TV meme

Dec. 28th, 2013 08:29 pm
masqthephlsphr: (lost6)
So apparently, I did this meme for 2011, but not 2012. 2013 was weird, TV-wise, because I dumped cable TV in December of 2012, and in some ways, watched more new (to me) programs than I did when I had cable. It really has changed the way I watch TV. Now, I'm much more likely to at least watch one episode of something on spec, knowing I can catch up with it in order if I want to. Streaming video makes it easier to find stuff you actually like, as opposed to meandering through the glut of 2000 channels of 24-hour cable. One thing that hasn't changed is my hesitation in trying brand-spanking new traditional network shows. I still wait for my flist's reaction, and a few seasons to pass, as a rule.

The ability to watch entire seasons of a show in one fell swoop can make the actual "start date" of viewing a blur, so some of the below I'm not 100% sure about starting in 2013:

Which TV shows did you start watching in 2013?

The Americans, Orphan Black, Orange is the New Black, Continuum, The Vampire Diaries, Weeds, Sleepy Hollow, Eureka, Sherlock. Probably a few others I can't remember.

Which TV show did you let go of in 2013?

Revolution. I watched until the final ep of season 1, but post-apocalyptic gung-ho paramilitary hijinks, just not my thing.

Dexter, but that was over anyway.

I keep threatening to stop watching Criminal Minds, just because the show has become a parody of itself. I couldn't quite get a finger on why, until I started a recent rewatch of the early seasons. In seasons 1-7, you could always count on the team being wrong about something in their profile, and having to refine it, and even then getting a twist on each classic psychosis. And not a twist at the end, but a twist in the entire episode. It wasn't predictable. Now? Seasons 8 and 9 have just become paint-by-numbers stories, where you can predict the outcome, and the perp's "signature" right off the initial crime scene.

For me, the show ended perfectly at the end of season 7. But I still watch.

Which TV show did you mean to get into but didn't in 2013? Why?

My Netflix queue is full of shows I may or may not get around to: Alphas, Breaking Bad, Doctor Who, Elementary, Fringe, Fullmetal Alchemist, Skins, Supernatural, Torchwood. I donno. Lately, I've been on an Investigation Discovery True Crime series kick. Totally disturbing, and yet the stand-alone episode tabloid histrionics doesn't require brain cells to watch.

Which TV show do you intend to check out in 2014?

The potential new post-Voyager web Star Trek series, Star Trek Renegades, looks interesting. At least it's not JJ Abrams pseudo-Trek.

Which TV show impressed you least in 2013?

Sleepy Hollow. I still see a lot of my flist gushing over it, apparently because it's insane crack to them. But I think enjoyable insane crack is taste-specific. My idea of enjoyable insane crack was season 2 of Lost.

Which TV show did you enjoy the most in 2013?

Once Upon A Time became my first real TV fandom since Angel was cancelled (I liked Lost, but didn't start really posting about it until season 6, and those were mostly chirping cricket posts). I was a "Yeah, sure, I try to catch it each week" OUAT fan until the episode Manhattan. Then they totally got me hook, line, and sinker.
masqthephlsphr: (fk)
Yeah. So. I might have been a little hasty in my prediction that all 30's pulp sci fi would be melodramatic. Too much (over)exposure to Captain Proton. That said, the sci-fi of the 1930's still seems to have an earnest straight-forwardness to it. That is, with the exception of minor details, it does not read as particularly revolutionary to the contemporary eye. But you know, neither does a Mondrian abstract painting.

Looked at from a purely 21st century perspective, your gut reaction to such paintings (or such short stories) is "So what? Lots of stuff looks like that." Yes. These days. But then you glance at the year the painting or the story came out and contrast it with what passed as popular design or entertainment in its day, and the work is friggin' revolutionary. Indeed, any one of these stories can be classed as a primordial example of what is now a common sci-fi trope. If H. G. Wells is the grandfather of modern science fiction, these writers are his sons:

John W. Campbell )

Stanley Weinbaum )

A. E. Van Vogt )
masqthephlsphr: (books)
As threatened/promised, a brief review of the science fiction short stories I have read so far in my chronological tip-toe through the genre. My descriptions/reviews below are somewhat spoilery in terms of premise and tone, although I don't out and out describe how the stories end.

The first two stories have been dubbed 'proto science fiction' in that they were written well before there was any such genre as science fiction, and were labeled in hindsight as "science fiction-like." H. G. Wells is the first of this batch to be truly a "science fiction" writer, although he would not have used that term, since it was not invented until the mid-twentieth century.

Edgar Allen Poe )

Nathaniel Hawthorne )

H.G. Wells )

Edmond Hamilton )

Robert Heinlein )
masqthephlsphr: Halt and Catch Fire (girl geek)
... but I know why.

First, a rec from the man behind Wesley Crusher:

I have only been aware of this misogyny-in-geekdom problem in the past year or so via LiveJournal links and posts on the topic. I've been a girl geek all my life )

So, in conclusion:

"Geeky is just shorthand for enthusiastic and enlightened" --[personal profile] scrollgirl
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: (OUAT)
I got the first season of OUAT on DVD for Xmas and have been doing a rewatch. Simultaneously, I've been plotting the second draft of my novel using the hero's journey as a rough template, so I had the concept of the hero's Guide archetype in my head while watching.

Assuming Emma is the Hero of OUAT, the first Guide she encounters, at least in season one, is Henry. He has the Book, and he is constantly interpreting events and people for Emma (also, Mary-Margaret/Snow White, and Graham/the Huntsman) in terms of the book so that she can see herself in the larger picture of what she is supposed to accomplish as the "savior."

A lot of fans have a knee-jerk dislike of unusually-bright child characters. I'm not one of them (Wesley Crusher fan. No apologies.) I think I may even have a slight* story kink for bright child characters, especially if the child is part of an emotionally complicated parent-child dynamic, which Henry is in spades. (*slight; this trope can be sloppily done)

There is a precedent to the idea of the child-as-guide. It comes from the notion of a child having "clearer sight" then adults, not being blinded or sidetracked by the assumptions that get inculcated later through education and the disappointments and joys of life. Invariably, though, in this trope, the adults around the child dismiss the child's perceptions as imaginary or naive.

Henry is a smart kid, but he doesn't really know much of anything he didn't read in the fairytale book. What he knows, in and of himself, is simply to trust the book, and that sort of faith is well-suited for a child character. (BTW, where that book came from before Mary Margaret gave it to Henry is a question I don't believe they have answered as of mid-season two).

Henry isn't unwavering in his faith and shows lapses, especially in mid-season when (*gasp*) evil fights back, and even as late as the last episode of season one when even he seems surprised to see Pinocchio reverting to wood.

In season 2, he is allowed to be more of a child, although he was interestingly one of the first threshold figures who could exist between our world and fairytale world.

Reactions and speculations on this week's OUAT (In the Name of the Brother) )

Fannish 5

Jun. 9th, 2012 11:39 am
masqthephlsphr: (angelsartre)
Five canon events that you found unbelievable and wished had not happened.

Agreeing with my flist on a number of these:

Spoilers for some ridiculous character deaths )


Jan. 26th, 2011 06:28 am
masqthephlsphr: (Sisko)
Ganked from [personal profile] butterfly

List fifteen of your favorite characters from different fandoms, and ask people to spot patterns in your choices, and if they're so inclined, to draw conclusions about you based on the patterns they've spotted.

In no particular order (other than the order they occurred to me):

1 Connor (AtS)
2 Angel (AtS)
3 Faith (BtVS/AtS)
4 Be'lanna Torres (ST:Voyager)
5 Sisko (ST:DSN)
6 Data (ST: TNG)
7 Ensign Ro (ST: TNG)
8 K'Ehleyr (ST: TNG)
9 Harry (Harry Potter)
10 Susan Rodriguez (The Dresden Files)
11 Richie (Highlander)
12 Spock (ST:TOS)
13 Hurley (Lost)
14 John Connor (Terminator)
15 Luke Skywalker (Star Wars)
16 Armand (Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles)
masqthephlsphr: (holiday)
...the Star Trek series Enterprise was cancelled. It actually started to become interesting in its fourth season, to become the show I'd wanted to watch when it first aired. The prequel; the show that actually paid attention to its future canon and told the story about the first days of Starfleet and the founding of the Federation, and tread those already sketched-out paths in imaginative ways that couldn't be predicted (their take on how the Klingons lost their forehead ridges for a while, ribbing off the human Eugenics Wars? Inspired, because it was so, so in character for the Klingons).

I suppose it was a show that was doomed to failure from the beginning. You can't explore strange new worlds and seek out new civilizations when your characters are just getting to know species that to the audience are familiar faces. You either have to take the story far afield into alien species we don't understand why we never heard of before (which they did a lot of, for three years), or write that prequel that could fall so quickly into predictability.

In the end, I didn't watch the show because I didn't bond personally with any of the characters. There was no one who intrigued me, or got under my skin. And so many of the early plots seemed warmed over [insert TOS/TNG/DSN/Voy episode here].

I finally got done catching up on the entire series on Netflix. Now to figure out what to catch up on next.
masqthephlsphr: (holiday)
Some of you may remember [profile] indulging_breck from hir Angel/Buffy iconing days. The awesomeness continues with an iconing of the original Trek series, now underway:

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