doctor strange is a modern updating of a racist trope from the 70s, and so is iron fist, daredevil, elektra, batman begins, tmnt, and on and on
ghost in the shell is something else - it is more like american remakes of godzilla or the grudge, in that it is taking a japanese story about japanese cultural and geographic specificity, and making it about white ppl in america, or, more obnoxiously, white ppl in japan
this makes it closer to that matt damon movie about the indonesian tsunami that was about how matt damon was affected by the indonesian tsunami, or the last samurai, or the great wall, or the wolverine, than your bog standard ‘this white dude is the best hero in america bc of what he brought back from his time in asia’
specifically, the recent american godzilla took the fukushima disaster and said, how could this affect bryan cranston?
and then famously had godzilla - the literal embodiment of japanese cultural trauma from the atomic bombings of hiroshima and nagasaki - swim five thousand miles across the entire pacific ocean so he could smash up san francisco and honolulu, instead of tokyo, and only threaten white ppl, leaving the japanese entirely out of their own stories
scarlett as the major isn’t reenacting an old white trope abt going to asia and coming back with secret knowledge - it’s not lucy two
instead, they took a japanese story, and put a white face on it
I am So Done with these criticisms I keep seeing like “It was good and all but Diego Luna didn’t work for me casting-wise, he was too wiry and soft-spoken, not action-movie enough” and I’m like??? SPY???? That’s the point????
Honestly people need to stop forcing the Hypermasculine Jason Statham Aesthetic bullshit irrelevantly onto characters that bear literally no comparison.
hey, can you break down the differences between the adventure zone and critical role for me? i haven't listened to either and now i'm curious
Oh gosh, okay. They’re delightful but… very different approaches to the same general idea (broadcasting a D&D game), and I think the fans of one show tend to have a sort of skewed impression of the other show, so here’s my thinking.
Just the basics, to begin with: The Adventure Zone started running in late 2014, and it’s an audio-only podcast in which the McElroy brothers and their dad start a brand-new D&D campaign from scratch. Critical Role started running in early 2015, and it’s a video podcast in which a bunch of best-friend voice actors started filming the D&D campaign they’d already been playing for years at home with the same characters. TAZ is (generally) prerecorded and lightly edited down, CR is 100% live. Both have a lot of howlingly funny and surprisingly touching moments, both get a lot more intense the more you get into them, and both are good shows that are a Good Time, especially when they make you feel things you didn’t sign up for. The main canon of TAZ is currently 56 one-hour-long episodes, with new episodes every two weeks, and CR is currently 85 four-hour-long episodes, with new episodes every week. Most of the reason for CR’s absurd length comes down to (a) three times as many players, and (b) no editing.
The DMs both put a ton of work into the world, but they also have very different approaches. Griffin (TAZ) is DMing for the first time, while Matt (CR) has talked about how DMing D&D games for the past 20 years is what got him interested in acting in the first place. The world of TAZ is much more of a sci-fi/fantasy hybrid, while CR sticks more to traditional fantasy.
TAZ plays fast and loose with the rules, which can be both a delight and a frustration for storytelling reasons—for instance, until the latest arc both spell slots and HP were not really tracked, which means (a) Griffin has had to come up with incredibly creative ways of introducing risk and limitations to the game, and (b) those incredibly creative ways can start to get pretty damn brutal. The mechanics of the game feel like an imposition on the story, most of the time—it’s rare that you get a dice roll that makes a huge difference to the plot (but when you do, as in the most recent episode, it’s pretty darn cool). As a result, the biggest spanner in the works of Griffin’s plans tends to be in the form of out-of-the-box thinking from his players, which they excel at; I think there is a tendency to railroad the plot as a result, but it’s a good story and it’s well worth a little bit of elbowing to keep everyone on track. Magical items also play a huge role, with viewers of the show submitting awesome new trinkets for the heroes of the story to use/abuse/completely forget about.
Because CR tilts more towards the rulebook (although Matt gets more than his fair share of shit for homebrewing and letting things slide and defaulting to the Rule of Cool), chance plays a much bigger role in the story. Matt’s simultaneously battling some incredibly creative players and dice that seem determined to roll as dramatically as possible. Entire subplots have been wiped out by a strategic roll, and in order to be able to adapt to that on the fly, Matt has to be hyper-prepared and have a lot of possible branching points. It’s absurdly open-world, especially now that the characters have the ability to travel instantly through different planes of existence, and Matt keeps pace with a story that feels more character-led than DM-led; railroading is practically nonexistent, which means you get incredible plot developments and super-deep characterization… but it also sometimes leads to long circular conversations trying to figure out what to do next. Because the players are all actors, there’s also a lot more that’s just straight-up improv theater: it’s not unusual (especially lately) to go for verrrry long stretches of riveting conversation without anybody rolling dice (I can think of a moment where Matt could’ve just had everyone fail a charisma saving throw against an NPC but instead just straight-up charmed them all in real life with words).
I’ll put it this way: CR is a basketball pickup game between friends who’ve been playing together so long that they kind of have their own home rules going and stick to them. TAZ is out there playing fuckin’ Calvinball. Both are great fun, but if you go into one expecting the other you’re in for a bad time.
Both shows have a lot of great NPCs, although Critical Role’s format gives them a lot more time and depth to shine (there are episodes where an NPC will have as much or more “screen time” than some of the player characters). Both shows have LGBT representation among player characters and NPCs alike that, while not perfect, is generally improving as the show goes on. For me personally, one of the more frustrating things about going from CR to TAZ was going from three female player characters and a metric fuckton of extremely deep characterization for all the female NPCs to no female player characters and many great and memorable female NPCs who nevertheless don’t get too much screentime or development just because of the the structure of the show.
TAZ is pretty shaky throughout the first arc (Griffin’s fighting a bit of an uphill battle getting everyone to sit down and actually play the game, which is funny in and of itself), but things slowly start to come together and the real potential of the show becomes clear once they break the heck out of the 5e Starter Set. I think the “Murder on the Rockport Limited” arc is what started to pull me in, and it’s not until the latest arc that I’m starting to get the character development I really crave in that show. Critical Role also takes a little while to find its footing, and to me the Briarwood arc (starting around episode 24) is where the mood of the show starts to solidify, with episode 40 and beyond really pushing from “this is cool, I’m enjoying how these interpretations of fantasy tropes are sometimes kinda unusual and off-the-wall!” to “how is this the most honest and genuine character development I’ve ever seen in media what the heck is happening here”.
So yeah. TAZ isn’t total chaos with no plot or effort put into it, CR isn’t a humorless wasteland of mathematical minutiae and rigid formulaic approaches. Both shows are great fun, both are IMO in an upswing and getting better and better as they go along, and I heartily recommend them both if you know what you’re getting into. Have fun!
okay but: neil and puns
he makes puns about everything
they’re not even good puns
they’re the super cheesy awful puns
the Foxes love it because every time he makes a pun he gets this smile on his face
and hes so proud of himself
and the Foxes are like loO K at thsi lOoK at O UR sO N heS hAPP Y s O pUr E,,,,,,,,
• wymack’s just like “i don’t get paid enough for this”
• but secretly he enjoys seeing neil smile just as much as the rest of the Foxes ((wymack makes me cry so much okay he is so good and i just,,,, come talk to me about wymack, actual dad™ who has adopted all the Foxes i’m crying i love him so much))
• they can’t bear to tell him that the puns are awful
his favorite thing to make puns about though is how he and andrew met
• “he really swept me off my feet.”
• “he took my breath away”
• “i couldn’t breathe for a full 10 minutes after seeing him”
• and the worst one: “it was like i’d been hit with an exy racket.”
• every time
• every fucking time anyone asks him about how they met
• he will make a super awful pun
• andrew raises the percentage every time he does it
• because what the fuck neil???
• but anyways
• at this point no one knows how they actually met
• they know it was when andrew, kevin, and wymack went to offer neil a spot at PSU
• but that’s it
• even the Foxes don’t know
• they try to pry it out of kevin or wymack (they think neil and andrew would never tell them)
• kevin’s response is “‘why aren’t you focusing on exy, we’re at practice nicky, what the fuck, go play exy"
• or if its a reporter he’ll just stare at them and steer the conversation back to exy
• wymack just walks away
• eventually they give up
• so at first when neil makes a pun out of it they just smile softly like oH my gO D that’s so pure????
• until they see neil smile with that little grin he gets every time he makes a pun
• and andrew rolls his eyes, mutters a number, and walks away
• and they’re like what??? is he making a pun??? what is happening??? how did they meet??? what the fuck neil
• basically neil makes puns and no one knows how andrew and neil met
• nicky: hey andrew how did you and neil meet
• andrew: *rolls his eyes and looks at neil*
• neil: oh he hit me with an exy racket
• foxes: what the fuck
Without actually meaning to, he’d been paying (probably) too
much attention to the way the press referred to Dan and Matt sometimes – the
way “captain Dan Wilds” was sometimes “Matt Boyd’s girlfriend,” or how sometimes
people speculated about “Nicky Hemmick’s boyfriend from Germany.” And when it
came to him and Andrew, Neil didn’t care about labels, not really, or about
what people thought they were to each other. Truthfully, Neil knew that boyfriend wasn’t a sufficient enough
term for their relationship, but it didn’t hurt to tease Andrew once in every
“I am your nothing,” Andrew said, as Neil had expected he
would. He was on the couch, legs pulled up close to his chest with a book balanced
on his thighs.
From his spot on the other end of the sofa, Neil said, “A
rare occasion when you’re wrong,” and bit back his smile. Twisting Andrew’s own
words against him was one of Neil’s favorite pasttimes. “I am your nothing.”
When Andrew said nothing, Neil nudged him with his toes. Andrew
responded with a bored glance before focusing back on his book. Neil crawled
the small space between them and let his head lean against Andrew’s shoulder.
“I am you nothing,
and you are my everything,” Neil said,
knowing Andrew was listening. “You are my team, you are my family, you are my
home. And you’re also my boyfriend.”
A hand turned Neil’s face towards Andrew’s, and Andrew’s
golden eyes were… steady. Searching. “You,” he said, “are everything.”
And Neil knew it was true. It would always be true.