Tag Archives: TV show

Marvel’s Jessica Jones – it’s pretty good

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(Cross-posted from my Tumblr)

Score: 9/10

Jessica Jones has been on Netflix for a few days, and I made it halfway through already, mainly because “just one more episode” is one of the biggest lies people tell themselves. Anyway. Have a review.

Of course, as always, there are people who don’t like it, which is also completely fair. But probably the most hilarious bad reviews of Jessica Jones are the ones that claim the series is “unoriginal”, and that Daredevil was “refreshing” and compared to DD, JJ is boring.

Okay then.

I’m not bashing DD, that show was okay, but it wasn’t more than just that precisely because it was fairly unoriginal in its choice of protagonist! Jesus, how many “change the world, do good, and with great power comes great responsibility” heroes have we had these past few decades? Marvel’s franchises are full of them, starting with Captain America and Spiderman and ending with freaking Iron Man and Black Widow, who may have started out as a bad guy (in an origin story we never got to see because reasons) but ultimately is trying very hard to be a goody two-shoes hero like the others.

Jessica Jones is pretty much the first Marvel hero who isn’t behaving like all the other heroes before her. She is super-human, but she is also completely human, a quality that many Marvel heroes sorely lack. This is the first time in god knows how long that I have seen a hero I can really relate to because she isn’t depicted as some paragon of justice and virtue. Even Tony Stark, alcoholism and all, is always ultimately portrayed as A Good Guy. In Jessica Jones, we finally get to see the other side of having superpowers. People not trusting you, others expecting too much, and then the ones that just want to use you, all portrayed in varying shades of grey. No-one is completely perfect, and so far, also no-one has been shown as being irredeemably evil (though I have only watched until episode seven, so not sure how they will ultimately handle Kilgrave).

Maybe this surplus of “good” heroes took some enjoyment out of Daredevil for me. If there hadn’t been so many like him before, it wouldn’t have felt so boringly familiar. On his own, he’s an idealist who had terrible things happen to him but who wants to use his gift for good, to protect and defend his home, and I can totally get behind that sort of motivation. But after years of heroes just like him, I’m getting bored of that archetype. It was time for something new, and from what I’ve seen, both Jessica Jones and Luke Cage will have different sorts of heroes.

JJ isn’t perfect, either. For one, Luke plays a big role in the first half of the season, and if it turns out that Jessica (or someone like her, anyway) won’t be in Luke Cage in the same way, I will take it was what it probably is, yet another sign that Marvel thinks women can’t carry a show on their own, and that will impact how I watch both subsequent seasons of JJ and Luke Cage.
It’s also a bizarre-but-unsurprising example of Hollywood diversity, which is basically “add white women + black men”. Even I see that, and I live halfway across the globe from where the show is set. The extras and minor roles are a little bit better, I guess, but the main cast is weirdly uniform, in that almost all women are young, white and at least decently attractive, right down to Jessica’s weirdo neighbour, and if there are men who aren’t white guys, they are black and that’s about it.

All in all, though, I like the casting choices, and they managed to avoid the most obvious stereotypes.

The characters are refreshingly distant from the usual roles women get to play in superhero franchises. Of course there is the titular Jessica Jones, who gets to play a brawler with a traumatic past and a severe drinking problem who still manages to make a somewhat decent living for herself by using her powers in her job as a P.I. to have an advantage over the competition. And then there are Trish and Hogarth. God, I love Hogarth in all her self-centred, no-nonsense glory. I admit I didn’t know at first who Hogarth is in the comics (might have read that name somewhere, but couldn’t really place it), but with the way she’s written on the show, I immediately thought “They wrote that role for a dude, didn’t they?”. Turns out the original Hogarth is indeed a guy. I think I read somewhere that they wrote the role for Moss first, then added Hogarth’s name and Hogarth-ness as an afterthought, but it works. Breathes some new life into the archetype of her role. It adds a role where Moss can shine, and it adds a female character to the show who is allowed to be just as complex and complicated as the male characters that usually occupy this role. They didn’t even adjust her age (although she doesn’t seem to have kids, like comic-Hogarth does, but I suppose that would be too “radical”, right?). They also didn’t change the role of Hogarth’s wife into Hogarth’s husband, and she still has an affair with her female assistant. I’m still not entirely sure how the writers got that past the Marvel executives, but they did, and it’s amazing.

Trish is great in that she is both a badass and elegantly feminine. She wears dresses and skirts and also has an affair with a dude she barely knows and can hold her own in a fight (as long as that fight doesn’t involve one-sided tasers, which is just unfair to begin with). She isn’t one single thing, character-wise, and she’s also a perfect counterpart for Jessica. Where Jessica just wants to be left alone and use her powers to make a living, Trish wants to be a hero badly but is just a regular human being, so she has to work around that limitation.

Oh, and of course, David Tennant is brilliant as Kilgrave. Terrifying and suave and a perfect fit for the way the role was written for the show. A great villain in the same vein as Loki, but a lot scarier.

Overall, I already love the show. It’s something I have been waiting for for years, and now Marvel finally delivered. It’s still just one female-centric franchise among many regular dudebros, but with it’s solid 9/10 rating on IMDB and 91% on Rotten Tomatoes, and the upcoming Luke Cage, I have some new hope for more diverse superheroes in the future, casting-wise and character-wise.

As for my own rating. I’m going with IMDB here. Nine out of ten bottles of Whiskey.

Of Walkers and Talkers

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Score: 5/10

[Fair warning: This is long, and kinda rant-y. Also, The Walking Dead spoilers for seasons 1, 2 and 3 ahead, thought that might be moot at this point when season 5 just premiered…]

I’m probably the last zombie fanatic on the entire planet to discover The Walking Dead. I’ve heard a lot of noise about this show, mostly about how it’s something new and exciting, and is something like the Game of Thrones of us zombie people. I kept putting it off for various reasons, but now it’s on German Netflix, so I thought, what the hell, might as well finally give it a shot. I’ve pretty much run out of shows to follow anyway.
I have purposely avoided ‘spoilers’ before watching; I didn’t even read reviews on Amazon, as I usually do. So all I’ve heard about the show was praise, either from the few media outlets I caught mentioning it or from friends of mine who love the show. So I binge-watched the first two seasons in three days to see what the fuzz was all about.
My own reaction was… uh… how to put it… confused. Yep, that’s pretty much what this show does to me – it confuses the hell out of me, on so many levels. Mostly, though, because still I like it, for some reason. It’s like Supernatural all over again. I like the idea, and the general vibe of the show, but so, so many things make me angry about both of those shows that I just want to scream at the TV sometimes. I still started with S3, but with much less enthusiasm than I had when I watched the pilot.
For SPN, it’s the ridiculously convoluted plotlines since season 3, the metric shit-ton of ultra macho angst in every other episode, and the fact that it’s a total sausage fest and treats its few women in an infuriating way. For TWD, it’s the ridiculously uninspired plotlines (though that might be due to the source material; haven’t gotten that far into the comic yet), the forced drama in every single episode, the total lack of character development (unless you count Rick going from Nice Guy to sociopath in the span of three episodes), and here, too, the fact that most female characters are tropes instead of characters. Most male characters, too, but the show at least attempts to give most of them something more.
Those things in combination with the generally good idea and overall quality of the show (writing notwithstanding) make for a show that managed to hook me and still makes me fume quietly over at least half of each episode.
Let’s dissect this from the top.

 

I. Plot and structure

I’ve said the plot of TWD is uninspired. Allow me to elaborate. Zombies have been used for ages as a vehicle to tell stories about humans, about civilisation versus animal instincts, about individuality versus crowd mentality, just plain survival and whatever else anyone could think of. They are great for that. An enemy that’s not human but somehow still is, that reminds us about the fact that, under the right circumstances, we all can be monsters, and then can be used to explore just how extreme those circumstances would have to be for any given individual.
TWD tries that, and fails miserably. Part of the reason why might be the short lifespan of each season. Six episodes in the first, thirteen in the second. Yet they crammed so damn much into those seasons: The apocalypse itself, naturally; Rick waking up and coming to terms with the new world; Lori apparently moving on; Lori and Rick getting reunited and the resulting tension between not-really-moving-on Lori, Rick and Shane; Carol’s abusive asshole of a husband; the group deciding to move on and splitting up because of conflicting goals; the ‘maybe there’s hope – there is no hope’ CDC plot; Shane slowly turning into a sociopath; Fort Benning; Carl getting shot; Hershel’s farm; Sophia getting lost; searching for Sophia; tension between the groups of survivors; Andrea maybe-or-not killing herself; the walkers in Hershel’s barn; Lori’s baby and the ‘Who’s the daddy?’ plot; the group being allowed to stay at the farm just to get yanked out of their perceived secure ‘paradise’; Rick killing Shane; Rick assuming Shane’s role as the designated sociopath and all-around asshole. And then repeating some of those plotlines again: The Govenor as the nice-guy-who’s-actually-a-total-dick; his keeping his zombie daughter locked up because “maybe she’s still in there”; the safe-place-that-isn’t-so-safe-after-all. Plus all the ‘little’ things, like someone dying all the time for really dumb reasons, people getting in trouble for really dumb reasons, and people arguing for really dumb reasons.
And that’s just the first two-and-a-half seasons. Really? Believe it or not, there is a limit to what you can cram into a single season (especially one that’s shorter than average) without it looking like you’re trying too hard. At some point, it’s getting tedious, then ridiculous, and then flat-out hilarious. In this case, hilarious began with Lori’s stupid car crash. I don’t even… what? How would anyone manage to crash their car on a deserted road like that? Out of sheer stupidity, that’s how. Lori crashes the car by not looking at the road for almost ten seconds and hitting the only lone walker on the whole damn road. This accident should not have happened, especially since it does nothing for the plot, at all. Lori wants to go after Rick (an ex-cop) and Glenn (the guy who, according to the show, is the best at traipsing through walker-infested cities undetected), who went after Hershel, who went to get wasted after his walker-wife was killed. She has no reason to go after them other than manufactured drama. Not to mention that she’s a) pregnant and b) has a son to protect, too, which she frequently seems to forget.
Point is, the show can not maintain tension through anything other than forced drama and surprise zombie attacks that most of the time should not be surprising or, and that’s my favourite, shouldn’t happen at all. An example of the first kind is Rick’s arrival in Atlanta, a city with over five million people in the metropolitan area, and even if you only count the city, it’s still half a million. The walkers swarming Rick should have surprised exactly no-one, least of all Rick, the guy living in the zombie apocalypse. An example of the second variety is the attack that drives the group off the farm at the end of season 2. A heard of zombies heard a helicopter and started following it, even long after it passed, and ended up on the farm. But. In the first episode, there was a helicopter doing exactly the same thing, and the walkers didn’t give a fuck about it then. And if zombies behaved that way, the city would be empty, and huge zombie herds would be walking across the land, because they apparently don’t stop after starting in the direction of the noise. It would’ve also made killing them really easy; just do the World War Z thing, blast some AC/DC in stadiums and then nuke them when they’re full. And even if we are willing to suspend disbelief for this, there’s still the question how a relatively quiet helicopter drew so much attention; there should be ambient noise, wind, buildings crumbling, animals and whatnot being just as loud or louder, so the helicopter shouldn’t have the impact it has.
I’d totally be willing to suspend my disbelief for TWD, really. It’s just that the show fires its drama missiles at a rate that makes it way too predictable. You just know when something is going to happen because there always is something happening; it’s not a surprise anymore after the first few episodes. A good show has suspense, sure, but it allows for quieter interlude episodes, too. I need a chance to calm down, to get used to the way things are, to allow myself to believe that this time, they really are safe, that this time, they made it, before you throw another catastrophe at me. Them. Whatever. I cared about Dale’s death because I had time enough to get to like him. I didn’t care about Amy’s death because I’d seen her for about two episodes before it happened, one of which she spent whining. Sophia’s death was sad, but more because she was a child than because of me genuinely caring about her.
Overall, I feel like the writers just got lazy at some point. The first few episodes were cool, but then it just seemed like they didn’t know how to write actual human drama (I refuse to call the constant squabbling ‘genuine drama’), so they decided to go the ‘shake things up all the time’ route. They keep adrenaline levels in the viewers high with action, but can’t hold our attention with anything else, so they decided to stick to the ALL THE DRAMA! approach. And the only way they try to break up this roller coaster of zombie action is by inserting deep and meaningful (achem) dialogue on a regular basis, where characters talk about things that either have been shown already and don’t need verbal emphasis, or could have been shown better by action rather than by dialogue. It gets to the point where zombie attacks get interrupted for some conversation – one moment, there’s a walker about to eat someone, the next the same someone is waxing poetic about some stuff we could’ve waited to hear until the immediate threat of death by zombie has passed. But there’s always a convenient break in the action for discussions to happen, and that takes a lot of the threat out of for me. Because I just know those two idiots should get eaten while they argue but won’t, no matter what. It’s important storytelling, after all.

 

II. The characters

Oh boy. Where do I start?
Right. Main characters. I think that’s Rick and his family, with Shane and Dale being close second, and the rest are supporting characters. So far, so good. I don’t expect a specific kind of character; nice protagonists, mean protagonists, criminal protagonists, sociopathic protagonists, I can handle all of those. But the show should a) be somewhat consistent in the portrayal of its main characters and b) give me something, anything, that makes me care. TWD makes it really, really difficult to like or root for any of its main or supporting characters (with the exception of Daryl, maybe; he’s kind of a dick, but at least he’s an honest dick, and he gets a nice character arc later to make up for that).
Rick starts out okay. Confused guy trying to deal with the shithole the world has become and searching for his family, then trying to keep them alive and get them to safety. His primary antagonist, apart from the zombies, is Shane – they compete for group leadership (open, more encompassing conflict) and Lori’s affection (private, human conflict). Shane is set up as a violent, narcissistic sociopath who, in the end, has to die for the good of the group. Good, I can dig that. But then it’s a shit move to make Rick turn into the exact same person Shane was and not just letting him get away with it, but trying to make me like him that way. That is so, so weird and so, so wrong. You can’t give me an antagonist who dies for a certain ‘sin’, and then have the protagonist commit that same sin as well, but since he’s the hero, it’s okay. Shane is criticised for his violent temper, but when Rick tortures Randall, it’s okay because he’s just trying to keep the group safe. Shane tries to decide for everyone, regardless of their opinion and gets shit for it, but when Rick says, literally, that the group isn’t a democracy, it’s fine because he just wants what is best for everyone. And that’s not even touching on the inconsistencies in Rick’s character: Searching for Sophia for days even though logic says she is either dead or safely somewhere else at this point, but then dismissing Andrea as ‘dead anyway’ after the attack in the season finale. Insisting on saving Merle and later Randall, but then torturing Randall for… information, I guess? The show is rather vague about that. Before that, Rick is adamant they give Randall a fighting chance by dropping him off at some place where he’s relatively safe and can get some supplies, but when the guy mentions something about going to school with Maggie, Rick takes him back (presumably because maybe Randall isn’t so bad, then?), only to decide then that Randall will be executed because he’s a threat. Rick is doing so many 180s in the second half of season 2, I’ve just given up trying to understand it. I wish he’d just kick the bucket and let Michonne take over as the protagonist.
Then there’s Lori. She’s either an annoying, angsty bitch, or simply a vehicle for Rick’s angst; either way, she’s a horrible character, and I was relieved when she bit the dust in the prison. She’s supposed to be a caring person and awesome mother who just happened to have banged her presumed-dead husband’s best friend for comfort, but I don’t see much evidence of either. She frequently is selfish and reckless, and she keeps losing track of Carl in critical situations, like, you know, zombie attacks. The same Carl she is supposedly so worried about, but who somehow manages to wander off and end up in danger all the time, whenever it’s needed for the plot. Beyond those supposed traits, which get mentioned a lot, but aren’t really seen on-screen, there isn’t much else about her. I know her as ‘Rick’s wife’ and that’s it. No backstory, no relationships, no nothing. I didn’t really pay attention to it, but I’m not sure TWD at the end of season 2 has passed the Bechdel test (Edit: Wait, it does, with the laundry scene in episode 2 or 3). And that’s another reason why I have a beef with TWD: In a world that has gone to hell (and then come back trying to eat your face), where the top priority is surviving for another day, the roles are distributed like a bad 1970s post-apocalypse film – the men protect and gather, and the women maintain the camp and keep an eye on the kids. This is mentioned once, the question isn’t resolved and then it’s never brought up again, in a show that is supposedly ‘not about zombies, but about what humankind becomes when the old structures disappear’. The whole misery is excellently highlighted by the various characters’ priorities in Lori’s baby situation. Maggie goes ballistic over the ‘abortion pills’, Lori frets about whether or not she even should have a baby in this world, and Rick and Shane go all macho over who’s baby it is. Gender stereotypes at their finest.
Let’s move on to Carl. I’m still not sure if I’m even supposed to like him. He’s a mini-me of Rick, sometimes, then he gets all sensitive, and then it’s suddenly ‘Let’s shoot my dad’s dead best friend!’ again. Not to mention that he should have died of stupidity ten times over by the end of season 2, but magic and plot conveniences keep saving his ass. It doesn’t help that he doesn’t have many aspects beyond ‘Rick’s and Lori’s kid’. ‘Sophia’s friend’ maybe, but that’s more the other way around. He never asks about grandparents, friends, or whatever else he could possibly care about other than shooting things with guns he shouldn’t have. He gets a little better in season 3, but barely.
That’s what irks me about the supporting cast as well. They have so little backstory in addition to what they do on-screen, they might as well have none at all. Dale is an exception, he’s got a consistent backstory that ties in with what we see of him in the show itself. Daryl is okay, too, but only gets his story told in season 2. The rest? Not so much. There’s Ed, the abuser, and his wife Carol, the abuse victim. Andrea, who is angry. Merle, who is a racist asshole. Amy, who is young and blonde. Glenn, who is the group’s doormat. T-Dog, who is… black, I guess? Seriously, he barely has any lines, and the longest dialogue so far has been with Merle about his being black and Merle’s racist bullshit. Glenn gets a little more personality after they arrive on the farm and takes up a relationship with Maggie, and in season 3, these two are actually my personal favourites. But that takes way too long to happen for my taste.
In season 3, we get Michonne, who I really dig, but gets very little backstory since she doesn’t really talk. She’s still one of the more level-headed and sensible people around, given the circumstances, and would make for a much better leader than Rick. But I suppose since she’s a woman, that won’t happen, ever. Also, she’s black, and TWD has a disturbing track record of axing its lone black character when the next one comes along. T-Dog dies for Big Tiny, Big Tiny dies for Oscar, that guy dies for Michonne, and now there are actually two more black characters, and I’m waiting for the next one to snuff it. Not a good sign.
Aaand season 3 also got us the Govenor. What. The. Hell. That guy is as cliche evil as they come, but of course, nobody but Michonne notices. How? How in the world does nobody know that, or then calmly accept it when it shows (as with the zombie fight club thing)? Is everyone at Woodbury nuts? But the show says no, those are normal people who want a normal life, but are somehow okay with this? The Govenor also isn’t a very logical character. He does everything he does for his own gain and judges people by their usefulness to him. But when he could gain some very skilled allies with the soldiers, he just nonchalantly has them killed for… what reason again? Because he wanted what they had? Which he could’ve gotten by letting them stay, plus their skills in potential fights? And then he does the same with the prison. He literally wants to kill everyone there just because. Because he doesn’t want another group so close to Woodbury. Which shouldn’t be an issue, since apparently, the way between the two locations is dangerous and requires a car to safely get from A to B. They probably wouldn’t know the other group was there. Yet he plans on killing all the people to… not move into a much more secure location? Because he can? Because he’s a dangerous and violent sociopath who somehow still manages to appear charming despite being clearly out of control and delusional? Nevermind that there’s about fifty people living at Woodbury, and even if we assume half of those can and will fight, that’s not ‘severely outnumbered and outgunned’, especially when the smaller group resides in a freaking fortress. I’m so not buying this character and this plot.
The rest of the (still) living minor characters are people I don’t really care about, mainly because a lot of them rotate very quickly, with lifespans of a few episodes tops. I already mentioned that I’m rather fond of Daryl, Glenn and Maggie, but those three aside, I couldn’t care less of any of the others died. I fact, I keep laughing when ridiculous stuff happens, like the ‘walker bomb’ when the Govenor attacks the prison, or the zombie heads in fish tanks. If that’s not intentional, it speaks tons about the writing, and it’s not compliments.
Who’s left? Well, all the people in fridges. Morgan’s wife; Amy; Hershel’s wife; Michonne’s boyfriend and child (I think); the Govenor’s daughter; Dale’s wife. Though the latter gets some semblance of a character when Dale tells about his life with her, and how she wanted to travel but couldn’t anymore before she died. And while some of those people gets fridged for a woman (Amy for Andrea, Michonne’s family for her), all of them are female with the exception of Michonne’s boyfriend.
In any case, TWD would really benefit from a few more fleshed-out, less stereotypical characters, both in leading and supporting roles. And if the protagonist has to be a psychotic dickwad, at least make his actions more consistent with the world around him and his own characterisation. He doesn’t have to be likeable, just understandable.

 

III. The pacing

I mentioned this before, when I said that I find it hilarious how there’s always time for talking, so long as it’s ‘relevant’ (your mileage may vary) to the plot, no matter how dire the situation is. That illustrates nicely how skewed the priorities of both the writers and the characters are. Sure, sometimes, it’s good to slow things down a bit to talk about issues, but not in the middle of being overrun by zombies. And certainly not several times per episode. It gets tedious, and if it happens in the middle of an action sequence, I get so distracted by it that I forget that I should be on the edge of my seat. There’s not logic to these interruptions, either, and so they happen and confuse me and more importantly anger me, and I skip ahead to when I see the next zombie being decapitated. I started doing this recently, but after enduring so much talking for no good reason, I have my doubts that the scenes I skip are any more important.
The same weird structure is applied to the rest of the show, too. The season typically starts out with some action, then slows down a little, and then starts jumping from ‘quiet’ to ‘hectic’, plot-wise, really frequently. If there is a single episode that’s mostly action, or mostly quiet, day-to-day life, it’s a miracle. The individual episodes don’t have a consistent tone; it’s not that I can’t handle multiple plots at once, or some jumps from someone running through the woods to someone huddling around a fire. But it happens so often, I have hardly enough time to focus on one thing before the next one gets thrown at me. Hence the ‘I don’t give a shit’ attitude. I have so little time to get acquainted with the characters before my attention is required elsewhere that I don’t have time to develop ‘feelings’, if you will, of any sort. Very few characters get enough screen time for that. Of course, with a cast this large, that’s hard, but then don’t give me dramatic danger/death scenes for the minor characters and expect me to care. Because I don’t.
If the show could linger on individual scenes or situations for a wee bit longer, I’d be so, so happy. I don’t mind spending an entire episode or two watching the group clean the prison and figure out how to make it liveable; I see that anyway, just in little chunks scattered through the season. And if the ‘rebuilding society/creating a new one’ aspect is supposedly so important, it shouldn’t matter whether or not those episodes don’t have breathless chase scenes or whatever. But they do, and I suspect the only reason is ‘don’t make it too boring’. Well, if you think one of the main themes of your show is boring, then maybe you shouldn’t have made that theme a focus in the first place.
Basically, I wish the show wasn’t so erratically jumping around the playing field. Moving the pieces slowly, but consistently, to set up a big confrontation, works better in my opinion for a show that prides itself on being ‘not just about killing zombies’. Because for that, you sure are killing a lot of zombies, whether it’s necessary or not.

 

All in all, I’ll probably keep watching TWD, since it’s on Netflix and we have that anyway. But I probably won’t buy any DVDs or go out of my way to catch the new episodes the day they are released. It’s just not worth the effort and money, and frankly, if the quality keeps declining like this, season 3 might be the last for me. We’ll see.

 

-Ricarda

Edit: Wooo, this is post #100 in this blog. Go me! I think…

Humans suck

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Well, not all of them, and probably even those who do don’t suck all the time, but still. The internet frequently manages to shatter my faith in humanity almost beyond repair T_T

I love being part of a fandom. Fandoms are great. You share something you love with a lot of people (most of whom are awesome), you get to enjoy what you like outside of the original show/book/game/obscure asian film, and you have something to obsess over and discuss in the middle of the night with your best friend who is just as crazy about the show as you are, possibly even crazier.

But then there are the days when I facepalm, headdesk, and do every other possible gesture that expresses an equal amount of embarrassment and “whhhyyy?!”. There are days when I am close to denying every connection I might have to the fandom in question, and pretend I don’t even know what XYZ is. Those are the days when I make the mistake of reading the comments to a fandom-related press release. (Yes, I should know better T_T)

Case in point: An article concerning John Hurt’s role in the next episode of Doctor Who (€dit because d’oh: Of course I mean the 50th anniversary special. Silly me.). Now, if you don’t want to hear, see, read or get signed by a deaf chimpanzee anything about the upcoming series finale, the special, or the series in general, stop reading. Now. I’m serious, go away now, or you will read things you might not want to know. You still here? Okay, I did warn you, don’t blame it on me if your fun gets spoiled.

 

:O

:(

:|

:)

:D

 

Okay, that’s the best I can do. From now on, this is a minefield of possible spoilers.

The article basically states that actor John Hurt (you know, that guy who played Ollivander in the Harry Potter films? Yep, that’s him.) will be in the 50th anniversary special, and he’s going to play the Ninth Doctor. Yes, that’s right. Rumour has it that Christopher Eccleston’s Doctor wasn’t Nine at all, but actually Ten. Which would make David Tennant Eleven, and Matt Smith Twelve. A fact that doesn’t sit well with a lot of fans. Outsiders wouldn’t believe the outrage in the fandom upon this news. Suddenly, the beloved, wonderful show isn’t wonderful at all, canon gets screwed and Steven Moffat is a jerk who has gone mad with power. There is so much hate directed towards him I’m wondering how he can stand going online anymore. People suddenly complain about everything he has ever done with Doctor Who, rant about how he has no right to do all this and that there is a canon to stick to, and even demand he give up his position as a showrunner. All because they don’t like this particular plot twist that might not even happen (after all, this could be a red red herring and not true at all).

Seriously, fandom? -.-

I understand how someone can feel let down by this, even gets a little angry. I mean, come on, I think George Lucas should have left well enough alone and never started “remastering” the original Star Wars trilogy (Han shot first! :P). But they are his films, and he has the right to do with them whatever he wants. Whoever created a piece of art has the right to change it as he pleases whenever the hell he feels like it. No-one can dictate the rules the artist has to stick to (well, unless the artist is paid to deliver a specific piece, but that’s beside the point here). That’s kind of the very definition of art – it comes from the heart and follows no rules.

And now this shouldn’t apply anymore because some condescending pricks don’t like what they get? Being a writer, there is no other answer for me to give than “What the fuck are you douchebags thinking?!” Just because you are fans you think you have the right to expect the creator to be at your beck and call and do exactly what you tell him to do? That’s not how it works, that’s not how it should ever work! Listen up, you may like what you get or not, but that doesn’t give you any right to pressure the creator into making what you think is a “better” and “more logical” decision. The latter one is especially true for Doctor Who. There IS. NO. LOGIC to this show. Whatever canon we think there is is vague at best and most of the time not canon at all. As far as I know, the Doctor never went and announced “I’m the eighth Doctor, don’t you forget!” He doesn’t count at all. I don’t think I ever heard anyone in the show address the “Which regeneration are you? Six or seven?” issue (haven’t seen all the classic episodes, though, so I might be wrong here). So any number we assign to a particular Doctor is purely to keep track of where we are in the Doctor’s life (and that might not even be true, since he could very well have an infinite number of regenerations; we don’t know). So bringing in John Hurt as the real Nine, making the current Doctor Twelve already (and confusing everyone with the whole “fall of the eleventh” thing, which doesn’t make sense anymore if that rumour is true…), is fine, doesn’t go against canon and doesn’t “screw up other writers’ work”, as some people put it. Doctor Who as a show is best summed up by the Doctor’s own words: a ball of wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey stuff. There is virtually no way to defy canon, because there is no canon (other than the Doctor is a renegade Time Lord traveling time and space… yep, I think that’s about it). Hell, the whole regeneration thing was added on a whim because William Hartnell left the show! Talk about double standards here; apparently, “screwing with what came before you” is fine when it’s done before you were even born…

 

This whole thing kind of scares me a little. I usually think it would be really cool to be somewhat famous, have a fandom and all that stuff. But on days like this, I’m not so sure. You are constantly being judged by those people, not just as a writer, director or whatever you are, but as a human being. By people who never even met you. That’s just lousy behaviour. I’m fine with being judged as a writer based on my writing. I’m not cool with people judging me based on the fact that they don’t like what I write. Sure, there will always be people who are not happy with what I can give them (provided that I ever get published), who will call the book they read crappy and move on. But that’s fine, and that’s the mature thing to do. Move on. Don’t cling to your formerly-favourite-I-hope-it-will-be-again show (or, y’know, whatever) like a child and whine about how bad it is nowadays, don’t insult the writer just because he didn’t write a bunch of episodes tailored to your taste, and don’t think you are in a position to actually demand changes in the show just because you are such a loyal fan. If you don’t like it anymore, stop watching. That’s what I did with a couple of shows, with a couple of book series, and even with a few bands I used to love. I didn’t whine and scream and tell them to do what I like because I’m such a huge fan.

 

Sometimes I wonder if creators like the Moff, J.K. Rowling, George Lucas or Stephen King ever look at their fans and are appalled by what they see: A crowd of manic, rabid hatemongers who worship their own version of the source material, denying even the original creator the right to make even the smallest of changes. I think they do. And that’s really sad, if you think about it.

 

I have a great idea for all those idiots out there: Go and make your own show/book/film, get a fandom and watch it turn against you once you do something different than before. Maybe getting a taste of your own medicine will get that notion of fandom omnipotence out of your thick heads…

 

Yes, this was very rant-y. And I do know I did get kind of abusive towards that part of the fandom. But there are days when I don’t feel polite. This is one of them.

Also, you can’t reason with those people. They only respond with more insults. Might as well get a head start on those.

 

 

-Ricarda (now getting dinner and a glass of wine to calm down a bit)

There goes my summer…

Standard

Well, not exactly, but I will watch a lot of TV in the next few weeks. And write again. And move again, too. But… let me just get this stuff into order. Or, well, at least make it less confusing for anyone who isn’t peeking into my mind…

 

I just learned they made Under the Dome into a TV show. First thought was “Sweet!”, second thought was “Who the HELL decided to cast that guy as Dale Barbara?!”. Anyways. Aside from that irrational choice, I’m pretty excited. I liked Under the Dome, and I’m a huge King fan in general. And CBS did produce some of my favourite shows (NCIS, Criminal Minds and How I Met Your Mother being THE best, imho^^). So I’m expecting quite a bit from that show, and will watch it as soon as I can find it.

(Then again, King says he really likes how it turned out, and since the King-based film I like most is Kubrick’s Shining, which King hates… well, we’ll see^^)

Also, I really need to catch up on some other shows I’ve been neglecting to watch the past few weeks. I’ve been avoiding any TV-related Tumblr like the plague ever since this teaser with Tony and Ziva… DO NOT TELL ME ANYTHING, OR ELSE I WILL HAVE TO KILL YOU AND HIDE YOUR BODY IN MY CLOSET!!! /fangirl mode

*achem* What? I never threatened anyone… *whistles*

 

Now, the reason why I can watch so much TV is simple. I ‘m gonna drop out of college as soon as this semester is over. It was a tough decision, but in the end, how much good would it do to follow through with this course of studies when I’d just be unhappy for most of the time and never work in that field, anyway? The reasons why I enrolled here were quite complicated, anyway, and now I reached a point where I have to decide between reason and happiness. My parents taught me to always go for happiness first, money and job security aside. I am a writer, that’s what I’m gonna do for the rest of my life, one way or another. Maybe I’ll never be able to make a living writing novels, but there are so many things to write, I can make do with writing for a magazine or creating content for websites or something.

It’s really odd for me to leave now that I finally made friends here. During my first three years at uni, I barely talked to anyone there, but since I liked what I learned (mostly), that didn’t matter. Now all the nice people here can’t make up for the fact that I hate what I’m learning here. I’m sorry to leave them behind, and thank god for Facebook and the possibility to stay in touch that way, but then again, I’ll see my friends from school a lot more now, and that’s nice, too.

That doesn’t mean I do this without a plan. I’ll look for work I can do from home, and apart from that be a full-time writer. I know how decadent this sounds, and I’m really grateful my parents let me do this. It gives me time to work out where I’m headed, and find a way to both be financially independent and a writer.

 

All that crap means that I have to move. Again. Back into my parents’ house, to boot. I’m dreading the day I have to get all those boxes from the fourth floor (no lift) to the parking lot, into a car, across the country, out of the car and into the basement. I’m a tiny person, I shouldn’t haul around furniture and boxes that weigh as much as I do! T_T

Also, I’ll be moving in July. During NaNo. Ack, whhhyyy? -.-

 

*sighs* It’s a good thing that I only have to take two exams this semester, or else I would have to find a way to avoid sleeping for a month or so…^^

 

 

-Ricarda