nemonclature: Agnes with her hands on her cheeks looking cross-eyed (uh oh)
Pride & Prejudice and Zombies.

It was actually exactly what I needed. Ladies in pretty dresses stabbing things, fighting zombies and rescuing men. The entire thing was insane, plot doesn't hold up worth a damn, but it was fun and tongue in cheek and sort of comforting, in a ridiculous, bloody sort of way.



Cut for spoilers ... do P&P spoilers even count nowadays? )

Oh, also? Darcy's greatcoat is made of leather. Yeah.




It really made me want a Temeraire movie/tv series - for that, Regency AU feel, plus awesome women and a critique of Britain's colonial history. Talk about high concept. Napoleonic wars, with dragons. Why has no one made that yet?
nemonclature: Rush looking to the side (look side)
Bouncing off this thread here - I completely agree with the content of the post itself - the main characters not being anti-heroes, but just being morally complex protagonists. That counts for Stan as well as Philip and Elizabeth but also a lot of the supporting cast as well. I wanted to talk abut what was raised in the comment thread, however, regarding the way the two organisations have been portrayed.

Trigger warning for rape.

So first, yes IRL the counterpart to the KGB would probably be the CIA, but we are watching a tv show, it's a step to the side of reality, and within the world of the show it's quite clear the two opposing govt. bodies are the KGB and the FBI. They're the two the show focuses on, they're the two our leads respectively work for, they're the ones we are meant to set against each other.

It's difficult/impossible to distance the organisations' orders from the character's actions. So there is that, but broadly speaking I think we get a more negative vibe off the KGB's actions - I'm not saying the FBI comes off smelling of roses. I'm not saying it's more positive than the KGB, I'm saying it's a case of worse and worst.

Examples: 

The FBI blackmail Nina directly - with the threat of extradition/trial/execution if they abandon her to the KGB vs Philip and Elizabeth blackmail the cleaner - by threatening her child with death. Both are bad, but the KGB sanctioned actions come off worse. (Try flipping it. The FBI catch the Jennings, can you seem them threatening to poison and kill their children?)

Stan kidnaps/tortures/shoots Vlad vs Philip stabs/kidnaps/tortures Amador. It's a horrible, messy situation and (I would argue) they are both tortured: one physically, one mentally. (But, flip it. Can you see the FBI and Stan leaving Vlad to bleed out on the table whilst pumping him for answers?)

KGB orders the rape of (female?) recruits as part of their training*. Through the inaction of the trainer, who turns away, and the rapists' comment about the other recruits: it's clearly something that, if not directly, is certainly tacitly sanctioned by higher ups. (There is no FBI equivalent here, so lets just flip it. FBI orders imaginary female operative to be raped. I can't imagine that at all.)

* -- Is this even a real thing that happened? Or was it introduced because all tough women must have rape as back-story? Authorial decisions aside, it definitely makes the KGB come off badly.


KGB assassinates a civilian (Rob's wife) and kidnaps/extradites their child. Now, I can imagine the FBI doing something like this - if the Jennings get found out, this will basically be their fate. But the lying to the wife: the implication Cuba was an option, and then taking the bloodier road, that elicits a different reaction in the audience to just doing the action straight. Lying when leading characters to their death is definitely a calculated writerly-choice, engineered to make the viewer sympathise more with the victims ... but has the knock on effect of turning the viewer against the KGB. (And if we flip it - I can see the FBI executing the Jennings, I can't see them lying about it.)

KGB assassinates their own agent (Udacha). Now assassinations of other people happens on both sides, for example, the CIA assassinated Zhukov, which we hated them for because we like Zhukov, cue revenge story etc etc. BUT I couldn't think of an example where the FBI has assassinated their own people. (Flip it - say they find out about Martha, can you see them having her assassinated?)

KGB contracts an assassin, then changes its mind, then it can't get hold of the assassin it hired, and then it fails to stop one of the bombs from gong of, which kills FBI agents in the blast. Which all just looks like a massive clusterfuck vs the S1 finale and the FBI clusterfuck where Elizabeth got shot. (Flip it, can you see the FBI leaving a massive trail of destruction in their wake? Or are they more organised, more efficient, more caring of human lives/collateral damage?)

KGB tortures its own operatives (the Jennings) and threatens their children when trying to find the mole. OTOH, when the cleaner comes forward about the clock... the FBI do nothing? Reassure her? She keeps her job? (Flip it: would the FBI beat the shit out of Stan if he were a mole? What about Martha, who actually is a mole - albeit an accidental one, but would the KGB let that sway them do you think?)


So, even setting aside the inexcusable (rape), while a lot of the KGB's actions seem to be excusable considering the situation, when I flip them, I realise I can't see the FBI doing them. Which means I'm holding them to different standards, by which I mean I expect worse of the KGB than I do of the FBI, which means the show has succeeded in vilifying the KGB for me.

And I don't think it's intentional, I think it's almost entirely because they want greater sympathy with the victims, whether that's Elizabeth during the rape, or the assassination targets. But greater sympathy for victims results in greater dislike for aggressors. And we don't see the Jennings as the aggressors, because we see how conflicted they are about what they're doing, so the blame is shifted up a level to the KGB itself.

Conversely Stan's actions (wrt Vlad) come from him alone (and was retroactively sanctioned). So we blame him, but also excuse him (Amador guilt) and so the blame doesn't go up a level, but stops there.

The only thing I can think of that we can explicitly blame the higher ups for, is the stringing along of Nina. But since we know that she is actually stringing Stan along, the sting has been pulled from that action.

Ultimately, IRL a lot of the US' atrocities happened abroad, whether that's direct action or support of military regimes. Which means we're probably not going to see it, or at most we'll get off-screen 'the CIA did a bunch of stuff' which distances it again because it's the CIA not FBI and they're totally completely utterly different things, guys. Take the Afghanistan example: They brush by the fact that the US was pumping guns into the proto-Taliban, by having Philip, our KGB operative, kill a bunch of people.

ETA: I just got reminded of this - one thing we do know is that the CIA was infiltrating various civil rights groups IRL. But in-show, we get Stan who's been undercover among white supremacists - Imagine if Amador had been instrumental in locking up members of a black civil rights group instead.

So yeah. Let me know your thoughts. I recognise that this is somewhat subjective. But I do still think that there is a general trend towards: the FBI doing bad things, the KGB doing worse things.
nemonclature: Raylan pointing a gun at the camera, text: bang bang (Raylan gun)
Ultimately I was spoiled for the main thing I knew I'd hate. The other things I disliked were mostly ignorable and though they take up space here, in terms of how many watching minutes were devoted to them? They were outnumbered by the fun, positive elements. I just find it easier to talk about and take apart the things that I didn't like than the things I did. I'M SORRY GUYS. THE GLASS IS HALF EMPTY. Overall, like, watch it? For sure. Have fun. But the thing you know you'll hate. Yeah. You gonna hate.

The good, the bad and the ugly. Spoilers under the cut )
nemonclature: Daria looking unamused (Default)
Watched Waitress again. Loved it, so entirely women's pov, women's stories. Tough issues with a light and slightly surreal touch. Only nitpick is spoilers )

I've been listening to Just A Minute recently, and I was thinking about comedians and how doing a show like that is mostly about being quick-witted. It's all banter, you know? Hearing something, saying something sharp or funny or sarcastic without really having any time to think about it.

And then I started thinking about the Avengers Theatre AU and the Loki problem. I mean, flyting is basically a war of banter and 'your mum' jokes. Only with slightly more entrails and torture.

So, Loki the comedian. A comedian hired to be the villain in the panto, so we still get the villain thing.

I'm actually going to have to write this now aren't I?



I'm Glad You Came by shadowhisper

NOW I HAVE RUMBELLE FEELINGS ALL OVER AGAIN. EVEN STRONGERER THAN BEFORE.

GAH. I didn't even. That wasn't supposed to happen. Now I'm going to have to start watching it properly.



Trailers

mostly recs, a couple of anti-recs and some thoughts on race fail and remakes )
nemonclature: Daria looking unamused (hugs)
I finally saw The Avengers! Woop woop!

Mostly I loved it. Silly Bang Bang, all the feels etc. I don't know that I have anything to say that hasn't already been said, but here goes:


Likes, Dislikes and Fics I want. Full o' spoilers. )



I saw The Hunger Games just before I left Barcelona, and I'd meant to get this post up earlier but whatever. THE LINKAGE? GALE BETTER PLAY BALDR IN THOR 2. THEN LOKI WILL KILL HIM AND SHIT WILL GO DOWN.

Spoiler review, a couple of fic recs and some interview links. )
nemonclature: Daria looking unamused (Default)
They open with a quick selective rehash of the swimming pool scene:

It's weird seeing the actual actors all together again. Sherlock's face seems different after so long imagining him in my head whilst reading fanfic. My opinion of Jim has changed since seeing him the first time, (I've grown to hate him more, I was mostly bowled over by awesome and weirdness at first). John... John is much the same actually, huh.

They manage to amp back all the tension with the slow lead in, but then comes the drop of Sherlock's eyes to the bomb jacket and I just can't see how they're going to deliver the pay-off. Anything will be anti-climatic after so long a wait.

...

That was, 'dot dot dot,' for all you listening at home. )

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