osprey_archer: (nature)
Micky and I swept through Cornell today, first to the art museum, where we spent most of our time on the top floor with the Asian Art - they go all across Asia, which naturally takes up quite a bit of space and time, so we were tired out by the end and didn't stop long in the rest of the museum. Well, except for a beautiful display of Tiffany glass on the landing between the second & third floors.

And then we went to the Cornell Botanical Gardens today, although it was rather hot, and had an absolutely splendid time walking around their herb garden - which was separated into themed plots, "Culinary Herbs," "Herbs for Tea," "Healing Herbs," "Herbs from Literature," and so on and so forth. (Many of the herbs were of course in more than one plot.)

I had a brief but intense interest in healing herbs when I was a kid, so it was nice to be able to see all those herbs that I'd read about in the flesh, if you will.

And also to sniff the leaves of many, many different kinds of mint, and try to pick up the non-mint undertones that are supposed to be there - apple mint, chocolate mint (yes, that's it's own plant!), mint sage... But really they all smelled like mint to me.

***

After that, being rather hot and tired, we repaired to an ice cream shop and thence to Micky's house (where I have been TRYING to do my laundry, but I fear I have become the Bane of Washing Machines - I broke the one in my apartment not too long ago, did I tell you? Well, I don't think I did anything to break it, it just broke while I was using it, but still...

In any case I have been having trouble getting the machine to work. Nothing seems to be working this afternoon: I also attempted to write a bit more of the Adventures of Harriet and Troy and alas have come up against the rocky shoals of Peter Wimsey's inimitable voice. He never sounds like himself when I write him. i suppose I could just cut him out entirely and have Troy meet Harriet all on her own, but then Wimsey can't discomfit Alleyn by calling him by his old Eton nickname (which, I have decided, should be "Allers,"), which would be too bad...

Oh well, dear. This is all lots of fun to brainstorm about, but I really can't do Peter's voice justice, and on the whole it's really more ambitious than I think I want to write. Perhaps it's just better to accept that the brainstorming will be the final product - as tormenting as that may be. Surely it's better than having nothing at all?

***

On the bright side, Micky has introduced me to The Great British Bake-Off. In fact she is at least the third friend to recommend this to me, but the first one to take the necessary step of forcing me to sit down and watch an episode, and it is just as charming and delightful as everyone has always promised.
osprey_archer: (kitty)
My roommate and I decided to watch the latest Gilmore Girls four-parter, A Year in the Life, which mostly I enjoyed very much: Stars Hollow is as charming as ever, I loooooved getting cameos from so many beloved characters (I never watched Gilmore Girls regularly, so it's kind of alarming how many characters I remembered and what strong feelings I have about them all), and just generally Gilmore Girls is always a good time.

But we got to the ending and...

Spoilers )

I also would have liked to see a bit more Paris, because the show leaves her hanging at a terrible place and then we never see her again, and - fair enough - there's a lot of other characters and storylines they had to fit in (SOOKIE'S RETURN!!!! AAAAAHHHHHH I LOVED THAT), but still. THERAPY FOR PARIS. Although honestly she will probably benefit from it no more than Emily Gilmore and for exactly the same reason: being vulnerable for someone who is basically a stranger, PAH, that is not within their code.

...Also seeing Guardians of the Galaxy 2 while in the midst of a Gilmore Girls rewatch was totally hilarious, because the guy who plays Kirk is a minion in GotG2 and he is basically exactly what Kirk the Space Minion would be. SPACE MINION KIRK.
osprey_archer: (cheers)
I can't recall who it was who recommended Underground to me - was it [livejournal.com profile] wordsofastory? - but HOLY SHIT, YOU WERE SO RIGHT, this show is amazing. My roommate and I raced through it as fast as Netflix could send us the discs, complete with howling and gnashing of teeth when we finished disc two and realized that we were going to have to wait a whole day before disc three arrived.

It's just really, really well-done in every possible way. The actors are all amazing - I want to give a particular shout-out for the child actors here, because it's so hard to find good ones but this show completely nails it. The little boy playing James is particularly good. And of course the writers give them a lot to work with: the characters are all layered and complex (ERNESTINE, oh my God!) and I could probably devote a full post to almost any one of them.

The music choices are unexpected and perfect - the show uses a mix of period songs, often sung by the characters themselves, and the occasional modern song as background music, which gives it extra emotional oomph and also ties the show to the present: these issues still shape our world today.

The show did a particularly good job weaving in historical detail and instances of oppression without ever sacrificing the excitement of the story or turning into misery porn. The camera doesn't linger on every detail of a whipping or a sexual assault (in fact, the one violent assault on the show takes place almost entirely off screen); it shows just enough to make sure we know what's happening, and then cuts away. I thought it struck a good balance between showing the evils of slavery, without being exploitative or titillating with them.

(I will add that the story racked up a higher body count than I expected.)

I did think that the later episodes were not quite as assured as the first few. In particular, there are a couple of characters who spring back from injuries like video characters - my favorite example is a scene where one guy is wandering through a cornfield, delirious from his probably infected shoulder wound, and then that's inconvenient for the plot and suddenly, still in mid-cornfield, he is totally fine.

But on the whole I think it's a wonderfully done show and I'm looking forward to seeing season 2.
osprey_archer: (window)
My brother and I just finished watching Band of Brothers, which we've been talking about watching for... oh, six months now... but I guess the news that I'm moving out lit a fire under him, because we've watched the ten episodes in about three weeks.

(This may not sound impressive, but it's very fast for us.)

And it's interesting. It's a good show, although in a very different way than I would call most of the shows that I watch good. When we started watching it, my brother commented, "I've seen this ten times and I still can't pick out all the guys," and I think that's deliberate. The hero of the story is not any of the particular guys (although Dick Winters' story serves as a sort of guidepost for those of us who are used to more individualized storytelling), but the company itself, Easy Company in the 101st Airborne.

Many of the episodes have a particular character who serves as the lens for that episode (I found the episode about Eugene Roe's experience as a medic particularly affecting). But it's not concerned with character arcs in the traditional sense; a character will get an episode and then slip back into the background for the rest of the show, without much follow-up on their personal arc.

I'm not sure I would have watched the whole thing without someone to say "Look! We know that guy, that's Bull Randleman!" (or whoever). But it's very well-made and I'm glad I saw it.

I'm also impressed by the relatively low gore quotient. Here you've got a show set in some pretty bloody fighting, like Bastogne (where the 101st Airborne was encircled by Nazi bombardment), and there is blood, of course, and a couple of really tragic death scenes, but the camera didn't linger lovingly on the gore or seek out every opportunity to wedge some more blood and guts in there. I feel like there's been a definite move in the pro-gore direction in the fifteen years since this was made and I wish we could go back.

This is one of my reservations about watching The Pacific, which Chuck wants us to do next. It was filmed in 2010, well after the Gore Renaissance was underway, so who knows how much blood and guts and intestines there'll be? And also I've heard that The Pacific is less cohesive than Band of Brothers, which is already only cohesive in its own somewhat peculiar way. So we'll see.
osprey_archer: (cheers)
A few Orphan Black thoughts, non-spoilery for once.

1. I really appreciate the ten-episode seasons. Not only do they make the show less intimidatingly long, but they also mean that each season is svelte enough that the writers don’t have to throw in any filler episodes. (I feel that this has always been one of Agents of SHIELD’s problems: there’s always part of the season where they’re mucking about not getting anywhere, because the writers have twelve more episodes to fill before the big finale.)

2. I also appreciate the fact that Orphan Black is willing to drop storylines for an episode or two. It means that every storyline in any given episode will have enough screen time to move forward in a meaningful way.

3. I do wonder if I’ll feel differently about this when I’m watching Orphan Black on TV next spring, though. It’s very satisfying when I know that I can watch the next episode and get updates on Alison’s Suburban Gothic life tomorrow, but will I feel differently if I have to wait a week between episodes?

4. Alison’s Suburban Gothic life is weirdly out of place with everything else in the show - why is Dyad so willing to leave her alone? - and yet I love it. I would never watch something like this on its own, but it’s such a relief in the midst of all the Dark Happenings to pop over to Alison. Not that Alison’s life is without dark happenings, but there’s an element of black farce to them that makes them a relief.

5. Before Orphan Black, I would have told you that I hated pregnancy storylines. But Orphan Black is making me rethink this: maybe it’s not pregnancy storylines that I hate so much as the way that they’re usually done on TV. I feel like Orphan Black takes issues of bodily autonomy far more seriously than most TV shows, which I suppose one would expect in a show about clones.

7. But then, the other main issue I’d expect a show about clones to tackle is identity, and Orphan Black is surprisingly silent on this issue. The first episode of the first season kicks off with one of the clones committing suicide, and although the other clones are sad about this, it doesn’t prompt any of them to soul-searching about their own mental health and possible propensity to suicide.

On the other hand, I think this is probably a wise move on Orphan Black’s part: the clones have very little in common other than looking alike, and I think if the show delved too deeply into identity issues it might run into problems trying to explain how they’re all so very different.
osprey_archer: (cheers)
I finished season 2 of Orphan Black! Which was fantastic and I am waiting impatiently for the first disc of season 3 to arrive, and! I am excited to learn that Netflix will be getting season 4 in the middle of July, which means I should be able to transition straight into it when I finish season 3!

Possibly with a pause in between to watch Only Yesterday, a Studio Ghibli movie that is finally coming to DVD in the US. I want to see all the Studio Ghibli films and I am slowly closing in on this goal.

But I digress! Back to Orphan Black.

One of the things I really like about this show is that it does such a good job humanizing the bad guys, and showing that they have soft sides and sadnesses - without utterly gutting the qualities that make them terrifying in the first place. They're dangerous and they're vulnerable, sometimes at the same time, and it's a complexity that isn't common in TV shows and especially isn't common with female characters, and it's a tour de force exhibition of the fact that creating fully human female characters means sometimes letting them be weak and small and broken.

Sarah's grit is all the more impressive because we sometimes see her cry, and break down, and not want to fight anymore.

And now for some Spoiler discussion )
osprey_archer: (friends)
I got the final disc of season 2 of Orphan Black today and there is nothing that I want to do more than bake a batch of chocolate chip and cranberry scones and spend the evening finishing the season.

Cut for Orphan Black spoilers )

Only I'm also supposed to go line-dancing tonight, and not just line-dancing class but actual for-real dancing at a lodge, and I'm sure it would actually be good for me to go out and see people and socialize - or hover uneasily along the wall between dances, that sounds more like something I would do - and, well, Orphan Black sounds more pleasant.

But if I didn't happen to have a convenient Orphan Black DVD, I'm sure I would convince myself that watching Graceland on Netflix instant or reading The Road to Little Dribbling or possibly just refreshing Tumblr endlessly sounded more pleasant, too. I should really go out there and dance. Embrace discomfort, self! I bet everyone else has the wrong shoes too!

Maybe I'll go for an hour and then come back and then make the scones and watch Orphan Black. The butter needs time to soften, anyway.
osprey_archer: (cheers)
I finished watching season one of Orphan Black, and wow! What a ride! I'm putting this behind the cut because it's basically impossible to talk about this show without spoilers.

Thoughts on Orphan Black! )
osprey_archer: (window)
NETFLIX NOW HAS SEASON THREE OF GRACELAND ON INSTANT AND IT HAS SWALLOWED UP MY ENTIRE DAY, which actually only means four episodes because I had other plans to attend to, but really for me four episodes of television in one day is a rare achievement.

I am not digging Mike's new facial hair (you've been out of the hospital for two weeks, Mikey-boy! Go ahead and shave!) but otherwise I'm having a good time. CHARLIE AND AMBER, SCHEMING TOGETHER AGAIN. (Whyyyy is there not fic for this? This is a rhetorical question, I know it's because approximately 90% of the Graceland fandom got in the show for Mike Warren who is played by the guy who played Enjolras in the Les Mis movie.) PAUL BRIGGS, MAKING BAD DECISIONS AS ALWAYS. JOHNNY TUTURRO, NOT AS GOOD AT SCHEMING AS HE NEEDS TO BE.

I'm a little worried how they'll tie everything together in the end, but this show has consistently impressed me with its tight plotting in past seasons, so I figure they'll probably pull it off. We'll see!
osprey_archer: (Agent Carter)
Man, this hasn't been a good week for my shows. Castle gets canceled - which is honestly kind of a relief; I'm glad someone realized the show couldn't go on without Kate Beckett - and also Agent Carter.

I would have been devastated if Agent Carter had been canceled last year, but season 2 was kind of a mess, so I'm not broken-hearted. A little sad that they won't have a chance to pull things back together in season 3, but then, how often does a television show get better in season three?

I do have a couple of thoughts about how they could have made season 2 better.

1. Have a clear idea what zero matter does. I don't mean that the characters needed to figure it all out, but the writers needed to have a clearer sense how it worked. As it was, zero matter seemed to do whatever the hell they needed it to do that episode, which really drained the tension out of the finale. Will they find a way to contain the zero matter???? Well, uh, they seem to have surprisingly good control over zero matter whenever it's plot convenient. I bet they will.

2. This is the big one: cut down on the romantic storylines. Cut out Sousa's new girlfriend Violet entirely (they could always have Ana Jarvis nurse Peggy after she's wounded. Or, hell, give Sousa some medical school background) and cut the romantic part of the Jason Wilkes plot line.

I have the strong feeling that the writers introduced him to deflect criticisms of Agent Carter's lack of racial diversity in season one, and as far as I can tell their thought process was "An interracial romance! Nothing says 'we're not racist!' like an interracial romance!"

Which would be all well and good if they actually intended to follow through with the romance part, but as it was it all felt like a bizarre bait and switch. He's introduced as a romantic prospect... and then he becomes incorporeal! And now they can make him corporeal again, but only in an electromagnetic cage thing! And now he's a traitor! But only because he's afraid for his life! Or maybe evil? No, not evil, but our running time is coming to an end and he's not a romantic possibility anymore. Because reasons.

IMO the writers have shipped Peggy/Sousa from day one and never meant to follow through on Peggy/Wilkes, and in that case they should have dropped that whole romantic angle on the Wilkes subplot. It's not like Peggy needed to have a romantic interest in Wilkes to go to great lengths to save him, especially given that she feels responsible for Wilkes's plight.

If the writers desperately wanted an interracial romance, they could have made the Samberly character a black guy (and more compatible with Rose).

There are a bunch of other things they could have tweaked - the season, as I said, was kind of a mess - but I think those two things alone would have made it more cohesive and focused.
osprey_archer: (window)
I've been giving a few new television shows a go, so I thought I would collect my thoughts here.

1. I've heard great things about 30 Rock, but... I didn't like the pilot. :/ Now, I wasn't blown over by the pilot for Graceland either, and I actually kind of disliked the pilot for Castle (in fact the first ten episodes or so grated on me; she's not interested, Castle, leave her alone!), so this is not necessarily the kiss of death, but...

Has anyone watched this show? Is the pilot pretty much of a piece with the rest of it, or is there a great tonal shift? Does Tina Fey shove Jack Donaghey out a thirteeth-floor window, for instance?

This is also giving me second thoughts about giving Invincible Kimmy Schmidt a try.

2. I watched the first two episodes of Wolfblood, which is cute but didn't blow me away. Possibly I've outgrown teen dramas? But I'll probably give it a few more episodes to find its feet; I think five episodes is usually a good number, especially with half hour episodes.

3. Orphan Black. Oh my GOD, you guys, this show is amazing, and Tatiana Maslany is an absolute revelation. If I didn't know that she was playing all these different characters, I never in a million years would have guessed, because she's so good at making them all different - obviously with help from wardrobe and the writers in giving them different speech patterns, but still, the accents! The body language! The facial expressions! That's all her, and it's all amazing. And her control is so perfect.

I've only seen the first four episodes so far, so I don't have much of an opinion about the unfolding mysteries yet - although I will say, I loooooved the way that Sarah had to figure out Elizabeth Childs' life in the first few episodes after unwitting stealing her identity. The way that they set up this smaller mystery within the bigger mysteries of the season gives me a lot of hope for good payoffs: they clearly understand the pleasure of unraveling a mystery when the question is not whodunnit but "what the heck has been done and what does it mean?"
osprey_archer: (Agents of SHIELD)
Apparently Stana Katic - the actress who plays Kate Becket - is leaving Castle at the end of season 8. In a sense this doesn't effect me at all, because I'd already decided to stop watching at the end of season 7 (the season finale struck me as a perfect cap to the series, and I was already hearing questionable things about season 8), but...

How can they do the show without Kate Becket? I mean really. I realize that the showrunners sometimes think that Castle is the main character and Kate is the love interest (hence the fact that he gets more backstory and more focus on his family) but the show is always best when they treat Castle and Becket as co-protagonists. I love a lot of the other things about this show: Castle's conscientious, driven, delightful daughter Alexis, his eccentric but wise mother Martha, Ryan and Esposito's bromance, the zaniness of a lot of the cases (they had a steampunk case! A steampunk case!) -

But the thing that really holds the show together is the banter and spark between Becket and Castle. If Katic is leaving, they might as well cancel the show now.
osprey_archer: (Agents of SHIELD)
I finished season 7 of Castle, and in between some things I've heard about season 8 and the fact that season 7 has one of the most perfect endings ever, I think I'm going to stop here. (...Unless sometime down the road someone tells me that season 9 is amazeballs, but when was the last time anyone said season 9 of anything was amazeballs?)

So! Now I am in the position of needing a new show, and I have decided to lay out the pros and cons of the various shows I have in my Netflix queue. (This doesn't include shows available on Netflix instant: those don't require pre-planning to check out.)


1. Orphan Black

Pros: Multiple friends have recommended this to me as being basically the most amazing thing ever

Also, it's starting a new season soon, so theoretically I could catch up and watch it on TV! And although there are three previous seasons, they're only ten episodes long, so I might actually catch up rather than trailing disconsolately behind for the entire run of the show like I have done with basically everything else I've ever watched.

Cons: I am so terrible with faces, you guys. I am so terrible with faces that I spent the first two episodes of Cambridge Spies desperately confused about which white British dudes with a posh accent was which, never mind there are are only four of them and they don't even look that similar! Whereas Orphan Black has fifteen different characters played by the same actress!

Actually I think fifteen is an exaggeration. But nonetheless there are a lot of them.


2. Dark Angel

Pros: You had me at "genetically enhanced soldier Max Guevara on the run from the government." It's like they designed a show just for me! Right down to the fact that it's only two seasons long, bless you, Dark Angel, you are made to cater to my television commitment issues.

Cons: I don't think this one has any cons, but that's partly because I know very little about it. Is the reason I haven't heard more about it because it's secretly terrible and that's why it got only two seasons?


3. Golden Girls

Pros: I have heard many good things about this show about older women hanging out and being buddies and cracking wise together, and it sounds like it would be a hilarious and relaxing show.

Also, while it does have a million episodes, it's also complete, so it's not going to have a million more.

Cons: It has a million episodes. I am very intimidated by shows that have more than three seasons, and Golden Girls has seven and also - I just noticed this - Netflix doesn't have one of them! WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT, NETFLIX, WHY.

Probably tabling this one until Netflix has the complete damn series.


4. The Good Wife

Pros: My friends have also sung the praises of this show to the sky, as have the critics, especially for the varied and complex relationships between the female characters.

Cons: It also has a million episodes, and it's still running so who knows how many more it will accrue.


5. Brideshead Revisited

Pros: A miniseries! So it's very short and there will never be more. Also I like book adaptations. (I should see if there are any Austen miniseries I haven't watched yet...)

Cons: I just watched Cambridge Spies, so I'm not feeling another miniseries about the upper classes in interwar Britain just at this moment. Plus I get my fix for that from Poirot. I could even catch up on all those seasons of Downton Abbey I missed, if I really wanted to make myself miserable, why would I want that, this is a terrible idea, self, stop it.

Anyway, I'll probably watch this one eventually (that's the nice thing about miniseries), but not right at this moment.


6. Justified

Pros: I do love crime dramas. And this one is set in Appalachia, and I'm not sure why that appeals to me but it does.

I've also heard a lot of compliments about the use of language in this series, the poetry of the dialogue, which is not something one hears about many series and therefore made me perk up and take notice.

Cons: The female characters apparently get short shrift. Also, while the show is complete, it's also six seasons long, which is a lot of seasons.


I may just go ahead and try Orphan Black first, because it's the only one that has any kind of time component: the others are either complete, or so long that there's no way I'll catch up to the currently airing episodes (The Good Wife). Are there any other shows I should take under consideration? Perhaps particularly miniseries or series that were tragically canceled before their time.
osprey_archer: (cheers)
I can't remember who it was on my flist who recommended the BBC murder mystery miniseries Grantchester ([livejournal.com profile] evelyn_b? [livejournal.com profile] lycoris?), but I just watched the first episode and it seems delightful in a lowkey and rather melancholy way.

Also Sidney and Amanda are clearly meant for each other. I have developed surprisingly strong feelings about this in the space of a single episode. She bought him an adorable black lab puppy! That is a terrible gift to inflict on anyone unannounced! Somehow this does not impede my sense that they are Meant To Be.
osprey_archer: (cheers)
Last year, when Galavant ended on a total cliffhanger, I felt so bitter about it that I was on the fence about whether I wanted a second season.

This year, it wraps nearly everything up, and ZOMG I want season 3 like burning. (Even though I am probably not going to get it.)

Spoilers for the finale )
osprey_archer: (cheers)
New Agent Carter! New Agent Carter!

I may possibly write about the episode at more length later, but for now: this is the kind of quality Dottie Underwood that I am here for. Is she actually that obsessed with Peggy Carter? Or does she just realize that hearing her swoon over Peggy really, really pisses Jack Thompson off? OR BOTH?

Also: we finally get to meet Anna Jarvis! Who is clearly feeling a bit territorial about Jarvis (that kiss at the beginning), but then, who wouldn't, Jarvis is adorable. He's all excited to show off his judo moves to Peggy! Peggy is all, oh Jarvis, you don't know what you're getting into. He should stick to looking dapper and making quips.

Also Agent Sousa has a new girlfriend, who seems like a lovely person, but I am not sure how I feel about this development because I am pretty sure that Sousa is still in love with Peggy (or possibly has fallen in love with her all over again now that she's shown up again), so I feel like this is going to end badly for everyone, SADFACE.

...Also I have the unpleasant feeling that the symbol that keeps showing up everywhere is the Hydra symbol that's been all over season 3 of Agents of SHIELD, which I don't like because (1) the Hydra in season 3 of AoS is comic book evil in a bad way, and (2) given that we the viewers all know that Hydra ends up infiltrating her organization and tearing it apart from the inside, I'm not sure how I feel about them showing up as the Big Bad in season 2. It's going to make any victory unpleasantly Pyrrhic.

But we'll see! We'll see where it goes! For now, my show is back!
osprey_archer: (cheers)
I finished the first season of Brooklyn 99, and you guys, I love this show. Leaving aside all else for the moment, it's just so darn funny; it makes me laugh out loud at least once an episode, and I have this unfortunate tendency to start watching - just one episode! - and then, you know, one episode is over, but they're only twenty minutes long, clearly I should watch another. And maybe another.

It strikes a pretty perfect balance between the cops' work and personal lives, too. Sometimes when I watch cop shows I feel like shouting "Get back to your precinct already!" at the screen (usually I don't continue with those shows for very long) - I think romantic entanglement is the easy mode of television writing (or just plain story writing, for that matter), certainly easier than coming up with cop-related things for cop protagonists to do.

The only clouds on my horizon with this show, in fact, are the looming signs of future Jake Peralta/Amy Santiago and especially Charles Boyle/Rosa Diaz. I've warmed very slightly to Jake/Amy, because underneath their surface differences they have some important similarities - they're both competitive and immature and desperate for approval (Amy is much more obvious about it; Jake expresses it by pretending he doesn't care at all while practically breaking his neck to get it) - but then again, those are not similarities that really say "these two people would have a successful romantic relationship." They would probably both be better off with someone who would know when to say "Chill, dude." Like, possibly every morning at breakfast.

And I don't think Charles and Rosa have much of anything in common and also he's scared of her (she breaks things! when she's angry! she's scary! I love her but she really is scary), so it's hard to see that working out as endgame even though there are little flashing neon signs around them saying ENDGAME ENDGAME ENDGAME.

One of the things I really like about the show, actually, is that - although Amy Santiago likes to see herself as the mature one to Jake's shenanigans - neither she nor Rosa end up acting as straight woman to the rest of the team; they're just as immature as the guys, and they don't get saddled with the show's emotional labor.

(Plus, although Rosa and Amy's friendship isn't a big plot point in the season, they are friends and they do hang out with each other and crack wise and I like that about them.)

Most of the emotional labor on the show goes to Terry, the sergeant who describes himself as a "proud mama hen" of his team (and whose big conflict this season is his desire to stay safe so he can take care of his family versus his duties as a cop), and to Charles Boyle, clumsy, good-natured, food-obsessed, and always on the lookout for ways to promote team togetherness. He's so into Thanksgiving that the team actually puts together a bingo card of Charles' Thanksgiving quirks.

Also, Holt's deadpan. That deadpan, you guys, he kills it.

Supergirl

Jan. 7th, 2016 10:40 am
osprey_archer: (window)
I watched the first few episodes of Supergirl in the fall, missed an episode while I was on a trip, and then never caught up because the show seemed sweet but not stunningly good.

But then I watched the rest of the first half of the season so I could start watching again in January (and then got the episode time wrong and missed it! Like an idiot!), and it's won me over.

In the first few episodes, Kara is a sweet and slightly bumbling girl who is finding her feet as a superhero. And she remains sweet and slightly bumbling and adorably awkward (I love the moment when Cat Grant is all "What planet are you from?" - rhetorically, of course - and Kara is all, "Um...this one?" OH KARA), but in the later episodes, she also gets angry.

When she was thirteen, her planet was destroyed, her whole family was killed, except for her Aunt Astra who's probably evil - except maybe her aunt was trying to save Krypton, and Kara's mother was partially responsible for its destruction - and Kara's been on earth trying to hide her powers for the past ten years and she's angry.

(Now, I strongly suspect that in the end it will turn out that Kara's mother was right and Aunt Astra is tragically misguided, but at the moment it could go either way, and kudos to the writers for making this seem genuinely uncertain.)

Female characters who are really fucking angry are my jam. Veronica Mars, Peggy Carter, Jaye Tyler from Wonderfalls... I think even Mary from Downton Abbey fits this description, which is rather odd; you would expect Sybil to be the angry sister, as she's the activist in the family.

But I think actually that makes Sybil calmer: she knows she doesn't want this to be her life and she has a plan to get out. Whereas Mary is aware that she's not content with things as they are, but her only real plan of escape is maybe marriage, and she seems uneasily aware that it's not a very good plan. She's trapped.

It makes her bitter and petty and mean, and I can see why people dislike that about her - especially because, from what I've heard, she never really grows out of it? But in the first two seasons, I did believe that eventually she would come to terms with what she wants from the world, and become less petty if not, perhaps, less furious.

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