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my sandbox is a strange place

So caught this meme by way of fannishliss, and it seems a fairly fun way to get to know someone a bit better through the important things, and some of the questions tickled me.




1 - Your current OTP:  I'm getting more than a little attached to Maggie/Sterling, you guys. I haven't had a OTP for a good long while, but these two are slowly, slyly curling up together in my heart, and I don't know if I ever want them to leave.
2 - A pairing you initially didn’t consider but someone changed your mind:  Jayne/River. Before that, I generally sailed along the established shipping lanes. Then I read Dyce's The Whole Of The Thing, and it changed what shipping was for me.
3 - A pairing you have never liked and probably never will: 
4 - A pairing you wish you liked but just can’t: 
... Eh. I am waaay more a friendshipper than anything else in terms of investment, so this is all pretty N/A. If I could handle OOC (in pairings or otherwise) I'd probably have a lot more fun in fandom at large, but as it is I tread lightly and with my "page-back" loose in its holster.
5 - Have you added anything stupid/cracky/hilarious to your fandom, if so, what:  I think that can be an unqualified yes. *cough* Maggie/Sterling are the least of my problems.
6 - What’s the longest you’ve ever been in a fandom:  To quote fannishliss:  "--- I've been with SPN since s3, and it's now s8.  woohoo!"
7 - Do you remember your first OTP, if so who was in it:  ... Again, I don't know if I ever really thought about the True part of that; I was happy to just accept the canonical warm fuzzies of Anne/Gilbert, Lizzie/Darcy, Scarlett/Rhett, etc. Now I'd be inclined to put Rhett with Melly, just to see what would happen to the characters. (Anne/Gilbert remains sacrosanct, though.)
8 - Do you prefer characters from real action series or anime series:  Real. Although Spike Spiegel will never not Win The Internets.
9 - Has the internet caused you to stop liking any fandoms, if so, which and why:  Nothing can turn me off like canon can.
10 - Name a fandom you didn’t care/think about until you saw it all over tumblr/LJ/DW: 
11 - How do you feel about the other people in your current fandomPeople are people. They do people things. *shrug* My flisties, on the other hand – ❤.
12 - Your favorite fanartist/author gives you one request, what do you ask for: 
13 - Your favorite fanart or fanartist: 
14 - Your favorite fanfiction or fanauthor: 
Yeaaah, I don't ... really think this way. Again, I might have more fun if I did. Although I did just give my first ever real prompt to fannishliss, we'll see how that goes, muhahahaha. [ETA: Come to think of it, if anyone wants to take a stab at anything I mention here, that would be amazing and hilarious.]
15 - Choose a song at random, which OTP does it remind you of:  Arrrgh. ??? Well, taking "OTP" out of that equation, iTunes just gave me "Monkey Jump" by Kane, Welch, Kaplin, which reminds me of Johnny Crowder, his simmering resentment, his half-twisted, untested residual strength, his limited loyalty, and his long-hidden Ava issues. Oh, I kind of love Cousin Johnny, by the way. In fact, I love all three (Ava included) of the remaining Crowders.
16 - Invent a random AU for any fandom (we always need more ideas):  We ... reeeally don't. Not my kind, anyway. Although for a long time I've been curious about what the canon AU in Discworld's Jingo would look like (that we only get brief glimpses of through Vimes's Dis-Organizer), how dark you could go and still keep it recognisably Pratchettian. Or, you know, possibly you can't; that might be the essence of that AU. – Oh! And ever since I saw the Leverage episode The Future Job, I wanted an AU of really-psychic!TaraBethany and fake-psychic!LukePerryDaltonRand. Hijinks ensue, etc etc.
17 - A ship you’ve abandoned and why:  Well, Margaret/Thornton pretty much permanently supplanted Lizzie/Darcy.
18 - A pairing you ship that you don’t think anyone else ships:  Ah. Ha. Ha. Haaaaaaaa. This could be an essay.
Okay, essay answer: since shipping, for me, became putting characters together in character, and standing back to see what they uniquely bring out in one another, it all became increasingly esoteric. But occured rarely, compared to how much I intake, and again, I'm not invested in the way "shipping" implies to me. I mean, I know there are *some* people out there shipping, for example, Numb3rs:Megan/Colby or Deadwood:Al/Alma or SPN:Jody/Sam or Dollhouse:Alpha/Echo or SportsNight:Dan/Dana and even Leverage:Maggie/Sterling (because I've had one or two reviews asking me to get them together already) and probably even the aforementioned GWTW:Rhett/Melly, I have never heard of anyone else shipping MuchAdo:Prince/Beatrice or North&South:MrsThornton/Higgins or Leverage:Maggie/Quinn. And I'm really pretty sure I'm the only one thinking, Hey, Yeah, Jingo-AU:Angua/Ahmed or the above AU!Leverage:Bethany/Dalton or, most recently, romantic-non-sexual SPN:CharlieBradbury/DickRoman. Yes that is a thing that I thing. (And that fannishliss is going to attempt, and I am already deeply impressed by this.)
Short answer: Um, YES. And all those were off the top of my head.

19 - Show us an example of your personal headcanon:  I think there's enough scattered through the answers already. But here's where I already did that meme, and hell, if anyone's prompted to ask urgent WTF headcanon questions based on my answers here today, I cordially welcome them to do that there or here. Heheh.
20 - Do you remember what your first fanwork was?  My first fic, I'm pretty sure, was of Boba Fett being taken as a bounty, and I was ... late teens, maybe? Before that, when I was 11, me and my cousins who I was staying with recreated the whole of Disney's The Little Mermaid as a paper doll play. All backdrops, characters and props handmade. It was a glorious fiasco/success, complete with green-room emotional breakdowns and emergency intermissions.
21 - Self-rec: What's your favorite fanwork you've created?  Um. Dunno ... whatever I'm working on in the moment, probably; once it's done, I kind of lose interest. Although The Princess Bride Job always makes me chuckle. And I've always liked the construction of my first series, Will the Circle Be Unbroken.
22 - Are you one of those fans who can’t watch anything without shipping?  ... No. But as we've established, ships do randomly ambush me out of the Seriously Long Grass.
23 - 5 favorite characters from 5 different fandoms:  SPN: John. John John John. (John.) *ahem* Oh, wait, different characters/fandoms. Well, I guess ... Glee: Puck; White Collar: Peter; Seachange: Diver Dan; and Everything, Ever: Mark Sheppard. (For most of my fandoms, I like several of the characters fairly equally, thus my perenial frustration with the "favourite" question.)
24 - 3 OTPs from 3 different fandoms:  There's that "OTP" thing again. I'll do my best to find characters I care about enough to ship together but have no interest in putting with anyone else. And that I haven't already mentioned. So, Dollhouse: Dominic/Adelle; Glee: Puck/Quinn; um, um, um. ? The Brothers Bloom: Stephen/Bang Bang.
25 - A fandom you’re in but have no ships from:  Sherlock.
26 - Just ramble about something fan-related, go go go:  I believe I have rambled enough, thank you.



I would seriously like to see my flisters' answers to these, so please do, if you fee like it! Or if you don't have time for the whole thing, gimme your answers to whatever takes your fancy in the comments. *grabby hands*

Comments

( 22 speakses — have a speak )
fleurlb
Sep. 8th, 2012 07:04 pm (UTC)
2 - a pairing I never considered - So, I'm not really a big fan of non-canon slash. Just not my thing. But then I was assigned to an old fandom friend who'd always been very encouraging and fun, so I wanted to make sure she got the Yuletide of her dreams. Hence, my first slash - Friday Night Lights, Season 5, Hastings/Buddy Junior. It was so much fun to write and made a lot of sense, since Hastings was criminally underused. Also, this same pal used to write Tim/Landry, circa S1 and S2 SNL that I absolutely adored. (I seem to remember there was even a Tim/Landry xover with SPN that was splendid.)

7 - Brenda/Dylan in old skool 90210. (*Hangs head in shame* :))

20 - A college pal and I used to write 90210 'scripts'. (Yeah, the shame part is that I was in college then. :)) I didn't know it was fanfic at the time, but in retrospect, yeah, obvs that's what it was.

23 - Tim Riggins in FNL, Jax Teller in Sons of Anarchy, Eliot in Leverage, (seeing a trend, here, yeah, I was afraid of that :)), Parker in Leverage, and Grace in Saving Grace.

themonkeytwin
Sep. 10th, 2012 03:00 am (UTC)
Hastings was criminally underused

They did sort of just trail off with him. Although as far as canon slash pairings go, when I first watched it I actually thought that's where they might take it, just from the way they were setting it up. Anyway. I know what you mean about non-canon slash; I just can't do it. It's the same as any OOC I read, a voice in my head starts ranting but they wouldn't DO that and all immersion is shot, and a-page-backing I go. I mean, if the story can justify it and show believably why the character is acting that way, okay, that's one thing and can be really interesting. But most of the time, that doesn't seem to be the goal of those stories, so. But that's me and I recognise everyone fics for different reasons. :)

/rant


Brenda/Dylan in old skool 90210.

... Not gonna lie, that's really cute. :D And seriously, Luke Perry in Leverage was FIIIIINE. I'd never found him attractive before that, but damn. So I can retroactively approve.


seeing a trend, here

But it's such an angsty, angry, pretty pretty trend.... :)
bitterlimetwist
Sep. 8th, 2012 11:25 pm (UTC)
6 - What’s the longest you’ve ever been in a fandom into a show:

SEVEN YEARS. *boggles* Although I think the shocking part is that I've fallen more in love with Show with each passing year. Isn't there some rule about passion fading?

20 - Do you remember what your first fanwork was?

When I was in the 6th grade, my best friend and I wrote a spoof of General Hospital. We taped it, so it was really a radio-play type thingy; we even made up fake commercials. It seemed like a totally normal thing to do.

23 - 5 favorite characters from 5 different fandoms:

Sam, Dean, Damon (tvd), Stefan (tvd), Liz Lemon (30 Rock).

Because this is a shipping meme: I'm currently shipping (in the sense of, "oh, they're interesting together, I like what it brings out in the characters, but I don't really give a shit either way") Damon/Elena. But since Stefan suddenly became way more interesting in S3, I'm also kind of shipping Stefan/Elena. The solution is obviously Damon/Elena/Stefan - which is practically what's going on anyway. Is it Oct 11th yet??

SPN:Jody/Sam

The more I see this around, the more I hate it.
themonkeytwin
Sep. 10th, 2012 03:17 am (UTC)
Isn't there some rule about passion fading?

TRUE LOVE IS FOREVER.

(And btw what is that shot of Dean? I am totally not placing it, and I feel like I should be able to.)


It seemed like a totally normal thing to do.

Heh. When I was that age, our parents took away our tv. So me and my brothers used the big gaping hole in the wall unit to stage our own shows. We made up news casts, the lot. Dammit, we were going to have our tv one way or another! But I love that you taped yours. Still have it?


Damon (tvd), Stefan (tvd)

Have we talked about this? I pay virtually no attention to this show, so I'm curious what the appeal is (the show and these two characters). About all I know is that they're brothers ... right? And possibly vampires. And ... one of them's Bad, or something?


The more I see this around, the more I hate it.

Aw, I'm sorry. If it helps any, for me it's not so much that I want Jody/Sam to happen, it's that I can see that connection working at some point. And that's curious to me because I honestly have trouble picturing either brother in a truly stable relationship like that. Which also makes me curious about what they're planning for S8 in that vein – or how they completely subvert the expectations they've set up, which you just know they will. They can't help themselves.
bitterlimetwist
Sep. 10th, 2012 04:37 pm (UTC)
TRUE LOVE IS FOREVER.

Bwah, I almost spit out my coffee.

And btw what is that shot of Dean?

It's from the big confrontation scene at the end of Swan Song; after Lucifer's first punch.

When I was that age, our parents took away our tv.

Why? Decided tv was rotting your brains?

Dammit, we were going to have our tv one way or another!

Lol, the one and only time my mother ever decided to punish me by not letting me watch something, I locked myself in the bathroom (why the bathroom I have no idea), and acted out my own version of the episode. INSANITY. [I think I was six, so, yeah.]

But I love that you taped yours. Still have it?

I could have sworn I kept it, but a couple of years ago I did a major purge and it may have gone out with all my old cassettes. Since I don't have a tape player anymore, I guess it doesn't really matter. It's so funny how we can try to hold on to people/memories through video/tape/whatever, but then the technology changes and we lose them anyway.

I'm curious what the appeal is (the show and these two characters)

Heh, yeah, they're vampire!brothers-with-issues. I have to admit, this show kind of snuck up on me. The S3 finale was pretty fantastic, and all of a sudden I was sort of invested. But even though I only ever watched it in the most casual way, I always found the brother stuff amazingly well done. It's as much about their relationship as it is about Elena and her family stuff, or Elena/Stefan, or what have you. It's really about families - how fucked up they are, basically. [or maybe that's just what jumps out at me?]

I think I mentioned once that even though I love Justified it isn't a world I enjoy hanging out in. So, even though I never have the urge to rewatch an episode of TVD, I still like hanging out in that world. All the characters have grown on me, I guess.

Um, except for Damon, whom I've always enjoyed. He's the 'bad' one (though it obviously isn't that simple), and So Much Fun. I could watch his scenes over and over. Every character is more interesting when playing off of him.

Don't get me wrong, there are still times I have to ff because it just bores me. But overall, it's probably the show I enjoy most after Spn.

... I don't think I even answered your question.

Edited at 2012-09-10 04:42 pm (UTC)
themonkeytwin
Sep. 11th, 2012 03:47 am (UTC)
It's from the big confrontation scene at the end of Swan Song

Ah, well, that explains that. What keeps throwing me off is how the cropping and out-of-focus of the background somehow makes it look like some kind of antebellum southern plantation, and all I can think when I look at it is, since when was Dean in Gone with the Wind?

... O.O crossover!!!!!!! *puts on the list*

I know, you'd think the blood dripping from his mouth would be the noticeable thing, but somehow no. Although still beautifully him. (This is sounding more creepy the more I try to explain why I like it. I'ma stop now.)


Decided tv was rotting your brains?

I mean, probably. They were sneaky, they got around having that argument by putting it in the back of one car (and didn't really explain that one either), parked it in the garage, then went about "working on the engine" for like a year. So they said they couldn't move the car and couldn't get the tv out. Yeeeeeah.... But as a kid, I mean, what are you going to do?

acted out my own version of the episode. INSANITY.

That, my friend, is pure awesomeness. I KNEW there was a reason I liked you. :D


Ohh, brothers-with-issues, fucked up families. Nope, can't imagine what the appeal is there! And I get what you mean about enjoying hanging out in a world; that's part of the appeal of Leverage for me, I think. Sometimes it's nice to be somewhere that's not angstville central, and a little bit shiny and glamourous (but not too much). I think you answered it okay. :)

I find my problem is just the whole vampire thing generally, these days. They've started inspiring a fairly strong OH WHATEVER response in me. And the prettier they all are, the worse it becomes. Watching the UK Being Human, I liked Mitchell the best out of the three by far, and even with him it only took the six eps of the first season before I just wanted to yell GET OVER YOURSELF ALREADY wah wah wah. And then gave up watching it. So yeah, probably not my cup of tea. That said, I do enjoy a good So Much Fun 'bad' character (hellooooo Boyd). I just don't think I have it in me to ff that much.
im_ridiculous
Sep. 12th, 2012 09:40 am (UTC)
Ok... because when you're off sick from work, why NOT fangirl!meme? :)
This is interesting, because I think we can say I'm more inclined towards shippy tendencies than you, and even for ME these questions are a little too OTP-focused. But I'll take a stab.

1 - Your current OTP: OK, right off the bat I'm going to have to differentiate between 'shipping' and 'OTP, err, ing'. Because I already set a reasonably high bar for saying I 'ship' something (it's gotta stick in my head well after I've finished watching/reading), whereas for me, OTP is another level of...shall we say... obsession. I've only had two OTPs. Josh/Donna and pilots. My current, kinda active fandomy 'ship' is Assassins/Clintasha from Avengers, but they don't hit the OTPish heights (and lows, lets be honest) for me that J/D and pilots did. That said, while I've been off sick I decided I needed some pulp fiction to read and finally got through the Hunger Games books. Monkeytwin, you're never going to believe this, but I think I'm having my very first alternaship - even though it was painfully obvious she'd end up with Peeta, I really wanted her to end up with Gale. Or, actually, noone. ... wouldn't say it's a 'ship' yet, dunno if they'll linger... but I did have some moderate feels in places. That's certainly my most RECENT ship, anyway!

3 - A pairing you have never liked and probably never will: I'm a broken record, but Kara/Sam. Also Community's Jeff and Annie. Doesn't do a thing for me.
4 - A pairing you wish you liked but just can’t: Not really my style. I either ship it or I don't.
5 - Have you added anything stupid/cracky/hilarious to your fandom, if so, what: Nope. Unless you count BlackWidowFanboy!Clint, but I not sure I can take credit for him.
6 - What’s the longest you’ve ever been in a fandom: Coupla months and counting w/Assassins!
7 - Do you remember your first OTP, if so who was in it: If I go all revisionist historian on myself, I'd say it was probably Lizzie/Darcy or Beatrice/Benedick. But I certainly didn't call that shipping at the time. The first thing I called a ship was Josh/Donna.
9 - Has the internet caused you to stop liking any fandoms: Nope. But I haven't been around very long. To be honest, that was part of the reason I stayed away from online fandom for so long - all those stories about people getting into flaming arguments and having horrible experiences. Scared me off. But my experience so far has been the complete opposite. Everyone, particularly yourself, has been a delight! :)
10 - Name a fandom you didn’t care/think about until you saw it all over tumblr/LJ/DW: Clintasha.
11 - How do you feel about the other people in your current fandom: They're the best. Although they all say how amazingly wonderful and friendly the fandom is, which leads me to think I may have actually stumbled into the nicest bar ever on my very first try. Which is pretty lucky.
14 - Your favorite fanfiction or fanauthor: I will always have a soft spot for Cavepilots, because that's where my crazy fandom adventure began.
16 - Invent a random AU for any fandom (we always need more ideas): I'm not that creative. And to be honest, it was a while before I even wanted to read AU stuff. I'm a canon girl at heart. Unless Ron Moore is involved, in which case AU is a self-preservation technique.
17 - A ship you’ve abandoned and why: Don't think I've ever abandoned one, although the ardour will diminish eventually over time. Community's Jeff and Britta maybe? I really like the idea of them but I've also accepted the fact that that is NEVER going to happen, and I'm ok with that too. So less 'abandoned' shipping, and more 'detatched' shipping, perhaps.
18 - A pairing you ship that you don’t think anyone else ships: That, as you know, is soooo not my MO!!
22 - Are you one of those fans who can’t watch anything without shipping? ... No. But it doesn't take much to push me down that particular rabbit hole. Partly because I just really enjoy it!
23 - 5 favorite characters from 5 different fandoms: Impossible question is impossible.
25 - A fandom you’re in but have no ships from: Doesn't exist. Ships are what draw me into fandom. Which isn't to say I don't LIKE other things, but that's not what my LJ/'fandom' experience is about.
themonkeytwin
Sep. 13th, 2012 12:17 pm (UTC)
Re: Ok... because when you're off sick from work, why NOT fangirl!meme? :)
Yay for off sick fangirling! \o/ I was hoping you'd come play.


even for ME these questions are a little too OTP-focused.

Right? Chuh.


I think I'm having my very first alternaship

Congratulations! *throws confetti* How does it feel? What led you to prefer that over canon? (I haven't read it, so if you can't explain without that I understand. I don't care about spoilers though, so don't worry about that.)


Community's Jeff and Annie.

Oh man. I ... don't really deal with Community all that well. My brother enjoys it, and we watch episodes together sometimes, but I think it's just one of those shows I don't gel with. I do enjoy the dean, though. Heh.


But my experience so far has been the complete opposite. Everyone, particularly yourself, has been a delight!

Aw, thank you! And I know what you mean. I'm pretty careful about where I play for that reason too. I think certain types of fandom also lend themselves to a calmer environment; movie fandoms are drastically different from tv in terms of volume and progression, and while they both have their advantages, tv is obviously the one where revelations in canon can cause huge upheavals. Whereas movies, even series or trilogies, just don't have that level of, I don't know, torque I guess? Shipping wars just don't seem to get nearly so urgent, or have nearly as much fodder for alternate shipping interpretations.


Cavepilots
Unless Ron Moore is involved, in which case AU is a self-preservation technique.


Case in point.


Jeff and Britta maybe? I really like the idea of them

I invite you to elaborate. I'm curious about how people receive Community, because they're obviously connecting with it in some way I don't get naturally. So what's the draw in this case for you?
im_ridiculous
Sep. 14th, 2012 06:29 am (UTC)
Re: Ok... because when you're off sick from work, why NOT fangirl!meme? :)
movies, even series or trilogies, just don't have that level of, I don't know, torque I guess?
Fo shiz. And let's be honest, there's nothing like time for letting an obsession really build to explosive heights. And there's nothing like serialised television for that.

How does it feel?
Well... I won't lie to you Monkeytwin, it feels painful and disconcerting. And kinda makes me sad. It's not really recommending itself to me!

Pretty easy to explain why I prefer it, though, because it's for pretty tropey reasons:

Essentially, bloke she ends up with = has 'loved' (it's teen fiction. Normal people would say 'been infatuated with') her from afar since he heard her sing at school when they were like five. They never speak until they both get picked for the Hunger Games killathon, then he basically takes it on himself to protect her, always, prepared to do this at the expense even of his own life. But he basically worships her. Like, 'on a pedastal' worships, rather than that having a basis in anything real and grounded. In fairness, I should add that when they were both 11, he gave her bread once which stopped her and her family from starving. So.

Guy I prefer her with = has been her best friend for years, but recently realised he feels something more. Knows her better than anyone - and loves her for all that (this is really the key point for me, because she is pretty awesome, but not always straightforwardly likeable [which obviously makes her more interesting]), protects her family when she can't, is in her corner but also challenges her, and is a fucken awesome resistance fighter...

You know... it's only as I type that that I realise he, as a character, is more relevant to my interests. That might also have something to do with it!! *laughs at self*

But primarily because, in my mind, he sees and loves her for who she really is... I prefer him. But hey. It's teen fiction. And for all kinds of 'unconditional love conquers all' blah blah blerugh reasons that appeal to teenagers, I can see why it went as it went.
Also? I think the author really only had one book in her. She progressively runs out of steam through the second and third books. That might be part of it too...

And that's probably more than you ever wanted to know about The Hunger Games!
For my next trick.... COMMUNITY ANALYSIS!! :)

Edited at 2012-09-14 06:32 am (UTC)
themonkeytwin
Sep. 16th, 2012 03:23 am (UTC)
Re: Ok... because when you're off sick from work, why NOT fangirl!meme? :)
it feels painful and disconcerting. And kinda makes me sad.

Oh, I'm sorry to hear that. :( Alternashipping does require a certain fortitude toward canon (or compartmentalisation) that can take a while to build up, if you think it worthwhile. If you do, and you feel long-winded discussion will help with that, let me know. ;)

But from what you describe, I would probably be shipping the same as you. It sounds like the one you prefer is a more mature concept of a relationship, as you say, the kind that doesn't really appeal to teenage audiences. Being admired from afar is so much more exotic and mysterious and enticing when your stage of life is all about exploration and (seemingly) consequence-free experimentation. The unknown just holds an allure that the known never can. Whereas once you've made enough mistakes and experienced enough consequences, that kind of set up doesn't make you feel tingly and excited, but very very cautious. Sure, it could turn out great, especially when you've got the author in your corner to make sure of it, but in reality it's much more likely not to.


I realise he, as a character, is more relevant to my interests.

He sounds pretty badass. I like him. :)


I think the author really only had one book in her. She progressively runs out of steam through the second and third books.

Mm, it really is the way of things a lot of the time. If only marketing allowed for one-hit wonders, but money is money I guess. Alas!
im_ridiculous
Sep. 17th, 2012 11:39 am (UTC)
Re: Ok... because when you're off sick from work, why NOT fangirl!meme? :)
Oh, I'm sorry to hear that.
Oh, I'm ok! :D Honestly, it did leave me in a bit of a funk for a day or two... but that may also have been the fever! But yes, should I make a habit of this alternashipping business, I shall come crying to you! Fair warning!! hee. :)

The unknown just holds an allure that the known never can. Whereas once you've made enough mistakes and experienced enough consequences, that kind of set up doesn't make you feel tingly and excited, but very very cautious.
Oh monkeytwin, I do so like it when you come along and make my point for me in a much more eloquent fashion. *g* I think you'd like him too. And yes, ah capitalism. Alas indeed! hehe
im_ridiculous
Sep. 14th, 2012 07:04 am (UTC)
Re: Ok... because when you're off sick from work, why NOT fangirl!meme? :)
So. Community.
This is such an interesting one. Some friends I was SURE would love Community are either 'meh' about it, or actively dislike it. Others who I'd assumed would hate it, in fact love it passionately. It seems to split people down interesting and unexpected lines.

I, for one, really love it. I enjoy the silly tropey-ness, I adore (some of) the characters, I enjoy the winks at the audience and the easter eggs, I like the homage-eps... and fundamentally I just usually find it really funny. I'm ok with it not maintaining a BritishOffice-esque unlikeable character thing, letting them be a bit more likeable-warm-and-fuzzy along the lines of an AmericanOffice maybe? But not quite...idk. And for me, it also holds up on rewatching.

Jeff and Britta I liked because, hmm... let me think. I like the matchup of two people who are fundamentally pretty self-absorbed but in totally opposing ways, if that makes sense. And that, I think, is inclined to bring out the best in both of them.

I think both Jeff and Britta are self-absorbed because they've been let down and hurt and don't want to rely on anyone. We know Jeff's dad screwed him up in that respect, I would LOVE to know what did it to Britta.

But where Jeff's self-absorption got channelled into douchey, selfish, out-for-himself-over-others-ness, Britta's got channeled into dogmatic-saving-the-world-itis. I think the two of them together brings out the compassion in Jeff, and the pragmatism in Britta and makes them both more rounded, and happier. They're a match for each other, too, in the sense that they challenge each other. Ultimately, though, that dynamic doesn't have to die if they're not romantically involved. Which is why I can live with that not happening, but I still think it's a shame :)

Oh! And! ETA - they both have hard enough shells to survive each other's sharper edges without being hurt. Which is important, because they do have the capacity to be a bit spikey.

Last word on Britta: I adore her and I adore her silliness/ridiculousness. But they've made her progressively sillier as the seasons have gone on, which I kinda resent. Kind of like JD in Scrubs. They both started out as more three-dimensional, but were then sort of regressed to being the silliest characteristics of themselves. Caricatures. I hope they reverse that trend with her under the new show runners. We'll see. (I've just realised that's also my essential Newsroom complaint... I may have stumbled on a pet trope hate here!)

I DON'T like Jeff and Annie, partly just because I like J/B more, but partly because the douchy, prickish elements of Jeff, when put with someone who's theoretically as young and naive as Annie's supposed to be, makes him.... creepy, actually. For me, it makes him creepy. It feels almost exploitative. Ugh. Really don't like it. I understand why all the teenage girls who watch the show and identify with Annie and have crushes on Joel McHale like it... but no.

On the other hand... what is it about the show that rubs you up the wrong way? I always find it surprising when people who like things I like DON'T like Community, so I'm genuinely curious! :)

Edited at 2012-09-14 07:21 am (UTC)
themonkeytwin
Sep. 16th, 2012 05:40 am (UTC)
Re: Ok... because when you're off sick from work, why NOT fangirl!meme? :)
I like the matchup of two people who are fundamentally pretty self-absorbed but in totally opposing ways, if that makes sense.

Yeah, it does. I can see that. And the point about them being able to handle each other's spikeyness is well made too.


Last word on Britta: I adore her and I adore her silliness/ridiculousness. But they've made her progressively sillier as the seasons have gone on, which I kinda resent.... were then sort of regressed to being the silliest characteristics of themselves. Caricatures.

I think this is in the ballpark of what rubs me the wrong way with this show. I've tried to articulate it before, and it's a very subjective thing, I think, because the stuff that annoys me seems to be the stuff other people adore. And it's probably also got to do with frames of reference, because a lot of the appealing things about Community are things that my other shows do in ways much more to my liking, and so it suffers in the comparison.

So, let's see – the one thing I do enjoy, or at least appreciate, is watching the way they play with a hierarchy of character agency. It's that Greek concept of divinity that I remember from when we studied the Illiad, with the actions of the gods shaping the conflict on one hand, dictating the fates of the mortals, with the choice of the demi-divine Achilles standing in the balance. The idea of agency being a divine characteristic also played out in BSG, with the semi-explicit correlations being drawn between various characters and Greek deities, and I always found that lens the most interesting to view it through – it makes a great deal more sense of the divine/mortal pairings such as Lee/Dee and Kara/Sam, for example. (Which I guess would put the cylons in the role of Titans or something.)

Anyway, on the lesser scale of the campus on Community, it makes watching Jeff and Abed interesting, since they are the two characters who are able to manipulate circumstances, rather than just respond to them. It's also interesting to watch how in-story manipulation compares with meta manipulation, and to watch how the creators themselves play with the story mechanics of that.

But because of that structure, and because the demarcation of character agency is so sharply drawn, I find it nearly impossible to care about the other characters' experiences or find them "real" enough to connect to. The more Jeff or Abed's agency dictate events and their fates in those events (for good or ill), the more caricature-ish and less human they become. And I've heard people talk about character development on this show, but I personally don't see it. They do stuff, and their circumstances change sometimes, and there's always some kind of moral, but I honestly don't see any real growth or change in who they are or how they handle things as a consequence.

And then because I can't invest in these characters, I don't care about their adventures. Ordinarily, I'm fascinated when stories play with in-universe meta or meta meta. But here, there was never a basis of story to ground it in; there was only a basis of setting (disparate group at community college). Everything else is consciously meta in some way. So there's no substance underneath the meta, so all it can do is feed off other pop culture stories in a way that feels a little bit creepily cannibalistic. And then the tone of it all comes off smug, showing off how very clever it all is, even down to the St Elsewhere premise of it all. Which IS clever, it just doesn't hold my interest very well, because it's not giving me anything more than pop culture regurgitated through that premise. I mean, I can enjoy the cleverness of it in bits and pieces, and watching tropes and pop culture being played with can sometimes be appealing, but it relies so heavily on the goodwill created by nostalgia for what it's drawing on, and I don't have a whole lot of that to begin with.

So, we'll see what happens with a new showrunner; it might have the same effect as WW, and I might like it more. Whew. Did all that make sense/answer your question? :D

Edited at 2012-09-16 05:42 am (UTC)
im_ridiculous
Sep. 17th, 2012 12:14 pm (UTC)
Re: Ok... because when you're off sick from work, why NOT fangirl!meme? :)
See, dude, this is a way more intellectual response than I deserve :)

I think the divinity stuff is fascinating. Fascinating, I tell you, not only in this case but in BSG - you've given me lightbulbs! And your agency take on Jeff and Abed is not only intellectual, but very interesting indeed. And I think it's a point very well made. There is, to be a bit more pedestrian about it, a 'realness' about Jeff and Abed (who, by the way, I really, really love. I think he's interestingly written and beautifully played, and I just... I love him.) which certainly makes them the more memorable characters, I guess? I feel like Britta's got that in her too, but for some reason they've never developed it. I don't get that, to be honest, because she has such potential. Actually, for me, all the characters have potential in them somewhere ... but you're right. In most cases that's probably not that well developed. Or not as well developed as it could be, anyway. I guess I'm happy enough being distracted by the bells and whistles that it doesn't usually worry me too much?

I do think I've seen growth and change though, although you're right, now I think about it, that's mainly been in Jeff and Abed. (Unless you count the aforementioned regression in Britta. Grr.) And maybe you're right, in that it relies on the goodwill its audience feels for other things, but I have to admit I like that about it rather than it turning me off. And I also feel plenty of goodwill for those characters on their own, and this show on its own... I couldn't tell you exactly where that nostalgia/affection line is though. Definitely blurry.

What's interesting about the references/etc element though... when I said I know some people who love it who are the very people I thought would hate it or wouldn't get it? I thought that because they're not pop culture people. They're not even TV people, a couple of them. Like, they don't watch the news even. Nothing. And yet, I know three people who fit that criteria who adore Community like they've never loved a show before.

Now I fnd that completely mystifying. I can't understand the appeal for them. But you ask 'em, and they just say "What? It's funny", so... I'm none the wiser!

I think the new showrunners will be very interesting. They're fans of the show, which I think is really important particularly for people taking over a show with this kind of sensibility. And even though I can't think of any other show more a product of its creator's mind than Community... I don't know, maybe fresh blood will be good for it. I'm certainly prepared to give them a chance, anyway.

Did all that make sense/answer your question? :D
Always and of course! And it gave me an excuse to ramble on at you moar, so, y'know... *G*
themonkeytwin
Sep. 20th, 2012 10:50 am (UTC)
Re: Ok... because when you're off sick from work, why NOT fangirl!meme? :)
not only in this case but in BSG - you've given me lightbulbs!

Ooh! Yay! Well, if you want to share the lightbulbs, I'm all virtual ears. (I wrote very, very little BSG fic – the most I wrote was a companion piece to Bee's Spypilots, and that was much more due to her premise than anything – but I did once write something exploring this concept through Dee's perception of Lee in Sometimes A Great Notion, if you're interested. Also off topic, I ran across this good and raegy post about Newsroom that I thought might be relevant to your interests, although I found the Huffington Post article she linked to more actually informative since I haven't seen the show myself.)


Abed (who, by the way, I really, really love. I think he's interestingly written and beautifully played, and I just... I love him.)

Ha, the funny thing is, I completely agree with this. I do love watching him, there's a very aesthetic pleasure to it somehow, which is an odd sensation when I'm not really connecting to the character. Actually, I get a similar thing watching Jeff, from a comedy delivery POV; there is a remarkable amount of skill in those two characters and actors. Well, arguably there is that much skill in all of them, but as the most complex and nuanced characters, it stands out a little more. It's possible that's what's behind your friends' "It's funny" reactions, because I would never say Community is poorly executed. The commedic quality of what's onscreen is generally much higher than most other shows on tv right now. Which is another reason I can actually watch it with my brother, rather than issuing a moratorium. I just can't seem to get past that surface level of interaction with the material.


I do think I've seen growth and change though, although you're right, now I think about it, that's mainly been in Jeff and Abed.

Which is fascinating really, as to whether they intended it this way, or whether their construction and concept of the show actually made this the only option. I mean, if the underlying conceit really is that the whole show is just in the mind of an autistic child/young man, and if Abed is his self-insert and Jeff is his idealised self-insert, then in an in-universe meta sense, no other character can grow and change until Abed-Jeff does ("do"? this is getting confusing) and becomes capable of seeing the others as characters rather than playthings. Which may in fact be the by-product of new show runners, whether intentional or not! So I'm definitely curious about how it will go, if only from an academic sort of perspective.

One interesting comment my brother had on the subject of agency and Britta was to point out that, initially, it was Britta and Jeff who possessed that level of agency and Abed was just providing commentary. Britta was clearly intended to be a foil and counterbalance for Jeff, but it soon became apparent that The Group as a whole was a much better, and far more varied, foil for him. Which left her with no real role, which gutted the characterisation designed for that, so in the end her character became about the undermining/deconstruction of that characterisation, becoming more and more exaggerated as they tried to figure out who she was and how she fit in this group of otherwise very clearly delineated types. Which is curious, you'd assume (and it was most likely intended) that Jeff was the one who was supposed to be on a journey of challenge-of-self and self-discovery, but by virtue of the creators' reassessment of Britta, she's really the one who's undergone this journey, but in the worst kind of way. Or at least only the first part of the journey, where her old concepts of self are torn down. Again, it will be interesting to see whether the new showrunners can actually find a path for her to be rebuilt.


... Yay for rambling! \o/
im_ridiculous
Sep. 24th, 2012 08:23 am (UTC)
Re: Ok... because when you're off sick from work, why NOT fangirl!meme? :)
omg. I am so sorry! Epic RL busy-ness explosion! Desperately trying to catch up! I have more "significant" things to say about this (and when I say "significant", I mean "probably not at all significant and just rambly") but I really need to cook some dinner and eat something before I keel over and die. And I haven't even had a chance to look at your links in here, and I wanna!! So. This is just a really quick apology comment, and I'll be back with the real thing as soon as I possibly can!!! In the meantime - you're fabulous!
im_ridiculous
Sep. 25th, 2012 06:17 am (UTC)
OK. I am back with MOAR rambling!!
Again, apologies for the delayed response!
I've now read the links too...which. were. awesome. No, really. I've left you a comment over there, so I won't repeat myself, but also that HuffPo article! I so agree with them!! I find Mo Ryan... not always to my taste, shall we say. But I am absolutely with her here. Ragey rage McRagerson.

OK... I'll repeat myself just a little. I think your god/mortal reading of BSG is WAY more intelligent than it deserves [at least in its later stages... seasons 1 and 2 maybe deserve it a little more], and I'm quite certain RDM never had any such allegorical awesomeness in mind. But I love it. And when I rewatch (at some point) I think I will be doing so through this prism, for shits and giggles and reasons :) I don't feel I have anything particularly intelligent to offer on the subject for now though, so I shall spare you until then!

Oh! And! Incidentally - your willingness to go off topic for general chats is part of why I so love chatting with you :D AND, it's your LJ and you can go off topic if you want to. On mine too, for the record. heh.

arguably there is that much skill in all of them, but as the most complex and nuanced characters, it stands out a little more.
Yeah. I think I am clearly more easily distracted by the window dressing than you, but I cannot argue with you about this. Maybe we'll get some more development with the new show runners... I hope so... And this:
Which is fascinating really, as to whether they intended it this way, or whether their construction and concept of the show actually made this the only option.
...is a very interesting question, but one to which I have no answer! It's an excellent point though, and it ties into what you say about Britta's agency... to what extent did the show become a kind of hostage of where it found itself and what it found itself doing and simply had to run with it? To what extent did it realise that's what was happening? I don't know.

Because I think you're right, in the second season as the ensemble really developed, The Group is the foil. But it began in the first season, with Abed. He's the real foil to Jeff, for mine. A person who inhabits and responds to the world in a completely opposite way to Jeff. Or at least to SeasonOneJeff... Abed brings out the humanity in Jeff in a way that I think only Britta does otherwise. There are moments betwen Jeff and Shirley that do that too (and in fact, Shirley's best and most three-dimensional moments are usually in her interactions with Jeff. I love the Jeff/Shirley backstory stuff) and there are soooort of moments with the others. But it's Abed and Britta who have actually provoked Jeff to change, to become more of a person. And it's probably not surprising that those three are my favourite characters as a result. They have the most interesting and human interactions. Some would argue Annie has that with Jeff too, but I don't buy that, actually. His interaction with her is still pretty typically in line with his interactions with women pre-college, I think. That is to say, he sees her in tropes not in traits: she's either Young And Innocent School Girl, or she's Sexualised Vamp. And he doesn't really know what to do with that, in my opinion. Which is why, at least for me, their interactions are so kind of awkward and preachy and forced. And eww.

But yes, as Abed became the (fabulous and appropriate) foil for Jeff... Britta started to fade into caricature. But I still love her so much for what she almost-was-and-sometimes-is, and for what she COULD be - and what I am somewhat forlornly still convinced is lurking somewhere in her character backstory, and beneath the surface - that I can't give up on her. I just want them to do her justice. Please, please, please new showrunners... Please.

... Yay for rambling! \o/
**high fives** And thankyou even MORE for rambling so satisfingly about something you don't even really like that much!! :D

Edited at 2012-09-25 06:24 am (UTC)
themonkeytwin
Sep. 26th, 2012 05:16 am (UTC)
Re: OK. I am back with MOAR rambling!!
Again, apologies for the delayed response!

No worries! I completely understand. I always intend to respond to comments quicker too, it just so rarely happens. :/


I'll repeat myself just a little.

On this subject – I fell victim to my own links! I went back and browsed through the meta links I linked to in that post, and got completely distracted with K/L thoughts once more. BLOODY HELL. PILOTS. WTF. But I'll leave that for the other comments too. :)


Incidentally - your willingness to go off topic for general chats is part of why I so love chatting with you

Right?! Ditto! X)


in fact, Shirley's best and most three-dimensional moments are usually in her interactions with Jeff.

Most recently, definitely. I vaguely recall that initially it was with Britta, though, right? Which again is in line with the evolution of the show.


And re: your comments about Annie, I think I agree. But I find her and Chevy Chase the most grating, painful-to-watch characters in the group to watch. (Don't even get me STARTED on Chang. ARGH.) For her part, it's hard to see Jeff interact with her outside the tropes she embodies because I don't see very much in the character herself apart from those tropes. And when did she take on a slight shading of nuance? When she moved in with Abed (and Troy). Actually, doing the same was what moved Troy away from the last of his inital defining tropes, but in his case reduced his character entirely to just being Abed's playmate. (Mind you, I have only seen up to the introduction of dark!Abed, so I don't know how that plays out yet. Don't worry about spoiling me, though, I'm not particularly invested....)


I just want them to do her justice. Please, please, please new showrunners... Please.

I shall hope for you! I wasn't nearly as struck by her as you were (obviously), but even I have been having a hard time with how they've been using her in the narrative. It would be nice to see that redeemed somehow. It's funny, between Harmon, Sorkin, Moore and Whedon, I am beginning to find a real intolerance building against showrunners who co-opt their own shows to work out their issues/megahorn their agenda. Or at least those that do it through creating fantasies that endorse their issues/agendas rather than challenge and develop them. I have this image of them sitting alone under their blanket fort (thank you Abed and Troy), playing with their action figures, going LA LA LA can't hear you, YAY MEEEEE!... Either that, or they and I are in profound disagreement as to the primary purpose of a show/story and their responsibilities as storytellers. And possibly human beings. It's always easier to say the whole world has to change, than to say that you do.


... *cough*


**high fives** And thankyou even MORE for rambling so satisfingly about something you don't even really like that much!!

**high five back** You're welcome! Besides, clearly the issues are very interesting – it's not exactly a strain, especially when you have such lovely company to ramble discuss it intelligently with! :)

(Oh, which reminds me – I don't know if you have time for watching things, but if you haven't already, I found the movie The Brothers Bloom to be a very interesting exploration of the questions of agency, of free will and predestination, and quite gleefully plays with themes and tropes under the surface of the narrative. Plus, probably my favourite Mark Ruffalo performance of all time, I actually liked Adrien Brody, and Rachel Weisz being very cute and quirky. Recommended!)
im_ridiculous
Sep. 28th, 2012 06:34 am (UTC)
Re: OK. I am back with MOAR rambling!!
I vaguely recall that initially it was with Britta, though, right?
Generally speaking? In a way, I guess. But, the first episode in which we really got to know anything about Shirley was she and Jeff bonding over both being bitchy gossips :) And I still think the best moments we get from her pit her against him. Because against Jeff she HAS to abandon her affected sweetness-and-light-passive-aggression and be the tough-nut she actually is. And THAT is a much more interesting character imho.

Don't even get me STARTED on Chang.
Yeah... I find it strange that people just seem to love him more and more. I really liked Chang in the first season, but once he was no longer a teacher? No. And I'll tell you why:
Firstly, because it's just dumb to repeat the 'i have fake qualifications and need to go back to Community College in order to get an actual degree' thing. I don't really know why they would mirror Jeff with Chang in this sense... just... dumb. And detrimental to the story, because...
Secondly, the thing that makes Chang an interesting character is him being a psychopath in a position of power. Once you take that away from him and make him a disgraced-former-teacher-and-community-college-student you make him profoundly less interesting. Also, as he relates to our key protagonist Jeff, in the real world Teacher!Chang is still much lower down the ladder than Lawyer!Jeff was. But that is reversed when Jeff has to go become Student!Jeff. But Student!Jeff trumps Student!Chang every day of the week. And their relationship isn't interesting without that strange imbalance.
All of which is a very long way of saying: 'I agree. Don't talk to me about Chang.' *G*

lovely company to ramble discuss it intelligently with
grins :D Back atcha.

And OMG I HAVE SEEN IT! IT IS GREAT... must add to my rewatch list....
themonkeytwin
Sep. 28th, 2012 02:09 pm (UTC)
Re: OK. I am back with MOAR rambling!!
the first episode in which we really got to know anything about Shirley was she and Jeff bonding over both being bitchy gossips

Oh, yeah, I remember. I'm a bit vague on the progression – I was remembering there was early stuff where she and Britta had to ... I don't know, learn to tolerate each other, I guess? I mean, not just on the religion front, but also personality-wise. But I do remember the episode, and how it was the first time we saw her really show something unexpected.


You make good points about Chang! I haven't thought more in-depth than I find him really, REALLY annoying. But yeah, I completely agree about the power dynamics and character roles. Huh. Yet another reason to tune in and see what the new showrunners will do!


Brothers Bloom! It's making me want to rewatch it now too....
im_ridiculous
Oct. 2nd, 2012 05:51 am (UTC)
Re: OK. I am back with MOAR rambling!!
How dare you be vague on the progression of a show you don't even like that much!!! ;P hehe :)
Yeah, she and Britta had a really nice dynamic too - still do in a lot of ways actually. I think Jeff and Britta both bring out something interesting in Shirley because they provoke her, I think. She's provoked into reacting against them, which makes her more interesting than she is alone or with less in your face characters.

And I'm glad you like the Change point! I was having dinner with a fellow-Community peep the other night and tried it out on them too... they're a later-series-Chang fan. But I think I managed to win some ground. One person at a time, monkeytwin... :)
themonkeytwin
Oct. 8th, 2012 10:09 am (UTC)
Re: OK. I am back with MOAR rambling!!
Gah, sorry, rl sort of happened, as it does. Although I don't have much more to say other that ITA and *fistbump*. So. :)
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