Sarah Manning. Copy cop.

Lumos.

++ It's been announced that the last book of James S.A. Corey's The Expanse series is going to be called Leviathan Falls. A perfect bookend title, truly. This is the ninth and last book of the entire series, which will be released sometime in 2021. I know fans are excited for this, and it makes me hope that the show continues on long enough to adapt the entirety of the series.

++ Tatiana Maslany has been cast to be She-Hulk for Disney+. Honestly? Fantastic casting. I love Tatiana, she's incredibly talented (obviously, if you've seen her in Orphan Black you know). I'm just happy she's getting more recognition in general.

++ The trailer dropped for Hogwarts: Legacy, the first open world RPG video game for the Harry Potter franchise that will be released in 2021.

I know that it's been claimed that JKR isn't involved with the game, but the reality is that she still profits off of anything Wizarding World related, whether she was involved in the production of something or not. It's a delicate time right now concerning Joke Karen and her public bigoted antics, with many fans questioning whether or not they should even engage or buy anything HP-related anymore as to not support her, that debate has been going on for a long while now, even more so in recent months. It's a complicated situation where neither I, nor anyone else, can tell people what to do in that regard. With that being said, an RPG game centered around Harry Potter is something many fans have been wanting for years, and it's kind of amazing that we're finally getting it now. Hell, I remember thinking that Pottermore was going to be that and was sourly disappointed when it wasn't. Because let's be honest, the Wizarding World in itself is massive and the possibilities are endless with exploring that world and everything else in between.

So yeah, the trailer certainly looks good and interesting, though I'll have to wait to see footage of actual gameplay since cinematic trailers for video games are often quite different and may not actually reflect the final product itself. So we shall see if it lives up to the hype.
Dollhouse. Victor/Sierra.

Romance in fiction.

Taken from the Crunchy Questions Meme:

Do you think fiction needs romance to be compelling?

Short answer: No.

Longer answer: There isn't anything wrong with having romance in a story, but not every story needs to have romance in it to be compelling. There are plenty of stories out there that have absolutely no romance at all, and they're still amazing. Also, the problem isn't so much the romance angle, it's more of the inherent expectation of needing it along with the mishandling of it in the writing. From forcing a romance just for the sake of it to fill that particular quota to reducing it to tired and antiquated stereotypes, none of this is interesting or compelling. Now, yes, this is all subjective because what one person doesn't find compelling another person will, but in the overall spectrum of romance in fiction there is a common pattern. This is mostly an issue with heteronormative examples, but this can also be seen in LGBT romances as well. I also feel like, because fandom and the concept of shipping have become more mainstream these days, many creators think that there needs to be "ship teases" to purposefully bait and string fans along so they stay with that story, and honestly I don't like that, it leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

There's also this kind of obsession that every character needs to have a romantic partner, when that's not even true in reality. There needs to be more representation of those who aren't that interested in being with someone romantically, and who won't miraculously get their minds changed at the end of the story itself. There needs to be more stories that focus on the companionship of another without it ending in a romantic or sexual nature.

Bottom line, there is nothing wrong with having romance in a story, but when it's written in have it make sense in context of the narrative and the arcs of the characters. Don't just have it in order to check a box of some sort. Not every story needs a romance to be compelling, and not every character needs to be in a romantic relationship in order for them or their journey to be fulfilled.
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Din Djarin. Space cowboy.

The Mandalorian: Season 2 Trailer

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First impressions of this trailer, which serves as more of a teaser trailer than anything, is that it looks absolutely amazing. The quality, the different surroundings and scenery, the voice-over from the S1 finale which sets up what this season is essentially about, I'm pretty damn excited. I mean, I love my space cowboy husband so of course I'm excited. There really isn't much else to say, other than this makes me very happy, and that October 30th cannot come fast enough.

The fact that it's arriving the day before Halloween, my favorite holiday next to Christmas, makes me even happier. (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧
The Expanse. Bobbie Draper.

This is the way.

++ Doom Patrol has been renewed for a third season by HBOMax. I'm so happy and relieved, because in these times there's a lot of uncertainty when it comes to the possibility of returning shows.

++ It's been announced that there will be a limited tie-in comic for The Expanse, mostly centering around Chrisjen Avasarala and Bobbie Draper, which will bridge the gap between season four and the upcoming fifth season of what their characters are up to until upon meeting them in the new season. Obviously this isn't mandatory in order to watch season five, but nevertheless it's just something interesting and fun, and it's nice having new content.

++ We have official promotional images along with some new information from The Mandalorian's second season, which will premiere October 30th.

I'm still remaining cautiously optimistic about the new season, since it appears that even with still eight episodes it's said to be heading into a larger plot which is something I've been worried about, but there's been promise that each episode will still be isolated and very much still about the bond between our Mandalorian and the child, so we'll see how it goes. And yeah, I've also read the recent controversy surrounding a particular actor and what's been exposed of them lately on Twitter, and while disappointing it's not like I was that invested with them anyway, so hopefully it doesn't distract me from enjoying the new season.
Katherine Pierce.

Dune: The Official Trailer

The trailer for Denis Villeneuve's adaptaion of Dune has finally arrived. Here are my thoughts.

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Overall, this trailer has me feeling cautiously optimistic. Should this film, and its second half, succeed I'm curious if they plan on adapting the rest of Frank Herbert's Dune series. I know that it's been considered an unfilmable saga, because of how dense and strange it is, but we shall see.
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Rey. Child of the Desert.

But don't you speak for me.

++ We have a trailer for The Haunting of Bly Manor. I really loved The Haunting of Hill House, which was an unexpected surprise with just how amazingly good it was and how emotional I got by watching it, so I'm incredibly excited to get more of this new anthology series.

++ We also got an official date for the second season of The Mandalorian, October 30th. Now all we need is a trailer....

++ Apparently it's been reported that Pretty Little Liars is potentially getting a reboot? By the creator of Riverdale? And with the limited information we've gotten, it'll be a new story with new characters, which I guess would essentially just be in-name only? I don't know why this is needed, furthermore I don't understand this obsession with rebooting things, especially of popular franchises, that just ended in recent years. (I mean, I do know why, but I don't understand why it's still a thing when it's been proven that it's hardly that successful.) There are so many other things you can do, like adapting another YA book series into a show, or having an original story idea of your own. It is so unnecessary, and I'm just so tired of this being a constant trend.

Just bring back Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists from cancellation. That spin-off would be more preferable than this, imho. (Also because there is a high demand for it, based on the petition, and I'm still bitter it was cancelled.)

++ John Boyega doesn't hold back when he gives his honest thoughts about his experience on Star Wars sequel films. It's an extensive but good interview.

As someone who considers herself a very casual watcher of the Star Wars franchise, and only was invested with the first of the sequel trilogy, hearing about what John Boyega went through over those years truly is horrific and disgusting, from being sidelined in the films after originally being marketed as being a huge part of the main cast to enduring endless counts of racism. Those movies did a massive disservice to him, along with Oscar Isaac and Kelly Marie Tran. I'll be honest, I remember being so excited seeing more variety and inclusion in the SW universe, I think many were, but unfortunately it just wasn't what it was hyped up to be, as in the marketing got our expectations high and we, along with the rest of them, were letdown. These films had many issues, and the treatment of their cast was one of them, particularly those who are POC. I know that John Boyega has been very outspoken about this, and I'm glad he's continuing to do so, which is a huge risk for anyone who isn't white because of the chance of being blacklisted within the industry is incredibly higher simply for speaking out. Though considering our social and political climate right now, there's been a massive outlet for black and other POC actors calling out the racism and discrimination that they've faced in the workplace. So hopefully TPTB will start listening and realizing they need to do better.
Six. Warrior of God.

The mythical and fantastical.

Taken from the Crunchy Questions Meme:

What mythical or fantastical being deserves a fictional redemption as much as werewolves and vampires?

Angels. I think angels need to have a massive fictional redemption, mostly in terms of portraying them as the eldritch abominations that they are. A lot of people still think angels as being these cutesy little beings with white fluffy wings (or, alternatively, attractive humanoid beings with white fluffy wings), that's basically what's been commercialized for a long time, when instead I want there to be more depictions of them being gargantuan beings with like sixteen wings of varying sizes and colors and forms, having multiple heads with thousands of glowing eyes. Because, angels are terrifying. They are meant to be terrifying cosmic horror monstrosities, and I just really want more depictions of varying degrees of angels in that regard. I want them to look something akin to a Dark Souls/Bloodborne creature instead of just the same-old attractive human but with wings. That gets boring. Be creative, go outside the box, get grotesque.

Also, I want to say faeries need to have another fictional redemption, because again with how commercialized faeries have become we need more variety. The fair folk aren't always cutesy and nice, many are actually quite mischievous and are tricksters themselves who have their own set of rules. Anyone who has ever watched Labyrinth knows this very well. There are so many different types of fae that needs more acknowledgement than just those with fairy wings, as well. I think Lost Girl was the only thing that I remember seeing that actually gave a little bit of spotlight to the different kinds of fae beings that aren't often shown in mainstream media, such as the squonk and brownie, for example. I guess what I'm saying is that, most people have a very basic understanding about faeries and not such much about the fae as a whole, so I would love to see more stories featuring these different kinds of fae creatures from all kinds of folklore.

And overall, I do want more emphasis on mythical creatures and beings from other cultures as well. A lot of fantastical beings are universally shared throughout the world, such as the dragon, however we only tend to see the same types over and over again. It would be nice to see the legends and myths surrounding these kinds of creatures from different cultures and how they view them, the legends behind them, etc.
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Arrow. Sara Lance.

I'm vengeance.

++ There's been a lot of announcements of upcoming DC Comic projects, varying of different mediums. Among this is the first look at The Suicide Squad, which is considered both a sequel and soft reboot of the failure of the first movie, with having some recurring characters along with newer ones. I'll be honest, though, the cast is still far too big which was one of the many complaints of the first attempt. We get that the team is a huge ensemble but without having already established these characters prior most of them will get very little screentime. It's why I truly think that this shouldn't really be a movie, but instead a television series that will allow these characters to grow and develop and to let us see the group come together, instead of just shoving them into a singular movie. Either way, I don't really have much expectations for the movie itself. On that note, I do want to say that Harley Quinn's character design is infinitely better this go around.

Secondly is the teaser for The Batman starring Robert Pattinson and Zoe Kravitz. Now, I'm not really huge on this franchise or DC in general, however I will say seeing people whinge and froth at the mouth about Robert being cast in the role is making me lowkey root for it, simply because the whole "judging an actor for a previous role they did years ago" is kind of ridiculous. Furthermore, Robert Pattinson has proven himself to be a fantastic actor when given the right roles (see: The Lighthouse, for example). Furthermore, the film isn't done, well, filming since the pandemic happened so we don't know what this movie is eventually going to turn into in the end. So, yeah, I don't really have much to say other than it's going to be hilarious seeing more angry fanboys complain that Bruce Wayne/Batman is wearing emo guyliner.

++ For Critical Role fans, many are excited about seeing the animated series come to life. They have a particular behind-the-scenes series which takes everyone on the journey of this process of how the animated show is coming to life. The most recent episode, The Legend of the World of The Legend of Vox Machina, gives us details about the animation process, particularly with recreating the world that Matt has created. We've seen various fanart depict these particular places, but there is something so surreal of seeing the process of an official team putting it all together for an animated series. It's so cool. Now, obviously, with the pandemic that's happened I'm sure things were placed on pause for a bit, but I'm sure that things are still being worked on, and however long it takes I'm sure that the end result is going to be fantastic.

Furthermore! There are official Critical Role Funko Pops available for pre-order (sold out at their official store, but available elsewhere at retail stores)! I'm getting them all, of course. But I especially want the Trinket one, which is a specialty series exclusive, because he looks so adorable.
Kahlan. Swept by the wind.

Sometimes, an adaptation wins your heart over the book.

Taken from the Crunchy Questions Meme:

We all know that the source material is often regarded as better than adaptations, however what is an adaptation that you think is better than its source material?

A lot of the time whenever there is a book-to-movie adaptation, unless I've read the source material first beforehand, I tend to see an adaptation first before reading the book if it interests me. This just kind of happened naturally for me (due to having watched a lot of movies and television more than reading a lot of books when I was younger), but I like this method since it oftentimes allows me to squash those automatic nitpicking habits and consider them separate entities telling the same story in different mediums. There are certainly exceptions for sure, but in general I try to step back and be more objective when comparing the two. There are a lot of adaptations that miss the mark, and a lot that actually do it well, and then there are those that actually surpass the source material by making it better. It's all subjective, of course.

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I'm sure there are some others that I cannot recall, but these are the ones that immediately jump to mind when I think of adaptations that are better than or improve upon their source material.
Daisy Johnson. Quake.

Lots of planets have a North.

++ So, we're having a massive heat wave that'll last throughout the next week. Awesome. Good thing that I've been staying inside during the majority of this year because fuck if I'm going out in that nonsense.

++ Agents of SHIELD had their series finale the other night, and I'm still mulling over the fact that the show is officially over, making it the end of Marvel television (outside of Helstrom, whenever that'll be). I don't have much thoughts other than I absolutely loved this show. It had its ups and downs throughout but overall it was a solid fantastic show that got better and better as it progressed, which is something I always say to anyone who bounced after the first several episodes of the first season. I still maintain that the S5 finale best served for a series finale, but I do like that the final season attempted to further wrap things up with the emphasis on family, both blood and found family, which was the message throughout the entire series. Thank you, Agents of SHIELD, for seven wonderful seasons, and especially thank you for introducing me to one of my favorite characters, Daisy Johnson. ❤

++ The creators of Avatar: The Last Airbender have left the live-action Netflix series. It feels like déjà vu all over again. I haven't watched the animated series myself, but I know it's such a beloved series and many fans were excited for the possibility of a faithful live-action adaptation since the last attempt was an utter failure to an extreme, so this no doubt has stirred a lot of disappointment and frustration among the fanbase. Many are concerned and skeptical if Netflix truly has the best intentions in mind. And with "creative differences" being a major factor here, well, it's kind of foreboding because that's never a good sign. Truthfully, while good in theory, I'm of the mind that not every animated series/movie needs a live-action adaptation, since animation can achieve certain things that live-action cannot. Avatar: The Last Airbender is considered by most to be an absolute masterpiece on its own, so a live-action series isn't really necessary.

What do you guys think? Should this planned live-action series still happen? Do you think it has potential to be good even without the original creators involved? Or do you just not care either way especially since the animated series still exists and is available to watch anytime you want?

++ And now a pleasant surprise: it was announced that Christopher Eccleston will be returning as the Ninth Doctor for an audio drama, with twelve episodes scheduled. As someone who was introduced to Doctor Who by him, Nine was not only my first Doctor but my favorite Doctor overall. It's also why I enjoy Thirteen, because she reminds me of Nine a bit. I always felt that Nine is severely underrated and underappreciated by most, so much so that I keep seeing people recommend starting with Ten to newcomers because "he's so much hotter and lasts longer" than Nine did and it's like, what the fuck? No. Nine is great, utterly fantastic, and I'm happy that we'll be getting some new material from him, even if it's audio form.