salienne: (Default)
Dear DS9,

I am quite enjoying this same-sex relationship/marriage commentary episode. It's fun. And, thus far, actually good. And I love that the taboo isn't the same-sex aspect but, instead, the "Trills that knew one another" aspect.

I'd appreciate it a lot more, though, if your 'verse had same-sex relationships in the first place. Cop-outs are annoying. Even if you were written over a decade ago.



More DS9

Jul. 20th, 2011 12:40 pm
salienne: (Farscape geek)
(...Yeah, there'll be a lot of these entries until I finish my rewatch.)

I have a new litmus test for determining whether an episode is good. Yes, if Garak is in it, but there's a 50/50 chance of incredible suckage otherwise. Generally amusing Swamp Thing-type suckage (but nowhere near that bad), though there's a good deal of horrible offensiveness too.

...Like this episode. Which makes me sad, because the last episode was awesome.

It is getting better circa s3. The Dominion + Odo growing as a character + Garak & Dukat showing up more = pretty awesome.

I'm also writing Julian/Garak. It's fun.

ETA: ...The Star Trek version of history is like a video game. I'm waiting for the zombie apocalypse.
salienne: (DW Rose Sun)
You know, I actually enjoyed that. I mean, despite the sexism, as that's always there, but still.

What I liked )

What I liked... not so much )

In conclusion, Moffat can write, and write well. I just wish he wasn't like so many other male writers in that his writing is also really damn sexist.
salienne: (Default)
In which I film blog it up one final time.

Women in Television: Lovers, Mothers, and... Oh. Take 2.

As I wrote last semester, Fox's Fringe is a sci-fi procedural following the investigations of the FBI Fringe unit. Made up of Special Agent Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv), a half-mad scientist named Walter Bishop (John Noble), and Peter Bishop (Joshua Jackson), Walter’s genius son with a history of petty crime, the Fringe team look into crimes of the strange and fantastic. Essentially, picture a quirkier X-Files, with parallel universes rather than aliens. Each of the three seasons has thus far twisted the show in an intriguing new direction, but while season 2 seemed to be where the show found its rhythm and established Olivia as a complex character and independent agent, season 3 has since fallen into tired and unoriginal gendered tropes.

While by no means a feminist utopia, seasons 1 and 2 of Fringe establish Olivia as a pivotal actor. )

ngl, this season of Fringe has been so monumentally disappointing I don't even know what to do with it. I mean, there was always this undercurrent of "Olivia is a WOMAN," but the complete reduction of her character to that one trait is such lazy writing. I'm a shipper for just about every canon pairing ever, and this season lost even me. If it weren't for the straight-up-sci-fi fangirl in me, I would've abandoned ship long ago.
salienne: (Fringe Olivia 2)
Y'all remember that film blog I did last semester? Well guess what I'm doing again!

So, for your reading pleasure, here be the first installment:

Black Swan and the Hazards of Female Autonomy

In many ways, Aronfsky’s award-winning Black Swan is a film about femininity and repressed womanhood. Following the struggles of Nina Sayers, played by Natalie Portman, to master the lead role in Swan Lake, Black Swan focuses on the pressure on women not only to reach perfection but to be perfect. In this respect the film’s message is clear. This pressure is destructive, leading to Huge spoiler ).

When it comes to more nuanced notions of gender and repression, however, Black Swan becomes much more thematically murky. For purposes of this post, I will focus on the issues of female adulthood, independence, and sexuality in our protagonist, Nina. Through its depiction of her journey to self-destruction, Black Swan delivers the clear message that a free woman is a dangerous woman, perhaps less miserable than the trapped girl but certainly more devastating.


The primary female influence on Nina is her mother, Erica Sayers, played by Barbara Hershey... )

I clearly did not cover everything there was to cover re: gender in Black Swan or even everything to do with female sexuality here, partially due to time and word constraints and partially due to focus. This essay is about what it means to grow up a woman in the world of this film, and it's neither a pleasant nor positive experience.

I definitely think there is more to be said about female homosexuality/bisexuality and motherhood, though, and I find the way Nina's mom is both this twisted figure
and the moral voice of the film a bit... odd, if not downright disturbing, though I haven't quite untangled my own thoughts there yet. I also think I could delve more into the idea of male (sexual?) ownership and its arbitrariness (see: "my little princess") and I'm sad I didn't get to explore the significance of Beth's character and Nina's quest for perfection and unhealthy self-policing more. Of course this leads us into the mental illness angle, which I just don't feel competent enough to cover.

So... yeah. It's a good movie. Obviously has its issues (still wtf'ing over Aronfsky's quote, ngl) but I'd recommend it. Definite trigger warning for mental illness, self-injury, sexual harassment/assault, and body horror though.
salienne: (Farscape Aeryn Princess grin)
So this is pretty much my favorite fic of the New Year, and it is a huge love/critique/love letter of meta to fandom, and it is Merlin/Arthur in the most adorable way possible, and did I mention it is a huge love letter to fandom and I love it like burning?

Whoever this anon is, they're amazing.

In which Arthur is a BNF and Merlin is his prized beta...

Have at it!.
salienne: (Default)
Girls and boys, and the daddy who got away

(A special thanks to [ profile] wemblee for proofreading these and keeping me sane. <3)

Once upon a time, there was a little girl who loved her father very much. One sad day, her father went away never to return, leaving behind a very sad little girl who grew up into a very brave, very smart young woman who never stopped her missing her daddy. One day she stumbles into a strange new world and, in a quest for independence, a quest chasing after her father, she discovers him only to lose him again, and only to discover herself. In the end, she returns home.

This is the story, and it is repeated over and over again. Interestingly, two recent uses of this storyline occur in the Syfy channel’s Alice miniseries and Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland (AiW) film, both adaptations of Lewis Carrol’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. Although sexuality and Alice’s father barely figure in the original novels (if at all), they become vital components of both modern works, resulting in a female adulthood that revolves around a choice between men.


Syfy's 'Alice' can be considered a sequel to and modern reimagining of the original story. )

A/N: Another recent film that followed this storyline was Repo! The Genetic Opera. In this film, mother becomes even more repressive, with Shilo's home a literal tomb for Marnie, as well as a prison for Shilo. Meanwhile, her father is the gatekeeper to the outside world, and she has to lose him to become her own person and fully enter it herself. (There's even a song about it. It's not exactly subtle.)

That said, it's actually unique and, well, feminist in that she does not end up tied to a man at the end. Rather, the men she was torn between (Rotti and Nathan, two father figures) are dead, and the closest thing we have to a love interest (GraveRobber) doesn't even play a part, except to tell the viewer the story. Shilo is now her own person, rather than her own person + 1.

Now, Repo! is in no way actually feminist (e.g. 1 deleted scene sexualizes a female addict sleeping with her dealer for drugs), so I guess this goes to show you that you can't rely on just one framework to analyze any particular work.
salienne: (Default)
Glee Season 1: Violence, Rape, and the Problem of Gender

(A special thanks to [ profile] wemblee for proofreading these and keeping me sane. <3)

Unless you have been living under a TV rock this past year, you have no doubt heard of Fox’s hit show, Glee. Part musical, part melodrama, part satire, Glee follows the daily lives of a high school Glee club and associated adults. Due to its reliance on stereotypes, Glee walks a fine line between progressivism and tired tropes, between reinforcing these stereotypes and pointing out their absurdity. While successful in some arenas (such as homophobia), this balance is particularly shaky when it comes to gender. Despite its seemingly progressive nature, Glee relies on traditional gender expectations to a dangerous extent, as evidenced by its use of romance, pregnancy, and even unacknowledged rape.


TRIGGER WARNING FOR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND SEXUAL ASSAULT: To say much of Glee revolves around romance is a bit like saying the club sings songs sometimes. )


As should be evident by now, Glee is not exactly the fun progressive show it makes itself out to be. Nor can it even be considered “just” satire or comedy—the scene where Will finds out the truth of Terri’s pregnancy, for instance, is certainly not played for laughs. By hiding behind humor and common tropes, by writing as if the show exists in a vacuum of character interactions even as it draws on common stereotypes, Glee does a disservice to its viewers. Even as it condemns certain behaviors such as using homosexual slurs, it normalizes gender norms and violence against women. In this way, the show reinforces such behaviors even as it makes them invisible by never acknowledging its own usage of them.

A mainstream show holds a responsibility to be aware of the messages it sends out. Unfortunately, Glee does not even seem aware of its own gendered storylines and themes.
salienne: (Farscape not broken)
This summer, I wrote for a film blog at my school. The entries don't go up until this Fall, though, so I thought I'd cross-post them here.

So here we have it, everyone. Part 1 of
[ profile] salienne Rants About Gender in the Media:

Also, a special thanks to [ profile] wemblee for proofreading these and keeping me sane. <3

Women in Television: Lovers, Mothers, and… Oh.

The depiction of women in television tends to be problematic, to say the least. This is true from ensemble shows to one-character shows, from comedy to science-fiction. For purposes of brevity, I’m going to focus on three particular shows, each with a different format, topic, and genre: Stargate: Atlantis, House, and Fringe. These shows demonstrate not only the continued dominance of male characters but also the limits of gender presentation in television, especially as it relates to women.

For those of us who don’t frequent the SyFy Channel, Stargate: Atlantis (SGA) is a fairly good example of how science-fiction shows tend to treat women. )

So, what can we learn from these three shows, which, while certainly not representative of television as a whole, do demonstrate much of the breadth of female characters? For one, while still underrepresented, women do have a substantial presence on television. Slowly but surely, their interests and positions in structures of power seem to be increasing beyond loving, caring, and mothering.

That said, women’s characters remain anchored by “feminine” characteristics. Women remain love interests, nurturers, mothers first. And while there is nothing wrong with any particular woman having such characterization, the problem comes in when that is the extent of women’s representation. When men are always more interesting. When men have a greater breadth of things they can do, do do, are allowed to do.

Such inequality not only reinforces outdated stereotypes but it is also stale and boring. It leads to predictable plotlines, predictable television. And with the amount of television out there, who really wants to sit down and watch the same old thing over and over again?
salienne: (Default)
So I finally saw the Silurians 2-parter, as I have yet to watch last week's episode until today and haven't really been bothered by it (this should tell you something about my level of enthusiasm for this show).

Thinky-thoughts, which turned out more negative than I expected )

I don't know, either the quality has truly suffered, or maybe this just isn't my show anymore. Maybe there's some sort of character thread I'm not getting. Maybe the heart and soul are still there, and I just can't connect anymore.

But for me, with the possible exception of the Doctor, the characters now seem like plot devices rather than people, and the emotional core is just missing. Doctor Who has been such a huge part of my life for years now, and this leaves me frustrated and a bit sad.

It's not that I hate Moffat's Doctor Who. I don't care enough to hate it.

While I'm entertained during any given episode, afterward, I'm left, well, indifferent. And after an ending like this one, I should be sad or grateful or intrigued or excited or angry or scribbling fanfic like mad. The very last thing I should be is indifferent.


Jul. 26th, 2009 06:33 pm
salienne: (Default)
A quote from Comic-Con:

"It's the cost of making Cpt Jack a hero. He has to suffer: he has to go through that in order to be the hero." said Gardner.

Or, from a slightly more spoiler-y source:

Obvious Day 4 Spoilers are Obvious )

...There are so many ways I could respond to that: about degrees of suffering, or different types of heroes, or how cost generally has some relation to the degree of the reward, about selfishness and selflessness, about what exactly a reward or a hero is, about how life isn't fair on any count (good or bad), or just on why exactly "a hero must suffer" to the extremes we get in CoE.

I'm just gonna watch "Out of Time" (just in case we need a reminder that Jack wasn't exactly a happy little ray of sunshine before CoE) and write fix-it instead.
salienne: (DW wth?)
1) BBCA commercials really do worsen the viewing experience. They break up the drama and tension in a really unfortunate way, even when they're timed well and nothing gets cut.

2) The more I watch the end of 'Day 4', the more I wonder who gave Spoilers ) I mean, there's being pressed for time and thinking not-quite-clearly when stressed and adrenalined up, and then there's just bad plotting.

3) The end of 'Day 5'? Still just as infuriating as ever. Eve Myles's amazing acting ALMOST saves it, but I don't think anything can make the WTF of Spoilers )

The amazing parts are still amazing. The government, the 10% conversation, Frobisher, Alice, the directing, the acting, and just about everything to do with the children. Spoilers )

But much of the plot involving the team itself does not hold up to scrutiny, and I still have major issues with the themes and messages conveyed.


I'm going to watch Dollhouse and work on my fix-it now. And I should probably do my physical therapy exercises...
salienne: (DW wth?)
If any of you guys haven't read the recent RTD interviews about the end of Day 4, they can be found here and here. (Obviously spoilery)

Now, the first interview, I have absolutely no problem with. I mean, the "poetry" comment is weird (since when is poetry happy? *boggles*), and the Supernatural comment came off pretty badly, but...

The SPN thing was a good-natured joke (although not exactly in the best taste); I can understand him being annoyed by allegations of implied spoilers ) and... he's a writer who made a successful drama. Millions of people not only enjoyed it but, judging by the AIs, loved it, and he pulled people's heartstrings, just like he wanted.

RTD believes in what he wrote and why he wrote it, and he isn't about to let a few thousand people out of millions (a distinct minority) change his opinion. After what happened to Moran, I'm sure he's pretty annoyed by certain members of fandom too. And I think that's okay.

The second interview, on the other hand...

Spoilers for Day 4, and a 'shipper' who is NOT just a slash fangirl's rant )

And on a completely unrelated but just as irritating note, I just watched a House episode where the gay couple's baby dies and the nice heterosexual couple's baby lives, even though both were ill and the former's baby got sick later.


On the bright side of things, I go to England in two months, and I've managed to go to the gym 3 days in a row. w007
salienne: (DW wth?)
So, rewatching, just finished "They Keep Killing Suzie", and I'm reminded of why I never got into the fandom then and why I was pretty happy I didn't get into fandom then.

Because the emotional continuity doesn't make sense, the characterization and tone are all over the place, and how the hell does Ianto go from "I hate you OMG Lisa" to "Stopwatch Time 'cos you need comfort! :D" in 2 months?

I mean, you can make it work... but not very well.

And Jack and Gwen, the inconsistent characterization makes me cry.

salienne: (Default)
Now, I've heard about the utter vitriol aimed at (and written to) James Moran, I've heard about the death threats, I've heard RTD referred to as a "self-hating gay", and... really? I mean, really?

Yes, there might have been plot points in Children of Earth that I/you/she/he/that walrus down the hall might not agree with, but personal attacks? Not cool, guys, and they reinforce everything negative about fandom as a whole or implied spoilers ) in particular. RTD and James Moran and John Fay wrote a story, they didn't kill your puppy. It's all right to be upset, angry even. It's all right to say all the mean things you want to friends or on AIM or on the phone; goodness knows I did watching Days 4 and 5.

But going after the writers in question is not the way to go about things. Personal attacks placed in public journals or, worse, the writers' own blogs is not the way to go about things. It's unnecessarily hostile and just completely out of line.

I realize people are hurt and angry about major spoiler ) or what happens to Jack. I get it. I'm not exactly a happy little butterfly myself. But this behavior is unacceptable, and really only going to do more harm than good.

That said, my thoughts on why I am NOT a fan of the end of 'Children of Earth' )

And on another note, check out the macros here if you're wondering about Martha and CoE. Minor spoilers, but it's hilarious.
salienne: (Default)
So, I've just watched Hitchcock's The Birds, and... um...

I totally forgot how bad this movie was. Like, I remember being bored, but this was impressive.

It starts off as an okay meleodrama that eventually realizes it needs a plot, and then it becomes horror for the last half hour or so. Except really boring horror in which all the character development and, really, any characters at all sort of become set-pieces to wander through a world with attacking birds. And by set-pieces I mean the Big Strong Man and the scared girlies who get traumatized easier than Bambi would.

And it makes no sense, is not particularly interesting or frightening, and it has no point.

It is a wonderful look into just how popular cigarettes were, though. And I like the girl's hair. And the scene where Lydia finds the body was well done.

But honestly... that movie was so bad. Over an hour of my life. Wasted. x_x
salienne: (Default)

I really really want to see what comes right before and after this scene. I mean, I know Spoilers! )

Also, GRAVEROBBER HITTING ON SHILO IS CREEPY. He's, like, double her age. And smells like dead things. (That said, I'd do him in an instant, but that's totally beside the point.) Maybe he finds people poking corpses with needles hot? Either that or he's impressed by the "night light" idea and that's his way of saying, good job, now please get me down? Or, you know, he just wants into her pants.


Jan. 10th, 2009 02:26 am
salienne: (Farscape not broken)
So, I've just watched Repo! The Genetic Opera and, honestly...?

Not as good as I was hoping.

Also, one of my favorite songs from the soundtrack wasn't even in the movie. And it's one of those that really needs context.

Major Gripes(Spoilery) )

But, yeah. Maybe it'll grow on me now that I have far lower expectations (and keep wondering about how good it could have been)?
salienne: (Pirate)
All I can say about L.A. Without a Map is, what the hell was that?!

Although in a good way.

Bizarrely enough, in a good way.

Like... I still don't know what the point was or why it exists (although I suspect there is commentary on film-making and love in there), but I do know that I was laughing throughout, David Tennant as Richard is adorable (and completely and utterly bonkers), and David Tennant and Johnny Depp have great chemistry mixed with the strangest scenes imaginable. Like, I can't even ship it, because every single moment with them was like a weird drug trip where you're one step behind reality and can't quite catch up.

The movie was a bit like that overall, actually.

Still, I sort of love it, mainly for DT and the sheer hilarity factor (and Johnny Depp! There was David Tennant and Johnny Depp and they ate fried chicken in a graveyard!).

You guys should watch. You'd appreciate it. And maybe someone would get it and explain what the hell just happened to me.

(Yeah, the characters in my mood icon? Doctor all confused and stunned, Rose and Sarah Jane giggling madly? That's me right now.)

ETA: I think this might be one of those rare rare rare times when I'd go for RPF. Of Johnny Depp/David Tennant in which they spend half of it trying to figure out what on earth is happening in this film.
salienne: (Default)
Initial spazzing over 11 )

And on another note entirely, I'm trying to figure out what sort of novel the Master wrote under the guise of Harold Saxon. According to the Harold Saxon website, it's entitled Kiss Me, Kill Me. Apparently Harold Saxon is also vaguely based on Jeffrey Archer, whose own bestseller can be described here.

So... ideas, guys?

I'm thinking thriller with all sorts of fun subtext between the two leads, though I'm not sure if they'd need to be male and female to be on the Bestseller list (yes, I do have that little faith in people in general). And perhaps some Da Vinci Code-like searching through some famous place (though with probably far more historical accuracy)? Maybe they have to run around the Louvre or Hermitage?

(Yes, I do think he'd write something this cliche to make fun of the dumb humans and still end up on the Bestseller list.

And yes, this is for the Master/Lucy fanfic I'm writing.)

Any ideas?


salienne: (Default)

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