Of course I'm on team Marion!

  • Jun. 21st, 2010 at 10:00 PM
crypto: Amy Pond (Default)
Aw, I think I got a little teary-eyed at the end of the latest MasterChef Australia.

Plus I'm at the point where I really don't want to see anyone else getting eliminated. It was bad enough to lose Skye and Matthew; at this stage, I'd be happy to see the remaining eight cooking and doing challenges and hugging and cheering each other on indefinitely.

In other news, I'm still on track to rewatch The Pandorica Opens every night until the finale.


Coming up for air

  • Jun. 18th, 2010 at 6:20 PM
crypto: Amy Pond (Default)
I'm not sure how this month got so out of control so quickly viz. work, but it did and it's barely halfway over. I'm on my way home after being in DC doing meetings for the last few days, and, well, interesting/depressing/scary times (the media/security/spectator scene outside of the BP hearing yesterday was pretty wild). But I don't have to go back until the end of the month, and then I get a couple days in San Francisco next month, so overall it looks like things are calming down.

I'm basically behind in everything fannish. I managed to spend an afternoon catching up on the last few months of the comic books I've been reading, only to remember why I got behind on so many of them in the first place. The combination of soul-crushing mega-events (DC's Blackest Night, Marvel's Siege plus whatever they're calling the latest X-Men atrocity) really left a bad taste in my mouth. Though I'm still charmed by Barbara Gordon mentoring Stephanie Brown as the new Batgirl, so at least there's something I can still look forward to each month.

I think I'm still watching TV, but I can't remember anything more complicated than Masterchef Australia (the contestants are all adorable! and they love each other so much!), which is surprisingly enjoyable even if you don't really cook or aspire to cooking, and have no idea what most of the stuff they make is supposed to taste like. I usually end up falling asleep half way through it, and then watching the half I missed plus starting the new episode (it runs six days a week) the next night.

Does anybody have any thoughts about the new season of SYTYCD/US? I'm predictably behind a week, and still not sure if/how the revamped format will work out.

Oh, wait, I remember -- I'm watching Doctor Who! Well, not right at this moment, but I can tell I'll be on the edge of my seat at the back of the sofa for tomorrow's episode. I just want to bake cookies for MSmith & KGillan, they've really let me fall in love with the show all over again.

Sixteen minutes of awesome

  • May. 24th, 2010 at 10:44 PM
crypto: Amy Pond (Default)
In [personal profile] rivkat 's most recent set of book reviews, she talks about a book about videotapes and copyright which discusses an awesome women's video chain letter project called Joanie 4 Jackie. You can find some selections from the video chain letters via Google search; and definitely check out Miranda July's video describing the project. Then draw sparkly hearts all over your screen.


crypto: Amy Pond (Default)
I was trapped in an office building with a couple dozen other people, all strangers. One of them took control of the group, who was willing to follow him, but he was reckless, didn't have a strategy, and endangered everybody. I think he ended up getting trapped in a stairwell and eaten by the zombies.

Someone else stepped up to lead, but focused on making decisions by consensus through interminable processes which kept breaking down as people turned on each other. I think they ended up getting thrown out of a window into the waiting arms of hungry zombies.

Somehow I ended up appointed the third leader. I came up with a plan to get us to safety, but everybody was still squabbling, so I bullied them all into following me. I used anything that worked -- insults, yelling, verbal abuse, physical threats -- until they went along with my plan, cowering all the way.

That was the worst part of the dream (the zombies weren't really that scary; they were mostly preoccupied with scavenging for Wiis and iPads). I was completely horrified at myself. Is that really my subconscious leadership style? 


Bad LOST fan, no biscuit (no spoilers)

  • May. 13th, 2010 at 4:23 PM
crypto: (sarah looks ahead)
As LOST's final season keeps drawing closer to its finale, I've been following more of the reviews and discussions of TV critics and what Jason Mittell calls the TVitterati.

But I've also been talking about the show weekly with a group of my co-workers -- it's truly our watercooler show, and we make a point of checking in after each episode. All of us are arguably fans -- is there anybody still watching who could be called a casual viewer at this point? -- but we're not on message boards, we don't have Lostpedia bookmarked, we might each check out reviews and recaps online but we don't obsessively track every pronouncement from Damon Lindelof & Carlton Cuse, we forget the names of minor characters and plot points from three seasons back. We're fans in the sense of highly engaged viewers who have a socialized way of engaging with the show.

Needless to say, I'm increasingly starting to think that my coworkers & I are watching from a different planet than the critics & TVitterati.

The consensus in my workplace is that there's stuff about this season that we like, and stuff that we don't like, but overall it's been disappointing and less entertaining than previous seasons. Meanwhile, I look online and see an increasingly elaborate set of norms and values advanced about the proper LOST fan's orientation to the show: we must have faith in Darlton; we have to believe that the finale will effectively retcon any dissatisfaction with elements of a given episode or plotline; it's okay to want some answers, but bad to want everything answered and worse to complain about the answers we get; be patient, be patient, be patient.

I guess I've never been a LOST fan in the sense of a true believer or proselytizer -- nor, for that matter, the apostate, the fallen fan who's turned on the show with precisely the same degree of passion which had once fueled their devotion. But lately, I'm wondering if me and my co-workers count as fans at all. Sure, we speculate and try to make sense of what's going on, but mostly we're along for the ride: call us post-mythology fans, who enjoy the sense of a mythology without being especially caught up in the details or the denouement. As long as it all feels like it's coherent, and could make sense, we don't worry too much about making sense of it or getting all the answers.

Time's James Poniewozik writes today in defense of arrogance as ascribed to LOST's showrunners, or more precisely in defense of ambitious 'auteur' television. And I certainly can get behind that -- I love my messy, flawed Sarah Connor Chronicles and Farscape and -- yes, still, despite everything, Battlestar Galactica too. But to me, LOST has never been anywhere near as ambitious or smart or complex as those shows, and the weaknesses and limitations that were obvious from the show's inception have returned with a vengeance in its final season. Unless, perhaps, you're the 'right' kind of LOST fan.


LOST 6x15

  • May. 11th, 2010 at 11:38 PM
crypto: Amy Pond (Default)
spoilers )


Just a Video

  • May. 4th, 2010 at 9:03 PM
crypto: Amy Pond (Default)
I'm in the middle of reading Ethan Zuckerman's excellent ROFLcon talk, which introduced me to Kenya's Just a Band -- here's a fantastic video (directed by Jim Chuchu) of their song Usinibore (Don't Bore Me), which samples Daft Punk's Revolution 909:


Important PSA

  • Apr. 15th, 2010 at 9:39 AM
crypto: Amy Pond (Default)
Good news if you've been craving Australian Navy action and drama: Sea Patrol is back!!!

Bad news if you're me: I have to go to work instead of staying home to watch the Season 4 premiere. :(


Bishojo Senshi Kara Thrace

  • Apr. 13th, 2010 at 11:36 PM
crypto: Amy Pond (Default)
It's my own fault for skimming the recent round of Mary Sue posts via metafandom, but now I'm craving a Sailor Moon-style epic Battlestar Galactica story, where Kara turns out to be the reincarnation of the Moon Princess and has a talking cat for a mentor. And everything is told from the point of view of Chibi Kara, who turns out to be the daughter from the future of Kara & Lee Adama (aka Tuxedo Mask).

2 multiplied by 10, plus 1 -- Romeo done

  • Apr. 9th, 2010 at 8:12 AM
crypto: Amy Pond (Default)
The following brought to you by a sudden rush of nostalgia for c. late 2001/early 2002 when I was constantly listening to So Solid Crew:

not an SPN commentary )


Mysteries of the OT3

  • Apr. 7th, 2010 at 1:12 PM
crypto: Amy Pond (Default)
This isn't a rant or even an opinion either way, just curiosity:

Is it just me, or have OT3s gotten much more popular & prominent in media fandom over the last couple of years? I'm thinking especially of White Collar and Leverage, but my vague impression is that they've become more mainstream across the board.

The ones that I'm most used to seeing mentioned are mainly of the "Two Men & a Woman" variety (with Legend of the Seeker's Richard/Kahlan/Cara being the only major exception that springs to mind). So I'm inclined to wonder whether the rise of OT3s partly represents a move within slash fandom to explore alternative approaches to canonical female love interests. Is that too simplistic? Are there other explanations of the OT3 boom (assuming I'm not just imagining it)? Or am I just not seeing the major "Three Men" or "Three Woman" or "Two Women & a Man" variants that are out there?

Just wondering!


SMoffat is our king now

  • Apr. 4th, 2010 at 11:19 AM
crypto: Amy Pond (Default)
...and I am totally unprepared, icon-wise.

I have tried and failed to iconize the moment in "The Eleventh Hour" at 34:59 when spoiler )and it's just not happening.

Help?!? Or any pointers to where I can snag some new DW icons from people who don't share my ineptitude?

ETA: I finally did it, via an online image cropper & resizer and uploading to LJ first (somehow I couldn't get Dreamwidth's icon system to work for me).


Real boys watch iCarly

  • Mar. 27th, 2010 at 12:20 PM
crypto: Amy Pond (Default)
Is Tween TV Skewed Towards Girls? (LA Times via @De_Kosnik)
Executives at Disney argue that the issue isn't that boys aren't being served enough boy characters, but that boys have changed and now have no problem relating to strong female leads. In other words, the world is becoming more coed, and tween TV is reflecting that.

Just look at Nick's hit comedy "iCarly," now in its third season, about a girl (Cosgrove) who creates a Web show with her friends Freddie and Samantha. Nick's strategy with shows like "iCarly" and new series "Big Time Rush" has been to reach both genders with the same programming.

It's been paying off: "iCarly" is the No. 1 live-action program on TV with all boy demos, bringing in 3,113,000 viewers on average last year, according to the Nielsen Co., of which 440,000 were tween boys and 481,000 were tween girls. "Big Time Rush," a comedy about four teen boys who become a pop sensation, also approaches a fifty-fifty male-female tween viewership.

Marjorie Cohn, executive vice president, original programming and development for Nickelodeon, said, "We don't feel like boys are just about action and fighting shows. We've found that boys, especially in recent years, have become more emotionally intelligent. They love shows about relationships and humor."

Starbats? Scapebucks?

  • Mar. 24th, 2010 at 12:57 PM
crypto: Amy Pond (Default)
I hardly ever read fanfic these days, but skimming the comments to this post by [personal profile] hradzka gave me a sudden longing for an Aeryn Sun/Bruce Wayne barista AU that can never be.

That's almost as sad as when I realized that the staff at the Starbucks near my office, no matter how friendly and funny they were, would never quite live up to the standards set by Coffee Prince and so I shouldn't start inventing elaborate backstories and love triangles for them.


Zedd's Angels

  • Mar. 23rd, 2010 at 10:29 PM
crypto: Amy Pond (Default)
I've, um, accidentally started sampling a few episodes of Legend of the Seeker (call it a misplaced bout of Xena nostalgia, or just desperation for some genre entertainment until the new episodes of Doctor Who [!!!] start up).

And, okay, the show has its crack charms, but what it really makes me long for is a splashy film version starring Lucy Liu as Kahlan, Cameron Diaz as Cara, and of course Drew Barrymore as Richard.

Come on, just try to tell me that wouldn't be awesome, I dare you!


The thing nobody tells you...

  • Mar. 15th, 2010 at 8:14 PM
crypto: Amy Pond (Default)
 ...when you start watching Sons of Anarchy from the beginning? Sure, they'll say that Katey Sagal is great in her Hamlet's-mother-meets-Lady-MacBeth role, and they'll be right. Maybe they'll say that you should hold out through episodes eight and nine of the first season, because that's when it really starts clicking.

But what you should really know is that episode 10 features something you've never seen on TV before: mildly spoilery )

(Don't mind me, I'm basically bouncing up and down in anticipation for Stone Cold Steve Austin [recently seen on Chuck!] hosting Monday Night RAW starting in less than an hour OMG!!1!!1!!)


  • Mar. 11th, 2010 at 9:50 AM
crypto: Amy Pond (Default)
I fell in love on the subway this morning, and she doesn't even know I'm alive. It was the conductor, who, as she announced my station stop, told the passengers to "have a happy women's history month -- celebrate yourselves and each other." That may be the most awesome morning subway ride I'll take all year.

Less than awesome: a slick subway ad, inset with a close-up of a man photographed in black and white with downcast eyes, under the text (I'm paraphrasing) "Maybe there was something I could have done to help her" accompanied by the tagline "Abortion changes you" with accompanying URL. More background in a 2008 National Review article here; I liked the part about how "Men tend to send in song lyrics to express their stories."

Also seen on the subway: Ads for the scaled-down 2010 Whitney Biennial (reviews here, here, here). Something about the design of the ads (black text, white background with blocks of bright neon-ish yellow and especially the slashed zeroes in 2010 ) feels very dated, but I'll still check out the show, along with the controversial New Museum show curated by Jeff Koons drawing from a billionaire's collection.

Also less than awesome: having to dial in for three hours' worth of an all-day face-to-face-except-for-me meeting in dreary Crystal City. If I'd gone down, I could have checked out the mega-exhibit of New Brow so-called underground art G-40: The Summit afterwards, but frankly I'm kind of sick of that whole aesthetic and the self-congratulatory hype surrounding it.

Still pretty awesome: this week's LOST, wrestler Rob Van Dam back on TV (though sadly on TNA instead of WWE), rewatching episodes of The Thick of It (which unfortunately makes it hard to take Alan Cumming's character on The Good Wife seriously, as he's no Malcolm Tucker).

Not yet or not quite awesome: the first few episodes of Sons of Anarchy (but I hear it gets better), MTV's faux-reality show My Life as Liz (but still worth checking out).

Not really awesome: Vampire Diaries (why did I let myself believe that it might be a modern day Dark Shadows: The Next Generation?)


crypto: Amy Pond (Default)
Flow reprints a provocative essay by Michael Kackman. A few excerpts:

By saying that we need to reinvoke melodrama as the constitutive force behind much of what we call quality television, it’s not just to remind critics of the culturally low form that embodies much of what they like about current tv. That is not, in itself, much of a point – and I suspect that most of the scholars embracing the narrative complexity of quality tv would be quick to point out that its antecedents lie in soaps and other “low” serial forms (Mittell certainly does). More importantly, though, I’d like to suggest that our ability even to identify narrative complexity and see it as a marker of quality television is itself an act not of aesthetic, but cultural, recognition. Complexity isn’t just something we find in a text; it’s something we bring to a text – and our recognition of certain characters as meaningfully conflicted, their narrative and moral dilemmas agonizingly or beguilingly puzzling, is a cultural identification. I’d like to see us talk more about melodrama and contemporary quality television not just as an ameliorative, cathartic symbolic resolution of social anxieties, but as a mechanism for the registering of political dreams....

Lost has become an idealized ur-text of television’s aesthetic possibilities, with a complex mythology interwoven with a serialized character drama, all embraced by a knowing, literate fan community. We might productively read the gendered politics of television scholarship against the show’s central narrative preoccupation with paternity, patriarchy, and masculinity....

While much recent television scholarship has seemingly moved beyond the field’s roots in feminist media criticism, it often does so by re-embracing the gendered hierarchies that made the medium an object of critical and popular scorn. And while “quality television” is a complicated aggregation of industry discourses, aesthetic norms, audience practices and politics, it’s also, at least historically, a political demand – a kind of Jamesonian hermeneutic dream of being… different. I’d like to urge some skepticism about celebrating television’s new golden age of aesthetic quality. By becoming “legitimate,” we risk eliding our field’s history of politically and culturally invested scholarship. And as the characters of Lost might yet one day learn, the search for legitimacy entails great cost, while illegitimacy has intriguing rewards.

There's a lot of interesting stuff in here. I was thinking about how LJ/DW-based media fandom is one arena which seems to have largely resisted the last decade's embrace of the new "quality television" canon of complex serialized narratives, with the exception of Battlestar Galactica (at least, for U.S. media/television studies). Of course, part of that is due to less overlap with SFF (unlike the '90s, where The X-Files and Buffy had feet firmly planted in both the quality tv & genre camps).

But I'm still surprised how few posts I've seen about the last season of LOST, and wonder about how the gendering of LJ/DW media fandom intersects with Kackman's argument about the risk that the aesthetic turn pushes television studies away from its feminist foundations.


Picture of the day

  • Feb. 25th, 2010 at 3:38 PM
crypto: Amy Pond (Default)
Terry Richardson and the Jersey Shore guys

I doubt I'll watch the second season; a big part of the charm of the first season was that they were media non-entities while it was being filmed, and relatively guileless, or at least unselfconscious. Next time around, they'll inevitably be playing to or against their various personae, as established through the editing, the publicity, the reactions, etc. The same thing happened with The Hills -- in later seasons, the cast comes across, however subtly, as increasingly self-aware and almost mannered. As fond as I am of Kristin Cavallari from her Laguna Beach days, she was unapologetic about coming onto The Hills to play the bad girl/vixen role.

...Someday I'll get back in sync with media fandom, really, and post about wrestling soap operas reality tv a sci fi show or whatever everybody else is squeeing about.

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