Day 2: Favorite Cophine Moments: Must go with two.
#1—5x08 will forever have a place in my heart. This moment, at the computer, will probably go down as the most well-acted moment between MasBro, AND the culmination of five seasons’ worth of Delphine being misunderstood, to FINALLY hear Cosima acknowledge how much Delphine has done for her, and how significant this is. Will never get over this moment.
#2—I know, it’s sad. But also one of my favorite EBro acting moments. The crack in StraightHair! / Season3!Delphine, when she finally lets her real emotions slip. Cosima sharing how she came back for Delphine. The ridiculously intense kiss. The oh-so-painful angst. I will take all of it. I have probably watched this single scene more than any other scene in the entire show. I think it says so much about their story line—two people, who deeply love each other, who are forced by outside circumstances to be apart, but can’t seem to let each other go, and struggle with trust because of everything that’s gone down. Is that not *so* real? (But really, probably 98% of me just thinks this is one of EBro’s absolute hottest moments. So, sorry, not sorry.)
your favorite character?” I hear that question come up a lot over Avatar: The Last Airbender, a show
particularly near and dear to me. Iroh and Toph get tossed around a lot. Zuko
is very popular. Sokka has his fans. But something I’ve noticed? Aang very
rarely gets the pick. When he comes up, it’s usually in that “Oh, and also…”
kind of way. Which is strange, I think, considering he’s the main character,
the titular airbender, of the entire show.
really thought much about it until a couple weeks ago when I finished my annual
re-watch of the series and found myself, for the first time, specifically focused
on Aang’s arc. Somehow, I never really paid that much attention to him before.
I mean sure, he’s front and center in most episodes, fighting or practicing or
learning big spiritual secrets, and yet, he always feels a little overshadowed.
Katara takes care of the group. Sokka makes the plans. Zuko has the big, heroic
Joseph Campbell journey. Aang…goofs around. He listens and follows and plays
with Momo. And yes, at the end his story gets bigger and louder, but even then
I feel like a lot of it dodges the spotlight. And here’s why:
Avatar casts the least
traditionally-masculine hero you could possibly write as the star of a fantasy
war story. Because of that, we don’t see Aang naturally for everything he is,
so we look elsewhere.
what I mean, I want to talk about some of the show’s other characters, and I
want to start with Zuko. Zuko is the hero we’re looking for. He’s tall and hot and
complicated. He perseveres in the face of constant setbacks. He uses two swords
and shoots fire out of his hands. He trains with a wise old man on ship decks
and mountaintops. Occasionally he yells at the sky. He’s got the whole
180-degree moral turn beat for beat, right down to the scars and the sins-of-the-father
confrontation scene. And if you were going into battle,
some epic affair with battalions of armor-clad infantry, Zuko is the man you’d
want leading the charge, Aragorn style. We love Zuko. Because Zuko does what he’s
supposed to do.
look at Katara. Katara doesn’t do what she’s supposed to do. She doesn’t care
about your traditionally gender dynamics because she’s too busy fighting
pirates and firebenders, planning military operations with the highest ranking
generals in the Earth Kingdom, and dismantling the entire patriarchal structure
of the Northern Water Tribe. Somewhere in her spare time she also manages to
become one of the greatest waterbenders in the world, train the Avatar, defeat
the princess of the Fire Nation in the middle of Sozin’s Comet and take care of
the entire rest of the cast for an entire year living in tents and caves. Katara
is a badass, and we love that.
about Aang? When we meet Aang, he is twelve years old. He is small and his
voice hasn’t changed yet. His hobbies include dancing, baking and braiding
necklaces with pink flowers. He loves animals. He doesn’t eat meat. He despises
violence and spends nine tenths of every fight ducking and dodging. His only
“weapon” is a blunt staff, used more for recreation than combat. Through the
show, Aang receives most of his training from two young women – Katara and Toph
– whom he gives absolute respect, even to the point of reverence. When he
questions their instruction, it comes from a place of discomfort or anxiety,
never superiority. He defers to women, young women, in matters of strategy and
combat. Then he makes a joke at his own expense and goes off to feed his pet lemur.
there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation for all this, and it’s the one that
shielded Aang from the heroic limelight in my eyes for ten years. The reasoning
goes like this: Aang is a child. He has no presumptuous authority complex, no
masculinity anxiety, no self-consciousness about his preferred pastimes,
because he’s twelve. He’s still the hero, but he’s the prepubescent hero, the
hero who can’t lead the charge himself because he’s just not old enough. The
problem is, that reasoning just doesn’t hold up when you look at him in the
context of the rest of the show.
look at Azula. Aside from the Avatar himself, Zuko’s sister is arguably the
strongest bender in the entire show. We could debate Toph and Ozai all day, but
when you look at all Azula does, the evidence is pretty damning. Let’s make a
list, shall we?
completely mastered lightning, the highest level firebending technique, in her
spare time on a boat, under the instruction of two old women who can’t even
the drill assault on Ba Sing Sae, one of the most important Fire Nation
operations of the entire war, and almost succeeded in conquering the whole Earth
bested the Kyoshi Warriors, one of the strongest non-bender fighting groups in
the entire world, successfully infiltrated the Earth Kingdom in disguise,
befriended its monarch, learned of the enemy’s most secret operation,
emotionally manipulated her older brother, overthrew the captain of the secret
police and did conquer the Earth
Kingdom, something three Fire Lords, numerous technological monstrosities, and
countless generals, including her uncle, failed to do in a century.
did this all when she was fourteen.
part is easy to forget. Azula seems so much her brother’s peer, we forget she’s
the same age as Katara. And that means that when we first meet Azula, she’s
only a year older than Aang is at the end of the series. So to dismiss Aang’s
autonomy, maturity or capability because of his age is ridiculous,
understanding that he and Azula could have been in the same preschool class.
then accept Aang for what he truly is: the hero of the story, the leader of the
charge, who repeatedly displays restraint and meekness, not because of his age,
not because of his upbringing, not because of some character flaw, but because
he chooses too. We clamor for strong female characters, and for excellent
reason. But nobody every calls for more weak
male characters. Not weak in a negative sense, but weak in a sense that he
listens when heroes talk. He negotiates when heroes fight. And when heroes are
sharpening their blades, planning their strategies and stringing along their
hetero love interests, Aang is making jewelry, feeding Appa, and wearing that
flower crown he got from a travelling band of hippies. If all Aang’s hobbies
and habits were transposed onto Toph or Katara, we’d see it as a weakening of
their characters. But with Aang it’s cute, because he’s a child. Only it isn’t,
because he’s not.
his relationship with Katara, a landmark piece of any traditional protagonist’s
identity, Aang defies expectations. From the moment he wakes up in episode one,
he is infatuated with the young woman who would become his oldest teacher and
closest friend. Throughout season one we see many examples of his puppy love
expressing itself, usually to no avail. But there’s one episode in particular
that I always thought a little odd, and that’s Jet.
In Jet, Katara has an infatuation of her
own. The titular vigilante outlaw sweeps her off her feet, literally, with his
stunning hair, his masterful swordsmanship and his apparent selflessness. You’d
think this would elicit some kind of jealousy from Aang. There’s no way he’s
ignorant of what’s happening, as Sokka sarcastically refers to Jet as Katara’s
boyfriend directly in Aang’s presence, and she doesn’t even dispute it. But
even then, we never see any kind of rivalry manifest in Aang. Rather, he seems
in full support of it. He repeatedly praises Jet, impressed by his leadership
and carefree attitude. Despite his overwhelming affection for Katara, he
evaluates both her and Jet on their own merits as people. There is no sense of
ownership or macho competition.
this with Zuko’s reaction to a similar scenario in season three’s The Beach. Zuko goes to a party with his
girlfriend, and at that party he sees her talking to another guy. His reaction?
Throwing the challenger into the wall, shattering a vase, yelling at Mai, and
storming out. This may seem a little extreme, but it’s also what we’d expect to
an extent. Zuko is being challenged. He feels threatened in his station as a
man, and he responds physically, asserting his strength and dominance as best
go on and on. I could talk about how the first time Aang trains with a
dedicated waterbending master, he tries to quit because of sexist double
standards, only changing his mind after Katara’s urging. I could talk about how
Aang is cast as a woman in the Fire Nation’s propaganda theatre piece bashing
him and his friends. Because in a patriarchal society, the worst thing a man
can be is feminine. I could talk about the only times Aang causes any kind of
real destruction in the Avatar state, it’s not even him, since he doesn’t gain
control of the skill until the show’s closing moments. Every time he is powerless
in his own power and guilt-ridden right after, until the very end when he finally
gains control, and what does he do with all that potential? He raises the
rivers, and puts the fires out.
isn’t what he’s supposed to be. He rejects every masculine expectation placed
on his role, and in doing so he dodges center stage of his own show. It’s
shocking to think about how many times I just forgot about Aang. Even at the
end, when his voice has dropped and his abs have filled in, we miss it. Zuko’s
coronation comes and we cheer with the crowd, psyched to see our hero crowned.
Then the Fire Lord shakes his head, gestures behind him and declares “the real
hero is the Avatar.” It’s like he’s talking to us. “Don’t you get it?” he asks.
“Did you miss it? This is his story. But you forgot that. Because he was small.
And silly. And he hated fighting. And he loved to dance. Look at him,” Zuko
seems to say. “He’s your hero. Avatar Aang, defier of gender norms, champion of
self-identity, feminist icon.”
so i just wanted to make a post with all of my favorite Bakugou moments
(this was gonna be a post about bakugou-isms. like. moments where bakugou has said/done something inspiring or wise. but. ended up getting carried away jkl;agha)
anyway i apologize because. this is gonna be long
1. Bakugou declaring that he refuses to lose to anyone again, recognizing that there are other people who are stronger than him that he needs to surpass.
i just really enjoy this moment, because it was a big wake-up call for his character to realize that he isn’t the best, there are people in the world who can surpass him, and that he needs to work harder to reach his goals. the world isn’t as black and white as he thought, and it’s his first step to his major development later on.
2. Bakugou calmly analyzing the situation at USJ
i really like this moment b/c it’s s fascinating to watch Bakugou explain that none of their classmates are in danger, and that they should instead go and capture Black Mist, because he’s how the Villains got in in the first place.
it shows that he’s far more than just a violent, angry, rage machine. underneath it all, he’s actually far more intelligent than he seems, and this scene is one of the first that really showcases that
(this is also the moment where Kirishima finally begins to trust him; before this, he was really wary of Bakugou because of how violently he went after Izuku during the Heroes vs. Villains exams (he was seriously worried that Bakugou would kill Izuku). it’s only after this moment where Kirishima changes his initial opinion of Bakugou and begins to trust him)
3. Bakugou explaining that a quirk is nothing more than an extension of a person’s body
i just really love that, of all the characters to do this, it’s Bakugou that explains that even quirks have their limits. it’s a very introspective moment that reminds the audience that these amazing powers aren’t limitless, and that even Bakugou, despite his pride and stubbornness, knows he has limits to what he can do
4. Bakugou’s SHEER GODDAMN TENACITY DURING THE CAVALRY BATTLE
KID JUST REFUSES TO GO DOWN AND BY DOING SO, HE INSPIRES HIS TEAMMATES WITH HIS DETERMINATION AND DESIRE TO WIN AND THEY IN TERN BECOME DETERMINED TO WIN AND NOTHING IS GONNA STOP HIM FROM BECOMING NUMBER ONE AND IT’S JUST SO AWESOME AND ENERGETIC AND I LOVE IT
5. Bakugou acknowledging Uraraka’s strength
PRETTY SELF EXPLANATORY, TBH. i love how he refuses to cal her weak in any capacity, defending her against Kaminari’s words. he fought her. he knows better than anyone here that she is anything but weak. and this is the first moment where he’s vocally defending another person, which i love b/c it’s another step in his character development
6. Bakugou telling off Todoroki for standing before him without the intent to win
this scene really shows a lot of what motivates Bakugou’s character. He wants to win against Todoroki–who’s one of the strongest in the class–and prove himself as the best. But Todoroki isn’t really fighting back, because he’s going through personal issues, which is understandable and under no fault of his own.
tbh, i think it’s an interesting point to think about, because everyone at the Sports Festival is here to win. they’re all trying their best–Bakugou, Izuku, Uraraka (who Bakugou even alludes to in his rant above), Momo, etc. and it is kind of insulting to fight someone who isn’t even really trying to fight back against you in a tournament where that’s the entire purpose of it all.
that’s why Bakugou fought so hard against all of his opponents, because they all got to this level. he’s showing them respect by not going easy on them. and Bakugou finds it extremely insulting that Todoroki isn’t. i just find it a fascinating aspect to his character. it’s kind of an off-shoot of a ‘warrior’s code’ sort of thing
7. Bakugou refusing to accept his win at the Sports Festival
again, i think it shows an interesting aspect of his character, because he feels like this win wasn’t deserved, because Todoroki didn’t give it his all. it’s a hollow win, and Bakugou knows it, and he refuses to accept it.
8. the strength of Bakugou’s ideal of what a hero should be and his SHEER GODDAMN TENACITY DURING THE END OF TERM EXAM
I just love that his ideal of what a hero should be is based on All Might, the ultimate hero, who NEVER loses. this his why he became a hero in the first place, this is what motivates him in everything he does. to Bakugou, real heroes never lose, so he absolutely has to win. always.
and i love how he just refuses to give up–maybe it’s not always the greatest thing (pushing himself too far and all) but i find that really admirable too. no matter what, he just refuses to give up, and i love that (even if it isn’t exactly the best thing sometimes). he’s gonna do everything in his power to win, because that’s what heroes do, and nothing short of being knocked unconscious is gonna stop him.
9. Bakugou absolutely fucking REFUSING to join the Villain Alliance, practically BLOWING SHIGARAKI’S FACE UP WHILE DOING SO, because no matter what they say, he’s going to be a HERO, and goddammit.
he was inspired by All Might, that’s the person who motivated him to become a hero in the first place, that’s the person who he’s admired since he was a child, and the person he wants to become like. and nothing in this world is going to change that.
10. Bakugou refusing to lie, even when he’s been kidnapped and surrounded by villains.
i just find it fascinating that this is one of his personal morals, and that he (like All Might) doesn’t lie. he may be in denial more often than not, but he never lies.
11. Aizawa defending Bakugou against the reporters
i just love how Aizawa understands Bakugou, how he realizes that Bakugou is no way in danger of becoming a villain. how Bakugou’s motivations come from an different place entirely. how it all comes from his ideal of strength, and of what a hero should be. i just really love that.
12. Bakugou thanking All Might for saving him.
this is the third time All Might saved Bakugou. the first time, in chapter one, Bakugou was in complete denial. he didn’t need saving. he didn’t need anyone. how dare anyone think he needed rescuing?
the second time, at the Villain’s Alliance base, he was, again, in denial. he didn’t need All Might to come save him; even if he was happy and relieved that All Might was there, he wasn’t gonna admit to it. no way. absolutely not.
the third time… All Might saved him (and everyone at Kamino) by fighting against AFO. by refusing to go down. by using the last of his strength to defeat AFO, revealing his secret to the world, giving up OFA, and retiring for good.
Bakugou feels guilty for this. he feels like the cause of All Might’s retirement. for getting kidnapped in the first place. for not being strong enough to save himself. so this time, he’s without denial or bluster. instead, he quietly thanks All Might for saving him, because he knows what All Might gave up to do it.
it’s a big moment of character growth for him. prior to all of that, Bakugou never would’ve done that. but the weight of All Might’s sacrifice was just too much, it humbled him. he couldn’t deny it anymore. so he sincerely thanked All Might for saving him, for the first time, quietly admitting to his weakness.
13. Bakugou giving Kirishima back the money he used to buy the night vision goggles for the rescue mission (learning about it from Kaminari), while also cheering the class up after Aizawa scolded them, by making Kaminari fry his brain and making them all laugh.
just… what a fantastic moment of character growth from Bakugou. he felt guilty for Kirishima using his money to buy those goggles (which ended up getting destroyed during the mission), and he feels bad for being the reason why class getting reprimanded in the first place. so he fixes both situations as best he can, while still being his gruff, grumpy self.
he gives back the money, and cheers the class up at the same time. and Aizawa totally catches onto it, too. “A farce like this has it’s place once in a while, I suppose.” it just shows that Bakguou actually does care about his class, Kirishima in particular.
it shows that he cares his friends and his class, and i love that
14. Kaminari talking about Bakugou during the Provisional License Exam
Kaminari mentions how the insulting words Seiji is throwing at them stings, and Sejii assumes Kaminari is talking about himself. he isn’t. Kaminari corrects him while throwing one of Bakugou’s grenades, which gives a visual cue of who he’s talking about. Bakugou.
Bakugou got angry at Seiji’s words. he charged in recklessly because he couldn’t stand the insults to UA anymore. he got upset at hearing the people he cares about be insulted. and then Kaminari goes on to say/think about how Bakugou wasn’t using the full force of his attacks.
he was purposefully using lower-powered blasts in order to keep Kirishima and Kaminari safe. he purposefully put himself at a disadvantage just so he wouldn’t accidentally hurt them with the force of his attacks.
Kaminari realizes this and praises Bakugou, defends him against Seiji’s words. he may not have the kindest or sweetest personality, but he’s serious about being a hero. he’s serious about keeping them safe. he’s serious about everything, and he can’t stand hearing Seiji insult him, the people he cares about, or UA.
15. Bakugou’s guilt at causing All Might’s retirement.
oh my god, save this child. save him. he completely, totally blames himself for causing the person he admires the most, the person who inspired him to become a hero, the man who’s motivated him since he was a child, to fall.
he’s just 15. he’s just a child. and he feels guilty for this, he’s feeling the full weight of it on his shoulders, breaking down from it all, and he doesn’t know how to handle it. he’s scared. he’s terrified. he feels horrible. the number 1 hero in the world was forced to retire and it’s all his fault.
he’s been blaming himself for this for weeks. he’s just a child. he isn’t responsible for any of it, but he feels like he is. if only he were stronger, if only he got away on his own power, if only he did this or that, maybe All Might would still be a hero. if only he wasn’t so weak.
i love this moment, as painful as it is, because it shows just how human Bakugou is. it shows that he really is just a child dealing with horrible guilt, among other emotional issues (feeling like Izuku was looking down at him for all these years, being terrified that Izuku could one day surpass him, realizing that All Might acknowledged Izuku over him, having a superiority and inferiority complex that just exploded, feeling desperate for an answer over what he should do, and who was right in how they admired All Might (Bakugou for how he always wins, Izuku for how he always saves people with a smile, etc)).
in the end, he’s still just a child. a child dealing with so much more than he ever let on until this fight, where it all exploded out of him, because he just didn’t know how to handle them. he couldn’t bottle it up anymore.
(i will never, ever excuse or justify any of the horrible things Bakugou did in the past. what he did was inexcusable. but god.. he’s still just a child.)
i love this moment because he’s so scared, terrified, upset, confused, desperate and just so damn human in this moment, and i love it. he’s not just an angry kid. he’s not just a violent, rage machine. there are so many emotions that drive him and i love it so much.
16. Bakugou supporting Izuku after their fight
i just…. really love this. Bakugou has had so many issues with Izuku in the past, many of them stemming from misunderstandings. as mentioned above, he thought Izuku was looking down on him. he was terrified of Izuku’s growth, feared that one day he could actually surpass him one day. but now they’ve talked. now they understand each other better. now Izuku has the support of All Might… and he can’t be losing.
(and again, none of those reasons justify what Bakugou did to Izuku for those ten years. but they explain why he did it in the first place. i just want to emphasize that)
to Bakugou, real heroes never lose. Bakugou is applying that to Izuku, now. he’s got the greatest hero in the world helping him, and he can’t be losing. Bakugou, in his own way, is supporting Izuku. it’s one of the biggest moments of character growth for him. for the longest time, he was terrified of Izuku. scared he’d be left behind while Izuku grew stronger. but now he’s putting that aside.
Izuku has All Might’s power. he has All Might’s support. they both admired him… and now Izuku is being supported by him. so now Bakugou will, too.
Izuku has the greatest hero in the world looking after him. he can’t be losing now. not anymore.
17. Bakugou encouraging Kirishima
i just…. look at how far Bakugou has come. he went from being terrified of others being better than him–of not being as great as he grew up believing–and now he’s supporting Izuku (the person who scared and frustrated him the most), and now he’s actively giving encouragement and helping his friend.
hell. Bakugou has friends now. he didn’t have any at the beginning of the series; he was to full of pride to see anything but himself. but now he does, and he’s giving them encouragement. giving Kirishima encouragement. and he’s doing so by drawing from the Kamino incident, the very incident that gave him so much guilt and confusion and pain. the incident that probably gave him nightmares for who knows how long.
he’s bringing up that incident to comfort and support and encourage his friend. he’s talking about how there are different kinds of strength out there–that just refusing to go down is it’s own strength. this from the kid who’s entire philosophy on heroism is to never lose.
he’s not scared of being surpassed. he’s got friends now. he’s helping and supporting them in his own way. he’s not afraid to think of the very incident that caused him so much pain; he’s healing from it, slowly. he’s learned from it. he’s slowly accepting that it wasn’t his fault. he’s admitting that there are other kinds of strength out there, besides just winning. it’s about refusing to go down (like All Might did at Kamino).
this is one of my favorite moments, even tho it’s so short, because it’s a culmination of Bakugou’s character development so far in the story. it’s a small moment, but it wouldn’t mean anything without the hundred or so chapters proceeding it, showing all of Bakugou’s complexities, and all of his personal issues, motivations, emotional struggles, etc.
this moment is great because it shows just how far Bakugou has come since chapter one. he’s almost a completely different character than who he was, where he began. and that’s why i love it so much
long story short Bakugou is an incredibly complex kid and i love him a lot
There are few things as soul-crushing in the writing process (at least to me) than getting a bunch of characters in a room with the intention of something happening, then the characters proceed to stand around and stare at each other.
Or worse, look at you like this.
My characters didn’t know why they were there. I didn’t know why they were there either. I had no clue what they were supposed to be doing, so I’d start throwing random instructions at them: “Fight, characters! You guys should fight now! Maybe fighting will make this event have a purpose!” Which inevitably resulted in characters going through the motions of battle for no apparent reason, like they had all lost their minds.
What was the problem? I didn’t know how to write a scene. I didn’t know what a scene was. I had a vague definition that it was something about changing scenery, or just “something happening”.
It’s not. And once I learned what a scene was, my characters got to stop pummeling each other, while wishing they could pummel me.
So what is a scene?
The definition of a scene is kind of like the definition of a story. Story is change, a massive change in the life of your main character. A scene is change too, but much smaller, and part of that huge story change. You couldn’t have the BIG change without these tiny changes. Thus, a scene is not switching scenery. It’s not flipping to a new Character’s POV. It’s one segment of change, which triggers the next change, which triggers the next, which gradually build into sequences, which build into Acts, which build into story.
So what goes into a scene? How does it work?
1. Alternating Charges
If a scene opens positive, it will turn negative by the end. If it opens negative, it will end positive. Simple.
2. Character Goals
Everybody in a scene wants something. If they don’t want anything, they shouldn’t be in the scene. And these characters, with their often opposing goals, are going to employ different tactics on each other to get what they want. Which creates …
3. Escalating Conflict
Conflict is created when one character wants one thing and another wants something else, right? So the characters in the scene are each pushing for something different, each new tactic increasing in determination. And what are these actions called?
The beats of a scene are exchanges of action and reaction. One character does something, another character reacts. All exchanges (beats) are pushing the scene onward, building tension and conflict, until finally …
5. Turns & Revelations
The scene turns. The positive has changed to negative. Something has been discovered. The story has spun in a new direction.
6. Connection to Story Objective
Every scene must be connected to the BIG goal of the story, the main character is taking small actions to reach that big goal. If it isn’t obviously connected to this big plot, it won’t make sense. Your reader won’t know why the heck they’re reading the scene. Which brings us to …
7. Logic & Necessity
Every scene must be necessary. It must be able to be linked with the previous scene. “Because that happened in the previous scene, THIS must happen in this scene.”
So! To see how that all works, let’s break down a scene from Tangled. (Because I used it in the last post to map out how a premise works, and my little writer heart can’t resist symmetry.)
Rapunzel’s Goal: Rise up against her mother – finally.
Gothel’s Goal: Regain control.
Escalating Conflict: They’re fighting over who controls Rapunzel, and this battle causes them to go from “mother and daughter” to “enemies”. The conflict builds nicely in this scene, causing the story turn.
Connection to Story Objective: Throughout the movie, the big thing Rapunzel wants is freedom, she wants her life to begin, she wants to have a new dream. This is the moment she figures out how to do that; it’s not escaping the tower, it’s escaping Gothel’s control over her.
So! Here’s the scene.
“Rapunzel? Rapunzel, what’s going on up there?”
Ignores her. Still processing the tremendous implications of this revelation.
“Are you alright?"
"I’m the lost princess.” (Dumbfounded. Almost whispering it to herself.)
“Oh, please speak up Rapunzel! You know how I hate the mumbling.” (Bullying.)
“I am the lost princess! Aren’t I?” (Fighting back. She will not be bullied anymore.)
Gothel stares, stunned. She’s rendered temporarily speechless, because her secret’s been revealed finally, and her victim is actually fighting against her.
“Did I mumble, Mother? Or should I even call you that?” (Accusing. Drawing herself up taller. Looking down on Gothel and glaring. She’s seeing her clearly for the first time in her life.)
After a pause, thinking up a tactic. “Oh, Rapunzel, do you even hear yourself? How could you ask such a ridiculous question?” (Laughs. Ridicules. Attempts to make her feel childish, dumb, worthy of being mocked. Tactics which have always worked. She even begins to hug her.)
Rapunzel pushes her. “It was you! It was all you!” (Still accusing and angry, but pain is beginning to show. It’s almost like she’s giving her a chance to explain herself.)
“Everything I did was to protect you.” (And Gothel doesn’t say anything redeeming. She’s holier than thou, regal, bestowing kindness on an ungrateful, stupid child. Trying to control through guilt.)
Rapunzel rams her out of the way.
“Rapunzel!” (Shouting. Now trying anger.)
“I’ve spent my entire life hiding from people who would use me for my power …” (Leaves her.)
"Rapunzel!” (Still trying the anger angle.)
“But I should have been hiding from you.” (Throwing the truth at her.)
“Where will you go? He won’t be there for you.” (She’s tried everything else. It’s time to attack her heart.)
“What did you do to him?” (Fear)
“That criminal is to be hanged for his crimes.” (She’s keeping up the disapproving mother act, but striking her right where it will hurt her most.)
“No.” (She’s stopped. Shrinking in on herself. Staring, horrified. And Gothel thinks she’s won.)
“Now, now. It’s alright. Listen to me. All of this is as it should be.” She goes to pat Rapunzel’s head, a gesture symbolic of her superiority, her physical, mental, and emotional control over her victim.
Rapunzel grabs Gothel’s wrist. “No! You were wrong about the world. And you were wrong about me! And I will never let you use my hair again!"
Gothel wrenches free, stumbling backwards in shock and anger, breaking the mirror in the process.
"You want me to be the bad guy? Fine. Now I’m the bad guy.” (Well, now emotional control is over. It’s time to start stabbing Rapunzel’s boyfriend.)
This action has no reaction, interestingly. It leaves us hanging, a cliffhanger created with only beats.
Closing Charge: Negative. She’s now a full-fledged villain, the motherly persona shed, and she’s determined to get what she wants whatever the cost.
Turn: It changed from positive to negative, and now we’ve got a Flynn-stabbing witch to deal with.
Revelation: She’s always been evil. She has always been the bad guy. The motherly act was just that, an act.
Logic & Necessity: This scene fits with the previous scene, and the one that follows.
Though I’ve seen these concepts in many books, the place I first learned about it (and the best resource for scene design in my opinion) is the book Story by Robert McKee. It’s helped me countless times, is one of my favorite books on storytelling, and I highly recommend it if you write anything.
I realize that these definitions were a little vague, so I’ll be explaining things more thoroughly in subsequent posts.
do you think sheith will be canon or at least heavily hinted in the series?
looking at it objectively, i’m going to say there’s a really high probability at this point. as good a chance as there being any romance for either keith or shiro at all. this is why:
their relationship has always been defined as the emotional heart of this series. we see no other relationship this strong,
and this is consistently shown, from literally their first scene. we
see keith set off explosions, take out an entire room of garrison
operatives like they’re tissue paper, and then melt when he sees shiro:
it’s actually one of the biggest mysteries of the series so far.
like here we have two totally independent, strong people that have this
incredibly deep bond, and we have no idea how or why. it’s really a
unique relationship no matter how you look at it. long, long meta under
Responding to your post about twist endings and Rod Serling: Do you think that the "No, Luke, I am your father" reveal in Empire Strikes Back works as a powerful twist? It's hard to view it as anything but obligatory after almost 40 years of references but at one point it was truly shocking, I think. Still, I'm not sure if the themes that the reveal serves are actually important to the work or if they just match the reveal.
Comparing the “I am your father” ending to the Twilight
Zone/Scifi Proposition-Argument-Conclusion ending is like
comparing a dolphin to a torpedo; they look the same, but they work in very different ways.
I think it’s important to emphasize here that the
ending IS what your story is trying to say; the ending IS the story. If you
have a story about the hazards of love that cynically shows how bad
relationships can be…but the hero finds true love at the end, it’s an
optimistic story that says true love and happiness is possible and relationships are great. The ending is what your story is trying to say.
Now, that said, the reason that the Darth Vader reveal
has oomph can only be understood if you look at the Empire Strikes Back script
by Lawrence Kasdan, who wrote maybe one of my favorite Westerns, Silverado (I
love Westerns as much as scifi, but considering the nature of this blog, that
part of my personality doesn’t come up much). It’s worth noting that most scifi
writers have an understanding of the basics, something that transfers from
genre to genre; the fundamentals of storytelling are the same. Rod Serling won Emmys for drama long before Twilight Zone, for instance.
You can understand what Empire Strikes back is all
about from the title, which wasn’t carelessly chosen. It’s a story about how the Rebels are on the run; they are
running in the night, and the wolves are after them. It’s impossible to stand
and fight. The opening has the rebels in exile in a miserable icy location,
from which they are forced to flee.
As the story goes on, things get worse and worse. The heroes are betrayed and have no place to hide. Luke
does the impetuous yet loyal and courageous thing to help his friends before he’s
ready, which the wise Yoda raises the stakes for by saying that Luke will fail totally if he confronts Darth Vader. The scene on Dagobah
with Yoda and Obi-Wan fills us with dread for the meeting to come and raises
the stakes for the battle to come; that’s the purpose of the scene.
Are you getting it, now? The point of the story is to
have the Empire victorious, to show the sacrifice and loss a rebellion would
need. And when Luke goes to see Vader, he has his hand chopped off and his
lightsaber lost; he never stood a chance. And that, at the very conclusion of
the film, is when the biggest bombshell of all is dropped: Darth Vader is Luke’s
The Darth Vader reveal wouldn’t have worked if it came
in the middle of the film. It worked because
the entire film had been building to it, with loss after loss to the
Empire. It’s the ultimate thing to make a hero totally despair in a story that’s
all about losing (note that after learning this Luke has no option but to jump to his death). The twist isn’t just thrown in there out of nowhere; the
entire film had been building to it, and it’s the final “knockout punch.”
To have an ending like this, you have to identify what your story is about and what it’s trying to say, so you can convince the audience of it. As Brian McDonald says, “lots of young writers ask me if they are being too preachy. Not enough ask me if they are being sufficiently clear.”
If you’re asking ‘was sasuke in love with sakura’ in the romantically smitten sense of the term, then my short answer is: No, he was not. The longer answer would be: it’s complicated, but not hard to see or understand.
One thing that is important to remember is that Sasuke as a character has some of the most complicated relationships in the entire series; this was what gave us the giant plot twist that was Itachi, this was what gave us his intense relationship with his dad, and that was what made his feelings towards naruto come off a lot more complicated than that of naruto’s towards him. Let’s break this down.
Did Sasuke love Sakura? Yes, Sakura was, and still is, in fact one of Sasukes most precious bonds. He cared about her a great deal; so much so that he was willing to kill in the forest of death, going against his morals, as well as die for her to escape in the Gaara fight which would have meant he’d have to kiss his revenge (what he views to be the sole reason for his existence) goodbye. There are various scenes where sasuke shows how far his feelings towards Sakura (and team 7 in general) run. To list a few:
But he was not in love with her?
No. Sasuke had far more heavy things weighing on his mind to sit down and dissect the nature of his feelings towards team7, and hell, later on had hate clouding his every move. The first time he did do that was in chapter 698 when he was free of his hatred and given a chance to think clearly and put some dots together. But when his character arc includes and focuses on things such as
It really becomes no wonder that Sasuke just did notallowhimself to indulge in a ‘fantasy’ that includes him being happy and healing with team 7
It wasn’t that sasuke didn’t have feelings for team 7. He himself was aware of the bonds they share and how much they affected him, and he himself was aware of the romantic context of the relationship between him and Sakura. It was more like him taking those feelings and pushing them aside as to not dwell on them.
sasuke @ feelings
bc feelings made him go like this
Given a different circumstance however i have 0 doubt in my mind that sasuke would have fallen for sakura quite quickly. Why am I sure? To answer that question we will have to ask a different question.
What was the context of their relationship?
The scenes they share are mostly romantic in nature. Sakura was always the only girl that could get a reaction out of sasuke by doing something lovey dovey, he always had a softer spot for her and treated her marginally better than he did most people
My favorite is definitely the one where sasuke winked, it gives a little glimpse of what they must be like married
just scenes like this showing them having chemistry and wanting to be around each other make me 100% sure sasuke would have had a huge crush on her given different luck in life
but noOoo, you CanT cATch mE fEElingS
So, when was he ready to ~play at romance~?
The first time he really wanted to regain her as a part of his life was when he apologized, i’d say that was a moment when he realized how much he wanted to do in order to keep the people who mattered to him close. We aren’t really given much about the blank period but i’m assuming they were rekindling the bonds they shared and that was when sasuke wanted to give romance a shot, after he felt redeemed enough to indulge in such aspects of life, and after he understood the world without burdens clouding his eyes. This is a very mature move in my opinion, they both deserve a happiness they can both fully enjoy without personal issues weighing heavy on them. Hence the famous ‘i’ll see you when i’m back’ forehead poke. It’s intimate and romantic enough to signify something will happen in the future, but it’s not a make out session since it’s not quite right now. It’s honestly very sasuke.
He’s in love now, but when did he fall in love?
Definitely when they traveled but it’s up to your own hc to imagine how it happened. I’d say during their travels the chemistry they once shared flows with a lot more ease; they talk a lot more, impress each other with their strengths, share things about each other, have moments with each other that allow sasuke to experience what romantic love and being smitten with someone feels like and boom, he’s like ‘I think I want to marry this girl?’
Keeping with the The Office theme i’d say it was a moment like this when he realized yeah let’s get married you make me very happy
because c’mon let’s be real, they’re a pair of dorks.
I don’t know what suddenly happened again but there’s a
shitton of hate for Victuuri/Viktuuri(/etc) in the tags lately. People are
welcome to feel however they want for a particular ship, but I just wanted to
give my two cents by tackling the common complaints I’ve seen. I’ll start from
the beginning so I’ll be addressing basically all the arguments against this
ship I’ve seen so far.
I’ve tried to maintain some sort of order for these, but honestly I just winged it at some point. A lot of these arguments are also heavily
character-based, so keep in mind that I’ll be deconstructing several scenes as
well as character motivations as I go. (As a note, this
assumes you’ve seen the whole show. Also, I’m only using canon evidence from
the show itself.)
This is like an informal follow-up to my super old post but also not really.
No I’m not avoiding work why would you say that.
WARNING: This is a massive post/wall of text. Grab popcorn.
It seems Tyler Hoechlin is your favorite live-action Superman, but can you rank the actors from worst to best as you see it (of the current actors, I'm not sold on Hoechlin yet, but I think it has more to do with my dislike of his costume—particularly how the cape attaches—that it distracts me from the character, while Cavill seems to physically look perfect for the part and certainly is capable of the acting and charm, but the script he has to work with is lacking)?
Leaving out Kirk Alyn, John Haymes Newton and Gerard Christopher, since I’m not familiar with their performances:
7. Tom Welling
I feel kind of bad about this one. I grew up watching Smallville, y’know? And in terms of sheer man-hours devoted to the role, Welling has more of a claim to being Superman than anyone other than Bud Collyer. But he…wasn’t great, in retrospect. I suspect it was largely a matter of the material he was given; he did well whenever he actually had something to do, whether as dorky reporter Clark Kent intermittently throughout the final season, or various cases of amnesia/mind control/body-swapping/Red Kryptonite exposure. But outside maybe a sweet spot after he’d grown into the role and before he visibly started to get tired of it, and occasionally when getting to spar with (better) actors like Durance, Rosenbaum, and Glover, he had a weird stiffness when playing regular Clark Kent that for the most part didn’t translate into charm once he couldn’t bank on teen awkwardness anymore, and while that frankly made him a pretty honest depiction of the increasingly dicey version of the character he was written as, it didn’t make for a great take on Superman.
6. Henry Cavill
Cavill’s been more let down by the material than anything else - the unfortunate unifying factor of the bottom three here. When the movies let him be great, he really is great, whether promising Martha that he isn’t going anywhere even after learning the truth about Krypton or fighting for the stories he believes in against Perry White. For the most part though he just seems to be called on to look varying degrees of sad and solemn, asked to call on none of the charm he showed in, say, The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Granted his Superman has a lot to be down about, but there’s no range on display here; I don’t doubt he’s got a great take on the character in him, but for now it’s being kept under wraps.
5. Brandon Routh
Of all the reasons Superman Returns was such a damn shame, maybe the biggest was that it buried any chance of seeing the performance out of Brandon Routh that he so clearly had to offer. He’s a great dorky Clark, a charming Superman, and when the stars line up just right, he really manages to capture the idea of Superman as a melancholy figure - his take doesn’t just seem to be bearing the weight of the world in the philosophical abstract, but much more palpably feels an entire planet crying out for him, knowing he can never save them all but always trying anyway out of unconditional love, very much in line with Garth Ennis and John McCrea’s take on him in Hitman. Unfortunately all that takes up maybe 10-15 minutes of runtime, spending the rest of the movie stalking his ex with a neutral expression until he gets shived by Kevin Spacey and regurgitates Brando at his secret kid. Superman Returns was weird, ya’ll.
4. Dean Cain
I was honestly surprised with myself when I decided Cain won out as the best of the rest outside the big three - I thought for sure it’d be Routh. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that while Routh’s take is definitely closer to the version of Superman I had in my head, it’s compromised in a way the Superman of Lois & Clark never was: like the take or not, this is a perfect realization of the Superman the creators of the show clearly had in mind. His Clark’s funny, clever, warm, and vulnerable, and while it feels weird for him to be acting that way in the glasses these were the Byrne years, so as an expression of his ‘real’ self it’s pretty on-point. His Superman’s the weaker end, stilted even given it’s supposed to be him putting on a performance in-universe, but there’s such an unironic earnestness there that it typically slid back into charming.
3. George Reeves
I thought for awhile about 2 and 3, ultimately concluding that what was asked of George Reeves was a fair deal simpler. He didn’t much differentiate between Superman and Clark, and his booming radio announcer voice made clear we weren’t supposed to be measuring his performance in terms of whether or not he seemed like a real person. What he was called on to show though, and what he had out the wazoo, was raw charisma. When Jimmy asks him why he burst through a wall rather than using a door and Superman replies with a grin “Well, this seemed a little more spectacular,” you’re 100% willing to buy into that explanation, because yeah, it wasspectacular, because Superman’s fantastic. And he could more than hold his own with the best of them when asked to work with more serious material, whether wandering through an amnesic fog in Panic In The Sky with only his instinctive decency to guide him, or here, in the final scene of The Dog Who Knew Superman, where Clark has to deal with a dog not only adoring him, but recognizing him in both identities:
2. Christopher Reeve
I gave Tom Welling his well-earned due earlier, but if you really want to talk about a guy with a solid claim to being Superman, Christopher Reeve didn’t just embed himself on the psyche of a generation, but is still held up today as the unequivocal standard by which the role is set. In all likelihood he’ll always be ‘the’ Superman, in the same way as Sean Connery will always be James Bond, and Bela Lugosi will always be Dracula. He shone like the sun in the costume, he was believably such a wimpy klutz out of it that no one would guess they were the same even when it was staring them in the face, and if anyone has any lingering suspicions that he just had the easy task of playing two extremely arch roles to the hilt, they might be forgetting this bit:
Was it perfect? I don’t know about that - if nothing else there were one or two awkward line readings, and the identity division is so sharp that it’s hard to tell when you’re getting a glimpse of the real guy underneath all the identities. But while I definitely question how much of a positive impact on Superman those movies themselves really had in the long run, Reeve’s performance on its own was an undeniable revelation, everything he did reverberating with such a sincere and powerful sense of decency and love for his fellow man that it not only brought Superman to the life, but frankly changed him forever for the better.
1. Tyler Hoechlin
I expected nothing out of this guy. Not that I by any means thought he’d be bad, but when I heard some dude from Teen Wolf was gonna appear on an episode or two of Supergirl, my reaction was about as intense as…well, what you’d expect upon hearing that some dude from Teen Wolf was showing up on Supergirl, even given who he was playing (granted I’ve never seen Teen Wolf and don’t actually especially know what Teen Wolf is, beyond that it’s based on that werewolf-playing-basketball 80s movie written by…wait, Jeph Loeb?!). Looked fine - and it became clear he actually really did look the part once behind-the-scenes pictures started to come out, rather than that godawful original promo picture - and I figured he’d belt out his best Reeve/Animated Series/Cartoon-on-the-side-of-a-cereal-box brand Generic Superman Performance to cheer Kara on before vanishing into the sunset forever outside of the opening credits. I was plenty interested in the potential long-term ramifications of Superman being allowed on TV again in any capacity for the first time since the 90s, given the influence that suggested Geoff Johns had as the new DC President and what that could mean in terms of other characters showing up down the line, but I wasn’t inclined to think of this as anything other than a stepping stone, only notable in its own right because it meant someone would be wearing the s-shield.
Then we actually saw him.
Where the hell has this guy been all these years? Was he grown in a goddamn laboratory for the part? How did the best Superman ever end up in a minor recurring guest spot on the CW Supergirl show?
It would be so, so easy to leap to the idea that he simply works as a jack-of-all-trades: he’s almost as charming as Reeve, just about as confident as Reeves, nearly as vulnerable as Cain. But that would be selling what he’s doing short - especially given that he probably hasn’t had the opportunity to stretch as far as he could in any of those directions, as his role so far has very much been as Supergirl’s backup dancer. What it comes down to is his general demeanor and how he incorporates those aspects into a whole that feels more fully-realized than any portrayal before him. His Superman and Kent are not only distinctive to the point that within the heightened reality the show occupies you can buy that people think of them as different people, but you can see threads from both of them connecting back to the real Clark you see around Kara. He’s open and warm and authentic in a way none of his predecessors quite were, and he’s able to turn on a dime into steely determination or outright fury while remaining recognizable. He’s above everyone’s heads and vaguely alien at times without ever seeming detached or less than entirely loving of the people around him, able to admit his fears and failings while staying strong and capable of changing for the better, utterly and palpably good without ever sliding into naivete or cartoonishness. In short he has range and nuance, and thanks to that along with the air of laid-back friendliness he brings with him, he more than anyone else to put on the suit feels like a real person. And somehow, that real person feels as much as anyone ever has like Superman. And that’s a hell of an achievement. So someone give him his own goddamn show already.
What do you think were the best nalu moments in this arc so far?
Hmm~ This is a good question! I had to go back quite far for this one, but I think you’ll like it! It’s gonna be a long answer, so let’s get started!
First off, we have Natsu coming back from his year long training session:
I mean, in the entirety of chapter 418 we see just how much Lucy misses Natsu (and Happy too of course), but in this page, you can see how happy she is that he’s back. She looks almost relieved (not that she wasn’t thriving on her own, but she had a hole in her heart). Natsu looks ecstatic to see Lucy (we even get a little blush).
Moving on to chapter 419 (don’t worry, I won’t be going through every chapter like this lmao) but OH MY GOD LOOK. Natsu had no idea how hard Lucy was working and how broken she was losing Aquarius, everyone, and HIM all at once. I think this is where he truly understood her pain whether he knew all the details or not.
Also, how can we forget how “first chapter” this page is. It’s almost like Lucy can’t believe it. He’s back and so is Fairy Tail.
Here, it’s pretty clear that Natsu has learned how much him leaving as well hurt her. I think this is v important for their relationship… Which they still have yet to “resolve” though I don’t think Natsu leaving was entirely “selfish”.
I think here Natsu is trying to gain Lucy’s trust again. To prove himself to her, and honestly I believe that this scene is very intimate between them and the way their relationship is. Not so much romantically, but their trust in each other.
We also get a LOT of scenes of both Natsu and Lucy reacting like this to one another…
Okay, okay I know, I’m nitpicking everything- HOW CAN I PICK JUST A FEW FAVORITES?? But alright, I’m going to get into general, overarching moments that I think are the best and really love!
There is A LOT under this break and there are also spoilers of the latest chapters!! Please read with caution :)
dark rc would you please consider writing about how victor (and the rest of the Russian skate team) had a feud with the Russian hockey team bc of their constant flirting and attentions towards yuuri (who was completely oblivious at the war waging for his heart)??
This has been sitting in my inbox for over a month and I apologize for that, nonny! I wanted to try my hand at breaking through this writer’s block and this prompt was ripe for the taking. It’s not my best work by any stretch, but it’s something at least! I hope you enjoy.
There are few things that give Yuri pleasure—the taste of accomplishment like cinnamon sugar on the back of his tongue after landing a quad; having a comeback so cutting that he practically draws blood; that soft murrf a cat makes when it decides it trusts him; the little green screenshot arrow appearing next to Otabek’s name in Snapchat—but they all pale in comparison to whenever the Russian hockey team visits the rink.
They don’t say much, but they FIGHT for their loved ones
They don’t show emotions, but they PROTECT their loved ones
They’ll kill for survival, but they’ll DIE for their loved ones
They don’t smile much, but when they do, it comes from PURE happiness
I was SO HAPPY to see so much interactions between Sun and Wolfgang happened in this season – I loved this pair since Christmas special when they had this whole “if you need help” “I’m fine. If you need some air” “I’m good” then * both smirk * scene
There are so many things Sun and Wolfgang share in common
Both are the quiet ones in the cluster; they are badasses; and THEY DESERVE PEACE & HAPPINESS – and LOVE!
They might be strong on the outside, but they have soft heart inside; and that sometimes make these two people blame themselves for what they’ve done
Their mothers loved them; their fathers…one was abusive and the other was ignorant; and their other family members (like Steiner and Joong Ki) just couldn’t leave them in peace
One thing they don’t share in common, other than their fighting style, is that when Sun needs help, she asks for help. Whereas Wolfgang would NEVER, EVER ask for help – even when he’s being captured and tortured by Whispers
I really hope that in the end, both Sun and Wolfgang find their own peace (except rest-in-peace bullshit, I won’t allow it)
Favorite moments in season 2 (spoilers!)
2x02 Who Am I?
– I like that when they’re visiting each other, neither of them says ‘hi’ or ‘what’s up?’ Instead they just simply have a short eye contact and that’s it. The zoo scene sums up Sun and Wolfgang’s relationship. And we love this quiet-yet-we-know-each-other-by-just-looking-at-one’s-eyes. PERFECTION
– Not just from this scene, but most conversations between Sun and Wolfgang are short, very straightforward & concise…and that’s what makes their dynamic so real and sincere because we know both characters share a deep connection through their unspoken pain
– OK, I love Sun just the way she is. But I absolutely love her when she embodies Wolfang. Two words; and her level of being badass just exploded there. Hats off to Doona’s perfect portrayal of Wolfgang/Max
– In graveyard scene, everyone from the cluster talks to her from their heart…from their experience. What differentiates Wolfgang from rest of them is he’s the only one who says ‘the world would be better without’ people like Joong Ki and Wolfgang’s father. Revenge is a double-edged sword. It’s bittersweet. And Wolfgang has already had a taste of revenge..several times. However, I don’t think sweetness of revenge or his skepticism about justice are entire reasons why he says it. I think it’s because deep down he knows Sun is stronger than she thinks; strong enough to not only make Joong Ki pay for her father’s death but also take in the bitterness of revenge
– This is not an interaction between them, but I really wanted to go over this little parallel scenes. Another thing I love about Sun and Wolfgang is they don’t use their strengths to bully someone or to just show off. They use them to protect their loved ones when they are treated like shit by shitty peoplenot nicely
– I know I didn’t include “I would” in Gala scene. Doesn’t mean I don’t like it; it’s just kinda goes along with what I’ve written in graveyard scene. I didn’t want to be redundant. But yeah, I liked that scene too: Wolfgang in gangsta mode walking by Sun’s side while others are trying to stop her XD
– But back to the point, I personally like this scene more simply because I love when Wolfgang shows his gentle and caring side of him towards his cluster. Like when he cared for Will [x]. Also, we don’t really get to see Sun being afraid a lot (I mean of course, she’s a warrior), so it was kinda good to see her being weak and vulnerable for a moment but then quickly regaining her calmness after her cluster reassures she’s going to be fine. It shows how much Sun trusts her cluster; and how much her cluster cares for her (PLATONIC LOVE RIGHT HERE PEOPLE!)
I would say most interactions between Wolfgang and Sun happened during ‘sharing’ – resulting great action sequences, which also proves (again) that these two are not talkers; they’re fighters. Maybe that’s why they make an awesome pair!
Before anyone tries to jump down my throat about being a stupid SJW who only cares about the race angle, I would first like to point out that I enjoyed the hell out of Daredevil, another Marvel Netflix show starring a white man practicing Asian martial arts. It’s all in the execution, guys. And the execution here is garbage.
Let’s start with the martial arts. For the love of fuck, if you just HAVE to get a generic white man to play the lead, the least you could do was get one who was good at traditional martial arts. There are a lot of them. Charlie Cox, one Netflix recommendation over, pulls off some of the best fight scenes I have ever seen in a TV show (also, the man can act, so that helps too). Last month, I watched a red-belt student of mine in a local production of Macbeth. At twelve, that kid has more talent (in the acting and martial arts departments) than this Finn Jones tool.
Jessica Henwick’s form is nothing to write home about but at least she’s better than Jones. And both our action heroes would benefit greatly from some less shitty fight choreography and editing. (Guys, just adding loud ‘swoosh’ sound effects isn’t going to trick me into thinking the sword is swinging faster. I can see it).
To add insult to injury, the show condescendingly tries to make me believe that this pasty-ass piece of mediocrity is a better martial artist than Colleen Wing?? Just has him casually trounce her in her own dojo. With those wibbly-wobbly stances, son? I don’t think so. This is not real life, nor is it good fiction. This is some flabby-ass white guy’s jerk-off fantasy of being super awesome and showing up the hot Asian chick without any understanding martial arts whatsoever.
The acting in this show ranges from serviceable to painfully inept (lookin’ at you Meachum Jr. or whatever the fuck your name is, I’ll have forgotten your whole existence by tomorrow for all the impression you leave). Even the competent performances in this show only serve to remind me of more interesting characters from Netflix’s other Marvel shows. For example, Jessica Stroup’s acting is similar to Deborah Ann Woll’s performance as Karen Page, only serving to remind me that Karen Page alone is a more interesting character with more compelling scenes than half the cast of Iron Fist put together.
I will say that Colleen Wing is quite appealing and I applaud Henwick for making her both tough and charming, not an easy line to walk. If I wanted to be mean, I could point out that she is essentially just a Claire Temple 2.0 in terms of her temperament and her role as shelter and support to the Main White Guy at the point of her introduction. But I don’t actually want to pick on Colleen. She’s cute and I like her.
Now, back to being mean: STOP trying to make white characters look cool by having them speak Chinese (or any language they can’t speak for that matter, though I feel Mandarin generally gets a special kind of mangling for the crime of being a tonal language). It doesn’t sound cool. I hate to have to be the one to tell you this, guys. It makes you sound like a fucking idiot. Okay, sure, maybe you succeeded in making your white English-speaking audience think, ‘yeah, that’s really cool, he must be super smart and badass, I want to be like that.’ But White people, I am telling you this for your own good: you don’t want to be like that. Because as cool as that butchered-ass Mandarin may sound to you, it’s like a band-saw to my eardrums. It brings everything to a cringing, teeth-grinding halt in the middle of what might otherwise be a perfectly good scene. Remember when Wilson Fisk had a conversation with Madame Gao in ‘Mandarin’? That was the worst part of Netflix’s Daredevil. Worse, it made me embarrassed for an actor I greatly admire. So, to whoever decided it was a great idea to have Wilson Fisk show off his Mandarin, thanks dickhead. You wrecked an entire scene for my favorite Marvel villain.
Oh yeah, and if any of you want to try to tell me I don’t know what I’m talking about, fucking come at me bro. I have a black belt and 10+ years of training in traditional martial arts. I am a Chinese-American woman, proficient in Japanese and Mandarin, and I double majored in East Asian History and Buddhist studies.
Oh, did I mention that our protagonist keeps condescendingly spouting mystical pseudo-Buddhist bullshit to everyone he meets? And then throws temper tantrums when they (shock!) don’t take him seriously? God, I hate this show.
If I want to see better acting, I can go see a middle school play. If I want to see better fighting, I can go to the dojo and watch my seven-year-old green belts spar. If I want to hear Buddhist philosophy mangled by self-impressed white people, I can go to the yoga studio next door.
Harry Styles’ solo album might be the most anticipated debut this side of the millennium. Following years as the bullseye in the global behemoth that was One Direction, the singer is taking center stage with a self-titled effort that’s a classic cocktail of psychedelia, Britpop, and balladry. If it was a color, it would be the baby blue of Jimi Hendrix’s Fender Stratocaster or the soft pink of Mick Jagger’s suit when he performed on “Top Of The Pops” in 1971. It’s rock and it’s roll, but it’s also soft and sensitive. Produced by Jeff Bhasker (Kanye West, Fun.) it’s a record that could force the position of mainstream radio by ushering in a reprise of proper music — ensembles, verse-chorus-verse, rich instrumentation, or, basically, Adele’s bag of tricks.
Despite the red herring of lead single ‘Sign Of The Times’ (it clocks in at just under six minutes in length), the album is a short shrift 40 minutes and contains ten songs that are largely about women. Unlike Robbie Williams and Justin Timberlake before him, there’s a deepened millennial sensibility to being a leading man. Harry is a sensitive soul; A post-Drake phenomenon; A serious pop performer with enviable vocal chops and a gifted ability to convey a song’s emotional heft. He oozes class, ease and a sense of import without thrusting forth from the hips, or wreaking of a self-satisfied sense of boyband emancipation. Both respectful of his past and nervous for his future, “Harry Styles,” the album, looks both ways. - Variety
Warning: Spoilers! And I wrote this on the spur, so there might be grammatical errors.
1. I enjoyed the story. Yeah, people will say it recycles from the trilogy, but come on, people. Why are you surprised? Bioware recycles their plotlines all the time. It’s pretty much the same in all of their games. A protagonist gains special abilities and leads a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits team to defeat a big threat. And I’m not bothered by that. Sometimes familiarity in your franchise is good, just as long as you do new things to the formula, and I think they do.
What interested me the most was the theme of starting over. A lot of people in the Andromeda Initiative were former criminals or outcasts. The reason they joined was to start a new life, and it’s explored in the main questlines, the loyalty quests, and numerous side quests. I was worried about the game talking about colonization since humans are looking for a new home, but I was pleasantly surprised that the game made it clear that Andromeda is the angara’s home first, and humans and other Milky Way species will have to work with them. Thank god! No Mightey Whitey trope this time!
2. Ryder as the player character. I honestly never thought I would love Ryder as much as I did when I played the game. Sure, no one will ever replace Commander Shepard, but Ryder isn’t meant to replace the Commander, rather show a different perspective in a new story. Commander Shepard is the hero we want to be while Ryder is more of a relatable character. Ryder has to learn through the entire game how to be a leader while going through the obstacles of their inexperience and youth so people will take them seriously. And it was compelling, uplifting, and at times amusing to see them become a hero in their own right and step out of their father’s shadow.
Also Sara and Scott felt like their own person. In the original trilogy, the player character is pretty much the same no matter what gender. But sometimes the dialogue can be different depending on if you play a male Ryder or a female Ryder. That’s because they are two different people who have had their own experiences and personalities. That really adds to the replay value!
3. Female aliens everywhere! One of my major issues with the original trilogy was the lack of female Turians, krogans, and salarians. Sure we had asari an all-female race, and female quarians, but it felt weird that we met so many aliens with very few ladies. Not only do we get a female Turian squadmate, we also get plenty of lady alien NPCs gathered everywhere for random quests. We also have Kesh who works at the Nexus. And we get to see female salarians! And they kind of look the same as male salarians except with different voices. Thank god! It would’ve been horrifying to see salarians with boobs. Uh! And I’m pretty sure there were just as many female angara NPCs as there were males.
4. The romances. Especially the queer ones. One of the things I love about Bioware games are the romance paths. Bonus points if there is a queer option. And as of patch 1.08, this game has the most number of queer romances in any Bioware game. I think my two favorite romance paths are with Sara and Vetra and Jaal and Scott. While representation for the LGBT community is improving in media, there’s no denying we still have a long way to go. And after again the crap year 2016 where we had a huge number of queer women characters die in tv shows, it was so wonderful to have a healthy and happy relationship between two women when I first played the game. And even if it wasn’t added until the patch, the romance between Jaal and Scott is absolutely sweet since we see two men show a lot of love and affection for each other which is rare to see in media.
5. The Tempest Family. I adore every single character on the Tempest, and they really did feel like a family once you played further into the game. I am a sucker for found families, and to see these people who are trying to find a home ending up finding a home with each other just gives me so many feels!
Since there’s not really a huge crew in the ship like in the original trilogy when Shepard had an army of humans. In Andromeda, we have six squad mates, four additional crew members, and Ryder. And I think it made the family more intimate. It’s like our own little family lives on the Tempest.
Also I liked how there were more quests spread out throughout the game with the squad which I think was lacking in Inquisition. Plus. Movie Night is the best scene ever!
6. In my opinion, the side quests were fun. I think this was one thing they improved from Inquisition. Inquisition side quests just felt like a bunch of fetch quests that got kind of boring pretty quick, and didn’t really add to the overall story. Some highlights from Andromeda were: Kadara, the angara reincarnation questline, the Turian jailed for murder, the anti-AI group, meeting Zaeed’s son, and those kids sending out a distress signal for a new light for their weed plant. HAHA!
They were compelling in their own right and included cut scenes instead of the Inquisitor going to some location like in Skyrim to do a thing come back to the quest giver saying, “I did the thing.” “Ok, good.”
7. Unlike in Inquisition, there’s actual payoff for some of the quests you do. I don’t mean to be mean to Inquisition, I still love the game, but remember when we were promised that you had to build your forces up in order to defend against the main threat. Yeah, you built forces to get influence points to gain perks, and that’s it.
In Andromeda, while, yes. It’s not the same level as Mass Effect 2. When you actually complete quests and help out leaders, you can get different results during the final battle. Like, there’s a chance Captain Dunn may not survive.
Also, when you get 100% viability on all the planets, you get a special surprise on Habitat 7- being told that it will one day be habitable because of our efforts. Sure it was a side quest, but it just felt so rewarding!
8. The climax was actually fulfilling and exciting. Again, something else Inquisition was lacking in. Seriously, when I first played Andromeda, I legit gasped when the archon was taking control of SAM node. The villain was actually living up to his threatening nature!
Just when we think we got everything under control, and are about to find Meridian, the Archon fucks shit up, and our sibling has to step up to save the day. Then we have to gather people we helped out and prepare for a final battle, and Ryder can finally prove themselves as a true Pathfinder and kick the Archon’s ass once and for all. People are saying the ending was as disappointing as ME3’s? Pfft…What are you even talking about?
9. The angara. Bioware never fails to make me love an entire fictional species. Yeah, it feels a bit off that they pretty much have the same faces and the same 3 voice actors, but I really do love their culture.And I appreciate that they were clearly coded as POC while Andromeda didn’t go through with the whole Mighty Whitey Trope. The game wants you to respect their culture and to respect their home.
I love the angaran people are open about their feelings, I love how their religion believes in reincarnation, I love how we see angaran scientists, soldiers, merchants, mercenaries, and civilians. Also Aya and Hivraal are absolutely gorgeous!
And when Jaal finds out his people were created by the Kett, I was worried it was going to go the Dalish elves route, but Jaal points out that it doesn’t change anything about the angara. They are still their own people. And that was such an uplifting message.
10. The overall light-hearted tone. I wrote a small post that got a good number of notes. (Probably the biggest number I’ve ever gotten), so to quote: “There was always this sense of hope and optimism about finding a new home. ‘Yeah, things may have gone totally wrong, but that doesn’t mean we can’t make them better’ was the overall message I got.
And really, with so many bad things happening in the world right now and too much of our entertainment supposedly being our escapism being dark for the sake of dark, this was something I think a lot of us needed.”
Mass Effect 3 had its light-hearted moments, and I love it, but man, that game was emotional draining.
It’s a bit discouraging to love something so much and get recommended videos on youtube pointing out the same flaws of that certain game, and why they thought it was a huge disappointment. Do I agree with some of their criticisms? Sure. Does the history behind the production explain the flaws? Oh absolutely.
But people seem to forget that the original Mass Effect trilogy wasn’t without its flaws. I mean, sure everyone can agree on the Mass Effect 3 ending, but I could make a list of all the issues I have with the other Bioware games including Dragon Age: Inquisition (which despite winning Game of the Year, kind of suffers the same problems Andromeda had).
So yeah, after the crap year of 2016, I was so excited to get a newly-released game that made me happy. And still makes me happy, and makes me in the mood to play another Ryder.
if you follow my blog at all you’ll know that I absolutely fucking love Despicable Me. Like… LOVE. It’s one of my favorite movies of all time. The writing, the comedy, the timing, the animation; it’s all incredibly well put together.
In fact, I’m a fan of Illumination Studios in general.
Granted, I’m not a fan of their movies.
LE GASP you say. How can you be a fan of a studio but not all their movies.
Becuase, dear reader, their movies lack a lot of things. And, for the most part, many of their movies aren’t really displays of “We Do What We Want”. They’re more “We Do What the Audience Wants.” Which… sort of makes sense. They’re a new studio. They don’t have the funds to really take huge risks yet. But god, their audience-pleasing choices can be so….
Like remember that time a few people stood up and said “hey those Minions were sort of cool”
and Illumination Studios said
OKAY HOW ABOUT WE FLOOD THE WORLD
And brought us one of the most annoying things to grace this planet.
Okay, so I know after Camp Camp Season 2 Episode 8 everyone is freaking out over Max and Mr.Honeynuts, cause it’s his comfort stuffed animal and Gwen bullies him with (newsflash, he’s 10 he’s bound to have a stuffed animal, and he deserved what Gwen did) - which I feel is shitty cause nobody really is noticing how big of an episode it is for Gwen and David’s development.
So, let me break down my favorite scene.
And that is this one.
It is so damn important.
Why’s that? It’s because it finally shows Gwen’s breaking point- the moment she realizes she’s never going to leave Camp Campbell and that her life has reached a rock-bottom. It’s the realization that a grown woman became a 10 year old’s bitch to get him a teddy bear to save her from losing a shitty job she doesn’t even want, which was all in vain cause David still found out.
But how does David approach it? Well, if this same situation had happened in season 1, I can give you a rough idea. He would appalled that Gwen would want to leave, not understanding her distaste for the camp and even being offended by it personally. Or, if it had been during episode 6, he probably wouldn’t even bat an eye because it’s one less counselor for competition. He was obsessed withbeing the best. More of this flaw was exploited masterfully by my garbage friend @ciphernetics which you can read here.
But no. What does he do? He builds her up. David sits there and floods her with compliments, explaining in great detail all she’s done for the camp, how she’s handled situations, how she’s dealt with others, etc. David does something selfless- which is putting her before him. I’ve never seen him do this before. He’s usually quite literally shoving her out of the picture, or waving her off as not important. Even in “Better Than You” he breaks out into song over how much more qualified he is than Daniel in an attempt to scare him away so he can remain the best counselor- and that’s pretty dick-ish, given that he was completely unaware of the circumstances of him being batshit insane.
(The look David is giving her is so pure)
But he values her help. David obviously looks up to her and appreciates everything she does, even if it comes off to Gwen in a threatening way that makes her afraid of quitting or letting him know that she’s searching for a different job. But he reassures her, dispels her anxiety even if it’s for a brief moment, and he focuses on making sure she’s comfortable.
And you know what Gwen does for once? She feels confident in herself for once. In her abilities as a counselor and for her qualification for another job. All this time she spent at Camp Campbell, she’s gotten shit for her degrees and wasted time attempting to help only to be called “the fucking worst”. That’s awful for anyone to endure, and I’m not surprised she lost it when she did. Being constantly underappreciated and overlooked wears down the psyche, especially when she’s shown to give a shit every once and a while. Although she’s absent-minded, she does show care where it needs to be shown. Even though it’s played as a joke that she doesn’t give a rat’s ass about the camp as shown when it reveals she was completely unaware of the Woodscouts invading- she was visibly concerned by it afterwards. She can’t help that she tunes things out- I would too if I was getting bombarded with insults 24/7. Gwen is the only one that tends to David when he’s hurt, and she rushes to check on the campers whenever something happens. David’s far from perfect, and if he didn’t spend most of the first season shutting her out, she could’ve easily been a better counselor than him.
(Look at this child with her newly instilled confidence in herself)
So, how does she approach things after David’s pep-talk. She get’s up and tries again. Even though her entire character was written out to be the polar opposite of David- not giving a shit and bailing if things get too hard, she actually goes out and tries again.
Even though she failed at the very end of the episode, I really hope that this scene allows Gwen to open up a bit more. In every episode she only has a few lines, most of which are quickly made fun of or shut down by other campers/David or just provided to be pessimistic.
I think Gwen will eventually learn to love Camp Campbell, not for the reasons David does, but for her own personal ones that she’d probably never admit to. I mean, let’s put it in perspective. During every single job interview she had in the episode nobody remembered her name. At least at Camp Campbell they know who she is and value her presence. Gwen would be guaranteed to be 10x more miserable at a place that treats her even worse than Camp Campbell does- plus I don’t think she has a choice in staying or not.
I’d love to see her and David working more as a team, and both being big roles in the show, not just having the spotlight on David all the time. Hopefully now that David is becoming more self-less and Gwen is being brought up rather than down, they’ll click better. But, I do say that this was some masterfully written character development on both ends.
[Bonus things I thought were cute]
Gwen… I know Max completely deserved it… But weren’t you the one defending Jermy Fartz to try and stop the campers from bullying him?
I’m speechless… SHE LEBRON’D HIM.
She was so focused on what David had to say she shoved Max away so he couldn’t interrupt him. This display is the most we’ve ever seen Gwen care about what David had to say- even after 20 episodes.
Gwen is also picking up some bad David tendencies (pushing, making fun of campers, etc) and it’s adorable.