Sarah Manning. One of a kind.

The best escapism is fiction.

++ Since most are staying inside and quarantining themselves until further notice, I figured it's time to once again recommend Critical Role for those who are looking for a distraction from boredom. Campagin 1 (115 episodes, over 500 hours) and Campaign 2 (99 episodes so far, over at least 400 hours). I know some have been curious about the show but were too intimidated by the sheer number of episodes and the hours they would have to dedicate themselves to start watching, but now you finally have the chance to! The episodes are also available in podcast form, as well.

++ Watching the full fireside chat with Matt and Marisha was a delight, the fireplace fiasco aside (which is amazing that it was basically the first half hour into the stream). It reminded me a lot of their Periscope chats they used to do some years ago, just them hanging out in their own home.

++ Dua Lipa's sophomore album, Future Nostalgia, is out now (earlier than expected because someone ended up leaking the album so she had no choice but to release it), and honestly? The entire album is such a bop. My favorite tracks are "Physical", "Break My Heart", "Cool", "Levitating", "Hallucinate", and "Boys Will Be Boys". But really, the whole album is so good, and that's not an easy thing to do because most times even with artists you love a lot of the time their albums can be a hit or miss, with only a few good songs. But this one? Bops from start to finish. A+, 10/10.

++ I'm very nearly finished with Dune by Frank Herbert, and I can understand why this has been considered a science fiction classic. It's very unique with its world-building. I was always vaguely aware of what it was all about, having seeing bits and pieces of the 1984 movie and read the quick details through wiki articles, however actually reading the book I clearly understand what the story is about. I plan on watching the 1984 movie in full after completing the remaining pages in the book and do a comparison between the two, and possibly even the miniseries, and I do plan on reading the next book in the franchise (Dune Messiah and Children of Dune for sure). I also know that there is a new movie adaptation that is supposed to come out soon (originally to be released later this year, but with the current state of things it might be pushed back to a later date), and the majority of the casting is absolute perfection, the only one I disagree with is for Paul, partly because I'm not really a fan of that particular actor, though mostly because I cannot see anyone but Kyle MacLachlan as Paul Atreides, but that's just me.
Kahlan. Facepalm.

Something to just make y'all smile.

Just thought that this might cheer some people up, or at least entertain you as it entertained me when I first witnessed this. Matt Mercer and Marisha Ray (of Critical Role) were having a livestream Q&A last night, pretty much making due with being away from their studio during self-quarantine, and apparently there was some...mishaps and shenanigans that occurred featuring a fireplace.

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Anyway, just wanted to share this because it made me laugh, but also because I love these people and they never fail to make me smile even when absurd moments happen.
Katherine Pierce.

Euphoria: Season One Review

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TL;DR: I will admit that while Euphoria is a fantastic show, it might not be for everyone considering the content it features. The subject matters it explores can be triggering, anxiety-inducing, and uncomfortable and hard to watch at times, but nevertheless it's not exploitative and manages to handle difficult issues with dignity and respect. Also, keep in mind that this is a show on HBO, it's a series about teenagers for a mature audience, similar to that of UK's Skins, for example.

For anyone wanting more insight, the cast did a Q&A at the ATX Festival where they showed the pilot episode before the show premiered, and they talk and answer questions in regards to the show, the process, etc. It's a great way of getting to know what the show is likely about without getting too spoiled. It's also good to hear how eloquently Zendaya answers questions, which I've watched her interviews before but the way she talks about this show, especially with the showrunner/creator, it proves just how passionate she is about this role.
BTVS. Buffy Summers.

To keep myself distracted....

First, captandor is hosting a friending meme of sorts to help get people more motivated to make online friends during this particular time.

Secondly, there was a particular fandom meme going around not too long ago, but instead of doing it regularly I decided to go ahead and answer for two of my fandoms without any prompting. If anyone wants to give me more fandoms for me to answer with this meme, feel free to do so in the comments. This was just something I wanted to do because a.) boredom and b.) it seemed like fun, and I like talking about my fannish thoughts and opinions so I figured this would be a great opportunity to do so.

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Sharon Valerii. Identity.

Common love isn't for us, we created something phenomenal....

++ I know that with everything happening right now and the uncertainty of what's going to happen, with schools and businesses closing for the time being and everyone being advised to hunker down until everything gets settled, that people are understandably concerned and worried about what's going to happen. I know it feels like some kind of post-apocalyptic dystopian situation right now. I do think the way media is reporting on these things isn't helping matters especially towards those who are hoarding everything under the sun like it's the end of days, however that doesn't mean we shouldn't be taking this seriously. Just take the necessary precautions: stay at home if you're able to, wash your hands thoroughly, have sanitizer on hand as well, keep informed the best you can without worrying too much or overthinking, and stay safe to keep others safe.

++ For more uplifting news, a second person has been cured of HIV. Very good news, indeed.

++ I have been obsessed with Dua Lipa lately. First with her releases of "Physical" (the song, the music video, and the alternate work-out video for it), and then the "sitcom" she did for Vogue. Now, I've really liked Dua's music before but I never quite followed her, much like with any artist I like I don't intensely follow them until they put something out, so hearing that people used to make fun of her dancing style and were heavily critical of her on stage performances was a bit of a surprise. But what I like is that it appears that she took the criticism she was given previously to heart and actually bettered herself to make her upcoming sophomore album the best it can be, including improving her dancing, which you can see during the "Don't Start Now" live performance she did. She's not doing anything too difficult, it's simple but there's synchronicity and rhythm to it which makes it work. Plus, overall I like the modern 80s/90s feel of her releases so far.

++ I previously mentioned that I had sporadically rewatched some episodes of Are You Afraid Of The Dark?, and upon this I was doing some random searching around and I found out that they had released audiobooks (on cassette tapes) called Tales from the Midnight Society, they were limited editions and only available if you won a contest. Someone has placed them all on YouTube (tape one, tape two, and tape three), and it's really interesting listening to them because it is the cast, at least three of them, actually telling stories as you would hear them sitting around a campfire. It plays kind of like a radio play, there are sound effects and such, but it's them narrating the story instead of us seeing it enacted by different actors like on the show. So that was very cool. Another difference is that these are more short stories that don't really follow the regular format of what you see in the actual show. It's just so fascinating because I know there were AYAOTD books released (I owned at least one, perhaps two), but I never knew about the audiobooks and I'm glad to have finally been able to listen to them.
Castiel. Guardian angel.

Fandom Snowflake Challenge: Day 10

Day Ten: In your own space, talk about a creator/someone who inspired you.

I have quite a few, actually, that I want to talk about.

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What I've come to realize that with these examples that I am drawn to individuals who exude a certain level of confidence and positivity that I aspire to have within myself, of having this unafraid approach to life that is about embracing the weirdness and going after what you want and not giving a fuck about what others think about you, while at the same time caring about other people and putting out the positive, optimistic energy you want to see in the world. I definitely draw inspiration from that, especially in recent years where I'm just in this "fuck it" mindset.
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    Au/Ra - Dance in the Dark
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Haven. Audrey Parker.

Two curiosities.

++ It's been announced that The Last Of Us is getting a television adaptation on HBO. I have...conflicted feelings about this, to be perfectly honest.

On one hand, it would be interesting to see a live-action adaptation to further explore the world. While I know most adaptations made from video games haven't had the best track record and have often been mocked for being soulless cash grabs, the ones that I do like (Resident Evil and Tomb Raider) are often not really following a particular storyline but rather just basing it off of the universe while doing their own thing, and manage to do it well with keeping in the spirit and heart of that world they're inhabiting. However, my main concern with The Last Of Us is that it has a very specific story. It's incredibly character-driven, with the entire focus on Joel and Ellie's growing bond and relationship. The game is also cinematic on its own that there really is no need to actually have a television adaptation of it, you can actually watch all the cinematic cut-scenes and little moments between the characters online if you haven't even played the game. I'm not saying that it can't work, I'm just saying that it's going to take a lot of work to make it right. The connection between Joel and Ellie is something that the game does incredibly well, it is the heart and soul of the entire story and therefore vital to making it all work, and this is a mainly because of the voice actors who also did motion caption for the game, as well. While I know it may be an unfair comparison, it'll be hard to top that especially since voice actors often don't get enough credit for the hard work they do, especially with the nuances done with their performances. Also, while they don't physically look like the characters in the game, Ashley Johnson and Troy Baker essentially are Ellie and Joel, particularly when you watch the special live stage performance that was done a while back.

I know the Neil Druckmann, the creator of the game, is going to be involved with the adaptation -- and he did dismiss the pitched movie adaptation some years ago because he didn't agree with the direction they planned for it -- so there is some hope, and I don't want to knock something before seeing the final product. But nevertheless, I am nervous since the game has very specific beats to the emotional storytelling that can only be experienced through firsthand gameplay and that can be hard to translate to a live-action adaptation. So yeah, I don't know how to feel about it just yet. It's a lot of mixed feelings at the moment.

++ There's been a lot of discussion lately surrounding the problems that Disney+ has been having and the possible future of the streaming service. This video addresses particular issues, including the "family friendly" branding that may ultimately hurt the service. I agree with what was said that Disney needs to start taking risks, by not taking a chance on things they are limiting themselves and that's not something they should be doing. Ultimately, Disney+ should be operating like what The Disney Channel did when it first launched in the 80s since it, too, was a subscription back in the day and it featured a lot of variety when it came to its content, including syndicating shows from other countries and bringing in shows from other networks and plenty of programming for all ages. It wasn't until the last two decades where it started becoming strictly kids-only content. So it's weird that they would want to be this restrictive for a service that can, and should, include a wide range of content for everyone to enjoy.
Elementary. Joan Watson.

Angry gets shit done.

++ It seems that more controversy is being released in regards to the behind-the-scenes drama of American Gods as Orlando Jones has released messages that Ricky Whittle sent him after his firing. This was honestly disappointing to learn, especially since Ricky himself was bullied and mistreated by the showrunner of The 100, and to pull this is kind of hypocritical of him in my opinion. Furthermore, I would've thought that the cast would've been in solidarity considering all the fucked up nonsense that has been happening, since they're all caught in the middle with having to carry the show on their backs from incompetent execs and the constant revolving door of showrunners. It's honestly really sad how messy this show turned out to be. Not that I bothered watching after S1, but nobody is really talking about the show as they are about the drama that happens behind closed doors. All I can think about is how epic this show could've been.

++ And it looks like The Magicians got cancelled. I never watched the show, it just wasn't my thing, however considering the massive fandom outrage over what happened during the previous season finale with fans vowing to boycott the show, I can't say I'm surprised that the ratings got so bad.

++ On a lighter note, Harrison Ford playing with puppies while answering questions has been a long time coming, but it's definitely worth it. So adorable, and so chill too. This was mostly for promoting The Call of the Wild, but I just found out that Cara Gee is also in this film! :D ❤
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    Dua Lipa - Physical
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