lordyellowtail: (Alia (Nerdy Chicks Rule))
I've watched exactly one episode of CBS's Supergirl--the one where she meets the Flash from The Flash (CW)--and fell in love with her and her show. It's so ... fun. And yet at the same time it couldn't exist without its deep character relationships and badass heroes of all shapes and sizes and power levels. I love it.

I've been binging fanfic. It reminds me a lot of the peak of Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman fandom, in terms of enthusiasm and writing skill/plot maturity. I haven't been watching the show due to time. Once all the episodes are on Netflix I can binge Season 1. And given that I was first introduced to the fandom by the AO3 archive, I think it was inevitable that I'd become a Cat/Kara shipper. OMG, they're lovely. Canon, of course, is giving us Kara/Jimmy Olsen, which is giving me an unpleasant Smallville vibe most of the time. (And I'm not just in it for the femmeslash. I'd also prefer Kara/Barry Allen. Or Kara/Anyone Not Jimmy, come to that.)

(There's also a characterization issue w/r/t Kara keeping her secret from Cat via use of Martian shapeshifting mind-screw that's a real thing, but I won't get into that here. [personal profile] ilyena_sylph and I have discussed it at length though. She and I have deep feelings on the matter. As someone who read the Young Justice comic books and remembers Greta Hayes, I'll also never be comfortable with Supergirl or anyone else working so closely with any incarnation of the DEO, but I digress.)

So, yeah. After reading so much fanfic, and given my own background with the comics, I've been getting ideas. I know I'll almost surely never have time to work on them anytime soon, so I'm archiving them here. Tumblr prompt posts are huge in this fandom, and I'm not really sure how those work, but by all means please feel free to run with one of these if you like.

If anyone takes one, please let me know and send a link so I can read it. :) I've included my brainstorming and details, but you certainly don't have to use them all/any of them. it's more the basic idea I'm throwing out there. I'd love to see multiple people's take on the same thing.

The list for this round:

1. Extended Stay:
 For whatever reason, Barry can't get back home at the end of the crossover ep, and is stuck on Kara's Earth (Earth-3? Earth-CBS?). Maybe the tachyon chest device he was wearing got smashed. So he's stuck there until he can get fast enough on his own to breach the dimensional barrier and get back to Earth-1. As far as Earth-1 is concerned, he's only gone for a few seconds (just as in canon). But for Barry, weeks/months/years pass--anywhere up to 10 years, so at most he'd be in his mid-30s at the peak of his powers when he went home). So he's a dimensional refugee and has to make a new life for himself as both Barry Allen and the Flash, all the while afraid that Zoom is destroying his home (since he doesn't know about the time differential).
  • How does he grow?
  • How does Kara grow given how much they obviously cared about each other and influenced each other even as friends--and Barry's Older Brother Mentor vibe with her.
  • Does Barry keep trusting the DEO the way she does? Barry's interactions with Earth-1 General Eiling and ARGUS have been not-so-great, but not terrible, yet, either. (Eiling was presented as a one-off bigoted nutcase, but Amanda Waller's ARGUS is horrifying, even if Barry didn't have any direct contact with it.)
  • Does Kara/Barry happen?
  • Does Kara end up with someone else and Barry find someone else or spend a decade pining after Iris (I hope not)?
  • How will Team Flash react to an older, more confident and powerful Barry reappearing after being gone for just a second or two?
  • Does Kara come back with him to make Zoom's downfall that much more awesome and entertaining? (Because after months/years, I can't imagine Kara just letting Barry go by himself if the last thing he says is that he has to go fight a nightmarish, world-conquering speed demon from hell.)
  • There are so many directions you could go with this.
2. The Fugitive from Krypton: So, in the comics, the DEO was perfectly happy to treat metahuman children as things to be dehumanized, experimented on like lab rats, and weaponized. The ones that couldn't be controlled were hauled off to something called the WABE, where they were presumably killed/dissected for evil science. They were not nice people. The comic incarnation of Young Justice forms almost solely to protect Greta Hayes, one of their escapees and one of the world's most powerful metahumans, from getting recaptured by people who refer to her consistently as "it" and other even more unpleasant things while they torture her. So I was incredibly thrown when I watched Supergirl to be presented with a "nice" DEO who were Kara's allies/trainers/support team. Until it was revealed that the Supergirl-verse DEO was just as evil and twisted as the comics mainline version until J'onn replaced and masqueraded as Hank Henshaw to take it over. It's a huge deal in the show when J'onn is outed as an alien and has to flee, and General Lane--his usual xenophobic, horrifying self, who waterboards Kryptonians with kryptonite injection torture--is going to put one his allies in control. Especially horrifying since he's of the mind that Kara is just as bad as the evil aliens she fights, and humanity would be best served by her being ... contained, at best. In canon, J'onn uses his mind powers to make sure that doesn't happen, by persuading the top brass to appoint Lucy Lane, who is not a xenophobic bigot nutcase, to command the DEO.
  • Now, let's assume for whatever reason, that doesn't happen. Kara, not being down for being treated like an it, or a living weapon, or otherwise being forced into the DEO's servitude ("Here's a list of people we want killed. Get on it, alien.") lest she be imprisoned forever or killed or turned into a lab experiment, flees.
  • It's entirely likely the DEO uses its influence to frame Kara for some sort of horribad act so the world thinks she's a villain and understands why "the good guys" with the guns and black helicopters are hunting her.
  • This places, at minimum, Cat Grant, Carter Grant, and Jimmy and Winn in huge danger, as the DEO knows they're her chief allies and the first place she'll go for help.
  • At minimum, Cat and Carter end up on the run with Kara, mostly because she has to rescue them from the DEO and its not safe for them to go anywhere else. Given how much they both care about Kara, I think their upset at having to be on the run would be tempered to some degree by outrage/fear at how she's being targeted, but still, this is not a recipe for happy times.
  • Cat/Kara pre-shipping/ship launching would be very interesting under these conditions, but if platonic Supercat is your thing, that would also be magnificent. Carter struggling with what's going on around him and trying to reconcile the DEO chasing Kara with Kara being his hero would also be very interesting.
  • The usual question that comes up with a lot of my Supergirl plot-bunnies and meta about the series: where the hell is Clark?
3. Studies in Xeno-Oncology: This one is more my reaction to the incredible, hair-pulling out stupidity of the DEO using constant Kryptonite exposure to make it possible for their human agents to train Kara. Put aside for a second that the best person in the world to train Kara to use her powers to the greatest extent is Clark Kent, and his buddy Bruce Wayne would be happy to teach her how to fight like a human for when she needs to do that (and hey, if Diana's around ... ). The DEO surely loves this also because it teaches Kara that she's no real match for humans determined to hurt her, if they have the right tools. The government hates uppity aliens. The show seems to think Kryptonite is merely an off-switch for Kryptonian powers, but that's not correct. It's radioactive. It doesn't strip Kryptonians of their powers so much as instantly and viciously painfully give them radiation poison that puts them in too much pain and causes enough instant cellular damage that the solar-absorption processes that enable their powers can't work correctly. So, consider what the DEO is doing in their training rooms:
  • (a) Constantly bombarding Kara with Kryptonite radiation to damage her cells enough that her superpowers cannot fully manifest, but not so much that she can't still function;
  • (b) Putting her in training simulations where her body takes varying degrees of non-lethal damage;
  • (c) While her irradiated body tries to heal itself via normal, Kryptonian yellow-sun-accelerated healing processes:
  • (d) which include (now irradiated) cells attempting to multiply themselves at a prodigious, superhuman rate to repair the damage
  • (e) Kara seems fine, and they apparently do this to her daily, at least
    • BUT: we know from real world science that when radiation poisoning happens, it causes cellular mutations in cells spawned after the poisoning occurs, and this is happening to Kara over and over and over and over and with her superhuman healing compromised
    • IN CONCLUSION: Cellular mutations left unchecked, even when they're just happening at little bit at a time, are how cancer happens
  • In sum:
    • The DEO's preoccupation with poisoning Kara (just a little bit) so they can regularly beat her up while she is in "my cells are on fire" pain, which must be great for her mental health,  do training, without any consideration to the realities of radiation poisoning, gives Kara cancer, likely either already spread throughout her body or in  position that it's likely to spread quickly once it's found given how rapidly her accelerated immune system/healing reproduces cells even when not pressed by physical damage.
    • Chemo and radiation and most other human means of curing cancer will not work on Kara's invulnerable body, not without the application of more Kryptonite, which given that it's already given her cancer, is not on.
  • The big questions:
    • What do?
    • More importantly, how do the people that love Kara deal with this, and how does it change their attitudes about the DEO, which they've been trusting to safely train Kara all this time? I'm sure people like General Lane will actually be pretty thrilled with the news.
  • I like to imagine that Cat is the one who figures out Kara is sick first, because she has experience of seeing someone developing cancer or something similar and she's Cat Grant, investigative reporter/Queen of All Media/Badass, and this messes with her head a great deal and scares the hell out of her, because of course Cat knows Kara is Supergirl, and Supergirl isn't supposed to get cancer or be mortal and sick. And she'll have fun explaining this to Carter.
    • Feels everywhere!
    • Platonic/shippy Supercat to taste.
  • And also: Where the hell is Clark? (Given the number of terrible things that happen to Kara in this show without an appearance from Clark, this is kind of constant refrain in most of my plot bunnies.)
4. The Au Pair from Krypton (Superman Returns/Supergirl Fusion): Crossover AU. Superman leaves Earth after Superman II for the five year trip to go see if Krypton survived, just as in canon. Lois finds out she's pregnant, just as in canon. But before she meets and begins courting Richard White, and even before she writes her "Why the World Doesn't Need Superman" editorial, Kara Zor-El escapes from the Phantom Zone and arrives on Earth, looking for Kal-El. She goes to the Fortress of Solitude and manages to track down the only Kryptonian life sign on earth--which is presently gestating inside a human woman. Kara is 13 and of average intelligence by Kryptonian standards (which would make her a genius on Earth), and still hurting from the realization she failed to protect her cousin, who grew up without her. It doesn't take her long to realize the baby must be Kal-El's. Kal-El is missing, and the last heir of the House of El is unprotected. That's totally not on.
  • Kara's already a 13 year old, with most of the education Kal-El got in Superman (1978) during his 12 years in the Fortress' tutoring program. It wouldn't take Kara nearly as long to work with Jor-El's hologram to get caught up on Earth culture. Probably less than a year, just doing it at night.
    • Kara would identify herself to Lois as Kal-El's cousin before she knew a thing about who Clark Kent was. So Lois has a traumatized, teenage alien girl determined to be her body-guard/live in babysitter, and wondering what the hell happened to her idiot baby cousin and why he went off to go find a planet Kara saw explode before her eyes. This whole situation kind of blows Lois' seething resentment of Kal-El (that led her to write "Why the World Doesn't Need Superman") to pieces.
    • Lois is too paranoid about such things to ever let the DEO or any other government branch anywhere near Kara, and Kara wouldn't let them anywhere near the baby.
    • Lois and Kara figure out together that Clark is Kal-El, and end up talking things out with Martha Kent while Lois is still pregnant. Martha would be thrilled she's going to be a grandmother; ready to strangle Clark for getting a woman pregnant out of wedlock and then disappearing like a moron, and perfectly happy to go along with the Jor-El AI's plan to set up a "Kara Kent" identity that would make Kara legally Clark's cousin.
    • Lois still writes "Why the World Doesn't Need Superman," but it's not nearly so much of a hit-piece as it was implied to be in canon, and more a self-examination of herself and society for being overly-dependent on someone who everyone sort of forgot had his own emotional wants and needs, so they were totally unprepared when he needed to leave to take care of himself. (This is the article I actually wanted to see her write, and one I think would've been award-worthy. Much more so than the "The Reason You Suck" article she seemed to actually do in canon.
    • By the time she's 16-17, Luthor/Zod/Non/Evil Lincoln is back and escalates things to the point that Kara realizes the world needs SOMEONE with an S on their chest. Perhaps Luthor targets baby Jason somehow, realizing he must be Kal-El's son? Enter Supergirl.
  • Richard White: I suppose it's possible Lois still ends up with him, if she's angry enough with Clark/feels like he's not ever coming back, but I think it's much less likely he's with her here. But I'd hope he's still around. I loved his character.
  • Superman Returns: and is greeted with joy by the people of Earth. And ends up hearing about his cousin first from the press corps covering the space shuttle/plane rescue. Awkward/wut-filled family reunion fun for everyone.
  • Cat and Kara: Cat is always shown as being Lois' rival, so trying to set up a platonic or romantic relationship with Kara in this AU would be tricker, but I'd love to see it still done. Cat and Kara are such a key part of this incarnation of Supergirl. You could dial things back a bit with the timeline, so when Kara is about 15-16, Lois is about 26-28 (how old I think she must've been in the Superman II era), Cat is an intern/Perry's assistant/junior gossip columnist at about 18-19. Still squickly until Kara's a bit older if you're gonna ship it, but feasible. Plus, I kinda love AU stories where Cat and Kara are close in age and younger, because it means Kara tends to be there when Cat has baby Carter.
So, there's some plotunnies, and the overthought reasoning behind them. And now they're off my chest and will hopefully stop whispering to me when I'm trying to do other things, like make money to feed/clothe myself and keep the water and electricity on.
lordyellowtail: (Let's Talk Crack Pairings (Snape/Roker O)
Let me first preface all this by saying that this isn’t a longwinded way for me to justify wanting to see Liv with Peyton or any other female character (though I have read some of those fics/shipping manifestos, and they are excellent). At the moment my iZombie Shipping Goggles are treating me to an overdeveloped internal plotbunny revolving around a massively AU version of Season 1 of both iZombie and The Flash where Barry/Liv is a huge, happening thing. If I write iZombie shipping fic, it will be them. Because they both need so many hugs and ohmygod I need chocolate when I watch these shows because my heart. And Ravi and Caitlin working on the zombie cure together while Cisco tries to invent "zombie gear" and Joe and Clive try to pretend everything is normal would be just great.)

The usual disclaimer: all the spoilers, all the time.
So, bisexual Liv (twitter tag: #BiLiv, which makes no sense whatsoever if you see it without the capitalization and aren't deeply submerged in this fandom) is a thing among an apparently considerable minority of iZombie fans. It has been since pretty much the first episode, when her roommate Peyton declares Liv is her "freakin' heart," in a way not nearly as platonic as it was probably meant to be. Episode 1.02 has her eating the brains of a monogamy-challenged artiste and being attracted to and aggressively flirting with both Perpetual Purported True Love and Angst Object (need an acronym for this) Major Lilywhite and the dead artiste's rather quite attractive female lover. And a random Dudebro. And some other people. This was a busy brain.
 
The show's writers and actors seem to be aware of the whole #BiLiv thing: this hilarious Vine-style send-up of one of the most famous scenes from Thelma and Louise (tweeted by Peyton's actress) was part of the Season 2 viral marketing push.
 
 ... .... ...
 
Sorry. I watched it again and laughed until my sides hurt. Again. I'm back now.
  
(Note to The Flash writers: first, The Flash and iZombie are my two favorite series on air now, or in, like, the last 6 years; I love you guys. Second, this little clip is an example of how you playfully acknowledge and have fun with the fans who are sailing a crackship/not-likely-to-ever-be-canon ship in your fandom. The crackshippers and pirate shippers know they’re not getting canon, so it’s not too much fun to have it dangled in front of you in a semi-serious way and then taken away. iZombie is very, "yes, we know you're here, and this is never going to be canon probably, but we love you, you crazy lunatics. Fandom on." Compare with The Flash's bait-and-switch approach to Snowbarry (Barry Allen/Caitlin Snow). I know it's not The Flash writers' intention, but sometimes it can come off not so much "having fun with you, not at you" as the opposite thing. In particular I'm thinking of that time everyone got hyped up for Caitlin and Barry kissing on screen and it turned out to be a serial thief/killer/possible-sex-offender shapeshifter wearing Barry's face and grabbing Caitlin to conduct an impromptu "How to Commit Sexual Harassment/Assault in the Most Horrifying Way Possible" seminar.)
  
Moving on, because I have accepted I’m not getting Snowbarry and I’m okay with that. Really.
  
I think we can make the following suppositions about what the iZombie showrunners are actually trying to do.
 
  1. Liv and Major are, at present, endgame. They hit us over the head with it once every episode on average, with varying degrees of (lack of) subtlety. Lowell's relationship with her was incredibly genuine and satisfying, but his actor had to leave the show, so we'll never know what was going to happen there. It could change later, but as of right now, endgame Livjor is where we are.
  2. Peyton's "freakin' heart" line was almost certainly meant to imply a depthless platonic friendship, befitting people who have been best friends since at least 18—almost ten years. See also the similar vibes (and even phrasing) one gets from "freakin' friends" Daria Morgendorffer and Jane Lane. (Full disclosure: fans ship the tar out of them, and I’m one of them. They’re like the Xena and Gabrielle of animation.) I feel like iZombie is going for this vibe but never quite gets there, in part because Peyton's screen time is so limited. (Something I really hope changes in Season 2.)
  3. Liv's mental changes when she eats a brain (which I can't help but think of as a zombie version of Mega Man's Variable Weapon System, because I am a huge dork), follow a predictable pattern. She gets, generally, altered in 3 ways.
    • a. Triggered flashback "visions" of the victim's memories related to certain stimuli encountered during the investigation, used to help solve the case via actual detective work with Clive (Cagney and Pasty!).
    • b. One or two (usually one) large, noticeable-to-others personality alteration, that lasts as long as she is eating that particular brain. In one episode, she picked up a combat veteran's PTSD; in another, a confidential informant's rampant everyone-is-trying-to-kill-me paranoia; in another a new mother's (hilarious when coming from Liv and getting directed at everyone around her) parenting instincts; and so on.
    • c. A tangible skill: speaking the murder victim's native language; kung fu; l33t gamer skillz; special ops sniper training (though, tragically, not the mental conditioning that goes with it); etc. These skills, regrettably, tend to fade by the next episode. Liv doesn't get a "Become a Polyglot Free" card, or put another way, can't eat her way to being Jarod from Pretender.
    • c.(1). At least, so far. She managed to outfight a zombiefied professional hitman that had cracked Peyton over the head and was gonna eat her, while Liv wasn't on any sort of combat brain at all, so it's possible that she did retain some combat skill. Or it could have come down to her being a zombie longer (are she and Blaine Master Zombies?), or perhaps she was supercharged by The Power of Friendship, Heroic Resolve, and a mystical gift from Stabzor, Goddess of Knives. Or it's Liv/Peyton forshadowing, just like that Vine (I seriously doubt it, but that would be crazy awesome). I'm really not sure exactly what happened there, save to say Liv is badass when she's pushed to the wall, and beating up Peyton is bad for your health.
  4. Every canonical indication is that Liv is supposed to be straight. Except for when it's blamed on brains, she does not appear intended to be attracted to women at all. See 1.
  5. In episode 1.02, Liv eats the brain of a Philandering Artist who has been murdered, with the intent of solving his murder (and not starving and becoming a Romero zombie, because she is like an adorable, badass, NC-17-rated Snickers commercial with legs). Philandering Artist is known to have had sex with a lot of women. Seriously, Dwayne, a lot of women. But it is never suggested he also sleeps around with guys. He is deeply committed to cheating on women, with women. Liv gets his memories, all the skills and temperament of an artist (including the ability to paint beautiful things and an inability to describe colors in a way that can be expressed with anything less than the largest possible Crayola set) ... and the sudden need to flirt hard with several quite attractive fellows and one of the victim's female lovers, with whom she practically has hilarious, hand-holding eye-sex at one point while Clive apparently mentally questions the life-decisions that have brought him to this incredibly awkward moment.
    • (It must be pointed out just how crucial Clive's often-befuddled but unwavering acceptance of his pseudo-psychic partner's personality shifts and quirks, without ever being given any real explanation (because Liv sucks at secret identity’ing), is to Liv's continued mental health. She's likely actually clinically depressed at this point and the scripts occasionally hint at the barest suicidal ideation. But she always makes it through by sheer force of will, and I believe she couldn't do that without Clive's support. He is her island of normality and stability. Go, Clive.)
  6. In episode 1.02, Liv's attraction to women is implicitly blamed on her ingestion of Philandering Artist. In 1.07, her awesome and lovable (I shipped them and am totally not still ragey that he's gone and she’s back to pining for Major) boyfriend Lowell goes completely cold on her romantically, but is still platonically way into her. This is attributed to him eating a "gay brain" and being temporarily gay, so for an episode he's her Gay Best Friend and they continue to be adorable and perfect together, but with less kissing and more goofy dancing, for some reason. This continues until Lowell eats his next brain and begins "feeling more heterosexual already." Everything is played very effectively for laughs, and the episode ends with situation normal restored: Lowell is straight and wants Liv terribly and we never speak of this again.
The implication we're supposed to get off (6) above is that Baseline Lowell is supposed to be straight and it was totally the brains that made him attracted to men (in particular, Idris Elba, because Idris Elba).
 
Liv has eaten many presumably straight men's brains, but has never become a lesbian.
 
That's what happened and what I think the writers mean for us to take away from it, but that is not, however, where I think we actually are. Assuming the rules of zombie-ism must be internally consistent, I think the writers actually ended up setting up Liv as a closeted, unaware bisexual. Lowell, too, but that was even more of an accident because the whole point of that episode was playing the situation for laughs; they already knew Lowell was leaving the show and probably weren't thinking too hard about the long term implications.
  
That's okay. Overthinking the long-term implications of fiction that you're not supposed to think that hard about is kind of my jam. I'm all over that.
 
Here's my hangup: Philandering Artist was never suggested to be bisexual. He was Don Juan with a paintbrush, but unless you were young and nubile and a woman, you weren't on his philander-dar. The personality trait Liv is explicitly said (by Liv) to have uploaded from munching him is obeying her passions without worrying about the consequences. To get a bit Freudian and a bit nautical, her Id gets the chance to sedate her Ego and Superego and seizes the helm.

Crucially, while Philandering Artist is never shown pursuing men, Liv goes after men and women as convenient in 1.02.
 
Thoughtless obedience to passion is a flowery way of saying certain inhibitions are turned off. Sexual orientation is not under any circumstance a result of an active inhibition. Increased passion does not change who you are attracted to. It just makes it more likely you'll try to do something about it without caring about the consequences. By contrast, inhibitions—including those based on fear and self-loathing and the need to conform lest we be ostracized from our loved ones—can and do lead many people to denying their non-heteronormative sexual orientations.
 
 Liv's fear of and misery from being ostracized from her loved ones is a running, depressing theme in the series.
 
So we come to the conclusions:
  
  1. Liv has eaten many brains attracted solely to women and has never become a temporary lesbian. She never stops pining after Major.
  2. Liv, who makes no secret of being attracted to men, also made no secret of being attracted to women when her inhibitions were drastically suppressed, which is explicitly stated to be what the Philandering Artist brain is actually doing. During this time, her attraction to men did not appear to diminish, but arguably got stronger and more overt—more passionate, which, again, is the trait she explicitly identifies as coming from her brain food. It would have been very easy to confirm her heterosexuality by making her attracted to only men. All you would lose is the scene where she flirts with Philandering Artist's female lover, and I am confident the excellent writers could have substituted something equally hilarious.
  3. Liv is never shown developing Single Target Sexuality for the lovers of anyone else she eats. It is an extreme stretch to say that is what is happening with Philandering Artist's lover.
  4. So, final conclusion: given the facts and established rules of the iZombie universe, Liv is actually bisexual and in denial/unaware, at least partially because she's fully committed to pining after Major. She has probably convinced herself passion!brain made her attracted to women, even though no brain changed her sexual orientation before or since. In short: denial. She is very good at denial when she doesn't want to deal with a problem, and "the brains made me do it" is a plausible scapegoat.
 The big counter argument: Lowell's "gay brain."
  
Super short response: I don’t think that was actually a “gay brain” at all. But this is also the part where I have a lot less solid evidence of what was actually going on, so I have to rely more on persausion than fact.
 
First, I do think the “gay brain” thing was possibly a bit of a subtle saving throw from the writing team, assuming they had the same kind of thought process I did above that led me to my conclusion that Liv is bi. It follows that, having realized this, they came up the “gay brain” plot to muddle the issue and get everybody back on the Liv/Major love train (or, at least, the het!Liv train). The problem is, we know from Liv’s internal monologue that the Philandering Artist brain did not make her bi. Once again, it decreased her inhibitions and inflamed her passions. In other words, it altered what was already there. Up until Lowell’s “gay brain,” we had no indication at all that eating a brain could change your sexual orientation in any way.
 
 And really, if it were possible, we should have. Liv has eaten a lot of brains. Philandering Artist aside, they never appear to change her sexuality in any meaningful way. And again, Philandering Artist didn’t change her sexuality, according to the script.
 
So, let’s assume for a moment that Lowell did eat a “gay brain” that actually made him gay. It doesn’t work under scrutiny. A straight zombie eating the brains of straight humans stays straight, but becomes gay if they eat a gay brain? That does not explain Liv’s attraction to women in 1.02. It also raises the question if alteration of sexual orientation is the personality trait a zombie picks up, or if it’s in addition to some other core trait (e.g.: PTSD, paranoia, etc.). Liv is only ever shown picking up one trait, not two, and it’s always been something more overt than sexual orientation. Does a non-heterosexual zombie become heterosexual if they eat a straight brain? Does a gay person become straight? Does eating the brain of a person of the same orientation as you never have any effect, even if you are a woman and eat a straight male brain attracted to women?
 
This really complicates the otherwise very simple rules of how zombies react to ingesting brains, as written in Supposition 3 above. I feel like I need a flow chart to properly map out all the possible permutations of this, and I don’t really understand the rules if Lowell is right about what happened. Given that good writers (and the iZombie team are great writers) avoid overcomplicating the rules of the setting if at all possible, I just can’t believe this was intended.
  
Secondly, it is incredibly hard to make any conclusions about zombieism or even what is actually happening when Lowell ingests brains because he is not a deep POV character like Liv is. We understand Liv because we get to see her at all phases of her reaction to her latest meal, have Ravi on hand to analyze her, and most importantly we have her internal monologue, showing what she feels is actually happening to her. That monologue is crucial in episode 1.02 in establishing the inherited trait was increased passion/decreased inhibition in all areas of her life, and not an explicit sexual orientation change. All we have from Lowell is his spoken interpretation of what the brains are doing to him, and not only could he be unintentionally wrong, he himself admits to avoiding situations and stimuli that would cause him to have flashbacks and otherwise really get to understand the personality and quirks of the brain he ate. (This is one of the reasons, I think, his personality is so stable compared to Liv’s. Liv needs to understand the brain she ate and subject herself to flashbacks to solve murders, and does so, heavily.) So, he’s suddenly aware of a sexual attraction to men, and a severely diminished sexual attraction to women, and assumes he’s gay, and doesn’t really probe deeper into it.
 
Okay.

Now, let’s briefly mention an important fact about human sexuality. It is not a gear shift with 3 slots (straight, gay, bi), but rather a spectrum. One can be fully attracted to the same sex, fully attracted to the opposite sex, equally attracted to everyone, or anything in between. (And yes, I realize I’m vastly oversimplifying the sexuality spectrum, but this is iZombie meta, not an article on human sexuality, and I freely admit I’m not an expert and the theory has changed substantially since I actually had any class instruction on human sexuality.)
 
There are a great many people who are bisexual who, while they are attracted to both men and women, are considerably more attracted to either one or the other.

It is entirely possible that Lowell has always been bisexual, but his attraction to women so overpowers his attraction to men that he’s barely even aware of the latter, until he eats a brain that, for whatever reason, impacts him in some way that shifts the balance. I don’t understand enough about how bisexual persons are attracted to other people to make any more definite suppositions than that. The same logic also explains Liv’s sudden attraction to women in 1.02: lowering her inhibitions made Liv less likely to deny attraction to women, and increasing her passions made her quite happy to express her attraction to the Philandering Artist’s lover (and Dudebro, and some other guys).
 
I really like explanations that explain both of their behavior without creating ambiguities or needing an overcomplicated set of rules.
 
I do think it’s awfully convenient that Lowell and Liv would both be bisexual. That leads me to believe Lowell was even less meant to be anything but straight than Liv is, from the writers’ POV. But as a viewer I have to work with what I’m given, and this is the conclusion I get to that obeys the rules we know, fits with Liv’s experiences in 1.02 and Lowell’s in 1.07, and creates the least amount of internal inconsistency without overcomplicating things. I think the writers weren’t really worried about he long-term implications of the whole “gay brain” thing with Lowell because they already knew he wasn’t sticking around and so it wasn’t going to be a problem for writing him: he leaves the show in 1.09. Even at the time it felt sloppy and inconsistent (but at the time I didn’t fully understand why it bothered me), but everybody laughed at their goofy dancing and we moved on. Liv is also endgame with Major, so the writers don’t have to ever really deal with her non-heteronormative sexuality again: the target of her affections is the manliest of action men, so any latent attraction to other men or women doesn’t have to come up in a serious way.
 
(I love Major, but you can probably tell I don’t love him with Liv. I’m trying very hard to stay neutral on that subject in this essay. Apologies if I slip up a little.)
 
And finally, nothing about Lowell’s “gay brain” incident changes anything about Liv’s experiences on Philandering Artist brain in 1.02. Whatever happened to Lowell, Liv’s internal dialogue explanation of what was going on in her mind is still canon and unchallenged. And that explanation in no way implies the brain made her bi. But yet she was openly bi and more aggressively flirtatious (with everyone but Ravi and Clive) while on the brain, because her inhibitions were lowered and her passions were increased. Notice all her internal concern is about how she’s dealing with her increased passions and lack of care for the consequences. Not once does she stop and go “I’m attracted to women now, wait what? This is new.”

She just sort of rolls with it and is signficantly not surprised.
 
And that’s all I’ve got. I do not actually think the show will revist this subject, and I have no problem with that. One of the things I love about this theory as it exists in my head is that, even if Liv ends up endgame with Major and is never shown as attracted to women again, everything I’ve said is still just as convincing (or not, depending on how much you agree with me) as it is right now. It can add another layer to the character that you can enjoy internally as a viewer, but in a nice subtle way that doesn’t require stopping the rest of the plot to acknowledge, and won’t ever contradict any romantic things Liv actually does in canon. Or you can just ignore everything I just said and nothing really changes about how much you’ll enjoy the show.
 
And if you can just ignore all this, why did I spend so much time talking about it? Two reasons: one, I think it is the truth of what is happening, even if it was not intended; and two, as someone who has been reading and writing fanfic for 20 years and is not a fan of the canon shipping in iZombie (at least for Liv), I’m quite pleased that I can make a strong argument for Liv being bi so I can read/write fics where she is paired with whoever I think I can justify and be able to point to canon and say, “no, she’s not just into ladies for the sake of this fanfic, there is significant canonical support for this. Now, shoo: Liv/Sailor Mercury is happening on my screen and it is adorable.*)

And that is all. Thanks for reading.

*Liv/Sailor Mercury would fill me with great d’aww. I am willing to assist with crowdfunding. I am also still plotting out my Barry Allen/Liv Moore massive AU of love and criminal punching, and not just because SpeedBrains is the similtaneously best and dumbest ship name I’ve ever come up with. Without question, "The Quick and the Dead" is the best fic title I've ever come up with.
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: (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)
 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...

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Lord Yellowtail

July 2016

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