masqthephlsphr: (HP)
More often than not when you ask me who my favorite character in a book, film, or television series is, it's the hero. Not that I don't appreciate the grayer characters, the morally ambiguous types--tricksters, shady allies and informants, double-agents, self-serving baddies with sympathetic pasts and motivations.

But sometimes I think those grayer characters get overvalued, proclaimed "way more interesting" than the heroes, who are decried as boring and predictable when the do the right thing, and lambasted when they make a mistake. Similarly, fans who like hero characters are made to feel like throwbacks to 1952.

But where would we be without the heroes? A story full of characters whose primary motivations are self-serving or up for grabs may make an interesting read/viewing experience, but an abundance of stories like that leave me feeling ungrounded. Those gray characters are like the icing without the cake. I need to have someone in the story who I can root for without feeling like I washed myself with a dirty rag. Someone far from perfect but who I know is trying to do the right thing, even if they mess it up a lot along the way. Even if, in the end, they fail.

It's a bit embarrassing, though, to be asked who your favorite character is in fandom discussions and have to "admit":

Oh, Highlander? Duncan Macleod
Harry Potter series: Harry Potter
Merlin BBC: well, Merlin, of course
Angel the Series: Angel
Star Trek Deep Space Nine: Ben Sisko
Once Upon A Time: Emma Swan
Harry Dresden: Harry Dresden

...and so on.

It's not always the case though. My favorite ST: TNG character was Data. But of course, he was the epitome of the awkwardly sincere trying-to-be-the-best-of-humanity. And my favorite character on Lost was Hurley, but y'know, Everyman with a Heart of Gold, he was. On ST: Voyager, I liked Be'lanna Torres. I have a thing for the fucked-up tough girls. But I'm not sure I would have stayed glommed onto the angry, screwed-up babes if they weren't flawed-but-trying-to-be-a-good-person. To wit: Faith on BtVS/AtS. Although she was never my favorite character on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I never really had one, except possibly the foursome of Buffy+Giles+Willow+Xander. The collective heroic.

Do I get points if my favorite Anne Rice vampire was Armand? He was no saint. I could never stand Lestat, but I liked Louis quite a bit. I prefer my vampires with a soul.
masqthephlsphr: (dragonlord)
Says my GF upon watching Merlin/Arthur banter circa seaon 3: "It's almost like they're married, isn't it?"
masqthephlsphr: (spare)
First off: Happy Hanukkah!!


It's very awkward scrolling down the flist seeing reviews from this week's Merlin when I can't watch Merlin. Oh I can view it, but I'm not allowed to. My GF forbade me now that we are watching the show together from the beginning. I wouldn't say I overflow with generosity in this relationship, so I had to give her that much. I may Memory flisters reviews and come back to them later.

It's official: I have suffered for my Christmas decorations. I misjudged how high up on the ladder I was while hanging lights outside, and stretched out my foot to the floor and found air instead. Kerplop right on my tailbone on the concrete garage floor. Oooouch. Shocked I didn't knock my head on the fender of my car.

I'm rapidly falling behind in PlotWriMo. Finished day 6 on Friday and today is Day 9. Hoping to catch up. I am learning a bit about my draft, though, and yesterday while lying in a mellow space during acupuncture w/ nothing else to do I had a cool idea for draft 2. I will begin writing in January, but I think my focus that month will be on research to feed the idea fount.
masqthephlsphr: (dragonlord)
(1) Sick again. Cold and sore throat. This autumn is kicking my @$$. OTOH, it's Autumn, hellsyeah. And winter will be here shortly. My favorite time of year, for multiples of reasons.

(2) Finally am getting the Sculptor to watch Merlin. I knew she'd love it from the moment I started watching. She loves it. However, she has made me promise to stop watching Season 5 so we can watch the end together for the first time. Sigh, now I have to tip-toe through the spoiler-tips and not play "This week's episode round-up."

(3) Xmas list accomplished: elder nephew, Mom, younger nephew and niece (apparently? Their mom buys gifts, I decide which one 'is from me', pay for it and wrap it. Works.) And Bro and SIL are getting a Major Gift so it's for both of them. Technically. Need to get a card for my sister and a couple dozen doo-hickies for the Sculptor.

(4) SIL wants the Sculptor and I to play Santa Claus with her Xmas eve, wrapping presents and getting all the gifts ready under their tree for morning. Okay, sounds like what Christmas is all about. HOWEVER, she is a night owl. I am not. No 2 AM finish lines for this auntie where I'm expected to be back there at 7 am all bright-eyed and coffee-carrying.

(5) I am working through PlotWriMo. It's already helped me realized that 60% of my story is (1) exposition (people explaining things to other people, usually while sitting around doing nothing else), or (2) flashbacks/memories that provide background to current events. I clearly need to focus on present-day action in my new draft: rising action and suspense, and pick through what exposition and background stuff can stay or go, and if it stays, in what form.
masqthephlsphr: (OUAT)
I have been bamblasted lately with work and finishing the first draft of my novel. I can squeeze a few hours of TV into my week, but my posting has gotten a bit sketchy (looking at my LJ, it's all birthday greetings lately). I do have a post-of-actual-content in the works, but in the meantime, here are some TV impressions of the season so far (space dividers under each cut tag for spoilers).


Revolution )

Grimm )

Merlin S 5 )
masqthephlsphr: (dragonlord)
I have a hit counter on my LJ and DW that lets me know how many people are reading my J's, (more or less) where they are geographically located, and what page they visited. It's the same hit counter as I use for (I can't really tell who they are, unless they've left comments on either J logged in as themselves, which shows their ISP, assuming it's consistent across logins).

One thing I can do for ATPo is get a referring URL, if it's an actual link on that page. Doesn't work for LJ/DW, though, because of the frames, I think.

Anyway, I've been getting repeated hits to this entry since December:

I have to assume they are coming from someone who linked to me, and I want to say it's due to my spot-on analysis of the politics of Merlin ('cause who cares what TV shows Masq watched in 2011?), but there's no way to know.
masqthephlsphr: (kilgharrah)
One fandom activity I don't like seeing and don't enjoy doing is nit-picking plot holes. All fictional works have them, but some people relish the idea of pointing them out and castigating the writers of the fictional work. They relish complaining. Television is especially vulnerable to this because of tight writing schedules and multiple authors.

I hate nit-picking because I don't like plot holes, they ruin my enjoyment of a book/show/film considerably, and I'd just as soon spackle over them and move on rather than grouse for fun and profit. Back in the hey-day of the ATPo board, we used to spend a portion of our time "spackling" BtVS and AtS plot holes using show canon or well-accepted fanon. We'd pack the hole with speculation, likely or unlikely, and end the post with "spackle, spackle" as a tongue-in-cheek wink to other posters (especially if our hole-filler was a stretch).

I suppose most plothole-filling in fandom occurs in spackle!fic rather than "meta." And probably more convincingly as well, since fiction is a more visceral medium for making a case.

Regardless of how it's done, spackling can work surprisingly well for the fan willing to put in the ThinksTooMuch time, because ofttimes the apparently dangling plot point was, in fact, established by the writers, just weakly, or in ways that were obvious to them but not to the viewers.

I am thinking of this today because one of the worst kind of plot holes there is is weakly-developed motivation in a character-driven story.

Regina on OUAT (spoilers to last night's episode) )

Morgana on Merlin (spoilers to 4.13) )
masqthephlsphr: (masq)
I don't think I've ever done an introductory post before, seeing as I've known most of my flist for years and have survived internet kerfuffles, raging forest fires, and DoubleMeat Palace viewings with them. But I recently gained a few new flisties from a Merlin fandom friending meme and apparently an introductory post after that is what All the Cool Kids Do.

So if you know this stuff already, feel free to move along.

Masquerade the Philosopher: a primer )

Well, that's enough shameless self-promotion for one day.


Jan. 30th, 2012 11:51 am
masqthephlsphr: (kilgharrah)
I have a Meta-bunny. Or whatever the essay version of a plot bunny is. Actually, it's more of a Meta-dragon.

But god, I am *so* out of practice.

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Jan. 20th, 2012 01:09 pm
masqthephlsphr: (kilgharrah)
Your order of "Merlin: The Complete Third..." has shipped!
masqthephlsphr: (merlin)
Which TV shows did you start watching in 2011?

Farscape, Ringer, Unforgettable, The Secret Circle, Once Upon a Time, Grimm, The Borgias, Merlin.

Which TV shows did you let go of in 2011?

None, really.

Which TV shows did you mean to get into but didn't in 2011? Why?

None. I gave everything that seemed worth watching a shot.

Which TV shows do you intend on checking out in 2012?

Fringe, maybe, unless I put my Netflix membership on hold again out of sheer boredom.

Which TV show impressed you least in 2011?

Farscape )

Which TV show do you think you might let go of in 2012 unless things significantly improve?

Ringer is on the endangered list. The "cry rape" story line is too triggery for me to put up with the rest of that convoluted mess. The Secret Circle needs less soap bubbles and more newt.

Possibly the CSIs, if CSI starts sucking without Catherine.

Which TV show impressed you the most in 2011? Why?

Once Upon a Time )

Merlin )

Which TV shows do you think you'll never let go of no matter how crappy they get? Why?

Back in the day, friends managed to talk me into not divorcing Angel after the crappy ending to Season 4. But most shows do not have my heart the way Angel did.

Although I will probably watch Farscape to the bitter end just to say that I watched it. But the stuff that is brand new this Fall? If it annoys me in the new year, it gets deleted from the DVR recordings list. I just don't have the time.

Shows I watched and loved that aren't mentioned on this list because I started them in another year

Criminal Minds is back to the old school show, which is a relief.

I wouldn't say I "loved" True Blood and Dexter this season. I watched them mostly to find out what would happen next. But I will continue to next season. And I am watching Leverage. It is okay.
masqthephlsphr: (merlin)
...was excellent. Spoilers to 3.13 )

The clerk at Walgreens gave me permission to go home and curl up under a blanket and read a good book. Guess I'll have to settle for curling up under a blanket at work and pretending to read my computer screen.
masqthephlsphr: (Ho)
The boss has started to trim the Christmas cactus.

In other news, I am having an allergic reaction to returning to work. Symptoms: achiness, fever, and sore throat.

This just in: Merlin s. 3 continues to charm despite annoying character reboot of annoyingness.
masqthephlsphr: (merlin)
I had a long Thanksgiving break and little or nothing on the DVR to watch due to Thanksgiving week hiatuses, so I decided to start in on a new show (new for me) that I had read about on my flist.

One thing I think about now when I watch a show is, "Is this just something to pass the time (Dexter, True Blood), or is this a show I want to share with the Sculptor (Lost, Being Human)? Merlin, so far, has definitely fallen into the latter category.

Spoilers to 2.11 )


Nov. 24th, 2011 08:10 pm
masqthephlsphr: (a wizard named harry)
Finished Season 1 of Merlin. This will probably be one I eventually purchase on DVD.

It has lots of things that hit my story kinks: destiny, myth, inborn traits that must be kept as a dangerous secret (wonder where I got that one from), an ugly duckling/Cinderella protagonist, magic, legendary creatures, strong women characters, fabulous medieval décor (I want to redo my living room to look like that castle), and bonus Anthony Head!

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