season five: the middle

Shit my boyfriend said while I was making him watch Hannibal with me.

(note: we started watching in the middle of second season, specifically the last five minutes of Su-zakana, starting properly on Shiizakana. My boyfriend has seen the first episode, bits and pieces of the first season, and I briefly filled him in on the rest of what was happening, so his knowledge of the show up to this point is a bit spotty.)


anonymous asked:

Why has tyrion become so ineffectual in s6/7 ? His ideas are all terrible

Mostly, because the showrunners vanished Tyrion’s plot. 

Book!Tyrion’s heading into territory where a lot of his plot is going to be internal - his ongoing struggle with depression and nihilism, culminating in his eventual decision to hop on a dragon and save the world, even though the world’s been horrible to him. But Tyrion’s issues with depression got fixed sometime around the middle of season five, his alcoholism stopped being anything but background to excruciating “comedy” scenes with Missandei and Grey Worm, and we’re down a dragon. So Tyrion’s got very little to do in Game of Thrones but try to fix Dany’s problems for her. This isn’t good writing for either of them.

The succession of diabolus ex machina and the terrible worldbuilding aren’t helping his efficacy either.

How to write fiction, XF-style

So I attended a creative writing workshop on the weekend and once again was reminded about how to craft a piece of fiction so that it shines. I’ve also been editing my own (non XF) work and beta reading a little lately, as well as meeting/reading emerging writers. So I had a little fun while I’ve been home sick and put on my XF hat to create a little list of writing tips. They’re under the cut because I don’t want to fill up dashes with condescending advice or to preach to the hugely talented bunch of writers who exist on this site. It’s just for fun.

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Episode Review: ‘Ketchup’ (S09E11)

  • Airdate: July 18, 2017
  • Story by: Ashly Burch, Patrick McHale, Adam Muto, Kent Osborne, Jack Pendarvis, Julia Pott
  • Storyboarded by: Seo Kim & Somvilay Xayaphone
  • Directed by: Elizabeth Ito (supervising), Sandra Lee (art); Alex & Lindsay Small-Butera (guest animation)

There are a number of ‘duos’ that Adventure Time has never really explored: Marceline and Flame Princess, Ice King and BMO, Tree Trunks and LSP, etc. One of these pairings is Marceline and BMO, two characters whom I really like in separate ways. It’s a shame that these two haven’t interacted much in the past, as I have always believed Marceline’s somewhat cynical but emotionally-vulnerable personality and BMO’s awkward optimism would pair nicely with one another.

However, I’m happy to say that this unique duo is finally on display in “Ketchup”, and the results are quite nice.

At the start of the episode, BMO shows up to Marceline’s house ready to stake vampires (in reference to Stakes, which aired over a year and a half ago), but Marceline tells the eager robot that the vampiric menaces who were threatening Ooo are no longer a threat. The two then take the time to catch up with one another (which BMO mis-hears at first as “ketchup”).

BMO begins to tell Marceline about how they accompanied Finn and Jake on a voyage across the sea. However, BMO’s recollection of the events of Islands becomes almost instantly unreliable: for instance, the robot recalls sailing on the back for an eight-legged cat named Ted, and running into a Mordecai-esque bluebird (voiced by none other than J.G. Quintel). Marceline playfully teases BMO about the ridiculousness of this recollection, but is nonetheless amused by it.

When it comes time for Marceline to tell BMO what happened while they were away, she crafts figures out of household materials and puts on a puppet show. Marceline’s story is a re-imaging of the events that led up to Elements, telling the story of “Lollipop Girl” and “Rock Star Girl”, and how, after the former was changed into a potato by the “Blue Tranch”, the latter tried everything in her power to change her back. Marceline’s tale reveals much about she cares for Bubblegum, but the vampire is still unwilling to admit it to herself, having to instead cloak the truth in a layer of silly puppetry. BMO calls her out on this, noting that while their story was ridiculous, they were at least being emotionally truthful.

It’s at this point that BMO reveals the information on the USB drive has been retrieved. Inside the drive are pictures of a young Marceline and her mother. After BMO asks whom the pictures depict, Marceline suggests that BMO tell a story to explain them. BMO obliges and creatively asserts that Marceline’s mother is the “Lady in the Moon”, who once came down to play with a little girl, only to return to the moon after a period of time.

Storywise, there’s not much to “Ketchup” (and that does knock it down a peg or two), but it makes up for most of this by being full of rather subtle character revelations. We learn more about Marceline’s feelings for Bubblegum, as well as her reluctance to let people into her life (as evidenced by her allegorizing the events that led up to Elements). We also see the overly-optimistic side of BMO, which has shone through a few times in the past (such as in “The Creeps”), and we learn a bit more how the little robot interprets the world around them. Ultimately, it’s a nice, sweet character study, focusing on two individuals who have, in the show, not spent a lot of time together.

Much like “Abstract”, which aired only a day before it, “Ketchup” features storyline contributions from an ex-Adventure Time crew member, in this case Patrick McHale. McHale had departed  the series during the middle of season five, and has occasionally been credited since (e.g. “Cloudy). At the same time, we know that he has returned every once and awhile to lend a hand to the show. Is “Ketchup” an instance of an old episode idea being resurrected, or did McHale return briefly to provide some input? Until a definitive answer is given, it is anybody’s guess.

And speaking of special contributions, three of the sequences in this episode (viz. BMO’s ‘recollection’ of Islands, Marceline’s re-imagining of Elements, and BMO’s story about the Lady in the Moon) were animated and directed by Alex and Lindsay Small-Butera. Best known for their silly web series Baman Piderman, this husband-and-wife duo also contributed wonderfully surreal animation to the season eight episode “Beyond the Grotto”. It is wonderful to see the two back, as they have a delightful animation style.

Mushroom War Evidence: We see some images from before the Mushroom War, and Marceline’s USB drive is presumable from this time period, too

Final Grade:

Mizrahi Jews: Moshe Peretz

Moshe Peretz is a Mizrahi (Morrocan and Iraqi) Jewish singer and songwriter.

Moshe’s rise to fame began when he released his album Mabit El Hamromim (From the House in the Heavens) in 2005, the album sold 10,000 copies. His next album, Esh (Fire), was released in 2007 and sold twice as much, reaching a gold status.

But his success didn’t stop there, his album Me'ha'shamaim (From the Heavens) went double platinum upon its release in 2010. The song Shtiim Bi'Lylah (Two in the Morning) reached the top of the Israeli singles chart.

Moshe has written for several famous Israeli singers such as Sarit Hadad, Shlomi Shabat, and Dudu Aharon.

He is now a judge on X Factor Israel season five.


1/6 Clone Club… Done!… mostly. I ran out of parts, particularly female figure parts and accessories, before I could get to Rachel. What other project can you say that about? So many excellent female characters portrayed by an amazing cast of actors. Honestly, I’m grateful for the five seasons. There were some ups and downs the middle years, but it’s all good if it makes people stop to actually think about the stuff they’re consuming. In the end, Orphan Black is going down as one of my all-time top-tier favorites. 

BTW - Alison’s sweater - shout out to Sideshow’s lone-gone but not forgotten Buffy line (not to mention, really was running low on parts - which also explains Helena’s outfit). Buffy - another pretty damn good show with some questionable moments…

Sailor Moon Arc Timelines

I thought I’d make a timeline post for all of the arcs (based on the manga), since it is very confusing! 

Arcs 1 and 2: Dark Kingdom and Black Moon

The Dark Kingdom and Black Moon arcs comprise manga vol. 1–5/anime seasons 1 and 2 and begins with our five main girls in 2nd year of middle school (8th grade US). Usagi establishes at the very beginning of the manga that she is 14 years old. Since Japanese students typically begin 2nd year middle school at 14 and turn 15 during the school year, we can assume this is the beginning of the school year. Mamoru is in his 2nd year of high school (11th grade US). We know that Japanese students typically graduate at 19, and since his birthday is in August, we can establish that at the beginning of arc 1 he is 17. This is supported by Luna speculating that his age is either 17 or 18, not yet knowing his birthday (see vol 1 pg 124). In the last act of arc 1/first act of arc 2, Ikuko says, “I guess you’re almost a 3rd-year student, huh, Usagi?” so we know that it is still winter of their 2nd year of middle school; arc 2 continues through the rest of this school year.

  • Years:
    • Usagi, Ami, Makoto, Minako, and Rei are in 2nd year of middle school
    • Mamoru is in 2nd year of high school
  • Ages:
    • Usagi, Ami, Makoto, and Minako are 14 turning 15
    • Rei is 13 turning 14 
    • Mamoru is 17 turning 18 

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happychappy439  asked:

(Sorry if this is a duplicate ask, internet's been pretty flaky) Hi, thanks for your answer on the Tyrell question! Silly question, but do you have any book characters who you are just totally relieved and thankful *didn't* get put into the TV show, out of concern for how the writers would potentially mishandle them? For me it was Penny, I always thought she was important in discussing the themes of internalised and societal ableism, but I think that'd get REALLY mishandled by the showrunners.

Oh gosh. So many. And not a silly question at all.

Penny’s one of them, for exactly the reasons you mention. A common-born female disabled character? In Game of Thrones? Get out of here! We don’t have time to show how the intersectionality of her class, gender and disability throw Tyrion’s experiences of wealth into sharp relief. Nor do we have time for her resilience to highlight just how awful a person Tyrion’s become over the course of the books. (There can never be too many links to @poorquentyn‘s fantastic Tyrion meta.) Seriously though, aside from the social points Penny’s mere existence in ADWD brings up, to include her in the show would have required the writers to think long and hard about Tyrion’s series arc, not just a season arc. Insofar as Tyrion has season arcs anymore. Much easier to write bro-trips.

Then there’s Jon Connington. I do not think I would have enjoyed seeing D&D’s take on him. Middle aged, conventionally masculine gay man filling a quasi-parental role to the teenaged son of the man he was in love with? That sure sounds like the sort of thing D&D would handle in a sensitive manner. JonCon’s issues with the closet would also need sensitive writing - not that JonCon’s in denial about being in love with a man, but he’s constantly aware that he could never outwardly express his romantic feelings for the man he loved. Compare also his flowery internal monologue over his “silver prince,” always avoiding the language of physical attraction, to Loras’ candid admission that he and Renly looked at porn together. Just going on the treatment of Loras - yeah. Better off not in the show for more than one reason.

Arianne Martell, of course. I’m not a a stan of hers (@gotgifsandmusings, @theculturalvacuum, can we still be friends?) and if I were writing the show I would probably have excised or minimised her plot in order to focus on North/Riverlands/Vale, but we saw how epically the Dorne plot we got was botched. Arianne wants to be the Princess of Dorne. She wants to make Myrcella the Queen of Westeros. She interacts with other female characters and there’s dramatic meat to her relationship with her father. All this makes her the most logical character to cut from any projected Dornish storyline. In all seriousness, she’s well spared the fate that befell her cousins and Ellaria.

Barbrey Dustin’s another character I would have both liked to see and am glad we haven’t seen. On the one hand, she’s really very impressive - a widow controlling a sizeable chunk of land halfway across the region from her birth family and their direct support. She provides crucial manpower and resources to Roose Bolton as he tries to get control of the North, yet has a very low tolerance of Ramsay, and Roose flat out will not allow Ramsay to alienate her further. On the other hand, she’s motivated by an anti-Stark agenda that has its roots in the fact she didn’t get to marry Brandon (or even Ned). I get the feeling that in adaptation we would have seen less of the major backer and more jealous harpy trope.

Honourable mentions go to a lot of Northern ladies, actually. Early on in the series we lost Maege Mormont, ruling lady of Bear Island, and her heir Dacey Mormont, one of Robb’s informal kingsguard. With the absence and murder of a lot of Northern lords and male heirs, ADWD unsurprisingly shows a lot of women step up to the plate. There’s Alysanne Mormont, single mother of two, who helps repel the Ironborn invasion. Wynafryd Manderly, with her father hostage, her uncle murdered, and her mother paralysed by fear, is her grandfather’s anti-Frey co-conspirator. Her little sister Wylla’s in the same mold as Lyanna Mormont of Bear Island, announcing in front of the Freys that they’re a bunch of murderers and their excuses for murder are pathetic. (I still hope we see those two, but I doubt it.) Alys Karstark is having none of this locked-up-until-the-wedding nonsense. These ladies are all clearly too awesome for the show.

Lady Stoneheart! Technically she’s an extension of Catelyn and her arc, but so thematically central to AFFC and onwards. But lacking the initial investment in and exploration of how Catelyn was reacting to the steady destruction of her family, and the non-presence of the Brotherhood Without Banners, Lady Stoneheart would be just a revenge zombie.

There are just so many. Quentyn Martell, whose storyline exists to show how much it sucks to be expendable. The Widow of the Waterfront, who would have improved the middle part of Tyrion’s season five plot immensely. Galazza Galare and the Shavepate. Either Arys Oakheart or Balon Swann to make a point about the cowardice of “just following orders.” Chataya, the anti-Littlefinger in terms of brothel management, and Satin, who despite being unconventionally masculine and a former sex worker with all the prejudice against him that entails is still the best squire Jon Snow can find. (Respect for sex workers, what is that.) Val, who’s clearly not hanging out in Mance’s command tent for decoration. The older Tyrell brothers. Sarella Sand. There’s this paradox - I’m glad they’re not in the show because they don’t get butchered, but their inclusion would demonstrate a greater appreciation for the points GRRM was trying to make when he wrote them in.

And I know we could never have all of them, or even most of them, but so many of them don’t even get to be faces in the crowd, and yet we have time for Olly

Christine also told us what she’d like to see happen as far as final scenes between her character and the firm’s private investigator Kalinda Sharma, now that fans know actress Archie Panjabi will be leaving The Good Wife at the end of the season to pursue a development deal.
Panjabi’s exit comes one season after that of Josh Charles, who likewise left to pursue other opportunities and whose character, Will Gardner, had a shocking send-off in the middle of season five. Diane and Will didn’t really get to say goodbye, but Christine is hoping that Diane and Kalinda will.
“I would hope you’d see that there’s genuine affection between those two women,” she reflected, “who are so different and yet at a time of great grief they reached across to each other.
"It was Kalinda who encouraged Diane to move on and to have faith and looked her in the eye and said, I’m here for you. Will’s not here anymore but I’m here. It was a beautiful moment,” she continued. “She’s actually been kind of like my girl. She used to be Will’s girl and then she was really there for me.”
“I’ve often wished that I could have more material with Archie,” Christine added, “just because I like working with her and I love the dynamic, and she’s just such an interesting character, the Kalinda character, powerful in her own way. I hope we have a moment, before whatever happens and I have no idea how they’re going to write it, but I hope there is a moment of something.”
-Christine Baranski

Photo prompts are fun. This might be a new thing. Set between season five and season six. 

Her phone chimes in the middle of a debriefing, the high pitched ding, ding, ding sounding unnaturally loud against the soft buzz of tablets and laptops and the steady cadence of her bosses voice. 

Kate switches the phone to vibrate with a quiet apology, waiting until he’s picked back up on his train of thought before she pulls the phone into her lap and sneaks a peek at the name that lights up her screen. 

Castle. The wave of homesickness slides over her in one fell swoop, temporarily pushing the breath out of her even as her body aches for him. It’s more than just a physical manifestation (though God knows she misses that, too) but just the simple happiness and companionship that he offers. 

It’s been a while since she’s had to navigate more than a week without him and now that she’s going nearly a month with little more than hurried phone calls, late night Skype chats, and a barrage of text messages she can feel the enormous hole in her life. 

And its more than Castle. It’s Ryan, Esposito and Lanie. It’s late night conversations with Martha and weekends watching movies with Alexis when she’s between mountains of schoolwork. She misses the city, the familiarity and warmth of her streets. 

She feels a bit like a solider sent off to a foreign land with nothing more than a backpack and uniform, expected to perform to the highest caliber in somewhat dirt circumstances. Not that her job is a war zone, far form it, but Kate does feel at war. 

She just never expected it to be with herself. 

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Ummm... people think TD is gone?

Yeah. No. Beth is still alive.

But how many times and how many different ways can I make a post about it?

Fine. Here’s a new one. With no new information but lots of brand-shiney-new-2016!exasperation:

The bullet still doesn’t properly kill her when the laws of physics are applied.

We still have no idea what happened to her body.

The show still keeps referencing her. Like her story is on-going idk

The theme song still played at the end of Coda. <—you can watch it yourself on netflix now, I’m not linking to anything for this one.

It still all doesn’t make any sense as a death. <—-I’m just linking to my whole old TD page for this one, because I wrote most of the meta about it within the first few months after Coda.

Basically, nothing has changed in universe. The show still hit a wall when they killed her and still left a huge Beth-shaped plot-hole in the middle of season five, which they can either revisit, or drop, but I think they’ll revisit it, because I’m pretty sure they aren’t actually the worst writers ever and do, in fact, know how to follow-through with their own set-up. 

They can bring her back any time. 

I’ll check in again in a few weeks. Bye.

"Well Played" - Natalie Dormer for Nylon Magazine, January 2015.


     In a photoshoot in Los Angeles, In between various sultry and balletic poses, Natalie Dormer isn’t afraid to try out new things.

     Dressed in sharp black angles, she peeks out from behind a big plant with her jungle-cat eyes. She grabs a leaf and fashions it into a quick mustache - “like Dali?” she ventures. When the photographer kindly nixed her improv, Dormer breaks out into her signature lusty laugh and, undeterred, launches into the next pose, saying, “You’ve got to try these things, you know?”

     From cinching herself into corsets as Margaery Tyrell in HBO’s epic series Game of Thrones to running after revolutionaries as documentarian Cressida in the upcoming Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1, giving it a go is how Dormer has gained a reputation as a quick-witted and full-throttle actress.

     She claims she isn’t blessed with the cunning her wannabe queen possesses: “I wish I had Margaery’s knack for opportunistically manipulating a situation on the spot, but I don’t.” Nor was she favored with the industry connections that have shot some of her contemporaries into the spotlight. Dormer’s childhood in Reading, England, where she occasionally suffered taunts from bullies saw her secretly fantasizing about and acting career - with no idea how to pursue it. Performing at Starmaker, the same theater school that trained Kate Winslet, was her biggest rise to fame.

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