LotS. Team Epic Hotness.

Polyships.

This is inspired by verdande_mi who was talking about polyamorous relationships in fiction.

I'm happy that there's been more visibility to poly relationships in media, as it's not always an option many writers in mainstream media take, whether they themselves don't want to or from the higher ups who push back against the idea, so it's a pleasant surprise whenever I see it happen.

The most recent one that I deeply enjoyed, and had a lot of focus on, was in the latest season of The Expanse where a group marriage was formed with a recurring character and their pirate crew, they have multiple husbands and wives (affectionately nicknamed the Polyam Belter Fam by the fans). It's not really surprising considering that one of our main characters has eight parents which is viewed as pretty common. Of course with these examples, it makes me think about the different types of polyamorous relationships and how different they are, and why it's important to note that not all of them operate the same way. There's obviously a lot of misconceptions about polyamory in general, since it's not really of the "norm" that the majority of people see on a daily basis, so it makes me appreciate it whenever things in media do portray polyamorous relationships respectfully without making them a cheap gimmick.

And of course being in fandom I see polyships on the regular (often as a way of solving the dreadfully overused love triangle trope), so it's not really that surprising to me to see three or more characters being paired together. I have several myself, canon and non-canon. Here are some examples of them:

Canon Polyships

* Polyam Belter Fam (The Expanse)
* Lito/Hernando/Dani (Sense8)
* Kala/Rajan/Wolfgang (Sense8)
* Caprica Six/Gaius/D'Anna (Battlestar Galactica)

Non-Canon Polyships

* Xue Yang/Xiao Xingchen/Song Lan (The Untamed)
* Richard/Kahlan/Cara (Legend of the Seeker)
* Nathan/Audrey/Duke (Haven)
* Holden/Naomi/Amos/Alex (The Expanse) (kinda technically is sorta canon since in the books Holden suggested they all get married, which again makes sense considering his upbringing)
* Eliot/Hardison/Parker (Leverage)
* Bo/Tamsin/Dyson (Lost Girl)
* Harry/Cho/Cedric (Harry Potter)

These are just ones that I can think of from the top of my head as I'm sure there are more. Some of these I ship more heavily than others, but mostly I like entertaining the idea especially with the non-canon polyships because I think the dynamics would be really interesting, thinking about how they would interact with each other, the kind of relationship they would have, the conflicts or issues that would arise, how they would manage to work things out, etc.
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Pretty Little Liars. Spencer Hastings.

Spoilers, darling.

Taken from the Crunchy Questions Meme:

What is your stance on spoilers? Do you think after a certain period of time, media is fair game? What about spoilery discussion on platforms that don't allow for easy filtering, such as Facebook? Do you have any other opinions surrounding spoilers?

From a personal standpoint, I don't really mind spoilers all that much anymore. I used to be somewhat cautious in the past, but nowadays I'm more or less neutral when it comes to spoilers. I do try to avoid them whenever I can, of course, since there are things I want to remain unspoiled for especially when getting into something, but if I accidentally do get spoiled it's not really the end of the world. It can be annoying sure, but I can deal with it. However, despite my neutral stance on spoilers for myself I always warn for spoilers whenever I can whenever I'm discussing about things.

I'm also of the mind that sometimes spoilers doesn't always necessarily ruin the experience of something. I will occasionally spoil myself for things simply as a precautionary measure or if a particular piece of fiction is going to be worth my time getting invested in. Other times it's just to emotionally and psychologically prepare myself for what's to come, like if a character dies or if something terrible is going to happen down the line that may make me uncomfortable. Sometimes it can be very vague, other times it's very detailed, and it doesn't always mean it ruins the experience but makes it more manageable based on my own personal preferences. And I think that's the key element here, because what counts as spoilers differs from person to person. You might not be able to count on others to not spoil you, but you can control what you're responsible for when looking things up yourself and when to disengage.

As a general rule though, I think everyone should be mindful when it comes to spoilers, both online and in real life, and it shouldn't matter whether something just came out or has been out for years or is incredibly popular and talked about everywhere. I think everyone should be responsible for how they engage in those kinds of situations, especially with online spaces where there are tools to help avoid accidentally spoiling someone and to avoid spoilers for yourself (ex: warning beforehand in posts and using spoiler cuts, using the appropriate filters, blocking certain tags, avoiding specific sites, etc).

There's also a conversation to be had when it comes to how people handle spoilers in the age of digital streaming and binge-watching, as well.
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Runaways. Molly Hernandez.

Oy vey.

++ American Gods has been cancelled after three seasons. Let's be honest, this was inevitable and unsurprising considering the amount of controversy surrounding everything that occurred behind-the-scenes. From the constant hiring and firing of showrunners and cast members leaving or being fired along with the racism and mistreatment of some of those cast members, the entire production was just a trashfire mess. And not an entertaining way either, but in a "how can you continuously fuck up this badly?" kind of way. I barely heard anything about the show itself after the first season, only the behind-the-scenes drama that just kept getting worse and worse. It's disappointing and a damn shame since the show started out incredibly strong with a fantastic first season and had real potential of being something spectacular, but they just kept fucking things up.

++ Apparently a local convention is decidedly happening this weekend (I know, I wtf'd too), preventing people from getting their vaccinations in the building that it is being held. This has created an outrage, and rightfully so. Listen, I miss going to conventions as much as the next person who attends these things and I know businesses are massively struggling during this time, but this is still incredibly too soon. I cannot foresee in-person conventions happening in the near-future because, aside from the pandemic still happening I just don't trust people at this point in time to follow the simple standard health guidelines (people are still being entitled and selfish when it comes to wearing a goddamn mask, ffs). I hope the event gets cancelled, because not only is this incredibly unsafe but it's also just moronic as hell. In the grand scheme of things, people's health and safety should come first and are more important than an anime convention.
Elena Gilbert. Magic.

Once more....with feeling.

Taken from the Crunchy Questions Meme:

Do you like musicals? Operas? Ballets? Do you have any favorites, least favorites, unpopular opinions?

I essentially grew up on musicals of a wide variety. The Sound Of Music was definitely the biggest imprint on my childhood, but it kind of continued on from there. I also grew up on musicals like Hans Christian Andersen (starring Danny Kaye), Once Upon A Brother's Grimm (1977), the Peter Pan musical (starring Mary Martin), both versions of Roger and Hammerstein's Cinderella (starring Leslie Ann Warren and Brandy, respectively), and plenty of others among that nature. It was a lot of these kinds of musical influences in my childhood, thanks to my mom who was mainly responsible for introducing them to us, that was very formative to what I would be interested in much later in life.

As I got older, I ended up being largely interested in other musicals such as The Phantom Of The Opera, RENT, Chicago, Repo! The Genetic Opera, Reefer Madness, Mamma Mia! (which I actually saw a live performance of in Las Vegas many years ago, and we got front row center seats which is still wild to me), and plenty of others. I also don't know if anyone remembers this, but when I was in high school there was Carmen: Hip Hopera, a modern hip-hop version of the Carmen opera that starred Beyonce on MTV, I really enjoyed that one. This, of course, should also include musical-based episodes of shows ("Once More, With Feeling" from Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and webseries (Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog). And in most recent years, of course, there's been Hamilton and Heathers: The Musical, and most recently I've been listening to Hadestown. So yeah, I guess you could say that I like musicals quite a bit. Not everything, mind you, but if the songs are catchy I will be listening to it.

(As for my unpopular opinions, there are some musicals that everyone has talked about but I never got that into, such as Les Mis or Wicked; I know the songs and references but never quite got into them for some reason.)

I don't really go much for operas, although I do like watching ballet. I mean, Hans Christian Andersen was mainly responsible for me wanting to get involved in ballet when I was young, and I did take ballet lesson for a short period of time. Although I'm not exactly that well-versed in ballets, but I think my favorite is The Nutcracker, and my most recent favorite production of that ballet is the 2016 Royal Opera House version with Francesca Hayward portraying Clara.
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Abigail Hobbs. Devil's daughter.

Killing Eve

It appears that Killing Eve will end after its fourth season.

I'll be honest, I never quite got that into Killing Eve, and for a while I never quite understood why. It felt like one of those shows that, while it had a solid start with season one it quickly lost its momentum after that and I kind of lost interest. Which happens with some shows, they will start off good but then you realize it's not what you were wanting from it. I just couldn't quite pinpoint the specific reason for my disinterest (aside from internally comparing it to Hannibal, which I know is unfair because they're two completely different shows). Of course, after learning about what happened with its third season and the complaints many fans had with it, including the sidelining of Sandra Oh who, y'know, plays the titular character, it all clicked into place. Killing Eve is very disproportioned. Where they should have focused on their two main leads equally, both in writing and with their characters' obsessions with each other, they ended up focusing entirely on Villanelle while keeping Eve in the background and not exploring her arc more. It's very lopsided, and it makes for uneven storytelling and honestly, wasted potential. The thing is, Killing Eve isn't a bad show, it's just that it could have been better in the way it was structured after the first season. The seeds were planted, it was there, but somehow they just kept missing that mark to land properly.

I do hope that they take the criticism of the third season seriously to make the final season better and satisfactory for the fans. It had a solid and strong beginning, let it end on a similar note.
Pretty Little Liars. Secrets.

Social media.

Taken from the Crunchy Questions Meme:

Social media platforms come and go, what is a social media website that you didn't think would last as long as it did? What is one that you're surprised ended quickly as it did? Is there a social media platform that you refuse to use no matter how popular it is?

I would say Facebook is a place I'm surprised lasted as long as it has, though not really because the entire purpose was to reconnect with friends and family. I think I'm more or less surprised due to the lack of popularity it has these days. I remember it was marketed towards a lot of young adults, especially those entering into college, to stay connected with friends and family after high school, and it was viewed as a mature upgrade from MySpace. Even actors and celebrities were using it for keeping people updated on future projects and whatnot. Nowadays, though, it's mostly the older generation who are using it to stay in touch, and anyone who is just having an account so their family won't yell at them for not having one or accepting friend requests.

I'll be honest, I thought that Vine was going to last longer than it did since it was heavily popular, but of course with everything happening behind the scenes it unfortunately seemed inevitable that the app would be discontinued. I never used it, but I watched compilations on YouTube and there is no denying that there was so truly hilarious and creative content produced there. I know that TikTok has become kind of the replacement for that in a sense, trying to recreate the atmosphere that Vine had but honestly it just doesn't have the same vibe.

I will never join Twitter, that place seems like a massive hellhole, filled with reactionary culture and people just yelling at one another into a void and it's just drama, drama everywhere, and I just don't have the patience for that nonsense. No thank you. It wasn't appealing to me years ago, and it's definitely not appealing to me now.

(In general, I'm not really huge on social media. I only have LJ -- with DW as a backup -- and Tumblr, that's it. I know that may make me seem archaic in this modern age of technology where everyone has a Twitter account or something like that, but I don't like the notion of having to sign up to every single social media platform just to keep in touch with people or just because it's considered more popular. Also a lot of social media sites require you to use your real name or give out personal information, which I'm not comfortable with.)
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Claire. No ordinary girl.

Euphoria: Special Episodes Overview

I talked about the first part briefly, but here are my thoughts about Euphoria's two special episodes that released in December and January. The first part ("Trouble Don't Always Last") which focuses on Rue and the second part ("Fuck Anyone Who's Not A Sea Blob") which focuses on Jules. This is mostly me sharing my thoughts on how both episodes coincide with one another and what this may mean for the characters going into the second season.

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Euphoria is supposedly going to start filming season two this month, which is when they were originally going to do last year before quarantine happened that stalled any further production from going forward. Nevertheless, I'm glad that they gave us something like these specials, and they did a fabulous job. So it makes me curious what the second season will bring us.
Daredevil. Matt Murdock.

Go Ducks!

++ I've been trying to write up my review of season five of The Expanse, but figuring out how to articulate my thoughts and feelings has become a difficult task as it bounces around from becoming either far too long and repetitive or just me going "fifth season was amazing....the best season so far....phenomenal performances....", which is, y'know, all true, but I want to be more cohesive than that. Still working on it.

++ I know I've groused about the trend the entertainment industry has with banking on nostalgia, the more reboots/remakes/revivals that are announced the more my eyes roll further back into my head as I sigh in near defeat, and that hasn't changed. With that being said, however, when I heard that they were doing The Mighty Ducks television series on Disney+ with bringing back Emilio Estevez as Gordon Bombay, my childhood heart was like...."oh? tell me more please." Listen, Emilio Estevez was one of my first childhood celebrity crushes, right after Harrison Ford, and The Mighty Ducks was a huge part of the reason why (D2: The Mighty Ducks is a personal favorite, simply because his look in it was hot it was the hair okay). Is this another banking of nostalgia moment? Yeah, of course it is, and yeah I'm ashamed by looking forward to seeing it, but I don't care.

++ Since I've become a bit more interested in Asian dramas lately, one that I've come across that I've seen people I follow talking about has been Mr. Queen, a Kdrama that is an adaptation of a Chinese novel (which also had a Chinese web series adaptation, that was censored in China), and it just recently concluded. Once I learned of its premise, immediately I was like, oh yes this is my jam. Essentially, a modern guy is transported into the past in the body of a queen, and alongside the politics and plot stuff there is the concept of gender identity and bisexuality/questioning of sexuality. Needless to say, I became intrigued and sold on this alone. I have yet to see it, but I've seen gifsets and it looks hilarious (the "gay panic" moments and physical comedy) and also heartwarming (the tenderness and romantic angle). I'll eventually get to it, along with the other Asian dramas I have on my list to watch.
Din Djarin. Space cowboy.

Some positive news....

++ Gina Carano has been fired from LucasFilms/The Mandalorian, and her agency has dropped her as well. I'm surprised it took them this long to do something, considering that she was very public with her vile and bigoted tweets from the controversial explosion last year. While I liked Cara Dune well enough, I didn't have a strong attachment to the character so I'm not that torn up about it. I know that there's a lack of muscular women in media who not only look like but can fight and kick ass, and that was amazing to see that on The Mandalorian, but this is the price for not acting a damn fool online and thinking you can get away with it. I don't know what's going to happen with the Cara Dune series they were planning, if they're going to recast or not do it at all. Not that we need it, to be honest, since there's far too many things lined up anyway. But either way, good riddance.

++ Pedro Pascal has been cast to play Joel for the live-action television adaptation of The Last Of Us! Along with the young actress who played Lyanna Mormont in Game of Thrones as Ellie. I have to admit, I'm pleasantly surprised by this news. This also is very on brand for him, because he seems to be playing the single dad roles in projects lately and this is the most single dad of single dads. I approve immensely.

I'm still slightly wary of how they're to adapt the game in itself, since it's very immerse as it is and there is a delicate balance to have with the beats of the story, but I know that this is another medium that will expose people who aren't gamers into the story so I'll have to keep an open-mind when it comes to that. I do think some fans are getting too worked up over the casting decisions, as in wanting actors who looked like the characters, but I think if you cast solely on looks alone that's where things can sometimes fall apart. If an actor can act the part and totally immerse themselves and disappear into the role than what they look like doesn't matter. Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson will always be Joel and Ellie, they made the characters what they are in the game and did they so much hard work, but this is another take on the characters so we'll see how it goes.

(I also hope that Pedro doesn't get pressured to beef himself up for the role though, because Joel isn't a muscular action kind of character, he's fit enough but he's also much older and has his limits. I just worry because it looks like Pedro is becoming a breakout star and this can unfortunately mean more pressure by the industry to shape him to be whatever they want, so I hope that regardless he takes care of himself.)

++ It looks like Brooklyn Nine-Nine is ending, that their upcoming season will be their last and it'll have only ten episodes. It's a bummer, but they had a good run, and I think it's a good time to end things. I know that they have rewritten the upcoming season in light of the protests of police brutality that happened last year, so it'll be interesting to see what they've done and how the show will conclude.