meganbmoore: (maeve + rumina)
For [ profile] snowdropsandtigers 

A hard one!

In theory, I am all for suffering for heroines within reason and as far as it forwards her character arc and the plot. More often than not, though, it ends up being gratuitous and far exceeds what is needed. One of the reasons romance novels used to feature so much rape was because it was effectively a “condition” of their having sex and adventures and stories centering around them (and many earlier historical romances were effectively female takes on previously male-centric historical sagas and adventures) was that they couldn’t just SEEK OUT adventure or ACTIVELY WANT sex, both had to be forced on them, either completely or partially. The romance novel publishers may have finally been forced to back off from that due to extreme backlash in the 90s, but fiction in general still has a pervasive idea that women have to suffer to have a place in stories, and that their suffering furthers men’s tales.

A good example of gratuitous suffering that that doesn’t help further HER plot is Lan Shang, a secondary heroine in Ice Fantasy. (Because I’m still seething over this however many weeks it’s been later, and because the actress is in another drama I’m watching now, General and I, and thankfully not endlessly suffering.) If I step back and compare Lan Shang’s experiences to those of some other female characters, Lan Shang has it bad, but not the worst ever. However, Lan Shang’s suffering is constantly used to tear her down, humiliate, and hurt her. It doesn’t contribute to her character growth and doesn’t further the plot in her favor at any time. It does, however, further the plot for Ka Suo and Ying Kong Shi, and contribute to Ying Kong Shi’s character arc. Once she can’t contribute to those things any more, she’s set aside and only brought back for more suffering.

In contrast, over the course of 13 books, Seanan McGuire has put October Daye through every bit of torture and torment she can think of short of sexual assault, and often exceeds my own comfort level for reading in doing so. At least half the October Day books pass the point where I would normally “nope” out for gratuitous torment and pain for female characters, but I don’t nope out of the October Daye books. The reason for that is that most of those things I nope out of have pain and suffering for the sake of pain and suffering, and if it’s to actually further a character’s plot, it isn’t hers. In contrast, October’s suffering rarely feels gratuitous, and it’s about her and her story, not those of Tybalt, Quentin, Etienne, Sylvester, etc. (I mean, I’m pretty sure Sylvester thinks at least half of it is about him, but he doesn’t count.) It might AFFECT the men in her life but it isn’t ABOUT them or their stories.

Seanan McGuire actually has a really good post about the expectation of suffering for female characters from a few years back here. (It’s specifically in regards to rape due to a fan asking when she would “finally” rape one of her heroines, but can be applied in broader scope too.)

So basically: Good idea within reason and context, but usually with bad execution that negates the potential.
meganbmoore: (baccano: intrepid reporter)
 187 x Durarara!! x2 Ten

here ) .

meganbmoore: (Default)
My current tablet isn't exactly on its last legs, but I bought it refurbished 3-4 years ago and it's starting to show its age and I'm not sure I want to rely on it as my main non-phone internet device when travelling.

An I-Pad is out of my range, but I haven't decided if I want to go with Samsung Galaxy again. I'm thinking about aFire from Amazon, but I'm not sure. I heard bad feedback on it when it first launched, but have heard good things since.
meganbmoore: (badlands: butterflies)
 PSA that Netflix has the first season of Into the Badlands (aka, Post Apocalyptic Wuxia of my heart and soul.) Only 6 episodes, so plenty of time to watch it before season 2 starts later this month.
meganbmoore: (knk: fail)
 ABC has this new time travel show coming out called Time After Time.  I cannot make twitter stop showing to to me 10 times every time I log in.  Normally I don't care about the overly aggressive twitter ads that don't go away even when I tell them I don't want to see it every time it comes up, but this one centers all the ads around "SUPER SEXY JACK THE RIPPER! ""JACK THE RIPPER HAS NEVER BEEN SO HOT! " "THE MOST DANGEROUS MAN IN THE PAST IN IN OUR TIME (AND HE'S HOT!)"   That last one comes with clips of JTR apparently seducing a woman with the intention of killing her, and actually makes me nauseous every time I see it.

I've hated the Jack the Ripper fascination for years (and, lets face it, the only reason he's allowed to become such an icon with a "fascinating and mysterious" reputation is because he killed prostitutes and got away with it) but this is a whole new level.

I was initially interested when I first heard about it because I liked Nicole Ari Parker in Rosewood, but I noped out when I learned Kevin Williamson was involved, especially with his last few shows and the Jack the Ripper angle.

Hopefully it gets cancelled fast.  (Parker is playing a WOC in a Kevin Williamson show, so she'll probably get killed off fast anyway.  The alternative is 8 years trapped in a show that constantly reduces you to non-stop sacrifice and magic support for all your white "friends" while the creators treat you and your character like crap behind the scenes, too.  At least Kat Graham will be escaping that and hopefully get a job that appreciates her more.)

But, also, how is it that ABC can find room for this but can't work in Still Starcrossed?  "Insult to injury" doesn't even begin to cover it.
meganbmoore: (covert affairs: gimme tv)
Since I started watching kdramas as they air over the last couple of years (after roughly a decade of typically waiting the 2-3 months until they finished airing) and trying to watch cdramas as they aired or fairly close to it, I’ve gotten more used to their airing schedules and narrative structures than to US airing schedules.

Korea? Two 55-70 minute episodes on back-to-back nights each week, episodes are skipped only in the case of something huge, or if the shooting schedule gets too tight. Resolves all major plotlines with rare exceptions.

China? EVERYTHING is prefilmed so no danger of hiatuses due to filming, and episodes are only delayed in case of something major. Depending on the series and channel, anywhere from 3-20 episodes (but usually a slightly-more-reasonable 4-10) that are 30-45 minutes long drop each week until the series is over. Resolves all major plotlines with rare exceptions. Bingewatching was the norm long before Netflix streaming was a twinkle in anyone’s eye.

US? One 25-50 minute episode a week. When we feel like it. Expect us to take 9 months to air 20-24 episodes. With rare exceptions, don’t expect us to air more than 3-4 subsequent weeks. Month long hiatuses whenever we can. You'll probably escape this if our seasons are only 10 or so episodes, so there is that. We resolve nothing unless we can introduce something else to keep unresolved for a while more often than not. Hope we get another season so you can closure and answers, because we LOVE cliffhangers.
meganbmoore: (first knight: guenevere)
Guinevere in adaptations! (snowdropsandtigers @ tumblr)

I have a suspicion that this was meant to get me to talk about Angel Coulby’s Guinevere in Merlin, but alas, I’ve never seen a single episode of it. If I ever do, though, that’s who it’ll be for. (In the past I would have said for Guinevere and Morgan, but I…can’t say I’ve been impressed with Katie McGrath’s acting in the few things I’ve seen her in. Unpopular opinion, I know…)

As far as adaptations go, my favorite Guineveres were probably from the movies First Knight (which may not be a particularly good movie or popular as Arthuriana, but Julia Ormond was amazing) and Camelot, and Kim Headlee’s Dawnflight. I thought Phyllis Ann Karr’s depiction of Guinevere in Idylls of the Queen was very interesting, but there we more get a perspective of her through other characters more than she’s actually on page as a character herself.

There’s always been a Madonna/whore complex in approaches to Guenevere in fiction, with Guenevere serving both roles, but the “whore” side of the equation getting an unfair share of the blame for Camelot’s downfall. A lot of Arthuriana fen-hardcore or supercasual-in my general age group having a pretty strong anti-Guenevere stance for some time due to The Mists of Avalon being so anti-Guenevere (because you can’t redeem the reputation and focus on one major female character without also tearing down another?), though that seems to have died down in recent years. While I grew up with Arthuriana adaptations going in and out of my life quite a bit, I didn’t make it to MZB until my late 20s and, well, we’ll say I don’t respect her as a person at all thanks to things that have come up over the years in regards to her and her husband, but do respect how her books brought more focus and depth to female characters in most adaptations in the last 30-odd years, but her stuff wasn’t for me, and leave it at that.

That said, I think most adaptations still don’t really “get” Guinevere, and probably don’t have much interest in doing so, even when they’re sympathetic to her, unless she actually is a central focus.. I’ll give Starz’s Camelot series a nod for trying, even if (through no fault of the actress’s) they didn’t really do a good job with her overall, but the only thing I can truly give that show good credit for is casting Eva Green and Claire Forlani as Morgan and Ygraine, and being the only adaptation I’ve encountered, outside of MZB, to bother to develop and explore Ygraine as a character and her motivations, even if it let me down in the end there to, in regards to her final fate.
meganbmoore: (eah: cerise)
 68 x Ever After High: Spring Unsprung

here )
meganbmoore: (camelot 1967)

This...I mean...there are elements in it that could be good? And it looks like if they ditched the King Arthur aspect, this could be an entertaining if unoriginal (and way to dude-centric) fantasy movie. But this actual movie looks like a terrible mess. Also, needs more color. Of more than one variety.
meganbmoore: (covert affairs: gimme tv)
1. I haven’t talked much about TV here recently, but I haven’t really felt fannish about US shows? Elementary and Madam Secretary are solid shows that I have great fondness for but little interest in initiating conversation about, though it is worth noting that MS is one of those shows that’s really going after the current political climate. Bones is on its final season and it’s still Bones, which mean that, like the last several seasons, it’s worth watching for the characters that I’ve been following for a decade, but not really a lot else. Supergirl is a show I was fannish about last season but am not really fannish about this season. I still enjoy it, and there are definitely very good things about this season, but the problems we were worried about when we learned it was moving to CW came to pass.  Rosewood is also still solid and enjoyable, though I'm slightly concerned that a miracle cure is in the works.

Timeless wraps up the first season tomorrow.  It's not brilliant SciFi, but it is very entertaining SciFi, and is pretty good at calling out how much US history has erased and persecuted POC.

Star Wars Rebels continues to be great, but I wish it would fully commit itself to the Mandalore plotline that’s been building up instead of the endless build up. I’m very much looking forward to some things in the trailer that haven’t happened yet.

I still enjoy Emerald City despite its problems, and I have so many questions about the past that can’t possibly be answered in the last two episodes without putting the main plotline on hold. At least it looks like my questions about Jane might be answered next episode, though.

The only new show I’ve checked out (or really plan to) is Powerless, which is a sitcom set in the DC universe about the employees of a security firm who work on inventions to keep people and possessions safe from superhero battles. It also falls into the realm of “really like but don’t feel fannish about” but really is a delight. Of the shows I’m watching, it’s also probably the one most blatantly anti-Trump.

I haven’t watched How to Get Away With Murder since it returned from hiatus and I haven’t watched any of this season of Jane the Virgin (I’m spoiled about That Thing in JTV, though). I’ll probably watch both when Netflix gets them this summer.

Right now, I’m mostly waiting for Underground, Into the Badlands and Brooklyn 99 to return from hiatus, and wondering if Still Starcrossed will ever make it to my screen.  I think all my other shows are summer/late spring shows.

2. For a few US shows I’ve completely recently:

Netflix’s A Series of Unfortunate Events was a delight, due in large part to excellent casting and the actors’ ability to maintain an almost impossible pace for something so dialogue heavy. It’s hard to make something that requires that much dialogue and whose humor requires the narrator to step in so much to work, but they did it. My favorite character was Jacqueline, who had maybe 10-15 minutes screentime total throughout the season.

LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures is a TV show set between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi about a trio of scavenger siblings who come across a woman claiming to be a Jedi who survived Order 66, and help her look for the pieces of the kybersaber, a weapon that pre-dated the lightsaber. It’s an irreverent comedy that spends a whole lot of time mocking Palpatine and Vader, and the Empire in general. I kind of wish it was pat of the main Star Wars animated Universe canon, because there’s some good stuff in there.

I finally got around to watching the back half of season 5 of Haven now that netflix has it. I appreciated how fully it committed itself to its gothic horror roots and its devotion to the new mid-apocalyptic setting. I did not appreciate hoe it still felt th need to kill off any plot-important women who weren’t Audrey. It also somehow took an ending that SHOULD have been perfectly satisfactory to anyone and made it be awful and make no sense. Sigh.

3. I have been fairly fannish about kdramas and cdramas lately, though, but most of that portion of my friend’s list has migrated to tumblr, or are both here and there, so I forget to also talk about them here. Surprisingly, I’ve been fannish about Hwarang, which has been an admittedly fairly-average sageuk, but an enjoyable one, and utterly harmless. For an idol-heavy youth drama sageuk, it’s actually pretty decent, despite the almost universally-awful promotional material and trailers. It’s Silla-era and has enjoyable characters, and I’m easy there. It also has the worst fandom possible, largely due to stans of certain actors and their characters who believe the universe has horribly wronged them by not making the show and all the characters revolve around their favorite.

I’m also really enjoying Saimdang: Light’s Diary and Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People, but despite the split-timeperiods aspect of Saimdang, both are being fairly old-school in their approaches, and so things are really just getting started. (Unlike Hwarang, both are also excellent sageuks by any standard right now, but not to the tastes or the more vocal parts of kdramas fandom. As in, there are no idols, and they’re busy being Serious Business Sageuks.)

4. Slightly related to the above, I’m glad Moon Lovers brought a lot of people to sageuks last year, but frankly, that drama was mediocre. Entertaining and with some bright spots, but mediocre both as a sageuk and as a drama in general. It’s popularity was because of the popular idols in the cast, Lee Joon Ki fans, the fact that it wasn’t set in the Joseon era, and because it hit a lot of fandom’s buttons for character overinvestment, none of which are actually related to quality. I didn’t bother finishing it when I learned that the final episodes literally killed off every single female character except for the one history said that it absolutely could not kill off. But it got a lot of younger viewers interested in sageuks, and also got some not-so-young viewers in that didn’t typically watch sageuks, but now I can’t go to any drama sites with seeing other sageuks and popular ancient cdramas compared to Moon Lovers and somehow being found wanting, with people going out of their way to find ways to compare them. Hwarang fandom is probably the worst about that. But every drama I’ve seen compared to ML in the last 6 months or however long its been has, IMO, been a better drama.

5. Completely unrelated to TV, I’ve been checking flights for WisCon and the prices are almost double what they were two years ago. Hopefully they’ll go down in the next month or so, but I’m not holding my breath. (I also have no idea yet if I have roommates or need to start asking friends if they have room. I know one of my regular roommates isn’t going, but I haven’t heard back from the other yet. I don’t think most people start worrying about roommates in February, though…)
meganbmoore: (paladins: yan yu/mo le: pre-angstplosion)

January 23 - talk to me about cdramas you think I'd like! (daughtersofthedragon @ tumblr)

Unless I’m misremembering, you’ve already watched some or all of Love020, all of The Princess Weiyoung, and some of The Legend of Hua Mulan, or I’d rec those. These aren’t necessarily the absolute best cdramas ever, but they’re accessible (both in terms of content and ease in finding with English subtitles), dramas I liked, and have good actors and characters and no bad writing/terrible endings.

this one got long )

meganbmoore: (Default)
 Related to yesterday's post;  On my old laptop, I had a few websites that provided/linked to translations of Chinese novels, both old-school wuxia and sme of the more recent ancient/xian xia/romance novels that will never ever ever get an official English release (though maybe that will change?) but I forgot to save the links on my new laptop before I started cleaning everything out of the old one for my mother.

Does anyone happen to know what those websites might have been?
meganbmoore: (flz: demon tricks)
For the interested, the airing Chinese fantasy/romance drama Eternal Love, aka Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms is available on Kindle as To the Sky Kingdom by Qi Tang. It’s free for Prime members. Don’t know how much it is otherwise.

Dramafever trailer (spoilery, because cdrama trailers and credits always spoil a lot of stuff):

I haven't started the book or the drama yet, but I've heard good feedback on the first few episodes of the drama.
meganbmoore: (too many books)
your favourite book! (  [personal profile] jazzfish )

I get asked this a lot and I never understand how other people get asked can answer! Like, I have plenty of books I love and plenty of books I feel were very influential to my adult tastes, some of which I enjoy as much revisiting as an adult, and others less so (Both versions are largely childrens’ and what’s now considered YA fantasy series*, as well as things like Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden.) but narrowing it down to just one or even a few isn’t something I can ever really do. Sometimes I can’t even do that for authors! I think the last time I could state a favorite book above all others was in high school with Elizabeth Marie Pope’s The Perilous Gard,” which I read several times a year for all 4 years. (Then I wanted to read it again a few years later and couldn’t find it because I couldn’t remember the title or author-I knew exactly what shelf it was on in the school library and what the binding looked like-and couldn’t find it for years [for a while I had it in my head that it was by Charles deLint. I dunno…] until someone recommended it to me back during the LJ days.)

*Including but not limited to: LeGuin’s Earthsea series, Robin McKinley’s The Blue Sword and The Hero and the Crown, Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising series, and Lloyd Alexander’s Prydain and Westmark books.

(I assume no one is surprised that it'll be well into February before I finish even though only about half the slots were filled.)


meganbmoore: (Default)

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