Oct. 2nd, 2015 05:47 pm
meganbmoore: (covert affairs: gimme tv)
[personal profile] meganbmoore
I ended to make full posts on the other pilots I watched, but Real Life interfered.

1. My opinions of Blindspot and Rosewood's second episodes are about the same as my opinions of their pilots.

2. I'm enjoying Minority Report and it's easy on the eyes in various ways, but that's about it so far. The show can't seem to make up it's mind about precrime. It seems to really endorse it and talks about the lives it saved/could save, but then shows how much it sucked for anyone actually involved. Also, Dash comes across as a lot younger that the other precogs, even though Arthur is his twin, and Agatha is close to them in age.

3. I really liked the pilot of Quantico. The male characters are mostly blended together in my head, but I like the ladies a lot, and am interested in theplot. I think it also did a better job setting up the two-timelines structure than a lot of other shows that do that do. Warning for suicide.

4. Scream Queens is awful and racist and classist and ableist and homophobic and thinks all these things are genuinely funny (and, with one or two exceptions, has no room to really interpret it as criticizing the hateful mindsets. It isn't even "This is wrong and you know it's wrong and I know that you know it's wrong so it's ok to do it" [which has plenty of it's own issues].) but I can't stop watching with trainwreck fascination. Also, lots of consent issues with Jamie Lee Curtis's character, because apparently when an older person who regularly uses institutionalized power to coerce people of the opposite sex to have sex with them is a woman, it's funny. I mean, the show knows these people are horrible, they just think their expressions of horribleness are truly funny.

5. How to Get Away With Murder is off to a good start this season, though I'm very disappointed that they're going to do Laurel/Frank again. At least Famke Janssen and her plot came along? I'm choosing not to think about possible interpretations of the flashforwards and am instead focusing on the students (plus Oliver) becoming actual friends. The Connor/Michaela and Laurel/Michaela stuff in particular delight me.

6. I don't know what to make of the direction Empire's plot is going, but at least it's as entertaining as ever.

7. I was close to giving up on Sleepy Hollow after last season, but decided to give the premeire a chance. i liked it more than a lot of Season 2, but it's still a far cry from season 1. At least they remembered that Jenny has spent her entire adult life (when not institutionalized) hunting down magic artifacts, and that Abbie had life goals before Ichabod came along. I enjoyed Shannyn Sossamon and hope that her character actually gets good development. All I really have to say about Betsy Ross so far is that her wardrobe makes Katrina's look historically accurate.

8. Hwajung ended. The first 37 or so episodes were stronger than the later episodes, which involved a lot of timeskips and cramming things in to cover the Sohyeon story and get to the beginning of Hyojong's rein, but I enjoyed it throughout. They ignored everything about the realy Princess Jeongmyung in order to make her a potlically active heroine, but for fictional entertainment purposes, I can't make myself object. Not sure what my next sageuk will be.

10. My airing anime finished (the non-ending of Gangsta. is going to be making me shake my fist for a long time. It wasn't even a cliffhanger ending, it was a "whoops, we forgot to write an ending.") and all I have coming up are the second seasons of K Project and Noragami, unless someone has something I'd like to recommend as things get going.

icons: Wolf Girl and Black Prince

Oct. 1st, 2015 08:22 pm
meganbmoore: (tnkk: get off me i'm reading)
[personal profile] meganbmoore
137 x Wolf Girl and Black Prince 

here ) .

Quick recs

Sep. 29th, 2015 11:17 pm
oyceter: (bleach parakeet of doom!)
[personal profile] oyceter
First, I am sure everyone has heard about this by now, but just in case you haven't or have but didn't check it out yet: Hamilton Original Cast Recording Spotify playlist (or if Spotify doesn't work for you, YouTube). I've been dying to see or listen to this musical since I heard about it a few weeks ago, and now that the soundtrack is out, I can at least listen to it. Lin-Manuel Miranda's mix of hip hop and Broadway and other pastiches (the BritPop!) is amazing, and it reminded me of the excitement of listening to Rent for the first time in the 90s after only having heard Andrew Lloyd Webber and Les Mis. The recitative bits sounds a little like Rent to me, but other than that, Hamilton is entirely its own thing. Also, Thomas Jefferson sports natural hair and purple velvet.

I also saw East Side Sushi over the weekend, a cute indie film about a Latina woman who gets a job in a sushi restaurant and decides to become a sushi chef. The plot is pretty much what you would expect—opposition from her more traditional father, racism and sexism from the Japanese owner, a competition where she Proves Herself—and it sometimes felt a little clunky, but it's extremely charming and features Mexican-Japanese fusion food. It's also filmed in Oakland by a local director, so I got a ton of enjoyment out of seeing familiar places on screen as well.

And I (FINALLY) played through Hatoful Boyfriend, aka the pigeon dating sim, thanks to [personal profile] bluerabbit. Although to be accurate, it's more a piece of post-apocalyptic science fiction masquerading as a pigeon dating sim, which was not what I was expecting. Also, you date pigeons (and other birds). If this interests you and you're generally not into video games, I'd give this a try. It's a visual novel, so there's not that much game play involved aside from making some decisions about who to talk to and etc., and it's worth it to go through all the storylines.

I also mean to rec N.K. Jemisin's The Fifth Season and Zen Cho's Sorceror to the Crown, but I am still holding out hope that I will write actual entries on them.

Schedule, and writing

Sep. 29th, 2015 03:26 pm
jmtorres: Jaye from Wonderfalls; get her words out (write)
[personal profile] jmtorres
So because I'm super terrible at doing things with no deadline I've been contemplating making myself weekly schedule of all the things I want to do and keep failing to get to. It's funny because when I was a kid somebody told my parents I needed more structure, apparently it's true, except that with externally imposed structures it's too easy for me to see the arbitrariness and refute them. I apparently need internally imposed arbitrary structures, I guess. The current iteration of weekly schedule I'm contemplating looks something like:

Sunday: relax, read fanfic
Monday: bake or batch cook (to be replaced by jobhunting after I have done the schedule a week and am okay with the idea of the schedule) (cooking tends to happen on its own, I do get sufficient satisfaction from it to compel myself to do it without a scheduled day)
Tuesday: writing
Wednesday: vidding
Thursday: quilting
Friday: alternate between mending day and cleaning the bathroom top to bottom
Saturday: Knitting for me (there was a knitting for other people item on Friday, but knitting for other people tends to happen without the schedule because those have holiday deadlines mostly, and this list is for items that I want to do but I'm not getting done)

So I looked at the list today to see what I was going to be doing and trying to figure out writing freaked me out and I wanted to switch the days around to do quilting today or something. I think it's okay to alter the schedule for like, workflow reasons? Like I am considering making Saturday the relaxing day and putting a doing something item on Sunday because Saturday my roommates are home from work and I am likely to hang out with them and not do Things, versus on Sunday they are at work and some of these items I feel more comfortable doing without other people around. However I don't think it's okay to change the schedule because on a particular day I don't want to do to thing that's on schedule because if I give into that I will just constantly move the things that I don't want to do into the future and they won't get done and it will thus defeat the purpose of the entire concept.

So even though it's not what I originally meant by writing (I was thinking narrative fiction, probably fanfiction, maybe eventually in the future pro writing, scripts for things I want to produce, when that concept terrifies me less) I decided that writing this entry that's all meta about writing would be my stab at writing for the day. Yay success.

Part of the reason writing narrative fiction caused me to freak out was that I can't pick which story to write. And then part of it is I have notes for different stories, disorganized, stashed in years' worth chat logs, and occasionally I start the project of sorting through chat logs for all the stories or a specific story but it's such a gargantuan project and it doesn't feel like actually writing, prose is not produced. I think it's okay to write a story out of order (although I've never really done so) so I'm going to try to give myself permission to, if I find a scene notated in a chat log that grabs me, translate it into the narrative prose on the spot without finishing the gargantuan project of sorting all the chat logs because I can't finish that project first and then start writing, even though I feel like that's the right order to do things, because doing that just puts off writing indefinitely.

The other thing I want to do today is pick a limited set of all the stories I'm interested in writing, with and eye to limiting how many years of chat logs I need to sort through to get my data. My most recent plotbunny-generating fandoms are Teen Wolf and Cherryh's Foreigner series, and my participation in Teen Wolf extends back a sufficient number of years that I'm not willing to put all of my plotbunnies for that show on this limited list, there's too many, there's too much volume of chat log to go through.

So the stories I'm willing to look at and work on are:

–Wolf wife, a sort of fairytale deconstruction I was working on at the end of last year/beginning of this year which I actually wrote a few thousand words of narrative prose for and planned out to the actual ending. That's only about two months of logs to look through and the existing readable prose might encourage me to write more.
–Bren-daja, an AU of the Foreigner series in which the protagonist is female instead of male, featuring menstruation in science fiction, cross cultural discussions of queerness with aliens, and chocolate smuggling. I don't believe I wrote any narrative prose on this but it's a plotbunny I had this year so all the chat logs should be like January through May, and I think I outlined it all the way to the conclusion as well.
–The Yes Story, a magical allegory on consent and also one manifestation of an archetype of a story I have had plotbunnies for across multiple fandoms, and also a wallow in whumping and hurt/comfort for when I have depressive moments and need something external to be sad about (this happened last month when I was having my downswing, I started thinking about this story and poked chat logs, and had the funny realization that it was much less distressing to focus on the terribleness of Stiles under a curse than to feel like everything in my life was terrible. Especially when I had crying for no reason days. Crying over a story feels much less broken than crying for no reason because depression. So I don't want to focus on this story all the time but I sort of want it to be there when I need it, and to be on this list of stuff I can poke.) These logs go back to April 2013 so that's a longer chunk of data and will be intermixed with other stories like Magic Rituals that I might also get distracted by, but at least this one is also outlined beginning to end. (It actually came into the world fairly fully formed, the first scene I thought very much about was the end when Stiles and Lydia are burning the body and breaking the curse. I was driving from LA to Phoenix and that scene playing in my head was sort of an odd companion, yet still better than when I let my brain wander down dark depressive holes, which it can do when I'm on a long drive alone at night--I need to keep a better collection of audiobooks and radio plays and maybe podcasts for that drive, they're the best distraction from the inside of my own brain.)

icons: Devious Maids

Sep. 27th, 2015 01:21 pm
meganbmoore: (dm: ot4 at pool)
[personal profile] meganbmoore
151 x Devious Maids 

here ) 

The Bastard Executioner pilot

Sep. 25th, 2015 03:38 pm
meganbmoore: (archer)
[personal profile] meganbmoore
I've never seen Sons of Anarchy, and was lukewarm about the premise of The Bastard Executioner (you could practically sense the Grim and Gritty "Realisticness" and Tragically Dead Wife even before the trailers came out) but gave it a chance in hopes that I'd have a new medieval show that I didn't need subtitles to fully understand, and because I actually would like more stories set in this period. Also, I've been surprised by loving shows I didn't expect to love before.

Set in Wales in the 14th Century and focusing on the conflict between the Welsh and English after the Madog ap Llywelyn rebellion. Wilkin Brattle, and English knight, is left for dead on the battlefield, has mystical visions, and several years later, is living in a Welsh village with a pretty, pregnant blonde wife who you know will be dead soon as soon as you see her, because you can already tell it will be That Kind of Show, even if you knew nothing about it going in.

The opening scene is a disjointed flashback that looks like a cheap SyFy movie with Bad FX that takes itself too seriously. For some reason, there's a completely contextless closeup of a woman's naked butt about halfway through the flashback. We were clearly leading up to a Mystical Vision so I was expecting the vision to come in the form of a naked goddess or whatever telling him he has a Special Destiny. Which happens, except that she's fully clothed. Why was there random and contextless (unless by "context" you mean "the further out shot of the naked woman before the closeup to make sure no one missed the fact that they were staring at a woman's naked butt") nudity? Did they just want to make sure they squeezed some nudity into the pilot?

(I mean, on screen nudity isn't my thing, but I don't have any problems with it. Unless it's just there for nudity's sake.)

Mostly, I was bored. It's more concerned with gritty and brutal than characterization. It's historical fiction about mostly fictional characters and heavily implied magic and mystic, prophetic visions and you can mostly tell who the main characters will be by whether or not they appear to own a bathtub (granted, not frequently used, but definitely cleaner) and a hairbrush, but wants to be regarded as giving an accurate portrayal of history because people are dirty and the violence is graphic and women, children and the elderly are brutally murdered to give the able bodied young men a vengeful mission. Based on the pilot, it's another case of a show using "But history!" to justify graphic violence and gore and people being awful and things mostly being about white dudes and women being secondary and/or dead, while using actual history for little more than inspiration and setting.

don't get me wrong, I love tons of historical fiction with loads of inaccuracies and like when things try t be a little closer to actual history, but it's always telling what choices the narrative makes in what "history" it wants to include/emphasize.)

I did get a little more interested when it focused on the apparent female lead, a welsh woman who is married (apparently against her will, but making the best of it) to an English baron (AKA The Villain), but not much more interested.

It has an interesting setting that isn't explored a lot in fiction and the historical conflict is interesting with tons of potential for interesting drama, but the actual show was "meh" for me.

ETA:  Also watched the pilot of Minority Report.  It was ok?  I spent most of it wondering if it was condemning or advocating the precog program, and despite enjoying watching Meagan Good, I didn't really find it very interesting until the last scene.  i'll watch more to see how it goes.

Scream Queens is now the only aired pilot I have left to check out, I think.

Rosewood pilot

Sep. 24th, 2015 09:08 pm
meganbmoore: (kajol)
[personal profile] meganbmoore
Rosewood is the latest in the long line of Genius/Wrangler procedurals. Dr. Beaumont "Rosie" Rosewood Jr. is an independent pathologist who sometimes works with the Miami PD. When his mother asks him to look into the death of a young woman she knew, he ends up working with Detective Annelise Villa, who recently returned to Florida after working in New York. Because he was born 3 months premature, Rosie has a litany of health problems, including holes in his heart that are expected to kill him within the next 10 years.

Plotwise, it's a fairly standard procedural so far, but the cast is really good, and the characters are fun. Rosie is less of an overgrown manchild than the male leads in these shows tend to be, and actually is almost as charming as he thinks he is, though I'm more inclined to give credit for that to Morris Chestnut than the writing. Rosie works with his sister, Pippi, and her fiancee, Tara, and they are adorable. Mamma Beaumont doesn't get as much development as her children, but she's played by Lorraine Toussaint, and is therefore great. I really liked Villa, but feel that keeping the reveal about her past secret until the end of the episode created a bit of a distance between her and the audience (at least for me) so I didn't feel like I got as much of a feel for her as I did for Rosie.

I'm sure people are already dismissing it as a generic cop show that is only getting attention for the mostly POC cast (because there could never ever be a reason for having a mostly POC cast than to get attention), and, as I mentioned earlier, it is a fairly standard procedural, with Rosie's medical condition being the main thing to set it apart. I found it pretty engaging and fresh feeling, though it may be one that I stop watching weekly after a while and switch to bingeing when the season is over, as that's how I engage with procedurals more often than not. Hopefully it won't be another show I like that gets cancelled after half a season. (The TV gods were too kind to me last year with renewals. I just know they're waiting to strike me down.)

Blindspot pilot

Sep. 23rd, 2015 08:08 pm
meganbmoore: (when princesses grow fangs)
[personal profile] meganbmoore
Like most people I know, I think, I mostly checked this out because I like Jaime Alexander.

A naked, amnesiac woman is found in a bag in times square, and is taken to the FBI. Her entire body is covered in tattoos, one of which is the name of an FBI agent, Kurt Weller. It's quickly discovered that the tattoos are new, and that at least one refers to a crime that hasn't occurred yet.

While the trailers for the show were all"nekkidchicknekkidchicknekkidchick lookit nekkid chick" the show, at least, portrays it as traumatic (waking up with no memories with multiple strangers viewing your body and the possibility that someone covered you with tattoos without your consent) but they had her undress way too much. I mean, she doesn't have to be naked multiple times to show that she's traumatized. Hopefully they got that out of their system with the pilot. (Another thing I hope they got out of their system is some of the painfully over-earnest dialogue they had Jaime Alexander spout. I mean, the character's painful earnestness makes sense, but some of the dialogue got so into it that I cringed a bit.)

The FBI characters are also treating her as a trauma victim with possible PTSD, as opposed to a suspicious figure. I mean, I do thing they're suspicious of her, but depsite the poking and prodding and photographing of tattoos, they're treating her more carefully and respectfully than TV has lead me to expect in recent years. That's a good thing.

Alexander's character is given the name "Jane Doe" by the FB but, uhm, I wonder if anyone bothered running names by her? It's established that, when presented with something specific and familiar, she can recognize it in a general way (she remembers languages when presented with them, has tactile memories, etc) so you'd think these people so eager to help her remember things and feel safe would at least let her choose what to be called.

Also, the main dude is 100% generic Super FBI Agent. Like, the pilot doesn't even try to give him any distinguishing characteristics, aside from not making him as jerkish as the type is in other shows. They're already going "look, UST!" between Weller and Jane, and I'm not really comfortable with having a future romance for Jane even lightly pushed when so much of the episode focused on her trauma and vulnerability. Hopefullly, they'll let Jane heal and find herself some before pushing her into any kind of romantic relationship.

There are lots of POC in the cast, but the pilot also had a lot of racefail re: Chinese people. And also realizing that Mandarin and Cantonese aren't the same language.

I should also warn that, after the opening scene in which Jane comes out of the bag naked and is forced to her knees by a police officer at gunpoint, the show cuts to Weller being introduced in an operation where women (at least 2, maybe more) are abused and kept chained in a house. Either scene is rough, but the two in combination might be too much for some viewers. It almost was for me.

I've seen comparisons to both Person of Interest and The Blacklist. I have'nt touched POI since they did that one thing in season three (and then comments one of the creators made about that thing) but the "clues to solve crimes before they happen" aspect is certainly there. Never watched The Blacklist though.

Verdict: I like it enough to keep watching, as long as they do a good job with Jane as a character, don't have awful race stuff every episode, and the mystery/conspiracy unfolds in a way I like.
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