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Below are 20 journal entries, after skipping by the 20 most recent ones recorded in
Hematite Badger's LiveJournal:
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|Friday, August 20th, 2010|
|Monday, August 2nd, 2010|
|30 days of TV: Day 30
Finished! And only a day late.Day 30 - Saddest character death
Kind of a weird note to end this on. I'd have saved yesterday for last, but they don't ask me these things when they create memes. Or if they do, I was in the bathroom and missed the phone call.
Anyway, I feel like I'm going to have to justify myself on this one, not least because I'm going to the Doctor Who
. (I swear I watch other television, but there's a reason I labeled it 'current obsession.') The problem with questions like this, where I'm being asked for a specific emotional response, is that I am a seriously meta fan. I am capable of going straight to the emotion in an appropriately engaging work, but even at my most riveted there is some part of my brain sitting back and looking at how
the story is being told. And the death of someone your audience has grown to love is a difficult tale to tell right. It is rare
for me to find a TV death that leaves me completely saddened. If it's a really good one, my sorrow is mixed with contentment at a satisfying end to a character's story, and a writer who honored the death and made it mean something. If it's a bad one, I get angry
. Ohhh, very little pisses me off more than killing a character off badly, especially if it's for shock value. (Hi, Joss! BITE ME
.) And considering the genres of a lot of my favorite shows, here are also times when you're gonna have to do some serious convincing to make me believe that you're not gonna bring the character back in some way next season. So it's kinda hard for a TV death to break my heart because it has to reach
my heart first. And the one that did that the best was the death of Vincent Van Gogh in "Vincent and the Doctor."
This episode was utterly beautiful. Visually, atmospherically, emotionally. It immediately made the audience love Vincent with the same fierce and tender fondness that Amy and the Doctor did, and it made his suffering brutally real and human. And, speaking as someone who's never been quite that deep in that particular pit but who knows some of the shallower places like the back of her hand, familiar. His suicide was inevitable -- not because this is a fight that can't be won, God no, but because it's a fight in which he was unarmed and unsupported -- and the audience knew it and the Doctor knew it, and watching Amy realize that, and experience the first real grief of her adult life, was destroying
. And there in the middle of it, at the heart of this season that I have already celebrated for championing love, was the Doctor whispering that there are some things that love alone can't fix. It was a death specifically designed to hurt, and in my distaste for being manipulated I should hate it for that, but to do so would be to miss what the rest of the episode was saying: Love can be painful, love can fail, and sometimes everything you can possibly do for someone isn't enough. But never
let that fear stop you from trying. Heartbreak and hope, each stronger for being so close to the other.
In this brilliant season, I will admit that there are a couple of episodes I haven't rewatched because they're not that great. This one I haven't rewatched because I'm not sure I can yet.
|Sunday, August 1st, 2010|
|Friday, July 30th, 2010|
|30 days of TV: Day 28
Day 28 - First TV show obsession
Oh, Jewel Staite. I knew you were the next big thing in sc-fi years
before the world fell in love with Kaylee. Space Cases
was the most awesome thing my thirteen-year-old mind had ever seen, and every week I was glued to the television to watch it, and glued to our brand-new Internet access right afterwards to discuss it with other kids on the AOL message boards. I had favorite characters, I had 'ships, I had theories, I had plotbunnies, I had meta-knowledge and speculation on how/when it might affect the show proper... I was me
, only a tiny version. The last fourteen years -- holy crap, I've been in fandom more than half my life! -- have only refined my madness, not eased it.
|Thursday, July 29th, 2010|
|30 days of TV: Day 27
Day 27 - Best pilot episode
Oh, White Collar
. I'm so disappointed because you started out so strong. Instantly likeable characters, a history and a chemistry that you could feel right away, Mark Freaking Sheppard
, and an impressively intricate plot. I don't blame you if you don't want to watch the rest of the series after all I've said about it, but do yourselves a favor and catch the pilot. It's worth it.
|Wednesday, July 28th, 2010|
|30 days of TV: Day 26
Day 26 - OMG WTF? Season finale
The cheap and easy answer to this one is "Every Lost
season finale." And it's an accurate one, but... it's cheap and easy. And there's a better answer.
Picture it: It's late April of 2009. It is, to be more exact, my birthday. And tonight is the second season finale of Chuck
, the show that never fails to make my heart happy. But my TV intuition is acting up, and it's telling me this is going to be a bumpy ride. A major character death has been promised by the teaser leaks, and even though Bryce Larkin is scheduled to drop by and I've seen television before some part of my brain is convinced that it still might be Casey. And the show has yet to be renewed for a third season.
The hour proceeds at a manic pace. The plot is wonderfully mad, inasmuch as I can concentrate on it when I'm this worried. Casey survives, thanks in no small part to my tireless shouting at the television. Bryce dies. Chuck makes the conscious decision to take on the New Intersect. They get attacked. And then... Oh, and then. Our sweet, gawky little nerd takes a level in badass. One massive kung fu explosion later every one of his opponents is on the floor, he's bewildered, Casey and Sarah look mildly terrified, and...the season ends on the biggest conceptual cliffhanger ever
And it's weeks
before we find out that we're getting Season 3.
|Tuesday, July 27th, 2010|
|30 days of TV: Day 25 (Really!)
That's right, I do this one tonight and I'm officially caught up.Day 25 - A show you plan on watching (old or new)
...Aaaand it's a total non-starter. Honest, I've got nothing planned on the TV front. I'll probably give No Ordinary Family
a go when it premieres, and doubtless brokenheydar
has something he's planning on forcing on me, but other than that? No, not really. Readers, I am open to suggestions.
|30 days of TV: Day 24(ish)
Day 24 - Best quote
Look, you are speaking of half my vocabulary, here. I'm a character-focused language geek with such a deep love for banter that it was many many years before I realized just how flawed Joss Whedon's stuff was. I could put several miles of text in this post, starting with every line from every episode of The Middleman
and Better Off Ted
and ending with "A cricket bat!" "Twelve years!"
But I'm gonna go ahead and answer this one, and it's an answer that's gonna come out of left field entirely.
"Do you know what the chain of command is? It's the chain I go get and beat you with until you understand who's in ruttin' command here!" -Jayne Cobb, Firefly
It's a lame joke. It's from a terrible show. It's barely
saved by the fact that it came out of Adam Baldwin's mouth. And yet for some reason it is so permanently ingrained in my subconscious that I am incapable
of hearing the phrase 'chain of command' without this quote popping into my head and drowning out anything else the other person might have said. And for that I figure it at least deserves some
|Monday, July 26th, 2010|
|30 days of TV: Day 23(ish)
You're getting a threefer because I'm so behind and these two are so short.Day 23 - Most annoying character
With the same lack of hesitation that I had in my last entry, I say -- quite loudly -- KATHERINE ANNE AUSTIN. You know how I said the Lost
finale was about connecting me with the characters I love? SHE'S NOT ONE OF THEM
. Kate was a terrible character. Inconsistently written, constantly shoved down the audience's throat as a luckless angel who tries so hard
to be good that we were supposed to ignore the fact that every decision she made was selfish, and the fickle and shallow center of the most boring love triangle I have ever had the misfortune of watching. By the end of the show even Jack
was more likeable.
Buh-bye, Kate. I'll miss everyone else a little less when I remind myself that you came with them.
|30 days of TV: Day 22(ish)
Day 22 - Favorite series finale
I have to do it. I have to give this one to Lost
without even hesitating. Was it perfect? Far from it. Did it tie up all the loose ends? No, and I'm okay with that. Did it give the characters I've spent six years with a satisfying ending? Yes. And that's all that mattered to me.
|30 days of TV: Day 21(ish)
Day 21 - Favorite ship
Ohh, where to begin. Hello. My name is Badger, and I 'ship damn near everything.
Oh, I'm not indiscriminate, I do need a good amount of evidence before I'll climb aboard a 'ship. I'm just...very open to being convinced. So, for my first 'narrowing it down' bit, for the purposes of this meme I'm looking only at canon 'ships. None of my mad descents into Third Option 'shipping (Sam/Fiona, Lassiter/Juliet, Sarah/Casey), partnershipping (Mulder/Scully, Wendy/The Middleman, Sarah/Casey), or my fondness for little damaged girl/scary guy with a secret gentle side (River/Jayne, Parker/Eliot, Sarah/Casey, and are you sensing a pattern here?). (My secret desire to write Amy/Eleven is not related to that last one. It's not related to anything
, including logic or sanity.)
There's also a distinction I have to draw that will narrow it down further: There's a difference between "favorite love story" and "favorite 'ship." For me, "favorite 'ship" has to be a pair where I love watching them interact as a couple
. There are love stories I adore about couples who have defied the odds and walked through the fire for each other, or about couples who just got together in a really adorable way, but where I don't have the love/investment in their day-to-day lives. Most of the time, it's because they got together and then that story is done. Sometimes they're part of a massive ensemble show and that's the end of their arc (Desmond and Penny), sometimes the show didn't last long enough for them to grow as a couple (Wendy and Tyler), and sometimes getting together was the point of this
season, and next season may well turn them into my favorite 'ship (You all know which picture of River Song goes here). Basically, this part of the post is me justifying to myself
why I left some of my favorites off the list.
So who's gonna get the coveted title? Well, to my great surprise, as of the end of Season 3 it's Chuck and Sarah. And I'll admit upfront that half the reason they soared to the top of the list is because I'm so damn happy I can say that. It's been three years of UST and fake conflict and drama for drama's sake and general bad writing to keep these two apart as long as possible, and now it's gone
in the most spectacular way possible. Chuck is a quick study. Sarah is passionate and mildly crazy again. And the two of them just click
. They're funny, they're affectionate, and their fights include real apologies and attempts to explain their bad behavior and change it in the future. Who are
these two people, and why haven't I been watching them
for the past two and a half seasons?
|Saturday, July 24th, 2010|
|30 days of TV: Day 20(ish)
God, I'm never gonna catch up.Day 20 - Favorite kiss
This one's got a definite "Don't do
this to me!" feel to it. I am a raging sucker for sweet moments (yeah, tomorrow's gonna kill me too), and trying to make me narrow it down to one is just cruel. So is trying to make me narrow it down to eight, which is the best I can do.
First, because I can't not celebrate platonic kisses and I already nodded to it as my favorite show: The X-Files
, "Memento Mori," the forehead kiss. Either you know it or you don't, and if you do you're nodding right along with me.
Second, because brokenheydar
reminded me of it and it was too good to pass up, the first drunken, angry kiss between Niles and C.C. on The Nanny
. Don't give me that look. The insane antagonistic relationship between those two was the highlight of a show that was surprisingly big-hearted, and watching it turn into attraction while still maintaining the anger was comedy gold.
And then there's one that I've already mentioned in this meme. The Desmond and Penny reunion that made it into my 'best scene' post is also one of the best kisses ever.
Chuck and Sarah. If you told me near the middle of this last season that they were ever going to make it onto one of my 'best of' lists as a couple, I'd probably have laughed at you. But all of a sudden in episode 13 -- which, when it was written, stood a very real chance of being the last episode ever
-- the writers suddenly got their act together. And this was summed up in the kiss between the two at the end of episode 14. It's two people who are 100% comfortable with each other, saying, "We love each other and we're not going to dance around that any longer." And it's the writers saying the same thing, and also slipping in, "And the bit where shows go downhill when the two leads finally get together? Bite me; it ain't happening." And the rest of the season bore that out.
There's one that deserves a sort of 'bonus honorable mention,' because it's not so much a
kiss as every single kiss between Wendy and Tyler on The Middleman
. Both of them just look so damn happy every time that it makes me go "Eee" inside.
There are three more, and all of them are from the last few episodes of this season of Doctor Who
. I tried to hold out, really. It's less than half the list, right? But yeah. To quote Doctor Song: ( Read more...Collapse )
|Friday, July 23rd, 2010|
|30 days of TV: Day 19(ish)
Yeah, I missed a day again. If you'd been here yesterday you'd understand.Day 19 - Best TV show cast
This one was easy
. There are a lot of shows I watch where the actors are amazing, and a lot of shows where a few particular actors spark together in amazing ways. But in order to praise something for having the best cast, it has to be something with a decently-sized core group where you are delighted by every possible combination therein. And for my money, the top of that list is Leverage
. How is the crew splitting up this week? Doesn't matter; I already know I'll love it. Eliot alternately being protective of Parker and trying not to strangle her. Hardison being the overlooked middle child and trying to impress Nate and get his attention. Sophie sparring with Nate and being everyone else's mom. Every permutation is solid gold.
|Wednesday, July 21st, 2010|
|30 days of TV: Day 18(ish)
Day 18 - Favorite title sequence
I've got three today, and they're all available on Hulu and I recommend hunting them all down. (At least one has no Youtube presence; I did look.)
First is New Amsterdam
. This is a hard one to describe because it doesn't really have a hook, it's just very, very pretty. Disappointing show, but I never got tired of the title sequence.
Second is Chuck
. The little Nerd Herd guy is cute, yeah, but he's barely a reason. I love the monochrome look, and the still frames, and I have an irrational love for the label-maker font on everything. And the music, oh
the music. Three seasons, and I still dance every time.
Last but definitely not least is Raines
. In an unexpected and slightly subtle way, it sums up the entire premise of the show perfectly, in a way that makes you curious and fascinated and eager to see more. Even though none of the characters in the title sequence ever appear in the show (apart from Raines himself, of course), you can tell that there's a story behind each one. And you're dying
to hear it.
|Tuesday, July 20th, 2010|
|30 days of TV: Day 17(ish)
Day 17 - Favorite mini series
This one's a dead tie. Two adaptations of brilliant bits of literature in mad and fantastical settings, full of warmth and charm and humor, and that's about all they have in common.
First up is Hogfather
, one of my favorite Discworld books and most dfinitely my favorite of the BBC adaptations. The Disc is fully realized and populated, and even with a few missteps in casting and special effects (Teatime never had the right air of pseudo-innocence, and the less sais about Ponder Stibbons the better) it was a joy to watch. The woman playing Susan was born
for the role, and the adaptation was a beautiful and faithful one that has become a must-see for me every December.
And the second one... Look, that stuff I said about guilty pleasure television? Is 100% true. Which means that I am saying, without hesitation or embarrassment, that I adore Tin Man
. Is it flawed? God yes, from the forced references and occasionally painful dialogue to Zooey Deschanel's acting. But it's also visually beautiful, with a world that feels larger than the story and some insanely fun characters. It's a mix of genuine epicness and glorious cheese, and I wouldn't have it any other way.
|Monday, July 19th, 2010|
|30 days of TV: Day 16(ish)
Day 16 - Your guilty pleasure show
Oh man, I hate
non-answers, but I have to give one for this question. I don't do
guilty pleasures, not in television and not in any other form of entertainment. Oh sure, I love a little brain candy now and then and feel no guilt for that, but there's a difference between liking something shallow or mindless and liking something you feel like you shouldn't. And I either have too high a standard for that, or too low a shame threshold.
|30 days of TV: Day 15(ish)
Day 15 - Favorite female character
This one was actually really
easy. Not because there's a dearth of wonderful female characters in my favorite shows, or because I'm any less likely to fall in love with female characters, but because my brain fixated on an answer right away and refused to consider any other option. "Really?" I asked myself. "I mean, yeah, I totally love her, but favorite
?" "Yep!" my brain insisted happily, and I think if I try to argue things are gonna get ugly. Apparently, my favorite female character is Parker.
Parker is fun
. Let's say that first thing. She's odd and fearless and insane and beautiful to watch in action, and her sometimes-tenuous grip on reality is endearing. But she also brings out my mama-bear instinct like no other character on television, because she's so beautifully broken
. And the show is brilliant at giving us the little heartbreaking moments that tell you she knows
it, without ever turning her maudlin. She's been like this her entire life and she's learned to work around it, so half the time you can't even feel bad for her about it. And like Charlie, her little oddities never feel forced or fake. I'm not gonna get into the speculation on whether or not it's Asperger's, but it certainly feels like a natural way for this particular damaged human.
In addition, I cannot remember the last time I felt like I was really watching a character develop over time, especially an adult character. Parker has been growing, building herself a family, maybe finding some new patches for her missing pieces. And the impressive thing is that she's managed to do it while she's only the focus of the show about one-fifth of the time she's on screen. And that's
what makes a favorite character.
|Sunday, July 18th, 2010|
|30 days of TV: Day 14(ish)
Day 14 - Favorite male character
This was a tough one. I fall in love with characters the way I fall in love with shows, and well-developed, appealing characters are the reason
I fall in love with shows. There's a long, long
list of loves in my televisual history. Matt Parkman. Ned. Chuck Bartowski. John Casey. Sam Axe. The Middleman. Mulder. The eleventh Doctor. And that's just off the top of my head. But the top of my list at the moment is Charlie Crews of Life
. Unique among quirky cops for his depth and realness, the feeling that every one of his quirks actually meant
something and came from a real and personal place. Charlie was developed beyond his stereotype, and he was a deeply layered
character. He had been mentally saved by forcing himself into a Zen mentality and physically saved by becoming a cold and focused instrument of violence when necessary, and those facets coexisted without ever feeling forced. The gentle, eccentric genius and the living weapon cohabitated in the same soul effortlessly, and neither was ever a facade for the other. Charlie was multifaceted in a way that few characters manage, and that's what takes him to the top of my list.
|Friday, July 16th, 2010|
|30 days of TV: Day 13(ish)
Day 13 - Favorite childhood show
I wasn't really into TV as a kid, at least not the way I am now. Had I been exposed to fandom as a child, I would have gravitated far more towards movies and might never have wandered over to the TV side of things. Also, I have this weird thing where I just don't remember much of my childhood and I don't care to. Nothing traumatic, nothing repressed, I'm just...odd like that, sometimes. The closest I can get to an answer for this one is actually Jeopardy!
. Between late elementary school and early high school it was a daily thing for me because it was the show I watched with my dad. He's a huge history buff and knows pretty much everything about music, film, and television from the 70s and older. I'm a literature student and a trivia addict and I can at least make educated guesses about all things pop culture from the 80s on. We're both geniuses for wordplay. Between the two of us, we were unstoppable
And I still have a bit of a crush on Ken Jennings.
|30 days of TV: Day 12(ish)
Two tonight, to start making up for lost time.Day 12 - An episode you've watched more than 5 times
Let me say first off that I'm a serial rewatcher. If I've only seen a particular episode of a beloved show once, it was probably not a good episode. Hell, I can name several episodes of beloved shows that aren't
good episodes, yet that I've still rewatched. But this question, I believe, is trying to get at "An episode that you go back to again and again, regardless of other factors." And I certainly have one of those. There are three gimmick episodes I never get tired of: the rashomon, which I've already talked about, the time loop, which I cannot actually think of a good example of right now, and the musical episode
. Lord above, the musical episode is always my drug of choice. So no prizes for guessing that my answer to this one is "Once More, With Feeling." If there's one thing Joss can do, he can make something epic and spectacular as long as it's in the short term, and nowhere does he do it better than he did here. OMWF is just as grand as any musical film, and it manages to hit all the same beats as one in a time-constrained form. And even though the musical episode is one of the few gimmicks where I'm more than happy to just let it stand without justification or explanation, I love the way that there's a perfectly reasonable (well, by the standards of that 'verse) cause and a diabolical effect (even if I will never believe that Xander really summoned the demon), and that the entire thing is actually relevant to both the characters and the larger plot arc, crappy though that arc may have been. Overall, it really is something to sing about.