icons: devious Maids

Feb. 25th, 2015 07:16 pm
meganbmoore: (Default)
[personal profile] meganbmoore
 144 x Devious Maids (season 1)

devious-maids-70 devious-maids-23 devious-maids-108


here )

(no subject)

Feb. 24th, 2015 11:33 pm
skygiants: Jupiter from Jupiter Ascending, floating over the crowd in her space prom gown (space princess)
[personal profile] skygiants
I wrote a Jupiter Ascending fic? I wrote a Jupiter Ascending fic. That appears to be a thing I have done.

(It may end up being more of a thing, but it also may not be, so for now let's all pretend it's just one thing and leave it at that.)

The Convergence of Genetics and Quantitative Analysis

It's basically self-insert fic, in that Aleksa and Nino Bolotnikova get exactly the same degree of judgmental joy out of appending 'space' to every word they possibly can as I would in their situation.

icons: Akatsuki no Yona

Feb. 23rd, 2015 04:23 pm
meganbmoore: (7 seeds: hana/natsu)
[personal profile] meganbmoore
126 x Akatsuki no Yona (eps 9-16) 

akatsukinoyona2-76 akatsukinoyona2-31 akatsukinoyona2-119

here )  and [tumblr.com profile] qtpiecaps .

(no subject)

Feb. 22nd, 2015 10:10 am
skygiants: Clopin from Notre-Dame de Paris; text 'sans misere, sans frontiere' (comment faire un monde)
[personal profile] skygiants
I'm on a bus right now on my way back from a very whirlwind 24-hour trip to New York for the purpose of meeting with various people about long-term archiving projects left over from last summer. Most of the people I was meeting with are also friends from grad school; one of them has a subscription to Theater For a New Audience in Brooklyn, and asked last week if I wanted to go see a play with her while I was there, which is how I ended up seeing An Octoroon.

An Octoroon is constructed as a collaboration between two people -- Dion Boucicault, wildly popular white nineteenth-century melodramatist, and Brandon Jacobs-Jenkins, up-and-coming black playwright, who begins the show by re-enacting the conversation with his therapist that led to him deciding to adapt Boucicault's 1857 popular melodrama, The Octoroon. ("Are you angry at white people?" "....no? Most of my best friends are white." "But, like, really, deep down, are you sure you're not angry at white people?") He leaves the stage, then comes back: "Just kidding. That's not true. I can't afford a therapist."

(Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, the playwright, is played by Austin Smith.)

After that, "BJJ" (as he's credited in the program) comes back in again to apply his whiteface makeup: because he's having trouble finding white actors who are willing to play explicitly racist characters in a nineteenth-century melodrama, he explains, with irritated resignation, he will be playing all the white men in the show himself.

(The Jacobs-Jenkins monologues are in general witty, incisive and cutting, although I was briefly distracted by the part where he's relating a dream that concludes "then I realized the bees weren't attacking me ... I WAS the bees." DAMN IT, JUPITER ASCENDING.)

At this point, we are interrupted by an angry white man in underwear: hello, Dion Boucicault! Boucicault is VERY DISAPPOINTED in the state of the theater today, wants to know why this low-grade theater doesn't have a petting zoo, and bemoans the days when he was the king of town and "everyone was hating on me. LIKE JESUS. ... I was the JESUS OF THEATER."

Boucicault then sits down to apply redface makeup: he'll be playing Wahnotee, the noble savage. "You can put Negros on the stage these days -- though you have to pay them! -- but you still can't get an Indian actor anywhere." His assistant, also onstage, gives the audience a speaking look before starting to apply his own blackface. (The assistant, played by Ian Lassiter, is also clearly not white; I wouldn't be surprised if he were Native American, but I couldn't say for sure.)

OK, now we're ready to start the actual play.

The Octoroon, the original melodrama by Dion Boucicault, centers on a noble young white man, George who comes back to his aunt and uncle's failing plantation and falls in love with his uncle's beautiful illegitimate child Zoe, daughter of a slave but raised as a young lady in the house. Alas! due to a bureaucratic technicality, Zoe still belongs to the estate, and is going to be sold at auction along with everything else to the evil M'Closky. M'Closky is extra evil because he murders an adorably mischievous slave boy in order to get his way and blames it on the boy's hapless Indian friend Wahnotee and it's all INCREDIBLY TRAGIC.

An Octoroon progresses its way through the first three scenes of the melodrama, retaining large chunks of the original text, with most of the cast -- in their various switched-around racial identities -- giving gloriously satirical performances. Austin Smith, as Every White Guy including Noble George and Evil M'Closkey, gets particular joy out of George's tragic declaration that he's going to SELL HIMSELF in marriage to a woman he doesn't love, to get the money to SAVE THE ESTATE AND THESE POOR SLAVES, while the loyal, elderly slave played by Lassiter trembles in teary-eyed awe at his sacrifice.

Meanwhile, slaves Dido and Minnie (played by black actresses; all of the men are race-swapped, but none of the women) switch on a dime from acting as background scenery in Boucicault's drama of white people to swapping jokes and gossip in stereotypical inner-city dialogue; they're brilliant, and it's funny, until the lines that drop in to remind you that no, actually, it's not funny at all, and then they keep going and it's horrifically funny again.

(Also, for reasons I'm not entirely clear on, every act is concluded with the entrance of somebody in a giant white rabbit costume who wanders around tidying up the stage. I have no idea what this is meant to represent.)

And then there's Zoe, portrayed by the absolutely gorgeous Amber Gray, who is the only one in the show who's playing it one hundred percent straight. Unlike everyone else, Zoe doesn't know she's in a satire. Zoe's confronting gut-wrenching racism, external and internal, and Amber Gray sells it one hundred percent.

The third act ends with Zoe sold to evil M'Closkey, Dido and Minnie also sold to a noble sea captain and pretty excited for their new life ("girl, we're gonna live on a BOAT!"), and Austin Smith-as-George getting in a knock-down drag-out fight with Austin-Smith-as-M'Closkey in the most hilarious piece of physical comedy I've seen in a long time.

And then comes the fourth act. I'm going to put this under a spoiler-cut, since it includes stuff that's potentially triggery and is definitely in the show for deliberate surprise and shock value as part of the point of the experience. )

"Well," said my friend, as we walked out, "I feel really weird right now."

She's planning on seeing it again. If I were still in New York, I think I might too.

Lots of TV

Feb. 20th, 2015 11:30 pm
oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (Default)
[personal profile] oyceter
Hi, I am alive! Obviously I have been terrible at being online, which then goes into the whole "I have too much to write up, so I don't write it, so then I feel even more behind" thing. It also doesn't help that my laptop is getting slow so I spend most of my computer time on my phone, which isn't very conducive to commenting or posting.

Anyway, life stuff is going on, mostly not too eventful. And I am watching a lot of TV! Here, have some impressions since the thought of doing coherent write-ups of each show keeps me from writing anything.

Arrow

This started out as my laundry folding show, except then I got hooked. It is probably not the best show ever, especially in terms of writing, but I'm fond of many of the characters and the focus on family. Also, plot like whoa. My main gripes are the romance storylines, since they are mostly terrible, and how you of course learn all things mystical and martial-arts-y in Asia. Or from Asians. (Or sometimes from possibly non-Asian people in Asia? Let's not go there...) My main delights are Oliver's relationships with his family, particularly with his little sister, and assorted Team Arrow teamwork hijinks.

Spoilers through Arrow 3x14 )

The Flash

So of course since I got hooked on Arrow, I started The Flash, largely because Grant Gustin is ADORABLE. I also love how deliberately non-gritty it is; Barry helps people because he likes helping people. I do wish they weren't making the same mistake Arrow made with Laurel, which is to keep Iris in the dark and thereby make most storylines having to do with her boring. This is especially too bad because the actress is a lot more likable than Katie Cassidy (sorry Katie Cassidy!). On the other hand, the Joe-Barry relationship is BEST.

Spoilers through The Flash 1x14 )

The 100

I have really been enjoying this show, and having a female protagonist is such a nice change from Arrow and Flash, much as I like them. I especially love how one of the main themes is Clarke becoming a leader. My other favorite thing is the various shifting alliances and groups and all the politicking. There are some things about the worldbuilding that questionable (Grounder culture, for one), but overall I love how much worldbuilding there is, and how large the world feels. This has really been scratching my SF/F genre itch.

Spoilers through The 100 2x11 )

Jane the Virgin

Yes, I am indeed watching all CW all the time.

This show! This is my new favorite and actually has me looking forward to something on Mondays. I love so many things about it, from Jane herself to the Villanueva family to the wtfbbq, telenovela-ness of some of the plot to Rogelio and his hashtags. This gives me all the warm fuzzies.

(Also, so many hearts to the show for having a bilingual household and not making it a big deal.)

Spoilers through Jane the Virgin 1x14 )

Agent Carter

I am enjoying this a lot! The Peggy and Jarvis snark is fun, and the bits fleshing out the larger MCUverse are nice as well. Mostly I am ignoring period accuracy but enjoying the clothes. Alas, this is also the whitest show on this post.

Fresh Off the Boat

This is the show I wish I were enjoying more than I actually am. I don't know how much of it is the sitcom humor, how much is the show finding its legs, and how much is stuff just feeling a little off.

One of the main things for me is that Louis and Jessica feel like second gen Chinese Americans, not first gen immigrants. Constance Wu's accent sounds a bit off (I'm not sure if Randall Park is even trying one? Which is probably the better option.), and of course, they don't speak Chinese at home! It's particularly glaring compared to Jane the Virgin's use of Spanish in the show. And when there is Chinese, it sounds a lot like it was written first in English and then translated.

That said, the 90's-ness of it cracks me up (even their light fixtures look it!), and I like it when the show focuses more on individual character quirks rather than commentary on being Chinese. Show! I hope you do well, even if you do end up being not for me.

(no subject)

Feb. 19th, 2015 09:14 pm
meganbmoore: (Default)
[personal profile] meganbmoore
 First, thanks to everyone who gave me feedback about ComiXology. Sounds like it's not the app for me.

Second, a question for MC fans about this week's Agent Carter.

spoilery question )

(no subject)

Feb. 18th, 2015 11:25 pm
skygiants: Nice from Baccano! in post-explosion ecstasy (maybe too excited . . .?)
[personal profile] skygiants
THE JUPITER ASCENDING EXPERIENCE WAS EVERYTHING I WANTED IT TO BE.

If you have an inner fourteen-year-old, and your inner fourteen-year-old loves SPACE and PRINCESSES and ANGSTY HALF-ALBINO HALF-WOLVES WITHOUT SHIRTS WHO ZOOM AROUND ON SPACE ROLLERSKATES and BEES, then run, do not walk, to the theater right now. Do not pass go! Do not click this long and spoilery recap! )

(no subject)

Feb. 18th, 2015 09:18 pm
meganbmoore: (Default)
[personal profile] meganbmoore
 Does anyone here use the Comixology app, and if so (A) do you like it, and (B) is it easy to side load comics into it?

Yuletide fic [2]: Utena, Utena/Madoka

Feb. 18th, 2015 05:30 am
cordialcount: (utena › the sound and the silence)
[personal profile] cordialcount
Hello, post seven weeks late!

if to be warmed
Revolutionary Girl Utena, Puella Magi Madoka Magica: Anthy/Utena, Akio, Kyubey. 1500 words, PG.
Anthy agrees to a contract with an alien; Anthy fixes the results to the best of her ability.

The End of Ropes
Revolutionary Girl Utena: Kanae, Akio, Nanami, Anthy. 3000 words, PG-13.
Try again! (Kanae's peers convince her to bid farewell to Ohtori.)

Both written for [livejournal.com profile] jougetsu.

(no subject)

Feb. 17th, 2015 06:50 pm
skygiants: Jane Eyre from Paula Rego's illustrations, facing out into darkness (more than courage)
[personal profile] skygiants
The other two-in-one book that Powell's yielded me was an Elisabeth Sanxay Holding double feature, Who's Afraid/Widow's Mite, in a printing from 1953 with AMAZING pulpy covers. Resistance was futile.

That said, these are not my favorite Holdings. Who's Afraid? has some solid qualities, but it doesn't hold together very well. Our protagonist Susie Alban is a nice young girl who's just taken a job as a traveling saleswoman, and is sitting on the train thinking about how much fun it would be if someone were to fall madly and improbably in love with her when suddenly she meets three possibly-sinister men! all of whom profess in short order to be madly and improbably in love with her! We also know from the narration, repeatedly, that ONE OF THEM wants to KILL HER! (Because of a misunderstanding.)

We spend several chapters in the murderer's head being taunted by how anonymous he is, which is the kind of authorial trick that usually feels a bit contrived to me and also feels so here, especially when most of the ~possibly sinister behavior~ of the red herrings can't really be explained except by the author feeling like she wanted them to go on being red herrings.

That said, while none of the male characters make any sense whatsoever, this does have Holding's trademark interesting and complex women developing unlikely sympathies with each other, and Susie's ongoing struggle to balance her desire for independence and adventure with her qualms about trying to sell beauty and charm via mail-order course are the most interesting parts of the book.

Widow's Mite, on the other hand, is a book that knows perfectly well what it's doing, and what it's doing is pointing out that people lying to the police in mystery novels is STUPID and she WISHES THEY WOULDN'T. Our heroine, Tilly, is an impoverished widow with a young son who's relying on her husband's unpleasant and depressing but rich cousins to get her through the summer. Then one of the cousins turns up dead! After Tilly hands her a sleeping pill!

TILLY'S WOULD-BE LOVE INTEREST: Allow me to mansplain to you about how characters in mysteries should not lie to the police.
TILLY: Ummmmm how about if I just ... lie to the police by omission ...? I DON'T KNOW telling the truth seems stressful. :(
TILLY'S WOULD-BE LOVE INTEREST: Allow me to mansplain to you about how lying to the police was a stupid thing to do.
THE POLICE: Hey, Tilly's would-be love interest, what about that cyanide in your house that you totally lied to us about?
TILLY: WHAT.
TILLY'S WOULD-BE LOVE INTEREST: Ummmmmmm well OK yes I will admit telling the police the truth did seem at the time kind of stressful. >.>
TILLY: oh my god.

There are some really interesting and disturbing undercurrents running through the book -- especially Tilly's attempts to protect her son from trauma, which seem likely to potentially lead to more trauma than if she never tried to protect him at all -- and the ending (like the ending of Who's Afraid, actually) has a thin veneer of romance on the surface that's unsettling in what I'm 99% sure is a really deliberate way. On the other hand, Tilly is more isolated from other sympathetic women than pretty much any of Holding's other female characters, which makes me kind of sad. Also, this year is just a bad year for me to buy into Holding's premise of "NO SERIOUSLY YOU IDIOT CHARACTERS JUST TELL THE POLICE THE TRUTH AND EVERYTHING WILL PROBABLY BE FINE" (although, I mean, I grant that if you're in a noir it's probably good advice, but maybe not so much in the real world.)

icons: The Twelve Kingdoms

Feb. 16th, 2015 05:38 pm
meganbmoore: (yoko and shoryu)
[personal profile] meganbmoore
 100 x The Twelve Kingdoms (eps 1-11)

12k-7 12k-58 12k-73

here )

(no subject)

Feb. 16th, 2015 11:32 am
skygiants: Hazel, from the cover of Breadcrumbs, about to venture into the Snow Queen's forest (into the woods)
[personal profile] skygiants
I escaped from Portland! More specifically, I escaped from Powell's bookstore. With ... nine books in tow. IT'S NOT THAT MUCH OKAY. IT COULD REALLY EASILY HAVE BEEN MORE.

One of my finds was Pamela F. Service's Tomorrow's Magic, a two-in-one reprint compilation of Winter of Magic's Return and Tomorrow's Magic, which I will forever remember fondly from my childhood as "THE POST-APOCALYPTIC TEENAGE MERLIN BOOKS." Although definitely not the weirdest Arthuriana I've ever encountered, but they were some of my first introduction to Weird Arthuriana and I have a huge fondness for them, which holds true in the reread!

The books start out in a standard British boarding school, except the boarding school is in dystopian nuclear FOREVER WINTER future Britain. (At this point in time, this ... rings a little unfortunately close to home. BUT MOVING ON.)

Our Heroes are, of course, plucky outcasts: sensible Welly, who wants to be a great warrior but is fat and wears glasses, and Heather, who is plain and whose parents don't love her and who reads all the time and thinks pre-dystopian Gothic novels might reveal news of SECRET TREASURE hidden in the ruins. At one point when Heather and Welly are out exploring dangerous ruins looking for fictional SECRET TREASURE, they run into cool mysterious older student Earl Bedwas, who is able to rescue them from a pack of wild dogs ... somehow! With totally normal non-magical things!

Earl also has no memory of his past, screaming nightmares, and pasty pale skin. (I did not notice when I read these books as a kid that everyone in post-apocalyptic future Britain is explicitly dark-skinned except for pasty Earl, which is actually kind of cool albeit SUPER not reflected on the book covers.)

Anyway, one day a mysterious and sinister woman shows up and claims she's Earl's aunt! Earl runs away, hits his head, and REMEMBERS ALL.

Spoilers for the Adventures of Emo Teen Merlin )

...except? There are two more books apparently???? Which came out like five years ago, well beyond the age when I found these in the library, and which now apparently I'm going to have to read, god damn it Pamela F. Service!
meganbmoore: (anjelica)
[personal profile] meganbmoore
This telenovela is available with English subtitles on Hulu.

Based on the novel of the same title by Maria Duenas (also available in English, though I haven't read it yet), The Time In Between takes place from 1935-1941 and tells the story of Sira Quiroga, a young seamstress from Madrid who becomes stranded in Morocco, becomes a successful dressmaker in Tetouan, and is eventually recruited by the British Secret Service to get information from the wives of Nazi officers. Like Gran Hotel, the series is reformatted to make 11 longer episodes fit into 17 45 minute episodes, though, as far as I know, no scenes were cut, and most of the original episode endings and beginning are less jarring than Gran Hotel's, though they're still noticeable.

The series begins when Sira, who is illegitimate (this is eventually a fairly significant plotpoint), is a sewer at a modest dressmaker's shop and meets and becomes engaged to a lowranking government official. As happens in these stories, she gets wooed away from her very safe fiancee by a hotter and more daring love interest. Who promptly convinces her to run away with him, spends all her money, and leaves her stranded with his debts in another country. This, thankfully, is never treated as "women should no better and appreciate Nice Guys more," but rather as a woman who was taken advantage of by a creepazoid loser. This also gets Sira out of Spain right before the Spanish Civil War, but also leaves her mother trapped in Madrid with no (legal) way out. It's a slow beginning, followed by another brief slow period where Sira has to try to piece a life together from scratch.

It takes off when Sira, with her landlady's help, opens her own dress shop in Tetouan, and soon becomes popular with the wives and lovers of British and German officials. The most notable of these is Rosalinda Fox, the lover of a Nazi official, who Sira quickly becomes close friends with, and through whom Sira gets drawn into pre-war politics, and is eventually brought to the attention of the British Secret Service. The series focuses on parts of the pre-and-early-WWII years that don't get a lot of attention, specifically the British, Spanish and German communities in Morocco, and the Spanish community separated from their families, and the British and German communities in Spain just before and at the beginning of the war, and how they interacted with the local Spanish community.

There are a number of men in Sira's life-both romantic and platonic, but there's more focus on Sira's relationships with other women. Sira begins as an Accidental Heroine, but becomes increasingly deliberate in her heroism throughout, but the progress of both is propelled by her relationships with other women. in particular, her usefulness as a spy doesn't rely on her attractiveness or men being sexually attracted to her, but on the fact that she gets along with other women, who like and trust her. In addition, the series places great importance on mother figures for her. Her own mother, of course, but also her land lady as well as her former employer in Madrid. The presence of her mother figures, and her ability to forge relationships with other women, is central through most of the series. It does become more focused on her relationships with men towards the end, but not to the point where it ignores her relationships with other women, or to the point where I thought it overcame the importance of those relationships.

There's a romantic plotline, but it's secondary to Sira's growth as a person and her profession, both as a dressmaker and as a spy, and it actually serves to build on that. In the not-overly-active tumblr tag (the only limited fandom that I've found) I've seen a couple of posts lamenting the fact that the ending wasn't explicitly romantic, but I prefer it that way. to me, the ending makes it clear that this has been entirely Sira's story on her own terms, and that other players were a part, but that Sira and her POV were the most important thing.

So: Interesting story about a part of history and subcultures that we don't see get covered a lot, lady-centric, fashion, historical figures we don't hear a lot about (seriously, guys, go read up on Rosalinda Fox and Juan Luis Beigbeder), ladyspies, and relationships between women. Go watch it so I'm not alone anymore

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