i think he was good as a writer but is bad as a showrunner

Supernatural's Narrative Structure Throughout the Years

Supernatural has seen four showrunners (with one consistent one throughout, Robert Singer), which are: Eric Kripke, Sera Gamble, Jeremy Carver and now, Andrew Dabb.  At the beginning, the show focused on a more simplistic method of storytelling; the protagonists Sam and Dean Winchester went up against urban legends while looking for their elusive father.  Twelve seasons later and this pilot season marks the only true exception to the show’s narrative structure. Starting in season 2 the show adopts a method of storytelling known as the A/B/C structure.  There is a “A” plot (known as the show’s “mytharc”), its “B” plot (its character development arc, usually shown through the lens of Dean Winchester, but the show frequently, especially in its later years, shows this through others), and then finally, its “C” plot, which exists in the form of “filler episodes” referred to as “Monsters of the Week”, or MOTW for the purposes of the meta writing community.  And it is through this mirrored structure that the complete story of Supernatural is told.

Dean Winchester is the show’s lens of righteousness (earlier on, but this shifts from time to time) and it is through him that the adopted structure of the show reveals both its strength and weakness.  Dean has learned not to talk about his hard life and frequently when he is begged to share his feelings, they are dismissed (unfortunately by Sam, Bobby, and Cas at various points) in favor of the show’s enforcement of toxic masculinity (oh, drama!) to maintain such structure needed to support a static two lead format.  Instead of Dean talking about his feelings, they are told through the show’s MOTW characters and situations.  This process is referred to as “the ‘C’ plot mirrors the ‘B’ plot”, discussed further in length here.  Because of the various degrees of repression carried by our main characters, the show uses other characters to tell their stories with words.  The show often also creates whole characters to represent ideas, both simple (Bela Talbot, S3) and complex (Amara, S11).  Almost every character that is not Sam and Dean, especially in later seasons, is created and crafted to tell the story of them.  This creates situations where the show is frequently problematic in its social message/image because it’s using a multitude of diverse characters to tell the story of two white textually straight male leads, and then later, its two most often recurring regulars.  Because these things are not socially equal, the show endures quite a lot of justified criticism as a result.

Bela Talbot is the first structural case of simple mirroring being done (although her character was requested at the behest of the network, true, the manner in which they utilized her is entirely significant).  I think it’s first important, however, to talk about how Kripke crafted the show using the structure.  He talked about how in the end he wanted good Dean versus bad Sam.  This, of course, focuses the early structure of the show to align Sam with darkness and damning decisions. All of season two pushes Sam onto a dark path exploring his cursed demon blood powers while Dean tries desperately to stop this.  Season 3 introduces Bela, a narrative mirror for Dean to show what would happen to Dean if Sam wasn’t in his life.  She IS DEAN, but WITHOUT a Sam in her life.  And for her, this spells doom as she desperately tries to avoid the fate of her deal with a Crossroads Demon.  The structure of the season is simple.  Bela was supposed to die while Dean is saved from his deal’s fate by Sam, effectively showing that while Sam is doing some dark things, that they are justified through the means to save Dean (a common thing Supernatural would come to depict).  This, of course, doesn’t get to happen.  The writers strike of 2007-08  forces Kripke to abandon this structure in favor of simply sending Dean to Hell.  Our first attempt at a predictive narrative structure thus fails.  It is not discarded, however, and our first successful implementation of it is in season 4.

In season 4 the writers are met with the tough task of getting Dean quickly outta Hell and angels are introduced.  This would prove to be a major turning point in the show’s success and its ultimate current structure some 9 seasons later.  The introduction of angels, while initially desired to be temporary was fully embrace with the introduction of Castiel as portrayed by Misha Collins.  This mythology introduction gave Kripke the perfect way to have good Dean versus bad Sam  in the form of Michael versus Lucifer, and old tell of rebellious siblings confronting one another in an ultimate fight.  Thus, the show begins its structure towards this alignment, with the demon Ruby pulling Sam towards Lucifer and Castiel pulling Dean towards Michael (or, well, stopping Sam, as pulling Dean towards Michael is actually a goal of Zachariah in Season 5 instead of it being a goal of Castiel). 

In season 4, all the characters (even Sam and Dean) and episodes (frequently showing the release of “seals” which bind Lucifer) are being used as functions towards a single goal, the release of Lucifer.  It was a simple and clean straight forward structure that allowed flow into a cohesive storyline, which remains the best of Supernatural’s structure and storytelling even to this day imo, It also allowed individuality (and the exploration of what it means to have humanity) to blossom within the addition of Castiel (originally only slated to be a 3 episode character), though the character could still be simplified into Dean with Sam’s bad choices.  Castiel would not start becoming his own character (instead of a character mirror or narrative concept) until much later in the series, though he would still be often regaled to simply serving the “B” plot of Dean, eventually getting a permanent “B” plot with him, thus cementing his importance in Dean’s life and the show’s newer complex structure.  

Season 5 saw the end of Kripke’s vision, but with one problem.  The show was getting a renewal.  We can see through season 5’s structure that Kripke intended Sam and Dean to die together in the Devil’s hole, unable to kill one another due to their love.  Against renewal and in an effort to salvage the sacrifice structure, we are instead introduced to Adam, a half brother who would instead receive Dean’s fate.  The season builds and compounds a sense of hopeless in our characters, both desperate to not play a part in Heaven’s games. Our mytharc and MOTW episodes in season 5 exist to drive this sense of compounding inevitability.  It is a structure not as clean as season 4’s but mainly because it has the same problem as season 3’s: the ending had to be changed. But meanwhile the show had another problem: where do you go after the Apocalypse? It would not be a problem tackled by Kripke, but instead Gamble, as Supernatural experienced its first showrunner change.  

With the departure of Kripke came the beginning of structural chaos and uncertainty.  Season 6 is driven by questions that seemingly have no answer against a plot that had just been done.  The Apocalypse was being put back on the rails and Castiel was dealing with it mostly offscreen, unlike Sam and Dean who, as leads, got to deal with it visibly in every episode in season 5.  This caused the audience to not experience the sense of urgency and desperation that Castiel is going through and it proves to be a structural weakness throughout the whole season as Sam and Dean deal with the fallout of Castiel’s righteousness in the form of Sam’s hell damage from his damaged soul in the cage and Crowley’s experiments on monsters, which is seemingly without purpose until the end of the season draws near.  Banished of Lucifer, the recurring addition of Crowley provides the show with a central point in which Hell will now operate going forward.  This is the season in which Castiel begins the pattern making the mistakes of Sam.  And it is from this point that the show’s mirrored storytelling reaches new heights, most of which are predictable, unfortunately.  Just as Sam and Dean release Lucifer, Cas releases the Leviathan into the world and thus we are shuttled into season 7, Apocalypse 2.0, monster edition instead of Heaven.  

Season 7 saw the ultimate weakness of the two lead structure, while the show headed down an already trotted path against massively failing ratings.  It is here that they killed off both Bobby and Castiel while dumping a massive amount of emotional baggage onto Sam and Dean from which the show seemed unlikely to recover from, buried in the Friday Night death slot.  The season introduced a true structured  “B” plot for Dean and Cas, but it remained in the mirrored structure only, seeing as how Cas was effectively DEAD.  It is given in the form of grief and suffering, as per Gamble’s favored depiction of the show.  Not only were things hopeless, but everyone Sam and Dean cared about were dead (oh look, it’s season 13′s premise as well!).  The structures of Gamble era were driven by primarily with a focus towards sorrow and while it’s true that the Leviathans (as compared to the totally delightful, but utterly senseless wanderings of season 6) were an interesting metaphor for corporate America’s greed and monstrosity, this did little to enrich and progress Sam and Dean as characters who were headed for anywhere except death.  And it is here we enter Carver era.

Carver era saw the dawn of a new light in the show.  It is often called a reboot of the show.  Castiel was back, Netflix produced a new influx of viewership, and the show had more or less cemented itself into the CW fold, renewed late and against all hope from grave of Friday night.  Conventions and streaming media provided a life line that gave way to a new form of structure on the show: precised mirrored storytelling in the form of a (possible, likely) three act structure.  In Carver era, (unlike its predecessors) things became driven by a repetitive thematic means and the genre of the show was shifted to something with an adventure tone.  The Winchesters were going to close the Gates of Hell! Instead of reactive, our characters were thrust into being proactive.  This shifted the structure onto choice… and consequence.  Every detail fed into this: pop culture references, color coding within the visual framework, characters created that represented specific emotional struggles for our characters to interact with and conquer (or die through).  Season 8 is easily compared to Star Wars episode IV in terms of its place in Carver Era.  While Star Wars episode IV could function as a stand alone (seeing as the show didn’t realize the introduction of its lifeline yet), it was made to function as part of a beginning of a much longer and detailed story.  

Once again in season 8 Sam and Cas began to take on the role of pushing the mytharc along, with Sam completing the Hell trials to close the Gates and Cas breaking Heaven’s control over him to close the Gates of Heaven.  The role of Castiel (while visually is reduced from seasons 4, 5 and 6), in relation to his relationship with Dean, becomes significant.  A vast number of narrative structural mirrors are put into place to frame the relationship a certain way, and they are definitively romantic in nature.  The Dean/Cas relationship then begins to be told exclusively through interspecies romantic relationships, with a significant amount needing to break some kind of hold over a supernatural being, reflecting Naomi’s reprogramming of Castiel to kill Dean (8x11-8x17). The text and subtext of this season is further queer coded to a significant degree, evident very early on by reference to such works as Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (8x03), among many others.  Carver was taking the Dean/Cas relationship very seriously and it was a showrunning decision that would drive the storyline in structure just as much as the Dean/Sam one going forward, even after his departure.  Cas, meanwhile, is given a lot of structural baggage to explain away his absence as a regular instead of a lead. Not that he wasn’t crafted this way before, but soon a structural decision would come that tied both the Dean/Cas storyline and the Dean/Sam one together in a way that would prove inseparable. The choices made in the season 8 finale (with both Cas and Sam trying to leave Dean alone) are the consequences that would fester and bleed into the new season and the rest of Carver era.  

Consequences.  Choice. “I did what I had to…”

Under higher ratings than the show had had in YEARS, season 9 began, along with my structural meta series, The Divine Reviews, where I sought to document the show’s new structure (mostly how serious it was taking the newly active Destiel “B” plot from its former place as a grief standalone storyline).  9x01-9x03 represents a tying of the storylines for Sam/Dean and Dean/Cas in a way that makes it impossible to talk about one without the other, structurally speaking. Dean can deal with Cas leaving him, but only if Sam is alive.  And when push comes to shove, Dean will sacrifice Cas’ safety and position at his side if it means the survival of Sam.  The weight of this realization falls heavily on Dean and is the structural source of grief that falls around a season full of rape metaphors as Dean tricks Sam into not dying through the angel Gadreel’s possession of Sam.  For the first time, the show makes it uncomfortable to side with Dean (unless you like the fact that Dean will force his will on Sam to keep him alive) and Dean starts down a dark path of self hatred the likes of which the show has never delved into to such a striking degree.  This self hatred structurally manifests as the Mark of Cain and Dean’s decision to take it on without warning of consequence represents a significant turning point in the show’s structure.  Dean begins to carry the mytharc and the metaphor within, with significant structure weight put into the fact that Dean can’t bother to feel guilt for his actions, understandable as they are.  Dean and Cas thus begin a new romantic structure, one where lovers are torn apart by family duty (this is, perhaps, most laughably shown in 9x20 in the failed Bloodlines pilot episode that gives us heterosexual interspecies couple Violet/David who even mirror Destiel dialogue into their relationship of star crossed lovers separated by things beyond their control).  

Post midseason finale in season 9, narrative mirrors begin in earnest that take the foreshadowing for Dean to die into high gear.  These are vague and non-specific, however, with the decision to turn Dean into a demon through the Mark of Cain being made late into the season.  The death of Abaddon (and the possibility that she would simply possess him) seals Dean’s structural fate, as he is killed by what it narratively represents, the block to his character development. It is here that the show hits a structural sag in season 10, with the Mark of Cain being structurally translated into a variety of narrative woes: a disease that infects Dean’s heart, a catalyst which amplifies Dean’s already weary and repressed soul, a force from which there is no destruction and no relief.  

Season 10 represents a failure to find a single avenue to character development in Dean.  Supernatural didn’t know how to solve it’s own created problem.  And while Dean’s death was given several avenues in season 9 from which to walk down, the same meandering does not look all together acceptable as it was before.  For the first time Crowley is woven into the structural storytelling, carrying Dean away, just as Hannah does to Cas, leaving Sam alone to solve the problem of Dean, who is given the structural task of avoiding Cain’s fate, which saw him kill his wife and brother, Cas and Sam respectively in our structure.  The season, rather than focusing on the underlining cause of Dean taking the Mark of Cain, focuses instead on Dean avoid its fate.  This culminates in Dean beating Cas nearly to death just as Cain kills his wife.  Cas avoids such fate, however, and begins a more passive stance in the narrative, supporting Sam, instead, who must now fill the role of Abel in our structure.  Dean is ordered to kill Sam to avoid further complications from the Mark of Cain, which is revealed to be an age old lock to something ambiguously called “the Darkness”. Dean is, of course, unable to kill Sam, and kills Death instead and then we are given our final structural form of the decision to take the Mark of Cain in the form of Amara, God’s sister.

At this point, the Dean/Cas storyline has been given lover/wife mirrors for going on 3 seasons now.  Cas is continuously coded as Dean’s “wife” by all structural elements within SPN’s mirrored storytelling.  Their relationship has been given much structural depiction and weight, which continues on into season 11 against the false lover, Amara.  I talk extensively about the child abuse and sex abuse mirrors involving Amara and how they relate to Dean’s stolen childhood here.  It is here, after 2 seasons of the same storyline, that the Mark of Cain character developmental structure has been given its final form, but sadly, would not see its end, not yet.  

We see Dean’s helplessness towards his structural development in the form of Amara’s control over him.  And with Amara comes our third sibling vs sibling mirror in the form of God versus Amara (the previous being Michael versus Lucifer and Cain versus Abel), Supernatural’s go to depiction for Sam and Dean’s histories and averted futures.  The season’s structure builds towards the inevitable appearance of God to stop Amara, who has justifiable reasons to be angry as Hell.  Supernatural has, at this point, painted itself into a bad corner. There’s no bigger storyline it can go to and it is faced with the monumental task of resolving not only God and Amara, but everything that their struggle represents, Dean’s stolen life at the hands of his father.  Supernatural would now face a different structural problem, however.  

The network would not allow them to kill God.  And while I have no absolute certainty from which to draw on here, I can only guess that either Amara was going to die also, most possibly to restore balance to the universe as Chuck’s death would cause everything to be destroyed.  We never get to know the truth of the structure as Chuck is effectively only injured, not killed.  And Amara makes the choice to heal him and forgive him instead of them sharing oblivion together.  Amara then gives Dean back the thing she determines he needs most: his mother.  And it is here that Dabb era officially begins, having shadowed the running of the show at the end of the season following the silent departure of Carver.  

Season 12. With a character development arc for Dean already 3 seasons in the making, Dabb is given the monumental showrunning task of “where do you go after God leaving?”  A smaller scale mytharc is given in place of the sweeping epic of Carver era.  The British Men of Letters are introduced as a way of shaping Sam into being a leader among the American hunters.  Dean, however, continues on the structural development path of confronting the thing that prevents him from feeling he only deserves to go down swinging.  Mary is fleshed out as a person though she and Castiel continue to suffer from the show’s inability to switch to an ensemble cast, which is, at this point, a point of long regarded contention among many fans.  

Mary and Cas begin to mirror each other (as we contemplate their significance to Dean) and drive the story, each wishing to make amends and give Sam and Dean a world they feel is best without asking how Sam and Dean feel about it. This sees Mary siding with the British Men of Letters and Cas pursuing Lucifer in an attempt to cage him once more, having let him out to deal with Amara last season in another attempt to save Dean from action (Cas’ need to die for the Winchesters is a plotline that’s long overdue for resolution).  We see Mary being made to earn her place as family through her realizing why Cas already has.  It is the most passive Sam and Dean have ever been in the structure, with everything mostly driven by Mary and Cas along with the overall theme of what it means to truly love and sacrifice to earn the label of “family”.  For this, Cas is given a structural death sentence.  And Supernatural delivers, painfully.  A portal to another world is opened up courtesy of Jack, the nephilim of Lucifer and it is here that Dabb era ultimately takes us: a new world of possibilities.   The same can not, however, be said of the show’s narrative structure, which seems to be on a one way road and has been for a long, albeit slow, time.  

Dean has forgiven Mary for setting him on the path to have a robbed childhood, effectively wrapping up the long drawn out Mark of Cain storyline.  Forgiveness. Love. Family. New beginnings. These are the themes that run through Dabb era. Dean is finally given everything and then within the space of one episode it has been taken away.  The nephilim introduces the show to once again ask the age old question: “nature or nuture?”, as Sam and Dean are forced to deal with an unprecedented force thrust upon them in their moments of grief, well, mostly Dean’s grief, according to the PR around the new season.  Like Carver before him, Dabb era looks to be using a three act structure, with Carver’s final serving as Dabb’s beginning.  This would place season 13 quickly through the realms of Star Wars V-VI.  Things are bleak, hope has quickly been lost, the lover has been taken and the family has been torn apart.  A dark empire looms.  And it is here that Dabb era continues, which has many threads still needing tending.

A reason to live.  

This is what Castiel needs to be given once he comes back. Not just a reason to die, but a reason to not leave Dean.  Dean telling him he’s “family”, that he’s their “brother”, that Dean simple “needs” him… none of this has worked, has been enough to get Cas to stay.  The effective elimination of “guardian” saw Cas throwing himself into another guardianship role upon the rejection of the label by Dean.  For a long time now, Supernatural structure has been crafted around the parameters which would make Dean happy, condemning all actions by characters that go against this and helping Dean eliminate the roadblocks to his own happiness.  Mary and Cas made the wrong decisions to save Dean from pain and are thus punished by the narrative for such actions.  It is here, in Dabb era, that the Winchesters are finally made to contemplate the actions of others towards their survival and they are made to suffer for it, Dean more than Sam.  

The return of Cas, we are told, will represent a turning point for Dean.  And while Sam tries to get the nephilim to reopen the door to the world where they lost their mother, the nephilim himself will be made to question what makes him who he is.  Like Sam, he is given powers he can’t control and like Dean, he doesn’t want to become his father (all according to the PR anyway).  Jack is effectively painted as a mirror for both Dean and Sam to reflect upon themselves and their actions, the power of their choices.  I’m sure Cas will experience the same kind of narrative mirror in Jack, but only time will tell for sure on that one.  As getting Mary back falls mostly to Sam (Dean having thought her to be dead), I can only guess that getting Cas back will mainly be a plot for Dean, Sam having been regaled to Dean’s support on all things Cas by reassuring him for a while now.  And while Dean and Cas are no longer being portrayed by same sex/interspecies/lover mirrors by the narrative anymore (in favor of sibling mirrors) I think a great deal can be gleamed by seeing exactly how Dean handles his death (as opposed to the other times). To push the sibling mirrors of 12x11 and 12x20, one would think they wouldn’t burn his body, much like Sam and Dean never burn one another’s, but I doubt this is the case, as the text has been pulling Dean in mostly one way towards Cas, though how clear the show will be is always a matter of speculation, but they haven’t honestly given themselves much room on this, structurally speaking (though we all have seen how Supernatural sometimes betrays its structure for various reasons, as noted above several times).  

It’s hard to say what, if anything, Michael’s desire will translate into in the broader sense of the structure.  I just don’t know enough to even take a guess except to maybe say it’s showing the difference in Sam and Dean’s view of the nephilim (Sam wanting to control/use him, and Dean wanting to kill him), in the form of Michael versus Lucifer but that is simply not a sustainable structure.  It is clear, however, that the apocalypse world in general is meant to serve as visual shorthand in the realigning of Sam and Dean as moral centers in the Supernatural universe.  While it was hard to side with Dean’s actions in Carver era post S9 (and Lord knows, the show almost lost me), it is quite easy to see here that without Sam and Dean, things would be so, so much worse.  Mary’s fate is also a murky matter.  One would guess that since she is a part of Dean’s happiness in having a whole family, that she is essential to keep alive (Dean seeking her to talk about his feelings and such) and that the show would not kill her being that it’s gotta be close to its end.  The show’s failure to promote Sam Smith to regular does not work to Mary’s favor in terms of survival (especially since it promoted Jack and Lucifer to regulars instead).  It could be that the show plans to transplant her onto the spinoff at the end of the season but I’m not sure that’s the case, obviously.  

And while I think the show will toe the line with the nephilim being good or bad, I think he’ll ultimately be good, or rather, do something good, perhaps in the Apocalypse world.  The structure simply demands it.  With a big bad like Michael potentially coming to our world there’s really little room for Jack to ultimately be bad, too.  I’m sure he’ll have some set backs, but there’s really only one logical way the show can go there.  It will be interesting to see how much Mary drives the story this year, but I’m guessing she won’t much and neither will Cas.  I think Sam and Dean’s interaction with the nephilim will do this instead, which means he’ll need to give them each something they want.  For Sam this is Mary and for Dean this is Cas.  Meanwhile, Dabb has given the show a good lifeline in the mythology sense in the form of a multiverse.  Instead of closing doors like his predecessors, he has quite literally opened them.  For Supernatural’s narrative structure, it’s a whole new world.

Why I want to stop watching the Blacklist (a.k.a., A Rant by Me)

This used to be my favorite show. Hands down. I would legitimately schedule things around it; I would leave events early to make sure I could watch it live; I would post about it on Tumblr and read other people’s posts the rest of the evening; I would search through multiple review site’s posts the next day.

I loved the dynamic between Red and Liz. I loved the mysteries and the little morsels of answers that we would get. I loved how, in the S1 finale, it felt like no one was safe: Meera got killed; Harold got attacked and nearly killed; Tom was shot and left for dead.

But, over the past few seasons, this show has become the bane of my TV-watching experience.

I would watch it, sure. But that was because I didn’t want the folks on Tumblr spoiling it for me. It was because I thought we were finally getting answers – which is what they teased us with every other week – only to feel so disappointed.

This last year, I made reaction videos for a friend of mine for every single episode. You know what one of the most commonly said things in those videos is? “Well, at least next week’s preview looks good.” Only to be disappointed in that episode, and to say the same thing about next week’s preview, and the cycle repeated itself until we actually got a half-way decent episode (which was usually some kind of finale or premiere, because that’s the only time actual shit can happen – during Sweeps Week).

Over and over again, both online and in person, I compared this to those scenes in cartoons where someone puts a carrot on a fishing pole in front of a donkey, and the donkey runs so hard to reach the carrot, only to never get there.

That’s how this show has felt the past season or two.

It’s only a shadow of what it once was, and I’m tired of it. I wish I could stop watching it.

So many other people I follow on Tumblr have said they’ve either stopped or thought about stopping. By comparison, Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad and the Walking Dead seemingly increase their viewership every season; the Blacklist has been NBC’s lowest-rated show in the demo for the last year, IIRC. The ratings for the Redemption spin-off were so low, the showrunners tried to pass it off as a one-off miniseries, when it was ALWAYS intended to be its own full-length show.

I understand that the show does well in DVR viewership numbers, and it was the most expensive TV show that Netflix had purchased when Season 1 was released.

But, this show continues to disappoint me. There’s hardly anything I like about it anymore. Hell, even James Spader, who’s a master at his craft, seems to be bored with it. His monologues are becoming more and more cliche, and even his amazing performances can’t save this dumpster-fire.

Its protagonist, Liz, is all over the fucking place in terms of characterization. First, she was naive and learned her “husband” had used and abused her. Then, she went to the dark side, chained him up on a boat and said she’d never forgive him for what he’d done. Then, she apparently forgave him, slept with him, had his kid, tried to remarry the guy, and then faked her death to get away with him and is now living her happy dream life with her little girl and her ‘perfect’ husband.

What happened to the dark, morally questionable, grungy Liz? What happened to the Liz who was jaded and afraid after being on the run for several weeks, or months?

She just settled down with a guy who she used to hate and she’s living the dream.

What in the literal fuck?

And, for all the time that has been invested in Liz, she has made little to no progress in her characterization these past few seasons. In fact, she’s done more of a 360. She’s right back where she started, more or less.

Why should the audience give a shit about her journey if she’s not making any progress? Why should we care that, halfway through this show, she has everything she’s ever wanted?

The side characters, like Aram, Samar, Ressler, Cooper and others are there just to serve the plot. Any time there’s a semblance of some character development or plot progression, the showrunners regress everyone back to Stage One so we can do it all over again. Aram and Samar look like they’re making progress in their possible romantic relationship? Fuck that, we’ve got to make sure Aram runs back to his abusive girlfriend and string this thing along another season! Remember when Ressler got shot, had prescription drug problems, and was in Narcotics Anonymous? Yeah, me neither.

Mr. Kaplan, who was best when she was on-screen to sass and help Reddington once every few episodes, gets pushed into the spotlight for some made-up bullshit reason that had never been discussed or hinted at previous to the “Mr. Kaplan used to work for Katarina Rostova” storyline. And while Susan Bloomaert is a fantastic and underrated actress and did her absolute best to make those scenes between her and Liz feel emotional, I didn’t really care about their dynamic at all because it felt so forced, underdeveloped, and out-of-nowhere.

Whereas the relationship that I care the MOST about – that between Red and Liz – that has been the most built-up and developed over the course of the show keeps getting thrown under the bus as Liz does the whole “love Red, hate Red, forgive Red” song-and-dance routine. She claims she agrees with Red when he tells her not to go back to Tom in Season 2… only to go back to Tom later in Season 2. She’s totally down with asking Red to help her whenever she’s a criminal on the run… but the minute her wedding gets shot up, she yells at him and says it’s his fault.

And now, as far as the Lizzington fans go, which I count myself as one of them, the show has written itself into a corner. Because all the amazing chemistry and romantic tropes throughout the show feel incredibly creepy now that Liz believes Red is her dad, regardless of whether he actually is or not. I don’t care how they try to pull themselves out of the ginormous hole they’ve dug for themselves on that one – why the hell would a woman ever end up with a guy that she once thought was her dad, even if it turned out he actually wasn’t?

And the only real way out of it is the Impostor Theory – a well-written and well-researched theory, but one that makes people have to do fucking mental gymnastics for it to work. You have to assume a lot of people like Naomi and Reddington’s former roommate from the Naval Academy who’s now an admiral, are in on it. Whereas dudes like Finch or the Director aren’t…

Don’t get me wrong; I think it’s a wonderful theory and it explains a lot. But, if it ends up being true, it means one of two things:

1) The writers didn’t plan this from the beginning and lucked their way into it

OR

2) The writers DID plan this from the beginning, which means they have the ability to be really good writers, but then they fell into all this other bullshit – like Liz’s weird arc and other things – which really means that they’re not that good of writers; they just had the one good idea.

And if the Impostor Theory DOESN’T end up being true, in some form or fashion, that means that Red really IS Liz’s dad, and this whole fucking show – Red’s entire characterization, his relationship and dynamic with her – has been a lie. Canon can be throw out the window to rot in the sewer and fuck itself in the interim, because the writers don’t even care any more.

Which, I realize is unfair, because I know there are hundreds of people who work really hard to make this show happen, and while it’s not, like, the worst show of all time, the fact that it had such potential and has fallen so far, almost makes it seem worse than a show that was so bad from the beginning I never invested time in it.

And what makes it even WORSE is that the showrunners continue to act like this is the most groundbreaking show on television, and put it on a pedestal On High, along with the likes of Game of Thrones, The Americans, and The Sopranos… you know, actually good shows.

That would be the equivalent of the Taken director demanding that his movie should’ve gotten an Oscar. It’s like, you know it was a fine movie, and I had a good time watching it, but like, bring yourself back down to earth. Taken is okay, but it is NOT Oscar-worthy material, so get off your high horse, dude.

I guess, if nothing else, it shows that the showrunners, writers and actors are so talented that they got me to invest in the show to the point where I can’t not watch it, even though it’s fallen so far and I feel like it’s nowhere near as good as it used to be. They hooked me and got me to care about these characters and their dynamics so much that, even though it frustrates me week in and week out, I will still keep watching it.

It’s just that, now, I might be doing it with a bottle of vodka, taking shots every time:

  • Red has a monologue that proves James Spader is too damn good for this show;
  • Liz is bitchy to Red for little to no reason, while continuing to be lovey-dovey with Tom;
  • Ressler survives a fight or car accident or some other action sequence with no injuries whatsoever;
  • Harry Lennix is completely underused as Harold Cooper in an episode, because he only tells his employees to do the obvious… and literally nothing else;
  • Samar and/or Aram take a step back from getting together, despite hints that they’ve liked each other since Season 2.

So, bottoms up, Blacklist fans!

anonymous asked:

Why hasn't Jon asked Tyrion about the Red Weeding, why hasn't Davos said anything about the son he lost at Blackwater battle? do they even care about the lost loved ones or the writers don't understand their heros and what they should be feeling?

Because the show’s never grappled with what it means that Tyrion worked for his family to the best of his ability, even knowing the full extent of their corruption and cruelty. The closest we get is in “The Bear and the Maiden Fair,” in a discussion between Tyrion and Shae contemplating them leaving Westeros. In a single sentence (”What would I do [in the Free Cities], juggle?”) Tyrion spells out quite clearly that without Lannister wealth and title, he’s seriously lacking for options and utterly defined by his disability.

It’s been far more common for the show to use Tyrion’s tenure as Joffrey’s Hand to show how Tyrion limited the damage - which undoubtedly he did, but equally, without his able assistance, Joffrey would not have remained king anywhere near so long. Tyrion knew all along that Joffrey was illegitimate, and stayed silent (out of love for Jaime, Myrcella, and Tommen, I would think), knowing the consequences of his silence. And after the Red Wedding, knowing what his father had done and how, he remained in his father’s employ and brought all his skills to being Master of Coin. The show left it at “Tyrion had nothing to do with it, he’s the good Lannister,” rather than dealing with it as knowledge after the fact and Tyrion as a knowing beneficiary of some ugly crimes.

Tyrion’s choices were all bad, all along. Doing the right thing for the country would get his family killed and throw him into poverty at best; supporting his family means supporting tyranny and what we understand to be war crimes. But picking these bad options rather than those bad options means something, and it’s a lousy situation that all Tyrion’s wits couldn’t get him out of. Tyrion’s a far less complicated and far more virtuous character in the show than in the books - the showrunners don’t seem to want to discuss the complicated issue of his complicity in his family’s crimes.

anonymous asked:

Hi! Lately I'm seeing a lot of theories that Destiel is canon but only from Castiel's side and it makes me really sad :(( What is your opinion? Do you agree with this?

Hellooo! :) Aww please don’t be sad! *hugs* 

Look, in all fairness, as you might know I’m not Team ‘I think Destiel will go explicitly canon on the show’. :p 

To clear that up; that has everything to do with the decisions I think the producers/showrunners/writers will make in the end, and nothing much with me thinking that it ‘isn’t there’ or that the ship lacks the building up to it or the potential in general. 

In fact, Destiel is so close to canon already that probably one or two well written episodes with some simple (even if very subtle) gestures would be enough to pull it off. Like, it needs zero effort at this point to make it believable to anyone who doesn’t have heteronormativity goggles glued to their head, or isn’t blinded by extreme hatred towards even the possibility of a romantic relationship between the two of them. 

But I think we also have to consider the type of people they are. Wearing his heart on his sleeve; ever since Cas learned how to feel and love, that has been his thing. He doesn’t feel bad or weird about saying it as it is, showing his emotions, in a way that is often almost blunt. That goes for the good and the bad. Even back in season 9, we see this. “I always appreciate our talks and our time together,” he randomly tells Dean as if it’s nothing, even though Dean would never say something like that (even though it might as well be platonic) unless he’s on the verge of dying. 

And it’s always been like that; Castiel bluntly says what he thinks, whether it’s good or bad, and then there is Dean who avoid emotions (and mostly talking about said emotions) like it’s the plague, especially when it’s positive emotions/signs of affection.

Which is why I think that for Castiel; by now he’s able to properly communicate his feelings in both words and actions, and having never done this before in like the ten million years that he’s existed, there is little to no nuance to it, so to speak. He’s in that stage of ‘jeez, tell us what you really think’, and he has no shame there. :p But then there is Dean, and for him we have to mostly make do with seeing it in his actions, instead of him just saying it like that, whether it is to Cas or others outside of their relationship. Burying his emotions and what he feels is pretty much his default setting (even though he’s slowly learning), but I feel like his actions do definitely show what his words can’t quite tell us. 

We do see it often though, every time when we see the blatant difference between how Sam acts when something is wrong with Cas, versus how Dean acts when something is wrong with Cas. They’re all supposed to be good buddies, but there still is a significant difference between how Dean treats Cas versus how Sam does. And that has nothing to do with their difference in personality; if it did, Sam would be equally affected, if not more. 

Like in 9x03 when Sam is a bit shocked, but Dean goes completely berserk when he thinks Cas is dying. Or 11x18, when Sam keeps his cool but Dean can’t and is heartbroken when he tries to free Cas from Lucifer. Or the entirety of season 11 for that matter, where Dean constantly pines and Sam makes sure if ‘he’s okay’. It’s not a matter of the both of them comforting each other about Cas being possessed, it’s always Sam comforting Dean. 

I could give you a hundred more examples but this is already getting long. :p 

But I guess what I am trying to say is; if any Destiel is going to be in there at all, I don’t think it’ll be like this. I feel like either they will keep it ambiguous from both sides (most likely), or at least make sure to avoid ‘the gay’ altogether if they don’t want it being part of the show. Besides, Dean’s never been shown to have feelings that profound towards anyone outside of Sam (whom he practically raised, so they have the relationship as deep as a parent would have with a child, which nothing could compete with), and the effort that he’s put into his supposed ‘love interests’ is almost laughable if you compare it to his relationship with Cas and the lengths to which he goes for him. 

Dean might be showing his feelings in a different way, but I don’t think they’re inferior to Cas’ feelings, if it makes you feel any better. 

Dizzee fucking Kipling

I see a lot of people arguing over the whole intimacy issue and frankly I think all of ya’ll are comparing them to the wrong couples - its not mylene and zeke or ra-ra or boo-boo ya’ll should be talking about. It sure as shit ain’t qaf - who had such a high sex rate for the sole reason that they wanted to force straights to deal with the reality that gays do indeed fuck. Or compare Dizzee x Thor fans to Sterek fans…while claiming people love Teen Wolf for it cause thats lies - that show gets ripped from those same fans…trust me. If you wanna know where the show runners stand look at their other malexmale assemble - Zeke and Shaolin. 

I see a lot of people shaming those who feel some type of way about the lack of physical intimacy as if that avoidance isn’t a real thing the gay community is battling exhibited through straight out avoidance, queerbaiting, or actors getting roles of gay characters but then shying away from the physical. THIS HAPPENS ALOT! Lets be honest…it seems to be happening on TGD. But I think people should pay attention before they start telling others not to watch the show or claiming things against the showrunners/writers. Sometimes (it should be all the time) story and character are important elements when it comes to physical intimacy or sex. Take QAF again - Brian wasn’t just all about sex just because…it was his way of rebelling against both the straight world and his parents. It was also his way of having an emotional disconnect. It was why he was physically intimate with his best friend but would not have sex with him. Now look at Shao. Shaolin is mega touchy when it comes to Zeke, any chance he gets to pull him in..he does. It is in fact this reason that people started shipping the two. The only sexual scenes we get from him are with Annie but he was very clear on his thoughts of that. I always see people say Shao hates Mylene cause hes jealous and really its more than that, he resents her, women have always taking what was his and no matter how he loves Zeke he does consider him his and Mylene is a clear threat between that. Zeke and Shao have a different intimacy than Diz and Thor. Which of course makes sense storywise. 

In the first part we had the telepathy kiss and I think this is where they fucked up. Because people get in a tif about things like this…all it would be about from then on is when were we gonna get a real kiss…the other intimacy wouldn’t matter if they weren’t physical it would be side eyed. I do think that telepathy was also about who Dizzee is - it highlighted him in this artist world of the gays (with music, fashion, dance, and form). Dizzee is the metaphor character and sadly because his sexuality is exhibited as such, so is his relationship with Thor. I think people forget that just because we see the emotions….doesn’t mean those feelings have been vocalized (the love convo never happened it was a drug induced fantasy). The closes we get to it is Diz’s comic asking if Thor will come back and join him. We didn’t even get to their relationship until after Dizz disappeared (locked himself away with Thor). And when we see them they’re staying together in their paint paradise looking domesticated and shit. And its not that they lack intimacy because this little scene was so amazing and spoke volumes about their relationship. They seem settled and happy. They exchange what can be taken as a joke about the physical and Thor watches Diz create and they speak about the revolution. They paint eachother and this shit is my favorite thing because its pure yet sublime with this undercurrent, as they stand in their Paint-Palace with art they’ve created themselves with this little mattress and television that creates light - Thor watches Diz as he dances and its easy, so fucking easy to understand why they’re together. Diz had been somber the whole part 2 and in this scene hes just so damn…free. He’s revealed himself on the walls and he shouts that hes an alien with a top hat and the alien has gotten to the fucking opera. Even though he feels like his family can’t accept him, his friends outside the circle can’t accept him, hes accepted by Thor and hes learning to accept himself. This is why I’m not salty about a kiss. Cause normally I would be. But honestly looking at what they worked with I have to ask myself where it would’ve gone. I mean yeah they could’ve kissed in the Paint-Palace but a part of me wonders if I would’ve felt jaded by that as if they only placed it in to please the crowd, because for the message of the scene its not needed at all. And even cuddling wasn’t needed because it would’ve taken away the proof on the wall and their bodies when Shao walked in. That’s to say he didn’t need body to body evidence when Diz had placed so much of his truth and love on both the walls and a shirtless Thor.

I think is we got another season then yes, it would be imperative to grow there…but this part wasn’t really about that for them. It was about Diz settling within himself. I would love to see how his family reacts…I mean it was back in that time and his parents already treats him like he the bad one. I’m gonna ignore the end of the finale cause they got me fucked up with that and they better do some major rework. So I understand where people are coming from but personally I’m cool, I don’t think the production team is trying to be janky, they’re working with what they got and they’re up front about what we’re gonna get before it even hits the table. So as long as we can continue and they eliminate that bullshit scene I’m good.  

Season 19 Renewal

As Season 18 went on, and I kept getting disappointed, all I could think was, “do the old writers and the cast also think the quality of the show is declining, or do they think everything is fine?”

Guess we have our answer.

The fact Rick Eid is leaving after just one season tells me that we were right all along. He was a bad fit for this show. Forget the scheduling mess, partly caused by the inability to produce episodes on time. He tried to turn SVU into a generic cop show, which is actually why I think he might be a good fit for Chicago PD. SVU was never generic. It’s an institution, and it was always about the characters, as much as it was about the cases,  as well as teaching the audience some sorely needed lessons.

Season 18 and its Struggles

In Season 18, the show lost track of that message. It’s not enough for Liv to sprout platitudes and give us Hallmark moments every week. A certain sensitivity and nuance is required, if you want to tackle SVU cases. Rick Eid lacked that sensitivity (if some episodes displayed it, it was because of the old SVU writers, in my opinion), and he couldn’t find that nuance. That’s why he effectively rewrote the same episode so many times. Rich white powerful man assaults rich white pretty lady. She is unreliable (or a liar, or a criminal, or it’s somehow her fault), and he is troubled. That’s it. We watched a variation of that, literally 13 times this season (I counted).

The T*rump episode alone perfectly demonstrates why Eid was a bad choice for SVU. The casual way in which Ice-T said it wasn’t one of their best, even though the (then) current showrunner had written it, that said it all. Showing women as liars is not what SVU is about, for me. Nor is it about showing rapists as sympathetic, or troubled figures, or innocent. Both can (and should) be done in moderation, in an individual episode or two, for the sake of a twist (or even realism, sometimes), but not all the time.  

Problem is, Rick Eid clearly didn’t know what else to do. What else to write. He didn’t know how to expand into non-rape cases, he didn’t know how to send the right message (and sometimes he’d even send the wrong message entirely), and (most curious of all) he didn’t know how to properly work the courtroom angle, despite the fact he’s apparently a lawyer, and the trial scenes increased tremendously in screentime. This season, despite its faults, could have given us a strong, take-charge Barba. If nothing else. Instead, he turned Barba into an afterthought who wouldn’t prosecute a single perp unless Liv told him to.

Season 18 and the Characters

This entire season, it felt like neither Rick Eid nor the other new writers ever watched the previous seasons. They totally misused Carisi, Rollins and Barba. They altered long-established portrayals. They changed these characters into generic cardboard cutouts, eliminating everything that made them unique (yet again, that’s another sight Eid might have better luck with Chicago PD). I won’t bore you with the details, but I’ve written about this many times, most recently (and extensively) here.

I mean, I remain baffled by that one interview, when Eid kept saying “the Carisi character” and “the Barba character,” like he had never watched his own show and he had zero emotional connection to his “own” characters. Which was obviously true, as it turns out. He never connected to any of them, except maybe Liv.

Season 18 and Liv

Which brings me to this. To me, it’s clear that another showrunner change would have to be okayed by Mariska (if not demanded by her). This season had some very strong Olivia moments, but overall it was not the best for her, in my view. The focus was on Liv, but what she was actually doing, it wasn’t always something I could root for. I didn’t like that feeling.

It’s one thing if she does something that’s supposed to be questionable (like Season 17’s Black Lives Matter episode, and the way she instinctively wanted to stand by her fellow cops at first) or “flawed,” but it’s another thing to have her badgering witnesses and victims alike into testifying, for an entire season. Or telling Barba how to prosecute his own cases. Or thinking she can’t have a personal life and a child at the same time.

That’s not who Liv is, to me. I hope we can find that Liv again. And I’d like to think Mariska agrees. The fact she wanted (or at least she agreed to) a new showrunner despite the fact this season was “all about her” is a good sign. She’s the star, and she’s the reason most people watch, but she is also self-aware, and she must have known how Liv was coming off, at times. She must still want the best for Liv, like we all do, and I’m happy to know that.

Season 18 and Sonny

Lastly, when it comes to Sonny, I just hope we can find the old Sonny too. The one with the personality, and the whole bunch of sisters, and the niece who drools on him. The Sonny who is fantastic undercover, and has great instincts, and uses his affability to nail perps during interrogations, and thinks outside the box to solve a case (actually that last part is still there, even in S18, thank God). The Sonny who is empathetic and hilarious and quirky and interested in medicine and photography and Möbius strips. The Sonny who came into his own, and turned into a confident and experienced and badass detective. The Sonny who has some darkness inside him, but doesn’t let it turn him into yet another violent cop. The Sonny who is real, and has real relationships with his friends and colleagues, and isn’t just “Cop Number 1”, only there to deliver exposition.

Peter deserves better, much like all the actors. It’s a shame to have this great cast, and this rich history, and fail to utilize either of them properly.

In Conclusion

I’ve said it many times. SVU has had terrible seasons before, but it has always bounced back. So I hope we can all just all pretend Season 18 never happened, even though that may not be eas…

Wait, that’s very easy, actually, because literally not a single thing happened in season 18. All the characters are pretty much where they were at the end of S17, except Fin, who is an almost-Sergeant, and has an offscreen twitter-grandchild.

So let’s just start over, huh?

:)

Tometheus - A (finally!) coherent rant

Over the last few days, I’ve been having a number of conversations with a number of people about the possible identity of Prometheus, and everything’s just been making me go, “I need to write this down!”

So here it is, my theory: 

Tommy Merlyn is Prometheus. 

Yup. That’s my theory and I’m gonna stick to it till proven otherwise. Why? Because it makes sense.  

All reasons why Tommy Merlyn is Prometheus -  let me start at the beginning:

Keep reading

Gould: Vince has said something that always rings for me, which is that we thought we set out to make a comedy. When we started out, we used to say, “Breaking Bad was 70 percent drama and this one’s gonna be 70 percent comedy.” But the more we work on this, the more it feels tragic. It’s interesting you say it’s so dark, because I can often think of moments in this season that I think are as funny as anything we’ve ever done, like when Jimmy’s making his commercials and his slip-and-fall and so on. But I think it is true that the thing you take away from it is a great sadness and I think it’s the sadness of the loss of this upbeat, striving and essentially good character, Jimmy McGill.

Gilligan: Yeah, it’s sadness for what could have been if he had only remained Jimmy McGill, if he didn’t have Chuck chipping away at him so that he felt the need to start chipping away at Chuck. If they didn’t exhaust themselves emotionally, morally, every-which-way battering each other to the ground, if they hadn’t wasted their energy on such a pointless exercise, they both could have been great. It’s a good question and it puts me in mind of what Peter said. I didn’t want this to be a tragedy, but it is a tragedy. There’s no denying that it is a tragedy. We didn’t realize that. I didn’t realize that going into it. I’m not even 100 percent sure if I’d known that it was gonna be, in a lot of ways, a straight-up tragedy as a story, I’m not even sure if, knowing that going into it… I might have still done it, but I don’t know that I would have been as excited about it.“

Gould: We thought it was gonna be a romp!

Gilligan: We thought it was gonna be a romp and it just goes to show what Peter was saying earlier. You can do anything you want when you’re a showrunner, which is one of the great joys of the job, but if you’re smart you’re gonna go where the story takes you and sometimes the story takes you places you just don’t want to go. But you can’t tell the characters where they need to go and who they need to be. It sounds weird. It sounds like, "Well of course you can! You’re the writer!” In a weird way, you are but you’re not. Sometimes this feels like transcription, rather than writing. The characters, you really want them to come alive above all else, and they can’t come alive if you don’t let ‘em, if you don’t let 'em go where they’re gonna go. It’s odd, but in our experience it’s been the case every time that the characters lead us and not the other way around.

What if Lotor is not the “big bad” of VLD after all? What if that honour goes to someone else? I know I sound like I’m off my rocker, but here me out!

A lot of long running shonen anime tends to be written in story arcs where each arc has it’s own villain, before switching it up in the next season.

For example, in YGO DM there were a  lot of story arc villains such as Pegasus, Marik, Dartz, etc. The final boss of the series was none of those characters, it was…

Bakura was hinted at throughout the series, showing up to cause trouble. It wasn’t until the last arc he stepped out of the shadows to raise some hell. His past is tied to Yami’s since he is the spirit of the Millennium Ring and his village was burnt down by Akenadin, or Yami’s uncle. It makes sense for him to be the final boss since he is very closely tied to the hero and posses a Earth shattering threat due to him wanting to summon Zorc.  

The other YGO series were the same way. The final boss of GX was Trueman. For Zexal it was Don Thousand.   For Arc V, the latest YGO series, it was Zarc (not to be confused with Zarkon!). I’m not sure about 5Ds, though.

A lot of other shonen animes are the same way. Granted, I never got into One Piece, Bleach or Naruto, but I heard from others they tend to have “arc villains” too, which makes sense since a lot of these ran on for years and years, so they would have change things up to engage the audience.

What if VLD is the same way and is more story arc like? After all, it was based on an anime, Beast King Go Lion, and the series is very serialised so far, aiming at a larger goal then a ton of one off episodes. The more I think about it, the first two seasons seem like a season long story arc with it focusing on taking down one main villain. Sure, there were side villains the team fought off, but the main villain they battled was Zarkon.  

A lot of people who are working on Voltron were heavily involved with the Korra series, which tended to switch villains out each story arc too. So it could be possible that they are planning to do the same for VLD.

Not only that, during an interview, the showrunners seemed to allude at other threats at play and that there could be twists about who the main threat is, making it very possible it might not be Lotor…


Lotor seems more of a Marik type threat (since I think he is the person in the Weblum and Lotor almost redeemed in DOTU to turn back into a villain much like Zuko) than someone like say Yami Bakura. Someone who has some connection to the hero, but still holds a chance to change his ways and yet is a very threatening villain in his own right. With that said, he is still not powerful enough to be considered a final boss of the series.

Plus, if Lotor possibly redeems himself (which I have a hunch he might) or is more morally grey villain and his father’s well…out for the count, then the series would end on a whimper instead of a bang. I really can’t see the VLD writers ever doing something like that. The writers on the series are super talented and would no doubt make a very good climax for the series.

You guys maybe thinking, “Wait. If you don’t think Lotor is the Final Boss of VLD, then who the hell do you think is?”

Well…

This is Emperor Throk. He is the main villain of the whole old school franchise…outside of maybe Lotor in a lot of the western adaptions. He is more blood thirsty and darker than Zarkon ever was. He assisted the emperor and pretended to be loyal to him, being a rather big kiss ass, but did it so he could put his ass on the throne instead. During the series, he murders the emperor, taking command of the army.

If I had to compare him to an Avatar villain, to quote @darkspellmaster from a meta they made, he’d be Amon from Korra. Someone with a very powerful presence and is very cut throat.  (I think he might be more like Vector from YGO Zexal this time around, but that’s not the point).

The thing is he already showed up in VLD a few times and is right on the season 2 poster…

Even Throk’s design is extremely fishy. He sticks out in shots paired off against the other Galra.  Everything in animation, unlike live action, is planned out and put there for a reason. Usually characters that have stand out outfits or looks from the other grunts tend to have a bigger part to play in the series, whether it be later on or then and there. This is probably why Sendak,  Ulaz and Thace were distinguished by their physical looks. It’s also probably why the Weblum Galra wears custom made armour with a symbol that no other Galra in the whole series has on their chest. Throk having that red uniform and being more willowy then the other commanders not only makes him stand out, but indicates to the audience this a person to watch out for in the near future. There is even a scene where Throk is front and centre when Zarkon talks with him. Even though he has no lines, he sticks out from the crowd. (Not suspicious at all)

The show staff foreshadowed things long in advance before like with the Glara Keith thing, so them hinting at future villain now isn’t that much of a stretch.

It might be just me, but Throk had a wicked and malicious gleam in his eyes on the season 2 poster, which gave me the creeps, like he would sweet talk you one minute and stab you in the back the next. The last character in an anime I saw to have that same look in his eye was Vector from Zexal, who was a very powerful villain.

With the show staff naming a character after a major villain of the whole franchise, it really makes me wonder. It’s like if there was a character in Alex Hirsch’s new cartoon or in the new Ducktales reboot named Bill Cipher; I just would stare at the character the whole time, half expecting them to turn into a triangle at any second. It’s the same thing here, especially with the show staff naming a character after a main villain of a series.

To add on to this even more, only Galra commanders with large roles to play are given names whereas one shot villains tend to lack that; granted, there are some exceptions, but for the most part only stand out characters get a name.

Another possibility?

Emperor Zeppo is another dark emperor of the old school franchise. He was more powerful than Zarkon was. He was a master manipulator and worked with Throk. He’s a very subtitle character, who doesn’t like making his presence immediately known to you. He can hide his plans by pretending to be foolish. But he can be just as cut throat as Zarkon. He even destroyed his own planet just so it couldn’t be in enemy hands.

Granted, he never had a modern counterpart show up in the series yet. But if the crew does plan to have another worse villain after Lotor become emperor, he is a huge possibility, especially with Zeppo’s ability to be undetected in the background.

Again, this is just a theory. I could see either one of these being the final boss in VLD.

“See you in five years, Dean.” says Lucifer 2014 AD aka why I think “The End” holds the key to THE END.

I have had this one weird thought for a while, ever since I read this meta and loved it. I’ve rewatched the aptly named episode (“The End”) lately, and man, so many thoughts about it! The thing is, I am aware there is no chance in hell they somehow planned a story for 13 or 14 seasons in season 5, but I do believe that they had ideas where the story would eventually go if they had time and money. Somehow, supernaturally (heehee) they got the time and the money, and believe it or not, they will be able to close the individual character’s stories, like a good book series would!

Now, I tried to figure out when they started writing Dean and Cas into the subtext with the idea that this is where they would go with these characters if they had a chance. Right now my money is on the ending of season 4, when Chuck sees Cas sending Dean away, and dying for him for the first time (there is a reason why Chuck immediately restored Castiel after that). Of course chemistry was there before that episode, and maybe we could argue that the whole love story started when Dean started talking to Cas about free will for the first time, or maybe even when Chuck originally sent Cas to fetch Dean from Hell (he was the one writing their story in the beginning, after all).

But when did the writers on the show deliberately started writing an arc for Destiel, not just hints and jokes based on Cockles chemistry, but an actual arc, even if it was without any belief they would use it one day?

My opinion is that season 5 already started with a deliberate Destiel arc, and “The End” is a part of it. I think textually it was supposed to be all it was (showing what will happen if Dean kept saying “no” to Michael), but subtextually it was supposed to also hint what could have been if the show went on long enough. Now, I think this kind of storytelling works both ways - you plan for the future without knowing whether you will ever use it, but also later you come back to what you created before, and weave it into your later chapters to create a balanced story that ties the past and the future. 

In books it’s easier, because you plan the whole thing ahead, how many books, a story for each book, the overreaching arcs, etc. With a TV show you never know how it will fit with the number of seasons, because usually you have no idea how many seasons you will get, and how to divide the overall narrative - that’s why so many longer shows look like they are made up as they go along. So many shows died a painful death because of it - “Angel” looks like it was cut short in the middle of the storytelling; Buffy sidetracked after season 5, and painfully survived only two more; ”X-Files" was great until seson 7 finale, and then got terrible (admittedly there were problems with the arcs before that - but they gave us the basis for the slow burn of DeanCas in Mulder and Scully, so I still love them. Plus my god Vince Gilligan.) Most of my fav shows had this problem.

I know SPN has a lot of issues, but characterization (in my opinion) is spot on (with occasional Bucklemming episodes here and there, but I can overlook it). See, I watched seasons 1-5 in one sitting, and season 6-11 in another, so I had a more literary experience with them, rather than an “one episode per week” experience, but it allowed me to see how, even the weaker seasons, never went off track or looked like they made them up on the spot. I was expecting this problem with each new season: to be disappointed, for the characters to start acting like carricatures of themselves, for the writers to start recycling the same story with same results, to start putting Jar-Jars into the narrative for comic relief and nothing more. Imagine my shock when this didn’t happen. When the story just kept on going for 11 seasons, sometimes better, sometimes weaker, but even then, solid and moving forward. I was impressed.

And then season 12 came, and felt different, felt off, not bad, just with a very different feeling. I thought the reason was the new showrunner, the new writers, but as the season progressed I realised it’s all deliberate. It’s all part of the narrative. That they have some bigger idea that we didn’t expect, but instead of throwing it at us, they weave it, slowly but surely. And it’s once again about the characters.

That’s why I believe they always had some general concept what their characters’ stories are, that they prepared individual stories even though they didn’t know how to get to the end (but they always knew what the end was), and whether they would have a chance to tell it all. Fortunately, shockingly, they do have a chance (which is amazing, because I hate open endings and narratives cut short). That is why I believe they are not doing stupid fuckups just to stir the shit up (like killing off Cas or exchanging him with some AUCas that would be a completely new character), but they deliberately are leading the story of Dean, Sam and Cas (and Crowley, and Mary) where they want it, even though it doesn’t always look like it.

Now, I am aware it can be purely coincidental, or just dumb luck, but I rewatched the Samifer scene from “The End” the other day, and he has a conversation with Dean in the garden:

DEAN

You better kill me now. Or I swear, I will find a way to kill you. And I won’t stop.

LUCIFER

I know you won’t. I know you won’t say yes to Michael, either. And I know you won’t kill Sam. Whatever you do, you will always end up here. Whatever choices you make, whatever details you alter, we will always end up—here. I win. So, I win.

DEAN

You’re wrong.

LUCIFER

See you in five years, Dean.

I know it means 2009 to 2014 (five years). But from today’s point of view it looks like 2014 to 2019 (five years). End of season 14. The End. No matter what you do, we will always end up here.

I believe the end is exactly what we see in “The End”, but with a twist!

Because the apocalypse didn’t happen. Because Sam didn’t okay Lucifer’s use of his body, and Dean didn’t become Michael’s meatsuit. And yet, we’re steadily moving towards the similar end that we saw there, only more positive.

I think it’s not coincidental that when I think about Dean and Cas being together in the end, in my head it’s endverse!Cas who is always the one fitting best in the spot of Dean’s endgame. Of course Dabb is now repairing the narrative, so it’s not gonna be the broken human!Cas and broken, performing leader!Dean, with a long list of coping mechanisms and a death wish. No, but it still will be human Cas, who stays with Dean till the end, who has his own spiritual interests (minus drugs, booze and women, because these are coping mechanism that happy Destiel will not need), living together with Dean (because you won’t tell me Cas and Dean don’t live together in the endverse, in this huge, luxurious cabin with a king size bed, movie posters and buddhist paraphernalia, one wardrobe that they apparently share, and drinking water supplies for the whole camp - no one in their right mind would give Cas the stoner keys for the drinking water supplies!) (Also, somebody had to take care of Cas when he couldn’t walk for two months). They have some people around them, maybe they still go out and hunt sometimes, but generally they have a well-rounded life, with Sam (sans Lucifer) somewhere close, doing his thing. 

You take away the apocalypse, croatoan virus and Satan, add the Nephilim and the Wayward Daughters, and you have the hunting husbans we hope to see one day, with their nice cabin in the woods (or, ekhm, a little white house in Washington, by the lake, where you can fish and with a portal to another dimention in the backyard).

This is what I think is happening now with Castiel being killed - and as painful as it is, it will lead us to The End. The good kind. With Nephilim instead of Lucifer. With the balance. And I do believe that this time Dean finds a way to kill the devil. For good. And there will be rainbows.

Also, since everything that Mark Sheppard posted lately on Twitter turned out to be true, I have a feeling that Misha/Cas getting his make-up done in his Jim Morrison t-shirt and jeans is a hint as well.

Yes, still excited to see where the story will take me.

Malec haven’t had sex yet

and here are all my reasons or guesses why. Warning: long post!

It was never explicitly acknowledged in 2x08 that they have had sex. Just little hints and assumptions by Jace and Izzy, which I think are meant to throw viewers off. In fact, the more I review and think about what’s happened in the past two episodes (2x07 and 2x08) the more I’m convinced the two haven’t been intimate - either because Magnus said no (offscreen, wtf) or it was a botched attempt.

1) The Talk between Magnus and Jace on the rooftop. We never hear either of them say out loud that Malec have indeed had sex, we just see Magnus’ reaction to “taking things to the next level” - and what does that mean to Jace? And to Magnus? It’s not clear, but it seems we’re just supposed to believe that means having sex, and now Alec’s happier because of it. But does Alec seem happier in this episode? (Look at his interactions with everybody in 2x08. He seems more on edge with Maryse, closed off to Izzy and cautious with Magnus, if anything. Alec being happier to Jace could be anything - being out and able to openly have a relationship with a man, perhaps?)

And Magnus’ reaction is also ambiguous. When Magnus says, “he told you”, he doesn’t sound or look like anything we’d expect him to be after having sex with the guy who “unlocked something in [him]”, no matter how the sex turned out. He’s not content, pleased or smug; fond or curious to know what Alec might have told Jace, or even exasperated that Alec would’ve shared something so private with Jace. Instead Magnus seems almost like he’s dreading talking about it at all, and knowing Jace’s reaction to whatever it was that Alec might have said - but then Jace quickly says, no, Alec never told him anything. Magnus assumes Alec told Jace what happened after the fade-to-black. At this point, neither Jace nor the viewer knows for sure what happened at the end of 2x07. So what made Magnus respond like that? Would Magnus Bane really show such furtive dejection if he’d just anticipated the shovel talk from Jace? I’m not convinced.

They start out talking about the nature of Magnus and Alec’s relationship. 

Keep reading

More 19x01 Thoughts

I just wanted to respond to some of your comments on my premiere post (thanks so much for reading that, by the way! You can find it here.)

But first, let me talk about the Sonny/Fin deleted scene (posted here).

Fin and Sonny

I LOVED EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS.

When we first saw that Fin/Sonny pic at the bar, I assumed it was part of a stakeout scene or something to that effect. I didn’t dare hope that Fin would actually ask Sonny out for a drink to pick his brain! That was better than anything I could have imagined, because yet again the show acknowledged Sonny’s identity as a lawyer, but this time it wasn’t in annoyance, like we usually see (e.g. the Rollins scene). This time, another cop actually reached out to Sonny for legal advice! That’s a perfect use of a character like Sonny. The others can go to him with questions on matters Barba should be left out of, if only for reasons of plausible deniability. Sonny is a cop, still, so he’s on their side (up to a point, because again we saw how strongly he felt about upholding international law), so it’s easier to go to him.

And it wasn’t just the setting of the scene. It was also the humor, and the lovely camaraderie between Sonny and Fin (a rather underdeveloped dynamic, even though their team-ups have given us some standout moments in the past few seasons). We got so many good jokes, with both of them landing some decent jabs. Truly, if this episode had one single thing going for it, it was good dialogue. These one-on-one scenes, they can so easily be ruined by bad, out of character or stilted dialogue, despite the best efforts of the cast. Instead, this scene came to life.

And there was a balance, too. Fin joked about Sonny’s legal knowledge (or lack thereof), but Sonny teased back (about the Cuba thing, as if he didn’t know, lol) while holding his own and defending both the law and his position as a cop-slash-lawyer. They were on equal ground as characters, as friends, even, and the warm (and hilarious) ending painted both of them in such a positive light. Fin was buying the drinks, Sonny sassed him about being on retainer, and Fin came back with that perfect line about attorney-client privilege. That showed they both knew what this was, and they’re close enough to joke about it, and they trust each other enough to keep it to themselves.

Sonny and the Law, Vol. 2

But we also got Sonny characterization! Fin asked about his law license (and I’m glad he at least remembers Sonny passed the bar, lol) and Sonny very pointedly said it was “gathering dust.” Sonny didn’t sound particularly happy, even if he wasn’t 100% regretful. That line reading, it was just wistful enough to let us know that Sonny is torn between the two careers, and his constant nagging about the law was enough to remind us that Sonny is more than just another cop, but the show didn’t beat us over the head with his dilemma. Instead, we got a more subtle way of conveying Sonny’s potential dissatisfaction.

I can’t wait to see more about that. I’m even a little more excited for the new ADA’s arrival, because now I’m curious to see how Sonny might react to him and his more harsh (I assume) approach. So many possibilities!

Squad Thoughts

Despite the fact this scene was deleted (like all the best scenes are, like the Barisi scene from Depravity Standard, or that Rollaro elevator scene, or the Barba mentioning Hamilton scene, etc etc), the new showrunner truly seems to want to cultivate stronger interpersonal relationships between all the characters. In the premiere alone we got Liv/Amanda, Liv/Barba, Liv/Fin, Barba/Fin, Sonny/Amanda, Sonny/Fin, and I’m hoping we get more and more iterations as the season advances. 

Your Thoughts

@avenuepotter said:

ALWAYS love your analyses. I lost myself in a crazy chuckle when I read this part: Fin - rule breaker, fashionable (lol), has negative fucks to give. Can’t wait for next week.                            

First of all, thank you so much, and I always love reading your thoughts as well! Secondly, after watching the aforementioned deleted scene, it appears that Fin just might give the tiniest of fucks, since he wanted to check with Sonny to make sure the guy wouldn’t walk. While still being a rule-breaker and fashionable, of course.

I loved that touch. It’s more characterization than we usually get for Fin, and it put Ice-T’s entire performance in the premiere in context. When he grinned and told Liv “I didn’t even know it was legal!” his surprise was because he had actually checked, lol! Now I love that moment even more.


@shadowassassin32 said:

Yay you are back!!!! I love reading your analysis of things. It’s always very interesting.

I have a question for you. When Liv confessed to Rafi about the gun thing and asked “What was I thinking?” do you think that she might finally stop putting herself in dangerous situations for Noah’s sake at least? Curious on what your interpretation of that scene was.

Thank you so much, it’s great to see all the regulars back for this season. We’re all still here, somehow, and I hope this season will give us more food for thought. 

As for your excellent question, I don’t know if Liv’s realization will affect her behavior as the season goes on. If I’m being honest, I think this was just a tiny seed planted by the writers which will eventually blossom when the Noah custody issue gets explored. There’s a chance Brooke Shields will challenge Liv’s adoption (I’m assuming), or, at the very least, there’s next week’s investigation, and I think Liv might momentarily question her situation, especially if she sees that Noah could possibly live in a “safer” environmentin a different, “normal” home. Which is ridiculous, of course, if not offensive (I hate to see good mothers doubting themselves, though I realize it’s part of the deal, lol. A good mother always worries. Plus we did get that great Amanda moment, which served to reassure Liv.)

That said, I think a good mother like Liv just might put herself last, and consider the possibility her child might be “better off” someplace else. I think that’s what that scene was about. It’s true, it’s harder for Liv to risk her life knowing she has a kid at home, but then there are so many cops with kids, and they do their jobs every day, and they go home to the little ones. Then again, Liv’s stunt was a little too dangerous and self-destructive. It is certainly possible that she’ll realize that she needs to stop doing that. It’s one thing to find herself in a dangerous situation (like all cops sometimes do), but to actively seek it out? To show no regard for her own life?

Again, this could potentially be offensive (do mothers need to be more worried than fathers? Would this storyline ever involve a male cop, like, say, Nick?) Also, to quote Brooklyn Nine-Nine:

That said, it was something new, at least. Something we haven’t touched on. Original Recipe Liv used to be way messier and more self-destructive (and I loved her for it), but we never truly saw her struggle with that since becoming a parent. So I’m interested to see where it goes.


@extrovertedsparkle said:

^^^^ YES!  I was so grateful for an episode where I couldn’t decide if I liked it or not, and didn’t just hate it outright lol!  Some parts were overacted, omg Carla’s husband but I felt it had a really good pace overall and felt like old times,  as opposed to the mess that was season 18.  

I’m here for the quirk, and the friendship, and the snark of the squad and I cannot wait to see what season 19 has in store for us.

Agreed. I was surprised by how much I didn’t hate it, lol. I sat down to watch it with hesitation, ready to cringe, but I ended up actually liking it. No one knows how the season will play out, but at least this premiere showed potential.


@bensonismymom said:

Yes!!! I’m really glad we have the dynamics back again between characters!!! The scenes with sonny and Amanda / Amanda and Liv / Liv and Fin / Liv and Barba WERE SO GREAT!! I missed having the characters interact with each other again! 

Absolutely. I said it many times, the number one mistake made by the writers last season was the loss of the sense of a squad. We do watch the show for the cases (which tbf were also terribly underwritten and repetitive in S18 as well), but mostly we all love the characters. We want to see how the cases affect them, and we also want to see them interacting with each other, as colleagues, and friends, and family. That’s the heart of the show. Otherwise it’s just any other procedural.

These characters have been so well-drawn, some (like Liv and Fin) for literal decades, and some (like Barba, Sonny and Amanda) for years, and S18 wasted all that history. Season 19 seems to be doing better already, even one episode in. That gives me hope.


Thanks again, for all your comments.

I love you all <33333

mashable.com
'Pretty Little Liars' changed the game with social media, and TV will never be the same
Making TV is always hard, but does Twitter make it harder?
By Laura Prudom

Mashable talked with Bryan Fuller, showrunner of NBC’s canceled (but still beloved) Hannibal and Starz’s new hit drama American Gods; Marc Guggenheim, executive producer of The CW’s Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow; and Ron Moore, who helmed Syfy’s fan-favorite Battlestar Galactica reboot and currently runs Starz’s Outlander, to get their take on how social media has made their jobs simultaneously easier and so much harder over the past few years.

Pro: Instant Feedback

Moore, an industry veteran who cut his teeth on the Star Trek franchise, working on The Next Generation through Voyager, recalls the days when showrunners would have to turn to a focus group if they wanted feedback from viewers. “It’s great to be able to have that immediacy, to get quick feedback from the audience, to have their thoughts and ideas and reactions at your fingertips when you want them,” he says.

Pro: Promotion

Moore says that platforms like Twitter and Facebook have become “a big component of how you put information out there; when the show’s on; where it’s on; what’s coming up; how to tease things; when you make casting announcements — social media is deeply embedded in that now.”

That’s obvious in the way the official Outlander social accounts engage with fans — the show has already dropped Season 3 hints and sneak peeks via social videos, and even if fans aren’t attending San Diego Comic-Con this year to see the show’s panel, they can still participate in the fun by voting on an upcoming t-shirt design.

This interaction between official accounts and fans is vital when shows aren’t airing, to keep the audience engaged and excited before the series returns.

Pro: Community

Moore has come through many fandoms over the course of his career, and notes that while social media has had an impact on how fans engage with the shows they love, “the tools have changed, but fandom has not.”

“It comes from a place of love, which is a place you have to remember when you’re on this side of the curtain, because whatever you’re hearing from fans, good or bad, you have to remember it’s all coming from a place of, they love your show, they love the characters, they love the stories, and when they’re upset, it’s because they’re upset that something happened to something that matters to them,” he says.

“They still organize themselves into groups, they still gather together physically at conventions. Social media hasn’t destroyed that need for fans to get together to make their own costumes and props, to make their own recreations of things they see on shows, and to argue incessantly about the canon of the show, the trivia of the show, to find the flaws in the show, to want to know exactly how some particular favorite scene was made, what were the funny stories associated with it. All of that is like fandom eternally. They just have a new way of expressing it and an immediacy to reaching out across those distances in real time that they didn’t used to.”

Con: Ownership

All four producers emphasized that they don’t let fan reaction — especially negative feedback — affect their storytelling, no matter how eager some fans are to claim credit when a show seems to pivot in a direction they prefer.

Moore agrees: “I try to keep a pretty solid firewall between all of that and our writers’ room, because I think it’s really easy to be influenced by what, in reality, is a handful of voices – you can only take in so much.”

He notes that he’s become somewhat “inured” to the feedback because he began his career with Star Trek, where he observed the potent effect that outside opinions could have on a writers’ room.

“Even in those days when I was on Trek in the ‘90s and the internet was still in its infancy and we were getting used to blogs and people posting on different forums, the writers would read those reviews somewhat obsessively, and of course, being writers, we all obsess about the bad reviews,” he laughs. “You just saw the dynamic form in the room – ‘well the fans don’t like this, the fans do like that,’ and quickly we all started to go 'what are we doing? This is insane.’ For that experience I just take a hard line on it, and if anyone brings it up in the writers’ room I shut ‘em down pretty quickly.”  

That might be frustrating for viewers, especially when their desires don’t align with a writer’s, but as Moore points out, “It’s not a democracy, that’s not how this works. We’re creating this show, we give it to the audience, and then the audience makes their determination after the fact, but I don’t want them at the front of the process.”

I mean, no shit the fandom has zero impact on the creation of the show but brb, just irl lol’ing about how the official OL social accounts apparently “keep fans engaged” during the hiatus.

Originally posted by n-wordbelike

A Good Man Goes To War - Doctor Who blog

(SPOILER WARNING: The following is an in-depth critical analysis. If you haven’t seen this episode yet, you may want to before reading this review)

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen A Good Man Goes To War. I remember at the time thinking it was dumb, but I had forgotten just how dumb it actually was until now. I’ve seen bad Doctor Who before. I’ve seen stupid Doctor Who before. But A Good Man Goes To War reaches new levels of bollocks I didn’t even think was possible to reach. It’s really quite astounding.

So Amy is trapped on Demon’s Run with Eye Patch Lady about to steal her child. And already we’ve hit our first problem. I’ve mentioned in the past how rubbish Moffat is at writing female characters, and this episode is where its most obvious. Eye Patch Lady is taking her baby away and all Amy does in response is throw sassy putdowns at people. Now if someone were to take away my child, I’d be in fucking hysterics. I’d be shouting and screaming and trying to put up a fight. But as I’ve said in the past, Amy isn’t a character. She’s a plot device. And Moffat writes her as such. She is pretty much nothing but a walking womb.

Meanwhile the Doctor is travelling around time and space and calling in markers in order to save Amy. And here is our second problem. Does this sound like the Doctor to you? Expecting favours from people as a repayment for helping them out in the past? Again, I find myself asking, has Steven Moffat ever actually watched Doctor Who before? The Doctor helps people because it’s the right thing to do. He doesn’t do it with the cynical expectation that they’ll return the favour at some point down the line. It’s just wildly out of character for him.

I suppose I’d be a little more comfortable with it if we actually got to know the Paternoster Gang. Find out how they met the Doctor and why they feel they owe him a favour, but we don’t. For some strange reason people really seem to like the Paternoster Gang, but for the life of me I can’t see why. They’re complete non-entities. There’s nothing remotely interesting about them. Strax is basically just the shit comic relief, diminishing any possible threat the Sontarans could have in future stories with every unfunny one liner, and we learn precisely fuck all about Madame Vastra or Jenny other than they’re gay (on a side note, why do they keep casting Neve McIntosh to play Silurians? Don’t get me wrong. She’s a good actor, but the Silurians aren’t like the Sontarans. They’re not clones).

At this point it seems appropriate to talk about LGBT representation. Specifically how rubbish Moffat is at doing it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful that Moffat is willing to put gay characters into his stories, but the way he does it is a tad dodgy to say the least. See, when you’re writing a gay character, there needs to be a lot more to them than just being gay. Russell T Davies understood that perfectly. There were a number of queer characters during his tenure as showrunner, most notably Captain Jack Harkness, and they were all written fairly well for the most part. What I especially appreciated was how their sexuality was never the primary focus. Rather it was just another aspect to their character. Look at Jack Harkness. He’s openly pansexual, but they never make a big deal out of it. It’s just casually mentioned and treated as any other character trait. Plus there’s a lot more to Jack than just being pan. He’s an outgoing adventurer. He seeks redemption for his conman days. He puts on a cheery facade to hide the dark traumas he went through during his long, immortal life. This is good LGBT representation because what it does is it normalises his sexuality. The show treats him as any other character. There’s nothing special or different about him. He’s no different from a heterosexual person. He just has different sexual preferences, and that’s fine. There’s nothing wrong or strange about that, and so the show doesn’t treat it as such. I think that’s a really good message to send to kids.

Then we come to the Moffat era. Madame Vastra and Jenny are gay. That’s their sole defining character traits. That’s not representation. That’s tokenism. Whereas the queer characters of the RTD era felt like real people, the ones in the Moffat era feel like cardboard cutouts with the word ‘gay’ written on their foreheads. And it just gets worse when those two Cleric marines show up:

“We’re the Thin Fat Gay Married Anglican Marines. Why would we need names as well?”

Ugh! Okay, let me tell you precisely why I hate this line so much. It’s incredibly important, particularly in a kids show, to represent and normalise the LGBT community. My issue is this. If being gay is perfectly normal (which of course it is)… why is Moffat drawing so much attention to it? That would be like me making a big fuss about the colour of the sky. The only reason you would do that is if there’s something unusual about it, which is precisely the opposite thing you should be conveying. It’s heavily implied that the Thin Fat Gay Couple are the only ones who are gay, and that’s treated as a novelty. They’re such a novelty in fact that they don’t even have names. The reason I hate this so much is because they’re not characters in their own right. Rather they’re the equivalent of a carnival sideshow attraction with Moffat as the ringmaster inviting spectators to pay tuppence to poke the freaks in the cages. Rather than putting in the effort to write gay characters that are actually well developed and complex, he’s just using these shallow caricatures to boast about how seemingly progressive he is. He’s more bothered about winning brownie points and massaging his own ego rather than providing compelling representation for minority figures. 

He treats his female characters the same way. He boasts about how strong Amy and River Song are, but they’re really not. Yes they’re seemingly independent at first glance, but they very frequently fall into the same, tired old sexist tropes we’ve seen dozens of times before and we never actually learn anything significant about them outside of their lives with the Doctor. Look at this very episode. Amy loses her baby, but she never reacts in a believable or empathetic way. She just resorts to her sassy putdowns and pointing guns at people because that’s the only way Moffat knows how to write women. In fact Amy isn’t even that independent. In a rather telling scene, the Doctor asks Rory’s permission to hug Amy as though she’s Rory’s property as opposed to the strong, independent woman she apparently is. Moffat keeps insisting he’s a feminist and yet he doesn’t see anything wrong with a woman not being able to hug another man without her husband’s permission first.

This is the biggest reason why I hate Moffat as a writer so much. It goes beyond the plot hole riddled stories, the convoluted series arcs and the bad characterisation. Moffat is a man more concerned with looking progressive rather than actually being progressive.

So anyway, the Doctor and Rory (who is dressed in his Roman gear for some stupid reason) manage to save Amy without a single drop of blood being spilt (you know, if you don’t count the Clerics that got killed by the Headless Monks during the Doctor’s deception or the millions of Cybermen that the Doctor kills just to make a point. Brief side note, why would the Cybermen know or care where Amy is? Okay their Legion monitors everything in that particular quadrant, but somehow I doubt that extends to pregnant women. Plus it’s highly unlikely the Cybermen would want to divulge any information after you’ve just blown them up).

Actually it’s a shame that the Headless Monks were wasted on this stupid series arc because I actually thought they were a pretty cool idea. The theology is well thought out and it could have potentially served as a damning criticism of organised religion (thinking from the heart as opposed to the head. I like it). Instead we get treated to more bollocks. So the Monks, Clerics, Silence and Eye Patch Lady have all teamed up to kill the Doctor because apparently he’s a very bad man. Why do they think that?

Originally posted by giphygiff

I don’t know! I’ve got no fucking idea! I mean I’m not going to pretend that the Doctor is a saint, but if you want us to believe he’s a dangerous warrior, you’re going to have to show us some actual evidence. And that’s the problem. There isn’t any. Yes the Doctor has killed, but it’s always been for the greater good. To help others who couldn’t defend themselves. He may not be perfect, but he’s a good man at heart. Unless you give me a compelling reason to believe otherwise, I’m just going to snort and roll my eyes. Obviously Moffat isn’t giving us the full story until much later, but all it does is negatively impact this one. Basically, in this episode, the only reason we’re given as to why Eye Patch Lady thinks the Doctor is evil is ‘trust me. He just is.’ Not good enough.

Also, if you want to kill the Doctor, WHY NOT JUST KILL HIM?! He’s standing right there! Don’t let him finish his monologue! Just shoot the fucker! (Also raise your hand if you saw the Flesh baby plot twist coming. If you didn’t, you’re lying).

And it just gets worse when River shows up at the end to lecture the Doctor about how he’s too violent.

Now I’ll repeat that.

River Song, the gun toting archaeologist who massacred a bunch of Silence in her last appearance and clearly enjoyed every minute of it, is chastising the Doctor for being too violent. Fuck off!

And then the moment none of us have been waiting for. Who is River Song? She’s Amy’s daughter.

Originally posted by drunkbroadway

Um… I mean… OOOOOOH! Well I did NOT see THAT coming! And here’s me thinking she was Rassilon’s second cousin! Silly me!

Yeah, not only was this head thuddingly obvious what with the aquatic surnames and everything, but also Moffat gave the game away right at the beginning. Melody Pond. get it? Give me fucking strength.

What’s even weirder is that the focus is all out of whack. The reveal is directed more at the Doctor than Amy and Rory (you know, her parents). But why would the Doctor care? And more to the point, why should we care? Okay, River Song is Amy and Rory’s daughter. That’s some interesting information, but that’s hardly mid-season finale material. What we really care about is who River is in relation to the Doctor. And I suspect that’s what the Doctor is more concerned with too. And while I think of it, how is the Doctor learning about River’s true parentage constitute as ‘his darkest day?’ He doesn’t seem to take the news badly or anything. In fact the opposite.

It’s all so mind-bogglingly stupid. A Good Man Goes To War represents the point where Moffat officially starts to disappear up his own arsehole, weaving a convoluted web of bullshit whilst forgetting all the ingredients that make a good story. The answers we’re provided for some of the series arc mysteries are painfully obvious, unsatisfactory and just plain daft, none of the characters act like actual people or behave in a believable way, and crucially I don’t give a shit about anything that’s happening onscreen because at no point does Moffat ever give me a reason to care. Better get used to this folks because these issues are going to become the staple of the Moffat era going forward.

anonymous asked:

Re Daryl's way of speaking to Carol I agree that it was his own addition to Daryl. NR and MMB's characters were meant to be minor characters but grew into a larger part of the story because the writer's liked what they brought. This isn't fan spec. it's what's been officially said by the actors and tptb. I'm not as familiar with MMB's acting outside of TWD but NR's always adding interesting little details to his characters and his way of talking to Carol came from that not from the directors.

I tend to agree with you Nomy on this cause it seems like something he adds to it, they always seem to add little quirks like that.  I think it’s a bad way to do things really cause it gives the actors a little more rein and allows for this type of chemistry to exist and grow organically onscreen. Its what also allowed these characters to become as popular as they are because these actors, who probably thought they were in a temporary roles that would be over quickly something wonderful happen that was not originally planned by the writers.

See when you adhere to a plan, or scripted thing instead thinking organically outside the box, you get the mess these showrunners sometimes find themselves in. Like using Rick and Jessie as an example of something that, in the context of the show itself didn’t fit but the tptb when with the plan rather than scrap that part, so we had this awkward mess.

Like the seemingly script adherence to comic story lines which may not work onscreen for the viewer.

The beauty of Daryla and Carol is that wasn’t necessarily a planned stroyline it sort of fell into their lap when Norman and Mel developed this incredible chemistry stemming from their off-screen friendship and complete comfort with each other.

I think with Norman especially trust is important when he’s acting because he may hold back some of what he’s capable of achieving for simply not trusting someone enough to be open with them. And acting is in large part opening yourself up and plumbing depths of emotion you might be afraid to show just anybody. Norman himself said he ‘feels free to be vulnerable around her’ and that’s probably why a lot of his strongest acting is with her cause he trusts her that much.

He’s more of instinctual type of actor in that sense, he seems know how the character who, and should react in most situations without having to be told. He knows things about his character that showrunners probably don’t even know. His body language and tone of voice are a huge part of it, and I bet he would say that in Daryl’s it just feels like he should talk soft to her. To not be harsh because with her it’s just different. Special. Because the last thing he wants to do is hurt her in any, including with words and one. He knows whats like to be on the receiving end of harsh words will no longer do do that with her.

Anyways that’s my speculation.

As far as Mel, I’ll be honest and say the only thing I’ve seen her in other than this was The Mist and I really remembered her in that movie because she was so effective at making the audience relate to her on a very personal level even though it was a small role. She understands and acts out feelings very well. Her entire tone in that scene was a mother scared to death for her children and she was so believable you could actually feel it. She’s intuitive, she feels things very well and has a great sense of the emotions of her characters.  Its like a form of empathy and its a wonderful gift to have as an actress to have and highly underrated.

See Nomy the way look at it, any old shmoe can play a scene and just act out what’s on the page. But it takes good actors, who can completly embody the characters they play to point where where it dosen’t seem like acting at all. There are literally times when those 2 playing scenes together and it feels like they talking to each other through their characters.

It’s quite extraordinary to watch really.

And this is what the fans see and their co-stars see, to the point where they will come on set to watch them. And its what the showrunners saw that has kept these characters around and the buzz going for a as as long as it has.

I personally would hope that the showrunners don’t waste the gifts that they have here just to rigidly tell a story the way they want to tell. To me it shows far more creativity to adjust to what shows up organically and unscripted.

So yeah I guess we’ll see.

btw sorry it took me awhile got a lot going been flaky lately. Promise to be better haha :)

anonymous asked:

I really liked that article about moffat criticism you put up. I'd be interested in seeing you or someone else at that blog do logical & respectful criticism of Moffat - like things in Sherlock or Who that you don't like, or his recurrent writing flaws. Cause he certainly has them. But I hate reading a lot of people's analysis cause it seems like they just end up bashing him.

I would be, too. I think part of the problem is, we all are generally very fond of Moffat. But it would be interesting if we were all to talk as devil’s advocates about the sides of his work we find a bit rougher. I know we all each have patches of Moffat’s work, be it Doctor Who or something else, that does not hit as well as our favorites of us do with him, and perhaps we could find some recurring patterns in any criticisms we could make.

I know I have some criticisms I would make, if pushed, though really, I do at heart love him dearly.

Keep reading