lordyellowtail: (X and Alia (By Your Side))
Much has been written about this couple--meta, fanfic, and so much more. Anything I could say to explain why they're wonderful would be repeating something someone else--or perhaps several someones--already said. Either you know them and love them, or you've somehow missed watching one of the greatest Disney films ever made, and one of the best love stories ever told in modern media.

And if you've never seen Disney's Beauty an the Beast, which came out in the early 1990s, I respectfully ask that you please get off my lawn and go find it and watch it, now. It's probably on Netflix. Go. Go, now.

I've already (briefly) waxed (semi) rhapsodically on this pairing in a previous post. It's less meta and more aimless gushing, but hey.Feel free to check it out if you like.

While I'm sure there are some magnificent fanmade shipping videos for these two, I didn't go looking for any this week. What canon itself gives us is just perfect. It actually gives us a few shipping song masterpieces. But as far as encapsulating their whole relationship and their hopes for the future, I think this one is best.

For the record, that's Angela Lansbury singing.

Enjoy.

PS.: I hadn't watched this movie in probably 20 years and only when I saw this clip on YouTube did I notice for the first time the part where Beast stares at Lumiere and the others with this incredible adorkable "Hey, guys, look! She's dancing with me! I'm okay at this!" look. It's just so great. I love Beast. Get past his quite understandable depression and social awkwardness (he was cursed when he was 11, neatly explaining both), and he's one of the most down to earth of the Disney Princes. He and Eric are the two I'd most want to hang out with.




Also, for the record, I'm strongly considering getting a paid account here just so I can store more icons. As much as I love them, it's a shame that my best "this is a ship I take seriously" icon is presently a pair of anatomically correct, sapient androids in combat armor from the 22nd century. That I'm applying this icon to a post about a human-cursed-into-a-chimera and a French peasant girl in the 1750s doesn't help. On the other hand, it's a great metaphor for the wackiness of my fandom (and shipping) life. I like it weird.

lordyellowtail: (Default)
Anakin/Padme

(Yes, I'm doing these out of order. I'm going to have to work myself up to Tim and Greta—I've still got lots of complex, conflicting emotions there.)

Paging [personal profile] sharpest_asp . Part 2, as promised.

An iconic pairing. The unbeatable crusading knight and his equally unstoppable lady diplomat, who is herself a Badass Normal action hero when the situation requires it. They're not hero and damsel. They're each other's champion against the whole rest of the universe, and may all creation tremble at their passing.

Or at least, that was what they were supposed to be. That was the couple of myth and legend whose love reshaped the galaxy, spoken of in awe and reverence and fear and hatred in the original trilogy. That was what we were promised.

What we actually got was incredibly formulaic, and while it had its moments, too many of the crucial events in their relationship were at best stilted and awkward or at worst completely lacking any emotional resonance. Their wedding, for instance, did nothing for me, largely because it wasn't presented in any detail. It was a several-second throwaway scene with no dialogue and a great booming musical score that had nothing to do with marriage and was pretty much GENERIC STAR WARS SERIOUS BUSINESS MUSIC. Not that there's anything wrong with that music—I love it, actually—but this is the wedding and the love story that effectively changed the millennia-long course of the galaxy forever. It deserved more than a part in a montage. It deserved much more than being simply another item to check off on the "And Then That Thing That Got Us to the Original Trilogy Happened" checklist.

For me this was a larger issue with the prequels as a whole. It felt like 80 percent of the prequel storyline existed merely to provide in-jokes and references that explained gaps in the original trilogy. And you're probably thinking, "well isn't that the point of a prequel?" And yes, a prequel needs to do that, but it also needs to be as compelling and complicated a story as the original material it's based on. And for crying out loud, it has to be more than fanservice. It has to have soul, and you've got to work extra hard to make the viewer care, because we already know the ending. In my {obviously not so humble} opinion, the prequels failed hard at this, and few other places is it more apparent than in the shallowness and emotional numbness of the Anakin/Padme relationship.

This is the love so powerful that the fear of losing it left Anakin, The Hero with No Fear, the somewhat mentally-unstable Chosen One, so destabilized that Darth Sidious was able to seduce him to the Dark Side and cause the ruination of the Jedi, and then the Galaxy. It should have been a great raging fireball, so bright it burned the eyes to look at, from The Phantom Menace on.

That's the love story I was expecting to see, and I'm still waiting.

Instead, we got a lingering glowstick of under-developed inevitability that bored large portions of the audience, and at worst actively turned them off.

Worse, all the terrible things that happened to bring Anakin to the Dark Side and kill Padme—whose death was completely stupid and contrived in the context of a non-fantasy canon with obscenely well developed medical technology—involved Anakin, Padme, and the entire Jedi Order playing Calvinball with every Idiot Ball they could find. Let me cite a couple of the biggest examples.

Anakin was old when he joined the Jedi Order. Not only was it unrealistic to expect him to purge all emotions like an Initiate conditioned from babyhood, especially if all they did to help him along was give him some lectures on suppressing his emotions—which humans aren't naturally wired to do without extensive mental conditioning—and avoiding the sort of emotional attachments that science tells us are actually necessary for a normal human mind to function correctly. Short of actual brainwashing, he was never going to have the emotional control or the ability to go without emotional attachments that a normal human psyche needs to function. Classically trained Jedi possess these things only because of intensive training from infancy that rewires their brains and makes them both more and less than human.

But Anakin was forced into that mold anyway. No wonder he was unstable. To their credit, by A New Hope, Yoda and Obi-Wan seemed to realize their mistake and didn't repeat their error when training Luke, though they sure griped out about how much better the old days were. They also made new and different mistakes, but that's another story. And their behavior with Luke doesn't really excuse the fact that the entire Jedi Council took a brain holiday and not one of them ever put forth the idea that holding a normal human boy to standards used to shape and measure children mentally conditioned to have abnormal thought processes since infancy was maybe a bad idea.

Worst still, the prequels ignore the setting's own rules. We know that there were Jedi allowed to marry because of insurmountable cultural and biological needs. One of them sat on the Jedi Council. The Corelian Jedi were absolutely allowed to maintain personal attachments with their families. This was done because it was a accepted that trying to train one of these Jedi using the standard model would be an absolute disaster. Yet never once was Anakin given any accommodation befitting his unique circumstances. No wonder he thought they were all being hipocritical.

No wonder he leapt at what Sidious offered him.

So, the point of all that: I am deeply in love with the concept and potential of Anakin/Padme. I absolutely loathe the canon version, for the reasons I've outlined above and others I won't bore you with. These are the big issues that ruin it for me.

So, for Anakin/Padme fic, give me AUs. Alternate universes where the story is written in such a way that their love story actually feels like a relationship with the potential to shatter the galaxy. Make them burn for each other, and make me believe in the magnitude of their devotion.

But that also means making Anakin and Padme and the Jedi Council and Order and their supporting cast the kind of people, in the kind of setting, that can pull off a love story with firepower of this magnitude. So give me an AU that strips out the flood of idiot balls and plot holes canon introduces. Let them be the legends we heard of in awed whispers in the Original Trilogy. Let them not make decisions that go against all logic and common sense just to advance the ball towards the inevitable.

And when you strip out those plot holes and idiot balls, the events of the original trilogy become no longer inevitable. So go wild. If you want to make Anakin fall to the Dark Side still, that's great, but make it a tragedy worthy of a hero of his legend, not the McDonald's Drive-Thru version where he goes from flawed but ultimately heroic to genocidal mass murdering child-killer in about five minutes because he had some bad dreams and Yoda gave absolutely crappy advice and Sidious is really good at being Faux Affiably Evil.

Hell, if you really want to get dark, have Anakin seduce Padme to the Dark Side and overthrow Sidious before he becomes Palpatine and let them co-rule the Galaxy as some sort of sexy, lawful evil Grey Jedi/Sith power couple. Just make it internally consistent enough to be believable, and I'm there. I might need chocolate afterwards, but I'm totally there.

But my personal preference is to write and read AUs where the universe doesn't stack the deck against Anakin, and lets him actually be the hero we was meant to be. Let him not fall, because unlike in canon he has friends and family that love him and he can trust enough to reach out to for help. People that can catch him when he stumbles under the impossible weight they've put on his shoulders, who will smile and let him know they've got his back instead of scorning him for not being the perfect classical Jedi he was never meant to be.

Let Padme be strong and capable enough to stand on her own against almost anyone who would challenge her. Show us the woman who Princess Leia Organa inherited her heroism and political saavy and idealism and iron will (and attraction to lovable rogues) from. I have a lot fewer issues with her characterization in canon beyond the crappy love-plot writing itself, so I don't see a need to change her character that much so long as we're actually made to believe in the love story. But please, show us Anakin's equal. Let them be co-heroes and partners.

Let them stand shoulder to shoulder, hand in hand, his lightsaber lit and her blaster charged even as she kicks just as much aft with diplomacy as anything, united and strengthened by their love for each other, ready and willing to stand against all comers to secure the peaceful future they both want and deserve.

And because this is supposed to be an epic love story, let the galaxy tremble.
lordyellowtail: (Let's Talk Crack Pairings (Snape/Roker O)
Quoting [personal profile] sharpest_asp  from her MemeTime entry:
You know that meme that goes around sometimes where you post your five favorite kinks and then five favorite couples, and it's like a wish into the universe to see if anybody will write it for you? Let's make it a little more interactive.

Comment here if you want to play, and I will give you 3-6 couples that I associate with you, and you make an entry in your journal talking about those couples and fics that you wish the universe would write for you.
So, this seems like it should be pretty fun. Comment if you would like to play.

In the meantime, Asp gave me the following:

1. Rogue/Remy
2. Robin/Secret
3. Anakin/Padme

So, let's go do that. These are turning out a bit long, so I'm gonna divide them up into 3 separate posts.

Rogue/Remy
I'm probably going to disappoint Asp a bit here, but I honestly don't have a lot to say about any present incarnation of this ship. It only works for me in certain versions of the X-Men canon. In others, one or both characters are different enough that the chemistry that draws me to them—particularly the juxtaposition of his extreme intellect, bravery, and deep emotional connection with those in the X-Men he considers his friends and family, all covered up by a veneer of devil-may-care bravado and a show of emotional distance that would fool those who don't know him well; and her outward Type A southern belle, action girl, courageous and kind and gentle outer-shell around a battered, wounded, and deeply, crushingly lonely soul. In universes where they're written this way, they put on acts for the world around them, and some of the only people they can't fool are each other (and Logan, but going into that would disrupt the flow of my over-thought ramblings here). They understand and accept the other for everything they are, and love them for it, warts and all. It's only refusal to fully accept their own selves that stalls their relationship. You can't be in love with someone else when you really don't love yourself—not if you want a healthy relationship, at any rate.

All the fun of their banter and the adorableness of their actual relationship aside, they're a pairing that, to properly work, demands that each participant become a stronger person and consciously fight their personality flaws to be together. It's an explicit element of their relationship, when it's usually just implied in other similar relationships. That's somewhat unique, and so it appeals to me a great deal. X-Men: The Animated Series showed me this version of them and got me hooked. The problem is, not every version of them has this dynamic. X-Men: Evolution Rogue and Remy don't feel like what I described above at all. This version of Remy is a much less sympathetic, layered character and comes off more as a grudginingly enjoyable antihero than a loveable rogue to the people around him, with a tenancy to manipulate Rogue's feelings to his advantage when it's fairly obvious nothing will happen between them, if for no other reason than he doesn't sincerely want her. X-Men:TAS Remy was completely devoted to his Rogue, in his own special way. In Evolution, Rogue still has plenty of problems with interpersonal relationships and isolation, but considerable time and energy is given to developing her confidante/heterosexual life partner relationship with her brother, Kurt Wagner. Their relationship is deep and nuanced and complicated and they rely on each other in a way they don't rely on anyone else, in a completely platonic love sort of way.

Having such a well-developed loving sibling relationship in this context is rather refreshing, but it means that there's no hole in Rogue's heart and relationship with those around her that Gambit would usually be the on to fill.

So, the fic I would write and read with them would be anything in the vein of the characterization and sort of relationship they had in X-Men: The Animated Series. At this stage in my life, well into adulthood and still single, long drawn-out will-they-won't-they and Idiot Ball driven relationship obstacles and love triangles for The Dramas don't appeal to me, so I'd not write or want to read any of that. So much Rogue/Gambit material is devoted to getting them together that I want to see them actually be together.
lordyellowtail: (Default)
For those of you too young to know what this is, a ship manifesto: http://ship-manifesto.livejournal.com/205665.html. For being written by someone else, this is a great long form essay on why these two are still one of my core OTPs, and I still ship them so hard all these years later.

Shorter: I love these two. Not only do we get to see them both grow into confident, capable, even badass trainers (and occasional heroes), but their relationship, both the platonic/ship tease in canon and the well done romantic (AAMRN,AAML,AAMR...we loved our acronyms back in the 1990s) fanworks present what I think is still one of the most real relationships I've seen in children's animated fiction. These two are the kind of best friends that can be completely comfortable in each other's presence one minute, and teasing to the point of starting a screaming match the next, and then fully and sincerely supportive a few minutes after that if they need to be. And if anyone or anything crosses either of them the other doesn't hesitate to come to their aid, with as much emotional support and or physical force and explosions as is necessary, even if they were at each others' throats just before.

Further, they're not sex symbols or glamorous in the least. Misty's a tomboy and Ash has all the romantic self-awareness and skills of a drunk vole. Ash is graceless unless there's danger or a pokemon battle, and sometimes he teases Misty and calls her scrawny. Which she hates to a point that when you watch the series as an adult you start to think she has body image issues. Not to the narm levels of the awful Eating Disorder Misty trope, but they're definitely there in canon. The two of them make mistakes and hurt each other sometimes, and often their most intense personal relationship moments come with a backdrop of recently escaped danger or disaster or hardship, and one or both of them is filthy and wearing newly torn clothes.

Their relationship is the most un-romanticized friendship in the show: they've seen each other at their very best and very worst and accept all of each other, and neither would ever think the other one needed to be "fixed"
in any way on some fundamental level. One's strengths compliment the other's weaknesses, and they always stand shoulder to shoulder in a fight, never one behind the other.

They're best friends and partners and a constant source of support and affection for each other
. Their friendship is the kind of bedrock I think all good romances should be built on.

Their relationship dynamic was the core of the show for me. Without it--when she left he show I just didn't care about Pokemon anymore. Ash is compelling enough for the kind of show he's in, but Ash and Misty and their dynamic was what kept me coming back. They brought out the best in each other and gave Pokemon something unique.

I've seen a lot of Ash/Misty videos and not cared for a great many of them. Ash and Misty aren't romantic, cutesy, or the traditional hero-and-love pair. (They're both heroes: he the Determinator Idiot Hero who gradually loses the idiot tag as he gains experience, and she the Determinator Guile Hero who learns to control her anger issues over time.) They love each other deeply, yes, but that love is often covered in sweat and dust and ripped clothing and tears from the life they lead, and they're far more likely to happily share their date-time crashed out and cuddled up in pajamas at a Pokemon Center watching a Pokemon Contest or Battle or some cheesy B movie or whatever than to dress to the nines and hit a fancy restaurant where neither of them will ever really feel like they belong. Misty, I think, is a romantic in the sense she loves the idea of the fairy tale romance. But given her entire character, and her desire to be nothing like her fairy-tale inspired sisters, she has to know that's not really the life for her. She's miserable every time she gets put in their shoes on the show.

This video, with the editing that makes it look old and vintage an reminds the viewer how long these two have been a thing, and it's perfectly chosen song, captures all of that effortlessly.



lordyellowtail: (X and Alia (By Your Side))
Starting a new Post Set. Every Sunday I'll put up a quick post highlighting an shipping-oriented music video I found that week. Fandom and pairing will vary according to my whims, which may possibly be evil, as whims are wont to be.

Sidenote, before we get started: Sorry I disappeared. I got hit by RL chaos at the end of February, and that rolled directly into mother nature deciding to force me to turn my home into Ice Station Zebra for about 10 days or so. It's been a bit crazy here.

Oliver Queen (Green Arrow)/Felicity Smoak is one of those adorable, perfect pairings (perfect in large part due to the actors' skill and charm and personal chemistry) that I fell in love with without actually seeing much of their canon. The only Arrow episode I've seen is the Flash crossover episode. It's notable that I came away from The Flash's side of that team up sort of shipping Barry/Felicity, as this was the first time I'd seen her and she was awesome, and she and Barry are adorable nerds together.

Then the next night I saw her in Arrow with Oliver, and I was immediately sold.* I've been devouring fic and shipping videos and art and everything else but the actual canon (which sounds pretty tortured on the subject of Olicity), which I am seasons behind on at this point and will try to catch up on after Flash finishes its first season.

Given that it's one of my OTPs, it has also, of course, become something of a beautiful trainwreck.

Now, Spoiler Time: Oliver and Felicity are currently separated geographically, and I think Felicity thinks he's dead, so there has been much angst in the fandom, in particular from the Olicity continent (contingent? It could go either way). Meanwhile, like an emotionally healthy person, Felicity has moved on and begun a relationship with Ray Palmer, the Atom, who has a really nifty set of robot battle armor that I want to actually see in an episode. He's also played by Brandon Routh, which is amazing. It's great to see him in the cwDCU after he got Superman taken away (unfairly, IMHO).

So I've seen lots of angsty Olicity/Ray Palmer stuff. Lots of music videos. In other contexts and fandoms, in particular My Little Pony, I've been introduced to the awesomeness that is speed painting.

I've never seen speedpainting used in a shipping video, with a music and drawing choice that so perfectly complement each other it's like taking a battering ram to the feels.

This is amazing and I love it.

So, without further ado, here's "When I Was Your Man."


Now, if you'll excuse me, I need ice cream after listening to that too many times in the last 24 hours. I can't imagine what I'd feel like if I was actually watching the show.

...Enjoy?

*This is convenient, as I have become a die-hard Barry Allen/Caitlin Snow shipper in the meantime. The show is not gonna let me have this, I know. In fact, I'm pretty sure it's going to deliberately hurt me when it takes it away--it won't so much not happen as horrifically explode. But that's okay. I still ship (pre-Book Six) Harry Potter/Hermione Granger. The shipping drama on The Flash is a Magikarp compared to that Gyrados. And if you need proof of the stubbornness of my fannish devotion, I still ship Ash/Misty, too, well after the point most current target demographic fans even know who Misty is. Do your worst, canon. Snowberry forever! :P
lordyellowtail: (Captain Picard Squee)
This was a fantastic episode, in the top 3 so far, without question. Combined with the following episode, "Fallout," it is easily the best story of the season, and answers so many questions while leaving us with so many more. One of the things I keep loving about this show is how it actually reveals the answers to the mysteries it sets up, but keeps on adding new mysteries in a natural way to keep the questions and thrill of watching going. You never know exactly what you're gonna see, and you can't miss an episode for fear of missing some vital clue or new twist.

The arc-work on this show is truly outstanding, and some of the best I've seen in a long time.

I'd like to say I held off on posting this because I wanted to post it and "Fallout" at the same time, but the truth is last week was just a bit too crazy. I apologize to my hypothetical readers.

It should also be obvious by now that I'm not trying to do comprehensive episode reviews or meta, though there are nuggets of my theories and such buried in these posts. These are purely stream of consciousness things I do as I watch each ep for the first time. There are a lot of other people doing some excellent in depth reviews of this show on YouTube and elsewhere. I might post a listing of some of my favorites soon.

I liked the way it turned out last time, so the usual corrections for grammar and syntax won't be noted, but anything in bold, I'm putting in after the fact to expand/clarify a point. Otherwise, I think some of my observations might be misconstrued.

Standard Disclaimer: All the Spoilers, All the Time


Read the Ramblings )
lordyellowtail: (Secret (Young Justice))
Another great episode tonight, though it had a few more weak spots than last week's--in particular an interesting but unfortunately not-as-compelling-as-she-should-be villain.

I enjoyed doing the liveblog enough last week on Wednesday with my Hulu that I thought I'd try it again tonight live; that was a bit of a mistake. It was much harder to pay attention to what was going on when I couldn't pause the show to write, and since I wanted to pay attention to what I was watching I didn't write as much.

So in future I'm gonna stick to liveblogging on Wednesday nights, which means I won't be able to watch on Tuesdays. Which means avoiding Flash-oriented Twitter for a day, but that's beside the point.

Tonight I'm doing something a little different. The usual corrections for grammar and syntax won't be noted, but anything in bold I'm putting in after the fact to expand/clarify a point. Otherwise, I think some of my observations might be misconstrued.

Standard Disclaimer: All the Spoilers, All the Time

Okay, here we go. Pre-ep recap running now...
lordyellowtail: (Default)
So, I've known about this for a while, and I'm incredibly late in sharing it, but in my defense I've only had a working blog again for about a month.

This is the most awesome Star Trek fan film--the most awesome fan film, period--I've ever seen. The original Kickstarter produced this 20 minute trailer in the style and form of a fictionalized documentary about the Four Years War between the Federation and the Klingons before TOS--and in particular, the events that made Captain Garth of Izar famous across the Federation, and Kirk's hero. The Prelude to Axanar trailer was so successful that when it was used during the second Kickstarter to fund the full movie they raised over $600,000 dollars. The movie is shooting now (or has finished shooting) and is set to come out in 2015.

Over at their website, they're still taking donations through PayPal for the Kickstarter perks (e.g.: a Blu-Ray copy of the movie). And since no one is getting paid anything and no money is being made, Paramount isn't coming after them.

Here's a summary (Wikipedia):
Prelude to Axanar (working title: Star Trek: Prelude to Axanar, and long title: The Four Years War Part III: Prelude to Axanar) is a 2014 independent American fan made short film, directed by Christian Gossett and written by Alec Peters. Funded through Kickstarter, production sought $10,000 in funding, but in gaining $101,000, received more than ten times the amount originally sought. It had its public debut June 26, 2014 at the San Diego Comic-Con.

Set in the Star Trek universe, the film stars Kate Vernon, Tony Todd, Richard Hatch, Gary Graham, and J. G. Hertzler, in a documentary-style film recounting the events surrounding the Battle of Axanar, a major clash between the Federation and the Klingons.
The film is set about 22 years or so before TOS.

The entire cast list for the full movie is amazing, but special attention is due to Gary Graham reprising his role as Soval, who's got to be pushing 200+ at this point; Tony Todd; and J. G. Hertzler (best known to Trekkies as Martok, but playing a human captain here), and Garrett Wang (Ensign Kim from Voyager as a Klingon captain. I'm not immediately familiar with Kate Vernon, but she is awesome and I love that we're getting to see a female Starfleet captain in the TOS era.

Again from The One Wiki, here's the partial cast list for the full film:

Alec Peters as Captain Kelvar Garth, commanding officer of the U.S.S. Ares NCC-1650
Richard Hatch as Kharn the Undying, Klingon supreme commander
J. G. Hertzler as Captain Samuel Travis, Captain of the U.S.S. Hercules
Gary Graham as Soval, Vulcan Ambassador to the Federation
Kate Vernon as Captain Sonya Alexander, Captain of the U.S.S. Ajax
Tony Todd as Admiral Marcus Ramirez, Starfleet Commander in Chief, and
Garrett Wang as Captain of the first Klingon D-7 cruiser
All of those save G. Wang appear in the Prelude. And keep in mind that all these well-known, great actors are working for free because they love Star Trek.

Sometimes, I really do love Star Trek fandom the best.

So, without further ado, here's Prelude to Axanar.



lordyellowtail: (Squirrel Girl)
I'm a huge fan of Disney's The Rescuers, a lesser known movie from 1977. To sum up from the Disney Wikia article,

The Rescuers is an American animated film produced by Walt Disney Productions and first released on June 22, 1977. The 23rd film in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series, the film is about the Rescue Aid Society, an international mouse organization headquartered in New York and shadowing the United Nations, dedicated to helping abduction victims around the world at large. Two of these mice, jittery janitor Bernard (Bob Newhart) and his co-agent, the elegant Miss Bianca (Eva Gabor), set out to rescue Penny (Michelle Stacy), an orphan girl being held prisoner in the Devil's Bayou by treasure huntress Madame Medusa (Geraldine Page).

It is far more awesome than it sounds, and in my opinion, it sounds pretty awesome already. Bob Newhart and Eva Gabor are badass mice that save children. Also, John Candy is an albatross, which they use as an airplane.

There was a sequel in 1990, which is a good movie, but I honestly didn't like it as well. However, there's a scene where they show how the Rescue Aid Society's emergency message relay system works, and it's always been one of my favorite parts of the movie. Watching it now, it reminds me in the way it functions of nothing so much as the lighting of the Beacons from LOTR.

Behold:



For comparison, here's the lighting of the Beacons from Return of the King:






Gandolf and Aragorn would be adorable badass mice.

lordyellowtail: (Squirrel Girl)
I'm going to put much of this entry under a cut. Suffice it to say, I've had a very specific theory about the true identity of Harrison Wells since episode 1.09, "The Man in the Yellow Suit." I've wanted to talk about it here for a bit, but I've been too busy to write up the essaylet.

So I'm thrilled to have found an image someone put together that expresses my theory with less than 100 words. I'm linking to it from another image storage website, so if it disappears please let me know and I'll re-upload it somewhere else. For reference, I found it on the Nightmare Fuel TV Tropes page for The Flash.

Put under a cut, because potentially huge spoilers.

Look at the picture. )
lordyellowtail: (Default)
Magnificent episode. This is the most fun I've had watching tv in years. I watched it on Hulu last night. Without further ado, my thoughts as I watched, brought to you by the pause function and my overworked thumbs.

Also: all the spoilers, all the time.

EDIT 1 (Fri., Jan. 30, 2015):
 Added tags and corrected spelling/grammar.

Read more... )
lordyellowtail: (Default)
I've been online doing fannish things on the internet roughly since America Online began offering a flat rate monthly fee. So, without giving my precise age, I think it's safe to say it's been a while.

And in that time, I've written a lot of fanfic. Some of it is finished. Too much of it isn't. Most of it is a crossover of one kind or another, because I have a serious weakness for those. The challenge of making them work and balancing two or more canons so that everything fits together and examining the parallels and differences between characters that are iconic within their own fandoms is a lot of fun.

tl;dr: I have written and continue to write a lot of fanfic.

But in all that time there has been one big project that I've always wanted to do, and never managed to start. Something that's been in my head for so many years it's actually highly developed. But like trying to grab a snowflake, part of me is wary of actually trying to do it in case I destroy the (hopefully) awesomeness in my head in my attempt to make it manifest.

One fun side effect to this is the longer it lingers, the more nostalgia cred it (hopefully) accumulates.

Question: Does anyone else have one of these floating around their heads?

A relatively short (given the massive amount of brainstorming I've done on this) intro to mine is under the cut.
Read more... )


lordyellowtail: (Default)
I've been re-reading the Beauty and the Beast TV Tropes page and re-watching key scenes on YouTube, and it's reminded me how much I love this movie. I've not watched it all the way through in about 15 years at least, probably closer to 20.

(Oh my God, years, how do you happen? Also, spoiler warning.)

It's probably the best straight-up romance Disney has ever animated, and without a doubt one of the most beautifully animated 2D movies they ever made, as well as just being one of the best movies in the Disney Animated Canon. The Lion King is right up there with it in terms of quality, but for me at least this one is the best--it's just ... grander, in so many ways, without losing its sincere heart.

I'm probably too tired to try to make any more sense than that, so I'm going to quit while I'm (maybe) ahead.

The thing is, as I've gotten older my tastes in fiction, and in particular, romance, have changed. When I was little, I was totally on board with the Beast getting turned back into a Prince and he and Belle going off and doing their Happy Ever After thing.

Now, that feels a bit like a copout. The whole movie is about sending the message that true love is not about appearances, but about the people we are inside. So it feels a little hollow that the ending rewards acknowledgement of love of the Beast's inner beauty by giving him outer beauty. The Beast had already regained his humanity by the end, if not his human body, and it's his humanity and personality and heart (and even presumably his use as a living furry blanket) Belle falls in love with.

(Alleged outer beauty. I personally think the Prince is one of the least attractive of the human Disney Princes, and prefer the Beast's design. It's not necessarily more attractive (unless you're into chimera), but it's one of the most interesting and complex heroic romantic couple character designs Disney has ever done. And the fact that Belle genuinely falls in love with him when he looks like that, to the point she's initially disappointed/suspicious it's really him when he turns human until she looks him in the eyes and recognizes him, really sells the film's underlying message.)

I'm tuning in for Belle's romance with a thinking, feeling Beast, not her romance with some generic prince that neatly sidesteps all the really interesting potential character-drama of their relationship with the power of blandness.

So what I'd love to see is an AU where the movie ends almost exactly as before. Gaston is defeated, Belle and the Beast confess their love, the spell is lifted from the castle and most of its inhabitants...except the Beast. And they're still in love, anyway, because their love is epic. Now, there would be some drama, but they fall in love while he's a chimera so there shouldn't be a boat-load of "I'm a monster!" angst, if only because it would unnecessarily rewind Beast's story-arc--he's already gone through that in the original movie, and conquered it masterfully by the conclusion. It actually weakens his character if it's implied he only overcame his outer appearance and opened up emotionally because he was depending on getting his human body back to manage a long term relationship.

There appears to be an actual small cottage industry of these sorts of fics. I've run across a few on FFN, already. If anyone would like to recommend any, let me know. I'm going to keep exploring and will post recs of any good ones I find.
lordyellowtail: (Default)
I've been traveling pretty much non-stop for the last 8 days or so, with only brief stops at home, so despite my best efforts it doesn't surprise me I managed to be late with this.

Still, happy belated birthday, [personal profile] ilyena_sylph! I'd love to give you a drabble-type thing, so please let me know what fandom (that I'm familiar with) you'd like, and a prompt, either here or on IM. I'll go ahead and warn you I'm about 10 years out of date (at least) on most comics fandom. So it is entirely possible I'll be going to the vintage plot bunny store for those. ;)
lordyellowtail: (Let's Talk Crack Pairings (Snape/Roker O)
 No, this is not a ship manifesto. It's just something that clicked into my brain.

Ami Mizuno (Sailor Mercury)/Faith Lehane (the Vampire Slayer) should totally be a thing.

Let this be a lesson to everyone. Don't stop to read Buffy fanfic when you're brainstorming a massive Sailor Moon S AU story. Distracting, interesting ideas happen and you're left wondering what the heck to do with them because you could shoehorn them into the AU you're working on but you're not sure if you should introduce that much crack into something you're trying to play seriously, even if you can play the crackpairing seriously, and --

Wow. Look at me refer to myself in the second person, there. That can't be good. Sugar rush from all the ginger-ale I just drank, probably.

Oh, and for reference I'd pair them up sometime before Faith and Buffy accidentally killed Alan Finch, because that was the point where we went from canon just treating Faith poorly to undeservedly kicking her in the kidneys for, like, years.
lordyellowtail: (Alia (Nerdy Chicks Rule))

A few months ago, before I decided to start blogging again, I found this post on the Trekkie Feminist Tumblr, asking who the reader would assemble for their dream All Woman Star Trek Crew (and why), from all available canons. I've been wanting to respond to it for a while, but am still Tumblr-averse, so I never got around to it.

 

But now i have a blog again, so the situation has changed. I've also split off certain positions that are really only combined on the TV show for plot convenience, but otherwise probably shouldn't be. I'm not going to try to define a full chain of command, as I'm still thinking about that. I'm also assuming this amalgamated crew is flying around immediately post-canon, in 2380.

 

Oh, and SPOILERS.

 

Commanding Officer: CAPT Nyota Uhura (Original Movie Era): She has decades of first-contact and doing-the-impossible on the job training from James Kirk, and wears a velvet smile and sparkling sense of humor around a razor-sharp intelligence (she's from an era when Starfleet actually needed communications officers on the bridge to decode languages and break encryptions and do all sorts of other things the computer couldn't) hiding a cortinide-and-duranium spine that makes her someone not worth crossing. Combined with her actual genuine compassion as demonstrated throughout TOS, she's everything Starfleet should want in a captain: an excellent, open-minded explorer who wants to see what's beyond the next star, and a veteran space combatant with enough experience to keep her ship and (whatever it's supposed to be protecting, as the case may be) in one piece, and someone who cares deeply for her crew but doesn’t let it cloud her dedication to the mission.

 

Executive/First Officer (2IC): CDR Shelby: (From TNG's "The Best of Both Worlds") I like the idea of her more brash, FIRE-THE-CANNONS-ALSO-I-AM-SCIENCE-AND-AMBITION personality being in balance with Uhura. I see this assignment as one where she's been given to Uhura to sand the rough edges off and train to actually be a starship captain herself. Given that every other XO we ever see is part o the crew's circle of True Companions and is never leaving, I think this would be an interesting and rarely seen dynamic for a Starfleet crew--I'm sure the wider Starfleet works like this, but it's not what we're used to seeing on Hero Ships.

 

Chief of the Boat (Senior Enlisted): SCPO Janice Rand: She brought order to what was surely the unspeakable chaos of James Kirk's captaincy of the Federation flagship, which was also apparently a Suicide Squad-class vessel given the insane, unsurvivable missions it kept being sent on, without losing her sanity. She is made of awesome and deserved far more than to be the subject of James Kirk's emo forbidden office romance rants. I imagine her older than her TOS era self here, but younger than she was in the later original movies, so ... late 30s/early 40s. I only bring up her age because like Uhura we see a huge chunk of her life on-screen and she changes considerably over time.


Operations Officer (Department Head)/Communications Officer: LT (jg) Gaila: I love Seven of Nine and think she's awesome, and due to her efficiency expertise I would've made her also be the OPSO, as like Data she's got the physical and mental ability to do both at once. But then I realized Operations Officer is a position that, to a large degree, is about managing people, not just things. Annika Hansen is okay at that in 2379. She's not really good enough to be an actual personnel manager. So then I thought about it and realized there is someone available who fits the bill. Gaila's got interpersonal skills to spare, and her training is stated to be as a computer specialist, according to a deleted scene. In other words, she makes sure the computers work and do the things they're supposed to do. From what we see in TNG and VOY, Communications is either a responsibility of TAC or OPS depending on what ship you're on. Given that she roomed with Uhura, it's reasonable to assume Gaila took some classes with her and is sufficiently cross-trained for both her primary position as OPSO, combining making sure the computers work and managing logistics, and COMMs. She's not nearly as good of a Communications Officer as Uhura, but 1) no one is; and 2) given the advancements in computer technology in the 24th century, she doesn't have to be. Also, Uhura is sitting right there. Bonus: I'm assuming Prime Reality (original canon) Uhura is Captain of this ship. Gaila comes from an alternate reality where she and Uhura were room-mates and best friends. Hilarity should ensue.


Science Officer (Department Head): LT Annika Hansen (Former Borg Drone Seven of Nine): She's brilliant and has a considerable chunk of the Borg's vast wealth of knowledge crammed in her head, and is demonstrably willing to consider unorthodox solutions to difficult scientific problems, and stand up for what she believes in. And by this point in her career she would have learned how to be flexible enough to fit into a Starfleet crew sufficiently to be in a position of leadership.


Chief Engineer (Department Head): LT CDR B'Elanna Torres: Even without finishing Starfleet Academy (which I'm gonna assume she actually finished upon returning to Earth, and finished quickly given her skill level by the end of VOY), without being able to recite Starfleet protocols and regulations forwards and backwards while suffering from polywater* intoxication, with no resupply resources and limited salvage opportunities at any given moment, she kept Voyager in one piece and functioning well enough to match 4 out of 5 "Our hat is homicidal nutcasery" species and natural phenomenon** in the Delta Quadrant, and managed to come up with solutions to survive the 1 out of 5 species and natural phenomenon that clearly outmatched Voyager long enough for everyone to pool their resources and come up with a solution. Given how she performs under those conditions, she should be completely magnificent in a situation where she has proper resources and a Captain who, like Janeway, is willing and able to work with her volatile personality.

 Chief Tactical Officer/Chief of Security (Department Head): CDR T'Pol: As much as I love what the fandom apparently has labelled "Science Polly"--though I'm not sure how I feel about the nickname--Seven of Nine, in both terms of her skill set and abilities and source timeframe is a superior candidate for Science Officer. T'Pol's science officer training is from a time when Vulcan was deliberately indoctrinating its scientists with arbitrary skepticism (e.g.: time travel cannot exist), and though she's gotten over that to a large degree by the end of Enterprise (the series), it's still affected her thinking and made her a bit more rigid than she might have otherwise been. On the other hand, there's a whole dimension to her character we never really get to see on screen (because the the writers were too interested in shoving Sex Symbol/Damsel in Distress T'Pol at us for most of the series). T'Pol was an operative of the Vulcan Ministry of Security. It's implied/all but stated she was as close to a wetworks operative as ST is ever likely to show on screen. I'm going to play out the associated inferences there and assume she would've also been trained in ship to ship combat and military police-style security work. Pretty much everything you need to know to keep a starship secure. I love T'Pol's character, and Tuvok demonstrates how much fun Vulcan TAC personnel who love their work are, and I'd love to explore this part of T'Pol's personality. I'd also like to have explored T'Pol as a mother in a committed relationship with Trip Tucker, but then they killed the baby and Trip and T'Pol broke up and I will never forgive the show runners for that.

 

Chief Medical Officer (Department Head): LT CDR (DR.) Selar: This oddly expressive, highly competent Vulcan physician was personally trained by Dr Beverley Crusher, and served on the Enterprise-D for most if not all of its seven-year mission, thus bearing witness to a great many improbable things, in and out Sickbay. As a doctor she should thus demonstrate a unique combination of coolness under extreme pressure and a somewhat unVulcan willingness to think outside the box when necessary.
 

Helm/Senior Flight Operations Officer (Department Head): LT Ro Laren: I love Ro, and always thought the way she was written out of the show was a terrible waste of her potential. If the actress had to leave, that's no reason to have destroyed her character's redemption arc. I'm not saying she shouldn't have chosen to go the Maquis, if that's where her heart and morals called her, but she was written as doing in such a way that it was an active betrayal of her Captain and her friends and crewmates on the Enterprise, and they had just spent literally seasons showing us she was better than that. So I'm gonna assume she is. So this is the Ro from before her whacky defection, the one that's a crack pilot and also, thanks to her graduation from the Advanced Tactical Training Course, apparently a highly competent space commando with considerable ship to ship combat skills. In fact, I'm just realizing that in terms of skill set she's scarily similar to LT Tom Paris.
 

Head Counsellor/First Contact Specialist (Department Head): CDR Deanna Troi: Because Star Trek: The Next Generation happened, and she's actually really good at this job (and her secondary first contact specialist job) when properly written.

 

Other Personnel: Head Nurse Christine Chapel; LT (jg) Samantha Wildman (Gamma Shift (night watch) bridge science officer); Dr Gillian Taylor (exobiologist--oceanic life specialist)

 

*My onboard dictionary recognizes this as a properly-spelled word by default. Nicely done, Apple.

 

** Because in the Delta Quadrant, the natural phenomena were actively trying to kill Voyager, most of the time. The Delta Quadrant was the Hub City of the Milky Way.

lordyellowtail: (Don't Drink Soap)
 When did Usagi/ChibiUsa romance fic become a thing? Can we make it stop?

Because I've run into a scary amount of them on FFN, and they're just floating there for anyone to see—

Seriously, fandom: I'm not one to denigrate pairings other people like, but incestuous pedophile Sailor Moon is just beyond the—

Okay. I am failing and flailing at the talking. So in sum:

What the Hell, Fandom? No. Just, no. 
lordyellowtail: (Default)
 Hello, everyone. As I mentioned earlier, I'm still in the process of getting re-situated for online journaling and community participation, and one of the worst things about being off the grid five or six years is coming back and suddenly not knowing where anyone is (or who anyone is--I'm looking at my old LJ friend list and don't recognize half the account names because they've been changed (oops)).

Finding people isn't so hard once you find one or two old friends, because odds are they're still friends with the other people you're looking for that they were friends with before. ... And yes that sentence is terrible and I'm too tired to fix it. And there's this lovely warm feeling you get when you find someone you haven't talked to in years and they're still online and remember who you are and are happy to see you. :)

The problem I'm currently having is trying to figure out where the major discussion for various fandoms has gone. Before Strikethrough and Boldthrough, pretty much all the most active long-form fandom discussion and writing groups seemed to be somewhere on LiveJournal. It was huge and easy to get lost and turned around, but there was a map, and people who knew where things were. It was like being stuck on a gigantic super-continent.

Now everything feels so very fragmented. Given how much more interconnected things have become since 2007, it's really shocking that fandom itself feels this way. Not that I don't understand why. The whole mess with LiveJournal really was enough to cause chaos and diaspora. Still, it makes things more difficult. Before, mass congregation seemed to happen on LJ or not at all. Now, people could be on LJ, DW, Tumblr, Archive of Our Own, their own blogs, somewhere else, or some combination of all those.

So I sort of have this constant feeling of "am I missing something really cool because I don't know where to look?"

I'm keeping my LJ open and crossposting there for the moment (though I'm really only keeping it in case there are communities there I want to visit), and am active on AO3 and FFN, but I don't have the time or energy to try to keep track of several different networks anymore, especially if I want to actually have free time to write things. So those plus DW and the occasional Tumblr (though it still weirds me out that so much of fandom has migrated there because Tumblr, really?) are what I'm going to focus on, with most of my focus hopefully here on DW just for sanity's sake.

So, the point (there is one!). I find myself with a list of fandoms I want to talk about/read fic about, and no real idea where that's done anymore. Is it here? LJ? Somewhere else? So I'm going to list them here 1) to remind myself what I'm looking for; and 2) in case someone has a map and knows where I should go.
  1. Sailor Moon: There's the [livejournal.com profile] sailormoonfans community on LJ, and [personal profile] ilyena_sylph was kind enough to point me to [community profile] sailormoon  here on DW, which looks like a fairly happening place.
  2. The Flash (2014): This series is pretty much what got me determined to dip my toe back into fandom again (and inadvertently therefore what got me clued into the Sailor Moon revival, in a Kevin Bacon-ish way.) I'm still looking for a good discussion/fic space.
  3. The DCAU (including Teen Titans:TAS, The Batman, Batman the Brave and the Bold, the recent DTVs, and almost everything else): Because it's still more fun and accessible than the comics it's based on. I haven't really started looking for this yet. (Maybe someday I'll even stop gnashing my teeth at Young Justice.)
  4. Harry Potter: Looking for discussion and fic. Because why not. This is the fandom where I'm most interested just so see what the current  state of things is as far as what's popular in terms of pairings and what Fandom Specific Plots are in vogue, etc., etc.
  5. Pokemon: Because I am resigned to the fact that even when I reach the point I can't remember my own name anymore, I'll probably still be a pokeshipper and pissed off about Misty leaving the show because OTP, damn it.
I'll probably update this post from time to time as I find things and start looking for other things...

lordyellowtail: (Default)
EDIT 1: Fixed community link and actually inserted the link to the trailer since I was apparently too excited to remember to do it the first time.

A member of the Sailor Moon community here ([community profile] sailormoon) just posted a link to/embed of the official trailer for the Black Moon arc (Chibiusa's debut in Sailor Moon R). It looks amazing. And beautiful. Everyone, their dog, and their pet rock is just gorgeous in this show.

Video is here: http://sailormoon.dreamwidth.org/41114.html

I can't understand Japanese and there's no subtitles, so I couldn't get that much out of it substance-wise, but just looking at it I'm super excited. I love Chibiusa's character design and VA, and I love how it just gets right to the point that serious things are happening.

Also, Sailor Pluto was there.

I love that this whole series exists. I haven't had so much fun being a Sailor Moon fan in 10 years, and I'm not even watching it yet. (Because I can't decide if I should re-watch all the re-dubbed uncensored classic anime first. Because it exists. Because it is an awesome time to be in the Sailor Moon fandom.)

In Sum: Squee.

Go watch the trailer.

(Because it's so pretty.)
lordyellowtail: (Default)
 It's been 6 years since I, in my previous incarnation as Liquid Engineer 0 (and a number of previous incarnations before that), posted anything of substance on my LiveJournal page.

I'm not really sure what drove me off, though I imagine it was  combination of things: grad school was reaching its hectic zenith, and I didn't have much time anymore to actively participate in fandom the way I wanted to. Half-participating was incredibly frustrating. It certainly didn't help that 2007 -- 2009 LiveJournal was a fairly disheartening place. The ripples of Strikethrough and Boldthrough--two names that will mean absolutely nothing to anyone who wasn't active on fandom LiveJournal at the time and surely induce Cranky-Old-Fan-Back-in-My-Day-Get-Off-My-Lawn phantom headaches and echoes of fandom rage in anyone who was (and who, like me, just now realizes just how long ago this all happened and oh my God when did I get old)--were still radiating out, unsettling everything, and half the people I knew had fled to InsaneJournal, JournalFen, GreatestJournal, and later, especially after those two sites ceased to be, Dreamwidth.

More simply, LiveJournal, at least in its role as a fandom meeting place, felt like it was dying slowly and wretchedly.

In that context, it suddenly became too difficult (and even unpleasant) to keep up with fandom in the face of the increasing pressures of grad school, and so, one day, I just stopped. Not that I dropped out completely; I kept reading in stealth mode, and consumed much, but I definitely stopped being a context producer or active community participant, which isn't something I'm proud of.

Given how I tend to write to relieve stress, and how stressed out and drained I became after that when I stopped writing, I can in retrospect say I made a mistake in going cold turkey.

That isn't to say I was completely out of the game. I likely would've gone totally nuts if I had cut myself totally off. But I needed something smaller and more manageable than LiveJournal and Fanfiction.net and the gateway into the entire fannish internet they seemed to provide.

(I should stop to mention that despite being born at the very tail end of Generation X and the dawn of Generation Y (or whatever we're calling it today), I didn't really start to develop any real enjoyment of music for its own sake until I was about 13, and Napster was happening. I wanted to play with this new thing called peer-to-peer networking and music was the thing being shuffled around, and suddenly I realized this whole music thing was pretty awesome, and it all snowballed from there. I've since become a huge music buff, but that's beside the point. I wan't--MTV was never something that was a huge part of my life, beyond my Nanny's daughter watching music videos at our house, which I didn't really get the point of at all, at the time. I always enjoyed Hammertime, though.)

The point of that digression, aside from dating myself for those of you paying attention, is I never once saw Daria, even though I was in almost every way the target demographic. I knew vaguely what it was, but really knew nothing about it in any detail. And now I can't rightly say what got my attention in the first place, though if I had to guess I'd imagine it was the friendliness, dedication, and creativity of the fanbase. (I still think the Dariawiki is the gold standard for such things, without compare. When I found it I knew I had to know more about the franchise that spawned such devotion.)

So, I didn't know these people or the thing they loved, but there was something irresistible about their little walled garden, that just existed on a half dozen websites that I'd imagine most people have never heard of. It was like Cheers--small, and self-contained, and friendly, and everybody knew your name. It was something I could keep up with when my schedule was crushing me, and more importantly it and the show it was built around looked like a lot of fun.

So, in February 2011, I jumped down Daria's little sanity-preserving rabbit hole, and I've been actively participating there ever since, making friends and reading great stuff and writing things people seem to like.

It was my lifeboat for a while.

Still, I've regretted falling out of contact with the wider fandom internet and all the friends I made there. That regret has been on my mind an awful lot over the last few months, and I've also suddenly found myself getting back into current, in-production entertainment and wanting to be able to talk about it with someone. And conveniently, in the last six months or so, life has reached, if not an equilibrium, a more manageable stat that has me feeling like I can focus on my creative hobbies again. So I wanted to dip my toes back into the community.

So, after much deliberation (procrastination), I decided to give up on the only blogging service I've ever used for fandom stuff and, as many of my friends did years ago, check out Dreamwidth. As frustrating as LJ could be, it was surprisingly difficult to leave. But I did, and here I am. So if you happen to feel like you've seen a ghost, don't call Egon and the guys. It's probably just me.

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lordyellowtail: (Default)
Lord Yellowtail

July 2016

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