so I won’t try to talk over it. But I will say that Alfre Woodard gives an amazing performance, probably one of the best in the series, and I’m glad she’ll be back next season. She’s much more complex and interesting than both Cottonmouth and Diamondback, and she’s sort of a terrible person, but in a riveting way. Also, all of my friends are obsessed with her and her second, Shades (Theo Rossi), and I don’t exactly ship it but I definitely see the appeal. I can’t wait to see more of her.

2. Claire Temple (Rosario Dawson) and Misty Knight (Simone Missick).
We the audience know Claire. We’ve met her on several occasions, and indeed from where we’re all sitting right now she is most likely the Night Nurse, er, the woman bringing the Netflix stuff all together. She’s good-hearted and fierce and she wants to help in the ways she knows how and also in some of the ways she doesn’t. Also, she and Matt were okay but she and Luke just work really well together. They have fantastic chemistry and their personalities bounce off each other and it makes for a really nice relationship. And hey, speaking of personalities that bounce well with Luke’s, and also personalities that bounce well with Claire’s, now we have Misty. Misty combines some pretty traditional narratives (good-hearted cop seeks justice while peers seek infamy, brilliant but tempestuous cop seeks justice at all costs, consistently underestimated character consistently proves peers wrong) but one of the interesting things is that those narratives don’t often star a black woman, and another of those interesting things is that the cop narratives star a black woman working to counteract the obvious tension between America’s cops and America’s black communities. Another interesting thing is the nature of that brilliance: Misty is tough, athletic, and can easily hold her own in a fight, but Misty is also highly perceptive in a way that’s usually reserved for, well, white guys. Misty goes beyond just a good detective and the repeated storytelling device of how she replays instances at crime scenes is so thorough and methodical that in my opinion it gives her an almost Sherlock Holmesian quality (if Sherlock Holmes was a black woman and also less of an asshole).

1. This is a show about a bulletproof black man who protects and saves other people of color.
An awful lot of black writers have written pages and pages about how important Luke Cage is at this time, considering the horrific numbers of black people and especially black men murdered by police this year alone. It’s comforting even as a non-black person to know that 1) Luke is the main character and 2) Luke is bulletproof, so even when he gets shot at (and later in the series when he gets injured), he’ll be totally fine. It’s also important because Luke has the ability to do what the other people in Harlem can’t – namely, fight back against the people who are threatening and hurting them. This is both Cottonmouth’s lackeys and the cops, and the show does not shy away from discussing police brutality and racially motivated violence either. (As mentioned earlier, Scarfe kills one of the young men who were involved in the investigation against Cottonmouth and some of his men.) Luke can protect people, and he does, though sometimes he is not successful. But he does manage to save some, and those he loses, he uses as motivation to keep going. Much like Jessica Jones offered some sexual assault survivors catharsis when she pushes back against Kilgrave’s mind control and then kills him, Luke Cage offers its black viewers the opportunity to see a black character who is nearly invincible survive and fight back.

Television Tuesday :: 5 reasons why should should be watching unREAL season 2

14 Jun

By drift partner.

I’ve already sung unREAL’s praises here, and if it continues to be so beautifully on point, I’ll continue to do so for hopefully a long time (it’s already been renewed for its third season). Last night was the premiere of season 2, and already it’s proving itself to be one of the best, smartest shows on television. Here are five reasons why.

5. We are already seeing parallels between characters’ arcs.
unREAL season 1 was the story of Quinn King (Constance Zimmer) molding Rachel Goldberg (Shiri Appleby) into a true TV producer, a smaller, more neurotic version of herself. We see Rachel pushed to the breaking point multiple times, and we see Quinn constantly trying to push her further, while never quite letting her break. It’s a fascinatingly toxic relationship, and this season it has come full circle, with Rachel as the showrunner for season two of Everlasting and Quinn as her supporting producer. No longer is Rachel the sympathetic good cop to Quinn’s bad cop – now it’s bad cop and worse cop.

In season 1, Madison (Genevieve Buechner) was a fairly minor character, a production assistant who mostly existed for Quinn to yell at while she looked like a startled rabbit – until it was revealed that she was having sex with Quinn’s boyfriend Chet, the show’s creator and, technically, her boss. Madison was a pretty one-note character, but towards the end of the season she grew a bit of a backbone, eventually being promoted to producer for season 2 of Everlasting. In 2×01 we see her adjusting to her new role, somewhat poorly. Rachel becomes frustrated with Madison’s lack of knowledge while interviewing one of the Everlasting girls and ends up coaching her through an introductory interview with one contestant, whose fiance apparently died in a car accident that she may or may not have been responsible for. Rachel barks orders into Madison’s mic, ordering her to coax the girl into an emotional confession, and Madison ends up breaking down about her own mother’s recent death and running away to throw up. But when she recovers, she’s smiling. “That was….amazing!” she says. In 2×02, she begs Rachel to mentor her, saying “You’re Quinn now, let me be Rachel.” And so, the cycle continues. We’ll see where those parallel arcs go this season.

4. These are honestly really, really terrible people.
unREAL’s never been shy about reminding you that the people you’re watching are awful, heartless bastards, but in this episode it’s taken up to eleven. Of course, there’s the aforementioned scene with the contestant’s story and Madison’s breakdown – Rachel says to her, “C’mon, tell her your mom died or something. Get her to open up.” “My mom did die,” Madison says, lip wobbling. “Great! There you go,” encourages Rachel. “Play that up.” And before that, Rachel pushed one of her producers, Jay (Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman), to try to convince one of the girls who had dropped out to return. That girl, Ruby (Denée Benton), is a Black Lives Matter activist and very focused on her impending college graduation. “Turns out I have a line,” Jay says, “and that line is keeping a black woman from her education.” So Rachel goes to talk to the girl herself. Why is she so determined to have this girl? Because they have also hired a girl who posted a picture of herself in a Confederate flag bikini on Instagram and got thousands of likes. Rachel smells drama like a shark smells blood in the water.

And speaking of Beth Ann (Lindsay Musil), in 2×02 Rachel convinces her to wear the bikini for the reveal of the very black suitor, Darius Beck (BJ Britt). The other girls are horrified, and when Darius steps out for the reveal, Beth Ann flees in shame. Apparently her Alabama family loves Darius, who is a football star, and she seems to know that wearing the Confederate flag in front of a black man is, just maybe, inappropriate. Rachel convinces her to go back out and apologize to him, and she does – whipping the top off in front of the cameras. Darius responds like a gentleman, taking off his own shirt and giving it to her, while Rachel practically bounces with glee as they get priceless footage. This is only the beginning, we can presume, of her manipulating and puppet-mastering these girls.

3. Constance Zimmer and Shiri Appleby are acting their asses off.
I had only known Constance from her brief role on SHIELD, and I had never known Shiri before, but now I have serious doubts that there are many other actresses giving more layered, nuanced performances on a currently airing show. Shiri’s face somehow manages to encompass both wounded puppy and hardass at once, flipping back and forth between them beautifully as needed. She is both likeable and hateable, sometimes within the space of a few seconds, and all the while you are unable to look away. She is perhaps one of the most realistically written characters I have ever seen, in terms of the choices she makes – and they are terrible choices. But they are choices that a real human being would make. In 2×02 we see she is hoarding prescription drugs, after last season when it’s implied she’s been suicidal before, and there’s a suspenseful beat where you’re not sure what she might do with them. Rachel is a fucked-up person, but that’s what makes her relatable, and Shiri’s performance is a big part of that.

If Shiri-as-Rachel is relatable, then Constance-as-Quinn is terrifying. This is the role Constance Zimmer was born to play. She is steel and iron, she is an unstoppable force. I’ve seen her compared to Walter White, and I haven’t seen Breaking Bad, but from what I know about Walter, this seems to be true, except that I think she would eat him for breakfast. In this first episode, her ex Chet (and the ex-showrunner) (Craig Bierko) returns from a sabbatical where he apparently became an MRA and decided that he needed to take back the show, his “kingdom,” from Quinn’s emasculating lady clutches. Quinn responds by giving him the most beautiful “bitch, please” face I have ever seen. (Constance makes the greatest “bitch, please” faces of any human alive, honestly.) 2×02 is then a battle between them for who can create the best version of the show, and it’s beautiful to watch because Quinn rules her set with the confidence and skill of a George R. R. Martin character. Constance has said that she has been on sets with showrunners who behave exactly like Quinn, but they were male, and that she loves playing a female character who’s so different from how we expect female characters to be. I want Quinn King to become the 2015/2016 version of Amy Dunne.

2. Season 2 is tackling TV’s anti-black racism.
The news that season 2 would feature BJ Britt as the first black suitor character (a milestone that the real life Bachelor hasn’t reached yet) broke back in January. So far, the show has brought up a PR scandal where Darius told a white reporter “Bitch, please”; featured the network executives as well as Quinn, Chet, and other show staffers expressing concern about the show being “too black” if there are too many black contestants or Daris is allowed to bring his three-person entourage; Quinn has bluntly stated that a black man kissing, touching, and implied to be having sex with white girls is ratings and social media gold; Ruby and Jay have had a candid conversation about how to balance her dignity with her desire to have her Black Lives Matter views showcased on national TV (and she has worn both a Black Lives Matter shirt and an I Can’t Breathe shirt on-air); and of course the aforementioned bikini kerfuffle did not go unnoticed by Ruby, who calls Darius a coward and nearly leaves the show because of it.

I am not black. I cannot authoritatively say whether or not they will handle these themes with the care and consideration they deserve. But I do think so far the show is doing a better job of addressing anti-blackness than most other shows on TV right now (black-ish and Empire, among a few others, not included). I hope it continues to do so.

1. The show is, and always has been, about highlighting and dismantling sexism in the TV industry.
Co-creator and executive producer Sarah Gertrude Shapiro, who used to be a freelance producer on The Bachelor, has been outspoken about how her experiences shaped the show, and how important she believes the relationships between women who work in sexist industries are. “When women destroy other women, they destroy themselves eventually. Because if you start being really harsh to other women, inevitably you will turn it around on yourself,” she explains in that article, and so she has written a show illustrating that. In last season, and even more so in this season, Quinn and Rachel have a twisted, codependent bond that means that they both need and hate each other, and they turn this around on the girls they are meant to shepherd throughout the show’s run. One example of this is when Yael, the Jewish blogger contestant, is nicknamed “Hot Rachel” by the crew for, well, looking like a hotter version of Rachel. “Oh my god,” says Quinn with a grin, looking between the two women, “she really is Hot Rachel.” Yael apologizes to Rachel for that nickname in episode two, and tries to get an in with her by appealing to their commonality as Jewish women. Rachel, in response to this, sets her up to for failure by telling her to stick close to Madison. Other examples of this, which reflect Shapiro’s real experiences on The Bachelor, include the producers labeling certain girls as “wifeys” – sweet-faced, pure-hearted girls who are the ones to take home to Mama, as Quinn explains. They are on the lookout for one or two of these, as well as for a “villain,” a drama queen who will cause trouble. A promo for the season featured Quinn and Rachel cutting up a clip of one girl who has a fairly innocuous soundbite into…well.

And on the other side of things, the show has no time for sexism from men either. When Chet returns, having revitalized his energy via a questionable “retreat” where he claims to have regained his sense of purpose as a man, he immediately apologizes to Quinn for “forcing” her to play the role of the man while he apparently acted as a spineless coward. Quinn calls this out for the bullshit that it is and he responds with an aggressive attempt to regain dominance by suggesting that they both produce versions of Everlasting and see which the network likes: his bro-friendly titfest that seems to be aiming for Spike TV, or Quinn’s manufactured romance formula that has delivered successful ratings for fifteen seasons. “May the best man win,” he says, to which she replies, “She usually does.” Rachel, meanwhile, is receiving her own share of sexism from the crew, who have noticed her recent turn towards becoming more Quinn-like. “Bitch,” they mutter about her, but she has her say in the form of firing one of the more aggressively uncooperative crew members and saying “Being a sexist manbaby on my set has consequences.”

I am, of course, concerned that unREAL may suddenly take a hard left into terribleness, as so many other good shows have. But so far, this season has left me more impressed than I’ve been with a new show since I started Brooklyn Nine-Nine two years ago. I can’t wait to see what brilliant, horrible shit this show throws at us next.

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Sarcastic Saturday :: 5 things people need to stop thinking it’s okay to do

14 May

This particularly applies to people who are in an implicit or explicit position of power over the person they’re dealing with. Bosses/managers to employees, parents to children, customers to workers, men to women honestly, etc. People who have not been invited to do these things.

5. Calling them nicknames.
Terms of endearment.  These are supposed to be things you say to people you’re close with, if you say them at all.  But if someone who is not my person calls me “honey” I feel not unlike a cat with a poofy tail.  I’m sure it’s meant well, but it’s overly familiar and what can seem sweet when it’s people that you like saying it can seem really condescending when it’s a random saying it.

4. Sharing too much information.
I am not the kind of person that likes to swap life stories with people.  In fact, this almost always makes me uncomfortable, whether I’m being forced to tell or hearing it.  It’s sort of the thing of making someone listen because you know they have to; it’s sort of just awkward and not everyone wants to listen to that, y’all.

3. Teasing rough.
In about 50% of my workplaces, all of which have been fairly entry-level positions, there’s been a culture between workers and managers of giving each other shit.  Maybe if you’re the kind of person that enjoys that it’s fine, but I personally don’t like it even when friends do it. I get anxious easily and I don’t like when people don’t get along, so when someone is classifying their own behavior (jokingly) as harassment I get really uncomfortable and feel like it wouldn’t be taken seriously if I said that something someone did genuinely bothered me, which creates unhappy environments.  This also works with families.  If everyone does that, fine, but it’s just so weird for me being around people who do that without having a good sense of that being okay.

2. Touching.
My dad rolls his eyes every time I complain about a stranger or work acquaintance touching me, but I do not like it and I know that I’m not the only one. People, particularly of a certain age, seem to think it’s okay to touch others without asking, and that just… it needs to stop.

1. Gaslighting.
Obviously no one should do this. Gaslighting is really bad shit, y’all. But it should especially not be done by people on the winning end of a power differential: bosses should not make their employees, as in #3, feel like they’re in the wrong to have a problem. Parents should not convince their children that bad things are always their fault.  Etcetera.

–your fangirl heroine.

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Spoiler Alert Sunday :: our thoughts on The Huntsman: Winter’s War

8 May

Full disclosure: yesterday we saw Civil War in the afternoon and Huntsman in the evening.  It was that kind of day.  This is not a movie that we’re as worried about ~spoiling, though. Some “highlights”:

6. This movie was really, really heterosexual but also quite gay.
Plotwise, textwise, this was very straight.  It was a tale of two tragic heteros who couldn’t be together because another tragic hetero had been thwarted (“thwarted”) by her hetero partner, and one of the first pair of tragic heteros was working in the service of another pair of not-so-tragic heteros (although you never actually see one of said pair).  But… also, Charlize Theron’s acting choices in this movie and its predecessor seem to be composed of screaming random parts of her sentences, whispering breathily into someone’s ear sexily, and eyefucking everyone. Everyone. In the last movie, the latter two happened with mostly her brother and Kristen Stewart, and in this movie that happened with mostly her sister Freya (Emily Blunt). I’m not sure Ravenna has a “non-hypersexual” mode, actually. This also happened with Jessica Chastain once, so there you go. Meanwhile, Emily Blunt basically made Jessica Chastain’s character into the Winter Soldier and also whispered breathily into her ear a bunch of times. There was also a fellow who seemed to be Freya’s second-in-command Huntsman (? this didn’t make a lot of sense anyway) and who leads all the Huntsmen in their betrayal of her at the end because Chris Hemsworth gave a stirring speech about how all the Huntsmen love each other as comrades or something. He had suspiciously gay undertones to everything he did. Also there were a pair of lady dwarves who lived by themselves, just saying.

5. Elsa fights the tentacle monster.
Can you say that has happened in any movie you’ve seen?  Probably not.

4. The constant mentions but suspicious absence of Snow White herself.
Because Kristen Stewart had been fired from this franchise, she was not in this sequel.  (She’s probably better off.)  But they seemed dead set and determined to keep reminding us that she still existed, somewhere off-screen.  This is her kingdom!  Or, the South is.  The North belongs to Emily Blunt.  At one point a dark-haired woman is seen crying with her back to the camera, allegedly Snow White, but mostly we hear about her from her bland husband Sam Claflin in his one scene and from the narrator.  And speaking of the narrator…

3. Constant exposition.
If the first rule of filmmaking is “show, don’t tell,” this movie rips up the rulebook and sets it on fire while dancing gleefully in the flames. The first 10-15 minutes are almost entirely exposition, about events which really should have been shown; for example, we are shown a single shot of Freya’s beloved before cutting to a scene with Freya and Ravenna talking where Ravenna asks, “Is it love?” “Yes,” says Freya. Um, thanks? Then later, Freya has fled to find her own kingdom in the North and created an army of the nearby villages’ children, which the narrator tells us conquered every army they fought. We are shown a single shot of the Huntsmen army standing around after a battle. Thanks. It seems to be following the tradition of having a fairy tale set the scene with exposition, but they didn’t bother to show some parts that the audience definitely needed to see. (The first half of Maleficent also kind of had this problem.)

2. It turned into a romantic comedy halfway through.
So.  At the beginning of the film our tragic heteros Eric (Hemsworth) and Sara (Chastain) fall in love.  Or at least, apparently they do.  The first time we see them talk to each other, they meet in the dark and make out, then “get married” in a hot springs of sex bathing.  Emily Blunt’s porcelain warging owl spies them at this, however, and their tragic love is torn apart.  Sara believes Eric abandoned her; Eric believes Sara is dead.  He goes about his business, namely the events of the first film.  She is either in jail or manipulated into doing horrible things by Freya for seven years. Eric is sent on a mission by the Prince to find the evil mirror, during which he and his dwarf companions are attacked. Sara rescues them, and he is astonished to find her alive, while she believes that he ran away and left her behind. Herein begins the wacky romcom portion of the story. I honestly thought we were going to spend the rest of the movie watching them fall in love on their wacky journey, sort of a Meg Ryan-style misunderstanding plot with goblins and swords thrown in. That doesn’t last long, but it was a hilarious interlude.

1. Most importantly, the actual story made no sense.
How many children has Ravenna killed to stop them from becoming more beautiful than she? How exactly did Freya conquer the entire North?  The North of where?  What are the laws of magic in this world?  Is the magic mirror possessing people?  What did Freya do to Sara?  Why does Sam Claflin get to kiss Kristen Stewart?  Exactly how did the mirror have Ravenna inside it and then birth her out in a swath of liquid gold?  Where was this sanctuary they kept speaking of to hide the mirror in and why didn’t they just destroy it in the first place?  Why didn’t Freya have more problems with Huntsmen falling in love? Why didn’t she use more drastic measures to try to avoid sexual maturity (i.e. castration)? Why didn’t she make herself an ice baby and call it a day? Why did the dwarves fall in love so quickly, since it’s established that male and female dwarves despise each other? Why were none of the women’s hairstyles even? Why did Freya not at least make her army one-gender, in order to avoid heterosexual complications? Etcetera.

–your fangirl heroines.

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Television Tuesday :: my Westerosi dumpster isn’t on fire yet

3 May

So I came into season six of Game of Thrones pretty much like “well, I’m stuck here.”  Because, in a way, I am.  This show has done so many things that would make me ragequit another show (Sansa and Shireen last season being among them) but, because of my furious passion for the women and because it’s a thing I do With People and because I’ve committed to much of my energy and honestly my love to it, I can’t do that.

I’m here.

I’m going to grit my teeth and suffer for the small moments of beauty.  Here are a few from the first two episodes.

5. The explanation that no man can lay with a dead Khal’s wife.
This is literally the lowest freaking bar possibly set.  But considering that uh, this show and also Khals as a rule have a whole lot of rape, I was afraid that the Dany (Emilia Clarke) storyline this season would devolve into rape.  At least it (probably) won’t, given this canonical rule.

4. Dolorus Edd (Ben Crompton).
I love badass Eeyore.  That is all.

3. Asha-Yara (Gemma Whelan).
No, you guys, I don’t think you have any idea how excited I am about what’s to come with her (hopefully).  On two fronts.  And I’ve missed her.

2. Sand Snakes.
So my mom is on a message board, which led her to the conclusion that we are about the only people who’ve read the books who liked the bloody coup de grace that Ellaria (Indira Varma), Tyene (Rosabell Laurenti Sellers), Nymeria (Jessica Henwick), and Obara (Keisha Castle-Hughes) pulled.  Then again, she used to lurk on a different message board, where we were the only ones who cared about Dorne at all.  I keep telling her there’s a really easy way to explain this.   Apparently it’s “not like the books” well, at this point the show isn’t. Apparently (according to my dad) they’re all evil because they murdered their uncle and that sweet little girl (I am still sad about Myrcella, but y’know) and that nice young man.  They kinslayed, therefore they “have it coming.”  My dad also thinks that Oberyn dying was his own fault and apparently doesn’t remember that the Lannisters were (as Ellaria explicitly pointed out?) responsible for the rape and murder of Oberyn and Doran’s sister, not to mention the deaths of said sister’s children.  I don’t think that the Sand Snakes are evil.  I think they got fed up with the fact that the person in charge was out of touch, wasn’t doing anything to seek rightful justice for his family, was just going to sit back and do nothing in general, and they took matters into their own hands in a way that was extreme but also my mom and I couldn’t stop grinning because oh my god and also (in my case) fuck the patriarchy a little bit.  Also, I just love them and they’re beautiful.

I haven’t talked to my dad about episode two yet, but he sure didn’t walk into the room tonight when he got home from the gym and interrupt my mother’s and my conversation to tell us firmly that a certain Iron Islander kinslayer was evil and had it coming.  Just saying.

1. Sansa (Sophie Turner) and Brienne (Gwendoline Christie).
This scene was so beautiful my mom cried.  This scene was so beautiful I made drift partner go find me gifs of it (because I’m afraid to go into GOT tags on tumblr).  This scene made me so happy.

–your fangirl heroine.

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