Nikita 4×2 “Dead or Alive”

Okay, I just have some quick thoughts I need to jot down. They do include SPOILERS:

1. One, I totally cringed when Nikita and Michael started talking about their relationship issues during an operation, just like everyone else. However, the reason it’s okay and not just shoehorned in like so many other shows, is that it is totally in-character for Nikita to choose that time. Knowing she’s about to shoot Michael, even metaphorically, would bring all her guilt to the fore. When she’s not physically next to Michael and feels in control is totally when Nikita would be most willing to share her feelings. And knowing that physical separation, together with the fact that there was no real hurry or danger, made it not the utterly stupid thing that airing up those issues during missions usually is. (I’m looking at you, Ichabod Crane.)

2. I do not believe Birkhoff is cloned. Of all the characters on this show, Birkhoff has shown himself the most adept at hiding from the Division head honchos when hiding is what he wants, and as the tech guy instead of a field guy, he’s been constantly surrounded by people since back in last season. Reeallly don’t think that Nikita’s framing would lend itself to him so much as stepping outside for coffee, so no chance for him to be nabbed.

3. I love Amanda’s face when she believes Nikita is Finally actually turning into her.

4. Framing Alex seems more satisfying for Amanda than actually a good move for The Shop. She’s got a Cinderella Story and lots of documented charity behind her, that’s not a personage the public will be swayed against so easily.

In any case, I can’t wait for the end where Ryan will be set to run the new government, Owen will die having chosen who he wants to be, and shows she can actually be a partner, not a leader. These are my predictions-my main hope is that Birkhoff will get a happy ending, but I’m not holding my breath.

De-Disneyfied Dinner

Once more, it’s time to give thanks that our holiday meals are not Disneyish.

For instance:

1. Your pumpkin(pie)s have not been run over.
2. No eggshells will be folded into your pastries (at least not deliberately).
3. You won’t have to deal with talking birds while eating tasty poultry dishes.
4. There will be no bugs bathing in your beverages (or if there are they won’t be lucky enough to escape).
5. If the chow gets burned, you won’t have to cough your way through it anyway.
6. You can be sure your firewood/wood chips did not once belong to puppets.
7. Hyenas will not get first crack at your meal.
8. If you get caught up in drama and excitement, no one will smear jam on your face and expect it to calm you down.
9. The biscuits will be fit for humans, not raccoons.
10. You will not have to give a dog the vast majority of the cheese crumpets.

Seven points for every Disney reference you know. Fifteen points for any new Disney thanks you have to give. Points also still valid for last year’s list: https://wheresmytower.wordpress.com/2012/11/22/non-disney-dinner/

Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy every bite of food that you did not have to contend with an anthropomorphic animal to eat!

National Start Your Own Country Day (2)

Once again it is National Start Your Own Country Day! Those began last year can be seen here: https://wheresmytower.wordpress.com/2012/11/22/national-start-your-own-country-day/ and all three are doing very well….Which is no reason not to create new nations on this ironically “national” day.

Hear ye, hear ye, today marks the start of the country Gobletta!

Known for: Books, prolific readers/wisefolk, storytellers, and reading parties. Lesser products include all beverages that are conducive to reading, to oneself or out loud, and sturdy goblets to hold these beverages.

Official animal: Dog-sized panda bears. (They keep your feet warm whilst you read, snuggle with you while you listen to others read, and don’t try to steal the human refreshments at reading parties.)

Official flower: Lavender (Soothing, to help one focus on one’s studies and stories.)

Official motto: “You’re the same today as you’ll be in five years except for the people you meet and the books you read.”

– Charlie “Tremendous” Jones

Official flag: Bordered to look like an open book with shining gold-leaf page edges, it has the motto written in dark purple swirled ink, with the shadow of a goblet falling across the remaining page and a sprig of lavender in the middle, as if about to be pressed into the pages. It’s a highly literate country, of course it goes for words on its flag.

Go forth and proclaim your own country!

Lost Girl 4×1 and 4×2

Okay, it took me a bit to figure out my thoughts on the beginning of this season, but I do have them:

SPOILERS

On Kenzi:
-I don’t mind the storyline with her sparkle cream, but at the end of last season she was discovering she had potential to become a Real Fae, not this fake thing. Was that just totally switched out for the sparkle cream? Did I miss something where that was taken care of, cause last season she had to cover up her arm I think and now she’s definitely not. Cause that lack of consistency is something I am NOT alright with. What’s up with that?
-I maintain that Kenzi makes everything awesome, always, but….these first episodes keep putting her in situations designed to make female leads likable and entertaining (suddenly having to take care of a child, becoming a dirty dancer…) and Kenzi doesn’t need to be made likable or entertaining-she’s already the best thing about the show! So-why??? It seems like she could be rocking things so much harder if they just stopped throwing things at her and let Kenzi be Kenzi. In “In Memoriam” she was even acting like a faux-Bo half the time! No more mixing-even when Kenzi was Dyson they knew she needed to be Kenzi! That is what works.

On Bo:
-I understand that her pregnancy needed working around, but right from the beginning of “In Memoriam” I was begging them to not do the cliche cliff-hanger of only seeing one last shot of the protagonist’s face….and that’s what happened. Other than that there hasn’t been enough of her to have thoughts, so she had better be allowed to bring it next time, is all I can say.

On Selene and Endymion:
-I’ve been waiting for more Greek myth references on this show, but this seemed like the tamest possible way to do it. What’s with this playing safe thing, Lost Girl? That’s not what I think of with you.
-Eddie was fun but I wanted to know why he needed to know so much about emotions in order to try and do his job. Was it just a cover for his obsolescence or does he know of some sort of theory about love that can help locate people that could maybe be learned by others? What? It just seemed like it was all there for Dyson’s big speech and I like to see characters all having their own motivations.

On Aife:
-So, Trick’s whole thing about Aife going crazy again because she remembered losing her daughter is clearly crap since she did remember Bo even when no one else did. Is this a show inconsistency or is Trick just lying about stuff? Also, why has no one gone to ask her more things about Bo’s dad yet?

On Tamsin:
-Little Tamtam pleases me, but she needs to stop hogging the Kenzi.

Others I am simply having to wait and see, as I haven’t seen enough to judge current Lauren, Cleo, or Vex lines. What do you guys think?

The Flavor of “Reign”

So, this was the biggest surprise to me, but…I love this show! I know, I shouldn’t, I study history and it is wildly inaccurate, but here’s the thing: it’s so wildly inaccurate that it’s not even pretending to be a real history show. So long as it’s not really an imposter to history, I see no point in hating something for not being right and I believe “Reign” falls in this category for very important reasons:

Dolorous Crystal Bodychain on Adelaide Kane CW Reign

(SPOILER FREE)

1)They play modern music. Anything with modern music is either not pretending to be history at all or is absolutely rotten. This show is so far from pretensions to reality that I actually enjoy the soundtrack, as it goes rather well with what the show actually IS.
2)The costumes are ridiculously off. This is the second of the main two things that all audiences are most likely to pick up on and as they often are not even vaguely accurate, this is the second big thing that lets the show off the hook. Particularly as these wildly inaccurate confections are glorious.
3)Within the first 10 minutes we are informed that ghosts will be a major part of the plot. Which brings us to-
4)What “Reign” actually is, is A GOTHIC MYSTERY ROMANCE. With not only ghosts, but a Blood Woods, and angsty music (I told you there was a reason it works for me.) Only instead of being stuck wandering around a dark, deserted manor, we get treated to the bright, lavish, scheming court when not roaming secret hallways or communing with spirits. And instead of putting up with Bronte-type heroes, we get a variety of moral centers to choose from in the male part of the cast. The revelation that a Gothic mystery romance was actually what I was watching actually managed to explain the most egregious historical crime for me, as it was relevant to the whole lifestyle and plotlines of the story as opposed to the specifics of Queen Mary: There are nowhere near enough extras. And while it is still laughable that Mary is often wandering about alone with no other living souls about, servant, guard, or otherwise, now I know why-because that’s what has to happen in a Gothic mystery romance, It all makes sense! Although occasionally they actually draw attention to the absence of guards for a plotline and it is still hilarious, but hey-what they’re actually doing is something where this lack of people is necessary, where modern music works, and where court life actually meshes with Gothic ghosts. That is Amazing and I deeply appreciate it. I think you should, too.

I should admit that it helps that I have never met a version of the actual Mary, Queen of Scots that I found particularly compelling in this period. On the other hand, if you like the actual historical Mary then knowing what would eventually happen would just make a show depressing. “Reign” not only has a heroine who appears to actually make the most sensible decisions she can in her circumstances most of the time, but as she is clearly not historical there is no need for such sadness! This one could be hypnotized into marrying her second husband! Or be switched with a body double right before her execution by the ghost! Her future is wide open! Which is how a good Gothic mystery romance should be-free to make crazy revelations at any moment. I like that. Especially when Mary’s supporting cast include a girl who’s basically an earlier Jane Bennet without a Lizzie, a girl determined to hold the sexual revolution back then, and Susan from the Narnia movies.

White Queen 1×7 “Poison and Malmsey Wine”

FINALLY, this show has joined the ranks of a proper history soap opera! The costumes are looking up, they took a moment for simply a beautiful nature shot, they left room for some mystery…it has arrived. This is definitely my favorite episode so far.

SPOILERS:

-Margaret Beaufort, turns out you just needed things to Do other than mope around about your son and Lancaster in order to enliven the screen. The baby thing in itself and as your way in was dumb, but you went for it and by golly, anything that makes you stop bellyaching and start spying and speaking with dignity is excellent. However, it would have been that much better if you’d been seen subtly scaring off the other maid before she asked the queen to leave court, so it would be clear you’re still backstabbing and scheming away.

-David Oakes, your Juan pt. 2, the English One ends as outrageously as I had hoped. From the moment I saw you stroking your dog while watching brother-sex I was worried about the relationship. I was relieved to see it ended in a superstitious death. Also, I shall go ahead and give you credit for brainwashing Isabel for that year we didn’t see-getting her so afraid of Lizzie she could have died of voodoo-inspired fear was quite the accomplishment. Still a big fan of your hissyfits, but seeing one start with you in a bull mask was a special treat. Also, choosing a colorful way to go literally gains my approval.

-Edward…I love your lion outfit. Why do you keep whoring around and pretending to go to war so much when you’re obviously way too tired to make any kind of decent decisions ever and merely bend to wife, brothers, or the letter of the law without much foresight or zest? The year has not been kind to you, has it? Perhaps you’ve already got STDs and that accounts for it.

-Anne, why does everyone else get new clothes but you remain stuck in the one plain silhouette ALWAYS? I feel like this episode had you wanting to jump ship to Revenge, wanting to destroy someone for your fallen family member, clearly not knowing everything, needing Victoria’s advice about controlling powers that be instead of just having to choose a side…yeah, you’d fit RIGHT in. And they’d liven up your wardrobe, too.

-Elizabeth, I feel for you. One snarky comment about your womb being able to beat up everyone else’s womb and suddenly court is exploding in your face. What I’d like to know is how everyone somehow realized you were responsible for the storm that killed Izzy’s firstborn-don’t think that’s ever been comprehended before and it had no realization moment. However, storming after George in front of everyone served no useful purpose except to show off your sparkly gold dress. This is a schemey political show and you’ve got witchcraft-why bother to go after him yourself? It’s the least interesting choice. Your problem here seems, in fact, to be that you are too direct and honest. You let everyone know how you feel, you’re consistent, and you try to come at problems head-on. These are not the most useful problems from a TV perspective, but you’re doing them with flair.

-Richard, I am glad they let you speak up for George. On the other hand, your dealings with Anne are becoming too focused on dark looks. Your best moment really was when you got to blow up at your mom over her favoritism. Also, you at least have been paying attention to the foreshadowing. Please, let that not be played out as a self-fulfilling prophecy instead of actually your decision.

-Dear show, see how that works out for everyone when there’s not absolute clarity about a suspicious death? That’s what we’re looking for. That and more present complexities instead of filling in with repetitive foreshadowing. And more masquerades/intriguing scenery. Take note!

Top Ten Sequels Looking Forward To:

This is a belated Top 10 Tuesday generated by The Broke and the Bookish: What are the top 10 sequels you’re looking forward to reading now? This one is hard for me, but I think I’ve managed:

1. Untold by Sarah Rees Brennan, sequel to Unspoken (https://wheresmytower.wordpress.com/2012/09/28/unspoken-the-lynburn-legacy/)
kami

2. Copperhead by Tina Connolly, sequel to Ironskin (https://wheresmytower.wordpress.com/2013/09/19/ironskin/)
Ironskin-cover

3. Merlin by Jane Yolen, the last book in her Merlin trilogy.

4. xo Orpheus: 50 New Myths edited by Kate Bernheimer (http://www.amazon.com/xo-Orpheus-Fifty-New-Myths/dp/0143122428)
-I am counting this as a sequel/companion book to her anthology of new fairy tales called “My Mother, She Killed Me, My Father, He Ate Me” which is fantastic.

5-9. The Prince’s Doom by David Blixt, sequel to Master of Verona (https://wheresmytower.wordpress.com/2012/06/06/the-master-of-verona/), Voice of the Falconer (https://wheresmytower.wordpress.com/2012/06/09/voice-of-the-falconer/), and Fortune’s Fool (https://wheresmytower.wordpress.com/2012/06/20/fortunes-fool/)

-This counts as 5-9 because, while The Prince’s Doom is the only title of a sequel I know, David Blixt himself has assured me, in comments on the Master of Verona review, that the series will continue for at least 4 books after that and naturally, I am looking forward to all of them.

>10. The Four Emperors by David Blixt, sequel to Colossus: Stone and Steel (https://wheresmytower.wordpress.com/2012/09/20/colossus-stone-and-steel/)
-Again, there are at least 2 more books after this in the series-that have titles already even!- because David Blixt is an outrageously prolific author, and I am just behind. Grad school will do that.

So, hah! I have made it to 10 AND BEYOND, thanks to Blixt’s complex plotlines which really deserve and need so many books to tell.
So, what’s in your reading queue?