ladybug_archive: (ginger_lou)
I have been way too busy lately to come here for much. Plunnies have been flowing for the most part and it has been so delightful. I rarely ever have so many plunnies that keep coming and I just want to soak it in for as long as it will last. I've done nine stories for my 1987 Turtles series, with many more planned; I'm just starting the Christmas one. As soon as I finish one, plunnies bite for the next one and so on. Each story builds on the previous one, while at the same each one usually has a stand-alone plot. They also heavily study both Baxter and Barney. Baxter is going up and Barney is going down. I have hardly ever examined an antagonist in-depth while he's doing bad things, as I prefer to write for good guys/reforming bad guys in-depth. Barney is the antagonist of the stories (well, along with Shredder and Krang, etc.) and Baxter is the protagonist. It makes for some interesting compare and contrast between them. It is so fun!

I also finished the Baxter plushie. There are a few pictures of him in my Scrapbook posing with my Build-a-Bear Minty plushie. They released her just for the holidays and I was able to get her last week on a 30% off sale. Squeee.

This is a great time to become intrigued by 1987 Baxter, as they are finally releasing a human figure of him. It's the main thing I'd like for Christmas, but aside from a few that released early, he's not supposed to release until January. And since January releases usually seem to be late January, it might even be February before I can get him. Sigh. It's an interesting figure in a Mutations line. You can change him from fly to human. I had hoped he would be sold in human form, but he's apparently sold in fly form and you have to change him to human if you want that. I hope it won't be difficult to exchange the pieces; I remember some difficult struggles with my Japanese figures that had switchable parts.

There's a description on Toys R Us's website, and I don't know whether they wrote it or if Mega Bloks did, but they describe the human version of Baxter as a maniacal madman. That only happened, debatably, in season 2. (Then he cracked up all the way after being cross-fused.) They seem to be using the season 1 design for the figure, where he was sane and stable and a genuinely nice person. The figure also looks like a sad kicked puppy, just about the farthest thing from a maniacal madman there could be. So ... mismatched description much? LOL. I am probably going make a Tumblr post joking about the irony.

Miraculous Ladybug did their Christmas special and I loved it so much I watched it twice in the same day. Then I got the most bizarrely cracky idea that I should cross over my Ginger and Lou series with Miraculous Ladybug. I've tried to keep the more realistic series separate from the fantasy series, but somehow Ladybug seems different than, say, Sailor Moon or something like that. It feels more reality-based. And I can't seem to shake this nutty idea that Ginger and Lou go to Paris for a business trip and something happens that causes Papillon/Hawkmoth to decide Ginger would be a perfect candidate to be possessed by one of his dark butterflies/Akuma. If I actually decide to go ahead with the idea, I have to think what kind of design Akumanized Ginger would have. I know I would want him to still look human and just have a bizarre weapon-laden outfit or something. It's figuring out what kind of weaponry would work for Ginger and also work for a family-friendly series, because Ginger isn't very family-friendly when it comes to his weaponry. LOL.

The idea was on my mind so much that I dreamed about Luke Andreas. It was a really weird dream, too. It was one of those kind where I was wandering about town, yet at the same time I was watching things unfold like on TV. I was absolutely psyched because I was thinking, "Yay! Finally, here's something else that Luke has a lot of screentime in!"

I found this shop that had some stuff I wanted, including this pen thing with a figure thing of 1987 Baxter on it. I decided to get it, and Luke was/was playing the owner of the shop. We interacted for some time at length and there were other things going on, like a town meeting, that his character was involved with. Also, Luke was dressed like his secret agent character from The Bionic Woman. Epic.
ladybug_archive: (twilightsparkle)
Still having some serious nostalgia about the TV series version of Beetlejuice. I remember how totally nuts I was about the friendship between Beetlejuice and Lydia. I think it was the first, or certainly one of the first, friendships I really went nuts over.

I don't remember how I found the show in the first place, but I suppose it was while I was watching other stuff on FOX and then it came on. That would have been during the fourth season, the longest and syndicated one. I'm not sure I ever even saw any episodes from the earlier, shorter seasons. I may have, though. I started watching it and liked it and then I saw a puzzle at Smith's and was really excited to see merchandise for the show. I told Mom about it and that I wanted it and she wanted to see the show before deciding if it was okay for me to have the puzzle. I don't remember what episode she watched with me that first time, but I do distinctly remember a scene where the car got mad and jumped on him/ran over him/something, and I wanted to sink through the floor because I was afraid Mom would not like the show and wouldn't let me have the puzzle. I can't quite remember now what happened, because it seemed to me that she was rather dubious about the show after that episode, yet she did say I could have the puzzle. (And as I mentioned in a prior entry, she actually ended up really liking the show. Like, seriously. She even liked it better than Darkwing Duck, although I'm still not sure why and I doubt she remembers any of that now. Maybe it was because Darkwing is so conceited sometimes, but then Beetlejuice is a con artist, so to me their faults are a toss-up.)

My memory was that all three of us were in the store when I got to have the puzzle. I have a memory of getting it and bringing it over to the cart or the checkout stand. I loved that puzzle so much and put it together over and over. It was one of my very favorites, along with my My Little Pony puzzle. (What a combination. LOL.) Years later, when we had a mold disaster in that corner of my room and many of the puzzle and game boxes had to be thrown away, I can't remember if that box was one of them. My memory is that it was one of the few puzzles that kept its original box. I know the Pony puzzle did. I think I ran across the Beetlejuice one last year when we were going through lots of boxes to make sure the contents were safe from the evil mice invasion.

The only other piece of merchandise I had was a color with marker book. The cover picture was the same as the puzzle picture, only flipped. That was with a few books downstairs, but I brought it upstairs three (!) years ago, which was when I watched a couple of episodes again (instead of last year, like I recently wrote, oy). I flipped through it the other day and felt very nostalgic.

I always wanted figures, but it seemed like the only ones around were for the movie, which I just wasn't interested in. I had Mom make paper dolls of Beetlejuice and Lydia instead. I also remember she did one of The Monster Across the Street. I always wondered why they never told his name. I wanted to know his name. She may have also made paper dolls of Lydia's parents; of that I'm not sure. I should get into the paper doll box and look. (I still wonder what happened to the Rockapella paper dolls, which are still AWOL. **sniffle.**)

I liked role-play and make-believe and I would always play Beetlejuice and Mom would play Lydia. I remember saying a corner of the kitchen was Beetlejuice's house and one time I was going over it with my little broom to get it "ready" for Lydia to visit. (Like Beetlejuice ever really cleaned the place before she came over, LOL.) I don't recall if that was in Autumn, but I do remember an Autumn during the time I loved the series. It was late and we were going to make cookies and I remember lying in bed hearing Mom getting the stuff ready in the kitchen. The TV was on, and for some reason it was on blue screen, which was what we got back then when the VCR was on and ready to go. I had either watched my few recorded Beetlejuice episodes or I was going to (maybe as background noise while we mixed the dough). The spider web we always hung for Halloween was up and stretched across the living room ceiling. It is a very clear, very happy memory.

My sister had a red hymn book that was temporarily at our house. Sometimes I got into it and very innocently made up songs/poems with other lyrics and modified melodies, but based on some in the book. All I can remember now was reworking one song to say something like, "There is beauty all around when Lydia comes to visit." (Yeah, like Beetlejuice would have ever been that cheesy, LOL. But it was cute.) I was sad when my sister wanted the book back, as I was sentimental after using it as inspiration.

Beetlejuice was also the subject of, I believe, one of my very first fanfictions. I told the story to Mom and she wrote it down. Unfortunately, I do not remember what I composed. I had several one-page stories taped together and that was among them. We need to find where that was put during the move. I'm rather curious to see it again.

I remember one time when we came back from church in the winter and it seemed like we were locked out of the house. I went into role-playing Beetlejuice with Mom in the snow while we waited for Dad to get the door open. I was enjoying myself in the snow, while Mom naturally was cold.

I think what originally made me drift away from the show was that I found some of the puns and parodies very silly and well, rather stupid. I know the syndicated season often parodied things towards the end, maybe because they were running out of ideas. I guess that means I never did like parodies, even at a young age. But I did still like the characters and I did try to reconnect with the show, and it was then that it was my misfortune to run into the episode that sent me away for good. It's a pity, really; if it had been some other episode, I probably would have stayed with it.

But there you go; one of the things that enchanted me as a young child and the ways it sparked my imagination. I remember those times happily and with fondness, and actually, I would have liked to dress up as Lydia this year. She was one of several costume ideas, but none of them worked out. In her case, I just couldn't find the key piece: a spider web cape/poncho. The party I'm in charge of is today, and I decided I'll have to try my Rouge the Bat costume for it. I only got to wear the bat wings once, so it will be nice to have the whole costume together again. I'm still kind of toying with the idea of playing Lydia on Halloween itself, if I could just find a cape....
ladybug_archive: (schrank)
... a movie and its corresponding TV series share music. I'm not sure why I think that's such an event, but I love that it's the case with Ghostbusters and also with Beetlejuice.

I was making a Halloween playlist earlier tonight, realizing again that there's actually very few Halloween-type songs, and randomly decided to see whether I could add the Beetlejuice TV theme to the list. Instead I stumbled into the movie theme and curiously listened and was pleased that it was basically the same music.

I actually never saw the movie (which is obvious), even though I was obsessed with the TV show. As a kid, I usually wasn't too interested in the movie versions of cartoons since the characters generally looked and sounded different from what I was used to and in the case of Beetlejuice, behaved differently too. Beetlejuice and Lydia were certainly not chummy in the movie. I still sort of wonder how one can connect the two verses, if one is of a mind to do so.

(Sidenote: The fact that I saw and adored the Turtles' first movie as a kid is kind of an anomaly. Then again, that was my main exposure to the franchise despite watching the cartoon too.)

I feel a little sad that some things can make me run screaming from Beetlejuice now, since I loved it as a kid. I just can't handle any head problems; it was one of those episodes that finally turned me off when I was about six. (And yes, I can never look at the movie DVD case too clearly when I see it in stores.) But I still am amused that when I dipped into a couple of the episodes I vividly remembered last year or so, I found the art/beatnik episode a real kick whereas I hadn't liked it that much as a kid. I guess with episodes like that one, most of the jokes are best understood when one is older.
ladybug_archive: (scofield)
I haven't spent much time posting lately. I've been so busy writing things that for the most part, if I want to say something that I might ordinarily say here, I say it one-on-one to someone instead.

I've been working on the next Turtles fic, which is a light-hearted oneshot. I found it difficult to go from a more serious tone in the multi-chapter to a lighter tone in the succeeding fic and not have it look strange or mismatched, but after I fleshed some things out it looked better and flowed better with the multi-chapter. One problem with lighter ones is that it's harder for character introspection and development, so it's a challenge finding ways to work that in. I really want the stories to be like seasons 3/4, although they will definitely dip into season 7-ish territory sometimes.

I've been tinkering with a website to talk about my Turtles verse, the proposed "episode" ideas, and other things. I wrote a long essay on why I think 1987 Baxter should be able to be redeemed and I'm quite pleased with it. The site isn't live yet, although I've given a couple of people the link to examine assorted things on it.

I finally started that fic I wanted to do detailing Illya being haunted by Mr. Ecks. So far I have two vignettes done and at least two or three others planned. I don't want the story to wear out its welcome, but with a character-developing series of vignettes, it could technically go on and on. I shouldn't have it get too long, though, or it might be harder to align it with later fics in the timeline.

I've also got the WWW fic going again. I'm going back and forth among all of these fics and also hope to work more on Ginger and Lou fics and that Real Ghostbusters fic. (And that Equestria Girls idea I still haven't started.) It's definitely nice to be able to flip from one fandom to another, writing-wise.

I saw some pieces of the new Equestria Girls movie. Honestly, I love Sunset Shimmer more with each film. She and Twilight are definitely the best things about them. From what I saw, though, my fears about this film feeling like Winx Club were not far-fetched. I want to see this film in whole, and I'll probably buy it, but I don't think I'll re-watch it much. I do not like that it looks like Spoiler )

Had a wonderful birthday! I was very touched by all the warm wishes through here and Facebook and other places. Got some lovely gifts, with some belated ones still on the way. And the shopping spree went swimmingly, better than it has a lot of times. I found some things I wanted and some surprises and it was delightful to have money to get them. Somehow I managed to collect a pretty good amount of money for the shopping spree just in the month of September. Usually I start saving in the summer months, but that didn't happen too much this year because of surprise sales and clearances.

I had intended to get a Fashion Style Pony, but while I love them dearly, I still can't seem to justify paying $15 for one of them when it comes right down to it. Sigh. I want a sale. Meanwhile, I found Indigo Zap on clearance for $4.98. Yessss! I am sad that apparently I missed other things clearancing at Toys R Us, but at least I grabbed something before they were all gone.

I also found volume 7 of The Real Ghostbusters for $9.99. The standard price is $14.99, so I wasn't passing that up. I didn't think I'd find it at Toys R Us, but it was an idle hope, and then there it was. I got it mainly for the Egon's Ghost episode, and thankfully, this time I was not disappointed! It was sooo good. So intense and so much friendship squee! Unfortunately, another episode I'd wanted, Slimer, Is That You? turned up in the re-dubbed version with Dave Coulier as Peter and Kath Soucie as Janine. I love Kath's work, but not as Janine. And Dave Coulier was absolutely teeth-grinding. The Time-Life version has the original voice actors for that episode, so now I have one more reason to try to get hold of some of those older DVD sets. It was a really fun episode and I want to hear it with Lorenzo Music and Laura Summer.

At Target, I found season 1 of TMNT 1987, which thrilled me. Wal-Mart doesn't have it anymore and Amazon upped the price, but Target was only charging a few cents more than Wal-Mart had had it. Now I have all the human Baxter episodes. I've watched his season 1 episode twice on YouTube in the past. When comparing it with season 2, it is pretty heartbreaking to see how much he cracked.

Also at Target, I discovered that Tracey West is still active in the kids' anime scene and she has written a YGO anime guide. I have no idea why they put that out this year, unless it's to prepare newcomers for the movie. But it was great! I longed for something like that when the show was airing. Oh, there were some things kind of like that, but I didn't like them as much as I liked this one. And it covered all seasons and characters. I probably shouldn't have, since it was just basic information that a diehard fan would already know, but I couldn't resist and it had to come home with me. I feel like a kid again, going through it.

I bought season 4 of TMNT 1987 at Wal-Mart. I also wanted volume 2 of Miraculous Ladybug, but they apparently sold out after finally getting some in. Sigh. I should have bought it at Target. But oh well; I'm sure there will be other chances for it.

(Oh! Oh! Speaking of Ladybug, I saw a doll giftset at Toys R us with her and Cat Noir! Squeeee. Naturally it was $30, so I am hoping for a Christmas sale. I must have it.)

Between my purchases and gifts, I now have all 1987 Turtles seasons except 9 and 10! I'm less interested in them, since they're darker and someone else takes center stage as the villain, but I'll probably try to get them sometime for completeness' sake.

I made one other purchase that night: another plushie base at Jo-Ann's. As much as I hate sewing, I absolutely love being able to create the characters I want in a couple of weeks instead of commissioning someone for a lot more money and waiting several months for the product. Now I just need to decide whether I'm going to use this plushie base to make Snakes, 1987 Baxter, or a Richard character (probably Steve Drumm). I want to make all of them, so it's mostly a matter of which one first. I kind of lean towards Baxter. It would be a fun challenge working out the hair and the glasses. It's making the clothes that drives me up the wall for any plushie. I shouldn't start any new one until I've finished Barry's shirt and made Mike's jacket, but uggh, I keep dreading working in silk with Barry's shirt. And I hate sewing in sleeves in general. Definitely the most maddening part.

I have an Amazon gift card and I'm having my usual debate on what to buy/when to use it. I could get $25 worth of books, as there are some I want, and then maybe get one other thing to go with them. Or I could bite the bullet and do a splurge and add $29 in cash to my $20 gift card. Ultimately, I'd rather wait until I can get another gift card, but by that time, some of the stuff will have probably changed prices. Uggggh. I hate so much that Amazon changed the rules for free shipping. $49 for free shipping is just outrageous! The only other way to get it (without getting Prime) is $25 worth of books and anything else ships free with them.

Then I have my usual dilemma of what to be for Halloween. Every possibility seems to fall through. I wanted to try being a Ghostbuster, but I can't fit into Mom's (non-Ghostbuster) jumpsuit and I'm not crazy about the idea of spending a lot of money on an official costume. Even if I wanted to try that, I can't find any women's costumes (which is weird, considering the new movie had women Ghostbusters) and the men's ones only turn up in sizes too big. I've also considered either a Turtle or April O'Neil. For April, I'd base her mostly on Megan Fox's April because of the hair, and then she has the classic yellow of the 1987 cartoon April. I have yellow tops, but no yellow trousers. Sigh. For a Turtle, green clothes would be good. I do have green pants, and I could probably dig up some kind of green top. Then I could buy a Turtle shell at Dollar Tree and a blue mask/headband thing and whee. A cheap ghetto thing, but good enough for a church Halloween party.

I've also considered trying to dress up in Ghostbuster Abby's casual clothes, since I probably could find stuff around here that looks somewhat like what she wore. Abby wasn't at all my favorite in the movie, although I warmed up to her before the film was over. But she is the one I could pass myself off as the easiest.

Today I even had the thought of wearing my long green coat, my fedora, and my sunglasses, and saying I'm a random spy/secret agent/whatever. Heh.

Most likely, I'll go with ghetto Turtle. But Dollar Tree was out of blue headband things this past night. Sigh. Hopefully they'll restock.
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?

Curious.

Jul. 30th, 2016 04:47 am
ladybug_archive: (twilightsparkle)
I was sure I never watched the Real Ghostbusters cartoon growing up, because 99% of the time I wasn't interested in people cartoons and preferred animal cartoons instead. But there was that exception with Peter Pan and the Pirates (and oh, Beetlejuice too; that's ... technically a people show), and oy, the more I watch the Real Ghostbusters now, the more the opening and ending both look familiar. It's possible on the one hand that I saw the opening on YouTube when I was just fooling around, but that wouldn't explain the ending. I know I must have seen the show coming and going; perhaps it came right before something I was trying to catch. The big question, whether I actually watched the show itself, I honestly can't answer. It ended the year I turned five and the memories are patchy at best. I'm sure enjoying it now, though. It's just perfect for me: friendship stuff and ghosties and creepy situations.... I don't suppose Mom would remember if I watched it if I asked her. Couldn't hurt to try, though. It would be kind of cool if I actually did watch it and liked it and that's why I was given the pinball game. But on the other hand, Dad sometimes just picked up stuff if it was a cartoon, whether I watched it or not. LOL. Like, I have some toy walkie-talkies from the short-lived Fish Police, which I definitely never watched. But since he's not into supernatural creepy stuff and usually doesn't like my interest in it, it's kind of surprising either way about him getting the Ghostbusters pinball game. Still, he sometimes indulged my love of Turtles stuff even though he didn't really like that. So hmm. A puzzle.

Egon was pretty much immediately my favorite watching it now and that hasn't changed. Not surprising, since he seems to be the most logically-minded of the group and I almost always go for that type in shows. My first (recent) episode was the Boogieman one and I really loved Winston in it too. He was also adorable in another episode, when he was excited about a blueberry fudge cake (yuuuum) and Slimer ate the whole flippin' thing. **headdesk.** Winston was such a good sport about it and it was very endearing. I like the whole group, though. Slimer is still cute, but it is exasperating that he keeps eating everything and not leaving any for anyone else, even when he promises to. Oy, in life he must have been like Sergei on WWW, always wanting to eat. But I love when he manages to do something to help.

I'm going to get to see the new Ghostbusters movie in a week. I went to see my movie-going friend this past day and she gave me a cool mini-poster for the film. At home, I was still tired and took a nap and I had a weirdo dream about watching the film because of looking at the poster. Naturally, in the dream the movie wasn't anywhere as exciting as it probably will actually be. Earlier, I was reading one of my Batman fics, the one where The Riddler comes back alive after they thought he was dead, and I had a dream about that too. It was one of those kind of "run/evade/don't be seen" dreams and he was trying not to let someone in particular know that he was alive. He had to go through a series of ten mazes without being spotted by them. Naturally, he was eventually seen and the chase was on.

On Tuesday I went out to see if I could find the Donatello plush locally for a good price. I couldn't find any at the Wal-Marts we visited, which wasn't surprising. But I finally found the Lyra Pony plush! I've been looking for her for a year and a half, so I didn't want to leave without her. I decided on the best one and brought her home with me. I also got Sweetie Drops. She appeared at our Wal-Mart recently, but I didn't have the money to get her and I'd kind of hoped to find a better one of her. Two were understuffed and a third had a slightly crinkled nose. And I wasn't sure I wanted to get her at all if I didn't know I could get Lyra too, since they're best friends. But once I got Lyra, I immediately wanted to get Sweetie Drops too. Wal-Mart still had one of her and oddly enough, it was the one I felt was the best of the three. I don't know why she wasn't snapped up but the other two were. But that was good for me!

I finally broke down and decided to do the Amazon Prime trial, since they at last got some more Donnies in and I really couldn't afford to add $29 cash to the $25 gift card to get free shipping right now. The two-day shipping certainly was lovely! I got some Turtles DVDs (two season 3 sets and the season 2 one) and Donnie and they showed up this past day. But Donnie is a bit understuffed compared to Leo, which is really frustrating since what I like about these plushies is that they're not understuffed, and gah, it looks like maybe part of his left arm is loose and I'll need to go over it with stitches to make sure it's secure. I already found a small hole near his wrist and had to sew that up. That sort of thing is why I hate buying plushies sight unseen, sigh. But overall he's great and it looks so good to see another splash of Turtle mask color. Now to get Mikey and complete the team.

Also, I went back over my Six Million Dollar Man entries and saw that the previous Dynamite comic arc left a whole slew of loose ends. That makes this new arc even more maddening, because I don't think it's in the same continuity. It doesn't sound like it addressed even one of those loose ends. WTH. They had a bunch of unresolved stuff there and the series really couldn't continue based on that arc without addressing most of it. They should have focused on those things for their second arc instead of starting something completely unrelated. That definitely makes me even less enthusiastic about trying this new arc, sigh.

I am totally in a hurt/comfort mood too, and have been for the past few days. But instead of wanting to write hurt/comfort, I seem to want to watch and read it, and about a random assortment of subjects. I wanted to see some Dying Informant segments (which I finally got around to now). I wanted some Turtles h/c and delighted in re-watching one of my favorite episodes of the 2003 series, Tales of Leo. I also delighted in more Leo h/c in one of the 1987 episodes I watched today. I wanted Riddler h/c and re-read some stuff in my fics. I watched most of my music videos and want to re-read some of my Princess Tutu stuff and get a helping of Autor h/c. I crave Napoleon h/c too, and that I might actually write. I'll have to see; I really don't think I'm much good at U.N.C.L.E. hurt/comfort. At any rate, it doesn't come easily for me when I try to write it, unless it's about Ecks and Wye.

Hmm.

Jul. 25th, 2016 02:53 am
ladybug_archive: (paulgantry)
Weird dreams and I go hand in hand. I had a concourse of weird ones the last time I was asleep. My favorite involved us back in the creepy three-story haunted house that we can only live in about half of because of the ghosts. I had all my plushies in the living room for some reason and I took out a crocodile that looked like Vector from Sonic the Hedgehog, only it wasn't because it was a girl. Then we were having our kitty in the garage, and somehow the other neighborhood cats that hang around in real-life were in there too. One of them, a ginger tabby, kept getting in the house and we had to get it out. I kept calling it Ginger because of its color and because hey, I just wanted to name something Ginger. Dad was calling it Caruso. LOL. And my Hello Kitty plushie was in the garage for some reason. And she was alive. There were bunk beds out there and she was sleeping on the top bunk and leaned over upsidedown to look at me. She was bigger than the one I really have, she didn't have sprinkles, and she had a blue dress. She fell out of bed and I helped her up onto the bottom bunk.

Weird. But nice.

Then I've been reading a lot about all the different Ghostbusters series. There was that live-action series in the 1970s called that with Forrest Tucker and Larry Storch as the Ghostbusters. LOL. Then ten years later, the company that made that decided to make a cartoon based on it after the success of the unrelated Ghostbusters movie. But what I seriously don't get is that, of all the totally lame things, they made the main characters the sons of the ones from the live-action series. Uggggh, I honestly hate when shows do that. Gosh, only ten years later. They could certainly have had the original characters there instead, especially considering it was a cartoon and characters don't have to age in cartoons. Maybe there was some concern about celebrity likenesses, but cartoons can easily get around that. Look how they changed Egon from the movie. MeTV was doing an article about that and showed a picture of a figure line from that other Ghostbusters cartoon. One of them was this bizarre two-faced thing and I totally recognized it as a toy my brother had. I always wondered what it was, but I didn't think it came from anything specific. Anyway, that Ghostbusters cartoon is actually why the more popular one had to call itself The Real Ghostbusters. LOL. I always wondered why it was called that.

(LOL, and speaking of toys my brother had, I'm remembering the silliest and most random things. I have a couple of Gremlins, a big one and a little one he gave me later, and the big one was always the Federal Marshal when I played with figures and the little one was his son. Then we had a vampire figure who was our main crook until he fell behind the bed. Then I brought out a Penguin from Batman figure to be the crook, and I creepily named him Oswald without even realizing that was Penguin's real name.)

[livejournal.com profile] 31_days has an interesting themeset for August. They're calling it "A Summer Romance, A Summer Horror." I like the themes so much that I'm tempted to try to write for all of them. I can't decide what my subject should be, though. I instantly thought of Paul Gantry from Mannix, the cutie in my icon. But it was so heartbreaking how he thought Sheila loved him and she ended up betraying him to the bad guys because she loved material things more. I want to write at least one piece with him because what happened certainly qualifies as a horror for him, but I'm not sure I could take writing that much heartbreak all throughout the month. Another thought was alternating themes between him and Captain Scofield, but that would also be sad since I've set Scofield up with Giovanna and they'd be happy while meanwhile Paul was being used by Sheila. Yet another thought would be Rumbelle. They would certainly fit with a lot of the themes. Or I could write about a whole bunch of different characters.

Next question is, Could I really write a whole month of romantic themes, no matter who the characters are? That's just not me. I'm lucky to be able to write one little Rumbelle piece every few months, and even at that, they're not really blatantly romantic pieces. What I'd really like is if the themes could be used platonically. Some of them could be, so I'm also considering using those themes platonically and then figuring out what to do with the rest of them. It feels a little like cheating if I don't use them all romantically when that seems to have been the themeset author's intention. But they always figure the themes are open to wide interpretation, so maybe it wouldn't be too terrible.
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.

... WTH.

Mar. 12th, 2016 08:58 pm
ladybug_archive: (schrank)
So I've heard about the series Totally Spies off and on for years. As much as I love spies, I'm usually not into the "teen spy" sub-genre because it just seems so silly. (And yes, I suppose that doesn't make much sense since I like magical girl stuff. But that's strictly fantasy, while teen spies are more reality-based, so somehow it seems harder to swallow. Government agencies hiring kids? Yeah, I don't think so.) But after reading that originally three characters on Miraculous Ladybug were meant to be a team as a tongue-in-cheek nod to Totally Spies (their names are similar), I finally got around to curiously looking up what the show is like.

It sounds like a cross between Charlie's Angels and James Bond Jr., so I decided that sounded somewhat promising and started going through an episode guide. Now, I was fully expecting to find cartoon cliches I don't like such as shrinking, but somehow I was absolutely not expecting to find much more twisted stuff too. Apparently one episode has a bonkers ex-model who is kidnapping beautiful girls with the intent of taking parts of their bodies to make new models as an army for herself. And instead of the plot being to stop her from doing it, she apparently is going through with it and the idea is to reverse what's happened. She's taken one of the main character's legs.

WHAT.

Honestly, I could swallow that a whole lot better if it was magic-based. (And that would be bad enough; I still can't bring myself to watch the Magic Duel episode of My Little Pony in full. No. Just no. I think I considered quitting the series over that episode.) But reality and science-based? There is no way she could do that and the process be reversed without lasting harm done! Then another episode has a nutter who is stealing/swapping faces, including another of the main character's. That's so dumb it can't be taken seriously, really, but leg-stealing ... that just goes beyond demented. And it's probably played for laughs, too. That is not funny.

I was only near the beginning of season 2 at that point (there's six seasons). That was when I called it quits. I also saw at least two shrinking episodes and one about internal unnatural aging, but I was much more bothered by these other two. Yeah, I don't think I want to try this one. I guess I could try the more normal-sounding episodes, but when some of them get that far-out, I don't know that I want to try at all.
ladybug_archive: (persuaders)
So this morning I finally got around to looking up what the heck The Lion Guard is about. The concept sounded ludicrous to me in the past (a Prince running security? WTH?), and learning more about it is not helping me think it sounds any less ludicrous. In addition to that weirdness, we've got him with the absolutely bizarre ability to ... channel his ancestors' roars? What? And since it takes place around halfway through the second movie, I have to wonder, why was there no mention of him in The Lion King 2 (other than because of course the character hadn't been animated yet)? It makes very little sense to have him absent throughout that entire film. (Now I can't remember if he was the character they used in some kids' books long before The Lion King 2 came out. If he was, that's cool that they finally animated him. But it doesn't help the series sound any less weird.)

I actually liked The Lion King 2, so I do like the idea of getting to see those characters some more. But I don't like that they never use the original hyenas from the first film, except in that silly, generic Timon & Pumbaa TV series from the nineties. Why create new hyena characters? What's wrong with the original ones? I do love the concept of having one hyena in The Lion Guard be nice, though. It's about time there was a protagonist hyena.

And then I have to admit that while even though the original Lion King featured a smidgen of scatological humor, it at least wasn't a plot point. Apparently in The Lion Guard, we've got the Prince's security team saving Kiara from a stampede because ... the honey badger passed gas? What? **headdesk.** That is so stupid. About on par with The Lion King 1 1/2 saying that the animals bowed not because Rafiki was holding Simba up, but because they were all fainting from the smell of Pumbaa passing gas. Stupid, stupid, stupid. I've never wanted to see The Lion King 1 1/2 because it sounds like it deconstructs the original movie and I loved that film. I rarely like parodies or satires because I don't like to see things I like being made fun of.

(Then a minor quibble with The Lion Guard is the character's name. Kion ... really? It rhymes with lion. Why, why, why would anyone want to name a lion character Kion? How can you take that seriously?)

I'll admit that perhaps the show looks better than it sounds on paper, but overall I am not that impressed by what I've learned. I suppose sooner or later I'll give it a try, but I'm not looking forward to that so much.

I also learned that this year's Equestria Girls movie will have a camp theme. I can't say I'm excited. I'm not an outdoorsy person and camp is not my thing. I can't imagine it would be Rarity's thing, either, for that matter, although the Pony Rarity went glamping once. LOL. Anyway, though, it seems like the movies just keep getting better and better, so I'm going to keep hoping for the best. Rainbow Rocks didn't sound like much at first, but then it ended up being wonderful. As long as there's lots of Sunset and naturally human Twilight character development in the camp movie, I'll probably love it.

And then Muffins is finally being re-released as Build-a-Bear promised. But she's still a web exclusive! **cries.** Why? Uggggh. I was hoping so much they would put her in the stores this round, like they finally did for Zecora and Shining Armor. I just don't know how to buy from Build-a-Bear online. You have to get $40 to get free shipping, or else shipping is about $6, and Muffins is $30 instead of $25 for some mysterious reason, and it's all a big mess. I just can't afford to buy from them online, but it doesn't look like they're going to put Muffins in-store, so if I want her, I'm probably going to have to get her online somehow.

Also, I finished watching The Persuaders! tonight. I am sad that there are no more new episodes to see. I stretched the last few out as long as I could. I will definitely start re-watching my favorites now. I've already seen some of them twice, as I've been introducing Mom to the series and showing her the best episodes. She likes the series, which I'm thrilled about. But I regret that we'll soon have watched all of the really friendshippy ones together, leaving the earlier ones where they're not as close. I'm not as anxious to show her those or to see them again myself.

I can't understand why they didn't air the episodes in the order of filming, since that makes so much more sense regarding character development. In the earlier ones, you have things like Danny questioning why Brett is even concerned about his safety. (And Brett just makes a quip about "Maybe I'd rather hate you alive than dead", heh. Not my type of humor, but at least I know he doesn't mean it. I've never been a fan of the insult humor that heavily populates male buddy stuff.) But by the later ones, you have Danny telling everybody that Brett is his very best friend and they never question each other's concern; they have complete trust in each other by that point and know that they can rely on each other. And you have things like Brett growling furiously that he will take an old house apart brick by brick to find the missing and hurt Danny. (And he also says things like that he's terribly, terribly hurt that Danny hired his housekeeper from under his nose. He wouldn't have expressed hurt in the earlier episodes. Not knowing Danny very well, he wouldn't have had reason to feel hurt then. I didn't like what Danny did, but I did love what Brett's reaction says about him and their friendship.) The progression of them as people and as friends is just so beautiful. But by airing them out of order, some of that gets lost in the translation.

I think my very favorite episodes are The Time and the Place and Someone Like Me. Those are two gems just overflowing with friendship squee. They're the first ones I showed Mom. And Someone Like Me also has the distinction of being very much like some of my fics. Heh. Other big favorites are Someone Waiting, The Ozerov Inheritance, That's Me Over There, Chain of Events, Anyone Can Play, and The Old, The New and the Deadly. And while I didn't like the black humor of A Death in the Family (which was based on Kind Hearts and Coronets, oh my), there are some great friendship moments in it. It was the first episode I saw. I had previously been led to believe that the characters were not that close throughout the entire series. Imagine my surprise when I watched that episode (one of the later ones, naturally) and saw many expressions of close friendshippy concern and even some hurt/comfort! I was immediately in love.
ladybug_archive: (persuaders)
I'm slightly worried to use this as The Persuaders! icon that everyone probably knew was coming, since it makes it look like Brett and Danny are different heights when they're really about the same height, but it's such a squeeable picture. I don't have the DVDs yet, and this was the picture I liked best that was available in the highest iconning quality when I did a search.

It has been a very busy and interesting week. Maybe I'll type things up in more detail later, but right now I just want to blog about a couple of things.

We got a couple of awesome coupons to try out McDonald's Create-a-Burger thingie, so we investigated last Wednesday. It was epic and awesome and it's hard to think of ever eating their standard burgers after eating one of those. It was sooo good. I had two kinds of cheese and tomato and lettuce and a special artisan bun....

The coupon I used gave a free Happy Meal with the purchase of a Create-a-Burger. The kids' toys this month were ShopKins and Rabbids. I rather abhor Rabbids. I knew nothing of ShopKins, but anything sounded better than Rabbids.

I waited until I got home from our little shopping trip before I took the toys out of the bag to examine them fully. Apparently they're inanimate objects with faces. I got a ring and a mirror, and they came in a plastic bag (which, oddly enough, didn't have a face). I'm such a sentimental slob that I found the things utterly adorable. I looked at the available ones at Wal-Mart when we were there next, but I didn't find them as compelling. They're much smaller than the McDonald's toys, interestingly, and the current line is anthropomorphic food, which I ... really kind of don't like. Then it makes me uncomfortable thinking of eating food if I'm picturing everything from cheese to ice cream having faces and being alive. Um, no.

Actually, I kind of liked the McDonald's ones so much that I kind of wish I could get more of theirs. But I don't have the money to spend on that. (Plus, I guess they'll probably be gone now if they were December's toys.) They were really high-quality, though, and I was really impressed.

I got some awesome Build-a-Bear gift cards from Ladyamberjo and Lisa, and then the store sent me a $10 off thingie that was only good for this week. So I was worried about getting there and being able to use the certificate/coupon thing. Dad doesn't like to go out for just one thing. There's several things we need to do up there, but last night he finally agreed we could go up and we were borrowing a car again and we had to have it back by a certain time. Our car went kerplunk again earlier this month and the only way we've been able to get around is by borrowing a friend's car. Gah.

The store was so extremely crowded that it proved impossible to go anywhere else. I swear, I have never seen it that crowded except before Christmas. I didn't think it would be so active after Christmas! But I was able to get Shining Armor, as I hoped. I also checked out the new Pikachu. I was surprised he was $28 instead of $25 (yikes), but he looks really high-quality too. I'm considering getting him, depending on when Muffins is reissued. I still have plenty of gift card money and another coupon good through part of February. Meanwhile, my Funrise Cadance is perfectly in scale with Shining Armor, as I'd hoped, and she looks so happy to have him here at last.

Among the things I watched for Christmas was Mickey's Christmas Carol, which got me thinking a lot about Scrooge McDuck and Alan Young and how awesome it is that Alan still voices Scrooge. I can hardly believe that they really won't use him on this DuckTales reboot. Terrance McGovern says that everyone is being replaced. That is sacrilege. Why not use anyone who's still around and interested from the old days? I think I need to look into Terrance's Facebook; he sounds adorable. I read the blurb where he was talking about everyone being replaced and he said he hadn't told Launchpad yet. Launchpad was out in the garage working on the Thunderquack. I love someone like that who really cares about the characters they play, instead of just considering it a job. I can't imagine anyone else bringing Launchpad or Scrooge to life, honestly.

They used Alan Young for Scrooge just earlier this year, in some silly Mickey Mouse cartoon. He only had a line or two, but it was so wonderful to hear him again! He sounds just the same; it's incredible! He's 96 and still kicking. So, so awesome.

Apparently there's a series of Mickey Mouse cartoons airing now. They use a pretty retro style for the characters; Mickey only wears shorts and shoes, for instance. And it's some strange slapstick thing like old cartoons were. I read an episode guide and one episode said Mickey loses his ears.... Um, WTH? Mickey isn't Felix the Cat. But so I don't think I'd go much for the show. I didn't cotton a whole lot to the episode I watched. Goofy fell in love and Mickey and Donald were trying to help him, only at the end they find out he's in love with the sandwich the waitress was holding and not the waitress. The episode ended with a marriage ceremony and being pronounced "husband and sandwich." Goofy then ate the sandwich. It was so, so weird and stupid. But I have to admit, Mickey and Donald exclaiming, "He's in love with a sandwich????!!!!" was kind of epically priceless. ROTFLOL.

Another thing I didn't like a whole lot was that they kind of simplified Scrooge's character. He acted more like his namesake, LOL. He promptly kicked everyone out when Donald asked for money. I think the DuckTales version would have started choking on his tea and exclaimed, "WHAT???!!!" But regardless, it was so good to hear Alan again, and I'm so glad they had Scrooge wear blue, like on DuckTales. In the comics it's usually red.

If the whole cast is really being replaced for the DuckTales reboot, the only good thing about it is that there will hopefully be new merchandise. Maybe I can finally get a Scrooge plushie. I tried to get one years ago, when I got Darkwing, but I lost the auction.
ladybug_archive: (twilightsparkle)
So several months ago Kaze told me about an upcoming magical girl/superhero show called Miraculous Ladybug. Naturally she thought of me, since ladybugs are my mascots, and she thought I'd be interested.

I definitely was, and I've been waiting for it to come out. I was hoping it would stream on CrunchyRoll. But things have been so hectic around here (and I was so occupied re-watching Carmen) that I didn't get around to checking on the show's status until yesterday. CrunchyRoll doesn't have it, I don't think, and the U.S. dub doesn't begin for about a week and a half, so I'm not late for that, yay. Yesterday, when I thought to look, I found a few fan-subbed episodes on YouTube. If I'd been more on the ball, I could have watched each episode as it came, sigh. We have 13 now, I believe. There will be 26 for the first season and I hope they'll get renewed for more.

I've watched all the ones I can, which is about six. A seventh has the subs falling off the video, so I decided I'd better just wait for the English dub of that one. I plan to watch all the episodes in English as they come out (provided I can get Nickelodeon's website to cooperate; I assume they'll show each new episode there). I just hope the dub is good.

The show is so cute! There's a definite innocence and sweetness about it. While it uses many magical girl cliches, it also feels fresh and new.

Things I especially like:

- The characters all seem to dress very modestly. It's so nice not to see all the girls running around in midriff shirts like on Winx Club! They act more like kids instead of trying to grow up too soon and wearing revealing clothing.

- Instead of destroying the evil spirits possessing the characters and making them act out, Ladybug catches them and purifies them. They're little butterflies corrupted by the Big Bad, which then in turn corrupt the chosen victim of the day. It's really nice to see the butterflies caught and helped instead of being destroyed for possessing the people.

- Ladybug in her civilian identity has a really sweet friendship with another girl. Yay, friendship squee! And her friend is awesome; I totally love her.

- It rather amuses me that the main boy, who turns into Black Cat, oddly resembles Schrodinger from Hellsing in his wild blond hairstyle and cat ears headband. I don't really care much for the character now that Hellsing is out in full, but I am still amused.

(Truthfully, I never really liked Schrodinger that much.... I tried to like him because of being told that in some ways he was like an OC of mine, but the parallels were pretty slim overall. Then when more of the series came out and I didn't like how he was turning out, I felt too awkward to say I didn't really like him anymore after all. I think I was worried that my friend wouldn't like my reason, especially since she did like what they were doing with the character. Maybe she wouldn't have liked my reason for not liking him or maybe on the other hand I was worrying unnecessarily, but eh. I can definitely relate to that Steven Universe episode where he feels too shy/worried/awkward to tell Connie that he really likes how a book series turned out when Connie didn't like it and was ranting about it.)

- As much as I love Japanese culture, I kind of find it exciting to get a Western culture magical girl show, since I can understand and relate to that better. This one is set in Paris. The only other Western culture magical girl shows I can think of are Winx Club (which takes place on other planets for the most part, so it doesn't really feel like it counts) and W.I.T.C.H. (which I've never tried). Of course, Princess Tutu takes place in Germany, despite being made in Japan. And if we think about the superhero genre, then there's Wonder Woman and others. Amusing how I've never really thought of them as magical girls before, but technically, Wonder Woman was probably the beginning of the entire genre.

The Big Bad seems rather cartoonish, but since this is a magical girl show, I do sort of wonder if he'll get some depth later on.

I feel a little bad to be so enthusiastic about the series, though, as for months I've been trying to watch an anime that another friend recommended and over the past few months, I've advanced as far in it as I did in this show in less than 24 hours. I'm not quite sure what that says about the anime and/or me. But she did say the plot picks up right around where I am, so maybe I'll get more interested in it too.

I wonder if the problem is partially that while the anime is at a fillery spot, it's short and is supposed to have an intense overarching plot and I'm anxious to get going with unraveling the mysteries of that and not have the filler. But Miraculous Ladybug probably just is self-contained with each episode, so I don't expect anything more than that from it. They don't even have an "origin" episode as the first one, so things so far don't need to be watched in order. As much as I love arcs, I do kind of like being able to jump in anywhere with this show.

(I should note that I still love Sailor Moon filler episodes, though. I wonder if it's that I'm more invested in those characters than I am in this other anime, even though I like them.... With Sailor Moon, I guess I feel like it's similar with Miraculous Ladybug in that I expect filler from it. Plus there's a ton of episodes and somehow that makes filler seem more bearable than if it's a short anime, if that makes any sense.)

Or maybe it's just that Miraculous Ladybug is more the type of show I need right now: something light and cute without a darker plot looming somewhere, and something I can relate to better since it's the present-day. I really love this cute show and I'm so glad Kaze found out about it. I don't know if I would have learned about it otherwise.

Hmm.

Sep. 16th, 2015 10:29 pm
ladybug_archive: (dyinginformant)
Crystal found an old pic of the Dying Informant she macroed and I've been toying with it. I darkened it a lot (it was so light you could hardly see it) and made several versions. I also tried icons, like this one. I might not keep it; I'm experimenting. I wonder if it would look better with just the small text and not the big text?

EDIT: Both versions have pros and cons. I can't decide.

I love the aesthetic look of small text on icons, but I like it to mean something. This small text has my favorite part from Bed of Nails, the part I most associate with this character:

Bed of nails, every point is painful
Bed of nails, a thousand points of spite
Bed of nails, you know, the weak it ain't for
It hurts me just right

I'm thinking I may also make a banner version with bigger text and the entire part of the picture I'm toying with. (I cut everything with the macro off.) Maybe I'll prefer the banner and put it up somewhere in the journal instead of the icon. I'm just not sure. I wish LJ allowed more than 15 icon spaces without having to pay for any others!

And I've been pondering on Carmen's backstory. Of course, the most popular and well-known is that she was an ACME agent and decided being a criminal would be more challenging. That fits the Where on Earth cartoon version and is also the story in the games, I believe. But I'm not so sure it fits the game show version.

Of course, Carmen's attitude in the game show is pretty much stereotypical criminal, scoffing at law and order. That's the only side of her we see. It doesn't mean that's all there is. But I don't think the Earth version and the World version can really be the same character. The Earth version is the most well-developed and doesn't like violence. She's in it for the challenge. We don't actually know what the World version's stance on violence is, but we do know that her henchmen can be very violent. What Eartha did in Chumps D'Elysees was brutal. Top Grunge has also done very violent things (throwing the Dying Informant into a volcano?!). And I suppose we must assume that any time the Dying Informant comes back hurt, the crook of the day is responsible. Even if Carmen doesn't commit any of these acts herself, it would seem that she must not have too much of a problem with them happening since she keeps the gang around. On the other hand, the gang has certainly done plenty of things she doesn't like and is exasperated by, but if she really shared the Earth version's stance on violence, it would seem she would put her foot down on that.

Crystal and I have always tried to combine the Carmen versions for our RP, but I have often puzzled over how to really unite the versions in a way that makes sense. I used the ACME backstory in a fic I recently wrote, but even at the time I was unsure about it. Maybe before I print that story, I'll want to alter that plot point since I'm just not sure the World version was ever an ACME agent.
ladybug_archive: (faye)
So I have two very different sets of magical girls on my mind today.

In the evening I had occasion to finally read up on what the Madoka Magica movie Rebellion is about. And oh gosh. The TV series was always good at ripping your heart out and stomping on it, and it certainly sounds like the movie continues with that. Gah. I'm not entirely satisfied with how things end up in it, but considering how I wasn't satisfied with the TV series' ending either and now it's been turned upside-down after I figured there was no way to resolve it, perhaps there's still hope that somewhere down the line, another movie will happen that will finally end happy for all the characters.

I don't want to give spoilers, but just ... oh man. Homura! Gah. Probably the most heart-breaking character in the TV series and that pattern doesn't change with the movie, either. She just refused to give up on giving Madoka a normal life.

EDIT: I found something on YouTube that said the original creator wanted the movie to have a happy ending, but the others involved overrode him and came up with the depressing version instead. That's kind of sad. I would have liked the creator's version much better.

Then about an hour ago, I'm on Facebook and I see an ad in the sidebar talking about a new Powerpuff Girls series coming next year. Well, I hadn't heard anything about that, so I clicked. That's ... interesting. I hadn't expected a reboot of that, but since they seem to get around to remaking everything eventually, I guess I should have. The new designs look pretty close to the original, so that's neat. I wonder how the new voice actresses will sound and if the show will be much the same as the original in tone and plot.

I've had the theme song stuck in my head for the last while thanks to that. While I was never die-hard into the show, I really did like it quite a bit as silly, innocent fun and I believe I saw most of the episodes from the first couple of seasons or so. I love magical girls shows, and it's basically an American-made magical girls show. I treasure it for being something that was so special to JP, and for being what led me to YGO, since I was watching Powerpuff on his recommendation and then ads came up for YGO and I thought "... That show looks cool."

I think my favorite bit on the Powerpuff Girls was when Mojo Jojo started throwing accusations at a bird and then the telephone. ROTFLOL! I laughed so hard at that nonsense.
ladybug_archive: (riddler)
So I've been thinking on some of the currently popular cartoons and my various experiences with them. I don't watch a lot of current cartoons; I'll pretty much only give one a go after it's been recommended to me (and sometimes not then, either, depending on the show, my interest level, and my free time).

That one person who kept wanting me to listen to them talk about their assorted OCs tried to get me into Gravity Falls by showing me the Halloween special. That was one of the strangest things I have ever seen in my life. LOL. Amusing on some level, but not really my cup of tea. She told me the series proper was not like the special, and I've meant to give it another try, but it's hard to steer myself in that direction when I didn't find the Halloween special or the characters in it particularly endearing.

On the other end of the spectrum, Ladyamberjo introduced me to the awesomeness that is Steven Universe. Ohmygosh, that show is adorable! The characters are very likable and personable. The plots are sometimes a little strange, but sometimes that's tongue-in-cheek and the characters observe how strange things are (like Steven wondering why on Earth there's a secret dimension inside his lion's mane, LOL). And the series pretty much runs on familial and friendship squee.

Ladyamberjo has also talked favorably about many things in Adventure Time. I'd like to give that one a try at some point, too, but I think Steven Universe is much more my type of show. Post-apocalyptic settings are not my favorite things, so I think that and some other things on Adventure Time would make me sad (like the Ice King's backstory, oh gosh). But Steven Universe is set on present-day Earth, and even though sad things happen there at times too, it seems like they like to end things on feel-good notes. The show is just so adorable and such a big squeefest! It always makes me happy to watch it.

I think Adventure Time is the more popular of the two; I can't seem to find much merchandise for Steven Universe beyond DVDs. That's a shame. I would totally buy Steven Universe figures, if they made them. I definitely hope that show will increase in popularity and get renewed!

Another recent cartoon I would like to watch is Star Wars Clone Wars. I saw some of the little three-minute ones of the first Clone Wars series years ago, but I've never seen any of the thirty-minute CGI Clone Wars series. That time period fascinates me and I would definitely be interested in seeing some of the adventures the characters have. There's new Jar Jar and Boba Fett adventures and that would certainly be fun.

Then there's Star Wars Rebels. I skimmed through a kid's book of the plot, and it sounds fun and very Star Wars-ish, but I think I'd be a lot more interested in it if some characters were around that I already know and like. It seems like it's entirely about new characters instead. One of the fun things about Episode I was how it dealt with characters we already knew, such as Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, Yoda, and the droids, in addition to bringing new characters into the fold. It really helped to ease viewers into things. I just don't know what to make of Rebels seeming to focus only on new characters.

And of course, Phineas and Ferb. LOL. That show is very cracky and silly. The constant formulaic repetition of the basic plot structure gets a little monotonous sometimes and I wish something would happen that isn't the norm. Some people actually like the repetition, but I usually don't care for that in any show and usually will try to ignore it if it's in a show I really like (such as Perry Mason, which I watch for the characters more than the plots). But perhaps there is a bit of development later on? I hear that the boys finally learn their platypus is a secret agent, for one thing. **snerk.** Perry the Platypus is totally the best thing about the show. And the mad scientist, naturally.

Littlest Pet Shop has also been recced to me. I've tried more than once to watch it and I just can't seem to get past the super-deformed style of the pets. One of these days, I'm going to give it a go and see if I like it. I think it seems a little young for me, but maybe if I actually watched it, I wouldn't think it was any more that way than My Little Pony.

Curiously, as popular as it is, I don't think Monster High has ever been recced to me by anyone. Which is fine; I don't think I'd care for it.

I've also fallen way behind on Winx Club. Is that even still a current series? I know they're finishing (or have finished) season 6. I don't know if there will be a season 7. I stopped watching when KidsWB dropped it and I have never seen anything from season 4 and beyond. It sounds like it has characterization issues sometimes, and I can believe it, as I had characterization issues with what I did watch. That show was always a guilty pleasure more than anything else. I still don't know if I'll ever get around to trying the other seasons.

Then there's The Legend of Korra, which I believe just finished up? I'm curious about it since I heard it takes place in what looks like the 1920s (?) and that's a favorite time period of mine, but I don't think I'd want to watch it unless I ever get around to seeing Avatar, and I don't know if that will ever happen. That's a long show, so a big commitment. And it would need to be watched in order too. I have difficulty gearing myself towards watching things that need to be seen in order, since I don't have much watching time and I usually like to stick with my current interests since I don't even have much time for them.

I also want to try the CGI Hello Kitty series. I've experimented with a couple of the older series and I thought they were adorable, especially Hello Kitty and Friends. The older series were anime, but I'm not sure what to call a Japanese-made CGI show. CGI I usually think of as a cartoon rather than anime.

My favorite current cartoon is My Little Pony, and I love the two Equestria Girls movies, too. I am often exasperated by the directions the show takes, however, especially how they're not consistent in writing for the characters or their supposed development. I kind of wish Equestria Girls would become a series, if they would focus on Sunset Shimmer's journey to learn about friendship. I just love and adore Sunset Shimmer so much and would want her to be the central figure in any Equestria Girls TV series.

I think if I continue to be exasperated by the writing choices once season 5 of My Little Pony starts, Steven Universe will usurp it as the favorite current cartoon.

Peter Pans

Dec. 5th, 2014 04:34 am
ladybug_archive: (lifealikeaboat)
So Dad randomly decided he wanted to record the live Peter Pan broadcast, because the girl playing Pan is the daughter of Brian Williams. We watched some of it later and are saving the rest for later today, probably.

I've gotta say, I was lukewarm about the whole thing. Once has kind of soured me on Peter Pan, after I was already exasperated with the character even as he's traditionally portrayed. But actually watching the production, I was impressed that the actress made him somehow endearing in spite of things like not remembering. He did say "What good is remembering, anyway?" but he didn't act like he was forgetting on purpose because he didn't care. That was nice.

I still think it would be a curse to never be able to grow up. Watching the animated Peter Pan and the Pirates show, I found myself shaking my head at Tinkerbelle telling him, "You were never meant to grow up! You're the Eternal Youth!" I wouldn't like never growing up. (Growing old is another matter.) Becoming an adult wouldn't have to mean abandoning the fun and wonder of childhood. And on the other hand, keeping that wonder wouldn't mean believing every strange thing that came along, either.

Back to the stage show, some things about it were definitely silly and ridiculous. Peter saying he ran away on the day he was born ... pah! I know Barrie wrote a story where Peter was seven days old and doing things. That is just pushing the boundaries of believability, even in a kid's story. At least make him old enough to walk! My word.

And Hook's song and dance with the pirate crew ... oh LOL. I really don't like most villain songs in shows. It seems like they're either too preposterous or too dark. Hook's was definitely the former. I was definitely rolling my eyes that he would say how he wanted to kill Pan and in the next breath talk about a pirates' school for boys. So he wants to kill one kid and perform his form of "service" for other kids. How logical. [/sarcasm.]

I've gotta say, though, I felt a lovely burst of nostalgia as soon as I saw the pirate crew. It made me remember happy times of watching Fox's Peter Pan and the Pirates. Man, I wish that series would get a DVD release. I still watch the available, cut-up episodes now and then, but I wish for nice, uncut episodes on DVDs.

And it felt really, really good to see Peter Pan with all the characters in their traditional roles, honestly. I never liked the idea of Once making Pan a villain. The only reason I was willing to accept it was it made for further character development for Rumpel and led to him sacrificing himself, something I've wanted to see since season 1. (I just wish they hadn't started screwing the show and Rumpel over after that. They've made such a horrible mess out of his character by now that I just don't think they can ever fix it. I can't bear to consider anything beyond 3A as canon.) And I don't like Once's Hook, either. I tried to; I even genuinely did for a little while, but that didn't last. There's just so many things wrong with the way they suddenly changed him from being a jerk to being good, or at least, trying to convince the audience that he's good. If there had really been development all along the way, it would have been different. But it seems like they just threw it at everyone and tried to pretend that the bad things he'd done hadn't happened.
ladybug_archive: (riddler)
So I finally ordered a Batman: The Animated Series disc from Netflix so I could watch the first of their Riddler episodes. I've wanted to see it for six years, and Netflix is the easiest access to it, so even though I try not to order things from there unless at least two of us would be interested, I decided to get it instead of waiting until I was ready to buy the set.

I spent the afternoon watching the whole disc. I basically enjoyed all of it, although the first episode really upset me because it involved a crummy company experimenting on animals. Luckily, Batman was able to put a stop to it. And Selina Kyle's cat was one of the ones being used and it was so sad. But the kitty got the cure and Batman brought her back to Selina. It was a squeeable scene: Selina was so sad worrying about the kitty and looking at a picture of her, and then Batman lowers her in a basket to the balcony doors and Selina hears a meow and it's so cute.

Also, the Harvey Bullock in The Animated Series reminds me a little bit of Lieutenant Schrank. Heavyset, dark-haired, cynical police lieutenants wearing fedoras....

And Barbara Gordon in The Animated Series is cool. She's not an annoying Jade clone like she is to start with on The Batman.

It's always kind of a shell-shock to see The Animated Series' Joker, who seems a lot more psycho freak than The Batman character, and yet at the same time, he somehow doesn't seem quite as nuts. I know that probably doesn't exactly make sense, but to try to explain it better, The Batman's Joker often seems more ... feral? He doesn't like shoes and he often crouches instead of standing straight. And I'm eager to watch The Batman and see him again.

And on to the main prize, what I watched first: the Riddler episode. It's a backstory-ish episode, and runs some interesting parallels with the backstory on The Batman. But which one tells the story better? The answer might be surprising.

The major parallels are the following: both Riddlers invented things that were basically stolen from them by unscrupulous businessmen. They both retaliated by putting the businessmen into deathtraps. Both Riddlers are very tech-oriented and designed some amazing things. Both Riddlers first meet Batman when he tries to stop the plots against the businessmen.

The Animated Series' Riddler shows his backstory, as it is, in his first episode. The Batman's Riddler is presented as a complete enigma in season 2 and his story is only learned in season 4. This might cause some people to think The Animated Series makes more sense. But ...

On The Batman, we really learn in-depth about the character's feelings and motivations, once we get into the backstory information. We learned his home life was unhappy, that he was always into riddles and puzzles and eventually got into crime that way. We learn he tried to go straight and was unable to when his reputation was ruined and his invention stolen. Then he was filled with bitterness and turned back to crime and became the Riddler.

On The Animated Series, we only meet the Riddler moments before he's cruelly fired from the company, his "work for hire" contract being waved in his face. The businessman refuses to pay him royalty fees for the game he created. This apparently makes the fellow snap and turn to super-crime.

Um, what?

I was really expecting some build-up, seeing Nygma working on the game and being excited, and the boss being a greedy jerk as he observes, instead of just immediately showing the firing. And the character really is an enigma here; we don't really see into his mind. Of course, what happened to him is highly upsetting and it's understandable he'd be furious, but honestly, the way things are set up makes less sense than what happens to The Batman's Riddler. With him, we see his unhappiness all the way through his life. And knowing he was a crook before and tried to go straight makes his turn to super-crime much more sensible than just seeing an apparently nice guy get fired and snap. If we'd even seen a scene of his home life, or going to work, or something other than immediately showing the firing, it would feel more like we really came to know the character more. The Batman's Riddler feels more "real" and relatable because his backstory was much more fleshed-out and so was the incident of his invention being stolen.

Also, I kind of think The Batman's Riddler is a little more creative? The Animated Series' Riddler just ties the businessman to a platform and sets a time when he'll die if not rescued. The Batman's Riddler makes the businessman actually go through the deathtrap and play the game.

And while both Riddlers apparently had murder on their minds regarding the businessmen, it seems like The Animated Series' Riddler is a lot more cold. The businessman on The Batman has a chance to make it through the maze and get out alive. And with that Riddler putting lime Jell-O in the canisters around town instead of bombs in another episode, I'm not entirely sure he was ever going to actually kill the businessman. The supposed traps might have been as fake as the bombs. He might have only wanted to scare the man. And when he blew up the crates with his stolen invention, he may have intended that the businessman would watch it happen but not actually die himself. (Although by that point, it really does seem more like he meant to kill the guy. But since what he wanted was to ruin him like he was ruined himself, it seems very possible that he wanted the guy kept alive to go through the consequences of that.)

The Animated Series' Riddler also plans to cold-bloodedly kill Batman and Robin because Batman knows who he is. He tells his henchmen that they'll have to get Batman and Robin out of the way. He then puts them in the maze and his traps are undeniably lethal.

The Batman's Riddler tries to kill Batman a couple of times, but it's always a split-second emotional thing rather than precise, careful premeditation.

And it seems like Batman in The Animated Series comes to know/understand the Riddler a little too quick for believability, even saying how the brain is the only thing he respects. True, puzzles and riddles help solve the maze, but it seems a lot more understated here. And there's a lot more interaction with the Riddler himself on The Batman, making it more believable for Batman to get a good grasp of what he's like.

Both businessmen are really nasty people, although Gorman on The Batman is the worst, I think. He's not even grateful to Batman for saving him and tries to kill him along with the Riddler.

And the final blow.... In spite of this, while the businessman on The Animated Series really is the bad guy who stole the invention, and it looks like it's the same way on The Batman, instead it turns out that on The Batman it's the one person the Riddler trusted who betrayed him in order to sell out to the businessman.

I suppose some people might say that the backstory is overly tragic on The Batman, as is the current trend with many villains these days. But regardless of whether it is or not, the fact is that it's more fleshed-out since it follows him from childhood to where he is now.

Overall, I was left unsatisfied and puzzled by The Animated Series' Riddler. I want to watch his other two episodes, but I don't know if he'll be any less of a mystery to me afterwards. People may hate The Batman's Riddler redesign, but overall he seems a much more three-dimensional character.

One thing to keep in mind, though, is that I think The Animated Series was the first time they really tried to have a serious Riddler, aside from a few comic stories. I saw a clip where they talked about the Frank Gorshin Riddler and how that is what they kept thinking of and they needed to make the character different so he wouldn't be a Joker clone. The whole thing was very experimental. But it doesn't fully explain why the backstory couldn't have been fleshed out better, when they did well on other characters' backstories.

(Also, totally unrelated, but I think The Batman was closer to comic-book canon on Hugo Strange? He was a doctor at a resort here, but on The Batman and I thought in the comics, he was a psychiatrist at Arkham Asylum. I like that better, honestly.)

I find it rather amusing that I just got through saying not that long ago how The Batman can't really be compared to The Animated Series because The Animated Series is undeniably the top dog, in a class by itself. But suddenly, I'm not so sure. It will always be the better liked show, but honestly, maybe at least sometimes, it wasn't always the top creative genius in story-telling. Maybe sometimes, other approaches made more sense.

While it isn't always the case with me, for this franchise I think I will always love best the version that got me interested in the first place. I always enjoyed watching The Animated Series when I saw some of it six years ago, but I didn't like it better than The Batman and I still don't.

I think The Animated Series is a little too dark for me sometimes, whereas The Batman seems to have a pretty good balance between seriousness and humor. I'm oddly reminded of my feelings regarding the old SatAM Sonic the Hedgehog series and its corresponding comics. I didn't always like the series; I found it too dark and serious for me a lot of the time. When I watched it again more recently, I felt the same, even though I'd acquired a taste for certain darker things by that point. I liked the comics better. Reading the comics more recently, though, they seemed too silly. (And then they got confusing and dark later.) So now I don't seem to particularly like either one. Heh.

It's hard to predict what I'll like and what I won't, though. I have to take it on a case-by-case basis. Sometimes I like funny things, like the 1960s Batman. Sometimes I like darker things, like Gotham. When something reaches a certain amount of darkness, though, I probably won't like it. Same for certain kinds of humor. And I never know exactly when that feeling of "Too much!" will strike me.

Regarding The Batman, sometimes it's hard to put into words other reasons why I love it so much. Maybe because it was a new era, a more modern era, and everything seemed so bright and new, even though the show wasn't some perky laughfest like the 1960s show. It was the first time I was really immersed in the Batman world and I was entranced instead of being bored, as I'd worried I'd be. And I love Detective Yin so much. I sorely missed her while watching The Animated Series. She's so spunky, so determined, and she doesn't make me want to tear my hair out, like The Batman's Batgirl can.

Also, I have this habit of absolutely adoring prequels and "early years" stuff. That's one reason why The Batman appeals to me, too. Also why I really liked Batman Begins of the recent movies. (I liked The Dark Knight too, but not as much. It was a little too dark for my tastes.) And why Gotham totally appeals me. Prequels just excite me so much.

I'm kind of curious about the Beware the Batman cartoon, as it's also an "early years" thing, but it seems to either be using original villains or ones not as prominent in the comics, and I don't think I'd like that very much. I prefer to see things like Batman's early encounters with the characters I know and already care about.
ladybug_archive: (snakes)
Bleh. Saturday was spent mostly in pain. I hate when that happens, especially when it's so bad I can barely think straight. The only good thing about it is that when it's that harsh, it's usually gone sometime the next day. I'm definitely grateful for that, but I feel bad that I really couldn't converse with people when I was trying to.

This past week I've been amused thinking back to when I first became interested in Boba Fett. I had the figure of my brother's, as mentioned, and I wondered who he was. Mom and I looked on the figure chart and found his name. Then I wanted to see him in action, so we watched the Star Wars films again (or rather, the latter two, since we didn't have a copy of A New Hope back then) and ... well, it was pretty much instant intrigue.

Then I started doing very strange things. I had Kit and Molly from Talespin become Boba Fett's wards. I don't know what happened to Rebecca. I do remember at that time I was on the rocks with Baloo, which was totally unfair to him. I think it started because I didn't like the way he acted in the episode Stormy Weather, which was childish of me since he was only worried about Kit getting in with a creep and doing dangerous things. But so anyway ... Kit and Molly were Boba Fett's wards. And I made up silly posters on some pink paper one of my aunts gave me that said "The Kit and Molly Show! With Boba Fett Too!"

Mom thought it would be nice to give her one of the posters, so she could see I was enjoying the paper. So I did, and she read it aloud and Dad was there and went, "... Hey, isn't that the guy from Star Wars?" and I wanted to sink into the floor.

I also remember that one of my first hurt/comfort adventures involved Kit bringing Boba Fett ... somewhere, and saying he wouldn't wake up, or something (I was six; I don't think I knew a big word like "unconscious" yet). And then after a while I was embarrassed by the whole thing and when I had him wake up, I wasn't sure how to have Kit react and it was all very weird.

I used to occasionally draw Boba Fett, but all that armor was confusing to figure out, so I didn't do it very often. I did draw Kit and Molly a lot, badly. Mom drew better, and I'd have her draw paper dolls of all the characters we used in our stories. So there were the paper doll storylines and the action figure storylines. Later on, since later we mostly played with figures and there weren't existing figures for everyone I wanted in the stories, we developed a verbal-only storyline that we still have ongoing today.

I remember other oddball adventures back in the day like Kit being a brat and pretending he had amnesia and saying his name was Guacamole, because I thought that was a hilarious word. LOL. Poor Kit. I did such weird, weird things when I was a kid. And I had no concept of OOCness.

Leonardo Turtle owned a restaurant with his brothers. Probably a pizza parlor. LOL. Later on he sold it to Rebecca.

Don Karnage and Mad Dog hung out together. I wasn't crazy about Dumptruck or Gibber, so they weren't there. Over time, Karnage and Mad Dog pretty much became OCs rather than the Talespin characters. Eventually they really only shared the names and a couple of key personality traits (Karnage's conceit, Mad Dog's whining). I even redesigned them as other animals (Karnage as an Alaskan Malamute, Mad Dog as a Siberian Husky). The OC versions became the central characters in the stories I used to write and sell in the old neighborhood to get money. I also created a skunk character, Jackly the Pew, who was originally based on the Tiny Toon Adventures character Jonny Pew. (Jonny ended up being Jackly's brother.)

I created a whole bunch of skunk characters actually. I loved Fifi on Tiny Toons and she entered the storyline, as did Miss Skunky (an orange skunk who cameos with Jonny Pew in the episode), Red-and-White (a blundered version of Miss Skunky when I couldn't remember what she looked like), and a collection of girls either inspired by Fifi or who were early attempts at drawing Fifi when I didn't have a picture to be looked at: Viva, Vivi, Vifa.... Vifa, who started out as a sweet girl, eventually showed her true colors as a femme fatale and became one of my primary antagonists even today (albeit as a human version, not a skunk). I first tried that in my sixth YGO mystery and it continued from there.

Later, Vifa developed a twin sister named Flo. Flo was originally just Vifa in disguise, but then I wanted her to be another actual character. For the longest time, I had trouble giving her a separate personality from Vifa, but recently I differentiated them by having Vifa interested in money and jewels and Florence interested in power. Vifa could be pettily bent on revenge, while Florence didn't usually bother with that. Lately, however, she has gotten so frustrated with Ginger and Lou overturning her plans against them that she has made it a personal goal to defeat them someday.

Meanwhile, Jackly (or Pew, as we started mostly calling him) started out as an antagonist, frustrated by Karnage doing stupid conceited things and Mad Dog being embarrassed and whining and bawling about it. It was only after Karnage enlisted in the Army that Pew started becoming friends with Mad Dog. Eventually, they actually became closer friends than Mad Dog and Karnage had been.

Karnage drove General Stilton (from The Cat From Outer Space movie) utterly mad with his nonsense of wanting to look in mirrors and shiny hubcaps and anything else that resembled a mirror. Karnage eventually made friends with Corporal Klinger from M*A*S*H. Yes, we said "Screw time periods!" and pretty much added anyone we wanted. The setting was the present day, but anyone could wander in from other eras, at the same age they were in the other eras. And characters like Karnage remained anthropomorphic animals, while human characters stayed human. They co-exist together very easily.

Karnage was in the Army for many years, and then left to marry a mirror. LOL. It was a gag based on something from years earlier, when he'd talked about it and Mad Dog talked him out of it because he wouldn't be able to go on dates with anyone and back then, Karnage was a Casanova and loved dates. But this other time, Mad Dog couldn't talk Karnage out of it and Karnage said he regretted listening to Mad Dog that first time. There was a big wedding in New York City, with Lieutenant Schrank from West Side Story very unhappily running security and Ron Updyke from Kolchak: The Night Stalker being abducted by a bunch of rabid Karnage fans that demanded that Karnage be allowed to marry the mirror or they would keep Ron hostage in a hot-air balloon.

Ah, good times.

Currently the main characters are in Los Angeles, where they've mostly been for three years, since Karnage married the mirror and went to L.A., where he burst into court and got on the witness stand and said, "I solemnly swear that I'm glorious." Hamilton Burger's expression was priceless. LOL.

There was a sanity hearing, which dragged on and on because the judge and Karnage's lawyer were crooked (something Karnage was oblivious to), and Mad Dog and Pew and company came out from their main residence to participate in the hearing. Eventually Karnage was put under the observation of some doctors, who are fascinated by him and aren't much help, except for keeping him from doing dangerous stunts like getting on bridges and screaming about being wonderful.

Both Vifa/Vivalene and Florence pretended to be nice girls and talked with Pew, who wanted to give them a chance to start over despite thinking they were both awful in the past. He learned their true colors later and felt deeply betrayed. Then he met Virginia, a mysterious girl who likes to steal things and then pretend she didn't, and generally is a mercenary out for a buck. Her full origins are still unknown, but she causes trouble for the characters every now and then, including Ginger and Lou.

Fifi worked for a private-eye character called The Tester, who used to test Pew with mystery scenarios to train him to be a detective. The Tester is the English Cat from Scat Cat's Aristocats band in disguise, albeit I've never conclusively revealed that. Fifi eventually disappeared and they're still not sure what happened to her, but a girl resembling her has surfaced in London. She has amnesia and was found wandering by Simon Templar, who took her in as his secretary. She has adopted the name Patricia Holm, the name of Simon's girlfriend in the books. This is the TV Simon, so there is no real Patricia. And since Fifi is an anthro skunk, there is no romance going on between them. If she has any feelings for Simon, she will keep them to herself.

And as if all this nostalgia isn't enough, today I woke up with an urge to finally write my sequel to my fic for the much-hated TV show The Batman. I honestly really enjoyed the overhaul and found the series very fun and fascinating. About six years ago, I wrote a oneshot examining their version of The Riddler and then did a multi-chapter involving him that ended in a mysterious way. I never abandoned my idea and desire for a sequel, but I've just never got around to it. Now, suddenly, I really want to do it.

I re-read the oneshot tonight and will probably re-read the multi-chapter tomorrow. Maybe I'll re-read the three Riddler comics from The Batman Strikes! tie-in comic series, too. I really only liked the first one of those, though. And I especially detested the last one and felt The Riddler was OOC and the issue didn't live up to the awesomeness of its cover. I remember I planned that my sequel would tell the story that I thought that comic issue would, based on the cover.

I also want to bring in the idea from the main comics where The Riddler eventually at least semi-reformed and became a private detective. The first multi-chapter I did ended with him supposedly dead, but his body missing and a paper left in the freezer chamber that had the first riddle he gave Batman on it. I'm not sure I ever will reveal how he got out of the morgue, since there should always be some mysteries surrounding him, but I'm thinking the sequel involves him turning up as a private detective under his real name and staying in the shadows for a while, only revealing his identity to Batman and Yin later on.

I really hated that they dropped the Yin character from the show after season 2. She was awesome! And she certainly should have at least been in the episode where Ethan comes back to himself, since they were partners.

I don't know when I'll actually get a chance to start writing any sequel, though, or if I really will at all despite the abrupt burst of interest. I've got all the October Writing stuff to work with, and an idea to write a book about season 1 of Mannix, and I've been seriously neglecting my Perry blog lately.
ladybug_archive: (nancy_peter)
Very saddened by Casey Kasem's death this past day. Although I didn't grow up with him as Crystal and many others did, I longed to be able to see Scooby-Doo for years before I was finally able to. And JP made me a couple of tapes of the Top 40 show. I was thinking I should get those out again for a listen.

Crystal mused in her post how Casey was somewhat responsible for her interest in the Monkees, due to the Davy Jones episode of Scooby-Doo. Meanwhile, I've mused many times how The Monkees are responsible for almost all of my current interests. How in the world did that happen? Behold:

- Because of The Monkees, episode 25, Alias Micky Dolenz, I became interested in Jimmy Murphy, who played Tony Ferano.

- Because of that, I started looking up all of his roles and finally decided to try Kolchak: The Night Stalker, a show I'd been idly curious about for years.

- Because of that, I got interested in Simon Oakland, whom I knew years before from Perry Mason, West Side Story, and I Want to Live!, although I hadn't taken note of his name.

- Because of that, I got back into Perry Mason while watching Simon's episodes.

- Because of that, I rediscovered my interest in Hamilton Burger/William Talman and added Wesley Lau (from I Want to Live! too), Richard Anderson (from The Student Prince), and H.M. Wynant (from a Nancy Drew episode; see icon) to my list of interests.

- Because of them and Simon (and Darren), I got around to trying The Wild Wild West, The Virginian, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Cannon, Mannix, Mission: Impossible, The Six Million Dollar Man, The Bionic Woman, and other shows that I liked enough to start watching religiously.

- Because of WWW, I discovered Christopher Cary.

- Because of that, I watched The Rockford Files and discovered Luke Andreas.

- Meanwhile, while watching Mannix, I finally tried season 1 and discovered Joseph Campanella.

All thanks to The Monkees.

Oh dear.

Oct. 18th, 2013 02:05 pm
ladybug_archive: (raynorman)
So I'm having a couple of little conundrums.

First, I've always tried to be at least somewhat practical where plushies are concerned. I rarely understand the pull for some people to collect more than one of the same character. But, if the plushies are vastly different, then sometimes it makes sense to me. And in the case of my two very different Shadow the Hedgehog plushies, I occasionally indulge in it.

I wasn't interested in the Build-A-Bear version of Twilight Sparkle, not just because they're going with the new alicorn look but because the promo picture made her mouth look really, really weird. But ...

... Yesterday I was at a Build-A-Bear and I saw her in person for the first time.

She looks nothing like the promo picture. She is drop-dead gorgeous. And I really, badly want her. Twilight is my favorite Pony and somehow it seems perfectly logical to want this version of her because it's so amazing and well-done and big and soft and she has brushable hair and gaaaah.

At the same time, sentimental illogic creeps in and makes me feel like I'd be betraying my beloved talking Twilight to bring home another Twilight. **headdesk.**

Somehow I just can't seem to look at it the same way as I look at figures. With figures it seems perfectly logical to have different sizes and versions of the same character. Maybe because figures are way cheaper than plushies? And also maybe because I usually don't quite think of figures as "buddies" the same way I think of plushies.

**throws hands in the air.** If we could have made it to that mall on my birthday as well as the one we did make it to, I would have seen the Build-A-Bear Twilight two weeks ago and could have thought about it all this time. As it is, I only saw her last night and had to think about weighing her against some of the other things I want right now, and there really wasn't the proper time to make a decision. I have no idea when I might make it out that way again. And if I keep wanting her as much as I want her right now, I think I may go a little stir-crazy waiting to get her.

I also, incidentally, finally saw some of the Funko vinyl figurines. They're smaller than I thought, to my disappointment, and I definitely saw the crafting flaws in them that a lot of people have complained about. Plus, they're more expensive than I thought they were (about $16.50 instead of $14.99). I kind of wanted the Octavia one (didn't see her, though), because she's totally my favorite background Pony, but now I'm not sure if I want to bother.

I did see the new miniature Octavia figure, though. I'd like to get her, but I wish those little figure sets would be cheaper than $8.99 sometimes.

Also, Amazon sent one of those emails about their weekly deals, and it just so happens that the weekly deal is for Beetlejuice, the TV series version. I don't have any intention of buying it (too many other things I want more), but it sent me spiraling off on a nostalgia trip for the show the likes of which I haven't had for years.

I really got a kick out of the show as a kid; I loved the characters and the friendship squee and I wasn't bothered by all the weirdness. Or should I say ... most of the weirdness. Some things, even as a kid, did not roll with me. And stumbling across one of those things, an episode I had somehow amazingly never seen previously on the show that I recall, completely turned me off of the show. (It was an entire episode involving the same type of thing that made me flee in absolute horror from Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? during the first season and required much, much coaxing and amateur therapy in the form of Mom watching episodes with me to get me to feel okay about the show again.)

Well, so I have balked against smaller bursts of nostalgia for Beetlejuice because of what I stumbled across that time. I know it would bother me far more now. And I have the feeling I wouldn't go so much for the literal translation nonsense these days, either. (Although some of it would likely still give me a giggle. Even today, I remember silliness like "time on my hands". LOL.) But ... it's been bugging me for the last several days because of that dang email, to the point that I really want to at least dig up an episode that I distinctly know I loved and see how I feel about it now. Most of them I barely remember, but the one where Beetlejuice and Lydia are celebrating the anniversary of the day they met and weird things happen with time is one that sticks out in my mind as something very good. Mom really liked that episode, to the point that she wanted it recorded. (Yes, Mom is awesome that way. She watched most of the cartoons I enjoyed. She even liked Beetlejuice better than Darkwing Duck, and I have no idea why, since she really isn't fond of macabre things in general. I think she was fond of the character, mostly, because dang, he was lovable in spite of and sometimes because of his faults.) I enjoyed that episode too, and grew to love it even more because Mom loved it. So if I could find that one, it would be my pick for trying out again.

Also, I realized a curious thing about myself. When I was reading over an episode guide and recalled the show's element of Beetlejuice often transforming into bizarre disguises (like Betty Juice, for one), I remembered that I had never really liked that. I was disappointed whenever an episode involved an episode-long transformation. And I realized it was because I wanted to see Beetlejuice fully as himself, not as disguise characters.

That realization made me aware of the explanation as to why I never really cared for a friend of mine inserting Marik and certain other YGO characters into a situation where they were acting in a play. Aside from the fact that I felt it was OOC for most of those particular characters and they wouldn't be interested in acting, I simply wasn't comfortable with Marik and company playing at being other people. I wanted to see them and picture them as themselves.

EDIT: Well, I found that episode, and wow, that was one of the weirdest things I've ever seen in my life. But there were cute friendship bits, and it was definitely nostalgic. There was a few second bit of that phobia/trope of mine I hate, and I recall being so dense as a kid that the bit kind of went over my head. (Or I should really say, even then the trope was so alarming to me that it was inconceivable to me that I was looking at it, so I insisted on believing I wasn't looking at it.) But still, a few seconds is nothing compared to a whole episode devoted to the topic. Blech.

Hopefully my nostalgia will now be at rest, although I'm slightly curious to look up one of the few other episodes I remember. I would prefer not to, since I know all the more now that I don't know when something could suddenly appear that I would rather not see. But who knows what will happen.

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