AND IT'S A NO ON THE REPEAL!

Jul. 28th, 2017 08:19 am
goodbyebird: The Losers: Jensen finger-gunning, "I am a lethal killing machine". (ⓕ don't start none won't be none)
[personal profile] goodbyebird
Thank fuck. I was so anxious for you all. Best news ever to wake up to. You are all champions. You matter. Your hard work and activism mattered. You are motherfucking superheroes. I love you all. Now hug and hydrate and hopefully get some sleep. All the best.

❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

cheer me up?

Jul. 27th, 2017 10:40 pm
yhlee: Sandman raven with eyeball (Sandman raven (credit: rilina))
[personal profile] yhlee
I had the predictable depressive crash after disrupted sleep (Joe had to go out to work last night from 11:30 p.m. to 4 a.m.--I fell asleep before he got home, but only managed to go to bed around 2 a.m., which is not optimal either).

Send cute kitten pics/silly gamer stories?

Alternately, leave me a silliness prompt and I might write you a tiny!silly!crackficlet?
[syndicated profile] markwatchesstuff_feed

Posted by Mark Oshiro

In the fifth episode of the second season of Enterprise, a Porthos-centric episode ends up being not nearly as good as I would have expected. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Star Trek.

Trigger Warning: For discussion of death of a pet.

I really did want to like this, but it’s such an odd story, mostly due to the tone. I can’t imagine something more serious than the possible death of a beloved pet. And while “A Night in Sickbay” addresses this, there’s a starkly comic vibe to the story that never quite feels like it belongs. On top of that, the Kreetassan plot feels like it exists for the circumstance only, so that makes… well, there are three stories here that are all tangentially related to one another and vary wildly in tone.

It’s a lot to take in. As someone who grew up with plenty of dogs and cats, I felt distracted by Porthos’s condition. It’s hard to focus on anything when a pet is ill, and I will say that this episode does do a fine job portraying that. This is the most irritable and irascible that Archer has ever been, so he always seems frayed at the edges. That’s a good thing! It’s a believable portrayal of something that’s horrific to go through. And I also understand how humor can be a beautifully distracting thing to have when you’re dealing with something this stressful.

Yet the idea of sticking Archer and Dr. Phlox together in sick bay for the night only works some of the time. It’s not these actors’ fault, mind you, and there’s a wonderful wackiness to watching them clash. But the humor intended in the many scenes Archer and Phlox have with one another feels crass at times. If someone had been confined to sick bay for a reason that was sillier, I doubt I would have had as much of a problem dealing with the tonal dissonance. However, was this the best episode for gross-out humor regarding Phlox’s body? Or the time to be jokey about Phlox’s many animals that he keeps for medical reasons? Or for this exploration of the way that Archer and Phlox are so totally unlike one another?

See, when “A Night in Sickbay” abandons the pretense of making us laugh amidst worrying if Porthos will die, it actually becomes a much stronger episode. My favorite part of the whole thing is when Archer asks Phlox if he misses his family. It’s here that we learn that Denobulans are poly, y’all. THEY ALL MARRY MULTIPLE PARTNERS AND CONSIDER THEM ALL PART OF THE FAMILY. Obviously, I was excited to get confirmation that at least one major character in the Trek universe didn’t fall into familiar patterns, but even if that reveal hadn’t happened, I appreciated that this script found ways to get Phlox and Archer to open up about themselves. Watching them bond and learn more about one another was a fantastic thing!

Maybe not in every case, though. I can’t say I find myself too thrilled about the development of Archer’s attraction to T’Pol. If she didn’t remind me too much of Seven of Nine – the undeniably pretty outsider who causes people to struggle with their attraction to her – then I wouldn’t call foul here. But the dynamic is so similar! It just doesn’t hold any interest for me, especially not this early into the show. I AM NOT OPPOSED TO ROMANCE, but I just want T’Pol developed further before we possibly head down this path.

Other than that… I don’t know, this just didn’t click with me. It needed more focus at times, and perhaps it’s all just a matter of taste rather than anything worthy of a deep critical analysis. At least Porthos is alive by the end. THAT IS ULTIMATELY ALL THAT MATTERS.

The video for “A Night in Sickbay” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

Mark Links Stuff

– Please visit my new site for all announcements. If you’d rather not have to rely on checking a website regularly, sign up for my newsletter instead! This will cover all news for Mark Reads, Mark Watches, and my fiction releases. 

My family...

Jul. 27th, 2017 08:15 pm
elisi: (Ponds)
[personal profile] elisi
Very random post, but.

A few weeks ago we watched the pilot for the new The Tick TV series.

As there were sadly no more episodes, we then watched The Seventh Seal.

Somehow I felt this summed us up rather well.

And today I remembered to buy more Earl Grey (we had run out!!) but forgot toilet paper.

So if you wonder what we are like - well, this post is it. Very eclectic viewing tastes and an addiction to (good) tea. :)
[syndicated profile] markwatchesstuff_feed

Posted by Mark Oshiro

In the first episode of the fifth season of Steven Universe, Steven confronts Lars. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Steven Universe

In more ways than one, Steven Universe does a wonderful deconstructing what it means to be a hero. Sometimes, it’s through the complicated stories about people doing terrible things in the name of what’s right. Yet in “Stuck Together,” the writers take to task the idea that being heroic has no real emotional affect on a person. Now, that’s an absurd thing to say about Steven, of course, because I can’t imagine a character more emotional than him. HE IS MY BEAUTIFUL CRYING BOY.

Within the context of recent events, though, I found this episode a revelation. We’ve all seen the heroic sacrifice; we’ve all seen a protagonist offer themselves up to save a friend. What’s rarer, though, is the aftermath, and that’s why “Stuck Together” felt so huge to me. The entirety of this episode takes place within the spaceship that’s heading back to the Homeworld, and it’s an examination of the compartmentalizing that Steven must do to present himself as a fearless hero. His foil, then, is Lars, the character who saw danger and ran away from it to hide.

Yet this story doesn’t paint Lars as a villain. If anything, he’s tragically relatable. That doesn’t mean he shouldn’t apologize to anyone or hold himself accountable. Rather, while literally stuck in this predicament, Lars and Steven fight over whether or not being heroic is worth it. Oh, Lars certainly doesn’t think that’s what they’re talking about, BUT IT IS. He devalues himself; he devalues his contributions; he devalues his worth. Above all, though, he is afraid. That’s not a surprising revelation to any of us who have been watching this show; his fear has manifested as anxiety for a long time. But he admits it so starkly while stuck within Topaz, and it was HEARTBREAKING.

So of course the show makes it worse by having Steven admit that he is probably just as scared as Lars. Gods, that monologue is so amazing, y’all. Again, it’s not like it’s surprising that Steven is frightened even when he’s making these heroic choices. But in that moment, these two characters open up to one another, and they are blissfully vulnerable. Lars actually says something optimistic, which is so unlike him that Steven practically asks him to go back to being a pessimist. It’s honestly one of my favorite scenes in the show…

…AND WAS INCREDIBLE ENOUGH THAT TOPAZ SPOKE. Oh my god, WHAT A SHOCKER. First of all, I’m glad that by having Topaz speak and revealing more about themselves and their fusion partner, the show doesn’t allow her to follow into that continued trope of having their large and butch characters to be antagonists. Instead, Topaz bursts into tears over Lars’s and Steven’s conversation, and she admits that she wishes she could be honest about the other Topaz. UGH, THIS SHOW IS SO CANONICALLY QUEER IT HURTS ME. Because here’s another non-straight relationship presented to us unapologetically, and it feels different. It’s not like Garnet and her fusions, either! Plus, you could easily read a whole host of themes surrounding repression into this character, so EXCUSE ME IF I GO AHEAD AND PROJECT ALL OVER TOPAZ. Like, #me? There’s probably a whole lot of you out there who see a character who has a near-breakdown over just wanting to be honest with someone they care about, but social norms prevent you from doing so.

H E L P.

Which is why I was so upset by Aquamarine’s treatment of Topaz. There’s an interesting moment towards the end of this that I don’t want to ignore, but it was clear that she view Topaz as lesser than her, and thus, she could treat her terribly. So… why didn’t she shatter Topaz? Why did she agree to let Topaz stay together event hough she obviously looks down on fusions? IS THERE SOMETHING ELSE GOING ON HERE?

Whew, what a premiere. I’m so glad I don’t have to wait for the next episode.

The video for “Stuck Together” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

Mark Links Stuff

– Please visit my new site for all announcements. If you’d rather not have to rely on checking a website regularly, sign up for my newsletter instead! This will cover all news for Mark Reads, Mark Watches, and my fiction releases. 

elisi: (Stepping Sideways)
[personal profile] elisi
Forgot to mention that I have this whole fic written & finished, which is nice. :)

On AO3 this is tagged with 'Aggressive Sarcasm' and 'Mutual Antagonism'. In other words: I had a lot of fun writing this.

Summary: How do you save people that don't want to be saved?

For info etc, please check out The Prologue.

Note: Gallifreyan will be indicated by the use of « and » rather than "". It seemed the simplest solution.


SherwoodBanner1

A Long Way from Sherwood: Chapter 1 )
[syndicated profile] markwatchesstuff_feed

Posted by Mark Oshiro

In the forty-fourth episode of the second season of Gargoyles, the gargoyles must defend their nemesis from an all-powerful being. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Gargoyles

Sometimes, the most obvious answers are right there in front of me. I was so convinced of how obvious it was that Titania was Puck that I ignored the more obvious clue: Titania and Anastasia Renard were both voiced by Kate Mulgrew. I EVEN POINTED THIS OUT AND JUST ASSUMED THAT THE SHOWRUNNERS HAD CAST HER BECAUSE WHY NOT.

OH MY GOD. I’d say I’m embarrassed but this is just par for the course with this show, y’all. “The Gathering, Part One,” presents the newly-reunited clan with one hell of a dilemma: what do you do when your number one enemy needs your help? What do you do when the victim of a terrible injustice is someone you hate? Do your ethics still apply, or is the situation too personal?

There’s a bit of set-up here before we get to that critical point, and I’m impressed that there’s still room for mysteries and revelations for these characters after so many episodes. Yet this also comes off of “Future Tense,” so the fact that Alexander Fox Xanatos has now been born feels like the start of something terrible. It’s just that, for the time being, that terrible thing was not what I or anyone else expected. (EXCEPT FOR OWEN. HOW THE FUCK DID HE KNOW ANASTASIA WAS TITANIA??!?!?!? WHY ISN’T HE STICKING AROUND? I NEED ANSWERS.) Oberon’s Gathering – which is shown to us briefly in an early part of this episode – has an unintended consequence for Fox and Xanatos. Initially, I couldn’t see how this story would evolve from the Gathering into something that warranted more than one part. So, Oberon’s children returned, all except for Titania and Puck. (And I still believed at that point that they were the same person.) I side-eyed the fact that a lot of characters we’d met were Oberon’s Children because it’s still invoking that trope of taking cultural beliefs and stripping them of their meaning. (Which I talked about in “Heritage.” This also retroactively makes the events of “Cloud Fathers” susceptible to the same criticism.) Otherwise… they were back home! There was fighting! The Banshee was forbidden from using her voice as punishment! So… what else was left? Getting Puck, who had told Goliath in “Future Tense” that he didn’t want to return.

Given that we had watched the Children return home to Avalon, I was bothered that we didn’t get the same sequence for Elisa, Bronx, and Goliath. I really wanted a moment where the Brooklyn Bridge or Manhattan Bridge came into view, especially since Gargoyles had been building towards that for some time. Granted, I was satisfied with the reunion in the clocktower, and LORD DID IT MAKE ME TEAR UP. I’m so glad that they got home safely and that the magic of Avalon let them go! But – again – I couldn’t see how any of this was connected.

The key, however, was Alexander. Alexander, who was born of Fox, who was TITANIA’S DAUGHTER, and who wasn’t trained in magic and THUS IT NEVER DEVELOPED IN HER, but Alexander… oh, he’s magical. So how do you stop someone like Oberon from getting what he wants? Iron, sure, but even that weakness isn’t absolute. Owen seems to have done his homework, employing a number of devices and science shit I don’t understand to counteract Oberon’s power. That doesn’t help the MILLIONS OF NEW YORKERS WHO ARE PUT TO SLEEP BY OBERON. WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH THIS SHOW.

What I’m most interested in going forward is how the gargoyles and Elisa are going to deal with this hellish reality. They refuse to help Titania, and she warns them not to interfere. We all know they aren’t going to do that, but what are the consequences of this? Is Xanatos going to actually appreciate them for this, or is he just going to continue being the worst? I have some faith in Owen’s defensive measures; he clearly knows what he’s doing. Goliath and Elisa know about the iron weakness, but… what can they possibly do when he’s grown to the size of a giant??? Will Oberon’s children be okay with this? Will Titania retaliate?

THIS IS SO GREAT AND SO DISTURBING.

The video for “The Gathering, Part One” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

Mark Links Stuff

– Please visit my new site for all announcements. If you’d rather not have to rely on checking a website regularly, sign up for my newsletter instead! This will cover all news for Mark Reads, Mark Watches, and my fiction releases. 

feliciacraft: felicia as editor of the Sunnydale Herald (herald editor)
[personal profile] feliciacraft posting in [community profile] su_herald
[Drabbles & Short Fiction] [Chaptered Fiction] [Images, Audio & Video] [Reviews & Recaps] [Recs] [Community Announcements] [Fandom Discussions] [Articles, Interviews, and Other News]

Quick pimp!

Jul. 26th, 2017 10:29 pm
elisi: (Shiny! Kaylee by eyesthatslay)
[personal profile] elisi
Hereby recommended:

Chance Encounters (AO3 link) by [profile] luckweaver.

Summary: The first step in the plan was to lie low for a little, and stay out of sight. Of course, trouble had a way of finding Roda...

Notes: This is a series of short stories, probably 3 chapters for each, with minor details about what Roda gets up to immediately following the events of 'The Death and Life of Rodageitmososa'. These take place during Roda's 8th regeneration.

6 chapters posted. Some great guest stars. Go. Enjoy. :)
[syndicated profile] markwatchesstuff_feed

Posted by Mark Oshiro

In the fourth episode of the second season of Enterprise, THIS IS SO MESSED UP. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Star Trek

Trigger Warning: For consent and body horror.

HELP. I WAS NOT READY FOR THIS TO BE A SEQUEL TO “MINEFIELD.” AND IT’S A LARGE REASON WHY IT’S SO GOOD. AND I’M SO DISTURBED. AND IT’S ALL YOUR FAULT.

Just… holy shit. I love a mystery that is this compelling and unnerving and then COMPLETELY STICKS THE LANDING. That is so hard to do, especially when it felt like all the disparate pieces of this story did not seem to fit at all. For the life of me, I could not figure out what the catch was. Why was this Tellarite repair station so relatively cheap? Why the hell did this computer appear to have killed Travis? WHAT WAS IT THAT MADE ARCHER SO CREEPED OUT BY THIS PROCESS?

Until we reach that answer, this is a cleverly executed science fiction story, something that honestly felt like a novel more than a television show. That’s a common way of praising the writing for this medium, I know, but it’s a great method of conveying the depth that’s given to us in a relatively short time. The script for “Dead Stop” does not rush through the motions; instead, it moves at a slow pace, revealing each new facet of this repair station meticulously. Right from the start, instinct and savviness tells us something is wrong with this place, and thus, Archer becomes the avatar for the audience. Look, all of us know that this station felt too good to be true. A repair station in the middle of nowhere that perfectly adapted its docking bay to the shape and size of Enterprise? Surely, that’s not just a neat bit of technology, right?

Then, it’s revealed that there aren’t any people onboard the station, and I WAS READY TO NOPE OUT OF THERE RIGHT THEN. An abandoned station is the most stress-inducing trope for me because I always want to know why it’s so empty!!! The writers know this, and they knew that once we found out how much the repairs would cost, we would all be suspicious. That’s the brilliance of “Dead Stop,” though. This script isn’t condescending to the dedicated Trek viewer. Instead, it exploits our familiarity with many of the tropes deployed throughout, and it leaves us bewildered and uncertain. Is this all a trap so that the Tellarites can gain information about other ships and species? Is there a hidden cost to the repairs? See, I spent this whole episode waiting for the other shoe to drop, and THIS SHOW KNEW I WOULD DO THIS. I felt personally attacked by everything here!

I’m also glad I don’t have to write an essay about how fucked it up it was to kill off Travis. WE ARE ALL RELIEVED, HONESTLY. Yet even in that, you’ve got the same dynamic: the show wouldn’t really kill a main character in such a ridiculous and meaningless way, right? (It’s at this point that a certain character from The Next Generation and another one from Deep Space Nine screech at me from beyond the grave.) So why the hell had the computer on the station done that? If it hadn’t killed him, then WHAT THE FUCK ACTUALLY HAPPENED? None of this made sense to me!

Now, I could see someone feeling like the resolution of this episode was a bit rushed. It’s certainly a story with little closure, since Dr. Phlox is only able to make an educated guess as to why this computer kidnapped Travis and then duplicated his body and left it behind on Enterprise. Given what T’Pol and Archer found in the central core, I’d say that Dr. Phlox’s theory is correct. But the why is left out of all of this. Did the Tellarites deliberately construct a station to steal living beings to use their brain’s computing power? I’m more inclined to believe that the AI or computer system adapted in the absence of any living programmers. In order to survive, it “stole” the means to improve its abilities.

It’s a meaningless act, sure. The computer can’t really be evil in a way we could categorize it, and that makes this that much more disturbing. No one will probably ever get the closure they need, and certainly not Travis. That final image is so creepy, too, since it’s entirely possible that the station will continue repairing itself, and then the cycle will commence again. Y’all, this was like a Twilight Zone crossover, I swear. IT WAS SO GOOD.

The video for “Dead Stop” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

Mark Links Stuff

– Please visit my new site for all announcements. If you’d rather not have to rely on checking a website regularly, sign up for my newsletter instead! This will cover all news for Mark Reads, Mark Watches, and my fiction releases. 

(308) Avengers: Age of Ultron

Jul. 26th, 2017 10:14 pm
ebsolutely: (mcu [ pepperony)
[personal profile] ebsolutely posting in [community profile] fandom_icons
(308) The Avengers: Age of Ultron
→ Tony Stark, Natasha Romanoff, Steve Rogers, Bruce Banner, Clint Barton, Wanda Maximoff, Thor, Maria Hill

Previews;


OVER HERE at [community profile] megascopes
[syndicated profile] markwatchesstuff_feed

Posted by Mark Oshiro

I can’t believe it’s been FIVE MONTHS since I last did one of these, BUT HERE I AM. Time for me to make a fool of myself on the Internet!!!

All right, let’s go over predictions from last time:

  1. We will see Jasper again. OH MY GOD.
  2. There will be one episode at the barn with Lapis and Peridot. There were more than one!
  3. We’ll see the Rubies again, but not Eyeball/Doc. I believe I got this wrong, but blame it on it being FIVE MONTHS since I saw these episodes.
  4. We’ll get an episode about the Diamonds. OH, DID WE EVER.
  5. We’ll see some of the corrupt creatures that Jasper captured. H E L P.
  6. Another kindergarten will be revealed. Okay, now I just flat out have a bad memory. I don’t think we saw another one? 
  7. Steven will fuse with Pearl at one point! I tried. 
  8. Connie will get another training episode. Oooooh… I don’t think my prediction counts.
  9. We’ll meet another gem we haven’t seen before. so many
  10. We’ll meet another type of gem we haven’t seen before. SO MANY.
  11. MORE BISMUTH. UNBUBBLE BISMUTH. TRAGEDY.
  12. Steven will learn how to un-corrupt gems!!! I would still love to see this. 
  13. We’ll see Sapphire and Ruby in one episode. YES. AND IT WAS GREAT.
  14. This season’s big arc: the Diamonds trying to retake Earth. Oh god, I wasn’t even CLOSE. I wasn’t ready!!!
  15. The other arc: Steven learning the truth about who Rose Quartz really was. I still think this is an appropriate guess, and it’s gets to the core of the show, so now I’m realizing it can’t REALLY be answered before the show ends?
  16. There’ll be another musical episode. I’M COUNTING A FEW.
  17. STEVEN GOES ON THE INTERNET. THE BEST. He made references to it, but I won’t count this because it has to be a full episode about it.
  18. I’m scared. As you should be.

So, not the worst? But oh, the possibilities going into season 5. I’m so thrilled!

Mark’s Predictions for Season 5

  1. We will get a scene (or, ideally, an episode) devoted to Steven confronting Lars about what he did when Sadie needed help.
  2. Steven won’t even find Lars until halfway through the first episode.
  3. The ship WILL make it to the homeworld.
  4. There will be some sort of public spectacle involving Steven being asked to answer for the crimes of his mother.
  5. Steven will be pardoned in some way rather than be convicted.
  6. Steven and Lars will get sent home.
  7. But not before Lars tries to make some sort of heroic sacrifice to make up for his fright from earlier.
  8. There will be an episode devoted to Lars and Sadie reuniting and dealing with COMPLICATED FEELINGS.
  9. There will be another Lapris/Peridot episode.
  10. We’ll see another Aquamarine and another Topaz.
  11. I will at some point be unable to tell what color a new gem is because I’m a mess.
  12. We’ll find out how Pink Diamond died.
  13. We’ll see the Rubies again.
  14. I legitimately have no idea what the season-long arc will be, though. Not one clue.
  15. So… uh… messed up?
  16. I’m afraid again.

Onwards, friends!

Mark Links Stuff

– Please visit my new site for all announcements. If you’d rather not have to rely on checking a website regularly, sign up for my newsletter instead! This will cover all news for Mark Reads, Mark Watches, and my fiction releases. 

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