ladybug_archive: (baxterstockman)
Frankie Valli released a Christmas album this year! Squeeeee. I saw it at Wal-Mart on Friday and I couldn't resist getting it. Somehow I resisted listening until after Halloween. It is awesome and totally puts me in the Christmas mood. And I adore that he's still working with Bob Gaudio after all these years!

I ended up doing three different things for costuming. At the party, I played Rouge. It was nice to pull out that old costume again, but I still wanted to try some new things too. On Friday, when Wal-Mart was having a party and costume event, I threw together a very bad costume of Lydia from Beetlejuice in her casual clothes. I never could find a pink sash I know we have, so I had to use a scrap of cloth left over from a sewing project. And my hair is too long to stand on end, so I had to settle for a ponytail on top of my head. At least the makeup was in both correct colors, but I had a terrible time getting the purple to show up well.

None of us could find those yellow clothes, so now I'm really worried wondering where they are. But I played April on Halloween anyway, doing a combo of the 1987 and 2014 versions. My aunt gave me some blue jeans for my birthday that are so soft and lightweight and comfortable, so I used those and my tan boots as the 2014 elements. Everything else was the 1987 version.

I'm so glad we went to the Trunk or Treat at the church; there were only two groups of kids who came to our door (aside from one or two that came so early they weren't expected and I couldn't get there in time). I think that's the slowest Halloween we've ever had. It's sad how things have dwindled in recent years. It's strange too, considering how much people are spending for Halloween stuff. You'd think the number of Trick-or-Treaters would increase, not decease.

I've started to warm up to at least one of the new Troll characters, as I figured I would. I like Poppy, who is the leader. She reminds me more of the classic Trolls than most of the characters do, so I would like to get a plushie of her, I think. Probably the Build-a-Bear one, as I'm not impressed by the "fur" softness levels of the more mainstream ones. I might even try to see if I can see the movie. I figured I'd really want to give it a try after all, since I've loved Trolls so much through the years. I've always tried any version of them I could find. I loved the computer game about finding baby Trolls (I was playing it just the other day) and the children's novels about a pink-haired Troll coming to the human world and making friends with a human girl, and I would have tried the series Trollz if I had been aware of it and had access to it when it was on. Regarding Poppy, from the trailers I've gathered that rather than being a naively cheerful idiot, she's a good leader who chooses to be cheerful even though she knows there's a lot of things to be unhappy about. I could be wrong, though.

I finally took some screenshots of Baxter and Barney from my DVDs and am continuing to work on my website. I think I almost have it to the point where I'll let it go live. I still need to decide what I'm going to do with my fanarts, if I should post them on dA and link them, or if I should post them on the website only. People on dA rarely seem to give a darn about stuff I post, so I'm pretty bored with posting there. That, and half the time when I try, dA ends up gobbling memory and I have a horrible time even getting stuff up. Ugh.

I'm still ordering Netflixes from that list Dad made of movies we'd seen many years ago and liked. A Mario Lanza movie came yesterday, That Midnight Kiss (ugh, what a stupidly mushy title). The music was beautiful, of course, and I was totally thrilled that Kathryn Grayson was the girl, as I adore her and her singing. But the movie itself was pretty stupid. Some guy convinces a temperamental tenor to trash his room when he's mad and tear up his contract, because they want to bring Mario's character in as the tenor instead and they have to get that guy to go. And it ticked me off how the girl just couldn't bring herself to sing the operas' love songs with the temperamental tenor, not because he's a jerk, but because he's fat, ugh. But that was the typical attitude of the day, that fat always equaled unappealing. Honestly, I liked the guy okay; in physical appearance he reminded me of Simon. And actually, in some ways he had a perfect right to be angry, considering the way he was being treated at different points in the film. And then there's a huge misunderstanding between Mario and Kathryn's characters and they're both acting stupid refusing to talk things out and she's doing the typical "I hate him! I hate him!" immature nonsense when he sends her good luck wishes and she stomps on the poor roses, yet for some reason when she sees him on stage instead of the other tenor, she's totally thrilled and happy and all anger is forgotten, even though they haven't talked anything out yet. Of course, you're supposed to take it that it's because she really loves him instead of hating him, but I was expecting an explosion on the stage before she calmed down.

At least it's just shallow, stupid fluff, though, and not rage-inducing like Kiss Me, Kate is. Ugh, I loathe that production. The guy is such a jerk I can't figure out what she sees in him. Such an egotistical, abusive creep.... And I hate the whole Taming of the Shrew plot in general. I know about the different alternate interpretations of the plot, that she's not really tamed and she's just letting the guy think she is, but to me it's still a really gross and disgusting story.

And then there's The Toast of New Orleans, which I love for the music while I'm unsure what to make of the plot. On the one hand, I think the idea is simply that the high society types changed the main guy too much and that by making him integrate into their world, they're destroying everything that made him unique, and that of course that's a bad thing. But when part of what they did was simply to teach him good manners, I kind of struggle with the whole thing. The character was very obnoxious and crude and annoying, and I found him far more appealing when he learned good manners. I suppose the idea was more that the girl loved him for his bizarre and unique personality and didn't like it being erased or seeing him stifled, instead of simply saying that him learning good manners was wrong, but I have a really hard time seeing the distinction. Of course, it's not a good thing for anyone to have to be stifled if they're not actually doing anything wrong, but eh, I don't know; the way the movie handled the whole thing kind of bugs me. At least she said "We changed him too much," implying that some of the changes weren't bad, but still.
ladybug_archive: (persuaders)
So I finally admitted in the U.N.C.L.E. comm that I don’t see Napoleon as a chronic bed-hopper even though he certainly loves a pretty face and is a serial dater. What I didn’t say was that if I really thought he was a bed-hopper like James Bond, I doubt I would be attracted to him or find him appealing at all. Part of the reason why Napoleon appeals to me is because I’ve always had the impression that he’s a more moral person than James Bond. I don’t like James Bond because he’s a chronic bed-hopper. I do like Roger Moore, and yet when it comes to Bond, there’s just an automatic turn-off. No attraction.

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

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

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

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

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

I think Lord Sinclair may be my favorite Roger character. Part of me would like to say that my Roger Bond figure is Lord Sinclair, as I think he’s the one I want the figure to be the most, but I feel I can’t since I don’t have a Tony Curtis figure to be Danny. Sacrilege! If I had a Tony Curtis figure that’s around 6 inches, my Roger figure would totally be Lord Sinclair. I don’t suppose there is such a thing as a Tony Curtis figure? Sigh.
ladybug_archive: (twilightsparkle)
So the plushie war continues. Amazon is still being ridiculous about getting more in stock, while meanwhile Wal-Mart got a few more in. There were 7 yesterday, and today they sold out again. **repeated headdesk.** It's obvious that people are flocking to Wal-Mart because they're really fed-up with Amazon promising to get it back in stock and then not following through. If Amazon has any say over things, you'd think they'd want to get that Donatello plush back in stock as soon as possible. Now they're claiming Monday, but I seriously doubt it. If Wal-Mart manages to get some again, I'd better just get it there. I was going to tonight and then I saw that once again they were gone. Seriously, what is the deal with the sudden run on Donatello plushies?! The others seem to stay in stock!

I looked up an episode guide for The Real Ghostbusters, since that sounded like a show I'd like, and then I found a few episodes on YouTube. I watched a couple and I definitely do like the show; it's right up my alley. I even got a creepy plunnie for a Ginger and Lou fic where an evil spirit tricks them into following up on a call they got for help with a haunted house. The house is a death trap for them because the forces of evil are sick of them vanquishing the evil spirits rampaging through the world. I'm basing that on the episode Mrs. Rogers' Neighborhood (LOL), but I'm not sure if I'll do the possession angle the episode had since Lou has already had that happen and Ginger's been mind-controlled. I think I'll get some of the DVD sets that just came out. And series Slimer is really pretty cute. I judge on personality first and if I like that, it doesn't matter to me at all what the character looks like. Maybe I'll see how much the Slimer plushies are at Wal-Mart.

Another thing I did while on YouTube was to curiously look at a bit of a clip on the Nickelodeon Turtles to hear their voices. Wow, they all sound so young. I know Nick's idea was to present them more like real teenagers, and I suppose they succeeded. I also heard Leo's two voices and I assume the younger one came first. I wonder why they didn't explain the voice change as simply his voice breaking rather than the rather depressing angle that his vocal chords were damaged in a brutal fight. I mean, that's something that can likely never be fixed. It seems too sad. Meanwhile, Raph is afraid of cockroaches (can't blame him) and he actually pulled himself into his shell at the sight of one. LOL. I've never actually seen the Turtles do that in any other version, except once when Mikey ducked to avoid a weapon in the first movie. I've actually wondered if as humanoid turtles they were capable of doing it. Someone in the crew also mentioned about Raph getting so angry because he's actually the most sensitive of the group, which was something I hypothesized some time ago, so it was rather squeeful to hear it from a canon source.

Then I found a clip from the bizarre cross-over episode between the Nick series and the 1987 series. I was wondering how they'd handle the different art styles, but good grief, I wasn't expecting them to actually have both in the episode and say that there are 2D and 3D verses. That is both cracky, hilarious, and kind of creepy-weird all at once. I suppose maybe it was their idea of breaking the fourth wall, like the 1987 series liked to do, but I think that breaks it maybe a little too much.

I also wasn't sure I liked all the anime-esque faces the Turtles make in the Nick series. Somehow it looks weird in 3D; I've never seen a 3D series do that before. And I'm not sure I like it for the Turtles. I also ponder on how the Nick 3D styles make the Turtles look kind of Lego-ish/block-like. Or their limbs, anyway. The 3D designs for the TMNT movie are so fluid and beautiful, so I don't know why Nick chose something that doesn't look nearly as pretty or advanced. You can really see some of the blockishness in the figures, especially the way the shells look compared with any other line, and it looks, well, kind of cheap/little kid-ish. (And yes, I mean the main line and not the Half-Shell Heroes thing, which I'm still trying to figure out.) And yet I hate to say that, because the figures are better articulated than any previous line (save for the recent movies' lines, which are also awesomely articulate) and hopefully they're really sturdy too.

I dunno; maybe the Nick series is an acquired taste and I'd like it if I really sat down and tried it. I've always had problems with it, but I've also always intended to at least watch one episode. I owe it that much. I was looking through an episode guide a couple weeks ago to try to see exactly what's been going on since I last looked and to see if I was still bothered by the stuff that annoyed me before. I still was, but I still want to give it a try. Maybe the best thing to start me out would be the stuff where Leo is brutally defeated in a fight and they retreat to April's farmhouse. I love that arc no matter whether it's Leo or Raph who's seriously hurt and I'm always curious to see how another branch of the franchise handles it.

I also wondered if possibly there were any 1987 episodes on YouTube so I could see one or two while waiting to get my DVDs. I saw at least two were there and I picked one, but then I decided I just wasn't keen on seeing it right then, both because I'd rather see it nice and big on my DVDs and because it's the one where it's Mikey's birthday and everyone is pretending to have forgotten it and thinking that will make the surprise party even better. Honestly, I get sick of that cliche in sitcoms and cartoons and books and everywhere else. It's really a pretty nasty trick to play on someone. Sure, maybe the surprise party cheers them up, but before that they're going around all sad for hours thinking everyone's forgotten their special day. I fail to find anything funny about that situation. That's just plain sad.
ladybug_archive: (coley_lafe)
So I'm still on a Turtles kick. I watched the very first movie and still loved it. I also wanted to see TMNT, but I wasn't sure I'd still feel the magic for it since there are things I don't like about it. But I did get caught up in the magic again and I was thrilled. It really is a very good, very powerful movie. And the whole thing with the 3,000-year-old warriors and the man cursed with solitary immortality for his mistake and the portals to different dimensions and escaping monsters all reminded me of something out of a YGO film. I think that was part of what excited me so much before.

Also, while I still wish they had actually had Leo apologize to Raph for the nasty things he said to him, they did have quite a touching make-up scene. It wasn't enough for me before, but this time it seemed to mean more (maybe because of Crystal's enthusiasm over the subtleness of Napoleon and Illya). Raph comes and helps Leo up as the drug wears off and hands him some new katana, saying he'll need them if he's going to lead them out of there. Leo smiles and says he'll need Raph too and they smile at each other. Not exactly "I'm sorry" on either of their parts, but it really was a beautiful moment with each acknowledging they had been wrong.

And while I still think the problem was on both sides, I really was horrified at how far Raph allowed his anger and hurt to go, actually fighting with Leo quite viciously and eventually breaking the original katanas and pinning him down. The moment where Raph comes back to himself and realizes what he could have done is very powerful. He can't even stand to be there and turns and runs. And Leo is so drained and shaken from the episode that he isn't paying attention when a tranquilizer dart is shot at him. Raph hears him cry out and runs back, but he's not able to stop the bad guys from kidnapping Leo.

I watched a lot of the bonus material and while I'd seen some of the scenes before, I didn't see all of them. And I didn't remember that originally they were going to have Leo and Raph talk at the end. There was still a lot they needed to talk out: Raph's feelings of abandonment and how he had to take over when Leo was gone, Leo's feelings that he just wasn't good enough to be the leader and the brothers would be better off without him.... I wonder if that scene would possibly be in the novelization. I always wanted to get it, as I knew it had stuff that was left out of the movie. If it's not in the novelization, I'm really tempted to write my own version of it. That movie has so much pain and hurt, especially on Leo and Raph's parts. It seemed to be Raph's movie in a lot of ways, and we didn't really get in-depth on Leo's issues.

Several weeks ago I read through all my journal entries tagged with TMNT (which is the general Turtles tag, not just for this movie). I found that one of the movie's creators had said that he wanted to show that animated movies didn't just have to be about characters running into each other and passing gas. LOL. But yes, it really is a very deep, very serious movie with moments of humor here and there. It's a beautiful film and I love it again and want to see it again very soon.

I decided to follow it up by watching an episode of the 2003 series. I have the first 12 on DVD. So naturally I started with the first one. Mikey was a little more tolerable this time around, but still kind of too much. I seem to like him everywhere else, but I don't know, he just comes across as so obnoxious and frustrating in this incarnation. And Raph ... yikes. He really could be pretty nasty in this version. I forgot that in addition to Leo, he also seemed to have many problems with Mikey, to the point of hitting him and trying to fight with him. I did remember how upset Raph was when Mikey beat him in some tournament thingy later on in the series (and how obnoxious Mikey was about winning and kept rubbing it in everyone's faces). I'm so used to Raph in the movies, who never seems to have any specific problems with Mikey and actually "teamed up" with him in the newest film, that this was kind of a jolt. I had other issues with the 2003 series in the past, and I wonder if I won't like it much at all this round. I was thinking that I seem to prefer the Turtles in movies, any of the movies. I grew up with the first movie more than the original series and I'm absolutely nuts about the current movies while I still don't know if I want to touch Nickelodeon's TV series. Nick seems to have a concept of Raph being rather protective of Mikey in all their stuff, though, so that would be one adorable thing in their TV series.

Another thing I've never been able to make peace with is Nick's decision that April should be a teenager too. They felt it was too illogical for an adult to want to be friends with teenagers. Actually, there's probably not that much difference in their ages. Maybe five, six years. And I never found it illogical that April had made friends with them; I always thought it was beautiful. I like that Nick found a way to make things work in their movies without resorting to making April younger. In the movies, the backstory is that she was the one who owned them before the mutations. That is seriously adorable and I am all for it. And it would totally work in any branch of the franchise. After all, the story is that they were pet turtles that were lost. Somebody owned them. But I don't think April would have to be the previous owner in order for it to make sense that she made friends with them. To me, it still makes sense in every branch of the franchise. April was never conventional and was always open-minded; even though she generally freaks out in every initial meeting with them, she warms up pretty quickly once she knows they're friendly. She was probably always a little strange/different from everyone else. Having unusual friends just doesn't seem such an odd thing for her. And after all the crazy things she went through with the Turtles in their early adventures, it makes a lot of sense that a lasting bond would form and she would want to stay in touch.

I was also thinking about The Next Mutation, which is the bane of the franchise. It was finally released on DVD a little while ago and you can find it at places like Wal-Mart or K-Mart for $5. For that price, I've considered buying it, but I don't know if I want to touch it, either. I'm not that crazy about the idea of a fifth Turtle, or that April and Casey are bizarrely absent, but what bugs me more than anything else is that in this thing, the Turtles are not biological brothers. By all indications, this was done just so that there was a possibility of any of them hooking up romantically with the new Turtle. Um, that is seriously beyond lame. Actually, if the series had instead kept the brothers angle and the storylines were all "Hey, we have a new sister! Yay!" I would probably think it was seriously adorable and would be very enthusiastic about trying it, even if I still wouldn't want the girl Turtle to be canon in any other branch of the franchise. But getting rid of the brother thing was sacrilege, and doing it for the possibility of romance is utterly unforgivable. Why does everything always have to be about romance? The Turtles were always more about platonic relationships. It should stay that way.
ladybug_archive: (duke_fallen)
So yesterday I suddenly remembered the new YGO movie opened in Japan over the weekend, so I hurried to see if a detailed summary was up anywhere. I couldn't find a complete one at the time, but this one told a lot of it up to a point: http://yugioh.wikia.com/wiki/Yu-Gi-Oh!_The_Dark_Side_of_Dimensions

It definitely is manga-based, and after I learned that months ago I was never sure I wanted to consider it canon. Now that I know more about it, I realllly don't think I want to consider it canon. I want to like it, but some of it sounds so weird and OOC. Spoilers! )
ladybug_archive: (ginger_lou)
So I got plunnied hard for a Ginger and Lou piece when I watched the Hart to Hart pilot. I rarely ever like pilots as much as I like a series proper, and this was no exception; I really thought it was gross how Jonathan kept manipulating Jennifer into helping him solve cases and would also just decide to pick up more cases without even asking her first. It felt like he really thought more of other people than he did his wife's safety. It was honestly hard for me to believe that they were really in a healthy relationship in the pilot. I think that was dropped in the series proper, thank goodness, and they were equally into solving cases in the series. I also think a lot of the time the cases just dropped in their laps instead of them always being asked to look into things or deciding to look into things. But anyway, the pilot has them undercover and pretending to not know each other (and in Jennifer's case, to not like Jonathan). So my plunnie involved Ginger and Lou undercover and pretending to hate on each other. They have a reason for it, of course; it's not just randomly being done.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Heh.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some spoilers, just in case someone still hasn't seen the film but wants to )
ladybug_archive: (schrank_krupke)
Ugggh, I have spent about ninety minutes wrestling with LJ, trying to find, read, and tag entries about The Fugitive, Route 66, Kojak, Charlie's Angels, and Vega$, as I've talked about them enough that they need to graduate from the "TV Shows" tag and get their own. I probably need to do the same thing with Get Smart, but that will have to wait. If LJ's search function would actually work, I wouldn't have needed to go through pages and pages of the TV Shows tag.

I think I need to re-watch more of the good episodes from Route 66. I was disenchanted by The Fugitive for a while and got over that; maybe the same thing would happen with Route 66 if I saw some awesome episodes again.

One thing that really annoys me about Route 66 that I thought I mentioned before but can't find, is that it takes the very stupid idea that people punching each other out is a good way to solve problems. At least twice they had Tod fight with somebody and then decide that everything was all good after they were both beaten black and blue. And one of my least favorite episodes had the idea that to stand up and be a man, one of the guest-stars had to face a gang and get beat up. Just ... what? Okay, so the guy was a crumb with the gang leader's sister and the gang leader wanted to beat him up for that. The crumb probably deserved at least a punch in the mouth. But honestly, why should the gang beating him up be encouraged? What if somebody got seriously hurt or worse? The plot followed that the gang kept coming around every day and bothering the people at the house because they wanted the guy to come out and get beat up, and he wouldn't do it because he was scared. Honestly, the character was lame and pathetic and I didn't like him, but he probably had good reason to be scared in that case. He did need to stand up and be a man, but I fail to see how letting himself get beat up is a good solution. That is just so dumb. It's like they were saying, "Okay, we can't control this gang, so you're going to have to get beat up." Does that mean that if the gang had actually wanted to kill him, going to face them would have still been presented as the solution to making them go away? **headdesk.** It's not the wild West and High Noon and the kid isn't a law enforcement officer, good grief! There are better ways of making reparations!

(Or maybe it was an actual fight instead of just getting beat up, but that's just as dumb.)

I guess that sort of juvenile, immature attitude dates back centuries to stupid things like fighting duels. I remember one time, maybe 15 years ago or so, this politician got so emotional and fired-up that he screamed he wished it was still legal to fight duels. I laughed. So did Mom. It was just such a stupid thing to say and he was so completely serious and sincere when he said it. I still remember his hilarious expression. (And no, I do not remember who it was.)

Also, as much as I adore Kojak, we've hit that stretch in season 5 where it seems like every episode involves some woman with Kojak either past or present. There was the one where he'd known the Mafia don's wife in the past. There was the two-parter where in the past he dated a barmaid and was going to marry a rich socialite (who eventually broke it off because she felt his work was more important to him, which it seemed to be). And tonight there was the one where he goes undercover as a P.I. and one of the suspects starts coming on to him.

I really don't remember this happening so much in the other seasons. I'm honestly pretty bored of exploring Kojak's love life by now, especially every night in a row, so I hope we're out of that stretch. It always kind of irritated me. I remember reading in this book about The Andy Griffith Show that the writers felt they had to have love interests for Andy Taylor or people would start mistakenly thinking he wasn't interested in women. LOL. I have to wonder if that's why they overloaded us with love interests for Kojak in season 5 when I don't recall it happening before. I also kind of wonder if that contributed to the ratings going down that season.

Also, I kind of want to see the TV movies they made after Kojak ended, but on the other hand I'm conflicted, because Kojak is a captain and the other characters from the show are not in the movies (except for one where Crocker is now working in the D.A.'s office). It would seem sad without the other characters still around. Plus, we just passed an episode where Kojak said he didn't want to be a captain and have a desk job; he liked what he was doing. He definitely isn't a desk guy. So him being a captain in the TV movies just doesn't seem right. But it would still be more Kojak to see and Darren guest-stars in one of the movies.... If I could rent them from Netflix, I would, but the only way I can get them is to buy them. Hmm.

In any case, I wouldn't consider them canon any more than I consider the Perry Mason reunion movies canon. It would just be one possibility of how things might go. Thing is, I like watching the Perry Mason movies, but I don't really want to spend money on any of them. I recorded the ones I wanted for keeps (the one with Scott Baio and the one where the murder victim ends up not being dead after all). At least with Kojak, though, he is my favorite character, so I'd still get to have my favorite character in the reunion movies, whereas with Perry none of my favorite characters are present (Hamilton and the police). I just wonder if Kojak is badly written in the movies, though, since they decided to make him a captain when he already stated he didn't want that. Seeing a favorite character badly written is never worth it.
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: (twilightsparkle)
So, I finally saw Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Somehow I managed to avoid all spoilers except part of Kylo Ren's identity. Now in contrast to this, I'll want to gobble up all spoilers I can for the next film, or at least, certain ones (if such things are talked about at all).

Needless to say, there are major spoilers under here )

Anyway, in any case, I definitely want some merchandise of the new good guys. I bought a big figure of Finn right after the movie last night. I wished I could have found Rey too, but I didn't see any of her. I don't even know if they've made a big figure of her. They made a small one, but Wal-Mart didn't have any of those last night, either. I could have got the small Finn and waited for the small Rey, but the big one was only two dollars more, so it seemed silly to get the small one. I really want Rey too, though, so I hope they have a big one of her.

It's so frustrating, though; everything is so cheaply made these days. The big figures don't have removable clothes or helmets anymore. I remember when the big Star Wars figures all had removable clothes and even the guys had rooted hair. The Qui-Gon figure was just awesome!

Little Golden Books, too. They used to be illustrated so beautifully and lushly and you could tell a lot of effort had been put into making them amazing. Now they look like they were illustrated by a middle-schooler on his lunch break. It's like they feel kids' books just don't deserve the same time and devotion they used to. That's something that's made me sad for years.

But anyway. So, there were definitely things I liked about The Force Awakens and definitely things I didn't like. And we'll see how that balances out as we near the second movie next year. I'm so glad we don't have to wait three years for it....

Ugggggh.

Sep. 30th, 2015 01:01 am
ladybug_archive: (rockapella)
So we need new curtains for a window. Drapes were being used, but one of the @#*&^#&^ mice climbed them and that's how a lot of the chaos happened last month. And we can't find any curtains in the right size! It's ridiculous! And searching for the right size just ends up giving me reversed dimensions! It's like nothing can comprehend 72 inches wide instead of 72 inches long!

Also, shower curtains are apparently no longer sealed up unless they're fabric. WTH? It's very annoying to want a new shower curtain and only have exposed ones to choose from. We had a mold calamity in the bathroom because condensation formed like whoa while the doors were being kept shut to keep mice out and while door sweeps cut off the circulation. I'm still trying to get all the mold off. The curtain was not salvageable.

And my aunt sent a birthday package and it arrived literally torn open all along the middle! We're not sure if all of the presents inside are still there or if something fell out or was taken out, since of course we don't know all of what was included in the package. We are going to be complaining to the post office either way, though; this is preposterous!

And now I have pain. I'm grateful I won't have to deal with it on my birthday, but this isn't a convenient time, either. I won't be able to do much to help with cleaning projects this week.

While we were out looking for housewares things (and presents for a couple of people whose birthdays are today, the 30th), I sort of decided to make a preliminary run of those stores and determine whether to visit any of them on my birthday. No big surprise, but I couldn't locate many of the things I wanted. I did see the two-pack with Flash Sentry and naturally human Twilight Sparkle at K-Mart, however, so if I can't find it a little cheaper at Toys R Us or Target (or if I can't find it at all), I will probably buy it full-price at K-Mart. I hope they'll still have it in a few days, if the other stores don't have any; there was only one there. I was glad to see it; it was mostly a wearying time of not being able to find things.

K-Mart also had the first decent purple wig I've seen for the Twilight costume, but it's not very long. Sigh. But it's the right color and has bangs, so I'll need to consider it.

The main stores I want to visit on my birthday trip will remain the same, probably. And maybe I'll add a party store to the list. It has a lot of Halloween stuff. I don't think we have any actual Halloween stores right now, like we used to. Unless there's one in the mall. We'll have to see.

I'm thinking again of maybe making Rockapella plushies myself, with the JoAnn dolls for Sean and Barry. On Scott, it looks like getting the plushie-makers to make him will work after all, so yay! Pondering on Sean's hair; I had thought of using thin ropes for the braids, but yarn might also work, if I could find it in the right color. I'm wondering how to attach it to the other hair in a way that will make it secure, though. I don't want to just glue it; that seems like the lazy way out and glue can always eventually unstick. I've had it happen. And I worry if I try to sew it, it might slip out under the thread. But there must be some way to do it; I think yarn hair is typically sewn into the seam of doll heads, so I should be able to somehow sew it into/under the other hair without problems. I'm thinking of maybe using mohair for the other hair, but maybe I should get something darker? I know the hair looks darker, but I'm not sure I can find something curlyish that's darker.

If I do decide to do this, I might want to get the JoAnn dolls when I'm out. Something else to think about.

Today is the anniversary of when Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? first aired, too. I'd kind of thought of using one of my blogs to write a tribute, but I don't know if I'll feel up to that any time today.
ladybug_archive: (hamilton)
Mouse count is 10 or 11, with one spotted again in a bedroom. I think it's the same smart-aleck we were fighting with last week and lost when Dad tried to carry it out in a drawer. We wanted to believe so bad that it got out in the garage, but it's more likely it never left his room at all. Oh, we just want this horror to end! **flops over.** Why, why, why....

And last night, a bunch of teenage idiots were using our yard for a trail-way and stood by our back fence smoking something; Dad's not sure if it was regular cigarettes or marijuana. We've found cigarettes and even an empty box in our yard recently; these crumbs are probably responsible. I guess this is going to be our September horror, combined with the cleaning up from mice horror. If they're ever spotted out there again, I say we call the police. Dad was going to last night, but then they started to come towards Dad (not knowing he was watching them) and he yelled at them and they fled. It just never stops, does it?

To be honest, everything has been pretty bad for me in general since May or whenever a personal problem started happening. I always start thinking about it more when I'm going to cramp, and big surprise, I'm going to cramp very soon now. I'm so frustrated and upset by it and I can't get over it, especially after learning that apparently every one of my attempts to clear up the problem only gave the other party the opposite impression of what I meant and made everything worse. I'll admit that I said some things I shouldn't have in the fourth and fifth messages; by that point I was very desperate and hurt and felt very ignored and not cared about. I just don't get what I said that was so awful in the first three messages I sent, since those were my attempts to answer the original issues brought before me. I was stunned and distressed that the issues were even issues and I tried to answer everything. I thought I was showing that I honestly cared about straightening the mess out when I went looking through all my stuff to find the specific things the person was upset by and then wrote to tell what I'd found and why I'd written the things that were upsetting to them. Then when I kept not hearing anything after those messages were sent, not even a "Got your reply; I'll answer when I can", I became so desperate and distressed that I sent one of the messages I shouldn't have. However, in between the things I shouldn't have said, I was also honestly trying to think of anything else related that I might have said that the person had been upset about and trying to explain what I'd really meant by those things, hoping that would make the person feel better. I have a terrible knack for making everything worse when I only want to make it better, and I demonstrated it completely there.

The way the situation stands right now, I'm not supposed to talk to that person any more because they were so stressed by my messages and apparently misinterpreted my intentions from the first reply, or at least, that's the way they came across when they finally said something in response to my replies. I sent one more message after I received that one, trying to explain that my intentions with my replies had not been what was thought, but I don't know if it was even read or that it would even matter if it was. Part of me wishes some mutual friend could try to serve as mediator and smooth things out enough that we could get to where we could have the conversation that I wanted us to have ever since I learned that this person had a problem. Contrary to what they think I think, in reality I want very badly to know why they feel the way they do! The only way to try to fix anything is by knowing both sides of the story. I tried to tell my side and that was interpreted as me not being willing to listen to theirs. The other part of me doesn't want to put the burden of a mediator on anyone and figures that the person would be upset if I even tried that. I suppose all I can do is keep waiting to see if they calm down and feel different. Even if we mutually decided that it would be better to officially break things off afterwards, I wish we could part with this mess straightened out. I'm tired of it hanging over my head and knowing that I gave this person the completely wrong impression and knowing that I caused hurt. I feel bad that I was completely misunderstood in my motivations in sending all of the replies. I honestly wanted to make the person feel better and it just didn't work. And I am very discouraged if we're parting ways over something that should be able to be talked out.

One thing is for sure; I've learned an important lesson. Just because two people had a close friendship at one time before drifting apart doesn't mean that the friend will understand what you mean even if you honestly think they know you well enough that they would. And no, I'm not saying I actually thought friends don't argue; I argued with that person several times in the past. (And the idea that friends become closer after arguing is bull, plain and simple. I've never had it prove true with me.) Back then, it was usually because I really had done something that hurt the other person. I don't recall ever arguing over the things that I felt hurt about; I think the only times I said anything at all were when I was distressed that something I'd said for an RP character was misinterpreted and made them look bad, and then another time when the person thought I was going to do something with a character that I wasn't, because apparently I found it worse for my friend to think poorly of the characters than I did for them to think poorly of me. I usually kept quiet whenever they misunderstood me or inadvertently hurt me, not wanting to cause trouble. But I just assumed that from reading my journal through many years, and from times when they did peg certain things about me right, they would come to understand me a lot better and I ended up stunned when that didn't seem to be the case in this situation. Heh. What a naive child. Some people just come from worlds so different that they never can really understand each other. I hope I'll never forget that now.

Bottom line: hopefully I will never be surprised by something a friend tells me again, after being so surprised and stunned by the issues that this person brought up that remain unresolved. Perhaps if I hadn't sent the fourth and fifth messages, we would have talked by now. On the other hand, I wouldn't have sent them if there had been some acknowledgment of the original three messages I sent trying to help the person understand the truth about the issues. Saying nothing at all to me in response to any of those was what compounded the problem and hurt so much more than bringing up the original issues did. I would have understood if I was told at that point that there was busyness or other problems going on; I already knew there was a lot happening. But when the issue was brought up, I thought they would want to answer when I tried to explain it. It hurt me very deeply when there was nothing and it dragged on like that for days. I even worried that something awful had happened because I didn't think they would ignore me, but when I peeked on Facebook and they were posting as usual, I thought everything was fine and I was indeed being ignored. It was only after being so hurt that I sent the fourth message and then messaging the person elsewhere to ask if they'd got anything that I was told anything at all about what was happening and was informed that there had been an injury in addition to everything else going on (although nothing as serious as what I had worried might be the case). Then I waited patiently for weeks. I shouldn't have sent the fifth message after all that waiting; I should have simply sent a "What's up/hope all's well" message or something, but it was hard to think of just sending something like that when I was still so hurt, and I guess I felt that after all that time, I would have heard something, even a brief note, if it meant anything to them at all, since they were still around online and doing stuff. I did inquire after their well-being, but then I tried saying some other things regarding explaining myself/things I'd said that I hoped might help the issue. I shouldn't have. Everything backfired.

I know very well that I handled things badly, but it takes two people to screw up a friendship, a romance, or anything else like that. We both made mistakes and I wish we could just talk this mess out and try again. Or talk it out and say goodbye on friendly terms.

I guess I'm typing all this out partially because I hope it will reach the person and maybe explain everything better, but I really know that isn't likely to happen, especially after everything else I tried to say was misunderstood. I'm just frustrated and upset and on the verge of cramping and spouting off stupidly and wishing that I could repair the disasters I've made.

So I've had that hanging over my head for months, and summer really hasn't been great for other reasons, either. June was filled with stress over that. Starting with July, things started being bad for the whole family and not just me. July was filled with the reply at last and being told in it not to send anything more. July was also filled with a variety of minor downers, which only felt bigger because of the major downer. Things got a little better for a bit, but then Mom got really ill and that carried into August. Just as she was starting to feel a little better, the mice started showing themselves. Now we have to clean up from them, catch the one(s) still here, and deal with these unctuous crumbs invading our yard to trespass and smoke.

Part of me wishes we could go back to April and start over again from there. The other part just wants summer gone already and hopes that autumn will be filled with awesome, which seems unlikely at this point.

Bah.

May. 11th, 2015 05:46 pm
ladybug_archive: (duke_fallen)
So I haven't been watching Gotham or Once Upon a Time, but I've been keeping track of what's going on with them, and I'm not pleased with either one.


Spoilers )

Sigh.

Apr. 12th, 2015 06:34 am
ladybug_archive: (schrank_krupke)
So I always look forward to [livejournal.com profile] pleasant_valley's book posts. Even though I don't get much time for reading books (it took me six weeks to get through those Star Wars books, and that was even with me pretty much sticking to only one of the storylines!), I really enjoy reading about what interesting things are out there. It gives me a mental checklist for if there's ever a time when I do have more time for reading again. Plus I just plain like seeing her opinions of the books.

She always asks things like what we've read in the past month. I mentioned the Star Wars books, but I totally forgot to mention something else I tried to start reading recently.

Keyword: tried.

So there's this local author who is fairly successful and well-known. He's written a particular series of books and some other, unrelated books.

One of those latter books I really found fascinating. It involved a rift between time and space and a girl from the present and a young man from the past who can meet when that rift opens. Eventually he and some others from his time period come to the present briefly. The book ends with the main characters separated again, but with the hope that the rift will open again for them.

I know it probably sounds terribly cheesy from that summary, but it was actually really good and I honestly loved the bond between the main characters. Their interaction was beautiful and character-developing for both of them and I seriously rooted for them.

I've had the sequel sitting around here for a while and I finally got around to trying it a couple of weeks ago or so.

I was ... honestly really disappointed.

One of the big draws about the first book was people from the past coming to the present. I find that infinitely more fascinating than people from the present going to the past.

The sequel is mostly all in the past, with the present-day characters going through a rift after they hear of trouble in the past from a poor guy who passed through the barrier to warn them before dying of wounds. Worse, the young man the girl is trying to find so desperately is absent for most of the book. He's been kidnapped, and it takes the majority of the book before they find him.

The two barely get to interact at all. Considering a reunion between them was one of the big things I was looking forward to in a sequel, I definitely found that lacking.

Also, the author decided to cross it over with his long-running series of books. You could tell he was really into that idea and excited to have the characters from the two series interact. I can totally understand that enthusiasm. But it seemed like he focused more attention on the characters he was bringing in rather than the ones who should be carrying the book.

I feel like I don't have much right to complain about that one, considering my own problem of loving episodic oneshot characters so much that they can sometimes gleefully run away with a story and leave the show's actual main characters in the dust. But since I really don't read the guy's other series, I'm not familiar with those characters at all and I'm disappointed to not have more focus on the ones I was reading the book for.

It also leaves things with people still in the past. And the time warps get really, really confusing. They're appearing all over the place, and sometimes the locations they lead to will change. And time is so fluid that in one part they're told that four years have passed, while going through another rift causes it to only be 18 months. At the end, one character ended up at least twenty years into the future! My brain hurts. I really think he went a little too wild with his time warps. And he says that the storyline will continue in any future books he writes in the other series. Sigh.

I want to see the characters get home. I want to see more characters from the past come into the present. I want to see if any of them decide to stay in the present. That was so much more interesting because it's so much less explored! (And because I love our present so much and can hardly stand to think of being stuck in the past without modern-day sanitation and other things....) But if we only get to see the storyline continue in books from the other series, it sounds like they'll probably be staying in the past for a long time and that the focus won't ever be solely on them again. I wonder if the characters I was rooting for will have any better interaction in another book than they did in what was supposed to be their own sequel.

(Also, a minor quibble is the main girl's full name. She's called Kerra, and I try to forget that the dad named her Sakerra because of the Japanese word for cherry blossoms. Ummmm.... Please to be spelling the word correctly if you're using it in such a key way, Sir. It should be Sakura! **headdesk.** I wonder if anyone has ever informed him that it's totally spelled and pronounced wrong.)

Sigh. So yeah. That was a really big disappointment. When I realized how the book was going, I started skimming and skipping around until I found where they finally found the guy. I'm not even sure I'll bother reading the stuff that came in-between. I think I'd rather focus on a little stack of unread books I have by my absolute favorite author, who writes mystery/suspense. There's usually a (clean) romance in the books, too, which sometimes makes me roll my eyes, but I tolerate it because I love the mysteries so much. He was a law enforcement officer for many years, and the books are really accurate on police and legal procedures because of that. I just adore them. I try to get every book of his that comes out. I'm still missing a few, which aggravates me as some of those few are out of print. But I have the majority of them.
ladybug_archive: (schrank)
So today I finally got to see Simon's other CHiPs episode! He was adorable! **cuddles him.** However, I do take issue with the episode. As mostly quoted from emails earlier tonight:

He ran a car alarm company and was bewildered because the cars he set up with alarms kept apparently being stolen and then reappearing in random places around the city. His college age daughter wanted to help him in the business and he didn't want her fiddling around under car hoods. In the end, it turns out that she was the one disabling the alarms and driving the cars off so they'd seem to be stolen, all to try to get his attention! Ugh! What's really disgusting about it is that his reputation was being ruined over it, and she didn't care and kept on selfishly doing what she was doing until she tried it on Ponch's car and he caught her. Simon was much too forgiving and adorable under the circumstances. It looked like she was going to get what she wanted. After ruining her father's reputation, she should have to pay in a legitimate way before it would even be a consideration! She didn't even say she was sorry!

Hopefully some action would be taken, even though it wasn't shown onscreen. Even if Ponch didn't press charges over his car, some of the other people might have. She even did it to the mayor's car! I can't believe her utter immaturity. Simon was adorable, but that was one time I really would have liked to see him go into full-blown yelling, chewing-out mode. I would have rooted for him all the way. His daughter really didn't deserve to get what she wanted after being so nasty.

Simon's character didn't want her dealing with the cars, but he wasn't really harsh about it like some of his characters might have been. Yet Ponch acted like he was being so awful, and when he revealed the girl's crummy actions, it seemed like he and Jon behaved as though they were on the girl's side. Not that they agreed with what she did, but they felt the father really needed to listen to her side. Which he did, true, but they should have warned her that what she did was really wrong and even criminal. Usually characters never get off scot-free on the show, so I'll keep figuring justice was done, but I'll always wish there had been some onscreen mention of it.

Honestly, I don't think this show writes female characters very well most of the time. I don't care much for Bonnie; she can really be a she-dog when she wants to be. (Although maybe that just started happening later on; I thought she was nicer in earlier seasons.) I did like Robbie the truck driver, though. And I usually like Sindy, although I was disappointed with her when she wanted to be "one of the guys" so much that she even joined in teasing a sensitive character (Grossman) way too long until he really felt hurt over it and then she shrugged it off when he felt bad, as though that was it and there was nothing she could do about it. Ponch really felt awful when he realized they'd taken the teasing too far, and he wanted to do something to try to help Grossman feel better, but that angle didn't really get developed. (Grossman did, however, get to be heroic in the climax and then kids were coming up to him wanting his autograph. Aww.)

I was a little surprised when someone recently proclaimed they hated CHiPs, and I've been pondering what could be the reason for that, especially since they like the somewhat similar Jack Webb shows of the 1970s. My guesses would be: 1, CHiPs is funnier than the Jack Webb shows. 2, CHiPs kind of sensationalizes huge car accidents and shows really horrifying things, like cars tearing through trucks as they fly through the air. (This wasn't done so much earlier, but became a staple later.) 3, They don't seem to be able to write very likable female characters much of the time.

I think CHiPs was better in the earlier seasons, like 1-3. I haven't always liked some of the goings-on in the later episodes. And season 6 sounds preposterous on so many levels. We not only lost three key cast members, but they started doing dumb plots like people believing that there were aliens or other monsters afoot, and it really looking like there were, before everything was resolved. CHiPs is a more realistic show aside from the sensationalized car crashes, so I don't think I'd care for season 6 very much.

And I'm wondering what to do with my Maverick fic. I'm to the point now where I think the main conflicts have been worked out as much as I'm going to let them be at this point, so I was going to write the epilogue and have Bart recovered enough that they're leaving, but there's also the fact that Bart being injured set up the whole plot. He's still injured and I suppose I could extend the story with a chapter of two of him trying to recover and focusing more on that. Maybe it wouldn't even look like the story was properly paced if I didn't.

One problem is, I don't really like detailing recoveries in every particular. My WWW RP partner lives for that part of the hurt/comfort, but I get bored by it if it goes on very long. (I prefer the angst of the hurt and the squee of the initial beginning to recover.) Detailing every instance of trying to stand again after being in bed for so long, or every changing of the dressing, etc.... I can think of at least two multi-chapter fics that remain unfinished because I couldn't figure out how to keep detailing everything like that and not be retreading old ground. I wonder if I should do one scene of each, though.

The other thing is, however, the hurt/comfort was kind of a secondary plot point. The main thing seems to have ended up being meeting Snakes and how the Mavericks deal with this, including the feelings Beau has of not really belonging in the family. It was also supposed to explore Bart and Beau's relationship and I've done a lot of that through their conversations and Beau being protective and Bart worrying about Beau. I'm just not sure if suddenly focusing more on the hurt/comfort would make sense.

I always read through the whole story before I post an epilogue, but with these confused feelings, I don't even know whether to finish my epilogue yet. Maybe I could have some brief hurt/comforty flashbacks in the epilogue to Bart's recovery scenes. I could probably do that without breaking the flow of narration and it might be better than devoting a whole chapter to it. On the other hand, maybe it wouldn't.

I guess the only thing I can do is read through everything as it stands right now and then decide what direction to take.
ladybug_archive: (faye)
So the Dark Kingdom arc is officially concluded and we are moving into the Black Moon/Chibiusa arc. Final thoughts on Dark Kingdom below, and a bit of thought on Black Moon (with a slight spoiler or two from the manga).

First arc end )

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: (steve)
So I was re-reading the two separate The Batman Strikes! comics and the graphic novel compilation I have. As I mentioned before, I thought the third Riddler comic was very badly done and OOC for him. There were always oddities in their Riddler stories, however, and I found myself wanting to believe the comics were a separate continuity and did not take place in the same verse as the show.

Some of the specific oddities: The Batman Strikes! Riddler is always blowing things up. Compare this to The Batman TV show Riddler, who threatens to blow things up, but actually only has lime Jell-O in the canisters. LOL. He isn't trying to hurt random innocent people; he just wants a distraction to keep Batman away from where he's stealing technology information.

Also, while I loved the first of the three Riddler comics, one thing I always found a little strange was that in the climax, he's built himself what looks like a throne. Now, he's a very arrogant fellow, it's true, but that seems a little extreme even for him. In the TV show, he never does anything to give the impression that he actually thinks of himself as royalty/a king/etc.

To me it feels like the comics have a sense of who this Riddler is, yet they miss the mark and never quite grasp it all the way.

Yesterday I found proof that the comics are indeed their own verse. In the TV show, Bruce Wayne meets Selina Kyle at a dinner party in the episode From Ragdolls to Riches. They become more or less friendly and continue associating. But Bruce starts to become suspicious of her and is surprised when she cashes a large check he gives her and donates it to a pet fund. She wasn't fond of Bruce's dog art. Oddly, neither he nor Alfred ever considered that maybe she liked another animal instead of dogs. **rolls eyes.**

In the comics, he meets her for the first time at an animal shelter event, where she adopts every kitty there. He wonders if she's going to give some away, since that's a lot of cats, and she says she could never give one of her darlings away.

I suppose it could be argued that since in the comics they just had the one meeting, maybe Bruce had forgotten it by the time they met in the TV show episode. However, it would seem he would remember eventually, especially considering she adopted all those kitties. That's not something one could easily forget! And if he remembered about the kitties, he wouldn't be surprised at her donating the check to the pet fund.

Therefore, I can only conclude that the comics meeting came before the TV show episode aired and each is meant to be their own verse. It makes me feel a lot happier to have come to that conclusion.

I wish the comics had been a little better with their Riddler characterization; I love new adventures featuring the versions of characters that I love. But it seems like in general, whenever I venture into a media type other than the TV shows, I'm disappointed by the characterization or other things in them.

I was excited when I heard about the Diagnosis Murder series of novels that would be written some years back. However, they were written by one of my least favorite writers from the show, Lee Goldberg. I know he's usually praised, but I think a lot of it is misguided hype. I find it disgusting how his scripts and also the novels tend to feature death in the most bizarre and gruesome ways, like one episode where a man is crushed by a bed of spikes plunging through him. Horrifying! Also, he tends to rely a lot on stupid scatological humor more than other writers. And I don't always like his characterization. I wasn't entirely fond of his version of Jack Stewart, and in his Monk novels, I think he misses the mark on Monk's characterization and also on Sharona's. One novel even features Monk chasing after another character over continents because he can't stand them going away. That is not Monk. He might feel like doing it, but he doesn't do it. If he was going to, he would have done it when Sharona left.

And then there's the My Little Pony comics. Someone said that they felt the characterization in the comics is basically the stereotypes of what the characters represent, without really getting into all the facets of the individual characters. To some extent, I agree. I don't like the characterization in the comics, especially of Rainbow Dash, and the Cutie Mark Crusaders drive me bonkers. They're being held prisoner and all they do is sit and talk about how maybe they'll get their Cutie Marks for being kidnapped, and other silly things like that. They drive Chrysalis crazy, so if that was their purpose, it was genius. But instead it seemed like they really were being brainless dolts, talking about their Cutie Marks instead of devising a plan to escape, like I'm sure they would have on the show. And other comic arcs just really make me raise an eyebrow, like the pirate one with Fluttershy. She seemed OOC there, from what I've heard about her trying to keep a fish when it didn't want to stay, and there are others who feel the same.

I think just about the only thing I like in the comics is that they made Trixie a deeper character. In the show and the movies, she's pretty much the most shallow character there. But in the comics, she recognizes she did wrong and is honestly trying to better herself.

And then there's the recent Six Million Dollar Man comics, which are much more gruesome than the show and take things into really bizarre territory, like a scientist getting cut by an alien substance and mutating into an alien creature. And the substance has infected others and the entire base is now under siege by this nonsense. It sounds like something from Superman or Marvel Comics, not The Six Million Dollar Man. And in the main plot, a rampaging robot tore off all the prosthetic/bionic limbs from Barney Hiller, a twoshot character from the show played by Monte Markham. It's treated very seriously and isn't gory, but it's sickening and horrifying and is much darker than the show.

And then there's a whole other category of "this isn't as good" when it comes to The Saint. I still feel like the TV show is better, but I don't think I'd ever dare say that to a nest of Saint fans. Most of them prefer the books and the character in those. Of course, unlike with the other things I've been talking about here, the books came first, so there wouldn't have been a TV show without them. I appreciate the books to that extent. But I really don't like how much more permissive The Saint is in the books and how he'll even let murderers go free if he thinks they were justified in killing. Sometimes, in some books, I believe he even kills himself, and not just in self-defense. I think it's only if the person is particularly evil, like a mad scientist or something, but still.

This week, MeTV has up two episodes based on short stories in the one short story collection I have: The Gentle Ladies and The Ever-Loving Spouse. I don't really like The Gentle Ladies in either incarnation, but I certainly prefer the TV version overall. The blackmailing bad guy is killed by accident when he falls down the stairs, instead of one of the ladies killing him on purpose. In the episode, Simon helps them make it look like the guy was trying to rob the place to avoid scandal about the creep's blackmailing ways. In the book, Simon buries the body in the yard.

The Ever-Loving Spouse follows the plot of the short story a little more than The Gentle Ladies does, but it expands on it favorably and I quite like the TV version. The book version annoyed me not just for Simon's reaction to the revelation of the murderer, but because Simon seemed to just be sitting by and letting things unfold around him. He wasn't really actively involved, except for finding the first body and then confronting the two-time murderer later. And he just lets the guy go free because he feels that blackmailers are so repulsive and that killing two of them isn't a great loss to the world. What he doesn't seem to consider is that perhaps the murderer will someday be afraid Simon will talk and so he'll come after Simon to kill him too! I wouldn't put it past the guy, since he killed twice and since he didn't really seem to trust Simon.

The TV version has the same murderer, but Simon figures things out before the second death and calls the person to try to warn her. Then he comes to stop the murder and is able to, and is going to see that both people go to prison for their respective crimes: blackmail and murder. He expresses a bit of sympathy for the murderer due to his desperation and seeming madness from what the blackmailers are doing to him, but he isn't going to let the guy go scot-free.

I know the idea in the books is that Simon feels that legal justice isn't always good enough for some criminals and so he takes the law into his own hands a lot more. But I guess I'm just a prude; I prefer the more cleaned-up version of the character in the TV show.

Gotham.

Oct. 15th, 2014 09:13 pm
ladybug_archive: (schrank)
So I decided I wanted to watch Gotham as soon as I learned that it is indeed part of the Batman mythos. Originally, when I just knew the name, I wasn't sure and figured it wasn't related, since Gotham is sometimes used as a nickname for New York and I didn't think a Batman show would air on FOX now that there's the CW and Warner Brothers has such grabby hands about their programming.

I was surprised and excited to learn otherwise! I guess FOX probably had to pay a pretty penny to air a series about Warner Brothers characters. And I'm guessing maybe Warner actually wanted it on FOX, so it would be seen as more mainstream and adult, since the CW is known for programs catering to teenagers.

(I find it amusing that I roll my eyes and scoff at teenage programming while happily enjoying children's programming. I suppose that's because children's programming will usually have friendship and family stuff, plus it can involve characters or brands I've loved for years, whereas teenage shows tend to focus on romance problems and that makes me eyeroll.)

Anyway, so Hulu has the show and I don't have the greatest relationship with Hulu, but I struggled to watch the episodes there anyway. I may try FOX Now for the next one and see if it will play any better for me. I will be amused if it does, since network websites usually play the worst for me. So much memory....

To discuss my thoughts on the show, I will repost some of the contents of a couple of emails I wrote and add some more thoughts to them. Behind the cut in case anyone else is watching it and hasn't seen all available episodes yet....

Gotham thoughts )

Overall, at this point, I think I'd rather watch this than see the trainwreck they've been turning Once Upon a Time into. Every time I think I might be up for trying the show again, each episode seems to get worse than the one before and I am just so upset at how they've been ruining such wonderful characters and relationships! Rumpel is spiraling more and more out of control, and the tidbits I've been learning from available interviews on future plot twists make me less and less happy. I stopped being able to accept the goings-on as canon after last year's winter finale. I don't think I will ever feel different, judging by how it's going. Part of me still wants to write my own version of season 3B, continuing from my Christmas oneshot last year, but there are some Once characters I really don't connect with and don't want to write for, and the desire to write a long multi-chapter Once fic is a lot less than the desire to work on some of my other projects. And fics that are supposed to actually encompass a whole season of events are extremely difficult to write. My Sailor Moon fic is that way and it is a bear sometimes, especially since I want to focus more on character relations and interactions then fighting the new villain.

Maybe what would appeal to me instead, since I keep wanting to do something with Once, would be to just write little oneshots or something about events in Storybrooke in my version of season 3B and beyond, and mostly focus on the characters I especially like. Thoughts?

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