shipperx: (Default)

I'm not sure what it is that make certain storylines 'work' for me, why they're something that intrigues me and makes me want to think and talk about them.  At any rate the three that interest me most at the moment (in no particular order).



Being Human

I'm really enjoying this plot.  It's chewy.  Those who watched last season know that Mitchell did something horrible.  I've really enjoyed how they have not let that slide, and how they have used that to reinforce their metaphors. 

Being Human has always had that underlying subtext that vampirism is addiction (and far more clearly than BtVS/AtS ever did, because, honestly, I don't think BtVS/AtS ever did work that way... beyond lip service.  AtS might say that it was a metaphor for addiction, but it was never shown in a convincing light.  There might be 'falling off the wagon'- like  dialog occasionally, but there weren't cravings, etc. 

BtVS worked on the concept of demons representing Buffy's 'demons' (her inner demons, demons she had to face) and Angel and Spike were created and born in that context.  Angel and Spike's journeys weren't their own until further down the line.  And, quite frankly, there's always been something almost  Calvanist in the Whedonverse with all it's dependence on the Chosen/Elect and the damned (and everyone else) ...with the occasional boon given to free will. 

Vampirism in the Whedonverse always seemed to be far more about those concepts to me (and even some odd parallel to the concept of Original Sin).  Vampirism in BtVS/AtS is a curse, an edict, or a judgement.  It was more about falling prey to ones demons or subsuming (or  Spike/Angel case an effort at) overcoming some  'fate' and  fixed destiny.  Whedonverse vampirism was completely bound up in the concept of souls and curses and whether or not vampires had any choice but evil.  Were they even allowed to have free will?  {Go team Spike free will!} Basically, in the Whedonverse it always seemed to me to be more of a dialog about the struggle of free will versus a somewhat Calvanist doctrine of fate, destiny, and inevitability, thus the emphasis on souls, being "Chosen", prophecy, etc.... which was always amusing to me because Whedon is an atheist). 

Being Human's vampirism is very, very much a metaphor for addiction.  The rationalization, the backsliding, the struggle.  It's so easy to see Mitchell as some heroine addict and all that would entail.  He fits far too well the sort of thing you see when you watch "Intervention" on A&E (as well as the problems of a drug addict that grew up down the street from me who was a nice guy when sober and yet could never overcome addiction and who in the end became a very real-life monster before his suicide).   The aftermath of last year's story is being played out with this years and we see the way that Mitchell explains and avoids those things and how that is all very much a part of not only who he is but who he has always been and how that has very much informed his whole vampiric existence.  And the story has worked very much in Annie's metaphor as well.  Annie, the ghost.  Annie who denied to herself that she was in an abusive relationship, painting a happy face on it, eplaining it away, even as it killed her, leaving her trapped in that place.  She was a victim, invisible to many and unable to actualize herself.  She has a history of falling into destructive relationships, of living vicariously through others, being the kind of 'giver' that doesn't understand that she needs to stand up for herself.  Ah Mitchell/Annie your weaknesses were bound to...er... bind you.   I've liked the way this story has gone and the way it's been quite subversive about its vampire romance trope.



Big Love  

Yeah, last season was teh crazy, and this season is much the same.  However, I really enjoy just how freaking screwed up these people are. (I've even gotten my mom into loving this show.  Bill Hendrickson amuses the hell out of her).  Bill is such a self-serving douche.  He really, really is. Oh, he's so goooooood.  So righteous.  He goes on and on about serving God and begging God "why are you testing me so?" while he is so, so, so oblivious that he's a douchebag!  Dude, it's not "God" directing you to do a host of self-serving things.  It's your collosal, oversized ego!  Oh, and your penis!  "God" doesn't tell him to pick fights with wacked out cult leader Alby.  'God" didn't tell Bill to build a casino.  "God" didn't tell him to run for the Utah State Senate.  Nope.  That was all  Bill.  He totally overlooks what he inflicts on the people around him with what he does, especially his cult-o-sister-wives and for his long suffering business partner.  How much shit has he made them all take and eat?  Because he thinks he's their 'priesthood holder.'  Bill is a piece of work.  So 'good', so 'righteous' ...such a self-serving douche. 

And I've really enjoyed all the massively screwed-up sister-wives and their own dysfunctions that have led them into this life with Bill. Read more... )All these people are so very, very screwed up (and so very righteous and 'godly' about it.  "God" tells them to do all these things. 'God' really really wants them to be rich and powerful and smite all their enemies too.  And when things don't work it's because 'God' is testing their faith so they double down) . I can't help it.  It's a trainwreck that I cannot help but watch.



Fringe
Mmm.  Yummy sci-fi that hits so many kinks. 

I love Olivia as a heroine.  She's smart, competent, brave, and she tries so very, very hard.  And, her life has been such shit.  Her mother died.  Her step-father abused her.  She was used as a medical guinea pig in shocking horrific medical experiments as a kid that damaged her in ways she can't really explain but which also gave her and eidetic memory and the ability to walk between parallel universes. She has such a difficult, difficult time forming relationships, but her heart does love deeply.  And things just never quite seem to work out for her.  Yet she tries so hard to be fair and adult about it.  She breaks my heart.  I want her to be happy, damnit!  (It hurt seeing her happy last night.  It's so rare to see her happy, and we the audience know... something... is going to come down on her like  a ton of bricks soon.  So, even as she's glowing with new found happiness, I'm going "Poor Olivia"...)

And I thought that EW's Ken Tucker did a great job of explaining the show:
 

At its big, red, throbbing heart, the show tells the story of a love so powerful, it crosses universes: When Peter was seven, he died. His brilliant-scientist father, Walter, having discovered that there was a parallel universe containing doubles of everyone here, transported himself to that Other Side and brought back that universe’s Peter, to love and to cherish. In doing so, he created not just a rift in the universes (which are now dangerously, explosively out of balance), but also a rift between father and son (when Peter discovered who he really was, and grappled with the idea that he belonged to another Walter, a “Walternate”).


You've got your tortured redemption arc with Walter, the mad scientist who did such horrible things in the past in his pursuit of 'science', horrible things to Olivia (one of his test subjects) and to Peter (in an effort to 'keep' what wasn't his) and to all his other test subjects.  He has the oppressive, overwhelming knowledge that he may well have destroyed not one but two worlds and has caused untold suffering, and all he wants is to make things right.  To see Peter and Olivia happy and to prevent the apocalypse... that he caused.

And you've got that Olivia/Peter thing that  is oh-so-starcrossed... and on a ticking time clock of an apocalypse where their relationship is pivotal.. and which may require Peter's death.   This year so many of the episodes are clues to what is important to the mytharc (even if they're MOTW) or metaphors for the dynamics of the entwined relationships of Olivia/Peter/Walter... as well as things concerning the alternative_universe dopplegangers of both themselves and their friends.  

Throw in some zeplins, an intact World Trade Center, an alternative-history (MLK asn't assassinated, Nixon was never impeached, Kennedy is still alive.  An Alternative Olivia, an Alternative_Walter, an Alternative_Fringe {but no FBI...})  in the same but subtly different alternative universe, and pop me some popcorn while I sit in front of a television because I'm a sucker for this stuff.
shipperx: (Default)

I'm not sure what it is that make certain storylines 'work' for me, why they're something that intrigues me and makes me want to think and talk about them.  At any rate the three that interest me most at the moment (in no particular order).



Being Human

I'm really enjoying this plot.  It's chewy.  Those who watched last season know that Mitchell did something horrible.  I've really enjoyed how they have not let that slide, and how they have used that to reinforce their metaphors. 

Being Human has always had that underlying subtext that vampirism is addiction (and far more clearly than BtVS/AtS ever did, because, honestly, I don't think BtVS/AtS ever did work that way... beyond lip service.  AtS might say that it was a metaphor for addiction, but it was never shown in a convincing light.  There might be 'falling off the wagon'- like  dialog occasionally, but there weren't cravings, etc. 

BtVS worked on the concept of demons representing Buffy's 'demons' (her inner demons, demons she had to face) and Angel and Spike were created and born in that context.  Angel and Spike's journeys weren't their own until further down the line.  And, quite frankly, there's always been something almost  Calvanist in the Whedonverse with all it's dependence on the Chosen/Elect and the damned (and everyone else) ...with the occasional boon given to free will. 

Vampirism in the Whedonverse always seemed to be far more about those concepts to me (and even some odd parallel to the concept of Original Sin).  Vampirism in BtVS/AtS is a curse, an edict, or a judgement.  It was more about falling prey to ones demons or subsuming (or  Spike/Angel case an effort at) overcoming some  'fate' and  fixed destiny.  Whedonverse vampirism was completely bound up in the concept of souls and curses and whether or not vampires had any choice but evil.  Were they even allowed to have free will?  {Go team Spike free will!} Basically, in the Whedonverse it always seemed to me to be more of a dialog about the struggle of free will versus a somewhat Calvanist doctrine of fate, destiny, and inevitability, thus the emphasis on souls, being "Chosen", prophecy, etc.... which was always amusing to me because Whedon is an atheist). 

Being Human's vampirism is very, very much a metaphor for addiction.  The rationalization, the backsliding, the struggle.  It's so easy to see Mitchell as some heroine addict and all that would entail.  He fits far too well the sort of thing you see when you watch "Intervention" on A&E (as well as the problems of a drug addict that grew up down the street from me who was a nice guy when sober and yet could never overcome addiction and who in the end became a very real-life monster before his suicide).   The aftermath of last year's story is being played out with this years and we see the way that Mitchell explains and avoids those things and how that is all very much a part of not only who he is but who he has always been and how that has very much informed his whole vampiric existence.  And the story has worked very much in Annie's metaphor as well.  Annie, the ghost.  Annie who denied to herself that she was in an abusive relationship, painting a happy face on it, eplaining it away, even as it killed her, leaving her trapped in that place.  She was a victim, invisible to many and unable to actualize herself.  She has a history of falling into destructive relationships, of living vicariously through others, being the kind of 'giver' that doesn't understand that she needs to stand up for herself.  Ah Mitchell/Annie your weaknesses were bound to...er... bind you.   I've liked the way this story has gone and the way it's been quite subversive about its vampire romance trope.



Big Love  

Yeah, last season was teh crazy, and this season is much the same.  However, I really enjoy just how freaking screwed up these people are. (I've even gotten my mom into loving this show.  Bill Hendrickson amuses the hell out of her).  Bill is such a self-serving douche.  He really, really is. Oh, he's so goooooood.  So righteous.  He goes on and on about serving God and begging God "why are you testing me so?" while he is so, so, so oblivious that he's a douchebag!  Dude, it's not "God" directing you to do a host of self-serving things.  It's your collosal, oversized ego!  Oh, and your penis!  "God" doesn't tell him to pick fights with wacked out cult leader Alby.  'God" didn't tell Bill to build a casino.  "God" didn't tell him to run for the Utah State Senate.  Nope.  That was all  Bill.  He totally overlooks what he inflicts on the people around him with what he does, especially his cult-o-sister-wives and for his long suffering business partner.  How much shit has he made them all take and eat?  Because he thinks he's their 'priesthood holder.'  Bill is a piece of work.  So 'good', so 'righteous' ...such a self-serving douche. 

And I've really enjoyed all the massively screwed-up sister-wives and their own dysfunctions that have led them into this life with Bill. Read more... )All these people are so very, very screwed up (and so very righteous and 'godly' about it.  "God" tells them to do all these things. 'God' really really wants them to be rich and powerful and smite all their enemies too.  And when things don't work it's because 'God' is testing their faith so they double down) . I can't help it.  It's a trainwreck that I cannot help but watch.



Fringe
Mmm.  Yummy sci-fi that hits so many kinks. 

I love Olivia as a heroine.  She's smart, competent, brave, and she tries so very, very hard.  And, her life has been such shit.  Her mother died.  Her step-father abused her.  She was used as a medical guinea pig in shocking horrific medical experiments as a kid that damaged her in ways she can't really explain but which also gave her and eidetic memory and the ability to walk between parallel universes. She has such a difficult, difficult time forming relationships, but her heart does love deeply.  And things just never quite seem to work out for her.  Yet she tries so hard to be fair and adult about it.  She breaks my heart.  I want her to be happy, damnit!  (It hurt seeing her happy last night.  It's so rare to see her happy, and we the audience know... something... is going to come down on her like  a ton of bricks soon.  So, even as she's glowing with new found happiness, I'm going "Poor Olivia"...)

And I thought that EW's Ken Tucker did a great job of explaining the show:
 

At its big, red, throbbing heart, the show tells the story of a love so powerful, it crosses universes: When Peter was seven, he died. His brilliant-scientist father, Walter, having discovered that there was a parallel universe containing doubles of everyone here, transported himself to that Other Side and brought back that universe’s Peter, to love and to cherish. In doing so, he created not just a rift in the universes (which are now dangerously, explosively out of balance), but also a rift between father and son (when Peter discovered who he really was, and grappled with the idea that he belonged to another Walter, a “Walternate”).


You've got your tortured redemption arc with Walter, the mad scientist who did such horrible things in the past in his pursuit of 'science', horrible things to Olivia (one of his test subjects) and to Peter (in an effort to 'keep' what wasn't his) and to all his other test subjects.  He has the oppressive, overwhelming knowledge that he may well have destroyed not one but two worlds and has caused untold suffering, and all he wants is to make things right.  To see Peter and Olivia happy and to prevent the apocalypse... that he caused.

And you've got that Olivia/Peter thing that  is oh-so-starcrossed... and on a ticking time clock of an apocalypse where their relationship is pivotal.. and which may require Peter's death.   This year so many of the episodes are clues to what is important to the mytharc (even if they're MOTW) or metaphors for the dynamics of the entwined relationships of Olivia/Peter/Walter... as well as things concerning the alternative_universe dopplegangers of both themselves and their friends.  

Throw in some zeplins, an intact World Trade Center, an alternative-history (MLK asn't assassinated, Nixon was never impeached, Kennedy is still alive.  An Alternative Olivia, an Alternative_Walter, an Alternative_Fringe {but no FBI...})  in the same but subtly different alternative universe, and pop me some popcorn while I sit in front of a television because I'm a sucker for this stuff.
shipperx: (Default)

I'm not sure what it is that make certain storylines 'work' for me, why they're something that intrigues me and makes me want to think and talk about them.  At any rate the three that interest me most at the moment (in no particular order).



Being Human

I'm really enjoying this plot.  It's chewy.  Those who watched last season know that Mitchell did something horrible.  I've really enjoyed how they have not let that slide, and how they have used that to reinforce their metaphors. 

Being Human has always had that underlying subtext that vampirism is addiction (and far more clearly than BtVS/AtS ever did, because, honestly, I don't think BtVS/AtS ever did work that way... beyond lip service.  AtS might say that it was a metaphor for addiction, but it was never shown in a convincing light.  There might be 'falling off the wagon'- like  dialog occasionally, but there weren't cravings, etc. 

BtVS worked on the concept of demons representing Buffy's 'demons' (her inner demons, demons she had to face) and Angel and Spike were created and born in that context.  Angel and Spike's journeys weren't their own until further down the line.  And, quite frankly, there's always been something almost  Calvanist in the Whedonverse with all it's dependence on the Chosen/Elect and the damned (and everyone else) ...with the occasional boon given to free will. 

Vampirism in the Whedonverse always seemed to be far more about those concepts to me (and even some odd parallel to the concept of Original Sin).  Vampirism in BtVS/AtS is a curse, an edict, or a judgement.  It was more about falling prey to ones demons or subsuming (or  Spike/Angel case an effort at) overcoming some  'fate' and  fixed destiny.  Whedonverse vampirism was completely bound up in the concept of souls and curses and whether or not vampires had any choice but evil.  Were they even allowed to have free will?  {Go team Spike free will!} Basically, in the Whedonverse it always seemed to me to be more of a dialog about the struggle of free will versus a somewhat Calvanist doctrine of fate, destiny, and inevitability, thus the emphasis on souls, being "Chosen", prophecy, etc.... which was always amusing to me because Whedon is an atheist). 

Being Human's vampirism is very, very much a metaphor for addiction.  The rationalization, the backsliding, the struggle.  It's so easy to see Mitchell as some heroine addict and all that would entail.  He fits far too well the sort of thing you see when you watch "Intervention" on A&E (as well as the problems of a drug addict that grew up down the street from me who was a nice guy when sober and yet could never overcome addiction and who in the end became a very real-life monster before his suicide).   The aftermath of last year's story is being played out with this years and we see the way that Mitchell explains and avoids those things and how that is all very much a part of not only who he is but who he has always been and how that has very much informed his whole vampiric existence.  And the story has worked very much in Annie's metaphor as well.  Annie, the ghost.  Annie who denied to herself that she was in an abusive relationship, painting a happy face on it, eplaining it away, even as it killed her, leaving her trapped in that place.  She was a victim, invisible to many and unable to actualize herself.  She has a history of falling into destructive relationships, of living vicariously through others, being the kind of 'giver' that doesn't understand that she needs to stand up for herself.  Ah Mitchell/Annie your weaknesses were bound to...er... bind you.   I've liked the way this story has gone and the way it's been quite subversive about its vampire romance trope.



Big Love  

Yeah, last season was teh crazy, and this season is much the same.  However, I really enjoy just how freaking screwed up these people are. (I've even gotten my mom into loving this show.  Bill Hendrickson amuses the hell out of her).  Bill is such a self-serving douche.  He really, really is. Oh, he's so goooooood.  So righteous.  He goes on and on about serving God and begging God "why are you testing me so?" while he is so, so, so oblivious that he's a douchebag!  Dude, it's not "God" directing you to do a host of self-serving things.  It's your collosal, oversized ego!  Oh, and your penis!  "God" doesn't tell him to pick fights with wacked out cult leader Alby.  'God" didn't tell Bill to build a casino.  "God" didn't tell him to run for the Utah State Senate.  Nope.  That was all  Bill.  He totally overlooks what he inflicts on the people around him with what he does, especially his cult-o-sister-wives and for his long suffering business partner.  How much shit has he made them all take and eat?  Because he thinks he's their 'priesthood holder.'  Bill is a piece of work.  So 'good', so 'righteous' ...such a self-serving douche. 

And I've really enjoyed all the massively screwed-up sister-wives and their own dysfunctions that have led them into this life with Bill. Read more... )All these people are so very, very screwed up (and so very righteous and 'godly' about it.  "God" tells them to do all these things. 'God' really really wants them to be rich and powerful and smite all their enemies too.  And when things don't work it's because 'God' is testing their faith so they double down) . I can't help it.  It's a trainwreck that I cannot help but watch.



Fringe
Mmm.  Yummy sci-fi that hits so many kinks. 

I love Olivia as a heroine.  She's smart, competent, brave, and she tries so very, very hard.  And, her life has been such shit.  Her mother died.  Her step-father abused her.  She was used as a medical guinea pig in shocking horrific medical experiments as a kid that damaged her in ways she can't really explain but which also gave her and eidetic memory and the ability to walk between parallel universes. She has such a difficult, difficult time forming relationships, but her heart does love deeply.  And things just never quite seem to work out for her.  Yet she tries so hard to be fair and adult about it.  She breaks my heart.  I want her to be happy, damnit!  (It hurt seeing her happy last night.  It's so rare to see her happy, and we the audience know... something... is going to come down on her like  a ton of bricks soon.  So, even as she's glowing with new found happiness, I'm going "Poor Olivia"...)

And I thought that EW's Ken Tucker did a great job of explaining the show:
 

At its big, red, throbbing heart, the show tells the story of a love so powerful, it crosses universes: When Peter was seven, he died. His brilliant-scientist father, Walter, having discovered that there was a parallel universe containing doubles of everyone here, transported himself to that Other Side and brought back that universe’s Peter, to love and to cherish. In doing so, he created not just a rift in the universes (which are now dangerously, explosively out of balance), but also a rift between father and son (when Peter discovered who he really was, and grappled with the idea that he belonged to another Walter, a “Walternate”).


You've got your tortured redemption arc with Walter, the mad scientist who did such horrible things in the past in his pursuit of 'science', horrible things to Olivia (one of his test subjects) and to Peter (in an effort to 'keep' what wasn't his) and to all his other test subjects.  He has the oppressive, overwhelming knowledge that he may well have destroyed not one but two worlds and has caused untold suffering, and all he wants is to make things right.  To see Peter and Olivia happy and to prevent the apocalypse... that he caused.

And you've got that Olivia/Peter thing that  is oh-so-starcrossed... and on a ticking time clock of an apocalypse where their relationship is pivotal.. and which may require Peter's death.   This year so many of the episodes are clues to what is important to the mytharc (even if they're MOTW) or metaphors for the dynamics of the entwined relationships of Olivia/Peter/Walter... as well as things concerning the alternative_universe dopplegangers of both themselves and their friends.  

Throw in some zeplins, an intact World Trade Center, an alternative-history (MLK asn't assassinated, Nixon was never impeached, Kennedy is still alive.  An Alternative Olivia, an Alternative_Walter, an Alternative_Fringe {but no FBI...})  in the same but subtly different alternative universe, and pop me some popcorn while I sit in front of a television because I'm a sucker for this stuff.

Season 8

Jan. 19th, 2011 01:10 pm
shipperx: (BtVS: S8)

Let me see:

The world can't handle there being more than one empowered woman (possibly two) in it. Such a thing  throws the balance of the entire universe so out of whack that a sentient universe convinces a man to think for the poor little woman, lying to and manipulating her,  while the universe places her in what looks a lot like heat so as to 'birth' an apocalypse that has extreme mommy-issues. 

And the only way to stop this apocalypse is to strip another set of women of their magical powers.

What's wrong with this picture?

Season 8

Jan. 19th, 2011 01:10 pm
shipperx: (BtVS: S8)

Let me see:

The world can't handle there being more than one empowered woman (possibly two) in it. Such a thing  throws the balance of the entire universe so out of whack that a sentient universe convinces a man to think for the poor little woman, lying to and manipulating her,  while the universe places her in what looks a lot like heat so as to 'birth' an apocalypse that has extreme mommy-issues. 

And the only way to stop this apocalypse is to strip another set of women of their magical powers.

What's wrong with this picture?

Season 8

Jan. 19th, 2011 01:10 pm
shipperx: (BtVS: S8)

Let me see:

The world can't handle there being more than one empowered woman (possibly two) in it. Such a thing  throws the balance of the entire universe so out of whack that a sentient universe convinces a man to think for the poor little woman, lying to and manipulating her,  while the universe places her in what looks a lot like heat so as to 'birth' an apocalypse that has extreme mommy-issues. 

And the only way to stop this apocalypse is to strip another set of women of their magical powers.

What's wrong with this picture?
shipperx: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] green_maia  was asking about BtVS meta and that brought to mind the old fan-project "Spike Thesis" based on the Watcher named Lydia announcing  "I wrote my thesis on Spike."  At the time, several of us got together and wrote the thesis for her.  Alas, both of the links where it was stored are now defunct.  So I thought I'd poke around yahoogroups and I see that the group is still there, and the files are still there (though I'm not sure whether they were the final product).  I'm wondering whether I should contact Klytemnestra, who I know is still around LJ, and ask if she has the final copy anywhere or whether it's okay to snag the old files.  It seems a shame for all of that to simply evaporate.

And Rahirah has provided the link:  www.scribd.com/doc/16266234/Spike-Thesis  (wonder if I should download and save that somewhere just in case it goes missing).
shipperx: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] green_maia  was asking about BtVS meta and that brought to mind the old fan-project "Spike Thesis" based on the Watcher named Lydia announcing  "I wrote my thesis on Spike."  At the time, several of us got together and wrote the thesis for her.  Alas, both of the links where it was stored are now defunct.  So I thought I'd poke around yahoogroups and I see that the group is still there, and the files are still there (though I'm not sure whether they were the final product).  I'm wondering whether I should contact Klytemnestra, who I know is still around LJ, and ask if she has the final copy anywhere or whether it's okay to snag the old files.  It seems a shame for all of that to simply evaporate.

And Rahirah has provided the link:  www.scribd.com/doc/16266234/Spike-Thesis  (wonder if I should download and save that somewhere just in case it goes missing).
shipperx: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] green_maia  was asking about BtVS meta and that brought to mind the old fan-project "Spike Thesis" based on the Watcher named Lydia announcing  "I wrote my thesis on Spike."  At the time, several of us got together and wrote the thesis for her.  Alas, both of the links where it was stored are now defunct.  So I thought I'd poke around yahoogroups and I see that the group is still there, and the files are still there (though I'm not sure whether they were the final product).  I'm wondering whether I should contact Klytemnestra, who I know is still around LJ, and ask if she has the final copy anywhere or whether it's okay to snag the old files.  It seems a shame for all of that to simply evaporate.

And Rahirah has provided the link:  www.scribd.com/doc/16266234/Spike-Thesis  (wonder if I should download and save that somewhere just in case it goes missing).
shipperx: (Default)
:
So, I'm trying to understand the various Allie and Jeanty Q&A's:


*      In the comics we see Twangel cheering on the anti-Slayer crowd, urging his followers to find stuff to turn people against Slayers, turning up the heat on  the persecution of Slayers, and Twangel announcing that he had to do these things in order  'to bring Buffy low' ( to get her super-special super powers), so he beat Satsu  and plays 'general on the sidelines' figure at the 'epic' battle that kills hundreds of Slayers.


*     Then we get the about-face and are told that Twangel hasn't actually harmed anyone.  He's been trying to help (squints really had to see how.  Still have nothing.  We just need to take on faith that without his invisible interference things would have been worse than they are and worse than the unknown alternative... that we also didn't see.)
 
 
*      But we still had that Twangel had to don the mask to 'bring her low' [though apparently, according to the Q&A and Twangle's 'explanation,'  he actually didn't do anything to accomplish that goal and was secretly 'helping' -- in direct opposition to his stated goal (and even though we never see him helping the slayers) ]  in order to bring about Twilight.


*      Except now Jeanty tells us that Twangel didn't know that Twilight meant space-frakking or the death of the world or... well, let's see....

Looks like Angel basically didn't know anything-- not what Twilight was, how it was activated, what it involved, what it meant, or what it did (nothing wrong with volunteering for a mission like that!).  He did, however, know that it was 'better' than the alternative (whatever that was). So, um... he 'knew'  the alternative was 'worse' than the Twilight that he had no understanding of ... because a talking dog told him so.  Makes perfect sense, right?  Who couldn't be persuaded by that?  He's not stupid at all!  And besides, he didn't actually do anything except the helping stuff that we didn't see.


*      So in pursuing the creation of the Twilight  [that he didn't know what it was but had decided  to  'bring about' by doing ... something (though we're not entirely sure what... which is okay because he had no idea what it would be either) ]

Well, anyway, after he did or didn't do whatever it was he thought he needed to do (but he didn't know what he actually needed to do) to bring about Twilight (whatever he thought that might be), we -- and he -- see that it's destroying the world.  So how does he react?  Twangel wants to stay in his special world even though he can see that it's bringing about the end of the world.  He even gives the circular logic of the present universe being replaced, but Scoobs, who are in the world that is being replaced, would be okay... somehow.  In the dead, replaced world that's coming apart at the seams.  

 
Makes perfect sense, right?  (  Huh?  )
 
 
*    And it's only because Buffy was going back to the world, leaving him in Twilight alone, that Angel decided to go back to the world that was being destroyed, that he didn't seem particularly bothered by it being destroyed (because he wasn't willing to help it until Buffy made him do it) but apparently -- we're now told -- he had no idea was going to be destroyed (other than his standing there witnessing its destruction and not caring very much).  In summary, he didn't actually know what 'bringing about Twilight' actually meant, so he didn't actually intend any of what he did (whatever that was that we're still not clear about).  And he did it just 'cause a talking dog told him to.


*    Then we get Twangel being taken over by Twilight so we can be extra doubly sure that he's really, most sincerely not in control over what he does at the end...even though he's not responsible for any of the rest of it either. 

 
So, let me sum up Twangel's 'character arc' of Season 8:

Angel didn't know anything.   He didn't do anything.  And anything he did do or it looks like he did, he's not actually responsible for except for the 'helping' stuff that we didn't see.  But he's gonna feel really bad about... something (not that he did anything, knew anything, or was actually responsible for anything) so feel really bad for the guy, okay? 

Great character arc, huh.


I give you Peggy... )
shipperx: (Default)
It's been interesting reading some of the reactions to the last comic. I've been fascinated by the ones who keep speculating that someone needs to come pick up the pieces of Buffy and put her back together again (Candidates generally seem to be Xander or Spike). Am I the only one whose reaction is... no? I think there have already been enough problems with the comics what with the apparent source of the problem being that Buffy screwed things up by empowering more than just one woman in the world. Somehow this 'threw off the balance'. Then we have guys trying to make decisions for Buffy behind her back. And we have things like Willow summoning up some earth magic phallic root to penetrate one of their enemies while she struggles against a literal vagina dentata. The feminist cred isn't as strong as it used to be. Plus there's the fact that Buffy actually needs to learn something from this four years long series of bad decisions.

And, at the risk of being labeled a 'hater' I have to think that the problem that needs to be addressed in the wake of Season 8 is the problem that is Buffy. I don't mean that in a hater sense. It's just if the character is ever going to be allowed to grow up (something I'm far from certain that Joss has any interest in doing), but if the character is ever to grow up, now is the time to put up or shut up about it.

This got me to thinking of the character arc of Season 1-2 of Being Erica. I actually liked how they book-ended Season 1 and Season 2. For those who never watched or don't know about the show, it's a female protagonist in magical time-travel therapy... and it's more interesting than weird as it sounds.

The series starts with the heroine, Erica Strange, having an incredibly shitty day, she's dumped by her boyfriend and she also gets fired. This is bookended at the end of Season 2 when in the finale Erica is fired (again) and also breaks up with her boyfriend. But, it's actually a quite good ending. I enjoyed it and thought it was great, because the point was that what's changed between the first episode and the Season 2 finale wasn't so much Erica's circumstances but the character herself. She was in roughly the same circumstances, but this time she was okay. It was all good.

In the first episode the job she was fired from was just the latest in a long series of stop-gap jobs and the boyfriend who dumped her was just yet another bad relationship coming to a bad close. Erica is directionless and lost. Over the course of the show (and therapy) she's allowed to learn from her mistakes. So, in Ep 1 she's fired and in Season 2's finale she's fired, but she's not directionless any more. She knows what she wants and she takes the chance, partnering up with a friend to launch their own business. She now has a direction. And while the break-up in the first episode had her going into the usual meltdown over being dumped, the breakup with Season 2 boyfriend was a good thing. In Season 1 she was being dumped in a dysfunctional relationship. Since then she actually 'got' the guy that she always thought she wanted. Turns out, the dream "Mr. Right" was just a human being, the kind with his own wants and needs and flaws. He really was a nice guy. She wasn't disillusioned by him, but she had to give up the fantasy and admit to herself that just because he's the guy she always wanted, that doesn't mean that the relationship actually works for her (or for him). They don't really want the same things in life. So they break up, in a honest and caring fashion, because she's strong enough to no longer cling to fairy tales, to not need a prince charming to rescue her, and to look for a relationship that will fulfill both her and her partner's needs. This break-up was a good thing.

So why do I bring this up with Buffy. The point I took from the Being Erica arc was that the problem wasn't just a matter of circumstances. Her circumstances and in Season 2 were roughly the the same as in Episode 1. The problem had been in and the change had been in Erica. It wasn't what was around her, it was her. Her learning from her mistakes, allowing herself to develop and move forward, gives her an entirely different outlook. In Episode 1 she was devestated. In the Season 2 finale, she was actually in a really good place... despite that in both instances she was unemployed and single.

So when I say that the problem is Buffy. It isn't in a haterade sense. It's that no character is ever going to fix her story for her. No character will ever fulfill her. No character will solve her loneliness, her lack of connection, her misery, etc. No character but her. No character needs to pick Buffy up and put her back together again. No character but her. (I just don't know that I trust Joss or Dark Horse to tell that story.)

[ETA: And I know that it's easy to reference that Erica has her therapist. I wouldn't be against Buffy having one of those too. (Actually I've thought that since Season 6). But I think the time for mentors for Buffy is over.]
shipperx: (Default)
It's been interesting reading some of the reactions to the last comic. I've been fascinated by the ones who keep speculating that someone needs to come pick up the pieces of Buffy and put her back together again (Candidates generally seem to be Xander or Spike). Am I the only one whose reaction is... no? I think there have already been enough problems with the comics what with the apparent source of the problem being that Buffy screwed things up by empowering more than just one woman in the world. Somehow this 'threw off the balance'. Then we have guys trying to make decisions for Buffy behind her back. And we have things like Willow summoning up some earth magic phallic root to penetrate one of their enemies while she struggles against a literal vagina dentata. The feminist cred isn't as strong as it used to be. Plus there's the fact that Buffy actually needs to learn something from this four years long series of bad decisions.

And, at the risk of being labeled a 'hater' I have to think that the problem that needs to be addressed in the wake of Season 8 is the problem that is Buffy. I don't mean that in a hater sense. It's just if the character is ever going to be allowed to grow up (something I'm far from certain that Joss has any interest in doing), but if the character is ever to grow up, now is the time to put up or shut up about it.

This got me to thinking of the character arc of Season 1-2 of Being Erica. I actually liked how they book-ended Season 1 and Season 2. For those who never watched or don't know about the show, it's a female protagonist in magical time-travel therapy... and it's more interesting than weird as it sounds.

The series starts with the heroine, Erica Strange, having an incredibly shitty day, she's dumped by her boyfriend and she also gets fired. This is bookended at the end of Season 2 when in the finale Erica is fired (again) and also breaks up with her boyfriend. But, it's actually a quite good ending. I enjoyed it and thought it was great, because the point was that what's changed between the first episode and the Season 2 finale wasn't so much Erica's circumstances but the character herself. She was in roughly the same circumstances, but this time she was okay. It was all good.

In the first episode the job she was fired from was just the latest in a long series of stop-gap jobs and the boyfriend who dumped her was just yet another bad relationship coming to a bad close. Erica is directionless and lost. Over the course of the show (and therapy) she's allowed to learn from her mistakes. So, in Ep 1 she's fired and in Season 2's finale she's fired, but she's not directionless any more. She knows what she wants and she takes the chance, partnering up with a friend to launch their own business. She now has a direction. And while the break-up in the first episode had her going into the usual meltdown over being dumped, the breakup with Season 2 boyfriend was a good thing. In Season 1 she was being dumped in a dysfunctional relationship. Since then she actually 'got' the guy that she always thought she wanted. Turns out, the dream "Mr. Right" was just a human being, the kind with his own wants and needs and flaws. He really was a nice guy. She wasn't disillusioned by him, but she had to give up the fantasy and admit to herself that just because he's the guy she always wanted, that doesn't mean that the relationship actually works for her (or for him). They don't really want the same things in life. So they break up, in a honest and caring fashion, because she's strong enough to no longer cling to fairy tales, to not need a prince charming to rescue her, and to look for a relationship that will fulfill both her and her partner's needs. This break-up was a good thing.

So why do I bring this up with Buffy. The point I took from the Being Erica arc was that the problem wasn't just a matter of circumstances. Her circumstances and in Season 2 were roughly the the same as in Episode 1. The problem had been in and the change had been in Erica. It wasn't what was around her, it was her. Her learning from her mistakes, allowing herself to develop and move forward, gives her an entirely different outlook. In Episode 1 she was devestated. In the Season 2 finale, she was actually in a really good place... despite that in both instances she was unemployed and single.

So when I say that the problem is Buffy. It isn't in a haterade sense. It's that no character is ever going to fix her story for her. No character will ever fulfill her. No character will solve her loneliness, her lack of connection, her misery, etc. No character but her. No character needs to pick Buffy up and put her back together again. No character but her. (I just don't know that I trust Joss or Dark Horse to tell that story.)

[ETA: And I know that it's easy to reference that Erica has her therapist. I wouldn't be against Buffy having one of those too. (Actually I've thought that since Season 6). But I think the time for mentors for Buffy is over.]
shipperx: (Default)
It's been interesting reading some of the reactions to the last comic. I've been fascinated by the ones who keep speculating that someone needs to come pick up the pieces of Buffy and put her back together again (Candidates generally seem to be Xander or Spike). Am I the only one whose reaction is... no? I think there have already been enough problems with the comics what with the apparent source of the problem being that Buffy screwed things up by empowering more than just one woman in the world. Somehow this 'threw off the balance'. Then we have guys trying to make decisions for Buffy behind her back. And we have things like Willow summoning up some earth magic phallic root to penetrate one of their enemies while she struggles against a literal vagina dentata. The feminist cred isn't as strong as it used to be. Plus there's the fact that Buffy actually needs to learn something from this four years long series of bad decisions.

And, at the risk of being labeled a 'hater' I have to think that the problem that needs to be addressed in the wake of Season 8 is the problem that is Buffy. I don't mean that in a hater sense. It's just if the character is ever going to be allowed to grow up (something I'm far from certain that Joss has any interest in doing), but if the character is ever to grow up, now is the time to put up or shut up about it.

This got me to thinking of the character arc of Season 1-2 of Being Erica. I actually liked how they book-ended Season 1 and Season 2. For those who never watched or don't know about the show, it's a female protagonist in magical time-travel therapy... and it's more interesting than weird as it sounds.

The series starts with the heroine, Erica Strange, having an incredibly shitty day, she's dumped by her boyfriend and she also gets fired. This is bookended at the end of Season 2 when in the finale Erica is fired (again) and also breaks up with her boyfriend. But, it's actually a quite good ending. I enjoyed it and thought it was great, because the point was that what's changed between the first episode and the Season 2 finale wasn't so much Erica's circumstances but the character herself. She was in roughly the same circumstances, but this time she was okay. It was all good.

In the first episode the job she was fired from was just the latest in a long series of stop-gap jobs and the boyfriend who dumped her was just yet another bad relationship coming to a bad close. Erica is directionless and lost. Over the course of the show (and therapy) she's allowed to learn from her mistakes. So, in Ep 1 she's fired and in Season 2's finale she's fired, but she's not directionless any more. She knows what she wants and she takes the chance, partnering up with a friend to launch their own business. She now has a direction. And while the break-up in the first episode had her going into the usual meltdown over being dumped, the breakup with Season 2 boyfriend was a good thing. In Season 1 she was being dumped in a dysfunctional relationship. Since then she actually 'got' the guy that she always thought she wanted. Turns out, the dream "Mr. Right" was just a human being, the kind with his own wants and needs and flaws. He really was a nice guy. She wasn't disillusioned by him, but she had to give up the fantasy and admit to herself that just because he's the guy she always wanted, that doesn't mean that the relationship actually works for her (or for him). They don't really want the same things in life. So they break up, in a honest and caring fashion, because she's strong enough to no longer cling to fairy tales, to not need a prince charming to rescue her, and to look for a relationship that will fulfill both her and her partner's needs. This break-up was a good thing.

So why do I bring this up with Buffy. The point I took from the Being Erica arc was that the problem wasn't just a matter of circumstances. Her circumstances and in Season 2 were roughly the the same as in Episode 1. The problem had been in and the change had been in Erica. It wasn't what was around her, it was her. Her learning from her mistakes, allowing herself to develop and move forward, gives her an entirely different outlook. In Episode 1 she was devestated. In the Season 2 finale, she was actually in a really good place... despite that in both instances she was unemployed and single.

So when I say that the problem is Buffy. It isn't in a haterade sense. It's that no character is ever going to fix her story for her. No character will ever fulfill her. No character will solve her loneliness, her lack of connection, her misery, etc. No character but her. No character needs to pick Buffy up and put her back together again. No character but her. (I just don't know that I trust Joss or Dark Horse to tell that story.)

[ETA: And I know that it's easy to reference that Erica has her therapist. I wouldn't be against Buffy having one of those too. (Actually I've thought that since Season 6). But I think the time for mentors for Buffy is over.]

Stuff

Dec. 4th, 2010 02:59 pm
shipperx: (Default)
* I don't know what it was that hit me last night (low grade fever, chills, ache in my bones, headache from hell, general ick) but I'm feeling much, much better today.

* Best summary I've read of the current Buffy comic (I also still perversely enjoy reading the whole darn thread laughing that people are still debating who the 'ultimately betrayal' might be. And people argue that the writing is clear... )

* Sheesh. I've lost track of time. SEC Championship game is about to come on. Gotta go.

Stuff

Dec. 4th, 2010 02:59 pm
shipperx: (Default)
* I don't know what it was that hit me last night (low grade fever, chills, ache in my bones, headache from hell, general ick) but I'm feeling much, much better today.

* Best summary I've read of the current Buffy comic (I also still perversely enjoy reading the whole darn thread laughing that people are still debating who the 'ultimately betrayal' might be. And people argue that the writing is clear... )

* Sheesh. I've lost track of time. SEC Championship game is about to come on. Gotta go.

Stuff

Dec. 4th, 2010 02:59 pm
shipperx: (Default)
* I don't know what it was that hit me last night (low grade fever, chills, ache in my bones, headache from hell, general ick) but I'm feeling much, much better today.

* Best summary I've read of the current Buffy comic (I also still perversely enjoy reading the whole darn thread laughing that people are still debating who the 'ultimately betrayal' might be. And people argue that the writing is clear... )

* Sheesh. I've lost track of time. SEC Championship game is about to come on. Gotta go.
shipperx: (Spike - I'm Paralyzed By Not Caring)
Now, admittedly, I haven't read it, just the summaries of it, but from the sounds of it, they didn't have time to make sense have significant character moments because they had to rush on to... boring us.

Ooh! Look, it's a 'Becoming' redux. Glad they bypassed character moments or coherent plot development for that. Let no dead horse be unbeaten.

*yawn*
shipperx: (Aeryn - woman in a hostile world)
:

(NOTE:  This is not in response to any one person's post. There's no point by point correlation between this post and another). 

I've read a few posts regarding Buffyverse 'selfishness' and whether or not Buffy is 'selfish' .  Sometimes this question is bundled with the question of whether an assessment/accusation of 'selfish Buffy' has to do with gender.   One thing I find myself wondering is whether we're talking within the 'verse or within the fandom.

Within the 'verse, I think Buffy has a fair amount of slack.  It comes from being the protagonist and thus the writer room mantra that 'everything is about Buffy.'  That mantra has a way of highlighting and featuring Buffy's problems while mostly using other characters' problems as reflections or shadows.  There's nothing wrong with that, but it does seem to weight issues such that Buffy's woes are most important and at times other characters problems aren't given as much attention. That's not the character of Buffy's fault, and more often than not, the other characters don't see this part of the narrative.  So, on the rare occasion that one character or another has an issue with their problems/angst/woes being sidelined, I cut that character some slack.   It comes with the package of "It's about Buffy" and sometimes you've gotta give other characters the right to chafe about it.

On the other hand, are we talking about fandom assessment of character?  That's a slightly different issue. 

As a rule, I'm quite reluctant to dismiss accusations of fandom gender bias.  It exists and it can be hellaciously ugly.  On occasion, when I have dumb moments and visit Televisionwithoutpity.com's "Mad Men" threads or "The Big Bang Theory" threads, it  is virtually impossible to ignore the underlying gender bias fandom can display (often in ugly ways).  TBBT's thread constantly denigrates Penny to a truly astonishing degree (Seriously, what has the character or the actress ever done to be hated this much?  I don't get it.)  And it's often astounding just how easily some fans turn on characters such as Peggy (and then there's Betty who, granted, Betty is a basket case, but come on! Horrible parenting aside, she isn't actually Cruella DeVille.  No cute spotted puppies were destroyed to make her impeccable clothing).  Then there's the viper pit of Supernatural fandom which, though I've never been a part of it and have only casually watched the show, I've witnessed some epic misogynistic smackdowns chronicled on fandom_wank that drip with so much gender bias and gender self-loathing that you can only shake your head in dismay.

But, um... (WARNING: Potentially controversial statement ahead),  I think there are times where gender bias cuts both ways. There are times when I think fandom cuts Buffy more slack because she's a girl (as well as there being times when she's cut less.  Both things happen regularly). 

I've been thinking about this for a while, mostly when watching this season's Mad Men and primarily because of the MM depression plot.  This season, Don Draper was a depressed mess.  He was in a downward self-destructive spiral, illustrated by boughts of rough sex, self-loathing, bad choices, and other examples of self-destructive behavior. There was actually enough overlap that it made me think of the plot arc of Season 6 BtVS, where some of the same things were featured in Buffy's character arc.  However, fandom reacted to these arcs quite differently.  

There have been many times when Buffy's choices in Season 6 are either said to simply be because someone else was exploiting her or there's Marti Noxon's oft-repeated blanket excuse whenever fandom pointed to something Buffy did that was less than laudable:   "She's in a bad place!"    Well, yes, she was.  But she still made choices of her own free will.   Sometimes for some people it boils down to one thing: "Buffy was depressed."   And you can't hold that against her...   Right?

It's been striking, though, how fandom has reacted quite differently to Don Draper's depression.  Everyone recognized Don Draper's depression (frankly, it was impossible to miss).  Most fans wanted him to pull himself out of it and became frustrated as it went on so long (just as happened with Buffy in Season 6, only Mad Men has only half as many episodes as BtVS did for Season 6).  What was different in Don's case, however, was that in the man's story there was both the recognition of his depression as well as fans continuing to consider him to be fully accountable for his choices and actions.  He wasn't given "he's in a bad place" as an excuse for bad choices.  It was the context, but not a reason to dismiss his personal responsibility for the things he does and does not do.  Reactions tended to be "Shesh.  I get it.  He's depressed, but SHEESH!  That was a jackass move!"    Depressed or no, Don was still seen as making his own choices, taking his own actions, and, while depression was motivation, it was never viewed as justification.  We weren't encouraged to view him as a victim of circumstance or to think of his choices as being out of his control.  Yes.  Don was depressed.  And yes, he often behaved like a jackass.  Sometimes the answer is that both things are true. With Buffy it's sometimes addressed as "she was depressed."  Full stop.  And I don't know that this is the most empowering route to go... and, I think the reason that it is sometimes treated as explanation enough is partly because she's female.  It's more acceptable to view a woman as passive, as not in control, as more easily undone by her emotions, and as victim of circumstance than it is to see a male protagonist as victim.  It's easier to say that the woman is subject to what's going on around her.  And... I don't like thinking of female characters in just that way.  Context matters.  Oh yes, it does.  But it's not the whole story, nor does it negate free will.   I don't think it's awesome for fandom to consider females as being inately more passive and more subject to their emotions and circumstances.  In fact, when female characters just float along passively, it annoys me.  (See: just about every female character on Supernatural who isn't evil or dead.)  Yes.  Buffy was depressed.  Yes. Don was depressed.  Yes, depression influenced their choices.  But, they're still their choices and actions, whatever the fog they make them through.  If we can allow both those concepts with male characters, are we truly serving a female character by thinking she's less capable of owning her actions and impulses?    Are we cutting extra slack because 'she's a girl' if we decide that she's 'just' a victim of her own emotions and her difficult circumstances, when it's probably somewhat more complicated than that?  I don't think I've ever seen anyone in fandom excuse Don for the less savory things he's done(forgetting his kids, blameshifting, being a dog to girlfriends, being overly curt with friends like Peggy)  because he was depressed.  It's still him.   It's still her.  It still choices and actions they made.  It's part of them, even if it's not the whole picture.

Sometimes, I think we need to be careful in the ways in which we exhibit gender bias.  Sometimes it's cutting a guy extra slack for being 'the man!'  Sometimes it's in our being overly willing to see the woman as passive, lacking control, or as helpless and thus less responsible for the that choices she makes.  (It can actually occasionally become a tad infantalizing.) Sometimes, in terrible cases, there is slut shaming (Look, out of all the things Buffy may be, a slut is not one of them. And, yes, that's taking into account space frakking and ill-timed sex fantasies. We may wish she made different choices sometimes, but none of those things make her a slut.  Not even a little. Not at all.)  And sometimes fandom goes in to full bore yuk because some 'girl' is standing between them and their fictional character fantasy (see Supernatural  and its fanfic pairings or even some of the -- miraculously even more odd -- Sheldon-fans on TWOP's TBBT [seriously, Sheldon/Penny are friends. I honestly don't get the Penny hate!])  Anyway, long way around to saying, I think it's okay to allow female characters to own some less admirable traits.   Even if it's occasional selfishness or selective passivity (which isn't a good thing).  I don't think of that as disempowering.  I think it's granting the character their own power of self-determination.  A truly empowered character is allowed to screw-up, to not always be a model of good behavior, to not be 'just' a victim, and to own up to making their choices-- good, bad, or indeterminate. That's what gives opportunity for growth and change and (psst!) character arc.   

Sometimes characters screw up.  Sometimes they can't see beyond their own POV.  And, yeah, sometimes they're selfish. The laudable character -- male, female, robot, Sebacean, demon, Slayer, Tribute, or Klingon-- is the one that tries to grow, learn, and overcome their flaws.  That, to me, is the best critieria by which to judge them.  JMHO.

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