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Having enjoyed [ profile] stormwreath 's presentation of British history, I thought it would be fun to write up the American version.  As it happens, I need to give two versions.

Read more... )
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[ profile] tranquil_ity is posting a lovely set of reflections/commentaries on Angel season 5.  She's just posted Hellbound, but if you haven't already done so, start here and read them all.
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Batman was my first true television love. Back when I was seven, I just loved Batman, Robin, and their battle with all those diabolical villains.  When I was older, I realized that Batman was a spoof and I still loved it.  Great that it could work for a literal-minded seven year old.  Great that it could amuse her when she got older.  Adam West and Burt Ward linger in my heart with the warmest affection.

I loved Tim Burton's Batman with Michael Keaton.  Mostly because batman was back and I am and always will be pro-batman girl.  I liked the serious tone, along with the cartoonish tone from the original show.  I'm not sure they worked together very well, though.  I loved that first Batman movie a lot, but more as a really cool failure than as a spectacular success.  The sequels just got worse from there.

I really like the new Batman with Christian Bale.  Oddly, I've only seen the first one once.   It's a bit long and takes itself too seriously.  But I like Dark Knight a lot.  It makes you think a bit.  It's definitely got some of that essential darkness that the TV show didn't have and that Burton couldn't quite blend with the cartoon sensibility..

Folks, these are three very different approaches to the source material which is batman.  If you want to take one of them and canonize it and say the other two don't measure up, that's your perogative.  But I'd like to be free to like all the batmans.  I don't want to live in a world where embracing Christian Bale means I have to renounce Adam West.  I want to live in a world that celebrates them both and which recognizes that the source material for batman is just that rich that it works well as serious brooding drama and as spoofy cheese.

Batman and Robin is a bad movie because it doesn't have the zany cheese of the series, or the weird combo that Burton tried.  It's not a fun movie, or a serious movie or any kind of good movie.  So of course, it's worse that Dark Knight.  But NOT because it fails to be properly serious.    Batman the series is NOT worse than Dark Knight.  It's just different.  Difference is good. 

To the argument in question, season 8 might well be an abject failure -- but at least let it be a failure of Joss to do justice to his own schtick, not a failure to do something he isn't even trying to do.  And please don't tell me that for any given set of ideas there is One True Way.  (Or less snarkily, any subject worth doing well is worth doing in multiple tones.  Literature is a conversation, not a dictatorship).


Jul. 11th, 2010 06:11 pm
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Yay Spain -- it was a great match, and I'm glad we didn't settle it all in penalty kicks. 

But now it's over and we have to wait another four years for the next one.   Alas! 


Jun. 30th, 2010 01:31 am
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So back in the day all the cool kids had seen The Blues Brothers.  It only took me three decades, but I've finally seen it!  Woo hoo.  Fun energy.

Am I the only person who didn't know that Brian Lynch got the elevator/Girl from Ipanema idea from this movie? 
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Apparently Babylon 5 is coming to instant streaming July 1st.  So is Veronica Mars, and the Sarah Connor Chronicles (whatever we're supposed to call that).

My to watch list is ridiculously long already.  I'm finishing up season 4 of Doctor Who.   I've got Torchwood, Farscape, and Highlander in my queue.   How is a poor girl supposed to choose?  It's a toss up between Farscape and Babylon 5.  I'm thinking probably Babylon 5.  Farscape is just the first three seasons, and the fourth season always has long wait times for the discs.  That's not to mention Mad Men and Glee on tap elsewhere.  Or the number of series on DVD that are in that part of my netflix queue.  It's all rather overwhelming.

I've seen the first two seasons of Veronica Mars, which I liked pretty well.  So I'll have to watch the third season -- though people say it's not as good.  I just finished the Terminator series -- which, btw, I liked quite well.  It's a pity that it got cancelled right around the time it started to be riveting.   I can see why the fans of that series were a bit bitter that they got cancelled while Dollhouse got renewed.  I still think Dollhouse had a higher potential, but it's the third season of Terminator that I wish I had, not a third season of Dollhouse.   Season two of Dollhouse was just that disappointing.

Reactions to Doctor Who -- not a lot to say about it.  I'm enjoying watching it.  There have been some moving moments.  But I'm not in love.  Partly it's conceits that I can't swallow -- most notably jumping far into the future and still finding humans there.  Do the writers have any idea what sort of time scale human civilization sits on?  Partly it's that time travel and its effects on history always hurt my brain.  Partly it's because I'm not madly in love with the Doctor.  He's OK, and I guess I like him.  I did like Martha quite a lot.  And Donna is growing on me in a hurry.  (Rose is pointedly not on this list).  But it seems like you have to love the doctor to be deeply drawn into the series.   I'm toying with the idea of watching all four seasons over again because I feel like I must be missing something.  But see above, re: very long queue. 
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Amazing morning!  I'm so very proud of our boys.  They played so well, and so hard and they didn't give up -- getting the group-winning goal in stoppage time.  Landon Donovan was brilliant.  They all were.  So very proud.

Yay for England.  I didn't get to see the match, but the results end up being exactly what I wanted.  Now, alas, we are a bit at odds as I will be rooting *very* hard for Germany this afternoon.

Still -- what a great day!  Best world cup group play I've ever seen from the yanks.
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OK, batteries (somewhat) recharged. 

So, I've been puzzling for quite a while about how Bangel space porn could possibly fit into season 8 as a whole, since season 8 was all about the consequences of the slayer spell.  #34 has been a central plot point from the get go, we are told -- so it's not like it's just stuck in there for the heck of it. 

Read more... )

ETA: Check out [info]local_max's excellent follow-up post on all this!
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Now *that* is why World Cup is the greatest sporting event.  At half time, it would have been a miracle if the US could salvage a draw.  By the end, it's a bit of a let down that that's all we got.  Most of the country could not care less about soccer, but the atmosphere where I watched was crackling.  Am currently emotionally exhausted, and very proud of a team that should have curled up and died at the half, but which came out and played hard enough to win.

Best wishes to England this afternoon!  There's still a chance we could all go through.

ETA:  My favorite headline:  United States ties Slovenia 3-2.

ETAx2:  Even better (and fairer) quip:  On the bright side, the US has tied 3-2 and 0-1.  (We did get a gift in the first match against England).

There's virtually no interest in World Cup at LJ, but does anybody know what happens if both England and the US defeat Algeria 1-0 and Slovenia and England draw 2-2?   Slovenia would be in with one more goal than either England or the US, but England and the US would be dead even on all measures I can see, so what happens then?
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My poll about Dawn's keyness has provoked some vigorous discussion, so I just wanted to state my own position about how her keyness might (or might not) relate to season 8.  It is simply this.  That a season named Twilight began with the character named Dawn as a giant has always seemed to me like a strong suggestion that Dawn is going to matter.  We've since had enough references to her latent keyness for that to be available for the story as it unfolds.  #25 describes Dawn's status as a doll in a way that to me is highly resonant with her status as a key.   #25 also contains lines that would foreshadow Dawn's death (possibly even at Buffy's hand) if that's what turns out to happen.

This is not a prediction.  It's just reading the tea leaves to see what possible directions the story could go.  There are literary markers in the text that would make a story about Dawn's keyness seem rich and well-foreshadowed.  What that story would be I have no idea.  I'm not a creative writer.  Maybe it will be cool.  Maybe it'll be lame.  Maybe it won't happen at all.  I don't know.  All I'm doing is pointing to some details available to serve a literary function if the story goes a certain way.  It's just some speculation. 

Over on Buffy forums, King of Cretins replied that we'd need pages of exposition to explain how Dawn is still a key and available to be used in this story.  That was the main impetus for the poll.  Along the way there have been complaints that it would be bad writing if the story went this way.  Since my argument just was that there are literary markers available for use if the story goes that way, I obviously don't think a story going in this direction would necessarily involve lame out of the blue writing.  But it could still turn out to be a craptastic story.  I have no idea what Joss will do in his last arc, much less how well he's going to do it.

End of my part of the mountain made out of a very, very small molehill.
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I just want to say to all my British LJ friends that I love you guys and that I root for England in the world cup as often as I can.  Unfortunately, that won't include tomorrow.  It's not often Americans are the underdogs, and so I'll be rooting for my hapless yanks.   Fortunately for you all, chances are excellent you'll be much happier with tomorrow's result than will I!   But meanwhile I just wanted to wave hello, wish you all well and say Yay!  It's World Cup!!!

Poll Time!

Jun. 11th, 2010 06:04 pm
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So I discovered on Buffy Forums today that the majority of fans think that Dawn's keyness definitively ended in The Gift, and that any story that involves her still being the key would require a major retcon.  I don't really want to argue the case here.    What is puzzling to me is that I've always thought the exact opposite.  I thought it was obvious she was the key, and that while her keyness was dormant, it was always around to become a plot point again.  It's just weird when it turns out that what you thought was a plain fact is the opposite of what others regard as a plain fact.  So I want to find out how out of the loop I am on this.  Ergo quick poll:[Poll #1577332]
My second general question (answerable in comments) is are there other issues about BtVS where you think one thing is obvious but it turns out most people think it's really not?    In other words, has this ever happened to you?  It's a weird feeling!!!

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[ profile] simonf  asked for 'neutral' essays about season 8, and since I define myself by my spot on the fence, I decided to use his request as an opportunity to reflect on where I am with the comics right now.  The result is long (4300 words), and pretty much just a summary of opinions I've posted.  But having gone through the labor to write the thing, I'll go ahead and post it anyway.  Read more... )


May. 24th, 2010 04:56 pm
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It's been a long while since I cared much about LOST, but I did keep watching.  Some random reflections below the cut (full spoilers).

Read more... )
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I've started a project of watching all of the films on the AFI top 100 list, because I'm the weird sort of person who loves ticking off items on a list.  Sometimes it's labor.  Sometimes it's a lot of fun.  My last effort -- The Wild Bunch, a violent western by Sam Peckinpah -- was mostly labor.  Until the last half hour when it was smashingly brilliant and made the whole thing worthwhile.   I once dated a very brilliant guy whose policy is to decide within the first ten minutes if it's worth staying for a movie, and leaving if the answer is no.   There are many times when that's the right policy. Maybe even most of the time.   But you do miss some spectacular stuff doing things that way, and I guess for me it's worth paying the price of sitting through some unredeemable schlock to not miss those pieces.that only come together in a mad audacious rush at the end.  
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A question by [ profile] beer_good_foamy over on [ profile] flake_sake's new board, along with a comment by [ profile] angearia on my last post let me to think about the title of #35 -- The Power of Love.

Stipulating that there's a heck of a lot in season 8 that's not making sense, here's a bit that I think makes quite a lot of sense.

Read more... )
Other note:  I finally watched the latest episode of Lost and I must give them kudos.  I've never liked Jack, but now I really do.  He's had a good arc.


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But the bottom line is going to be the same as always:  we still don't know enough of what's going on to judge.

Spoilers below )

ETA:  I forgot to mention that they finally ran a letter worth reading in the letter col -- some chick named Veronika.  (!!!!)
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It turns out that according to some people if you ever complain about how Spike is characterized it's because the only thing you want in this whole entire world is to see Spike and Buffy making with the smoochies. 

I shouldn't have to say this, but I will.  I love Spike because he's a damned Champion.   As a demon he wanted to be treated like a man.  When he failed he fought for a soul.  He came back to help expecting nothing in return.  He died because he felt it was his part to do.  He came back and took up the fight, notably not running back to Buffy for the smoochies.  He had the wisdom to see that there's a hole in the world.  The poetry to see how things work or don't work. 

He's not perfect (see, e.g. the Harmony hop), he works at being annoying, he's probably an alcoholic.  But he's not a self-serving, sex-crazed, thuggish moron. 

That is sufficient reason to be unhappy with Willingham.  What kool aid do you have to drink to read the present irritation with Willingham as nothing but a mad desire to see some smoochies?   Especially when that irritation is coming from someone who is *at best* ambivalent about wanting any Spuffy in the future.  I'm guessing it's some pretty damned powerful kool aid.