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So, true story: I was kind of distracted watching this episode.

... I didn't say it was an interesting story.

Well, okay, how about this one: two days after doing the last episode review, I woke up from a dream (I don't remember much but there was a vague zombie-flavour to it; one of the bonuses of bingeing TWD after a hiatus has always been a night or so of rando full-on zombie apocalypse dreams, but consciously processing so much of it, and going at each episode week-by-week seems to have shelved the intensity of that), transitioning from asleep to awake with the very strident internal thought that: [Terminus containers] "D" and "A" had better not be for a pun on "DOA"!

Yyyyyyyyyep. I was working out puns in my sleep. I then determined to refuse to pun or think about it any further, lost all momentum, and then had too much going on to watch 5.03 until last night. So: distracted. Because I mean seriously. As if it's at all likely that this season, with its focus on following paths to their end, in the context of the ever-looming mortality of the human condition, kicking off with slaughtering the four victims from D right beside four of our newly-arrived heroes from A (all who survive!), and with a group-splitting quest to arrive at a facility in DC with which all contact has been lost, would pun on Dead On Arrival. (Especially when the prison's "A Block" was death row. ... TWD writers, YOU ARE ALL BASTARDS and I love you.)

And then Gareth went and blood-painted A on the church. SIR. You are simultaneously MY FAV, and THE WORST. (This all tells you tooooo much about me.) C'MON NOW.

I have, like ... no momentumsCollapse )
AHHAHAHAHAAAAAH that was amazing. So it looks like this is happening, for another week in a row. Look at me momentumming. Abraham would be proud I BET.

I have, like ... teh momentums!Collapse )
Phew. Now that I've got all that out of my system, mostly (I'd apologise for all the sweariness, but really, it felt appropriate to the occasion), and had a chance to watch 5.01, I thought it might be fun to just play with it a bit, instead of racing breakneck through 50+ episodes of series, or even just whole seasons. Ramble around and maybe see if we can't spot and speculate on what's going on, try to read soma'these signs they're giving us (without cheating; no spoilers were harmed in the writing of this post, just speculations, based on one watch-through, a while of pondering, and bouncing around the episode in a fairly slipshod way to check my work, so, fair warning, accuracy might be uneven at best).

Also cos, while I gave the reviewers some guff, they do have to try to come up with a comprehensive, substance-engaging response, on a quick turnaround, to each episode as they come – a really good reason, among plenty others, why I will never be a reviewer. But it seemed fair to at least try to put myself in their shoes, even if I ... walk a different path? (Metaphors, man. They can turn on you.) I dunno if I'll actually keep doing this for S5, or even if I'll keep watching as they go or save up and binge; that depends on ... stuff. And, things. And the fact that it's not my job and I don't have to do it if I don't wanna. But being here now, let's see what we see.

I have, like ... some stuffCollapse )
This is ABSOTIVELY POSILUTELY the last part of the series-wide theme stuff, I don't care how long it gets, because this is ridiculous. (... Plus, damn it, 5.01 has now aired, and I want to watch it, but if I do before I finish this it's only gonna jam up my brain with even moar thoughts and nobody needs that. And here I thought it was such a smooth move to finally get on with watching S4 only like a month before S5 started. For future reference: Not. Smooth.) For the season-specific stuff, I will catch up with S3 & 4 ... later.

Warning: I said A LOT and I mean A LOT.

I had, like ... A LOT of a lotCollapse )

... Buuuuut I mean, really, what the fuck would I know. These writers can't even develop their characters in any meaningful way. Geez. GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER, WRITERS.

... Now if all y'all'll excuse me, I've got an episode to watch \o/ ... and, apparently, review.

footnotesCollapse )
Series-wide themes for The Walking Dead, continued! (S1 & 2 themes here.) Gettin' right down to the real nitty-gritty really this time! Starting with, the big three overarching motifs I've actually noticed: time, water, and signs. (Well, and also using injuries/appearance/behaviour to signal links between characters, but I'll get to that later.)

I have, like ... a lot of the Big ThreeCollapse )

Aaaaaanndd ... and fucking fuck me, FINE. (How do these get so long?) Part three, soon. I hope.
Because I finally watched the fourth season of The Walking Dead, and I never got around to talking about the third season, and despite the record evident on this very journal, I do actually want (and even sometimes try!) to finish things I said I would might. (Although there's, like, A LOT to talk about for the series overall before delving into the specifics of the season-themes, so looks like my record might just remain intact for the moment!) Also because I am getting pretty cranky at dropping by the online watercoolers and seeing criticisms of TWD such as this:

Thanks to The Walking Dead's crazy devotion to nightmarish details, the show's prosthetics are also constantly evolving to reflect the gradual decomposition of the zombies as the series progresses.
So the next time you hear somebody criticizing The Walking Dead for having characters that don't evolve, feel free to correct them. The zombies totally evolve. It's just the humans that don't develop in any meaningful way.

LolololjokesNO. It might not always hit its target, but it is doing a whole lot of really solid stuff, and some quite subtle stuff, both with its themes and its characters. And since I just finished yammering about how it's both easier and more financially rewarding for tv to develop good stories (and, while we're at it, its continuing/evolving nature makes the storytelling misses less risky), yeah, how about I go on feeling free to correct people criticising The Walking Dead for having characters that don't evolve.

I have, like ... a LOT of correctionsCollapse )

Aaaaaaand ... having got quite a lot further into the nitty-gritty, I have realised just how seriously out of hand long it is getting. (There is a lot, repeat, A LOT of nitty-gritty.) So let's call this part one and part two will most definitely be along shortly is here, 'cause it's like already 2/3 written. PROMISE. LIES. Part three ... is happening right here.

footnotesCollapse )

let me kvetch about storytelling some moar

So, I saw Guardians of the Galaxy. And ... it was kind of rubbish. Which might not surprise anyone who was around for my reaction to The Avengers, my baseline assessment of which –

the good: it wasn't bad. It was shiny and kaboomy and, uh, shiny, and it got the job done, picked us up at A and delivered us firmly to B. There were moments, genuine moments of oh hey, that worked amidst the flow of so, hey, that happened.

– applies equally to GotG. And Pacific Rim, while we're at it. I'm not angry like I was with Avengers, probably because I've learned to adjust my expectations, that when fandom goes SQUEALING INSANE over a movie, my reaction to it will most likely be something along the lines of, "... Oh." Also, I'm pretty sure I am simply out of shits to give. So the good news is, you won't get another long screed of me clawing my face off because WHAT and WHY OMG WHY, and instead just mostly leave my personal reaction at the faint praise that it ... wasn't terrible. It wasn't, for example, The Phantom Menace.

But it was still kind of rubbish.

tl;dr prologue about movie industry vs storytelling issuesCollapse )

TL;DR: the current model producing movies is so chock-full of financial risk that they can't afford to take risks with story. Tv, with its far lower risk parameters, has space to play and find story and, as an economic model, is directly, repeatedly rewarded for doing so (positive reinforcement: it works!).³

more tl;dr prologueCollapse )

GotG and the broccoli soup theoryCollapse )

So, that was a lot of words. Maybe I can finally finish my Avengers character status calculus post now. (Probably not.)

footnotesCollapse )

and then fic happened

Title: confessions
Ficverse: Leverage
Series: Silver and Gold
Rating: PG
Length: 6000 ish
Characters: Maggie/Sterling
Teaser: “Hey,” Maggie said softly, with a welcoming smile so natural that he had to remind himself, again, that he was not coming home. He was just coming to collect his daughter. Blame it on jetlag.
–This is a series focused on a slowly-evolving relationship between Maggie and Sterling in the aftermath of the S1 finale, tying it to recognisable events in the show's canon and how that might impact them. It is a vignette-style series (getting less so), hopefully containing enough context that each be able to be read on its own, although they do build together. We're into the back half, but it's a slow burn, and I'm a slow writer.
im_ridiculous has immaculate instincts, kept me on track (and sane), and is quite simply THE BEST. Anything that remains sucky is all mine.
–Links to the other installments are at the end.
Warnings/Spoiler: through The Last Dam Job (4.18).
Disclaimer: Stuff that's not mine is not mine. The (paraphrased) quote is, obviously, from Pride & Prejudice.
Feedback: let's hear it. The good, the bad, the ugly....

confessionsCollapse )

Silver and Gold series:
lit up by the skylightWatching her, he remembered the first time she became Maggie.
overture in the aftermathShe took a patient breath. “Jim, why did you send me flowers?”
a question of costif he didn’t dial this time, he was a bloody coward.
onwards and upwardsHe raised an eyebrow at her in that way he had to know was so annoying, just in case she’d missed his point. “Now that that’s out of the way – what is it?”
this kind of liabilityShe’d started calling him James and so help him but he loved the way that sounded. He held onto that, the all-of one second of it, even as her expression changed when she noticed his.
concerns of contactHe’s free, currently not wanted. Make no contact.
measuring precautionSterling strode down the gallery’s familiar corridors, forcing himself not to break into a run.
hold and releaseSitting out on the balcony of James Sterling’s LA condo for the fourth day of being stashed away to keep her from being possibly abducted by some psychotic international crimelord Nate had openly declared war on, Maggie once again concluded that, all things considered, she was glad she hadn’t argued.
as neededIt was all wrong, everything was wrong, everything he was doing here, today, was wrong.
of twos and threesSterling opened the door of his condo and leaned against it. “Hi,” he said, in undisguised relief.
confessions“Hey,” Maggie said softly, with a welcoming smile so natural that he had to remind himself, again, that he was not coming home. He was just coming to collect his daughter. Blame it on jetlag.

30 Days of OTP for the price of one!

So, it looks like Spain has opted for the Spectacular Implosion course of action; I can't fault that, it's a tried and true method. Plus, I appear to have done the same, being so sick and exhausted this week that I couldn't concentrate on anything and ended up missing it altogether. *eyes Euro Cup with intense but patient curiosity*

I was contemplating fiddlearsing about with a meme to distract from the dreary stress of being sick; I had seen that 30 Days of OTP one going around, went lol, no, then went, wait ... maybe, then tried it for one day and went no fuck no. But I think where I went wrong is actually trying to talk about pairings I like in a sensible and analytical manner, when the truth is, there is nothing sensible or analytical about shipping. Or not the way I do it, anyway. It's all chemistry and sparks and oh, helloo sexy. I'm so obnoxiously wrong-headed sometimes, I can't even with myself. (With the memeing, that is. Not the shipping. I'm obnoxiously fine with how I ship. Perhaps just bail out now?)

Handily, I've now done enough time in Fandom where the shipping conversation goes on all the damn time that I discovered I could almost immediately answer almost all the questions, sometimes several times over. Me: \o/ SOLD! All the same, if I could average any more than a few sentences per question, it'd be a bit of a Christmas Miracle. Therefore, I've decided the time has come to find something consumable and delicious, throw on some Squirrel Nut Zippers, and swagger through this sucker in one go LIKE A BOSS. And with minimum of thinking/quibbling furiously with the migrated meaning of "OTP". (Getting an inkling of why I only lasted one day the last time I tried doing this? Yep. Well done.)

(Warning: got a leeetle media-heavy.)


Oh man. It's definitely past my bedtime.

... oh, good.

5–1 to Netherlands? As an avowed Spanish – and, moreover, Casillas – fan, I probably shouldn't be excited about that result. But honestly, when they were up 1–0, and off a penalty no less, I couldn't help feeling that would be the worst possible result to take into the competition. Not only is it not interesting, that kind of middle ground is a slow-bleed death for their temperament, and I would have spent the entire tournament waiting for them to fizzle out somewhere around the quarter finals with the sound of the last bit of air leaving the balloon. They needed to either come out and DOMINATE from the very beginning, or get smacked down and have a fire lit under their ass. When van Persie scored with that incredible header, I was out-and-out relieved.

Granted, this was a rather hotter fire than is comfortable, but way, waaayy more interesting now. Is the team's hard-won cohesion real, or will they return to their former, very real Spectacular Implosion ways? Will they hold together now that they aren't buoyed by the momentum and the pride of victory? Do they have the mental toughness to rally with their poise and confidence? Moreover, does Casillas himself have the fortitude to come back from that performance, and all the criticism that will be levelled at him for it?

(Spoiler: he does. Every keeper has bad games; if I had to pick any one in the world who could shake off one like that, it would be him. I was hurting for him in the second half – even more because from the beginning his presence couldn't be felt in the team and their play, which is unusual with him/them, but does happen occasionally – but soothed instantly by the way he walked off the field at the end.)

He, like his team, is passionate and mercurial and very, very skilled. He, like his team, this day was a little sloppy (yes, only a little; it doesn't take much, and that back-pass was just a little badly weighted and just a little off-target, and his touch was just a little loose) and unfortunate that they were having one of those days against the Dutch who were ready and able to make them pay (and pay and pay). He, like his team, took an absolute hiding. I'm a terrible fan, I know, but whether they go out in the group stage or make it all the way, I'd rather see what they do now they're knocked down to the very bottom than watch them wander around at the top (hi Dean! *waves*). And not just in this World Cup, but to see how they come out at the Euro Cup in two years. (And to be fair, winning three international championships in a row is not to be sneezed at.) (It's all so very Spanish. I love it.)

Now to watch the young and somewhat confused Australia team, having lost the steady experience of Schwarzer at the back, begin their inevitable meander to the exit, which is less frustrating than the damn SBS panel. (I want Les back. Fozz too. *cranky pout*) Spider, dude, I've forborne with some latent affection for you, and I know you guys are all flailing around for Insightful Things to say (none of you being naturally gifted in this area), but that lack of confidence is yours, not Casillas'. The kindest thing for him would be del Bosque leaving him out for the rest of the tournament? Dude. If anyone ever needed proof for why you were always second-choice for keeper....

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January 2016


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