Blah.

Apr. 14th, 2017 06:29 pm
ladybug_archive: (twilightsparkle)
So a long time ago Dad wanted me to add a bunch of Cary Grant, Gregory Peck, and Gary Cooper movies to the Netflix queue. Naturally he wanted dramas, not comedies, so I looked through what they had and tried to add every drama that sounded interesting. Unfortunately, they had an incorrect summary for the movie Only Angels Have Wings and I thought that brief summary sounded so interesting that I got the thing without looking up more in-depth information.

It was ... pretty lame, honestly. Not super terrible, but not great either. It was just kind of ... there. And while the summary made it sound like Cary Grant's character had made some terrible error and was spending the movie trying to regain respect from the other pilots, that ... wasn't how it was at all. It was some other dude who made the error, and honestly, it really was a super bad one. He bailed out of a malfunctioning plane and left his mechanic to die (which he did ... die, that is). Apparently he deliberately left the guy to die because he was a coward. That was the impression given, anyway, rather than that he bailed out thinking the mechanic was bailing out too. And his wife had acted really awful with Cary Grant's character in the past, and she was supposed to be acting really awful about her current husband, but they didn't do a good job of showing that. She wanted to know what he had done that was so horrible it was causing everyone to shun him, which is a normal reaction for anyone. Apparently she wanted to know for her sake and not because of his, but they didn't really bring that out very well. So instead the movie came off looking like it was bashing the idea of a wife wanting to know the skeleton in her husband's closet in general. Naturally she should respect his privacy if there are things he doesn't want to/feels he can't tell her (which was something Barbara Keane on Gotham couldn't seem to grasp and was one of the main things that ticked me off about her), but sometimes if you really love someone you want to know everything that's going on in their life, especially if it's something that's bringing sadness. And honestly, this character was coming off as just being worried about her husband. If Cary Grant's character hadn't gone off on a tangent insisting she was only concerned about herself, I wouldn't have realized that was what they were driving at. It was still hard to believe it after he said it, because the woman just wasn't being portrayed that way.

There were a few moments of humanity, mostly involving the best friend of Cary Grant's character, and I did like that they showed Cary Grant's character felt things deep down but just tried not to show it. That was moving on some level. But mostly the movie felt very cold and emotionless and macho, really. And it was supposed to have a lot of exciting scenes of planes flying, and there weren't that many, honestly. Most plane scenes were close-ups that were filmed on a soundstage. I find it hard to believe that such a blah movie could have actually been the inspiration for a TV series like Tales of the Golden Monkey (which was the inspiration for TaleSpin, according to Wikipedia). TaleSpin, with all of its heart and soul, couldn't be more different from this thing.

And I had a dream today about Charles Nelson Reilly being dead (which he has been for ten years) and them doing some kind of tribute with his All Dogs Go to Heaven character feeling sad about him being gone. Also, H. M. Wynant was in it for some reason. That was a nicely depressing thing to wake up from, especially considering how special Charles Nelson Reilly and that character are to me. I became obsessed with All Dogs Go to Heaven during a very discouraging time in my life and the movie and that character really helped to buoy me up. I really didn't need to have his death fresh in my mind again right now.

I hope tomorrow's Pony episodes are good. I wasn't that impressed by the trailer, but I am remaining ... cautiously hopeful. I'm also not that happy that the main characters and Spike get transformed into sea creatures in the upcoming movie, but hopefully it's just for a scene or so. I am excited that we're getting Sea-Ponies in general. And all the merchandise planned for the movie thrills me and makes me very nostalgic for the G1 era.

Also, now I've gotten so far into my Turtles timeline and Barney has improved himself and his relationship with Baxter so much, it's kind of depressing reading back on the older fics where they're still having problems. I still feel kind of weird about the fact that I created most of the details of their problems, albeit they definitely had some in canon judging from Barney's episode. At least I don't feel outright guilty about it anymore. That dark and depressing and twisted fic I read certainly cured me of that.

It's strange when I have one thing planned for a character and something totally different happens. Both with Baby Face and Snakes, I never intended for them to be anything other than bad guys. Then I got intrigued with various elements of how I was writing them and that's what caused me to flesh them out. With Barney, it was sort of the same thing, as I started out planning to make him like the 2003 Baxter, albeit with a little more humanity. Then I decided that wasn't fair to the character when we knew so little about him in canon and I wanted him to be better than the 2003 Baxter, who was basically sane but evil. So Barney became much more troubled instead, and unlike the 2003 Baxter's idiocy, he regretted being with Shredder and Krang more and more until he started working against them at times and finally turned against them altogether. Now he's actually turning his life around and it's lovely.

Ugh, I hope I feel happier later today. That dream really did bum me out and I was also feeling a little depressed from looking in one of the earlier Turtles stories, as mentioned. And then other unhappy memories came to the surface again that I would rather not talk about.
ladybug_archive: (twilightsparkle)
So I've run across Robert Stack twice this week: first, when Mom suddenly took a notion she wanted to see Written on the Wind, and then this past night when we found a nice suspense film to watch, Murder on Flight 502. I realized in the first film that "... Oh my gosh, Robert Stack really is swoon-worthy, isn't he? ... And he has been ever since my days of watching The Untouchables." Apparently I had a crush on him then, but I never realized it until this week. Now I feel like going and buying some half-season sets.

After looking up information on him and finding out that he was married to the same woman all through the years, the crush only grew stronger. Few things are as attractive to me as that. And few things tick me off as much as infidelity in a marriage. I realized that out of everyone who is firmly in my top tier of "darlings", every one of them either didn't cheat on his wife or I don't know one way or another if they did. Known cheaters just don't make the top tier (or they drop out of it if they were there).

Another actor-related thing that happened this week was that I had a dream where I was watching something where one of the characters was played by Leonard Stone. Naturally, I woke up wanting to look him up, which I did. I like him because he's one of those character actors who can play anything from weaselly cowards to upright policemen and it's always believable. He was also married to the same woman all through the years, and he died in 2011, which I found surreal for some reason. I think it always feels a little surreal to me when someone from the classic TV era was alive all through this time and then died only a short time before I started discovering/re-discovering them. I feel the same about Milton Selzer, who died in 2006.

Of course, speaking of actor deaths, I can't not mention Robert Vaughn's passing. That was a sad surprise to me, especially since I hadn't known he was ill. I had an U.N.C.L.E. dream last week that I wanted to write a fic of, and after Robert's death, I tweaked some things about the planned dream-fic and turned it into a Robert/Napoleon tribute of sorts.

I was also sad about Leonard Cohen's death. I still love and adore his song Hallelujah. I must admit I don't know any of the other things he wrote, but I've been thinking I should look into them. If they're anywhere as good/powerful as Hallelujah, I'm sure I'd love them too.

This has been a big week for fics. I think I posted three fics, two of which were entirely written this week. I think I now have 500 posted fics at FF.net. I have many more fics that I haven't posted there, however, so that isn't the definitive number of what I've written by far. The fics have been flowing, which is thrilling to me since that doesn't always happen. I now have four posted fics in my Turtles timeline and have rearranged the next "episodes" in the list again. I'm doing the Twin Beaks-inspired one next, and have already started it. I'm hoping to have it finished by Thanksgiving, since Thanksgiving is a subplot in it. We'll see what happens.

My Turtles site is live now, by the way. https://sites.google.com/site/exittheflytmnt1987/ I'm still adding things to it, and it seems like I rearrange the episode list every time I finish a fic.

I also finally started making my Baxter plushie. Aside from a horrible fight with the coated wire I'm using for his glasses, it's been an uneventful and fun time so far. Making the shirt is always a horror to me, however, and that's what's next. Ugh, I wish I could just make the sleeves attached to the rest of the shirt to begin with.

And I fell in love with a purple teddy bear at Smith's this past week. I don't usually fall so hard for plushies that aren't either specific licensed characters or cats or fish, but I just really liked this one. (It may have been partially the influence of seeing many beautiful purple products on QVC, which I've meant to write an entry about for weeks. I am kind of nuts about QVC and I love it more than HSN, which I feel a little guilty about since HSN came first. But QVC feels so much more homey.) I seriously considered getting it, but didn't feel I should right then. I'd be willing to wait and ask for it for Christmas, but I worry they might not have any by then, as I've often watched stock fly out of Smith's long before a holiday comes. I'm thinking maybe I should get it this week, if the copy that looked the best is still there.

It reminds me of years ago when I fell in love with a white Christmas teddy bear at Smith's. I remember it seems like it was really late when we went to get the groceries the week when I had the money that I could get it (which was $2.99). I think it was 11 at night, oh gosh. We must have been up really late doing groceries that night. I was so excited to be able to get that bear. They had white and brown styles and it was the white one I really wanted. He became one of the sons in my polar bear family, which consists of two big white Christmas bears, him, and a little Valentine's bear.
ladybug_archive: (snakes)
... not to avoid something that everyone and their dog hates.

Over and over, I find that if I avoid something because of negative reviews, I almost always end up loving it. It happened with season 3 of The Man from U.N.C.L.E., with season 9 of Perry Mason, with TMNT 1987, with Equestria Girls, and with many other things. I also in general love things everyone hates, regardless of whether I initially avoided it myself or not. The Batman series is a good example of that. I enjoyed it from the start, compared to everyone who tears their hair out over it.

I finally got around to buying/seeing Ghostbusters 2, mainly because of the two cartoon episodes it comes with. One of them is a favorite. (The other was WTH territory and I sincerely hope that it isn't typical of the later seasons.) Honestly, I ... ended up loving the movie much more than the original. I think there were only four instances of swearing and a couple of naughty comments, compared to swearing practically every two minutes in the original (or it felt like it, anyway). It was creepy but wacky, had many more character-developing scenes, and Winston had a lot of good screentime. It felt much more like the series, and that may have been the point. They probably knew a lot of kids would be watching it because the series was running right then. Also, the plot point I really wasn't crazy about before I saw it, them being discredited and having gone their separate ways at the beginning, ended up in practice feeling a lot like TMNT, especially Ray and Winston at that birthday party. LOL. So I actually ended up not being too bothered by that after all. I can see myself rewatching this movie and enjoying it, whereas I'm honestly not sure I would rewatch the first movie, at least not in full. I have rewatched my favorite scenes from it.

I can't remember if I mentioned, but Build-a-Bear had a 30% off deal the weekend before this one and I was able to get Michelangelo with that. We were finally going to be in the area and I couldn't pass up a chance to get that much off of him. Then I discovered that the big Slimer plush was on clearance at a Wal-Mart other than ours. I couldn't get him then, but the other day I was able to go back and get one. Our Wal-Mart still isn't clearancing them. It was awesome to get him for $7 instead of $15!

It felt so good to get my [livejournal.com profile] 31_days challenge done last week. Some pieces I really enjoyed writing, but others were puzzling, and it was definitely frustrating to have to worry about the day's piece each day when I really wanted to be writing my Turtles fic. But I kept on because I wanted to do the challenge too; it was a story I'd wanted to tell for some time. I still think I'll also write the original Snakes and Chita story I was going to tell, though, which was a third-person narrative oneshot involving one of the last times Snakes put up with looking all over town for Chita when she deliberately ran out to make him find her after an argument. I have a very distinctive image of the opening lines of that fic and they have never gone away, so I need to write it.

I tried to basically keep to the prior versions of the Snakes and Chita tale that Snakes related in two earlier fics. When I realized I had some details wrong in a couple of pieces, I went back and redid those parts. For a couple of other parts, however, I decided that I wanted to tell it slightly differently and that would either make more sense or be closer to what I wanted, so on a couple of points I deliberately made it different from the earlier accounts. Like, I didn't have Snakes and Chita go gambling all night long the first night they met. I mean, they'd been beat up in the first casino when Snakes tried to defend her. It seemed much more likely that they'd go try to take care of their battle wounds. And then at the end, I changed the point where Snakes lost track of Chita's trail in 1910. I wanted Chita to turn up again, but not decades older. I drew inspiration from both a role-play where I'd used her and from the fact that she was always intended to be characterized as sort of a flapper wannabe, and had Snakes lose track of her trail in the 1870s. She found a portal to the 1920s, where she fit in and was happily staying for the most part. (I will speculate that the portal was another result of Dr. Faustina's experiments.) But then she returned to the 1870s once, heard that Snakes was alive, and found the portal to the present-day to see him again. They were able to converse and have some closure at last.

Chita was very interesting to characterize in that last piece. Unlike other versions of her, including the role-play version, this Chita actually did mature a little bit. She wasn't as superficial, was willing to touch the scar that she had always avoided before, and felt badly for how her past cruelty had negatively impacted Snakes. But she wasn't ready to settle down and she recognized it; she had finally opted to stay single. She wants parties and material objects and yet she knows they're not what truly bring happiness. Still, she can't make herself not want them. I drew some inspiration from my own feelings regarding her love of material things and not feeling ready to settle down.

She was never meant to really be a likeable character, so I am amused that I kind of got fond of her and developed her a little. Even some of her superficialty is endearing to me. But since she has plenty of negative characteristics, I would totally understand anyone not liking her. What she did to Snakes was horrible. Not that it was worse than things Snakes did canonically, of course, and so there is definitely the possibility of redeeming her. That was kind of where I was going with the final piece.

I would never have her and Snakes get together again, but they parted on civil terms, and this past night I ended up drawing a cute picture meant to take place around that point where Snakes is standing watching her dance as she whips her boa around him. I sketched the whole thing out very quickly and I quite love it. I might ink it before I scan it, though.

Apparently I had Snakes on the brain after that themeset, because yesterday I had a weird dream involving him. It seemed to take place in the Old West, before The Poisonous Posey episode, even though some things ended up not making sense. Dr. Loveless was there too, and Snakes seemed to be working for/with him and there was some explosion planned for Jim West. Snakes seemed all into that, the little weasel (despite the fact that he seemed to not know Jim in the episode, so there's where it doesn't make sense). Then the tables were turned when Jim escaped and Dr. Loveless chained Snakes to a bomb that was set to go off in a couple of minutes. He was begging and pleading to be set free, and finally someone did. His characterization felt very similar to what's seen in the actual episode: pretty much a pathetic coward who likes to set bombs as ways out of his problems and ends up digging his own grave by doing so.

I never at all intended to become intrigued by him with that characterization, and yet it happened when I was fleshing out his character out of necessity in The Night of the Deadly Codename. And of course, that also led to Christopher rightfully taking his place as one of the darlings when I studied the episode more. I wonder if there's any chance at all that I could have seen that episode when I was very young. Mom insists that Dad used to watch WWW in reruns, so I wonder if there's any chance I saw it back then. That would be hilarious. And it would mean I did encounter Christopher years ago, just like all the other darlings. I want to say I have a vague memory of watching that episode in bits and pieces when I was a kid, but I'm probably just inventing something in my mind because I want so badly for there to be a time when I saw Christopher years ago. Still, wouldn't it be interesting? Snakes is one of my favorite characters to flesh out and develop, and if I actually saw him many years ago and just don't remember it now, that would be rather intriguing.

I also started thinking again about maybe making a Snakes plushie. I'd have to learn some basic embroidery so I could make the scar raised up, but that would be an interesting challenge. Now that the weather's cooled down, I feel like working on my other projects too. Maybe I can finish Barry's clothes at last and also make Mike's jacket!

I just love autumn so much. As always, I celebrate meteorological seasons and not calendar seasons, so for me Fall started on Thursday. It was a beautiful cloudy day too, perfect for the first day of Fall. When the sweltering heat of summer fades, my sewing creativity seems to wake up again. I am excited for what this autumn will bring and hope that it will be happy and enjoyable.

I think I'm almost done with the Turtles fic. I have the climax largely written, or all written, unless I add more to it. Then I just need the epilogue stuff. The story will definitely end where I decided it should. And I may or may not continue it in oneshots or other multi-chapters. We'll have to see. One thing I do know is that while I'm totally cool with watching the series in all its formulaic glory, I don't think I could make myself write stories that are all so formulaic like the series' nonsense, with Shredder's crazy plans failing, etc. I think I could only do a handful before it wouldn't feel believable to me any more. It's easy to watch nonsense; not so easy to create it yourself time and time again.

I kind of have a vague idea of the alien computer still being around after all and discovering that Baxter is finally human again. That would be kind of cute. And it would be interesting to see how Baxter would react to the computer while sane, and whether the computer would want to help him like before. That might be one of my oneshots. And if I do continue things, Baxter and Barney need to have a proper conversation again. Maybe Baxter can finally tell him that Krang was trying to murder him when the cross-fusion happened.

One problem I discovered while writing is trying to keep Barney from feeling too much like a Kylo Ren trope of wanting to go to the dark side/not caring if he has to kill a family member to do so. I fleshed out some of his scenes in chapters before I put them up and had him monologue and have doubts and wonder if he's just acting tough to impress Shredder when he appears as though it doesn't bother him, what he might have to do. I don't really want Barney to be sympathetic, exactly, because really, how much sympathy can you have for someone who willingly joins a megalomaniac while sane because he wants power and recognition? But when he's only in one episode and we just don't know much about him, I don't think it would be fair to paint him as irredeemably evil just to contrast him with Baxter being redeemable because of wanting to be honest at first and then having gone nuts. (Seriously, compare him in season 1 with the season 2 opener. He is sane in season 1 and just wants to invent something that would be helpful to the city's population. He really doesn't know what Shredder's up to. He thinks the guy just really hates rats in the city. He doesn't know Shredder is marketing the Mousers in order to murder someone, nor that Shredder is stamping Baxter's name on them so he'll take the blame. And Shredder is going to kill him just because he saw Shredder and could say that Shredder offered to market the Mousers and was using an old house as a hideout. By season 2, after he's been framed for attempted murder, blamed for the damage the Mousers caused, and thrown in the insane asylum for talking about the Turtles, Baxter is cackling madly about giant talking Turtles and is clearly insane. It is very sad, actually.)

So anyway, this story already inadvertently inverts pretty much all the angles of the other Baxter fix-it fic. I also hope to invert the Kylo Ren trope when it actually comes time for Barney to follow through on his vow to kill Baxter if he interferes. I really like how I've written the climax.

Then I drew Leonardo for the first time since my childhood, and this time he actually looks pretty good! I think I'll be able to draw those Turtles pictures for my "opening" clips that I wanted.

And I always meant to muse on this thought: Coming back to things I like that everyone hates, I actually liked when there was a girl who was part of The A-Team. She seemed to be a reporter if I recall correctly, so I kind of equated the situation as April O'Neil and the Turtles. Heh. The girl seemed to fit just fine into the A-Team's plans and it was nice to have someone around that I could more easily relate to.

Along those lines, I also tried comparing members of The A-Team to the Turtles, but that didn't go so well. Naturally I got B.A. and Raphael, but then I kind of stalled on drawing any other logical parallels. I guess Murdock could be equated with Michelangelo, since they're both the most out there members of their teams. But Hannibal and Leonardo and Face and Donatello don't seem to make very good parallels. And I keep wanting to equate Murdock with Donatello because of their mechanical know-how. So ... heh.
ladybug_archive: (duke_fallen)
Still puzzling over The Real Ghostbusters. On the one hand, I'm so sure I didn't watch it, because I tend to remember everything I watched regularly even if I don't remember details about it. (I totally remember Mighty Max, about a human teenager, his anthropomorphic bird mentor, and a big strong guy.) On the other hand, the opening and ending are so dang familiar that I know I must have seen the show coming/going, if nothing else. Yet even though I wasn't the biggest fan of people shows back then, I think that one would have appealed to me because of subject matter. So if I saw it coming and saw what it was called, I'm sure I would have checked it out. I also have crafted the memory that if I saw it, it was during weekday morning reruns rather than on Saturday morning, but that could just be me wanting to think I watched it and making a memory to fit.

... And suddenly I got the giggles remembering probably one of the most bizarrely titled shows ever: Attack of the Killer Tomatoes. What? Just what? ROTFLOL. I remember laughing and laughing about the title while Mom was in a general state of befuddlement.

I finally snagged one of The Real Ghostbusters DVDs on Amazon. They released five volumes with 11-12 episodes each, and next month they're going to do it again. I wanted the one with Adventures in Slime and Space on it, where Slimer apparently goes evil and they have to stop him/reverse it. I found a clip on YouTube when he grabs Janine and climbs to the top of the Empire State Building in a King Kong parody. LOL. (Apparently Evil Slimer is really big. And blue.) That only made me want it more. The disc also has A Fright at the Opera, where they discover the Phantom of the Opera summoned valkyries to the opera house. LOLOLOL. It should arrive on Tuesday.

I'm wondering if I'll really like anything beyond seasons 1 and 2, though. I think after that was when they changed some of the voices and Janine's character design, because apparently her glasses shape and her hair and her beautiful Brooklyn accent were thought to scare kids. WTH. I love Janine just the way she is and I abhor the thought of changing her! Although I'll give them points for actually explaining her character changes in-show, although it took them several seasons to do it. I do want to see at least a couple of the post-season 2 episodes, like the one where Egon gets stuck between planes or something and is pretty much a ghost and they have to get him back.

And there's a lot of episodes to enjoy before the changes, at least. Season 1 was only 13 episodes, but season 2 was 65 (I think). So if I don't like the re-tooling, there's a wealth of material to focus on instead.

I also wonder if I'd like the re-tooling of the show to Slimer! and the Real Ghostbusters. Slimer is fun and cute and all, and his scenes are among my favorites of the movies, but he was meant to be a supporting character and I'm not sure I'd like him being center stage all the time.

And it occurred to me that if I get the Ghostbusters logo bear plush from Build-a-Bear, I'm going to have trouble naming it. Naming it after any of the darlings would be too sad/morbid, since you know, it's a ghost. So I most likely would either pick a random name or else name it after a ghost character, like Casper or maybe Gus or George, ghosts in cute kids' books of mine. I'd rather not choose George, though, since that would probably make me think of George Savalas more than the ghost character George.... Oh wait, the ghost was Georgie. I think. I'm leaning towards Gus. Maybe.

Then I've been enjoying the 1987 Turtles series more. Raphael really is similar to the other Raphs in many ways. In addition to the already-cited ways, he also seems to be the one to get angry the quickest (even though this Raph isn't angry/sullen most of the time in general). In the fic, I've depicted him as having the hardest time forgiving or trusting Baxter, and as I discovered after writing that, it seems to be canon-accurate. In contrast, Michelangelo seems to be the most forgiving and he and Baxter are having an interesting conversation. Despite what Baxter did to Mikey in one of the fly episodes, somehow I just can't picture Mikey holding a grudge about that. (Now, if it had been one of his brothers instead, hmmm....)

I'm in chapter 7 now. I had tentatively planned 10 chapters, but I don't want to limit myself if it looks like it will go beyond that. The story keeps flowing. Any time I get a little stuck, I soon think of another scene and it starts flowing too. I love when this happens, especially since it doesn't usually.

I also want to tinker with drawing a few fanarts for an imagined "opening" based on my story concepts. One would be a split-screen with Baxter and Barney glaring at each other, similar to the Yami Yugi versus Pegasus split-screen from the YGO opening. Then one of Barney with Shredder-tachi (a term I had to write out just once for the utter crackiness factor, LOL) and one of the Turtles ready to fight them, with Baxter standing somewhat apart from the Turtles yet still closer to their side of the fight. I don't think Baxter will actually join them; he doesn't want to and wants to instead try to get his life back to normal. But his brother being involved with Shredder makes everything complicated.

(And I wonder if I'll be able to draw the Turtles. I discovered Baxter is easy to draw, but I was never very good at drawing Leonardo as a kid. Of course, maybe it would be easier now.)

Also complicated is how to keep Irma from persisting in trying to snag Baxter, since she wants a man so bad, poor thing. There's someone else who's actually written Baxter/Irma, and while it is cute, I don't really want to write it too. But I can't imagine Irma not pouncing upon learning that Baxter is single. Although maybe knowing that he worked with Shredder for a while would keep her away ... but I can imagine her eventually making excuses or trying to decide that he's changed/could change. And while I don't think Baxter has been that interested in romance, he would probably be thrilled to have someone, anyone, to really care about him. So even though I honestly do not want to put a romance in the story, I'm a little concerned it may just end up happening without my express permission. I guess I'll just have to see what happens when I get that far in the fic.

(Side-note: I adore Irma. She's so cute! And she's played by Jennifer Darling, which is epically awesome. Jennifer played Oscar Goldman's secretary Peggy Callahan. Such a great character. A little person, but so full of spunk and determination and goodness. I read something about Irma's counterpart in the Nick series being a spy of the Kraang enemy aliens, and just ... boo. BOO! One more reason that I'm hesitant to try the Nick series now.

Of course, I could always mellow out in the future. I know I at least want to try the Nick series once. But it took me years to be ready to try the 1987 series. I just wasn't ready for it five years ago when someone was trying to convince me to give it a chance, and when I did try it, Bebop and Rocksteady's idiocy and Shredder's whining kind of made me go "... No." I definitely preferred the 2003 series at that point. Now I'm just having a ball with all of it. It could take another while for me to be ready to try Nick's.)

I wonder how old Baxter and Barney are supposed to be. Shredder makes a bizarre comment in an episode while trying to trick Baxter, that he thinks of Baxter like his own son. WTH. Shredder is fairly young in the 1987 series, 30s or so, and Baxter definitely doesn't seem to be any younger than that. I actually kind of get the impression he's older, maybe in his 40s. A puzzle.

And the hair color issue. In season 1, Baxter is clearly blond. By season 2, it looks more light-brown. I describe it as light-brown in the fic and will probably color it that way, but I've noticed that most people color it blond. And when they draw human Baxter at all, they usually seem to prefer the season 1 look. I kind of like the season 2 look better, because ... fluffy long hair! The season 1 look is more "respectable professor" while season 2 is closer to "cliche mad scientist." Makes sense, since in season 1 he seems to be sane and honest, while season 2 has him tip over the edge. He apparently grew his hair out while in the insane asylum and then left it that way when Shredder busted him out.

It's interesting pondering on the different Baxters. Usually he seems to be a character that crap happens to no matter what verse it is. Oddly, though, it seems like the comic versions escape that fate. Even though the Archie Comics version started as the 1987 version, they stopped adapting TV storylines and he never had the fly accident. (He also vanished from the series in general.) And then maybe the IDW version is okay; I don't know enough about his role in those comics to say. (I have a vague memory that things may have gone wrong for him too, though.) And then in Mirage, it's hard to feel sorry for him there, since he deliberately turns himself into a cyborg when he wouldn't have had to. WTH. Also, the current movies Baxter is fine, but the actor said that if there's a third movie, Baxter will probably get the fly treatment.

The TV show Baxters, though ... oy. 2003 and 2012 are both evil geniuses, I believe, and yet I can't really feel that they fully deserved the many horrible things that happened to them (the 2003 one being dismantled body part by body part, UGGGGGH, and 2012 getting the fly treatment and not being able to reverse it). 2003 actually did get a better ending than the others, though, apparently; at least he gets a humanoid robot body or something by the end (not the one with the creepy holo-projector head, but a better one.) Meanwhile, the 1987 one, the only one that seemed to actually start out wanting to be honest and cracked up, gets a total bum rap that never does get fixed in canon. And his show is supposed to be the funny one. Odd, isn't it?
ladybug_archive: (persuaders)
So I finally admitted in the U.N.C.L.E. comm that I don’t see Napoleon as a chronic bed-hopper even though he certainly loves a pretty face and is a serial dater. What I didn’t say was that if I really thought he was a bed-hopper like James Bond, I doubt I would be attracted to him or find him appealing at all. Part of the reason why Napoleon appeals to me is because I’ve always had the impression that he’s a more moral person than James Bond. I don’t like James Bond because he’s a chronic bed-hopper. I do like Roger Moore, and yet when it comes to Bond, there’s just an automatic turn-off. No attraction.

(Years ago, when I was experimenting with walking more on the wild side, probably because I liked how impressed someone seemed to be when I did it, I had a character who was kind of a bed-hopper and that continued even after he became seriously involved with one particular person. That was gross. We never wrote out any bedroom scenes or anything like that, but it was always known what he was doing. I couldn't do that now, especially the continuing with playing the field even after starting a serious relationship. I would be totally uncomfortable, especially if the character was very important to the story as he was in those role-plays. I would also be uncomfortable with the character having a big role since he was a big-time crime boss and very unrepentant. If I ever get my novel off the ground, he will either have a very reduced role, not be a bed-hopper, or possibly both.)

Speaking of Roger Moore, though, it’s interesting how I can be totally obsessed with him for a while and then it fades and while I still like the characters, there doesn’t seem to be much, if any, crushing. That’s happened more than once. I wonder if that means he’s more on the fringes of my darlings instead of smack-dab with them. With all the rest, there is constant crushing on the characters when I see them even if there isn’t a constant, serious obsession with them/the actors.

I think a lot of why it faded this time was because of Simon Templar, actually. I like the character, but I am one of the few who prefers the color episodes to the B&Ws. There were a lot of B&W episodes I hadn’t seen before and then they finally released the DVD sets of those seasons and I snapped them up. In the B&W episodes, Simon seems rather sexist sometimes. And I know that was likely largely a product of the times and has to be looked at in that way, but Simon by his very nature is an anachronistic person. I think that even in the present-day, Simon would probably have some sexist ideas and feel that women are silly worrying things that need to keep out of the men’s worlds and stick to their own place. The book Simon is a lot more that way, I think, but the TV version has some of it too. I hadn’t seen some of the worst offending episodes of that sort before and when I did, they were kind of a turn-off. The most sickening episode of all was the more humorous Luella. Everyone was unlikable there, from Simon to his friend to his friend's wife. I think those views aren't expressed as much in the color episodes. Or maybe possibly Simon matured beyond such views. I should have been watching the color episodes on MeTV once they came around to them again. I keep longing for a new DVD release of all the color episodes, but I’m not sure they’re going to release separately from the boxset. I'd better watch my scant few color episodes again; maybe that will cool things a bit and I'll like Simon more again.

I still love Beau Maverick and was thrilled to see a couple of his episodes I’ve never seen before when Cozi showed them. The Town That Wasn’t There was sooo good and establishes why Beau is my favorite Maverick. It starts out seeming that he’s being a selfish prick, but throughout the episode he grows to honestly be fond of the people he’s with and sincerely wants to help them. He even turns down $10,000 when accepting it would have hurt one of those people. He then comments to himself something like that his uncle would send him back to England if he knew.

(Honestly, I really don’t like Beau’s uncle. He treats Beau like crap and most of the sayings he gives sound really selfish. And yet when he actually appeared on-screen, he acted more like Bret and the others in that he seemed to try to help people, so I ended up torn on what to think of him. Although it also seemed like he mostly helped because he liked giving the finger to the bad guys rather than because he wanted to help the people who were being hurt. When I write about him in stories I try to be kind, since even when I don't like certain characters I try to examine them from all angles within the contexts of the stories unless they're meant to be out-and-out villains and don't need to be examined more closely. Part of me seriously wants him to just flat-out not care about Beau since he treats him so rotten, but I always try to instead stress that he's just worried about Beau doing something that will get him hurt or killed. Although the $10,000 thing makes me question that idea.)

I think Lord Sinclair may be my favorite Roger character. Part of me would like to say that my Roger Bond figure is Lord Sinclair, as I think he’s the one I want the figure to be the most, but I feel I can’t since I don’t have a Tony Curtis figure to be Danny. Sacrilege! If I had a Tony Curtis figure that’s around 6 inches, my Roger figure would totally be Lord Sinclair. I don’t suppose there is such a thing as a Tony Curtis figure? Sigh.
ladybug_archive: (twilightsparkle)
The A-Team is such a cheesy, silly, ridiculous show. But still probably way better than almost anything currently on TV. It's so outlandish, how there's so many wild crashes and bullets flying and no one even gets hurt. But it's escapist entertainment. The good guys win, the bad guys lose. And I have to admit to having a soft spot for it because my brother apparently liked it. He had an activity book for it that he gave me. I used to like having Mom read it to me. No, I don't know the logic of reading an activity book like a storybook, but there you go. Also, apparently at least some of my other siblings liked it; Dad has a book of it that I think is an adaptation of the pilot and probably belonged to one of them. I'm sure it wasn't Dad's book. LOL. But he seems to have a soft spot for the series too; he'll let the TV stay on it when it's on Cozi and sometimes he'll even watch it.

I don't like George Peppard much, though. He seemed so juvenile! When he got invited to some thing in ... Hungary, I think it was, he thought he was the only cast member invited. When he knew the others had been invited too, he refused to attend. WTH. And then he had problems with Mr. T at times and wouldn't even talk to him except by other people relaying messages. **headdesk.** That's what children do when they're mad at each other! It did sound like maybe he matured later in life, though, so I'm trying to give him the benefit of a doubt. Anyone can change. I liked when I read that he overcome his alcohol problems and tried to help others do likewise.

Also, I always thought the pilot was ... well, not very "with it" since the poor guy has so many screws loose. But he really shined in the episode I saw on Monday night. And it was one of those kind where the character is on a game show, and usually I hate those because they think it's funny to have the contestant lose everything, but he won and he also apparently got the girl of the episode. The show's standard Casanova looked pretty frustrated that she was more interested in the pilot than him. LOL.

The Casanova is played by Dirk Benedict, whom I know from the original Battlestar Galactica. And then of course Mr. T. Everyone knows Mr. T ... right?

I don't think I'd ever watch the show religiously, but I do like having it on while we're putting groceries away. Classic '80's.

Also, I always thought it strange that plushies weren't made of the ghost character in the Ghostbusters' logo. That would be a really cute plushie! I'd much rather have that than one of the Stay Puft thing. The mascot itself is innocent, but since the evil ghost used its form to try to destroy the world, I'd always be thinking of that. A Stay Puft plushie would hence creep me out.

I realized that the logo ghost is actually in Build-a-Bear's new Ghostbusters plushie collection. It's a ghost bear and it's actually way cute. And I don't understand the logic of dressing it in the Ghostbusters' uniform. (Or the logic of Stay Puft being online-only. WTH? He's probably what most people would want the most!) I kind of want that ghost bear. And I think the Ghostbusters uniform is clothing I might actually buy. Not for the ghost, but for one of my other plushies.

Also, I apparently have a Slimer fingerpuppet. I always wondered what that thing was; my brother gave it to me and I liked it, but was puzzled by it. When I saw pictures of Slimer in the first movie, I realized that's what it was. I also have a pinball game based on the TV show, which is weird because I don't think I ever saw the TV show. I really want to see the reboot movie when it comes out next month, and that will be my first time seeing any of the media for the franchise (unless I watch the older movies between now and then).
ladybug_archive: (ginger_lou)
I believe I've mentioned my desire to have a website devoted to information on all my favorite character actors. Right now it's mostly vintage interviews with or about the darlings that I've dug up, with a few recent ones thrown in the mix as well. What excites me the most is the extended interview I had with Elen Carysfort, Christopher Cary's widow! Today is Christopher's birthday, so I am especially happy to be able to bring this interview to people right now. I am hoping others who knew Christopher and the other darlings will find the site and come forward with stories to share of their own.

https://sites.google.com/site/thepathofthestars/
ladybug_archive: (joe_lew)
It's always so interesting the way my mind works concerning guys. Crocker from Kojak is a really good-looking guy and he's kind and good and really feels for people. I like him a lot. And yet it seems to be Stavros, George Savalas's character, that I tend to actually crush on. It kind of makes me go "... Why?" And yet I hate that "Why," because it makes me feel like people would think there's something wrong with crushing on Stavros or even that I wonder if there's something wrong or off about it and I know that I am influenced by worldly standards of what make someone crush-worthy even if I don't want to be (and even if I crush anyway ... not that I have any say in who I crush on, really).

Stavros is, well, rather heavyset (his nickname is Fatso). But he's sweet and kind and a very sensitive person. He loves plants and actually keeps some at his desk in the squad room. Once he commented that it was an awesome responsibility to look after the plants. And I guess I just find that utterly adorable. When Mom was given a plant for Mother's Day this year and I decided it looked like a "masculine" plant instead of a "feminine" plant, I named it George. (We also have an azalea at the moment and have had it for a year, but I very creatively named it Azalea. **headdesk.** Although I had a reason.... I was thinking of the female villain of The Prince of Darkness Affair, as that is the only place I've heard the name before and I really like it. Also, I adore those episodes because ... well, four times the H.M. characters. Buwahaha....)

I do have crushes on people that would probably be more accepted as crush-worthy by the world as a whole, and yet even there it's sometimes people who are ignored in favor of others, like how I usually crush on the bosses more than the employees who're supposed to be the real swoon-worthy ones. And I generally like the employees a lot too, but for some reason I tend to gravitate to their bosses. They're all good and kind people, so it seems like logically I should crush on them all. Why is my brain so selective and why does it make the selections it does? I don't think I'll ever have the answers to those questions.

Waaaah....

May. 22nd, 2016 02:33 am
ladybug_archive: (duke_fallen)
And now Alan Young is dead, as of Thursday. I just learned this past day. He was 96 (!!) and still doing some acting and voice-work.

I think this death hits me the hardest this year. Such a good, full life, but he was so much a part of my childhood with DuckTales. I loved Scrooge McDuck so much. I wanted a plushie, but wasn't able to get one. I doubt I'll do much, if anything, with the reboot, but I'm really hoping it causes new plushies to be made so I can get one. I do have a couple of figures, a tiny one from Kellogg's mail-in thing and a bendable one.

Alan Young was also in The Cat From Outer Space as a veterinarian. That was probably the first time I ever saw what he looked like. It's a hilarious movie filled with wonderful character actors and an adorable cat. (And you get Harry Morgan and McLean Stevenson in the same place. It's a must for M*A*S*H fans!)

And then I discovered a whole new side of Alan Young several years ago when I watched Mister Ed. I honestly thought the horse was pretty mean sometimes, but I did love it whenever he showed that he really cared about Alan Young's character. And I totally ate it up when Alan played Wilbur's father in one episode and used his Scrooge McDuck voice. Epic.

I watched a couple of my favorite DuckTales episodes tonight in tribute. I don't think I've ever actually crushed on Alan Young or his characters, but I loved him and Scrooge McDuck about as much as I can love actors and characters without actually crushing on them, and that's a lot.
ladybug_archive: (scofield)
I have just watched Raid on Rommel. I always knew Christopher was in it, but I thought it was a bit part. And I knew he died, so that made me reluctant to try it. But tonight I was fiddling with the antenna to get the GritTV channel to come through so I can record a Darren movie tonight and I caught the last part of Raid on Rommel. I remembered they were going to air it a couple of times; the next airing is Sunday at 6 AM.

I decided to try to find the movie and see it to see whether I'd want to own a copy. And YES, I DEFINITELY DO. Christopher does not have a bit part; he's very prominent all the way through. He's adorable and precious and this lady he's trying to look after knows it too. LOL. She's all over him, cooing, squeeing, trying to hug and fondle him, and it's very awkward because he's driving the truck. He doesn't know how to handle it at all. But I am so psyched to see someone else knowing what a treasure he/his character is! I want to get the DVD and take pictures and caption one of them "This girl knows where it's at."

Also, of course I must find a way to save him. I refuse to let him die. And unlike with Don Knight's poor Little House character, I think I can do it.

It was a very poignant scene, gah. It was the climatic battle and the main character had just been wounded. Christopher's character, a medic, comes to try to help him and he's cruelly and deliberately gunned down with a handgun, despite the shooter apparently knowing he's a medic. The main character is absolutely furious, picks up his gun, and unloads it into the shooter. Then he looks at Christopher while he remembers what Christopher's character told him about being in the Medical Corps because he's a Quaker and a conscientious objector and that he couldn't help in a mission where he would have to kill anyone. GAH.

**hugs him.**

I hope I can get the next showing recorded. But regardless, I really do want the DVD.

**cries.**

May. 10th, 2016 12:04 am
ladybug_archive: (duke_fallen)
So William Schallert died this past day. He was 93. He had a good, full life and it was so awesome and inspiring how much he loved acting and refused to retire. He was working right up to when he died, as far as I know.

He is definitely one of my favorites. He was in the tier directly below the ones I crush on and I was always thrilled to see him in things. I should watch something with him tonight in his memory.

I also learned the other day that Joe Santos, who played Dennis Becker on The Rockford Files, died in March. I said "Oh no" out loud when I saw that. (And groaned in sadness when I read about William Schallert.)

This is not a good year for classic TV deaths. We had Patty Duke in March, too. I fear for the rest of the year....

... Lovely.

May. 8th, 2016 05:11 pm
ladybug_archive: (ginger_lou)
So I've been thinking a lot about Mike Trevino lately, as evidenced partially by the long post I did on Tumblr this past week. He's figured a lot into some of my recent Ginger and Lou pieces. It's been very interesting developing Mike and Ginger's interaction throughout the past three years and actually getting them to a place where they actually like each other and are comfortable being around each other. They don't confide in each other and probably never will, but Ginger finally apologized to Mike for the shooting (whereas previously he had only apologized to Lou).

I've thought off and on for years that I should probably make a Mike plushie to go with my Ginger and Lou plushies, but sewing is such a pain that I've always put it off. I decided I should really do it, so I used a coupon on Friday to get another pre-stuffed doll at Jo-Ann's for half-off and am planning to start work on the plushie this week, since I have materials for ears, hair, and pants already here. I'm already trying to start by finding a good picture of 1970's Joe E. Tata that I can use as a guide in making the expression, which I practice many times on paper before actually applying to the plushie.

On that, I'm running into some trouble, as it seems like most of his 1970's characters don't have much to smile about. I can't use a more recent picture as a guide. And the only 1970's shots I've got of him, save one, are side views. I'm going to need to get out everything I have with him guest-starring and study it for possible shots. If I don't draw the expression from an actual picture of the person, it never looks as accurate.

I finally solved my Amazon problem by waiting for another gift card that was just about ready to come and then using all of that plus a little cash to get the complete Cannon boxset. I waffled a bit on whether to really do that, since I'd end up having to pay a little more cash than before and I'd been hesitant to add that much cash. But the price was right and Cannon is a show we love in general and not just when darlings guest-star, so it seemed like a very wise investment. I don't have a lot of episodes recorded compared to how many there actually were, and I don't know if the ones I have might be cut. Some of them look like they might be. Crystal encouraged me to get the boxset and last Saturday I finally did, with no regrets. It came yesterday and Mom was thrilled. We watched a couple of episodes, including Don Knight's and the second one with Joe E. Tata.

Joe had a pretty big part, unlike a lot of the times when I see him. He appeared to work for an old man who did a lot of crooked things but had never been caught at it. I say "appeared" because he really seemed to be so much more than just an assistant. They'd been together for years; Cannon mentioned a drug operation that both Joe's character and the old man were involved in eight years ago. He spoke as though they were more like equals or partners in the operation, although I admit that could have just been my interpretation. But there was much more as evidence; it seemed like they lived in the same house, either that or Joe's character Higgins was just over there all the time. And when the nutcase in the episode sets a bomb in the old man's car and he's seriously hurt, Higgins is extremely distraught. He goes to the hospital and is there for hours waiting to hear if he'll be alright. Of course, an assistant or other employee could be that devoted to their boss, but all in all, I got the vibe that maybe even if he technically was an assistant, the relationship was more like a surrogate son and father or extremely close friends. We actually never learn the old man's final fate, but I like to think that he did pull through since Higgins would be so sad if he didn't.

In thinking about it in the hours since, I determined that there are two basic criteria that need to be met, in general, if I'm going to be intrigued by antagonist characters to the point of wanting to write about them. #1, For them to show some indication of caring about someone, and/or #2, That there is some indication that redemption is possible.

Of the two, #2 is the more important reason for me. That could manifest in several ways, including reason #1, or by them doing something decent, or even just by the idea that they will be going to prison and maybe they can be rehabilitated. In this case, while #1 is definitely present, there didn't seem to be any indication that either Higgins or the old man would be or could be interested in changing the way they handled life, so despite being curious and interested in their interaction, I seriously doubt I would write about them.

In the past I somehow got so intrigued by Gin and Vodka that I ended up being willing to write about them performing their jobs as assassins, although the stories were more about them as characters than about what they were doing. But I am still appalled that I did that. That just isn't me. More recently, when writing about Ecks and Wye, I did have to touch on their canonical jobs a bit, but mostly the stories were about them running for their lives after canonically betraying the organization and trying to start over and go straight. I still had to write Wye as having some darker views than I am generally comfortable with writing, but I tried not to touch on that as much and I did have him finally determine, at least, that the organization with which he had been affiliated did do things worse than most governments.

Sometimes I don't intend to get intrigued by a character and I end up doing it anyway because of what I'm writing about them to flesh them out. That was what happened with both Sephiroths (especially KH Sephiroth) and Snakes Tolliver. It also happened with Baby Face Morales. I had honestly originally intended that he would be the dark foil and counterpart to Micky and nothing more. I wrote The Return of Baby Face Morales with that idea in mind and I did not have the character show any redeeming qualities at all, that I recall. But then when I wrote the sequel and had to have Baby Face work with the good guys and later when I wanted him and Tony to patch things up, I got myself intrigued by the idea of him being more of an anti-hero and also developing his interaction with Tony. That was how and why I ended up changing how I wrote for him and started diving into his past and trying to flesh out possibilities of what could have made him such an angry and dark person. Some of it probably went into sob story territory and I might not follow that exact backstory now. I seriously doubt that I'd write about him at all anymore, really, both since his and Tony's story is probably as a standstill and since he really is a dark character and not one I'm that comfortable writing for anymore. If I were to do anything with those characters again, it would probably be to finish that hanging story about them and the Monkees held captive by mad scientists, and/or to keep writing that crossover with Kolchak. Tony Ferano would be the main character in the latter. I toyed a little bit in my last burst of Monkees stories about Tony and whatever goodness he still has in him. If I were to write about him again, I might further that angle and have him finally break away from Baby Face and try to get his life back in some semblance of order again. Even though I'm probably not comfortable writing for Baby Face, I have to admit that I do still love Tony. Jimmy Murphy's portrayal of him was classic.

Of course, Ginger is really quite a dark character too, so it's possible that in the future I will also not want to write about him anymore, either. But in his case, there was that actual chemistry I sensed between him and Lou (which could have been chemistry between the actors) and that is really what set the whole intrigue off. The fact of that chemistry combined with their interaction in general just fascinated me for some reason and led to me being unable to stop writing about them. And in their case, they really are trying to go straight after their stint in prison (something Baby Face would likely never do), so it's not uncomfortable writing about them. So I really hope that I will never feel differently about that, especially now that I've learned some more information that might possibly put a different spin on the elephant in the room of the shooting. I went into that in detail on Tumblr. http://lucky-ladybugs-lovelies.tumblr.com. Of course, as I say there, I will never be fully satisfied on that, but this is the best I can do to handle it. And in my timeline, as I mentioned, Ginger finally has apologized for that.

Bottom line is, I usually really don't want to like or get intrigued by certain characters, but sometimes I do because of those criteria.

Occasionally, I suppose, I can also get fascinated by a character for one other reason: if it feels like they got a bum deal in canon. Dutch Ingram would fall in that category, because the idea that he committed a murder was just shoehorned in, said by Ken Swofford's highly questionable character, and there was no proof it was true. I still don't believe it is, and that is the basis of my Rockford fic featuring him. But if it weren't for feeling like he wasn't the murderer, I doubt I'd write about him. He isn't really the type of character I like either. I don't think just the fact of Christopher playing him would have made me want to write about him, since I don't want to write about every character played by a darling.

And I need to decide what to do about another Amazon gift card I got. There's no chance of any other one coming soon, so with their changed policies I'm thinking maybe I should get a few books with this one. I considered that recent set of Kolchak short stories, which I want to get since I know the author of one of the stories, but I keep hesitating on getting it since I don't know if any of the stories deal with Tony (Vincenzo now and not Ferano, heh) and his and Kolchak's intriguing relationship. I know that in general, the prose stories do not. That collection of 43 short stories I have only has one where Tony really gets to shine, so in a set of 14 stories, there's not much chance Tony will have good screentime. The comics are better than the prose at giving Tony stuff to do, but I don't know if there are any graphic novels out that give him a lot of "screentime" since there are also some comics where he doesn't appear much. If I knew of any I don't have with good Tony content, I would jump to get them.

Other possibilities are Miles Edgeworth manga or Nancy Drew or Hardy Boys books or some combination of several things. There are also a couple of new Pony/Equestria Girls books I want, an artbook for the series and a new Equestria Girls novel that will be out a week from ... Monday, I think. I almost always ponder for ages on what to spend gift cards on, since it's a treat I only have several times a year and I want to make sure I get what I really want and what will be meaningful for years to come. Hopefully I'll come to a decision this week.

Watched.

Apr. 19th, 2016 04:27 pm
ladybug_archive: (twilightsparkle)
So yesterday I did indeed buy season 1 of Little House to get that episode uncut. I was also finally able to get my Archery Applejack and Fluttershy dolls! Wal-Mart lowered the price to $7 each and I couldn't pass that up when I've been wanting them for months. I am so glad I didn't break and get that hippie Fluttershy doll at K-Mart. While Fluttershy would agree with some hippie ideas, I don't think she'd agree with everything and in any case, I just don't think hippie fashion works for her. I liked the Archery doll much better.

On the episode ... it certainly helped to already know that the character was going to die. He was a nice guy, but pretty cheeky (like, Dutch Ingram-level cheeky; I was a little surprised the show would have him say and do some of what he did) and a practical joker, so I didn't like him as much as the more serious Paul Gantry. Practical jokers are just never among my favorite character types. But I did like this character when he was serious and I liked how much you could see he loved his family and cared about people, including those who became his new friends.

I think it was just one reviewer's opinion that he made a stupid mistake and that got him killed. When I saw the episode, it looked to me like the explosion was just one of those freak accidents that happen with explosives that can't be prevented. He was too good with what he did to actually make a bizarre mistake, I think.

It seemed that there wasn't even a body to find. I had hoped that maybe I could have it that the explosion just blew him some distance away where he might not be found for a day or two, but watching the episode, it doesn't seem likely. I didn't see any place where he could have ended up that they wouldn't have found him. So as of right now, I don't know how to revive the character. I'll think about it, but I may have to leave this one dead and just write a ghost story. I do at least think that it was an almost entirely fiction story and not something Laura wrote about as having happened; I can't find anything like that in the books. There was a plotline where her father left to find work, but he ended up working in a wheat field and not a quarry.

As to whether I saw the episode before or not? I am almost certain that I did. Right now, the main part that stands out to me is the explosion itself. I remember how it lingered in the air and how final and shocking and chilling it was. I also kind of have a memory of giggling at one of the cheeky things he said while Mom was rather appalled, but that's not as strong a memory and might be of my own creation.

Also, I wonder which was Don Knight's natural hair state. In the 1960s, it seemed to be very straight. In the 1970s, it got very curly. I squee over the curly hair; I have a weakness for thick, wavy, curly hair. **headdesk.** I love how Christopher's hair got the same way in the 1970s and 1980s.
ladybug_archive: (snakes)
So today I've been doing some serious YouTubing and finding awesome stuff with darlings. I started out Huluing and watched Don's Night Gallery episode before moving on to YouTube. One thing I failed to find was so much as a clip of Don's Little House episode, but I did learn that the popular two-part episode The Lord is My Shepherd was from the same season (season 1). I have a pre-recorded VHS tape of that saga, given to me as a child, and I remember that back in the day when I used to watch the show on the local PBS affiliate, I wondered why scenes were missing from those episodes that were present on my video. This tells me two very important things.

1, The episodes on TV were cut. Therefore, the tapes we have around here that my sister recorded from the TV are most likely also cut. Even if I find the tape with Don's episode, it may have scenes missing, possibly something with him.

2, I was absolutely watching religiously during season 1. There is very little likelihood that I did not see Don's episode. That would mean I "met" him probably the very first of any darlings (with the possible exception of Roy Stuart, since I used to watch Gomer Pyle before kindergarten. However, I have no memory of watching the color episodes at that time, which would mean I did not see Roy then).

I think that if Wal-Mart still has season 1 for an epic price on Monday, I'll buy it. Don is most definitely a darling now and I keep craving to see more of him and his character on Little House is supposed to be adorable. Which of course only makes the death all the more upsetting and means I will probably try to find any loophole possible to save him after watching said episode. Screw the fact that the crew wanted him to die; I don't! Especially if the story is completely fictitious and it isn't something Laura wrote about. I guess I should try to find that out first of all, since if it was based on something she wrote as having happened, I'd have to accept the character death.

I just find it so intriguing that in every case so far, all of the people whom I especially liked so many years ago eventually find their way back to me. Or rather, I find my way back to them. I'm sure that I would have liked Don's character, and maybe when I see the episode again, I'll remember it and him.
ladybug_archive: (ginger_lou)
So I got plunnied hard for a Ginger and Lou piece when I watched the Hart to Hart pilot. I rarely ever like pilots as much as I like a series proper, and this was no exception; I really thought it was gross how Jonathan kept manipulating Jennifer into helping him solve cases and would also just decide to pick up more cases without even asking her first. It felt like he really thought more of other people than he did his wife's safety. It was honestly hard for me to believe that they were really in a healthy relationship in the pilot. I think that was dropped in the series proper, thank goodness, and they were equally into solving cases in the series. I also think a lot of the time the cases just dropped in their laps instead of them always being asked to look into things or deciding to look into things. But anyway, the pilot has them undercover and pretending to not know each other (and in Jennifer's case, to not like Jonathan). So my plunnie involved Ginger and Lou undercover and pretending to hate on each other. They have a reason for it, of course; it's not just randomly being done.

I wrote several pages of that since getting plunnied, and then I got another plunnie while watching Perry Mason and decided I could incorporate that one into the fic too. The plunnie was horrible, involving Lou being accused of killing Ginger after an argument. Unlike a story I did some time back, this time there would be a body and Ginger would really be dead. That was unacceptable, but I tweaked the plunnie into Lou getting accused of hurting Ginger and Ginger unable to back him up because he's unconscious from the attack. The fact that they had been pretending to hate each other didn't help, either.

The story altogether is twenty pages long and thirteen of those pages were written in the last 24 hours. As much as I love to write, things don't often flow quite that easily, so I'm thrilled. I think it's finished, unless I want a little more to go into the epilogue scene, so I will hopefully be posting it soon.

Meanwhile, my Big Valley story decided it refuses to be a oneshot. I have enough material for three chapters and more to come. I kept trying to think of it as a oneshot, but when I saw the direction it wanted to go in and how there are several clear chapter breaks in what I wrote, I gave up. (And I am so grateful again to one of my steady reviewers, who is apparently a Big Valley fan. He is once again the only one commenting. Oftentimes, he and a woman are the only commenters. What I'd like to know is, why is it that the people who actually frequent some of these story categories are rarely interested enough to comment?! They read; I can see it from the hit counts. But 99% of the time, they never want to say anything!)

Yesterday I was thinking that I had two frames of mind battling for control. One was an extreme desire for a hurt/comfort fix, specifically with Ginger as the victim. The second was an extreme desire to watch Don Knight in more stuff. I got to see him on Kojak, so that hyped me up, and then later that day we got a Hawaii 5-O disc with his first guest-spot.

That was an interesting experience. In the Kojak episode he is totally a secondary bad guy, but still pretty bad, really. The Hawaii 5-O episode was ... hmm. Actually, there didn't really seem to be any "Big Bad" in that episode. There were three jewel thieves, and in their own ways, each one was sympathetic.

The episode starts out with the police chasing Don's character, who has a girl next to him in his car. There's no indication of what's been happening that led up to that point. (And they're playing the musical cue from the car and helicopter chase in Christopher's episode. Heh.) Suddenly the girl wakes up and starts fighting Don's character Jack Larsen for the wheel. That goes about as well as can be expected, and she finally opts to fling herself out of the car instead of staying with him. The jump ends up being fatal, and one is left wondering what on Earth kind of a horrible person Larsen is that the girl would basically kill herself to get away from him.

It's not until the fourth act when things really start coming together and we see that perhaps things aren't what they seemed to be. Another of the thieves is totally in love with the girl and insists on believing that Larsen stole the jewels from their hiding spot and killed the girl because he didn't want to share. But Larsen doesn't have the jewels and is looking for them too. And he really hadn't killed the girl, even though he did apparently beat her trying to get her to talk (ugh). Larsen insists that the girl double-crossed them both. But the girl has left a coded message for her guy, revealing the new location of the jewels to him. The guy goes a bit hysterical, screaming again that Larsen double-crossed them and killed the girl, and shoots him down. Chin Ho later informs us that Larsen is still alive.

Anyway, there are two possibilities of what happened. 1, That Larsen did steal the jewels because he was trying to cut the others out, the girl found out and stole them back, and he beat her and tried to get her to tell the new location. 2, That the girl stole the jewels because she was trying to cut Larsen out, Larsen found her and beat her to get her to tell the new location. The first way seems messier and more confusing, so it seems more likely that they intended for it to be the second way.

The question remains as to why the girl wanted to cut Larsen out. Either she found out he was especially awful or else she just didn't want to share because she wanted bigger shares for herself and her guy. I'd be more inclined to believe the latter, because while Larsen definitely seems to be somewhat cowardly and was horrible to beat her, the other guy is prone to violence as well. He almost killed one guy before Steve stopped him, and Steve later had to intercede when he was beating up Larsen. And then he shot Larsen. But since he was so emotional because he actually really loved the girl, I did have some level of sympathy for him. I loved that the girl loved him too. It's not often that you find crooks in shows who genuinely care about each other. But I didn't like that she wanted to cut Larsen out of their deal. And I also didn't like that Larsen beat her. But he really didn't kill her; he was shocked when she leaped out of the car. There's no indication that he wanted her dead, although it's certainly possible that she leaped out because she figured he did. Or maybe she was just that determined to keep him from getting the jewels because she wanted her guy to get them even if she couldn't share in it.

So in the end, everything is just up in the air enough that I am mildly curious about Larsen and kind of like all three of the crooks, even though at the same time I of course do not condone stealing jewels or some of their other behavior.

I kind of wish I'd taken pictures from the Charlie's Angels disc. I had debated whether I'd want to, but it's so time-consuming that I opted not to. However, I really knew that I was well on my way to including Don among the darlings. He was already pretty close to it and the more I watch an actor on the cusp of it, the greater the guarantee that they'll make it in. I would definitely say he's in. I want to watch the Mannix episode again and I should really take pictures from that. Paul Gantry is still my favorite of his characters and I think I need an icon. Plus, Tumblr seems to have a deficiency of Don Knight content, so I need to correct that as I try to correct the deficiencies they have regarding the other darlings.

Also, I finally got my second gift card after two months, only to discover that Amazon has changed their policies regarding free shipping again. It wasn't that long ago that they changed to $35 as the minimum, and now they have two different options: buy $25 worth of books and they and anything else with them ship free, or buy $49 worth of non-book merchandise. AURGH! Seriously, WTH? When they switched to $35 I thought they were just greedy, but now I'm wondering if they're in financial trouble because maybe most people try to get free shipping and they're actually losing money by trying to fill all the free shipping orders. It costs so much money to ship things that I can't believe even a Prime member's yearly fee could cover all the shipping costs if, say, they're the type to order things left and right all through the year.

So I've been trying to decide what to do. Part of me wishes I hadn't bought some music a month ago with some of my first gift card. I had actually intended not to use the gift card, but for some reason, Amazon doesn't give me the option to not use an attached gift card to pay for digital music, like it does on regular orders. I really wanted those songs and I never get to buy digital music, so I can't fully regret it, but now I'm in a position where I have to either wait for a third gift card or else spend $13 in cash in addition to the gift card money, just to reach the new minimum free shipping amount. Or I could go the book route, since there was one book I really wanted, but I wanted several DVD sets right now too and if I get $25 of books, I can only get one other thing with them if I'm trying not to go over the gift card amount. So I feel like I'd really be happier getting the DVDs right now. Part of me keeps hoping for that third gift card, but I'm in a stretch where I'm not qualifying into too many surveys for that company right now, so it could be a while before I can even get the smidgen needed to get the gift card. And prices on Amazon fluctuate, as everyone knows, so I don't know whether waiting is a good idea. (And since I already had to wait so long for the second gift card, waiting even longer isn't really appealing.)

Then if I get the DVDs now, I need to fully decide what to get. I really decided on season 1 of Rockford (the only one I'm missing) and The Big Valley season 4, but then that leaves one slot that's difficult to fill. Everything I want most is slightly less that the needed amount, so I've been considering other things I wanted but not quite as much. I think I decided on Vega$ season 2, volume 1, but now part of me wishes I could get one or two Charlie's Angels sets. But season 2 is also slightly less than the needed amount and season 5 is outrageously priced compared to all the others. Sigh. It's so frustrating that normally I'd be thrilled for some of these DVD sets to have such low prices, but that right now I just wish one of them would be a dollar or two more so that they'd fit in the needed slot....

I had been going back and forth on whether to get The Big Valley or Cannon, since I want to support the new Cannon releases. And I don't think I have many season 1 Cannon episodes recorded. But I think Cannon does air uncut, whereas I know The Big Valley does not. And season 4 has so many episodes with darlings (1 Simon, 1 H.M., 2 Richard, 2 Don ...). So I kind of wanted The Big Valley right now, but I fully intend to get Cannon too.

And I really need to have a Hawaii 5-O tag. But going back and finding all the instances where I talk about that series to tag them is not going to be fun. So time-consuming....

Also, my Lalaloopsy order arrived from Build-a-Bear's website and they stuffed pretty firmly everywhere ... except where I specifically asked them to! I didn't want a floppy neck and they didn't stuff the neck firmly! Now I have to go into the store and fix that, in addition to getting something for her to wear. I'm hoping I'll get to do that right away; I can't even fully enjoy holding her and such when I'm worried about the extreme floppiness of the neck. If I buy from the website again, I think I'm just going to order unstuffed since I'd probably always have to go into the store anyway to have it done over right.

Heh.

Apr. 5th, 2016 08:19 pm
ladybug_archive: (schrank)
Turns out my script was already here when I was typing yesterday's post. I didn't learn all I'd hoped to, but it provided enough interesting tidbits that I made a new blog post out of it: http://thepathofthestars.blogspot.com/2016/04/the-script-of-riptides-pirate-and.html

I also watched two of Don Knight's Bonanza episodes. He played good guys in both and it was quite delightful. The first episode reminded me of The Big Valley's episode Earthquake!, and I had to suspend disbelief over why anyone would build a courthouse over a MINE, but the plot of Ben and four other people being trapped in the basement of a collapsing building was so intense. And everybody got out of there alive! I was really afraid someone would die, probably Don's character. But he didn't. And he was exonerated for a crime he didn't commit!

I wondered how I'd feel about the second episode I watched, since it was from the final season and Dan Blocker and Hoss were both dead. Gah. Hoss is my favorite Cartwright, so that was definitely a dread. But I liked Jamie, so it was okay viewing. It kind of felt like a cross between Bonanza and Little House, though. I wonder if that's how the final season was in general. But there were cute dogs, which is always a plus even though I don't agree with hunting for sport by any stretch of the imagination.

I hear Don plays the bad guy in the other Bonanza episode. I couldn't catch it on MeTV today and wasn't sure I'd go out of my way to do so anyway, but maybe I'll try looking it up now too.

I also saw the first of his Charlie's Angels episodes. He was a bad guy in that, although he didn't reveal just how bad he was until he discovered Kelly was a private eye. Then he pulled a gun on her, threatened to kill her, and made her drive away in his van. Kelly deliberately pulled a dangerous traffic stunt to get a nearby policeman to come after them, whereupon Don's character threw his gun out the window. Bosley, who was following, picked it up and brought it over to the van after the officer stopped them. Don's character's expression when Bosley said, "Excuse me, Sir, you dropped your gun out the window," was priceless. LOL. He started to sink down in the seat.

(Bosley, by the way, is still awesome. I love him and I love all the girls. I think there's two basic ways to look at a show like Charlie's Angels. One is that it's filled with threadbare plots, beautiful women, and exists pretty much only so that men can ogle said women. The other way is that it's about strong female characters fighting crime, and in spite of the sometimes silly plots, that's the way I look at it. Every one of the girls seems to be a good role model (except I definitely wouldn't recommend dressing the way Kris sometimes does ... yikes). They're all good people determined to not let the bad guys win, resourceful, intelligent, and very human. I have trouble picking a favorite. Usually it's either Sabrina or Kelly, but I love them all. Interesting that when I first saw the show, I wasn't sure what to make of Sabrina or whether she was as smart as the others; in the episodes I saw at first, I got the impression more of her maybe not being as all there. But as I watched more, I realized I must have just been seeing some of her undercover personas. She is very smart and on top of things, and her actress Kate Jackson seems to be generally hailed as the best actress of the bunch. Out of all the girls, Sabrina also seems the most like she really wants a romantic relationship, so I was happy for her that when Kate left, they wrote in the show that Sabrina was going to get married and have a baby.)

Before any of that, several days ago I saw Don Knight's first Big Valley episode. It was the really creepy one where Adam West was a psycho. Don's character was a twisted mix of selfishness, greed, and some genuine remaining goodness. Even though he had agreed to keep quiet about the first murder in exchange for sharing in Adam's character's high living, he didn't want any other murders to happen and tried to prevent them. Adam's character eventually killed him, which I figured would probably happen. I got plunnied and wrote a fic, but it keeps feeling like it's not complete and I'm not sure what to do with it.

(I actually feel a little like I've been in a fanfiction slump the last couple of weeks. It's just been crazy here and there hasn't been much time for writing, and it seems like when I do, I can't advance very much on the stories. I don't know whether this Big Valley one is holding things up and I feel I can't concentrate until it's done or if it's a slump in general. I feel more like I want to write Ginger and Lou fics for a while instead of continuing the fics I've been actively working on at FF.net. But I feel like I can't fully devote myself to Ginger and Lou fics when people are waiting on those others, or at least on the WWW one. I really wish I could get some input from Riptide fans on the Riptide one; the only person even reviewing it isn't even a fan of the show, so I'm pretty honored that he likes my writing enough to read it. I certainly didn't ask him to. But while I'm thrilled that he's reading, he of course can't provide much advice on the characters and such. There are silent readers, but the only Riptide person who actually said something only commented on the first chapter and expressed her dissatisfaction with the thought of there being real ghosts. I don't know if she even read on enough to see that things are still up in the air regarding the ghost angle, which is just like the season 2 episode that dealt with ghosts was like. I don't think they fully eliminated the idea of ghosts until towards the end. But so yeah. It seems like lately, my only real writing interests have been work, Ginger and Lou fics, The Big Valley fic, and non-fiction blog posts. I don't imagine it will last long, but it is frustrating when I gravitate to the non-fiction rambling posts here instead of working on stories.)

I feel the urge to watch Julie London's Big Valley episode again sometime soon. Her character was also a curious mixture of selfishness, greed, and some remaining goodness. She was a traitor to the North during the Civil War, but not because of changing ideologies; she wanted higher living and she was promised that if she turned. At least that's how I remember it. She showed up after the war and was understandably shunned by the town, but as I also recall, they took it way too far and actually tried to harm her and her old friend in the Barkley family tried to help her. I can't remember now whether it was Jarrod or Nick. He couldn't come to terms with what she'd done either, and it seems like even though she was sadder and wiser, she wasn't terribly apologetic or sorry for her actions, which only made things worse. I remember it ended with her leaving town. I wonder what kinds of interesting interaction might happen between her and Don's character were they to ever meet. I revived his character in my fic, naturally. Hmm, future plunnie.

I often think of The Big Valley as the poor man's Bonanza and/or an inversion of Bonanza, since The Big Valley has a woman at the head of the wealthiest family in town and some of the concepts and set-ups seem similar to Bonanza (and since the show only lasted four seasons as opposed to Bonanza's fourteen). But one interesting difference is that while the Cartwrights seem to be respected and well-liked, the Barkleys seem to be looked down on because of their wealth. Usually shows do the cliche of arrogant rich people so much that it's really a drag. The Big Valley has the flip-side of arrogant poor people, which isn't seen as often but is just as hurtful and damaging. And while I enjoy both shows, sometimes I feel like The Big Valley has a lot more heart than Bonanza. Maybe that's at least partially because there are women in the main cast and they bring something to the show that Bonanza lacks. On the other hand, I'm not saying I think Bonanza should have had a female lead. Each show is what it is and is enjoyed for what it is. I think a female lead probably would have ruined Bonanza, because that was not the angle it was going for. On the other hand, remove the women from The Big Valley and something is very missing.

I find it intriguing how quickly Don Knight proved himself a capable and awesome character actor. He just showed up to start acting in 1965, and it was only like three-ish years later when they were starting to bill him as "Special Guest Star" and/or list him at the top of the guest cast list. It's like what happened with Luke Andreas and Christopher Cary. With all of them, they were sometimes given small parts, but the show's crews quickly realized their talents and that having them around was a feather in the cap. They'd then be given meatier parts sometimes, or else even if they didn't appear much, they were still credited very high on the list. And as frustrating as it is when they're not in something much, like Christopher in that 1970s Captain America movie, it's still extremely exciting when they're given such high billing.

And I'm sure there was something else I wanted to talk about, but I don't remember what it was.

Oh, I just remembered. Star Wars: The Force Awakens came out on DVD today. I'm still undecided whether I'll buy it. I just can't bring myself to consider it absolute canon, even though yes, I know that as far as Disney is concerned, it is. And I can't see myself re-watching it much. But I love Rey and Finn and BB-8, so I figured I'd probably buy it for them, at least. I can't get it this week, though, since my account is cleaned until the weekend. And then I need to think about still getting to Build-a-Bear to get an article of clothing for the Lalaloopsy plush, since I wasn't able to include that in the order. I also need to think about getting the big Rey figure, because Wal-Mart finally got a huge shipment in (probably in anticipation of today). I just hope they'll still have some when I have money....

Some spoilers, just in case someone still hasn't seen the film but wants to )

Gah.

Mar. 29th, 2016 07:59 pm
ladybug_archive: (persuaders)
Patty Duke is dead at age 69. And from something apparently unexpected and sudden. That makes it even worse than ever. It's so sad to think of her being gone and so sad to think of her loved ones grieving. I was thinking how sad William Schallert must be, since he really ended up like a father figure to her, and then of course Sean Astin and her other kids must be so sad.... I should do some kind of a Tumblr tribute.... I wonder if I have any pictures of her already taken from my DVD sets.

I spent the afternoon filling out our Netflix queue.... I added a lot of Hawaii 5-O, Scarecrow and Mrs. King, and Hart to Hart, although Mom's probably already seen most of the latter episodes. They come on Monday evenings on Cozi and she watches them while Dad and I are getting groceries. I wish I could see the show more often because it's adorable and generally clean. I love cute 1980's series. I think that was the last decade when we really had a lot of nice and safe live-action TV shows, and of course even then, some of them were starting to get kind of bad sometimes.

Among the Scarecrow discs I added was the one with Luke. It's been years since I've seen it and since he was the main guest-star, I wanna see it again. I was thinking the other day about when I got my first Equestria Girls dolls, the original two-pack with Twilight and the Sunset with incorrect hair. That was in November of 2013. I had a big, fun de-boxing session that night and then set them on my desk while I watched that Scarecrow episode. Then I made a silly Tumblr post commenting that I was playing with dolls of Ponies as people and watching old shows with middle-aged men ... and loving it.

PAX TV used to air Scarecrow around 2000, right before Remington Steele. I hardly ever got to catch it, but weirdly enough, the one with Luke was one that I saw at least part of. I distinctly remember the epilogue. And that means I at least was introduced to Luke's name in the credits, even if I didn't see any of his scenes. Kind of eerie.

Wal-Mart currently has season 1 of Remington Steele available for $10 and I've been debating getting it. I loved that show back in the day and saw almost all of them repeatedly, but I wonder if I would still love it today. My only semi-recent experience with it was when I caught one episode on Halloween night on MeTV several years ago, the one about the stolen dog with Tom Baker guest-starring, and I loved it just as I had before. That was season 2, though (I think). I'm wondering if I'd like season 1 as much as the other seasons. Season 1 didn't have Doris Roberts, and one of the things I loved the most was her interaction with the others. Still, after reading over the season 1 episode summaries, it still sounds like a blast.

Among the stuff I added to the queue today were several things with Don Knight. I tried to weed out a few where he either might not be playing bad guys or where he at least wasn't playing the Big Bads. I'll get around to seeing everything I can with him eventually, but when possible I like to start with things where the actor plays nicer people. I didn't add the Little House disc, though, or even see if Netflix has it. I'm still displeased by the sound of his character's needless death. Anyway, I probably have the Little House thing around here somewhere, as I think my sister gave us all of her Little House tapes when she graduated to DVDs. Ten to one I actually saw that episode years and years ago, as I grew up often watching the show on our local PBS station (which lost the rights to it only a couple of years ago or so, after airing it for decades, gah). I liked it okay, especially as a kid, but I don't know if it would have the same appeal for me now since I really prefer shows with more action. I remember being surprised one time when I saw a Little House episode with bad guys invading the town and holding people hostage and somebody (Laura, I think) bonked one of them with a frying pan. Buwahaha.

I also tried adding The Apple Dumpling Gang and was told it's on Very Long Wait. **rolls eyes.** Not encouraging; that usually means it will end up lost. I wonder if the library might have it....

Also, this morning I decided to look for cheap copies of Interrupted Melody, a movie I want to see with Roger in it. I've been trying to get it for a couple of months and finally just decided to wait and get it with my next Amazon splurge. Only problem is, the survey company is taking forever about giving me my gift card. Uggggh. It's been almost two months now. That occasionally happens with them and it's really frustrating when it does. A while back I got Gold of the Seven Saints on eBay when its price came down, so now I decided that if I could find a cheap copy of Interrupted Melody I'd do the same with it.

I ended up finding a sealed VHS for only $6 and free shipping! I had really wanted a DVD copy, but oh man, it is hard to beat a price like that! I opted to grab it up. At the time I was stressed about stuff and worried that maybe getting a VHS wasn't a good idea, since that means I can only watch it in the living room. But after a good sleep and a dream involving the actors in it, I woke up ecstatic to have finally got a copy. I can hardly wait for it to get here. Also, I love the picture on the VHS copy, as it looks like it's probably Roger's character bending down to the leading lady. He plays her brother, so now I am hoping there will be some sibling squee.

In any case, I hope I will like this film way better than Gold of the Seven Saints. That was ... probably one of the stupidest things I have ever seen. I knew I shouldn't expect too much from it, but I was expecting a little more than I got. Still, Roger was cute and there was hurt/comfort and friendshippiness, so it was worth watching.
ladybug_archive: (twilightsparkle)
So apparently I'm more excited for the Pony premiere next week than I even thought. I had a weird dream on Friday. The mirror had malfunctioned and sent Cadance, Shining Armor, and baby Flurry Heart to the human world. Flurry Heart had got lost somewhere and Cadance and Shining Armor were frantic to find her. For some reason, Charlie from All Dogs Go to Heaven was there, human as well. Guess he used another Miracle Pin or something. Lieutenant Anderson from Perry Mason was trying to help them find Flurry Heart. He was highly skeptical that they had come through a portal and were really Ponies. But he did believe that their child was lost and was fully into helping them find her.

Even though I don't want to consider that the Pony verse takes place in the same verse as my more reality-grounded shows, I kind of want to make this into a fic (minus Charlie, probably; I don't know what the heck he was doing there and I don't think he'd really fit into this plot in a fic, unless I just decide it's free-for-all crack). I am very amused by the thought of Andy interacting with Cadance and Shining Armor and trying to grasp WTH is happening here.

Also, I love my dad's tablet's camera! Squeeee. I had totally forgot there was a camera in there! He doesn't use the tablet much, as the laptop is his preferred portable technology, so I asked if I could use it. I thought maybe some websites would work better on it than on the old laptop I use. The websites don't always work too well on the tablet, either, but eeee, the camera! It is simply gorgeous! Such clear pictures, unless I accidentally jostle something! It's so much better quality than the cheap digital camera I can't find the installation disc for!

So, here are some pictures I've taken of things people wanted to see. First, my Scott Leonard circa season 2 plushie, as made by HarukaKou:

Scott )

Also, an obligatory shot of my incomplete Barry plushie because I want to show the face:

Barry )

And my Roger Moore figure, which [livejournal.com profile] kirarakim wanted to see! Close-ups didn't turn out so well; I'll have to re-do those.

Roger )

I've gotta say, I am thrilled with this and I am so happy to finally be able to join the ranks of people who find it commonplace to take pictures and have them instantly ready!
ladybug_archive: (nancy_peter)
A couple of weeks ago in Wal-Mart I saw the most awesome playset: a Scooby-Doo haunted mansion! There were trapdoors and ghosties everywhere and a falling chandelier.... I don't have any place to put something like that, but I sure want it. That is epically awesome. It's one of the most creative playsets I've seen in a long time.

There's also a new line of Scooby-Doo figures. For some reason, there's two Scoobies in the line instead of there being a Fred. They'd better still make Fred! All the other original characters were there. Each one comes packaged with one of the supernatural creatures they unmasked on the show. And even though there's two figures and they're around 6 inches tall, they only cost around $7! I so want those, too. So do lots of others; there were three full pegs of those figures two weeks ago, and last week there were only two figures left.

So I had a very interesting and odd Once dream today. It was similar in nature to some LOTR dreams I had years ago, in which I and Mom and other people were acting out the character roles. And there was snow on the ground. I'm not sure why that's a feature of those dreams, but there you go.

I was playing Rumpel (and Regina, apparently, as there weren't enough people for each to take one character). It was around season 2, and the entire cast had been sent to some weird, snowy place with a huge castle. Rumpel was walking with Belle and they were talking about the problems in their relationship. They seemed to be at a rocky stage. One gave the other some kind of native little white flower before they separated. I was having a blast figuring out how to talk with a Scottish accent.

Belle was then walking with one of the girls, and I think I narrowed it down to Ruby. They were talking and seemed to be upset with Mary-Margaret about something, but the details of that conversation have faded. They were climbing up snowy hillsides that were like steps and heading for the castle. Everyone seemed to be going to a funeral, but I don't know who was dead. They walked along the outside of the castle, which weirdly seemed to have different entrances with numbers corresponding to season 2 episodes. Most were bizarre crooked stairs that were at unclimbable angles. They finally found a way up via the stairs marked for episode 2.

Regina was walking down the corridor, heading for the room with the funeral. For some reason, she ended up casting a spell on herself that made her appear as Rumpel to everyone else she passed in the corridor. It was not shape-shifting, like Cora could do, but it was expressly just a spell that warped how everyone else saw her. She got to the room and ... apparently laid down on a low table/slab in front of a row of people. Then she was ... either faking being unconscious or there was some other spell. Everyone thought it was Rumpel and was confused as to why they couldn't wake "him" up. Rumpel was supposed to appear in the doorway and be all "WTH is going on here," and I think he arrived and was trying and failing to get people's attention, and I woke up around then.

A very weird dream. But actually rather enjoyable while it was being had. I woke up missing the good times on Once before the writers decided that Rumpel wasn't allowed to continue his progress being a good guy. I should write some more in my vignette series again.

I wonder if another reason I'm worried about posting it on FF.net is that I'm afraid some people won't like that I'm unhappy with the direction the show took starting with 3B. But there's quite a lot of us who feel the same way, so that probably wouldn't really be much of a problem.

Recently I re-watched the season 3 Mannix episode with Don Knight, another British actor with lovely blond hair. He reminded me a little bit of Christopher, while at the same time definitely being his own person. He played the only survivor of a shipwreck, and he knew the truth about the wreck, that it had been hijacked and everyone else deliberately murdered by being thrown overboard to the sharks. He himself had been permanently mutilated; his left arm was gone and he had a limp. He was being sought after by the bad guys to kill him, but he refused to come forward and tell the police what he knew because they were threatening to kill a girl he loved. In the climax, he discovered that the girl was actually one of the bad guys. Heartbroken, in a moment of rage he started choking her, but Mannix rushed in and stopped him. When he calmed down, he insisted that the girl must have been coerced into being a part of things, because she was just too sweet to really be bad. The girl told him that she hadn't been coerced, that she wanted to be there because the Big Bad saw her as she really was instead of putting her on a pedestal. It was heartbreaking, gah. The guy didn't have anyone else in the world and he lost the one person he thought cared about him. Mom wondered if he might end up committing suicide, feeling like he had nothing left, but I hope not. Maybe I will write something about him and see what he's up to.

I remember liking that character and the actor before, but I didn't follow up on it. I wanted to this time, but I didn't get around to it until I discovered him in a Hawaii 5-O episode quite by accident over the weekend. That time the character was a bad guy, but he was in danger being kidnapped by the psycho Big Bad of the episode and I hoped the taskforce would save him in time. They did, and I decided to look up the actor. He had turned out an amazing performance and had broke down in hysteria because he was terrified of heights. So very different from the Mannix character. Like all good character actors, he really slips into whatever part he's got.

I found a list of credits and saw that I have one of his Virginian episodes, so I watched that this morning. He was a bad guy again, but he survived the episode. It was a pretty depressing episode, though, called The Mustangers. I don't think I want to get into it right now, but it seems like many season 7 Virginian episodes are depressing. I remember that while many season 6 episodes were high drama, they generally seemed to end well. I'm not sure what was up with the seeming change.

I also found a website run by Don Knight's son, which is awesome. I'm going to go back there and see if there's a way to contact the son. And I'll probably keep looking up his father's credits; I think one of his Charlie's Angels episodes is already on one of the discs I put on the queue.

Don Knight sounds like a sweet man in reality and I know I definitely loved his Mannix character. Apparently he also played a beloved character on Little House on the Prairie, so if I end up deciding I like him enough to make him one of my darlings, finally there will actually be one of them who has appeared on that show. Heh. I've always wondered why none of them ever guest-starred on that. Or at least if any have, IMDB doesn't have a record of it (which is possible).

His character on that has a very famous and tragic death. He works with dynamite, and he's watching some contest that includes his friends Charles and another guy. When they win, he's so excited for them that he doesn't remember he has a lit dynamite fuse that he was dealing with.

They invited Don Knight back for another episode as a different character, but when he got there they paid him and then fired him. They felt that his character's death had been so poignant that the audience would not accept him as another character.

...

Is it just me or was that a really lame and jerky thing to do? Once they hired him for the episode, they should have followed through with it. And isn't it just a little bit arrogant to think that their show's character death is so powerful that he could never return as someone else? I've watched lots of shows with powerful oneshot character deaths, and very often the actor will be allowed to return later as another character. I never see any problem with that.

Also, speaking of his character's death, it just sounds so pointless and needless that to me it almost seems like they killed off the character for the sheer shock and tragedy factor. Unless the episode was based on something Laura Ingalls Wilder really wrote about as having happened, it seems to me it should not have been done that way. I don't like character deaths that are pointless and needless and exist just so they can point to their show and say, "Look how dark and gritty we made it! It's some kind of artistic achievement!"

And as a closing note, eerily enough, Don Knight follows the pattern of being someone I saw in something many years ago. Apparently he was in The Apple Dumpling Gang. I actually wasn't crazy about that movie; I'd gone in looking for a hysterical comedy and it honestly didn't strike me as being very funny in most parts. The big funny scene seemed to be where Don Knotts' character was being accidentally choked by a rope up the side of a building, which ... really isn't very funny. But maybe if I go back to it and watch it not looking for anything specific, I'd like it.

I know it's stupid, but it still kind of troubles me that I can't think of anything I saw Christopher Cary in many years ago. He's the one darling that doesn't fit the pattern. I did see him on Rockford before I was interested in him, and I did like him, so I figure I've got to accept that as the time I saw him years ago. But it wasn't in the long-ago past, like all the others. I keep thinking there must be something I saw him in years ago and that someday I'll pinpoint what it was.
ladybug_archive: (coley_lafe)
So MeTV is doing another round of their silly MeTV Madness this year, where MeTV shows are paired up and voted on by the viewers who use the Internet. I'm really not sure what the point of the thing is. I originally figured it was to determine what was popular so they'd have some idea what to keep/what to toss/what to bring back, but the MeTV Madness results really don't seem to have any bearing on that, so I'm not sure what the point is. Maybe it's just silly fun. Sometimes I wonder, though, if the voting is really completely what the users are saying or if MeTV makes the end result be something they want. I can never forget when 4Kids did that voting thing to get viewers to pick which new show they wanted to see a special preview of, and Tokyo Mew Mew was ahead for most of the voting time, yet suddenly when it was time, they announced that F-Zero had somehow won. Considering it had the least votes all the way along, that was more than a little suspicious.

And I was thinking about politicians being immature and flinging stupid insults back and forth at each other and that got me thinking about that Patty Duke Show episode where Patty and Cathy are running for student body president and start doing the same thing. The students get so sick of it that they end up overwhelmingly voting for the one candidate who wasn't insulting everybody else. But she also didn't have much of a voting pitch; she'd always get up and flatly say, "Vote for me." LOL. But according to Patty, she actually started doing a good job once she was voted in.

Then I started thinking how strange it is that while I remember the series fondly, there are many, many episodes that I either don't like or find tedious to watch. Episodes that I truly, genuinely liked all the way through are actually less in number than the other kind, I believe. So that made me wonder why I bought the first two seasons on DVD years ago. I think it was because I wanted the episodes with that recurring character actor who looked like Autor, Jeff Siggins. Then season 3 changed production areas and the supporting cast was dropped, including him, and season 3 changed the show in other ways and overall I didn't like it as much. But I still recorded the ones I liked best.

The other great thing about The Patty Duke Show is William Schallert. I became very fond of him while watching him in all those episodes. He reached the tier right below the actors I actually crush on, which is for other actors I am very enthusiastic about and can go out of my way to see and get very excited to see when stumbling on them by chance. I don't know if I would have come to like him as much as I do if not for seeing him every night as part of that main cast.

I also think off and on how Cathy is usually remembered for being so demure and sweet, and yet she can actually be pretty nasty too, like in the voting episode and several others. Sometimes I think she can actually be more nasty than Patty, because Patty usually just says things off the top of her head without thinking about it, whereas Cathy seems more likely to plan out at least some of what she says. Sometimes she behaves on impulse too, though, like in the Cleopatra episode. And I suppose she has to behave badly sometimes so she'll be a well-rounded character. But I have to say, it's always painful to see her like that and I don't think I like any of the episodes where it happens. Regardless, though, I do prefer her to Patty, as Patty Duke herself does. But both girls are pretty well-rounded and have good and bad points, which is nice.

That sort of thing is necessary, but while flaws are important, I honestly have trouble writing characters actually acting out/deliberately being vicious and petty and mean. Even if they're prone to such behavior in canon, I just cannot get into that mindset if I'm trying to write them as a protagonist. It's easy if they're an antagonist, but if I want them to be the one the readers are rooting for, I just ... can't seem to make myself do it, which is why canon jerk or villain characters in my hands usually end up not being anywhere as bad as canon portrays (although generally there's an explanation of trying to turn over a new leaf instead of it coming out of the blue, like it did with Hook on Once Upon a Time). It's just not my nature and I can't get into their heads and don't feel comfortable trying if I don't try to soften them/humanize them a bit to make them relatable to me. Some of them I still can't really relate to regardless of my efforts, since of course I have to try to stick to canon information and sometimes that means the character will end up darker than I'm comfortable with no matter what I do. (Usually that means I eventually drop the character, as in the cases of Gin and Vodka and some certain others in other fandoms.) But anyway, yeah, I usually have to fall back on other types of flaws for protagonists than acting out.

Then I started reading one of my locally-written mystery books. I was slightly concerned when I saw the main character described on the back as "quirky", as usually that seems to mean an absent-minded weirdo or someone who can't be serious if their life depends on it. Both character types are fine for people who like them, but they can grate on my nerves very quickly, especially since the latter category often leads to practical jokers and that's a sub-character type I don't care for either. (Which is why I've honestly never been that excited about the Weasley twins from Harry Potter.... Not that I'm that excited about Harry Potter in general, honestly. But despite my feelings, I still felt it was sacrilege to kill off one of the brothers. Gah.) There's a character in the latter category who's in a fairly popular locally-written book and movie adaptation. She says she's an intellectual, but she honestly never acts like it. She pretty much spends the whole book/movie acting like a silly, mischievous, slightly naughty goof and being rather outrageous at times. Although technically, she does get serious when her life depends on it. She dies and the thing ends up heartbreaking after starting so screwy and silly.

But to my relief when I started reading the mystery book, the lead character is a serious, capable person and her quirkiness mostly stems from OCD. I can totally deal with that. And it's rather nice to see an OCD character written seriously; as much as I had fun watching Monk, it always did bother me that he and the other OCD characters who popped up were portrayed as acting so childishly due to their phobias. We're really not all that way!

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