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#killing eve if society was just and fair
thevindicativevordan · 8 months ago
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Hi. I want to get into Supergirl. What stories would you recommend?
For Kara my recommendations would be:
New 52 Supergirl - I enjoyed this start to finish. It's all still canon given Rebirth didn't change Kara's continuity at all as far as I can tell. Highlight is of course the arcs where she fights the World Killers, where Kara becomes a Red Lantern, and the ending where she joins a "superhero school" called the Crucible. If you're in the mood for a more angry Kara, this is overall enjoyable.
Supergirl Rebirth by Steve Orlando - Conversely if you're not digging the New 52 take, this might be more your speed. Orlando tries to build upon New 52 Supergirl by synergizing with the CW show alongside adding in his own ideas to mixed success in my opinion.
Supergirl by Sterling Gates and Jamal Igle - If you don't care about continuity read this, it's still one of her best runs. The CW Supergirl show took a lot of inspiration from this, so if you're a fan of the show you'll enjoy it.
Supergirl: Becoming Super - Fair warning, this is pretty much just retelling Clark's origin except with Kara substituted in his place. Enjoyable nonetheless and has fantastic Joelle Jones art.
Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the Eighth Grade - An all ages Elseworld book where Supergirl has to navigate Earth school and interact with wacky versions of familiar DC characters, including Superman himself. My littlest sister loved it.
Supergirl: Exit Interview by Andrea Shea - Kara gets fired from Catco because she's never around, and has to ask herself whether she really wants to be a journalist. Great little short story.
Supergirl by Marc Andreyko - Supergirl and Krypto go off into the cosmos on a quest to uncover the truth about whether a secret society called The Circle had any connection to Krypton's destruction. Bendis' The Man of Steel mini acts as a prologue but I don't feel that's required to understand this. Probably my second favorite Supergirl run after the New 52.
Supergirl Annual #2 by Robert Vendetti - While this is unfortunately marred a bit by having to tie in to nonsense with the Batman Who Laughs, it's still a fantastic done in one story about Kara remembering her final days on Krypton.
Future State: Kara Zor-El, Superwoman by Marguerite Bennett - After Jon took over the mantle of Superman, Kara leaves Earth and sets up a colony on the moon for outcasts. One outcast arrives and brings trouble with her.
Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow by Tom King - Supergirl meets True Grit. A little alien girl named Ruthye asks Supergirl for help on an important quest: tracking down and killing Krem, the man who murdered her father. Absolutely gorgeous art by Bliquis Evely elevates this tour of the DC Cosmos as the duo track Krem across the galaxy.
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work-of-waking-up · a year ago
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In Defense of the Psychopath
Alright, wanna venture into my crazy ass brain? I’m going to start by saying one thing that will set the tone for everything else that follows: Villanelle is not a psychopath in the way that we currently understand them. Why am I even bothering to write about a fictional character, you ask? Because representation is important. Media portrayal of various mental and behavioral health topics (including ones that people might not think need to be discussed) is important and this show has a big audience. I also just want to contribute to the conversations that are taking place because I am seeing A LOT of them and the reason for that I believe boils down to the fact that Jodie makes Villanelle so relatable and people want to know what that means and looks like for them. Even those who felt they could relate to Sandra’s Eve, or the relationship between the two, maybe questioned what that meant the further they went down the path with them. “It’s probably a bad thing I relate to a psychopath, right? But she can’t be a psychopath because she cries and she feels things! Psychopaths don’t cry, which means she isn’t realistic so therefore it’s okay that I relate to her! Right? Or are my assumptions about psychopaths and people with antisocial personality disorder wrong? I relate to Eve but look what she is underneath it all...so does that mean I relate to that part of her too?” Not only is villanelles character relatable, but people see the freedom inherent within her, the freedom that Eve sees, and they realize that, at least on some level, they want it too. The show has (unintentionally I think) created a massive dialogue which is super cool and you can tell everyone involved on the show is aware of that now, I mean they have a consulting psychiatrist so I think that speaks for itself. This is less of a commentary on the character herself and whether or not she is a genuine psychopath, and more so a commentary on the conversations she has inspired and why... For the record, this is literally just my opinion sprinkled with a few facts, nothing else.
So, the term psychopath gets thrown around in the show, more so in the beginning, MI6 explicitly labels Villanelle this way, even going so far as to use her in a presentation about psychopaths, although I think that was more so to gauge Eve’s response than anything else. The reality of Villanelle, which we come to learn, is that nobody has been able to get close enough to really know the truth. Anna and Konstantin both got close but we never hear either of them use that word (Konstantin says it once but he clearly doesn’t mean it, it was more of an attempted manipulation tactic). They make it clear that she has, and can, and WILL cause damage, but that’s as far as they go. Eve is getting close and she tells Villanelle when they first meet that she knows Villanelle is a psychopath but it’s obvious from Eve's behavior and things she says later on that she truly doesn’t believe Villanelle is what everyone says she is. It’s easier to label her as a psychopath because that alienates and isolates her and her behavior completely. She is an outlier with behavioral anomalies and therefore it isn’t necessary to look any closer. For MI6 and others (not talking about the shows creators) to label Villanelle as a psychopath is easy, it’s lazy, it’s reductive, it serves a single purpose... a means to an end. They (anyone other than Eve basically) simply do not care about Villanelle’s truth. But as an audience we are lucky enough to see more of her with each episode. The psychopath label begins to fade and Oksana is what’s left. We know based on what she has said that she is aware that people think she is a psychopath, a monster, a person built to kill. It’s not always easy to decide that who you are is different from who you’ve always been told you are, especially given her history. Villanelle hasn’t told us yet if she thinks (or knows) that she is a psychopath, but it’s clear towards the end of last season that she no longer wants to be the person that they (meaning the twelve, Dasha, Konstantin, etc.) created. We see moments where she clearly has no remorse and clearly enjoys what she does, but then we have little moments sprinkled in between where she very obviously struggles, even if its short lived. And those moments are important. We have the moment where she struggles with the choice to shoot Konstantin, saying he is a good person, she thinks. This comes shortly after a conversation she had where Irina tells Villanelle she thinks she is a good person because she is sad, so we know she is thinking about it, we know the awareness is there, and it becomes more and more there as times goes on. I like to think of it in terms of having moments that are pure Villanelle (ie the way she killed Inga in the Russian prison), and then we have moments that are Oksana, vulnerable and emotional. Villanelle is a creation and a mask whereas oksana is the truth. Those moments are starting to really mean something. I'm not even going to start with her trip to find her family, that’s its own thing, but it's a Really Big Thing.
So. Villanelle is not a psychopath in the way that we currently understand and perceive them. Yes, she displays psychopathic traits, and yes, she absolutely has antisocial personality disorder. I read an article where the psychiatric consultant for the show (makes it pretty obvious how hard they worked to make Villanelle as realistic as possible) said that the Villanelle in Luke Jenning’s books scored a 32 on Hare’s psychiatric checklist, but I like to think (and I think a lot of people would agree) that number is a bit high, at least for Jodie’s Villanelle, maybe not even hitting 30 at all (close though, let’s be real lol). The max score is 40 which would be a fully blown primary psychopath. For reference, Ted Bundy scored 39. This checklist is flawed though, mostly created and based off the prison population. Which is why it isn’t used as a proper diagnostic tool. 32 is apparently extraordinarily high for a female (think Aileen Wuornos), which brings me to my next point which is that because it’s hard to measure a lot of the classic traits objectively, there is not a ton of solid data surrounding psychopathy, and even less of it is on female psychopaths. Like most things in life, psychopathy exists on a spectrum, there are levels and layers. It’s not black and white, there’s no definitive test (psychopathy isn’t even in the DSM-5 because as I said earlier it’s extremely hard to measure objectively) and it's important to distinguish between someone who exhibits psychopathic traits and someone who is actually an identifiable psychopath. Chances are high that someone you know displays at least one characteristic shared with psychopaths and this doesn’t make them one.
I think what’s important about this is that mental disorders (mental illness/personality disorders/etc.) of any kind are much more nuanced than a lot of people tend to think they are. That they exist less in black and white and more in shades of grey. Jodie Comer is absolutely remarkable for showcasing that through portraying the different layers of Villanelle. Her performance is a literal gift. We cannot keep thinking and acting like we know everything about how a person thinks, feels, and behaves based strictly and entirely on one label. The thing that has stuck out to me the most, the reason I decided to even write this bullshit babble, is that one of the most searched topics about the show is whether or not it’s realistic that Villanelle cries, and honestly how sad is that? That makes me sad for V. Is it more realistic for her to develop connections and cognitive empathy if she was made into a psychopath vs if she was born that way? Is there a legitimate difference between the two? And how do we even decide which one is applicable for someone? It’s important to add that antisocial personality disorder is not the same thing as psychopathy or sociopathy. You can have aspd and not be a psychopath. Research has shown that about only a third of those diagnosed with aspd would meet criteria to be considered a psychopath. Society is not doing a great job at getting people to understand this. But to be fair, understanding personality disorders specifically has been somewhat problematic, a lot of diagnostic confusion and overlap between disorders. A LOT of work needs to be done. But as far as portrayals go, society has strictly chosen to go the route of giving us psychopathic characters and having them be inherently violent, incapable of remorse, feelings, or change. Poverty of all emotions. Subhuman. They are made out to be so abnormal and unrelatable to the point where the character of Villanelle has sparked so much debate and fascination simply because she exists in a way that actually IS relatable...and layered and beautiful and thrilling. We thought she would be the bad guy and yet we root for her at every turn, we cry for her, we want good things for her! We see her darkness and without question or hesitation we forgive it. She makes us question what we’ve previously been shown. Questioning whether or not it’s realistic that she acts the way she does is less important than questioning our own personal assumptions and beliefs and where those come from. I think that’s awesome. Villanelle is truly a gift. She is hands down one of the most well written fictional characters, which is saying a lot considering when you put something, or someone, in a box it doesn’t leave tons of room for expansion. and I honestly don’t even really need to say this, but.. Jodie Comer.
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thequietmanno1 · 5 months ago
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Thelreads, MHA 253, Replies Part 1
1) “Oh no. This ain`t good. The following chapter didn`t had a name on the folder left by my sister. Oh boy this definitely ain`t good, I know what this type of shit means, I remember the last times we had chapters that I couldn`t know the tittle.
Well, I suppose there`s nothing to do but jump in the pit of despair that is to follow. Follow me, into Chapter 252, and together we shall find the light at the end of the tunnel. Hopefully it won`t be the oncoming train.”- Good idea to trust your first instinct, shame it couldn’t protect you from the revelation we’ve been building up for months towards, ever since you started Vigilantes. It wasn’t an oncoming train, but the lorry convoy and its cargo of retrospective agony instead.
2) “Oh boy, back at U.A. are we? Already over the Endeavor business, and back into business with the true horror of a teenager`s life: math homework.”- Better than the other alternative of getting abducted and spending your adolescent years getting remodelled into a sentient monster at the behest of people you’ve never even met, all to suit their purposes. Shirakumo might still be around inside Kurogiri, but he’s spent a long time walking around under All For One’s commands- perhaps even longer than he was alive as a human being even.
3) “Not gonna say that it had just begun, right? Midoriya, the amount of shit you guys went through was enough for at least three lifetimes, don`t try to tell me it was nowhere close to reaching its lowest moment”- Oh, we’re well past the beginning stages, but it is kinda a sobering though, realising that all the chaotic mayhem and gradual worsening of the situation has occurred so rapidly in only a little under nine months’ worth of time. Sure, All For One and the league kicked things off, but such a rapid change in the stability of the country indicates just how fragile it was all along, and how paper-thin the lie of true peace and safety was that All Might fought and bled to uphold for the ordinary people who just wanted a life of peace, even as his own efforts further frustrated and oppressed those who sought a different type of peace outwith what society would grant them.
4) “Also, I already see what this is gonna be about. Jesus that`s a bit more comforting, knowing that this is going to be a new year`s chapter, goddammit the lack of tittle worried me for a moment. fuck`s sake, stop tricking me like this”-The moment you feel most relaxed is the moment the trap is sprung and the pain is delivered nice and fresh.
5) “Well, you see, Bakugo realized the real victory was all the friends you made along the way. Midoriya learned of all of endeavor`s weakspots and good places to dispose a body in case Todoroki needs some help.”- Shoto learned that forgiveness is not something that is easily obtained or granted on a whim and that he needs to work on some more hot/cold one liners for putting villains down.
6) “Calm down Aizawa, the day just got started and the kids are on their way to the killing ground, don`t tell me you came all this way to give them some shitty news or something, we don`t need this kind of negativity on this house.”-Well Aizawa’s got some fairly shitty news coming his way shortly enough and it renders him so negative he can’t even stay on campus anymore.
7) “…
I have a slightly suspicion that we`ll see very little of the new year`s eve this chapter, by the way things are going. It wasn`t this the reason I was denied the tittle, right?”- You see the outline of the trap but not the exact mechanism by which it will active…
8) “…
God fucking dammit Ida.”- To be fair, learning how to act loose and easy-going is something that’s quite hard for Iida to do and very important if he wants to get along with a sizeable number of sidekicks like Tenya did- which, I always kinda assumed he’d be aiming for, if he wanted to surpass him as a hero.
9) “Oh good, they called him to talk before he snapped and- well, snapped Kaminari and Sero`s necks”- Oh, he’s about to snap in a very different, not-funny way….
10) “Huh, new costume? I don`t see anything different, but then again, I`m not that good with details- HAGAKURE CAN YOU PUT A SHIRT PLEASE? THIS IS A CHRISTIAN WEBSITE, BEHAVE YOURSELF!”- I think she’s added wider, more antenna-like protrusions to her helmet, possibly for allowing Radio communication, as well as large gauntlet-like ‘cuffs’ she can store her new wire tool in alongside other, more important objects…
11) “And Uraraka apparently got some new equipment alongside her costume change. A heavy wire on her wrist… I do wonder, is she going to make her own version of Black whip? Is she going to incorporate a medium range weapon on her arsenal after Midoriya started using one as well? Well, that will be answered after we see what is that Mina  just dropped.”- Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but thinking about it, Uraraka’s quirk is basically perfect for web-swinging anyway and cuts out the nasty side-effects of gravity pulling you down if you don’t find another anchor point to grab onto fast before you hit the ground. Plus, with her gravity nullification, she can either grab objects floating away from her and reel them towards a target or hold onto civilians and use the wire as a guiding line to move them to a safe location, such as down off a high-rise building that’s on fire.  Of course, that was all secondary to having the excuse to get a large enough compartment added to her costume to have a very important gift by her side at all time when she needs a morale boost…
12) “Oh, I remember that, isn`t it the gift Midoriya got her?”- Mina and the other girls recognise it too, meaning we weren’t the only one watching that little gift exchange with interest…
13) “oh yeah, it was that, and mina, as the absolute shipper that she is, immediately connected the dots on what it was and why Uraraka had it. Yeah, we all know the reason for that as well wink wink ;) ”- It was to give us a final dose of wholesome shipping teasing before the rest of the chapter introduces the failed outcome of a teenage romance cut short by tragedy and literally warped into an unrecognisable form…
14) “Meanwhile, there`s no place for romance at the MANLY MAN LOCKER ROOM OF MANLINESS. HERE WE ONLY SPEAK OF MUSCLES, GUNS, POWER, and the crushing weight of expectations caused by toxic masculinity and the difficulty on opening up about it to other people due to the fear of not conforming to society. ALSO CARS AND GUNS MOUNTED ON CARS.”- Fittingly, Bakugou shortly thereafter demonstrates an insecure teenager’s reaction to feeling like he’s getting overshadowed by his competitor and getting rendered insignificant in their personal race to become number one- excessive use of violence to demonstrate his disapproval, remind everybody that he’s there and plenty strong already and vent his frustrations with himself for feeling weaker than Izuku, even if momentarily. Truly, this boy is a psychologist’s field day.
15) “OH JESUS FUCK BAKUGO
YOU FUCKING KILLED HIM LIKE THAT?!”- And we can take this as proof that Bakugou regularly bolts a sharp piece of spiky metal to his face as part of his costume for no other reason than to look cool and imposing, even though it’s gotta be pretty heavy and cardboard would probably do the trick just as well. This kid goes the extra mile to look like his idealised image of a manly hero, so it’s no wonder he gets along so well with Kirishima.
16) “HOLY JESUS THAT WASN`T EVEN A GAG THAT HAPPENED FOR REAL”- Luckily, it seems the next piece of OFA’s powers that Izuku’s unlocking is the ridiculous durability All Might demonstrated from getting blasted through multiple buildings with only minor damages to show for it, allowing him to tank impalement with barely a reaction once the shock wore off. Kid’s gonna be nearly bulletproof by the time he fully masters his abilities.
17) “OH MY GOD HE`S STILL GOING ON EVEN THOUGH HE DIED”- They eventually needed surgery to get it out, and whilst Izuku’s mostly fine, they have to leave a piece of the mask stuck inside his brain and now he can no longer count backwards from 10.
18) “ALL MIGHT PLEASE THIS IS NOT THE TIME FOR JOKES, YOUR SON DIED AND BAKUGO DOESN`T EVEN REGRET IT, DO SOMETHING PLEASE!”- Or it’s precisely the time for jokes, because poor Aizawa is not in a good place and somebody’s gotta keep the kids occupied and unaware of their teacher’s grief until he’s had time to process all these revelations and compose himself.
19) “Urgent business, eh? Was it something related to Eri? Well, it doesn`t look like it, since he`s out of school right now… I don`t know, something fucky is going on, and I`m already getting scared.”- This dates back to before he became a certified dad, and in fact, is mostly the reason he even became one in the first place.  The Skeletons in your closet don’t normally come out and say ‘hello’ on their own, and with this particular zombie, Aizawa doesn’t even know what to think anymore- hell, the man’s so shaken he can’t even drive himself to the prison, even though he’s gotta own some kind of motorised vehicle and a licence if he wants to get around.
20) “Oh, you got Mic to drive you around? dammit aizawa- and you even complain while he drives your ass around, fuck`s sake man, let him be a responsible driver.”- At this point, the unanswered hope that it’s all a mistake and the horrible, horrible reality they’re in where their childhood friend got frankenstiened together into a tailor-made monster by somebody they didn’t even know existed until a few months ago isn’t real is the only reason Aizawa isn’t having a full-on mental breakdown, and the warring desire to confirm in and at the same time, reject the truth is making him irritable. Beyond even the horror of what’s become of Kumo, he’s seen All For One in action, and knows exactly who did that to his friend.  Aizawa’s past shows that he’s well aware of his weaknesses, and even if he wants to enact vengeance for the desecration of his old friend, there’s nothing he can do against somebody as awe-inspiringly powerful as All For One himself, especially since he’s currently locked up and absolutely isolated from the outside world. He can do nothing about this messed-up situation, so the only thing he can do right now is pray that it’s not real… but Horikoshi and All For One have no kindness to spare. @thelreads
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wings-flames-and-ashes · a year ago
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12 Days of Ficmas - Day 11
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Pairing: Shigaraki Tomura x reader
Prompt: “I might hate the holidays, but you don’t, so here’s your gift.”
Word Count: 1,327
Warning(s): none (i just like the idea of Shigaraki.exe stopped working lol”)
Taglist:  @bakugotrashpanda​, @kingkatsuki, @mnhorseowner​
12 Days of Ficmas Masterlist
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When you spent your first holidays with the League, you expected Twice and Toga to be at their most joyous, even more excited than a small kid that got to experience the holiday traditions for the first time. What you did not expect was the same set of people initiating to do a “Secret Santa'' event in which each member was assigned to another one to get them a small gift for Christmmas. Initially, it was highly rejected by Shigaraki, who thought this would be nothing more than an unnecessary distraction from their next move to take down hero society. With enough perseverance from Magne, Mr. Compress and of course Toga and Twice, they settled on doing the event nonetheless. Tomura was not happy with it, but he thought it would make more sense to for once let the League do what they want and get their spirits high and their guard low. A little break never killed anyone, right?
It wasn’t entirely to the leader’s liking and it took him some time to adjust to the bright colours of the lights when the Toga insisted on decorating the hideout. It also took time to get Shigaraki used to the idea of giving and receiving gifts. When the League drew their Secret Santa’s, Shigaraki was genuinely confused when Magne pressed a the leftover name into his hand. She insisted that everyone, even the leader, would partake in their little event. 
When he unwrapped the paper later at night and saw your name he was even more puzzled. You were a new member who joined their cause, he barely knew you, yet he was expected to just give you something? His eyes landed on you, watching your reaction when you unfolded the paper you got from Magne. It seemed like for some reason, this holiday meant something for you. He couldn’t understand why, to him the whole process was nothing more but stress. After he disregarded it at first and left the piece of paper on the table in his room, it took Kurogiri’s efforts during long nights at the bar to bring him to set things into motion. 
The unfamiliarity with the holidays and the stress of getting a simple present for one person had quickly turned into the opposite of the holiday spirit for Tomura. If getting even one present was this stressful, he couldn’t imagine doing this for everyone he was close to. In the end he had to consult Magne and Toga to get more insight into what to get you as well as get Kurogiri to warp him to a shop to get it.After he fought with the wrapping for the longest time he frustratedly left your present how he bought it and got up to give it to you. 
He found you in the lounge, leaning against the bar and talking to Kurogiri. “Hey, newbie.”
You looked up from your phone and met his gaze, inviting him to sit with you at the bar. Kurogiri was stationed behind the bar, keeping an eye out for the young leader from a safe distance.
“Look,” he started out, quickly finding himself stuck at what to say next, the present he got you in one of his hands behind his back. He shuffled uncomfortably into the seat next to you after a gesture from Kurogiri, telling him he should at least sit down if he wanted to give you the present now. “I hate the holidays, but you don’t so here’s your gift.”
Before he could bring forth your present, he was cut off when you turned towards him. “I thought this is your first Christmas? How can you hate it?”
“I just do.” Shigaraki stated bluntly. 
You couldn’t hold back the small chuckle, Tomura was as distrustful as ever. The fact that he just outed himself as your Secret Santa didn’t seem to bother him at all either. “Why do you want to give me the present anyway? It’s not even Christmas Eve yet.”
“Are you supposed to give gifts on a specific day?” His question was almost outrageous and it made you laugh even harder. It was almost cute how clueless he was.
“Yes Tomura, that’s the whole point.”
The leader remained quiet, his eyes searching for Kurogiri’s advice. “Well whatever, I have it now so either take it or leave it.”
He scrambled with something behind his back before pushing a plushie with a santa hat into your hands. It was the last thing he thought of after Toga told him that you liked cute animals. “Merry Christmas or... whatever.”
A perplexed look shot across your face, Tomura’s head turning away and folding over his chest. Was that… some redness you saw there? Your mind wandered back to the plushie in your hands, fingers running through it. “It’s really cute. Thank you, secret Santa,” you winked, petting the plush animal. 
“It’s whatever, no big deal.” Shigarki turned to leave. This was embarrassing enough already, he’d rather not to talk about this again, or have others witness him doing this.  
“Wait, you forgot your present.” The sentence made him stop and turn in his tracks.
“You.. have a present for me?” He approached the bar again, crawling back into the seat next to you
With a warm smile you showed him the tiny crumpled piece of paper you kept with you, “I... actually drew your name at the start and wanted to wait ‘till Christmas, but since you gave me yours already, I guess it would only be fair to give you yours, too.”
Shigaraki blinked with confusion when you put a hand on his shoulder and left the room. He exchanged a few quick looks with Kurogiri who just gave him a nod. A few moments later you returned with a neatly wrapped package in your hands. You handed it over to Tomura who reluctantly took it from you. 
“This is for me?” He eyed it strangely, touching and inspecting it before starting to unpack your gift. 
You smiled at him, watching as he tore the wrapping apart. Under the shiny red bow and the green wrapping he uncovered a pair of black gloves, all fingers except the pinky covered. He carefully unpacked and examined them, glancing back and forth between the gloves and you.
“They’re special ones from Ujiko. Kurogiri told me you never want to wear normal ones because you’re afraid of them not withstanding your quirk.”
His eyes didn’t leave the gloves, still staring at them in disbelief that something like that came from you. The hesitance in his words and actions made you slouch back into your chair. “Do you not like them?”
Under his soft blue hair, the red of his eyes looked even more beautiful and not as threatening with the expression he tried to give you right now. Tomura was struggling to find words, only rasping an incoherent “Thank you.” while he kept brushing his fingers over the gloves.
The quietness returned but you were at least glad he didn’t reject your giftt. You kept staring at him, sensing there was more that he wanted to say by the way his lips were twitching. When Shigaraki opened his mouth to speak, he was interrupted by Toga calling your name, saying something about helping her choose a colour for Twice’s wrapping paper. 
You replied that you would come right away, getting up from the bar stool. “Merry Christmas Tomura,” you whispered, daring to ruffle his hair a little before leaving the lounge, joining Toga in her room. Shigaraki was left at the bar, still staring at the gloves.  
It’s safe to say that no glasses or game controllers he held from that evening on were ever dusted again. Tomura wore the gloves whenever he spent time with other League members or with you. It became a reminder for him that the League was the family he never had and that people indeed cared about him. 
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aion-rsa · a year ago
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Squid Game Ending Explained
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This SQUID GAME article contains MAJOR spoilers.
For a series with a relatively well-worn premise, Netflix’s Squid Game sure does manage to pack a lot of surprises into its conclusion. It does this in large part by recognizing that the series’ success hinges not so much on who wins the game, but on how they win it and what it all means. Like the show’s beginning, much of Squid Game‘s final hour is set outside the world of the arena—this time, a year following the events of the bulk of the show. Let’s break down what happens in the Squid Game ending…
Who Wins Squid Game?
While the meat of Squid Game‘s conclusion comes outside of the game, the final round—Round Six, the series’ original title—is effective. In a callback to the series’ opening scene, which shows kids playing the titular “squid game” as Gi-hun explains the rules, the final two contestants must face off in the children’s game. It’s especially fitting (and depressing) that the final two contestants are Gi-hun and Cho Sang-woo, as the two grew up in the same town and used to play squid game together as kids. More than that, Sang-woo has been deemed a success by society (well, up until that embezzlement part) and Gi-Hun, a failure. By pitting these two against one another in Squid Game’s final contest, and making it very clear who the more humane human is, the series is calling into question the metrics by which we measure status and worth in our world.
As Squid Game progresses, the competition has become more and more encouraging of inter-contestant violence. This is especially true for the final round, in which Gi-hun and Sang-woo are allowed to use force to beat the other person—even to their death. It’s about winning the squid game or making it so your opponent can’t win the squid game… or anything else. It’s barbaric and raw and, for a moment, it seems like Gi-hun may succumb to the kind of desperate brutality that has claimed so many in this game.
After an ugly fight, Gi-hun manages to beat Sang-woo to the ground and make his way to the circle drawn in the sand that, should he step inside, would mean his victory and Sang-woo’s death. He almost does it, too—he is so angry with Sang-woo whom, over the course of the game, he has realized is willing to kill in order to secure his victory—but, in the end, human life is worth more to Gi-hun than any sum of money. It’s what Kang Sae-byeok reminded him of right before she died (at Sang-woo’s hand). We all have the capacity to do both good and terrible things. Gi-hun may have a good heart, but, more impressively, he is able to act with it.
This is exactly what Gi-hun does, realizing that he doesn’t have to choose money over human life. One of the three rules in the game allows for the competition to be canceled should a majority agree to end it. The group enacted it after the first round before deciding to re-instate the game shortly after. To the surprise of the VIPs watching from their gilded booth, Gi-hun walks back over to Sang-woo and asks him to leave with him. To end the game. Sang-woo seems to consider it, reaching out for Gi-hun outstretched hand, before he instead takes the dagger buried in the ground next to him and plunges it into his own neck.
Why does Sang-woo do it? Perhaps he is too ashamed of what he has done, both in the arena and outside of it. Or maybe he can’t stand to face his mother and others without the money. Perhaps he does the math and realizes, at this point, the only way to get the money to his mother is to make sure Gi-hun wins it and helps out the woman he’s known since he was a kid. Maybe he’s just tired and traumatized. Probably, it’s all of the above. Whatever the reason, Sang-woo kills himself and Gi-hun wins the game. In the end, though, I think it’s clear that no one actually wins Squid Game.
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Who Dies in Squid Game?
It might be easier to list who doesn’t die. None of the game’s 456 contestants make it out, save for protagonist Gi-hun and old man contestant Oh Il-nam (more on that later). Ali is tricked by Sang-woo into giving all of his marbles in Round Four, and is killed by the soldiers. Han Mi-ryeo succeeds in her promise to kill gangster Jang Deok-su when she grabs onto him and throws them both off of the glass bridge in Round Five. Kang Sae-byeok, the North Korean woman looking to get back to her brother, is killed by Sang-woo in the lead up to the final round.
Notable deaths in the series conclusion that take place outside the arena include Hwang Joon-ho, the police officer who infiltrates Squid Game pretty damn effectively, only to be killed by the Front Man, aka his own brother. And also Gi-hun’s mother, whom Gi-hun finds dead upon returning to his apartment after winning the game. Presumably, she died from complications to her diabetes, which is shown to be very serious in the second episode.
Joon-ho’s Brother: Who is In-ho?
In the eighth episode of the season, “Front Man,” Hwang Joon-ho makes it off of the arena’s island with evidence of the game. He is hunted down by the game’s Front Man and his goons. Joon-ho tries to call for back-up and to send he evidence he has gathered to his police chief, but is unable to due to cell phone poor service. He is cornered on a high, rocky cliff and asked to surrender by the Front Man, who reveals himself to be Joon-ho’s own brother, In-ho.
In Episode 5, “A Fair World,” Joon-ho discovers that his brother was a previous winner of Squid Game—in 2015, five years prior. Somehow, In-ho went from being a winner to being a main controlling force—probably in no small part because, as we see from how Gi-hun responds to winning, it is not easy to get past the extreme trauma of Squid Game. In-ho is so committed to his role as the Front Man that he shoots his own brother, when Joon-ho refuses to surrender to him. Joon-ho, who spent the entire season gathering evidence of Squid Game, falls to the water below, presumably to his death and presumably with all of the evidence he has gathered.
cnx.cmd.push(function() { cnx({ playerId: "106e33c0-3911-473c-b599-b1426db57530", }).render("0270c398a82f44f49c23c16122516796"); });
Who Runs Squid Game?
This is a complicated question because we don’t truly understand the scope of Squid Game. When Joon-ho infiltrates the records vault underneath the Front Man’s rooms, he finds evidence of years and years of games like the one we have been watching play out. Discussion amongst the VIPs also suggests that the game is being played in different locations around the world—this could mean that multiple games are happening simultaneously or that they happen throughout the year in different locations. We know from the labels on the (honestly very well organized) records that there are multiple games every year.
Logistically, the Front Man runs the game with the help of the workers, soldiers, and managers—aka the dudes in red coveralls. In the final episode, Oh Il-nam, aka Contestant 001, is revealed to be the Host of the game, and implied to be if not the person who runs the entire gambit, then one of the people who is in charge. He gives more of the game’s backstory from his deathbed…
Why Did Oh Il-nam Play Squid Game?
We find out in Squid Game‘s final episode that Oh Il-nam, the older man Gi-hun befriended in the arena and whom we all thought died in the marbles round, actually survived the Squid Game. This is because he is one of its creators. He chose to play the game after years of watching it because he had been diagnosed with a brain tumor that caused him to reflect on his life. As he tells an understandably very angry Gi-hun from his death bed a year following their Squid Game, he wanted to feel like he did when he was a kid, playing with his friends and losing track of the hours.
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This is pretty fucked up. To Il-nam, the game truly was a game: something to pass the time and make him feel alive when regular life wasn’t doing it for him. Of course, Il-nam wasn’t like any other player. When he lost to Gi-hun, he wasn’t killed. The Front Man may espouse the equality of the game, but it isn’t a fair competition—it’s rigged for the uber elite, just like the outside world. Il-nam’s survival proved that, if it wasn’t already obvious. His desperation wasn’t like the other player’s because he knew exactly what was going on and had an out, not only from the game but from the kinds of desperate situations that the other contestants found themselves in outside the arena.
When Il-nam is dying on Christmas Eve in the corner of a mostly barren office-tower floor, he tells Gi-hun that the very poor and the very rich are the same in that living is no fun for either. Somehow, Gi-hun doesn’t strangle him then and there. He also doesn’t strangle him when Il-nam reveals how Squid Game started: basically, Il-nam and his rich friends were bored and joyless, and decided to create the games as a way to have some fun. This legacy continues with the Squid Games of today, as demonstrated by the VIPs, a group of (seemingly mostly American) rich men who sip whiskey and tell jokes as they watch desperate people die in the game they bet on. To them, human life has lost all meaning, and, because they have an exorbitant amount of wealth (which is to say power), these are the rules others must also play by.
Gi-hun is extraordinary because he refuses to play by those rules. Il-nam tells him that he deserves the money, because that is the logic he and his ilk have lived under—as if anyone deserves the kind of immense privilege that must always be built on others’ exploitation and suffering—but Gi-hun refuses to spend it. Il-nam tells him that no one will stop for the man passed out on the side of the frozen road, and Gi-hun takes that bet. And he wins. What sets Squid Game apart from so many of the stories in this genre is its ability to balance the ruthlessness and injustice inherent in the premise with a stolid belief in the capacity for goodness. The system is rigged for people like Il-nam, who suffers no consequences for his actions. but there will always be people, like Gi-hun and the person who went to get the cops to help the man on the street, who care and who act on that caring.
No doubt this plot twist will be a divisive part of Squid Game discourse. Personally, I could have done without it. Gi-hun’s relationship with Il-nam is one of the best dynamics in the entire show, and one that underscores the series’ central theme of how important it is to value humanity, even when the system you live in does not. Episode 6, “Gganbu,” is the best hour of the entire season in no small part because of how Il-nam and Gi-hun’s contest to the apparent death plays out. To backtrack on that for a final-episode plot twist that doesn’t add much thematically to the story feels like a mistake. That being said, there is enough that works about this scene and episode for Squid Game to remain an overall rewarding watch.
Gong Yoo’s Cameo: Why Does Gi-Hun Change His Mind?
Il-nam’s deathbed confession seems to kickstart Gi-hun’s life. He dyes his hair red like a K-pop idol. He finds Sae-byeok’s brother and leaves the boy (and half of his winnings) with Sang-woo’s mother. Though it seems like Gi-hun intends to return to them following a trip to visit his daughter, who has moved with her mother and stepfather to Los Angeles, this all changes when Gi-un sees something on the subway: the same man (played by Train to Busan‘s Gong Yoo) who recruited him for Squid Game is playing ddakji with a man. Gi-Hun abandons his luggage and dashes to the platform where Gong Yoo’s salesman character is working to recruit another desperate soul. Gong Yoo has already boarded a train by the time Gi-Hun makes it to him, smiling through the glass door. All Gi-hun can do is grab the Squid Game calling card from the latest recruit, and command him not to play the game.
Or is it all Gi-hun can do? When he is on the airbridge to board his plane to LA, he takes out the calling card and dials the number, telling the voice on the other side: “Listen carefully. I’m not a horse. I’m a person. That’s why I want to know who you people are, and how you can do these horrible things to people … It wasn’t a dream. I can’t forgive you for everything you’re doing.” Like the person who stopped to help the man on the street, Gi-hun refuses to accept the status quo, if there is anything at all he can do about it. He has wealth now and, rather than accepting complicity in a horrifying system as a condition of that power, he is risking it all. He is stopping for the man on the street.
The post Squid Game Ending Explained appeared first on Den of Geek.
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gryfon-spanish-werewolf · a year ago
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Uuh dunno if you would like this prompt : Anna and Elsa as a mythical creatures.
Would love too see what you will write them as ^^
@like-redhead-probably I sat thinking about this ask for a long time, because while I IMMEDIATELY thought of one for Elsa, Anna’s absolutely eluded me. And I know you were probably looking for a story, but I am unable to stop myself from first EXPLAINING my choices xD
I was already thinking about the myth of the Hulder (or huldra if we’re speaking of the creature in general instead of the specific Norwegian myth) for other story-related reasons, and as I did more research, I felt like the Hulder REALLY shared similarities with Elsa.
Generally speaking the huldra is a Scandinavian myth of a pale skinned, blonde or brown haired, attractive young woman who lives in the wilderness, often luring men away with song or dance to be killed or misled, stuck wandering forever. Sometimes she’s connected strongly to water, and instead of making men lost, she drowns them. Sometimes she is described as similar to an elf or fey-like creature, with characteristics related to other Huldufolk (we’ll get to them later) such as living in a parallel world, or a world Underground, and therefore preferring caves or appearing and disappearing suddenly. Sometimes she is depicted as having a hollow back, or a cow’s tail, which she hides out of embarrassment or to conceal her true identity. Which… how cute is that?
Before the 11th century, the myths were focussed more around the Huldufolk, which literally means “Hidden Folk”. There are lots of stories as to why and how the Huldufolk came to exist, but for the purpose of Elsa I think it most appropriate to look at the Christianization of the myths. Why?:
Frozen and Frozen 2 are modern movies made by an American company and Christianity is nigh untanglable with American culture, they take place in ~1840s Norway, F1 has a dedicated place of Christian congregation depicted in said movie, an official royal crowning overseen by a Christian faith leader, and the adaptation of Frozen generally comes from author Hans Christian Anderson and therefore should take his life and society into account, etc.
The Christianized myth says that one day Eve was washing her children (presumably after Cain, Abel, and Seth) in the river, when she heard God approaching. Ashamed that He would see her kids unclean, she hid the half she wasn’t done bathing, and when God asked, “Where are the other children?” Eve claimed that she had all of them present, indicating the clean ones. This gave God pause, but in the end He said, “Then let all that is Hidden, remain Hidden.” The children that Eve lied about became the Huldufolk, unable to live among humans. These people would eventually become characterized as dwarves, elves, fairies, etc., as time and interpretations rolled on, the huldra being just one of many mythical “species”.
So. Who is Elsa? She’s a:
fictional, blonde-haired, blue-eyed, fair-skinned young woman who led thousands of men wlw to wander helplessly into the dark caves and wildlands of social media with a power ballad and a jaw-dropping transformation sequence
Okay I’m joking… mostly…
In fact my interest in choosing the Hulder for Elsa lies purely outside of any romantic or sexual appeal, especially since Elsa as a character exhibits next to 0 romantic or sexual interest across two whole movies and an additional two shorts. Indeed, there’s a reason people headcanon her as either asexual, aromantic, or both! No, the reasons I chose the Hulder are:
Elsa’s name
Her upbringing
Her duty as queen, and
Her general behavior, specifically in regards to Frozen 1, as Frozen 2 Elsa is, at times, an almost completely different character
Elsa’s name was chosen very specifically by the filmmakers because it means “God is my Oath”. Oaths are binding, heavy, and invoke the maker’s or subject’s actions and personhood in the future. In Elsa’s case specifically, it invokes divine witness: perfect for a queen, someone born to rule. A promise to be fair, to uphold, to protect, to lead, to be a dignified and honorable face for the country. And Elsa was so ready to be that… except for the powers of course. Or at least, when they became something other than a magical gift of wonder and joy. When they became dangerous. Then there comes another oath, spoken to powerful creatures of magic, the Trolls, and born from parental fear: “She can learn to control it.”
Binding, heavy, invoking of Elsa’s future. As she grows, Elsa becomes closed off, quiet, hiding in her own home. She still takes her duties seriously, but now that she has been Other’d, taught to hide herself and her curse, she is just as much shadow as person. To young Anna, Elsa must have been almost ghostlike, disappearing right when Anna thought she’d cornered her, only to reappear sometime later down the hall, out of arm’s reach.
God promised Adam and Eve that their children would inherit the earth, even after leaving the Garden of Eden. Then suddenly that changed, due to Eve’s fear and shame of her unwashed children, and some would now inherit Underground, or somewhere else entirely. The lost children of Eve had become Other’d, needing to hide, disappear, and resort to inhuman tactics just to exist. Maybe they’re jealous, maybe they're just tricksters. But it’s not their fault. And it wasn’t Elsa’s either. Another reason they are similar.
Now, it’s not all doom and gloom for the Hulder, or for Elsa. While the Hulder is generally known for her more chaotic and negative attributes - just like our favorite snow queen, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. There are a few myths that say burning a charcoal fire -instead of a coal or gas one- is most pleasing to the Hulder, that she’ll even watch over it during the night, and wake the sleepers in case something happens. If a traveler leaves supplies behind with a note or offering for the Hulder, they will travel safely. In fact, some people leave caches for her, as though to cater to specific requests. Coming across the Hulder by chance can have a multitude of outcomes, but if an astute observer spots her cow tail and mentions it, she may become shy and run away. Don’t mention the empty back though, that’s almost certain death.
Basically my point is… trade out the word “traveler” for the name “Anna” and we can draw all the similarities we want. Anna did all of those things, in a way. Anna gave Elsa a little gift of their favorite snowman every Christmas. Anna knocked on Elsa’s door and spoke to her, treated her kindly despite the distance between them, literal and metaphorical. It’s not hard to imagine that Anna left little notes around the castle, hoping Elsa would find them, read them, and know that Anna still loved her, still missed her. And, well, hopefully Anna wasn’t setting any fires and falling asleep next to them - but Anna always kept a light on for Elsa, in her heart. And it flickered and wavered sometimes, but it was a strong fire most days. And we know Elsa was always drawn to it, drawn to Anna because she loved her right back. Loved her first, even. And because it was a warmth that pleased Elsa, she tended it, quietly, carefully, warmly. Like putting a blanket over an Anna that had fallen asleep in the painting room, refusing that slice of chocolate cake so Anna could have two desserts, and listening, for hours and hours, days and days, for the sound of Anna’s glorious bonfire-like soul outside her bedroom door. Even when her secret was revealed, Elsa believed that the best way to protect Anna’s life, her flame, was to distance herself, running to a secret, special place all her own - much like the Hulder might run away back to the Underground.
And this last part’s just me, but I’d like to think that if the Hulder was treated kindly, respected, and given dignity, maybe it wouldn’t be so bad if someone came across her accidentally. That instead of being instantly drowned, or the Hulder becoming sheepish and attempting to run, it would feel recognized. It could be called by name. And instead of feeling the need to hide it’s Otherness, it could be treated as part of it, and cared for just the same. I don’t even need to be subtle here: Anna called Elsa by Name, really saw her, and reframed her darkness into light. Anna hasn’t fought God yet, but she did walk through hell and back for a sister that everyone else saw as a threat, monster, and sorcerer. A category 9 Other. Too bad for them, Anna’s got a Category 10 heart.
Speaking of. We finally got to Anna.
Anna was difficult to pin down because to me, Anna is so very, very human. That’s what makes her special! Yes, yes, you could throw any mythical creature at Anna and the fun part would be trying to make it work within her personality and characterization BUT since the question was Anna AS a mythical creature, that changes the game! The word ‘creature’ itself tends to conjure something distinctly INhuman. So I…. tried, and cheated maybe a little. Because I picked for Anna the Norse Valkyrie.
Most people know what Valkyries are so this one takes significantly less explaining. Valkyries are women that are warriors, shieldmaidens, and the hands of Odin, and they choose who lives and who dies during battle. Their chosen dead ride with them to Valhalla, while those they choose to live are usually granted honors in life. There are the darker sides of Valkyries that paint them as blood hungry maidens waiting on the sidelines before a war, singing the names of who will die with glee… but generally speaking the version of Valkyries that most people know and admire today are accurate! And thank goodness because attempting to depict Anna the other way would probably give me an ulcer.
Anna, much like the Valkyries, is a woman of valor and strength, who is perceptive, guides others, sees into people’s hearts and reveals their goodness. Valkyries are also warriors of prowess themselves, and Anna in Frozen 2 with that ice sword? We all know she was ready to use that for real. She also exemplifies traits that Valkyries both look for and have! Bravery in the face of danger: hello Marshmallow, Elsa’s own blizzard, Hans’ lethal sword strike, LIVING MOUNTAINS, and a damn collapsing.... dam. She also defends those who cannot do it themselves: saying publicly that, “My sister is not a monster… she was scared, she didn’t mean any of this,” even if that cast suspicion or doubt on herself, and the crown, as a whole. Anna knew and believed in Elsa, despite all the years and heartbreak and anger. Despite the impossible magic that literally just happened before her very eyes. Belief in character, despite appearances. And once they were reunited, Anna made every effort to stay by Elsa’s side because she STILL had that faith in her. Anna’s name means “Grace” or “of Grace”, and damn if she didn’t extend that to the person others found most unworthy, even to Elsa herself. Valkyries see what others don’t, and their decisions are final.
[Deep breath] SO! You asked for Anna and Elsa as mythical creatures. You got… a small academic paper, by social media standards xD. I intend to write a little piece about a Valkyrie who encounters the Hulder on the edges of a battlefield and… realizes she never made a choice about this particular woman. And wonders why she can’t ;). BUT I didn’t wanna leave you hanging any longer. Hope you like my choices!
Oh also, nobody asked, but Kristoff is a werebear. No research required
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girl4music · a year ago
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I'm saving this in my bookmarks. I have a lot more to say about it and need to gather my thoughts on it so I can clearly and concisely express what I want to say without insulting someone else. It's a very controversial topic of discussion after all. But one that must be discussed nonetheless.
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"but the misconception you must accept that you have an addiction in order to change your relationship with drugs and alcohol, is harmful."
It is very harmful. It's similiar to constantly believing you're mentally ill when you have a mental illness. That's not going to help you get mentally well. Addiction is a mental illness. Maybe 12-step AA programs should understand what's necessary for neurodiversity first before understanding what's necessary for recovery. It makes total sense to me why DEMI LOVATO is fairing better with moderation management methods over total drug/alcohol abstinence. But that's because I understand her well, not because I understand addiction well. I just think... Neurodiversity > Recovery. And, in my mind, associating "recovery" with the term "sobriety" is more dangerous than associating the term "California sober" with "recovery" in my opinion. But what do I know? 😑
"This goes against the popular belief that consuming drugs and alcohol and being in recovery are mutually exclusive, an idea that is deeply embraced by some in the addiction treatment field."
Yes, because the addiction treatment field wants you to be free of your addictions. 🙄 They don't want you to be free of your addictions or your mental illnesses. They want you to RELY ON THEM so that the only "treatment" you can get for your addictions and mental illnesses forces you to continue said "treatment" with them. So that it's a never-ending cycle.
"The idea that recovery is synonymous with sobriety is closely tied to 12-step fellowship programs where step 1 is to admit you’re powerless over drugs and alcohol and the ultimate goal is abstinence."
Exactly. So YOU'RE powerless to make any decisions for yourself that do not include what THEY say is best for YOU. Which is an ultimate and unrealistic goal of TOTAL ABSTINENCE.
"But if you ask your friends, neighbors, or loved ones outside of the addiction field what they think it means to be in “recovery”, most will associate the term with total sobriety."
Yes, and they want to keep it that way because it makes big $$$$$.
Listen people. I'm gonna lay it out in plain English for you
Demi is not saying her "California sober" method is everyone's method. That it is the correct method for everyone dealing with addiction or/and mental illness. In fact she's made it pretty damn clear no one should think or believe it is or should be. All she is saying is that it's a method that she's found to work for her. And is it working? Well, only time and experience with it will tell. I don't know if it will for her longterm but it certainly seems to be working for her at the moment. And that's all that matters for the moment. But, for me personally, I think neurodiversity should be put first over recovery because all people aren't the same and therefore the same method for recovery will not work for all people. There are different pathways to take and different options to try. Some not so popular than others. All Demi is doing is trying those "not so popular" methods out because the one that everybody says, thinks and believes will work did not work for her at all. Sobriety did not work for her and, forgive me for using this metaphor, that's a hard pill to swallow for some people who hold the term "sober" so closely to their heart and dote on it like it's the love of their life.
I have genuine faith that this moderation management method (her "California sober") will work for her. Because, like I said... I know and understand Demi very well. I know that extremes are not right for her. And total abstinence is just another extreme for her to get addicted to on top of her other addictions. The woman needs balance in her life. She knows she needs balance in her life. So therefore she's trying that "balance" with her issues with drug and alcohol addiction. She believes it will work. And I think she's right. Will it work for somebody else? Probably not. But it's a viable pathway to take and option to try in any case. What more harm could moderation management do to some people than the harm total abstinence can do to some people? Because I definetly say the latter is far more dangerous.
We, as a society, need to get more comfortable with the term "weaning" regarding substance addiction first of all. You would not make a baby go without their mother's milk or baby formula in order to get them on to eating solid foods. Of course not. You would wean them into it. So why isn't this area of logic applied to substance addiction? It should be! That's my take on it and I want to develop this area of logic further as I learn more and more about the mental illness of addiction and substance abuse in general. I know very little about addiction. I don't know a great deal about mental illness either but more so than just what little I know about addiction specifically. But what I do know and understand very well is neurodiversity and the relationship between the external and the internal. Meaning the relationship between the environment and the human mind/body. And my argument for what to do for mental illness (and addiction, most likely) is that you must get to know and understand this relationship first before tackling recovery in any aspect of life. The relationship between "I" and "other" is extremely important for interaction of any kind with people, things, substances, ideologies, philosophies, stimulants... Everything. And I just don't believe any "program" or "treatment" for addiction recovery or mental health recovery can be without the knowing and understanding of this relationship. This primary relationship with "I" and "other" and all interactions between them.
Now for someone who lives to such extremes to the point that they are misdiagnosed with bipolar disorder (DEMI LOVATO)... It is quite evident that the key is to lessen those extremes. And the way to do that is by balancing the extremes. Not by completely taking all of them away.
One extreme for her is a total obsession with perfection and with being the best at everything, looking as good/pretty as possible. Essentially constantly setting the bar higher and higher to reach with each grasp. That is an addiction for her.
Another extreme for her is disregarding any and all expectations or goals, rebelling against every law or moral or teaching whatsoever... Basically not giving a crap about anything. Not even her own well being,... to the point where she's results to substance abuse just to keep going. To have some kind of high.
Now throw in a strict schedual of night and day, around-the-clock restriction, limitation and control into the mix and have that happen for 365 days a year and ask yourself will it lessen any extreme for Demi or will it just add another extreme on the top of it? One would absolutely lose their mind trying to keep up with all of this while being expected to perform to any degree whatsoever as a "star". One is going to fail. More than fail. One is going to seriously impact their health. One is going to be on death's door. So even though I don't know and understand addiction or mental illness very well, don't say I don't understand the tremendous effects it can have on neurodivergent people. I know and understand more than any average person would ever fucking know or understand. I know and understand Demi. And I am saying moderation management is the best method for Demi's substance abuse recovery because her addiction is not substances. Or rather - not primarily substances. Her addiction - her primary addiction - is to be PERFECT. She needs to tackle that addiction before her addictions with substances. With drugs and alcohol. And the best way for her to do that is to find balance in every aspect of her life. With her food, with her career, with her music, with her interactions with EVERYTHING. If she can tackle that addiction and wean it down to where she doesn't need to feel like she needs to be so perfect all the time and put herself through the ringer with her career... Then her issues with substance abuse will most likely disappear by themselves because she wouldn't need those substances or stimulants to cope anymore. There's no cause for it. No trigger. So, yes. She's right. Moderation management is the correct method for her. And it's proven to be so far, so let's not villify her for it just yet. Let's wait and see what the results are first. Like you would with any scientific study. And if it does turn out to be that you were right... Then you can make your conclusions on whether it's a method that should or shouldn't be used or associated with drug/alcohol addiction recovery ever again. I personally don't think so. I think she's got it now because, with Demi, it's primarily a mental health issue with her feeling or thinking that she always needs to be perfect. I think if that addiction goes away, then the addiction with the drugs and alcohol will go away on its own. There will be no need for a "recovery plan" at all for it because she's got the stimulants that she needs to remain in a healthy and balanced mindset.
Demi's effectively killing two birds with one stone. She couldn't even kill one before her overdose happened and that was not her fault. It was the fault of the people constantly around her making sure she never had any stimulants whatsoever. Leaving her powerless to ever get "mentally well" in the first place. Her last recovery team left her in one big jam. They took all the stimulants or coping mechanisms away to deal with her addiction issues with perfection and body image and eating disorders. They refused to wean her and it only made the situation worse. I mean what did they think was gonna happen? NOBODY could get "sober" or "clean" or "recovered" or "mentally well" from that level of restriction, limitation and control, let alone DEMI LOVATO, a "star" who was given access to everything under the sun as a child and was taught and told to be perfect at the same time.
Oh yes, I totally get it. And that's why I can say with complete conviction that, this time, Demi's got it now. She's got a handle on every addiction or mental health issue plaguing her because she's gone right to the root to where it all started to begin with and she's weaning herself. 👏 And you know, if you cut the head off a snake, the whole body dies along with it without ever needing to take a second chop. Apply that awfully corny metaphor to all I've just said and you'll totally get it too. Addiction and mental health recovery is not a one-size fits all method. There are other methods. Demi's just trying those other methods and being publically transparent about it. She should be respected, not vilified. I'm done.
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derangedhyena-zoids · a year ago
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I guess now that I featured The Kids in something I can elaborate on them and everything related slightly without seeming completely insane.  BIG HEADCANON BLATHER TIME: Raven and Ryss had 2 kids, both boys. 
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Ryss wasn’t a terribly good mother. She loved her kids but was a little panicked about them at all times, and didn’t really like the distraction they were. Specula was a good mother and did the majority of keeping them out of trouble. 
They were also psychic as fuck, but that didn’t show up until they were hitting puberty. I’m sure that was an entire Time.  
Ryss literally didn’t think she could get pregnant by Raven. She based this off of both what she’d been taught by Hiltz (humans=/=Zoidians) and the fact that Fiona had never been pregnant despite sleeping with Van for years*.  So, once Ryss figured out she was pregnant**, telling Raven was a bit of an event because Raven was under the impression that such a thing wasn’t possible. He also had little interest in being a parent. Ryss also had no idea what pregnancy even entailed for a Zoidian, and neither did Fiona. Again, all she knew was what she’d learned from Hiltz, and it wasn’t as if he went out of his way to teach her the finer points of anything. (Knowledge is power after all, and he wanted wanted to hold as much power over her as possible. What she didn’t know to begin with, she couldn’t know was being withheld. All she knew from Hiltz on the topic was Zoidian pregnancies are of a greater duration than human pregnancies - mainly because he’d irritably snapped about how ‘the vermin’ reproduce faster.)  Raven’s main reluctance about parenting had to do with... you know, his massive unresolved parental trauma. Which after some extreme stress he and Ryss managed to work through, largely because they had a lot in common in this department. Afterwards Raven warmed up to the idea of being a father, and was... well, Okay.jpg at it. Let’s just say he had Shadow helping Specula with the kids a lot. ...the kids were raised by Organoids. SO.
An attempt was made to keep track of Ryss and her offspring, especially after Raven’s death and she began to make herself scarce. But nobody expected the kids to be psychic af, and they quickly sussed out that something was up and followed their mom’s lead, making themselves and their families impossible to find.  ....
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The Guardian Force pretty quickly lost tabs on them, but did know what to “look for”, so to speak. 
However, this attempt was never linked up with the information the Empire had on Ryss, mainly because too much time had passed and no one knew to bridge the info.
Anyways. All three Zoidians were aware there were differences between themselves and humans, Hiltz more than most. Hiltz was the only one of them that had an adult level of knowledge from Zoidian times. Fiona and Ryss were literal children and were only ever, at best, taught the very basics about things. Part and parcel of subscribing wholesale to the we’re-the-best group’s newsletter, Hiltz also a keen interest in biology/related, obviously interested in scholars of that group’s discussion on what amounted to Zoidian eugenics. ‘we’re the best, and here’s why.’ Hiltz didn’t even remotely consider that humans and Zoidians could hybridize, nor was he interested in finding out. (though he had well-established to Prozen and the Imperial scientists his “ownership” of Ryss and the fact she was not to be messed with, I’m sure he had to mindfuck and/or sic Ambient on a swath of folks to get them to stop bothering him about jizzing in a cup.)***
Joke’s on him because he fathered *at least* these three: 
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while living in the small colony with the scholar. 
because he, Hiltz, the weird guy, was hot, amazing in bed, and quite DTF.   scholar: ...   Hiltz:  (ツ) scholar: ... Hiltz:  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯  scholar: ...sure, whatever, what could it hurt anyways ^^^THESE FOLKS HAD A TIME. Unlike with Ryss’s kids, who at least had a slight understanding they were different and some guidance on the situation, any and all of Hiltz’s offspring HAD NO IDEA WHAT WAS GOING ON. And not that any of the fertility restrictions were enacted at this point in time (there’s wars, you live in the wild west, please have kids), but the addition of Zoidian into the mix fucks the inbuilt population-control-genetic-engineering-bullshit straight up, which resulted later in a lot of confusing surprises for people annnnnd is part of why miscarriages became common later down the line. 
Nobody expected the spanish inquisition weird side-species fuckery. Nobody even knows to look! By NC0 times there’s just starting to be coherent, unified inquiry into the various vanilla-human mutations running around.
WHOOPS THO: Backdraft & Co have been at this shit for a while and already know a lot about this. Because they have a hard-on for the Empire and a lot of OG Backdraft are basically really rich, bitter offspring from Imperial families who think they’re better in just about every way. Including genetically. When Backdraft became predominantly a moneymaking, black-market, illegal-battling underground enterprise, a rift began and never stopped growing. Backdraft has a strong preference for recruiting folks of Guylos descent (hi, Bit), but in recent memory had stopped turning people away for not being so. Because money.  It did kinda...  go in peoples’ file though.  In the game of historical telephone, Ryss (and Raven’s) bloodline were more or less demoted to the same: ‘from Guylos.’  Alteil was in range of figuring a few important things out. Unfortunately, HE DED. His successor with this information is Layon.  Surely nothing can go wrong there. ANYWAYS. A massive and valid concern Ryss had was what would happen with hybrid offspring, since to her knowledge her kid would be the first. Hiltz’s were already adults, they were fine. They were better than fine, they just needed a lot more water and salt than everyone else. So, as we all know, Hiltz uh, actually succeeded in removing a sizable chunk of the human population on Zi. Once everyone had scraped semi-functional society back together, the powers that-were-to-be basically prioritized secure settlements and making everyone feel safe so... you know, they’d have kids. Important for the whole rebuilding society thing.   The Zoidian offspring became slightly more statistically relevant during this time, because them and potentially even their kids had all been scared shitless and fled into the hills from the Death Stinger bullshit long before anyone else had. Once there they were good at Not Dying In General, because they had a variety of inexplicable abilities and were just WELL I’M A FREAK BUT I’M ALIVE SO, YOU KNOW, WE’RE COOL. 
Greater than zero chance that someone started a cult. Very, very obviously: these folks knew to keep to themselves. Though the original offspring and their mother had NO idea what was going on, over time any kids at least had fair warning, and knew to keep oddity to themselves. When the most blatant expressions of things were bred out, only the subtle but strongly expressed items remained, discussion of familial strangeness subsided.  Then you’re left with people like Brad who can basically see in the dark, but thinks everyone can see in the dark, it’s no big deal right?    RELATED, BUT NOT: This is technically a spoiler, but not really, because I’m not sure this actually “plays into the plot” so much as it is just “a fact of the plot” annnnnd I sort of want/need to explain this a little because it’s related to all of this.  In this hc, the Zoid Eve is a metaphorical hyper-simplification of ‘resources.’
Back in Zoidian times, some scholars - namely those aligned with the group(s) Hiltz was eventually born into - theorized that the Zoid Eve’s power was not an infinite resource as many believed, but actually an incredibly finite one. Not in the sense of it being used up, but the sense of “there are only ‘100′ of these, there will only ever be ‘100′ of these, we cannot add to or take away from this”  (sidenote: I subscribe to the idea that the Zoid Eve was some kind of supernaturally-occurring power source that the Zoidians shaped into what everyone now calls the Zoid Eve. They did this so long ago that its origins became unclear; beliefs from various groups ran the gamut from “LITERALLY GOD” to “it was built by us”)   The power of it gave life and longevity not only to all Zoids but them too. And it seemed that the more individuals there were, the smaller the “slice of the pie” they received. They began to project apocalyptic futures in which the “slices” were so small that death ran rampant, and Big War would be inevitable. Obviously, nobody wanted this. But unfortunately the group who theorized this also started a huge, lengthy campaign to reduce the population, which - after many years, a lot of societal sabotage and and many smaller conflicts between groups - eventually culminated in ongoing, wholesale slaughter, which led to the big Zoidian-apocalypse nonsense that we’re all familiar with. Cool story bro, right? Well, y’see, those ancient scholars weren’t wrong, though. To an extent that’s actually what led to the hyper-concentration of strength in the DSaurer/DScorpion battle, and why Zero and One are functionally god-tier Organoids. But what this means in modern times, is that the remaining Zoidians - and to a proportionately-relevant extent, the hybrid offspring - are the only remaining folks (besides the Organoids and Zoids) benefiting from the pie anymore. Ryss is the last Zoidian; she’s basically non-aging at this point. 
First-gen hybrids? Aging at a complete snail’s pace.  Second gen? Still having a very strange time. So on and so forth... Can they die? Absolutely, but it’s pretty hard to kill them.  Basically only complete destruction of vital parts works. Does this also apply to Organoids and Zoids? Absolutely. “then why’s Fiona dead” Because the double-bond with Zeke seriously fucked her up. Van dragged her down, hard. “but-”  Zeke could’ve pulled away from her at any time and she would’ve lived. Been a nutcase probably, but lived. She suspected it, Zeke was outright in denial; she never called him on it because she cared about him too much and didn’t want him blaming himself for whatever happened. This is what Ryss suspected/understood as well, and likewise didn’t want to break Zeke. “wait, what about zeke?” HMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM IN CLOSING: I don’t have names for any of the offspring discussed here, but I have thought about the appearances/other stuff. Obviously. I’ve never specified how many original offspring(s) were running around. But it couldn’t have been too many. So anyone in NC0 times related to either Ryss or Hiltz can trace back to ^^^the folks pictured above, most likely.  I actually have no idea how to properly calculate the amount of population vs how much impact a handful of reproducing individuals would have over x generations. So please excuse vagueness there, as I’m both open to adjusting that number when/if it becomes feasible to do so, and also don’t think it’s terribly necessary to have this information nailed down because let’s be real nobody cares and that’s a lot of work. Also as I’ve mentioned before, there’s several serious confounding factors here: -these people can LIVE A LONG TIME. The original hybrids and their kids ARE POTENTIALLY STILL ALIVE. They mature relatively rapidly, but then coast into a very slow aging process. That means that - especially the males - could still technically be producing offspring.  -that makes my head hurt and makes figuring out lineages stupid nightmare mode. so don’t expect me to actually do that because I’m not sure how to. The main Facts(tm) you need are:  Sara is 4th gen. Vega is 5th gen x2. Brad is 5th gen. Stoller is 7th gen.
that’s the important part, okay.  (*’s from earlier: )  *tl;dr the bizarre situation they’d inadvertently created with Zeke wreaked havoc on Fiona’s ability to reproduce. Conversely, Raven and Ryss *almost* had a ‘proper’ setup, so Ryss was fine. Nobody knew this. **Ryss figured this out with Fiona’s help - and who did they both go to, to ask in confidence?
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Yep. ”isn’t he-” YEP. ***The Empire knows next to nothing about Hiltz. The Republic, however has AN OBSCENE AMOUNT of information about him. Difficulty level? The data was both classified, and never really tied back to him. Because Hiltz murdered the scholar and burned down his house/lab, the connecting information was all lost. The scholar had moved the material to his house in secret, due to fears of an Imperial spy in their research facility - he was telling Hiltz the truth.   The most that the Empire ever learned at that time was that the Republic had “captured” a Zoidian (Hiltz), and that was about it. This drove the fervor which led to them grabbing at the Republic’s continued excavations - eg what happened with Shadow, and presumably them attacking (and IMO, overpowering) the Republic group that’d also seized Ryss.   Before Hiltz became involved, Imperial scientists gleaned a lot about Ryss, but as I’ve mentioned before, she wasn’t treated anywhere nearly as poorly as Hiltz had been. She also had Specula, which helped a lot.  So, the Empire knew nothing of Hiltz, but a lot about Ryss.  Thanks to Alteil and his predecessor’s longstanding obsession with the Imperial military, Backdraft has almost all of the Imperial military’s data from the past few centuries.  Ergo...
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missorgana · a year ago
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holiday getaway
pairing: jonathan byers/nancy wheeler/steve harrington
fandom: stranger things
rating: general
word count: 1587
warning: swearing, alcohol
summary: Nancy, Jonathan, Steve, and the Christmas times they share. (canon compliant, 3+1 things)
(of course my own 12 days of fanfiction event is belated as hell. anywayyyy thank you to @poirot​ for the prompt, ily and really hope you enjoy this babeeee 💖 it went in a weird direction but,, yeah !!! softies)
read on ao3
1) Nancy + Steve
Nancy knows she can’t quite escape the family Christmas spectacle. At least, her mother’s obsessed with the picture perfect thought, despite the others wanting to be about everywhere else than home.
She can tell that Mike wishes his friends were there. Their father probably doesn’t care for the holidays altogether.
And as insufferable as her younger brother comes, she feels bad for him. She’d also feel the same way, if the only friend she cared about, her true friend, wasn’t taken away from her.
But Steve’s here. And the day before Christmas Eve, Nancy rings on his doorbell, and he kisses her cheek, and they sort of pretend everything’s okay for the night.
Sometimes, she envies that her boyfriend’s parents are barely home, but she also knows not to say, because what kind of thing is that to be jealous about, really?
He’s wearing a t-shirt, because he’s stupid like that.
Steve also hugs her a lot, probably because her sweater is exceptionally soft, and he freezes easily, even though he’ll never admit it.
She likes it here.
It’s a kind of peace Nancy’s never known at home, and even though she can’t help thinking of Jonathan, and the way he looks at her changed, like it’s not quite a frown anymore, she feels good.
Her boyfriend doesn’t mention what they got up to in the other boy’s house. To be fair, he wasn’t meant to be involved anyway. But here they are.
And Nancy knows, ever since their first date, that Steve is  good . It feels like she’s known him forever, and her boyfriend always laughs at her when she looks at him, but like, it’s like she looks right through him.
Through the hands in his pockets, and the constant fixing of that stupidly perfect hair, all of it. Funny how she once thought he was the definition of being cool and collected.
Nancy likes this version of him more, she thinks.
And she swore he gave Jonathan a smile when the whole thing was over. The boy told her he apologised, so she’s got proof, even if Steve still wants to convince himself all those monsters was a vivid dream of his own imagination.
Nancy guesses that coping method gives him peace of his own. So she won’t convince him otherwise.
They all got their own ways. Even herself.
2) Jonathan + Nancy
There’s not much in this life, whether that be before his little brother’s disappearance, the madness that infested his previously though perpetually boring town, or falling in love with a girl entirely out of his league - Jonathan hadn’t prepared for anything. At all.
That’s a given in a town like Hawkins. Only thing he could plan was, eventually, to get as far away from here as possible.
This plan mostly resided in his own mind. God knows it would break his mom’s heart right now.
But let’s say Jonathan’s been given some reasons to stay. Most importantly, he’ll take care of Will, and his mother.
He’s always put them first, because his mom carries so much on her shoulders, and he’s promised himself to only leave when he knew she would be okay. He owes her that much.
And now, seeing his brother in pain, surely dealing with trauma that he won’t let anyone in on, it hurts.
But his family, that’s a given in his mind.
Nancy, she’s a reason he didn’t account for at first. And when she stays overnight, before she gets to enjoy her own Christmas nightmare, as she calls her family, he still doesn’t quite believe this is happening.
She seemed like this flawless concept of a person before he actually met her, and while she’s still perfect in his own mind, it’s the little things she does, ones he didn’t expect, that makes him feel warm.
Nancy smiles less now, and Jonathan knows Barb still got a piece of her she won’t get back.
And Steve, well, he doesn’t really know. They got issues.
It’s actually kind of strange. The other boy surprised him, that’s for sure, but given the only idea he had of him was a massive douche, it’s easy to improve.
Jonathan actually tries.
It’s when Nancy’s walking around his room, taking it in with her eyes sparkling in a particular way, like it felt less real like the neverending shit Hawkins gave them, and the question of how Steve’s doing escapes his lips.
She shrugs.
Why should he care, he supposes. He can’t let it go, shockingly enough, but Jonathan can tell when he oversteps boundaries like that.
And the girl’s head on his chest when they turn off the lights, warm breath on his throat, it’s like finding a peace he’s been searching for. For a long time.
3) Steve + Jonathan
When Steve receives word of the Byers’ returning to Hawkins for the holidays, just a week, they said, he felt some kind of obligation to do something.
Greet them, at least. But he doesn’t.
The douchebags from the team keep asking him what it’s like to have his girl stolen by a loser, which doesn’t make sense, because they broke up way before the two became official, but also, Steve’s glad he had enough brain to leave those kinds of friends behind.
Jonathan isn’t a loser. He did give him a good punch, but given their history, he felt it tied them. Or not really, cause god knows he’s given Jonathan hell.
If right should be right, the other boy should give him 10 punches. At least.
And believe it or not, he really does consider going to the Byers house. Why is that?
Because of Jonathan, which is weird.
Steve doesn’t imagine them being friends, mostly because of his own faults. He does babysit all those kids, he could say hi to Will. Would be decent of him.
But shit, he’s too much of a coward.
He apologised, but Steve doesn’t feel it’s enough. Can’t really look himself in the mirror when it comes to… everything, really.
Nope, better to head straight home from work, and Robin left an hour earlier, so it’s not like he got any excuses to go anywhere else. It’s Christmas day, for heaven's sake. Steve wasn’t surprised when his parents left a note about some business trip earlier in the week. Again.
What does surprise him is finding the boy he’s been desperately avoiding sitting on the hood of his car.
And like the idiot he is, Steve attempts to clear his throat, but it comes out like a wheeze, and Jonathan gives him a look like he’s thinking too hard about math problems, or whatever.
And even though he doesn’t understand why the boy’s here, or how he found out where he works, for that matter, not much conversation happens.
Jonathan’s brought two beers with him.
Steve considers asking about Nancy, but doesn’t.
Just two bros drinking beer and freezing their asses off, like they didn’t kill a monster together mere months ago.
Maybe that’s why he finds some sort of comfort within himself when Jonathan puts his hand on top of his. The silence is more peaceful than he ever expected.
+1) Nancy + Steve + Jonathan
Like much else in Nancy’s life, by now, at least, another Christmas comes by, and she finds herself wondering how this particular situation happened.
Well, no, she’s part of it.
She’s not sure she completely understands it, but being tucked away with Jonathan…  and Steve, it’s different in an otherworldly, comfortable way.
Nancy had always thought of herself getting married to Steve, having a couple kids, and probably following the footsteps of her own nuclear family.
She hated that thought when her mother’s unhappiness shined through the facade, but what else choice did she have in Hawkins?
Well, her boys are holding hands. Didn’t see that coming. But she likes it.
And despite their hesitation when she suggested this thing, all three of them,  together,  their tiny smiles made her know they wanted to, anyway. Maybe her, and their fear, of this closeknit society that very easily borders on toxicity, faded away.
She knows hers did.
Mike initially looked confused, but come on, he’s seen weirder things. They pinkie promise not to slip any word to their parents.
God, she feels childish. But after all this shit, and chaos, well, it’s like their sibling hood's reborn, or something.
Or maybe Mike’s just maturing. Maybe she’s maturing. Who knows.
Regardless of the where, how, why, who, Steve lets them in his all too empty house, and the mutual agreement of silence, small serenity, quickly changes to laughing til their stomachs aches, and Jonathan’s new camera almost runs out of film.
Lots of kisses. Nancy can’t get enough, really.
And in a way it hasn’t before, the family wars of Christmas morning don’t seem quite as intimidating anymore.
She hopes Mike and his friends are having fun. That El’s hurting less.
She also agrees to be the little spoon, even though Jonathan’s spot in the middle is pretty damn warm, she imagines, but they figure out a deal of changing up every once in a while.
And with the boy’s arms around her waist, and Steve’s hand grazing her own, there’s probably not much that would compare to this.
Nancy doesn’t even need the music drowning the world out at that moment, and yeah, the bed’s just a tad too small for the three of them, but they huddle close regardless. They’ll keep warm. And safe.
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kinetic-elaboration · a year ago
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May 28: 2x20 Return to Tomorrow
Today’s ep was one of my sleeper favorites, Return to Tomorrow. Imo this one should be considered a classic, but I never really hear it talked about.
So we jump right into the mystery.
I feel like Kirk is very suspicious today. And of course he immediately turns to Spock to ultimately answer the questions, after everyone else gives him partial explanation. “Spock, figure this out for me.”
GHOST ALIEN. This is what sci fi needs more of: ghost aliens.
“We have to go down there and explore. Our primary mission IS to make alien friends, after all.”
“Your probes have touched me, Mr. Spock.” No comment but this a verbatim line.
“Captain Kirk, you’re our only hope.”
I can’t believe Kirk is trying to deny Spock the opportunity to inspect unknowns.
Sargon is clearly insistent that he meets multiple different types of alien.
And it was effective! Okay, Sargon, now make them date.
Scotty is complaining about his controls being “preset by some kinda alien” while standing next to an alien.
Sargon invites a lady on the trip in order to create a love triangle.
Honestly, I love Sargon already. A glowing orb full of pure energy that talks.
Kirk doesn’t like them being called “children.”
Hmmm, are they implying that Vulcans are the true descendants of these aliens? I feel like that line was stuck in there to lessen the blasphemous impact of implying Adam and Eve were alien colonists, while still keeping the cool idea of alien colonists.
You can tell that Sargon definitely still thinks of himself as a god.
“That is still Jim’s body.” Hmmmm, Spock hasn’t broken out the “Jim” in a while.
So he put Jim in the glowing ball? Weird of him.
Aw, poor dead glowing balls.
How convenient that Sargon’s wife just happened to survive.
Spock seems reluctant to let go of Jim, there.
Kirk is trying to be profound about his experiences with the alien and his complete trust in him and McCoy’s like THAT’S JUST DUMB.
I love how McCoy and Scotty are just so skeptical about this. McCoy really thinks the aliens can’t be trusted and the risk is too great, which is fair, but Scotty’s like “...this is too weird even for me, sorry.”
“Quite simple. Happens every day.” So sarcastic, Bones!
McCoy thinks this is kinky. (Idek what this note was about lol but I stand by it.)
A starship engine the size of a walnut was enough to convince Scotty!
I feel like Kirk is just the utter epitome of the ideal man of the future. He believes in progress, but also peace, in exploration, in adventure, in the best of man and the best of aliens. “But man did fly....would you rather man had not gone to the moon... Risk is our business!”
And at that time, man hadn’t even gone to the moon yet. He was really asking people that question: do you want to explore space or not?
Henoch is the bad boy of the aliens.
He wakes up and he is immediately horny lol. And Christine’s like “yes, finally a hot alien who’s into me.”
Meanwhile, with the other two aliens, we see yet another convoluted way of giving Kirk a love interest (=showing the male lead kissing pretty ladies) without actually ever giving him a love interest. “Sargon, you sure did pick a hottie to inhabit.”
This dialogue man: “I’m surprised the Vulcans haven’t conquered you.” / “The Vulcans worship peace above all.” McCoy getting to stand up for Vulcans. He’s always so quick to do that when Spock can’t hear him.
I also love Henoch trying to back track like “Yes, yes, we value peace too, I definitely didn’t immediately start talking about conquering, conquering’s not on my mind, I’ve very peaceful.”
“Spock” smiling is such a weird sight.
Henoch is awesome. I love him. Great villain 10/10. I feel like he’s an excellent example of why you SHOULD kill your enemies, actually.
I agree with McCoy, those three flickering balls ARE foreboding.
Henoch isn’t wrong about the android bodies. They’re a very sensible, practical, and humane solution. But they aren’t any fun, and they aren’t really going to replace what the aliens have been missing.
This plot is ALSO an excuse to have Spock be flirty, for all the audience members who’d been lusting after him for almost two years.
He’s so delightfully passive aggressive. “Oh, didn’t you know? This is your body, Thalassa.”
You can tell ALL these aliens are sneaky bastards at heart. Probably why they destroyed themselves.
Sargon? In my Enterprise? It’s more likely than you think.
“Jim, the receptacles!”
“You’ve killed...your best friend.” McCoy calling Spock Jim’s best friend always gets to me because, first, they really were perceived and understood to be best friends and that’s so lovely, but also, I don’t really think of them that way. I think of Spock as more his soulmate and McCoy as his best friend.
And Jim’s like “well,, that is unfortunate...now time to kill his body!”
I’ll say that I assume Kirk really did think Spock was dead, for the same reason that McCoy thought he was killing Spock’s body--to fool Henoch--but it’s possible he saw Spock transfer to Christine and thus never really thought he’d lost him. But he would have to lie to McCoy again, to fool Henoch.
“My friend, Spock.” Say it again.
This was like the best experience of Christine’s life. She got to share a body with Spock. I’m pretty sure that counts as sex in some cultures.
Well, that was awkward. The aliens suddenly departed and Kirk and Mulhall were still kissing. I feel like Spock was the most awkward about it.
And Christine loves the romance of it. And it is romantic!! But she looks to Spock and he’s like “yeah, whatever, I’m not jealous shut up.”
The only slight fault I see in this ep is there is a LITTLE bit of “well the aliens are just really powerful, so they can solve the plot holes with their Alien Powers” going on, but honestly... these eps aren’t that long for the ideas they put in them, plus, what’s the point of aliens if they can’t just do whatever you say they can do. Fairly small complaint.
But otherwise it had everything: a cool sci fi concept; classic alien tropes like Aliens as Warnings, Aliens Too Smart for Their Bodies, and Very Powerful Aliens; robots; Kirk being awesome and idealistic; the triumvirate; Christine having a good day; a lady scientist; the return of the colorful backgrounds; interesting and unusual ideas like that the aliens were waiting for their own descendants to come back and rescue them (and the Enterprise may or may not be those descendants); a romance; a villain; legitimately interesting relationships among the aliens and characterization of the aliens; and a fun story that moved along at a good pace.
Also I really, really feel like these are among the best characterized aliens/alien society in the whole show. Like maybe I’m just getting too excited about them but I really felt like they were real: they had these great powers but they weren’t just there to show humans how puny they were--they had faults but they weren’t villains--they had morals (Sargon in particular) but their good intentions weren’t good enough. You could see why they destroyed themselves but also why they might have been worth saving--and not just for what they could give to or do for humankind, but as intelligent, living beings in their own right. Even Sargon, who was so powerful he was a deus ex machina in and of himself, and really was genuinely moral and wanted to do what was right, and was never even tempted by the body, still had a certain obvious manipulative streak, and was quite paternalistic. His plan probably never would have worked. But it’s understandable that he wanted to try.
Anyway, as far as sci fi stories go in particular, this ep is one of my faves and it DOES hold up.
Next is Patterns of Force or The Enterprise Defeats Fascism.
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chaoswillfallrpg · a year ago
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HARRISON BAGNOLD is THIRTY-TWO YEARS OLD and an AMBASSADOR for the INTERNATIONAL CONFEDERATION OF WIZARDS at THE MINISTRY OF MAGIC. He looks remarkably like MAX IRONS and considers himself alligned with THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX. He is currently OPEN.
TW: death, murder, mind control
→ OVERVIEW:
Born to MILLICENT BAGNOLD and RUTHERFORD BAGNOLD, Harrison had a spotlight on himself from the second he took his first breath. At the time his mother was an influential figure in The Ministry whilst his father’s magical invention business was soaring, bringing in enough wealth for their middle-class lifestyle. As soon as Harrison was old enough, he was shoved into a tuxedo and dragged to all the events that his parents would attend. He would have much rather been at home sorting his wizarding card collections but his parents explained that the key to life was networking and if he didn’t attend events with them they’d have to pay for a nanny which was just utterly unnecessary. It wasn’t until much later in life that Harrison began to enjoy said events. He realised that his parents were important people and this made him just as important. He began to see himself as equal to the other high-class kids that attended these events but that didn’t last long. It was when the Malfoy’s held a Ministry event at their residence that he realised he wasn’t like the others at all. They weren’t as rich, they didn’t have a staff of House-Elves nor did they have elaborate and ornamental mansions as a home. Harrison felt embarrassed, ashamed to not have the same luxuries as his friends. It was at this point that the lying started.
Harrison would lie about his family's wealth for years to come. He’d hold himself high like a nobleman and would try his best to ‘fake it till you make it’. His parents would attempt to buy his love and he took advantage of this, asking for the top of the range items that all his friends had. Harrison’s relationship with his parents only became worse when BOOKER BAGNOLD was born. He felt bad for his brother, that he had been brought into this harsh family. That’s when his parents failed him yet again and gave Booker more love and affection than Harrison had ever received. From that moment he learnt that he needed to grow a thick skin to be happy in life and began to fend for himself, always finding a way to get what he wanted. Once at school he tried to surround himself with friends that would love him more than his parents did. His first friend in Hogwarts was FRANK LONGBOTTOM but it wasn’t long before Harrison decided that he needed to make new friends, ones with more social influence. He began to climb the social ladder, attending as many parties as he could without thinking too much about his grades. Harrison began to spin a web of lies. He didn’t see anything wrong with them, after all, he had started to almost believe them himself. Perhaps if he just went with them, he’d speak them into existence? Being a Gryffindor came with its perks, including the massive common room parties where Harrison met his soon to be best mates, BILLIUS WEASLEY and TIBERIUS MCLAGGEN. The lads all had similar interests in mind, partying and snogging. They formed a tight friend group and soon were barely seen away from each other’s sides.
Harrison came to terms with his sexuality over the next couple of years. He realised he wasn’t straight when he formed an undeniable crush on RHYS ROBARDS. He refused to act upon it and believed that it would just go away over time, which it did. However, that didn’t stop future crushes on men forming, crushes that turned out to be more fruitful than his first. He was hesitant to tell his mates, concerned that they’d treat him differently. He had no idea how to even explain his on-and-off feelings to them because he didn’t even understand them himself. He found himself approaching a close friend, HESTIA JONES about his sexuality first. Hestia had been there for him throughout the years, a solid friend that would tell him that he was out of line without hesitation. Whilst he didn’t always follow her suggestions, he definitely appreciated them. Bill and Tiberius only found out about his fluidity when they caught him snogging someone in the showers in their final years at Hogwarts. They were extremely supportive of him and this gave Harrison the closure he needed to be sure of himself yet again. And although Harrison had played the romance game for most of his life, flirting with whomever he wanted, he had never been in a serious relationship before, some would even say he was afraid of commitment.
Throughout his Hogwarts career, Harrison proved himself to not just be good at making friends, but adversaries as well. EDRICK SELWYN was a Slytherin student who was overly competitive and Harrison thought it would be fun to challenge him. What simply began as a friendly duel to Harrison turned out to be a rivalry that would follow Harrison through school and with him to his career at the ministry. Harrison had been given the position as an Ambassador for the International Confederation of Wizards and whilst this allowed Harrison to travel around the wizarding world, he reported to non-other than Edrick’s father, HARRELSON SELWYN. Whilst Harrelson seemed to be close to Harrison’s mother, he had taken a disliking for him which could have only been the doing of Edrick, or perhaps it was Harrison’s arrogance. When Booker joined The Ministry things changed for Harrison. He had never felt responsible for his brother, after all, his parents were always looking out for him, but as soon as he began work at the ministry, Harrison felt the need to look out for him. When their mother became Minister for Magic, a sense of relief washed over Harrison. He had been lying for so long about their family’s wealth status that it felt good to be true at last. It was at this stage in his life that he met the lovely CAMILLE ROWLE during a photoshoot for the Minister and their family. Despite Harrison’s initial efforts, Camille was playing the long and hard game. He wasn’t used to not getting what he wanted and found the challenge enjoyable. 
All Hallows Eve in 1982 was one of the worst nights of Harrison’s life. Due to a heated argument over a petition that Booker had started, Harrison disarmed Booker. Later that evening Booker was murdered which threw Harrison into guilt. He blamed himself for his brother’s death as if he hadn’t taken Booker’s wand, perhaps he would have been able to defend himself better. The next couple of months was a dark time for Harrison. However, thanks to his friends, he managed to climb out of his rut and CHARITY BURBAGE approached him with a proposition which gave Harrison a new direction in life. The two of them discussed how they could potentially carry on Booker’s legacy by taking his petition and continuing the fight for creature equality. Harrison attended the Yule Ball later that year and despite Yule not feeling the same without his brother, he had a great time. Well, at least until he was placed under the Imperius curse by someone unknown to him. Being under the curse was agonising. It felt like he was watching a television show or sitting in the back seat of a car whilst watching someone else drive recklessly. A voice whispered over and over in his mind that no thoughts of his own could form. In a way, it felt like Harrison was drowning in somebody else's thoughts, words and emotions. Before he knew it, his own flesh and bones felt a rage towards anyone he knew to be a creature and the first person that crossed his vision just so happened to be JONATHAN REEVES.
Harrison followed Jonathan (who was actually SILAS CRUMP in disguise) and Jonathan’s secret girlfriend, sacred Twenty-Eight darling ROSALIE FLINT into a private room. He then watched as his own hand pointed his wand at Jonathan and cast a killing curse at the man. Rosalie valiantly dived in front of the curse, killing her instantly. Silas knocked Harrison unconscious during the confusion that followed and fled the scene with Rosalie’s body. It wasn’t long until PATRICIA RAKEPICK found Harrison after hearing the commotion. Instantly recognizing that something was wrong with the man, Patricia called on Hestia for help. The two of them realised that Harrison was under a curse and helped him to the Order of the Phoenix Headquarters at the Fountain of Fair Fortune. After notifying PROFESSOR DUMBLEDORE, the Order began to work on freeing Harrison from the curse. When the curse was lifted, Harrison remembered nothing from whilst he was under the curse, only feelings and emotions. He had more questions than answers and after a long conversation with Hestia and ALASTOR MOODY, he understood exactly what the Order of the Phoenix was and what they stood for. Intrigued and fueled by a sense of duty to make things right for Booker and prevent further attacks on creatures. Combining the two, Harrison came up with the idea of a creature protection programme which would be run by the order and provide a safe haven for those creatures that were on the run from THE DARK LORD and felt unprotected by the ministry’s exclusive laws. 
→ ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
Blood Status → Half-Blood
Pronouns → He/Him
Identification → Cis Male 
Sexuality  → Sexually Fluid
Relationship Status → Single
Previous Education → Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry (Gryffindor)
Societies → TBD
Family → Rutherford Bagnold (father), Millicent Bagnold (mother), Booker Bagnold (brother)
Connections  → Billius Weasley (best friend), Tiberius McLaggen (best friend), Camille Rowle (romantic liaison), Rhys Robards (friend), Hestia Jones (close friend), Frank Longbottom (friend), Molly Prewett (friend), Harrelson Selwyn (boss), Edrick Selwyn (adversary), Charity Burbage (friend), Patricia Rakepick (friend), Rosalie Flint (victim)
Future Information → Future Head of the International Confederation of Wizards Department
HARRISON BAGNOLD IS A LEVEL 7 WIZARD.
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spn-meanttobe · a year ago
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Summaries Part Two [51-100]
Claiming Info -- FAQs/Rules The first Claims post will be a separate post going up on Saturday, November 7th at 12 pm EST. The second Claims post will be a separate post going up on Sunday, November 8th at 12 pm EST.
51. My Only Vice She's as pretty as a daisy... Sexy, easygoing Rosie Bliss may look like an innocent flower-shop owner, but former vice cop now police chief Sam Maguire is suspicious of the so-called herbs she grows along with her blooms. As sweet as a rose... So the serious detective launches an investigation into Rosie and her very mysterious past. But his most disturbing discovery? He's irresistibly attracted to free-spirited Rosie. And as dangerous as a Venus flytrap! Then cool, controlled Sam accidentally drinks a cup of her special brew and loses it completely! Not only does he end up sleeping with his suspect, he craves more – of Rosie, the most potent drug of all.
52. Night Shadow In a city ruled by fear... A solitary figure shrouded in black walked the night, determined to awaken a terrified metropolis from the nightmare of crime. There was nothing -- no bullets, and certainly not legal technicalities -- that could deter the man they called Nemesis from his mission. Deborah O'Roarke, an idealistic young prosecutor waging her own war against crime, owed Nemesis her very life. She shared his passion for justice, yet she could not accept his lawless methods. Still, though she fought her unwelcome desire for this disturbing stranger, she was unable to deny her longing to share the shadows that were his home.... After the night he saved Deborah O'Roarke from an attacker Nemesis rediscovered the sweet ache of longing. As Gage Guthrie he could woo her. But the idealistic prosecutor abhorred his vigilante approach to crime fighting. So how could he reveal he was the phantom who lurked in the Night Shadow? Fear casts a long shadow....
53. Night Shift Her voice was like whiskey, smooth and potent, but it was her contradictions that fascinated Detective Boyd Fletcher―the vulnerability beneath her tough-as-nails facade. Late-night radio announcer Cilla O'Roarke was being threatened by a caller, and it was Boyd's job to protect her no matter what. But the sultry deejay was getting under his skin, and the undeniable attraction that sizzled between them concerned the detective…because anything could happen on the Night Shift.
54. No Good Duke Goes Unpunished The ruin of the lady means the taming of the scoundrel. A rogue ruined... He is the Killer Duke, accused of murdering Mara Lowe on the eve of her wedding. With no memory of that fateful night, Temple has reigned over the darkest of London's corners for twelve years, wealthy and powerful, but beyond redemption. Until one night, Mara resurfaces, offering the one thing he's dreamed of: absolution. A lady returned... Mara planned never to return to the world from which she'd run, but when her brother falls deep into debt at Temple's exclusive casino, she has no choice but to offer Temple a trade that ends in her returning to society and proving to the world what only she knows...that he is no killer. A scandal revealed... It's a fine trade, until Temple realizes that the lady--and her past--are more than they seem. It will take every bit of his strength to resist the pull of this mysterious, maddening woman who seems willing to risk everything for honor... and to keep from putting himself on the line for love.
55. Once Smitten, Twice Shy Legend claims this antique Irish wedding veil can grant your heart's deepest desire. But be careful what you wish for... Wedding videographer Tish Gallagher is at the end of her rope. Her business is about to go bust. She's just spent her last buck on nonreturnable (but oh so fabulous) shoes. And her most sustainable relationship is with a pint of Häagen-Dazs. So she makes a wish on the lucky wedding veil to get out of debt...and sees the man she never stopped loving, her ex-husband, secret service agent Shane Tremont. Sure, their chemistry was off-the-charts sizzling hot, but their clashes were legendary, and no amount of longing will change that. When her dream job of recording the first daughter's wedding appears out of the blue, Tish knows it's her only shot to get out of the red. Just one teensy glitch: Shane is the groom. From the moment they see each other, she knows nothing's changed - the same old black magic is still between them, as irresistible and potent as ever. But he's promised to another and Tish has been burned before. Will she always be... once smitten, twice shy?
56. One Night with Morelli Warning: one night will never be enough… Draco Morelli: ruthless businessman, adoring father and wary ex-husband. This gorgeous Italian only ever signs up for temporary flings with glamorous women who know the rules of the game. Until he is blindsided by the one woman in all of London not interested in a relationship with him…. Eve Curtis: dedicated workaholic, loyal friend and self-professed singleton. Determined to remain independent, Eve has been happy keeping men at a safe distance. Until now. Because when Draco sweeps her off her feet and into his bedroom, he opens her eyes to a whole new world of sin and seduction!
57. One Night with the Shifter A one-night stand with a werewolf has unexpected consequences. After he is exiled from his pack, Tyee Grayson must learn to make it on his own. But one night with a beautiful stranger who has luminous blue eyes changes everything…. Especially when his instincts shout that she is the one. All elementary school teacher Jessica Brierly wanted was a night on the wild side, but when she finds herself pregnant, all the rules change. Not only does her lover have more secrets than she ever imagined, but suddenly they're both fighting off vampires. When vampires attack the town she dearly loves, Ty must work with his old pack to save them from a ruthless enemy who could kill not only his mate and his unborn child – but the entire human race.
58. One Texas Night Melinda Amery awoke to the double-barreled deep blue eyes of Lieutenant Grady Sloan. A more formidable – or handsome – man she'd never seen. And he wanted answers about a murder. Only, Melinda had none. She had no recall, except she knew nothing good would come from remembering... Grady was the kind of cop who wouldn't let go until he got what he wanted. With his job on the line, he needed to break the case. But the only witness had amnesia – and tormented dark eyes that needed healing. And Grady couldn't help his overwhelming attraction toward Melinda. But would her hidden memories reveal more than either of them wanted to know... ?
59. Pushing the Limits No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with "freaky" scars on her arms. Even Echo can't remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal. But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo's world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible. Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she'll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again.
60. Red, White & Royal Blue When his mother became President, Alex Claremont-Diaz was promptly cast as the American equivalent of a young royal. Handsome, charismatic, genius—his image is pure millennial-marketing gold for the White House. There's only one problem: Alex has a beef with the actual prince, Henry, across the pond. And when the tabloids get hold of a photo involving an Alex-Henry altercation, U.S./British relations take a turn for the worse. Heads of family, state, and other handlers devise a plan for damage control: staging a truce between the two rivals. What at first begins as a fake, Instagrammable friendship grows deeper, and more dangerous, than either Alex or Henry could have imagined. Soon Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret romance with a surprisingly unstuffy Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations and begs the question: Can love save the world after all? Where do we find the courage, and the power, to be the people we are meant to be? And how can we learn to let our true colors shine through? Red, White & Royal Blue proves true love isn't always diplomatic.
61. Renegade Protector When intimidation turns to deadly force, it's time for Frontier Justice. If ruthless developers want Mariana Balducci's land, they'll have to kill her for it. And they nearly succeed—until Ty Morrison foils her attacker. The sexy San Francisco cop is part of a secret organization called Frontier Justice. Mariana is tough, but she realizes she can't win this fight alone. And when bullets fly, Ty realizes battling bad guys is easier than fighting their sizzling attraction.
62. Rocky Mountain Wedding Melody Pennington fled to Montana for a new start as a mail-order bride. Gabe Brooks, handsome older brother to the man she was supposed to marry, helps her settle in. But what Melody doesn't expect is to fall for the rugged, closed-off lawman...
63. Romancing the Chef When Veronica Howard is invited to compete in an all-star TV cooking contest, the up-and-coming restaurateur is ready for a fair food fight. Then she discovers who her main competition is: Ace Brown, her friend from culinary school – now the world's hottest celebrity chef. Has she gone from the frying pan right into the fire? Ace Brown – aka the Sexy Chef – knows what women want. After all, recipes for desire are his globe-trotting specialty. Ronnie may not have given him the time of day back in school, but this time Ace is cooking up a surprise she can't resist. Seducing the voluptuous foodie will be his pleasure…until she turns up the heat. With sexual sparks flying, is the footloose bachelor about to become a connoisseur…of love?
64. Rumors that Ruined a Lady Amongst the gossip-hungry ton, no name has become more synonymous with sin than that of Lady Caroline Rider, cast out by her husband and disowned by her family. Rumor has it that the infamous Caro is now seeking oblivion in the opium dens of London! There's only one man who can save her: notorious rake Sebastian Conway, Marquis of Ardhallow. Soon Caro is installed in his country home, warming his bed, but their passion may not be enough to protect them once news of their scandalous arrangement breaks out.
65. Secrets of a Gentleman Escort He's the talk of the ton – for all the wrong reasons! Society's most outrageous – and popular! – escort Nicholas D'Arcy is renowned for his utmost discretion. So when he suddenly finds himself named and shamed by a jealous husband, he reluctantly accepts a summons to the countryside…a fate worse than death! Annorah Price-Ellis isn't what Nick is used to – innocent, feisty and decidedly uncomfortable with the spontaneous heat between them! Suddenly, London's most audacious lover is out of his depth, and in danger of revealing the real man behind the polished facade….
66. Seduced by the Operative For psychologist Claire Cantwell--code name Cyrene--the stakes couldn't be higher. Tapped for a top-secret mission for the president, the OMEGA covert operative needed the unique expertise of a man with whom she'd shared danger--and her bed. Lethally attractive special ops agent and ultra-suave diplomat Luis Esteban wanted more than Claire was ready to give. Now, with their very survival at stake, Claire has to trust Luis with her life... even if that means surrendering the one thing she vowed never to give: her heart.
67. Serendipity Faith Harrington was the classic girl of privilege - until her father was convicted of running a Ponzi scheme and then her marriage crashed and burned. Now Faith is back in her hometown, hoping for a fresh start. But her father's betrayal has rocked Serendipity - and not everyone is ready to welcome her with open arms. Then she runs into her teenage crush - the dark, brooding Ethan Barron. Ethan, no stranger to scandal himself, never imagined he'd own the mansion on the hill, much less ever again come face-to-face with Faith - the princess he once kissed senseless. The chance meeting reignites the electric charge between them. Still, when Ethan hires her to redecorate what was once her childhood home, Faith is sure that getting involved with the town's notorious bad boy will lead only to trouble. But her heart has other ideas. And so do the townspeople of Serendipity...
68. Shades of Desire Natalie Jones is the lucky survivor of an elusive killer who preys on young women and then disappears from view. And since her harrowing ordeal, the once gutsy photojournalist has remained isolated in her home, paralyzed by fear and her failing vision. Special Agent Liam "Mac" McKenzie has scars of his own. But despite his efforts to ignore the attraction that simmers between him and Natalie, he needs her help to catch a predator. Soon, they will forge a tentative alliance, charged with desire. Through a soft-focus lens, Natalie dares to envision a future with Mac beyond the investigation & never guessing that the clues hidden within her photographs are drawing them into an explosive confrontation with a madman.
69. She's Got it Bad Twelve years ago Zoe Ford let Liam Masters break her heart. But now? There's not a chance. Zoe is as tough and wild as they come. So when Liam shows up at her tattoo parlor, she's more than ready to take him on again. That's not going to be a hardship, since he's hotter than he ever was. This time she's staying in charge. And she's not going to consider their score settled until he's hot, bothered and begging for more! Then she'll move on as callously as he left her. Unless all that deliciously bad sex is just too good to give up….
70. Snowbound with the Soldier Maybe this Christmas…? It has been seven long years since Kara Jameson last saw Jason Greene. Returning home as a wounded war hero, Jason looks a shell of the man she once knew. Yet her heart still skips a beat as if it was yesterday…. Stepping back into civilian life, Jason looks to Kara for help. But there's too much water under the bridge – not to mention too much lingering attraction. But it seems that the mountain weather has other ideas, and when Kara and Jason end up snowbound together they are forced to confront the ghosts of Christmas past.
71. Soldier Caged
He'd lost blood and comrades on the world's battlefields, but neither compared to losing his memory. Waking up in a secret military bunker, drugged, with vague images of a mission gone bad, Jonah had nowhere to turn. Until help came in the form of the one woman he'd always remember... Psychologist Sophia Rhodes never got over the bad boy who'd stolen her good-girl heart a decade ago. But without military training, how could she possibly steal Jonah from a high-security facility? She had only one hope--that he'd never forgotten her, either. Sophia knew the breakout was the easy part. Somehow she had to help Jonah focus his hazy images--before a desperate man made sure he'd never remember...
72. Sound Bites Renee Evans has a knack for trouble. After walking in on her best friend and boyfriend in bed together, twenty-five-year-old Renee flees her dream job as a music journalist in sunny Los Angeles and returns to her hometown of Boston – only to meet Dylan Cavallari, the mysterious, aspiring musician who lives in her apartment building. Dylan's piercing gaze and womanizing demeanor make him exactly the type of guy that Renee should steer clear of – which is most likely the reason she falls for him. But when Renee's troublesome ex comes back and threatens to drive her and Dylan apart, Renee is forced to face her past and save her relationship with Dylan before it's too late.
73. Succubus Blues When it comes to jobs in hell, being a succubus seems pretty glamorous. A girl can be anything she wants, the wardrobe is killer, and mortal men will do anything just for a touch. Granted, they often pay with their souls, but why get technical? But Seattle succubus Georgina Kincaid's life is far less exotic. Her boss is a middle-management demon with a thing for John Cusack movies. Her immortal best friends haven't stopped teasing her about the time she shape-shifted into the Demon Goddess getup complete with whip and wings. And she can't have a decent date without sucking away part of the guy's life. At least there's her day job at a local bookstore--free books; all the white chocolate mochas she can drink; and easy access to bestselling, sexy writer, Seth Mortensen, aka He Whom She Would Give Anything to Touch but Can't. But dreaming about Seth will have to wait. Something wicked is at work in Seattle's demon underground. And for once, all of her hot charms and drop-dead one-liners won't help because Georgina's about to discover there are some creatures out there that both heaven and hell want to deny...
74. Tell Me Your Secrets It was a dark and sexy night... And Brooke Ashby knew she was in over her head. As head writer for the soap opera Secrets, she was used to living vicariously through her characters. But that all changed the day she learned she was adopted, and that her identical twin sister had mysteriously disappeared. What else could she do but try to discover what had happened, even if it meant taking her sister's place? It shouldn't be hard. After all, she was good at research and had a talent for acting, if she did say so herself. Her plan seemed foolproof…until Brooke found herself in bed with her sister's fiancé….
75. Temptation's Kiss Patrice Sutton has just landed the role of her career. Snagging the female lead opposite devastatingly handsome, six-foot-three movie idol T. K. McKenna is a dream come true. When she learns they'll be filming out West she's secretly thrilled…and ready to show her gorgeous co-star the ropes of life on the ranch. Until T.K. turns the tables – by initiating her into the art of seduction far from the camera's glare. T.K. knows that with her incredible beauty, talent and sweet sincerity, Patrice has what it takes to make it really big. And the burgeoning film star is showing T.K. a passion more real than anything he's ever experienced on – or off – the screen. But what will it take to prove to her that she's the only woman he'll ever desire…and love?
76. Texas Mom Texas veterinarian Delaney Blair will do anything to find a bone marrow donor for her four-year-old son, Nickolas. The only likely match is his Argentinean father, Dario. But Dario and Delaney didn't part on good terms. In fact, he doesn't even know he has a son! Delaney travels to Argentina to find him, and Dario, shocked, returns to Texas. It's not long before Nick and Dario become close. Not only that, Dario can't hide the feelings he has for Delaney – feelings that have been there since they met. Dario's family doesn't want him to be with her. But now they have to see if the love between them is strong enough to keep them together.
77. The Cajun Cowboy Talk about a bad hair day! Louisiana beauty salon owner Charmaine LeDeux has a loan shark on her tail, and Raoul Lanier, the six-foot-three hunk of testosterone she thought she divorced, has just delivered a bombshell: They're still married! At least the rundown ranch they've inherited together is the perfect hideout. Holy crawfish! It's hard enough for Raoul to play cowboy to a bunch of scrawny steer, let alone suffer the exquisite torture of living with the delectable Charmaine, who's declared herself a born-again virgin. What's a man crazy with desire to do? Seduce her on their home on the range, even if it means taking advice from bachelor ranch hands, Charmaine's belly-dancing great-aunt, and St. Jude, patron saint of lost causes. With the moon shining over the bayou and the Dixie Mafia in hot pursuit, this Cajun cowboy must sweet-talk his way into his wife's arms again...before she unties the knot for good!
78. The Happy Baker We've all been there. The blind date from hell. The Big Hurt. The guy who details his various surgeries over Caesar salad on the first date. Who needs a pint of rocky road when you can head to the kitchen and work out your heartache with a whisk and a bottle of wine? Erin Bolger has been there, dated that and baked through it all. Turns out the more bitter the heartbreak, the sweeter the batter. So don't cry over bad dates, bad boyfriends or bad breakups – whip up a batch of My-Mom-Didn't-Like-You-Anyway Cupcakes and bake yourself happy.
79. The Heist FBI Special Agent Kate O'Hare is known for her fierce dedication and discipline on the job, chasing down the world's most wanted criminals and putting them behind bars. Her boss thinks she is tenacious and ambitious; her friends think she is tough, stubborn, and maybe even a bit obsessed. And while Kate has made quite a name for herself for the past five years the only name she's cared about is Nicolas Fox -- an international crook she wants in more ways than one. Audacious, handsome, and dangerously charming, Nicolas Fox is a natural con man, notorious for running elaborate scams on very high-profile people. At first he did it for the money. Now he does it for the thrill. He knows that the FBI has been hot on his trail -- particularly Kate O'Hare, who has been watching his every move. For Nick, there's no greater rush than being pursued by a beautiful woman... even one who aims to lock him up. But just when it seems that Nicolas Fox has been captured for good, he pulls off his greatest con of all: He convinces the FBI to offer him a job, working side by side with Special Agent Kate O'Hare. Problem is, teaming up to stop a corrupt investment banker who's hiding on a private island in Indonesia is going to test O'Hare's patience and Fox's skill. Not to mention the skills of their ragtag team made up of flamboyant actors, wanted wheelmen, and Kate's dad. High-speed chases, pirates, and Toblerone bars are all in a day's work... if O'Hare and Fox don't kill each other first.
80. The Inn at Eagle Point It's been years since Abby O'Brien Winters set foot in Chesapeake Shores. The Maryland town her father built has too many sad memories and Abby too few spare moments, thanks to her demanding Wall Street career, the crumbling of her marriage and energetic twin daughters. Then one panicked phone call from her youngest sister brings her racing back home to protect Jess's dream of renovating the charming Inn at Eagle Point. But saving the inn from foreclosure means dealing not only with her own fractured family, but also with Trace Riley, the man Abby left ten years ago. Trace can be a roadblock to her plans...or proof that second chances happen in the most unexpected ways.
81. The Klone and I After thirteen years of marriage and two kids, Stephanie was devastated when her husband left her for a younger woman. Suddenly she was alone. Then a spur-of-the-moment trip to Paris changed everything. Peter Baker was a handsome high-tech entrepreneur also visiting the city. Stephanie was certain it couldn't possibly work. But much to her amazement, he contacted her when they returned to New York. And Stephanie embarked on a bizarre and hilarious adventure beyond her wildest dreams. Shy, serious Peter, chairman of a bionic enterprise, was supposed to be away on business. Instead, he's standing at her door, wearing satin and rhinestones. Naturally, Stephanie thinks it's a joke -- until the truth suddenly dawns: this isn't Peter playing a role. This is his double! Calling himself Paul Klone, this wild, uninhibited creature isn't even remotely like Peter except for his identically sexy good looks. This uproarious novel explores the outrageous love triangle that develops between Stephanie, Peter... and The Klone.
82. The Man from Atlantis These days, eligible, attractive, single men weren't exactly coming out of the woodwork! So when Jenna stumbled across a gorgeous male specimen, she couldn't let a mere ten-thousand-year age difference interfere with romance! Besides, everyone knows older men are sexy!
83. The Man With Emerald Eyes A victim of her brother's gambling debts, lovely Theone Danvers had been left to choose between the hell of debtor's prison - and the lecherous arms of the Marquis de Juliers. But Theone was a fiery beauty with a mind of her own. Disguised as a lad, she took to the highroad with smoking pistols, and stole herself a fortune in gold. Then, in the green depths of the forest, she meets a rival - a highwayman with haunting emerald eyes, a price on his head, and a noble secret in his past. They join forces, and Theone rides headlong into the greatest danger of her renegade career: the unquenchable passions of a woman's first love!
84. The Prince Charming List Heather Lowell asked herself this question after moving to Prichett, Wisconsin, to temporarily manage the Cut and Curl Beauty Salon. She's hopeful that this summer she will finally find the love of her life. She even has a list detailing everything she wants in her Prince Charming. But when two men enter her life, Heather suddenly needs to figure out what she really wants – and whether handyman Ian Dexter or rebel-artist Jared Ward figures into her happily ever after.
85. The Ranger Texas Ranger Mitch Striker's uncomplicated bachelor lifestyle suits him just fine: catch the bad guys and move on. But there's nothing straightforward about struggling single mom Brandie Ryland or her adorable four-year-old son, Toby. The beautiful redhead is the prime suspect in Mitch's undercover investigation. But when a hostage standoff leaves Brandie's family vulnerable and uncovers a roomful of contraband and drugs, Mitch second-guesses her involvement in the crime…and his ability to keep his emotional distance. With the danger growing and the clock ticking, Mitch must save Brandie, catch the perps and handle the daddy heartstrings Toby keeps tugging on. Then he'll have to face the secrets he's sure Brandie's keeping – before they become his undoing.
86. The Rose Contract Love is free. Innocence has a price. Raena Barren was born with a secret: of all the magic users in the kingdom of Soma, she is the only one who can hide her power. As a child, she used this magic to help her survive on the streets--until she saved the life of a strange boy called Jorr Portent. He rewarded her with a job in the castle of Soma--and Raena spent the next ten years falling in love with him. But while Raena's life as a servant is sheltered, Jorr's world is one of spies and assassins. When Raena comes of age, their paths will diverge forever… unless Raena can earn a place by his side. To become one of Jorr's operatives, however, Raena must get to know her own body, and outsmart the deadly people around her. She must also sell her innocence to whatever man pays the most… even if that man can't be Jorr.
87. The Secret His Mistress Carried Hiding from the Greek… The ink is barely dry on Giorgios Letsos's divorce papers, but there's only one thing on this unstoppable Greek's mind: finding Billie Smith, his mistress before his marriage. But the sweet, pliable woman he once knew slams the door in his face! Billie fought hard to heal her broken heart after Gio chose to marry someone else. When he storms back into her life, she's determined not to fall for his seduction again. Especially now that she has a secret to protect…their son. But she hadn't counted on just how badly he wants her back in his bed!
88. The Space Between Us Tesla Martin is drifting pleasantly through life, slinging lattes at Morningstar Mocha, enjoying the ebb and flow of caffeine-starved customers, devoted to her cadre of regulars. But none of the bottomless-cup crowd compares with Meredith, a charismatic force of nature who can coax intimate tales from even the shyest of Morningstar's clientele. Caught in Meredith's sensual, irresistible orbit, inexpressibly flattered by the siren's attention, Tesla shares long-buried chapters of her life, holding nothing back. Nothing Meredith proposes seems impossible – not even Tesla sleeping with Meredith's husband, Charlie, while she looks on. After all, it's all in fun, isn't it? In a heartbeat, vulnerable Tesla is swept into a spectacular love triangle. Together, gentle, grounded Charlie and sparkling, maddening Meredith are everything Tesla has ever needed, wanted, or dreamed of, even if no one else on earth understands. They're three against the world. But soon one of the vertices begins pulling away until only two points remain – and the space between them gapes with confusion, with grief and with possibility….
89. The Texas Ranger's Reward Is he seeing double? He can't believe his eyes. When Travis Stillman meets Melissa Dalton, it's as if he's seeing the ghost of his late wife. That explains why his young son warms to Melissa so quickly. The orthopedic therapist is working wonders to help Casey readjust after an accident -- his boy has come alive again. But that's no reason for this former Texas Ranger to let his guard down as he settles into life as a P.I. and single dad. No woman can replace his wife -- especially not one who could be her twin. And when Melissa hires him to investigate a break-in at her family's cabin, he's even more determined to ignore the growing attraction between them. Now he's got to protect both Melissa, and his heart.
90. The Vampire Affair The world knew Michael Brandt as a playboy tycoon. The underworld knew him as a fierce vampire hunter. Armed with a wooden stake and superior strength, Michael targeted the most powerful overlords in a clandestine do-or-die operation...and then tabloid reporter Jessie Morgan uncovered his secret. Only once before had Michael allowed a woman into his secret lair. Now he'd fight heaven and hell to keep Jessie from the same fate. But he couldn't fight the attraction that drew him to her like a bloodlust. An attraction that might prove deadly...or worse. For Michael was going up against the most powerful of the undead--and that vampire had his fangs bared for Jessie.
91. Thief of Hearts An Innocent Beauty. Prim and pampered, Lucinda Snow knew little of men and nothing of danger, until the fog-shrouded night she found herself abducted—and at the mercy of the legendary Captain Doom. Ruthless and mocking, tender and virile, the notorious pirate awakened all Lucy's passionate longings, then abandoned her with nothing but a kiss... A Pirate's Prize. Now safely at home, the alluring waif is tormented by treacherous memories—and by the presence of Gerard Claremont, her mysterious new bodyguard. Everything about him, from his forbidding size to his impertinent manner, sparks her defiance. And even when Gerard's smile turns seductive, no one can make her forget Doom. Yet only when Lucy's path crosses the captain's once more, will she learn who is on a voyage of retribution, and who is out to steal her heart...
92. Things Good Girls Don't Do Good girls don't steal. Good girls don't visit sex shops. Good girls don't have one-night stands. For Katie Conners, being a good girl just isn't worth it anymore. It used to mean getting the life she always wanted. But that was before she got dumped and her ex got engaged to his rebound. So, after a bad day and one too many mojitos, Katie starts making a list of things a girl like her would never do, not in a million years... As a tattoo artist with a monster motorcycle, Chase Trepasso isn't the kind of guy you bring home to mom and dad. And when he finds Katie's list in a bar, he's more than happy to help her check off a few items. Especially the ones on the naughtier side... Katie's more than tempted by Chase's offer, as long as they keep things uncomplicated. But as they spend more time together, she may just wind up breaking the most important rule of all: Good girls don't fall in love with bad boys.
93. This Tender Truce The Boutonnet vineyards, passed down in her family for generations, mean everything to Tory. But she hadn't counted on her grandfather's one condition of her taking over: marry his godson, Chance Mobley. Unfortunately, Tory had decided long ago that she could never truly love the arrogant Frenchman. He had been raised alongside her, and she had loved him once – a child's crush. But Chance has no business being officially inducted into the Boutonnet family, and certainly doesn't deserve her beloved vineyard. As it turns out though, wine might not be the only thing for which Tory has a passion. And Chance has a few things to teach her about love.
94. Undead and Unwed It's been a helluva week for Betsy Taylor. First, she loses her job. Then, to top things off, she's killed in a car accident. But what really bites (besides waking up in the morgue dressed in a pink suit and cheap shoes courtesy of her stepmother) is that she can't seem to stay dead. Every night she rises, with a horrible craving for blood. She's not taking too well to a liquid diet. Worst of all, her new friends have the ridiculous idea that Betsy is the prophesied vampire queen, and they want her help in overthrowing the most obnoxious, power-hungry vampire in five centuries--a badly dressed Bela Lugosi wannabe, natch. Frankly, Betsy couldn't care less about vamp politics, but they have a powerful weapon of persuasion: designer shoes. How can any self-respecting girl say no? But a collection of Ferragamos isn't the only temptation for Betsy. It's just a lot safer than the scrumptious Sinclair--a seductive bloodsucker whose sexy gaze seems as dangerous as a stake through the heart...
95. Unguarded Rhiannon Jenkins is an events planner on the rise. And her latest client, Shawn Emerson, could make her career. Too bad the gorgeous man insists on mixing a lot of pleasure with his business. In Rhiannon's books getting involved with a client is the fastest way to exit a job. So, no. She'll resist all his come-get-me looks and tempting offers. While his charm is easy to overlook, Shawn in the role of confidant and friend breaks down all her best defenses. Suddenly the tables turn and she wants to be close to him. That means opening up about the ugly events of her past – a risk she hasn't taken before now. Oh, but he could be so worth it!
96. Walking Dead For once, Joanne Walker's not out to save the world. She's come to terms with the host of shamanic powers she's been given, her job as a police detective has been relatively calm, and she's got a love life for the first time in memory. Not bad for a woman who started out the year mostly dead. But it's Halloween, and the undead have just crashed Joanne's party. Now, with her mentor Coyote still missing, she has to figure out how to break the spell that has let the ghosts, zombies and even the Wild Hunt come back. Unfortunately, there's no shamanic handbook explaining how to deal with the walking dead. And if they have anything to say about it – which they do – no one's getting out of there alive.
97. What Waits Below Out of the depths... – All her life, Kendra Tremaine had trembled at the very thought of Lynx Lake. She had known even as a child that something unspeakable waited below the surface of the water and she had long sworn never again to set foot on its shore. And yet now she was back to take possession of the family estate that was her unwanted legacy. The legends of Lynx Lake had summoned another visitor, a man of strange powers and dark knowledge. Hart Rainwalker's obsession with the lake's secrets terrified Kendra, even as his brooding passion called to her soul. He claimed only he could protect her from the awful presence that threatened her. But who would protect her from her self-appointed guardian?
98. Wife for Hire The Prospective Husband with a Racy Past... Hank Mallone spotted trouble when she sat down and said she'd marry him! Maggie Toone was a tempting firecracker who'd make his life delightful hell if he let her pretend to be his wife in order to improve his rogue's reputation. Would his harebrained scheme to get a bank loan for his business backfire once Maggie arrived in his small Vermont town and let the gossips take a look? Maggie never expected her employer to be drop-dead handsome, or to affect her like a belt of bourbon on an empty stomach, but she was too intrigued by his offer to say no... and too eager to escape a life that made her feel trapped. The deal was strictly business, both agreed... until Hank turned out to be every fantasy she'd ever had, and Maggie was so bright, funny and downright irresistible that Hank fell head over heels in love! While the town watched, Hank wooed his wife with a charm that had never failed him yet. Could he make her dreams real by proving she belonged in his arms?
99. Wild Heat Sometimes old flames are the hottest of all... In the quaint little town of Cailkirn, Alaska, it's impossible to keep a secret, especially one as juicy as the unexpected return of Kitty Grant. Tack MacKinnon remembers her wild red curls and even wilder spirit-and still feels the sting from when she shattered his heart in college. But there's a pain in Kitty's gorgeous eyes that guts him to the core and Tack is determined to do whatever it takes to see the woman he still loves smile again - even if it means taking on her demons as his own. After fleeing an abusive ex-husband, Kitty decides that the best way to heal her broken heart is to come back home. But she gets a whole new shock when she sees how undeniably sexy Tack has become. More handsome, more muscular, more charming-more everything - he's impossible to resist. Before she knows it, they're reigniting sparks that could set the whole state of Alaska on fire. Yet trust doesn't come easy to Kitty anymore, and as things heat up between her and Tack, she can't help but wonder if one of them is going to get burned...
100. Zombie Moon Caleb Locke lived for one thing — killing zombies. And this man — this legend — was exactly what Samantha Wagner needed. In mist-shrouded alleys, hunted by zombies, haunted by fear, she vowed to find Caleb and convince him to help her. But she hadn't counted on falling in love…. Caleb kept his own secrets — like the one he couldn't hide when the moon was full. But his wolf was drawn to Samantha, recognizing her as his mate. With her in his arms, Caleb reveled in passion… and rued his deception. Would she still love the man who fought by her side if she realized that zombies weren't the only monsters? Samantha would have to make a choice—and she only had till the next full moon.
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gentcrowcruisin · a year ago
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One: Why you write
Here’s the thing: there’s not enough time in life to read or write bad fanfiction. Now what you consider good or bad is entirely subjective, so I use another distinction among pieces of fiction. There are stories that give something to the reader, and there are stories that don’t. The second group is easier to write and easier to read. You read it, and when you finish, you’re the exact same individual, only with having had a few laughs or having shed a few tears on the conveniently meaningless comedy or tragedy. I’m well aware that these works have their own niche as tools to let off some steam, and that it’s fun to read something like that, but let’s face it, it’s what it is: meaningless. The stories that belong to the other type are those, that have a meaning. A message that they want to convey about life, the world, humanity or literally any topic that’s relevant to the reader. Admittedly, these stories take effort to write, and require some willingness from the reader. Willingness to absorb the message and even possibly change their attitudes according to it. This makes these harder reads, but only for some capacity. Naturally, an author doesn’t need to write something on par with – I don’t know – Hamlet or Paradise Lost. It doesn’t have to be a masterpiece, the important part is the intent, the – so to say – soul of the story. Now, that we’ve established our two kinds of stories, I’d like to get a disclaimer out of the way: the advice in this whole compilation of essays is for those authors who wish to give something with their stories. If you’re only writing for your own fun, it’s a moot point, as you’ll write whatever you want, and it’s perfectly fine that way. Keep in mind, however, that with that, you also give up the right to be upset at negative feedback, as you admittedly don’t care about your audience.
So, let’s assume, that you want to give something to the person reading your story. How do you do it? There are a few ways, but first of all, you’ve got to decide what you wish to give to the reader. Most of my own attempts at writing usually go down on this particular plot point. But if you’re lucky and you don’t need inspiration deep from your heart and soul to write something, then think of a message. I’ll give a few examples: world peace; religious peace; why humanity is going to die; why humanity is already dead; why we should totally stop killing each other despite our differences; etc. (Yes, I’m a very optimistic person, who really believes in a bright future, why do you ask?) What I’ve already mentioned, though, is that you don’t need to solve life’s greatest problems. The message might just be that people should be nice to each other. The important bit is that it should be there.
After you decide what message you want to convey with the piece of fiction you are writing, you can get down and find out how you’re going to convey the message. There are countless ways to show your thoughts on the issue you chose to be at the centre of your story. One of the easiest ways is to go with an allegory. Even your whole story can be an allegory in and itself, if the central message is really the centre of your story. The allegory is a personification of your idea. For example, in the Bible, the forbidden fruit is the allegory of… well, there are a few theories about that, to be fair. It might be sex. Or knowledge. Or something else. An easier example is the Garden of Eden. It – at least in my opinion – clearly represents the innocence of Adam and Eve. Or, if we take a look at the Harry Potter books, I’d say Hogwarts is a representation of culture. Or a cultured society. You might’ve noticed that the meaning of some of these allegories is quite ambiguous. Well, that’s mostly because there are two perspectives in play. The author and the reader. The author wants to represent a concept, and the reader will somehow interpret the representation. There is no sentence that can’t be interpreted at least two different ways in a piece of fiction.
Another option is, that you model your thoughts in the story. This is literally the easiest thing ever. Examples include: if you think politicians are corrupt, depict them as corrupt. If you think education is useless (then shame on you, it just needs to be improved), depict school as a hindrance for your protagonist. The message will get through.
You can also have character based messages. The best example for this is Harry Potter. Harry is a very selfless boy with strong emotions, and in the end, he’s victorious due to his willingness to die for his friends. (I’ll have a rant on the topic ‘Why Super!Harry ruins the message of Harry Potter’ sometime later) This obviously conveys the message that we should be selfless, and love our fellow humans, as we’re all in this life together. This is an easy device to show the concept you want to show.
The last – and for some definition the least – thing on the list is being painfully direct. If you ever read Jules Verne, especially the Two Years’ Vacation, you’ll find that a character literally explains why it’s important to go to school even while stranded on a desert island! (“We must, of course, continue with our education. The older boys can teach the younger boys, and we’ll build an utopistic free state of children. Learning’s important, get it?” Heh, fat chance of this happening. If you want to read a realistic book about children on a desert island, read the Lord of Flies. You won’t like it, but it’s painfully accurate. But I digress.) I admit, however, that having a raisonneur character is completely justifiable. They’re the guys who basically say what the author wants to say verbatim. Look at Dumbledore. Or any and all uncles from any and all Moliére plays. You can be direct, but do it with style. Don’t give lessons of several pages (Looking at you Voltaire!), have them tell your opinion in a short and apt way, preferably in a well-flowing dialogue.
One last thing. As I’ve already mentioned, all works of fiction can be interpreted in lots of ways, and that’s completely okay. People will take different things away from your writings, because they’re different people. This could mean that your effort to show your thoughts was in vain, but it really doesn’t. If your message inspires a positive change in someone, it was all worth it. You gave something. It might not necessarily be what you intended to give, but you gave something regardless. And we all know that it’s better to give.
Now you have seen a new perspective on creative writing. I don’t have the illusion that all writers who read this will suddenly only write books worth the Nobel-prize, but I hope I managed to give you something. Also, you probably won’t manage to handle all these advices perfectly on the first try. I certainly didn’t, but you know what they say: practice makes perfect. So write!
AN: If you agree, don’t agree or have any thoughts on the topic, leave a review. If you liked this, and are ready for more, follow the story, because I intend to write a few other pieces of writing advice, fanfic trope analysis and fanfiction analysis. Next I’ll probably try to tackle the ridiculously big topic of fanfiction as a whole. Stay tuned. AN: Check out this series crossposted on FictionPress. (LINK)
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lauralot89 · 3 months ago
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In Which I Compare a Movie I Didn’t Like to a Movie I Did
so I’ve mentioned previously that I saw Men and found it immensely underwhelming, which was disappointing to me for three reasons: One because it’s a horror movie and I tend to love those, two because it’s an A24 movie and I have high expectations for those, and three because it’s the same director as Ex Machina so again my expectations were high
I’ve been trying to figure out what I found so disappointing about it, considering that Men deals with themes I find incredibly important and timely and usually movies having all the subtlety of a boot to the head isn’t an issue for me, a lot of my favorite films are heavy-handed as fuck
So I’m going to compare Men to Promising Young Woman to explain my issues with it.  Is that fair, considering the former film is an art house folk horror set in the UK and the latter is a mainstream thriller dealing with the US legal and educational institutions?
probably not but I’m doing it anyway
spoilers for both films under the cut
So Men is a movie about a recent widow, Harper, whose abusive former husband either deliberately or accidentally fell to his death after threatening to kill himself if Harper divorced him and saying it would be her fault. Some time after his death, she rents a house to take a holiday, where she encounters multiple unsettling men who all have the same face.
Promising Young Woman is about a woman named Cassie whose friend Nina took her own life after being raped in college and neither the university nor the legal system taking it seriously.  Cassie spends her nights pretending to be blackout drunk in bars and then confronting the men who take her home to try and take advantage of her.  When she finds out Nina’s rapist is now engaged, she sets out to take revenge.
Neither film is subtle.  Every line of dialogue Harper’s husband has might as well be out of the Abusive Spouse 101 textbook, and every man she exchanges dialogue with from there manages to be blatantly sexist in each conversation, albeit each in different ways (from benign, paternalistic misogyny to “it’s your fault your husband died because how dare you be angry he hit you”). Similarly, almost every conversation Cassie has in Promising Young Woman is straight out of Victim Blaming and Rape Apologetics for Dummies.
So why does one movie work for me when the other doesn’t?  You might say it’s because they set out to accomplish separate things, with one being surreal horror and one being a revenge thriller.  You might say it’s because they have very different tones.  But I think it boils down to this:
For me, Men feels like a movie that was made for men.
To be clear, everything Harper experiences - abuse, sexism, stalking, victim blaming, assault, harassment, a useless legal system - is real.  Even if an individual woman has not experienced those things, the potential for them is still always in the background radiation of our lives.  And I’m not even saying a movie like this being directed at men is a bad thing.  If it gets them to understand and hopefully stand against the shit women deal with, good.
But for me, Men feels very much like the male director decided to make a movie about the female experience and then did so on the most surface of levels, with more interest being taken in the symbolism than the story.  (Yes, I understood the symbolism.  I get it.  The Green Man.  Seed.  Fertility.  Adam and Eve.  Sheela na gig.  Agamemnon and Clytemnestra.  Leda and the swan.  Odysseus and the sirens.  I get it.  That doesn’t mean the movie is good.)
If you weren’t really aware of the experience of Being a Woman in a Patriarchal Society then I’m sure this is all very disturbing and unsettling, but meanwhile I was just sat in the theater annoyed that she was still in this town because no woman would have stayed after finding a naked man stalking her and peering through her windows.  Which, yes, if she didn’t stay there’d be no movie but they could have at least invented a reason she couldn’t leave.  Yes, congratulations movie, this is some stuff women deal with.  I guess I feel seen.  I mostly feel bored.
At one point when she’s off in the woods in nature finding herself after getting out of this stifling abusive relationship then she finds a tunnel (do you get it) and goes inside and is smiling and happy for the first time in the movie (do you get it) until a scary man shows up (do you get it) and then she runs away and later when she comes back to the tunnel it’s sealed off (do you get it). 
And then at the end one creepy man gets pregnant and births another creepy man who births another creepy man and so on because trauma begets trauma and toxic masculinity begets toxic masculinity and all the men look the same because once a woman has been traumatized by one man she can never really know by looking which men are a threat and which aren’t and I GET IT, this doesn’t need to drag on forever, the lead actress was I think supposed to look done with this male bullshit but she just looked as bored as I felt
how was this under two hours it felt like I was there for years
Harper doesn’t feel as much like a character as a blank figure for shitty men in the cast to project onto.  Cassie feels real.
And Promising Young Woman felt like a movie for women.  Yes, there was a lot along the way that a clueless dude could watch and come away with “Wow, I never thought about how shitty that is before” and that is great, but Promising Young Woman doesn’t treat sexism and rape culture as if it in and of itself is shocking.  It’s just the facts of the world which enable the plot.  It also showcases multiple women who engage in the same behavior and do just as much damage as sexual assailants.  It was written and directed by a woman and that shows.  It feels true and real to me in a way that Men does not.
You might say that Promising Young Woman is the more “made for men” film considering that Cassie wins in the end, which we all know doesn’t happen in real life, but she “wins” by dying.  No one cared about Nina.  They needed a corpse directly tied to the rapist for him to face consequences.  And apparently, the original draft of the story didn’t have him face consequences at all.  Which is soul-wrenching, but very real, and very much a story a woman would tell.
I guess this is my way of saying watch Promising Young Woman, it’s very good.  Very sad, very good, very real.
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xtruss · a year ago
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Now There’s No Doubt Meghan and Harry Had to Leave
Caught between a hate-filled media and a terrified royal family, the surprise is not that the couple struck out on their own. It’s that they didn’t escape much sooner
Harry says racism ‘large part’ of reason why couple left UK
Shola Mos-Shogbamimu: Meghan has been mistreated for years
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Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, speaking to Oprah Winfrey on US television. Photograph: Joe Pugliese/Harpo Productions/PA
seldom remembered fact about the royal family is that, before the death of Princess Diana, it was not normal to be interested in them. Tabloids were fascinated, but it was more of a convention than news – like a splash about tomatoes causing cancer, it was the out-of-office auto reply of the industry, a fallback. The family (I seriously dislike the affectation of calling them “the Firm”) survived while there was nothing to see. They were caught between two irreconcilable forces – their own culture of discretion, on one side, and intense, 24-hour scrutiny on the other – and they navigated that with a studied blandness. What did they actually care about? Manners, duty, causes, the Commonwealth. Whatever curiosity surrounded them, they simply did not reward it, and the regular response to that, after a few centuries and whatnot, was to not be terribly curious.
You may recall David Blaine, the magician who lived in a glass box above the Thames for 44 days in 2003: people really wanted to know what he was doing, even though we could see what he was doing – and that was mainly nothing. There grew a peculiar resentment of gawping at something that was only interesting because it was untouchable. But we could see for ourselves that it was not interesting – and then everyone got annoyed and some of us (not me) threw eggs. Eventually, hawkers started selling eggs. That pretty much sums up the experience of the royals pre-1997.
The death of Diana changed all that, but in a counterintuitive way. Curiosity had driven a woman into a pillar, so you might expect a generalised reflection on the nature of it – what were the paparazzi hoping to see? A divorcee, going about her business, with a gentleman caller. Was there not a case for just giving it all a rest, especially given that the core traits of royalty, the bits that made them so unusual – restraint, self-abnegation, respectability – had been more or less torched by Prince Charles’s generation, anyway (it wasn’t just Camilla and Fergie and their antics; Prince Andrew, who, of course, was then still just a buffoon with no Jeffrey Epstein taint, had added to it with It’s a Knockout).
Instead, the opposite happened: far from posing difficult questions about whether all this invasive scrutiny was warranted or humane, the tragedy seemed to elevate it, to usher in a belief that this obsessiveness between a society and its head of state and her offspring and in-laws was somehow natural. The post-rationalisation of Diana and her place in culture is almost hallucinatory at times.
If you are of a certain age, you might recall that before she died, we were not all trying to dress like her. She was not our people’s princess; we may have watched Martin Bashir’s Panorama interview but with an idle rather than passionate interest. She was neither a feminist nor any other kind of icon. Fair play, it was a decent thing, when she held hands with HIV patients, but generally speaking, she was just a Sloane in an egalitarian age, a pretty relic. Her death should have sparked a conversation not just about an intrusive press but about what the family represented, whether its hierarchies and rules could survive any more contact with living, sentient modern souls.
Instead, it catalysed quite a cunning, self-justifying switcheroo from the gutter press: we had to hound the woman because the public demands it, the public is just so interested. This buried a landmine that has detonated a quarter of a century later, upon contact with that other fixation of the same media, race: or, more specifically, dog-whistling racist tropes.
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Harry and Meghan in 2018. Photograph: Neil Mockford/GC Images
And so we come to last night’s interview. It’s possible, of course, in any clash between two factions, for everyone to be in the wrong. It’s possible, for instance, for the royal family to be inhumane, hierarchical to the point of lunacy, snobbish and racist – and simultaneously for Prince Harry and Meghan to be spoilt and high-handed. On the eve of the Oprah interview with the couple, which aired on CBS on Monday at 1am GMT, it was indeed fair to expect that the impartial viewer would come away thinking: “Six of one, half a dozen of the other.” For those who were already Team Windsor, there were aspects that would grate enough to confirm their views: Oprah’s faux toughness, the mad opulence of the garden backdrop, the very carefully choreographed frankness. But in the end what swung it so far the other way certainly wasn’t the cute gender-reveal (the couple are expecting a girl). Instead, it was something much darker: Meghan’s disclosure that she “didn’t want to be alive any more” at one point, while pregnant with their first child, Archie. “That was a very clear and real and frightening, constant thought,” she said.
When I spoke to Katie Nicholl, royal reporter and the author of Harry and Meghan: Life, Love and Loss, before the broadcast, she had said, judiciously: “I think she perhaps didn’t give it long enough. Within 18 months they were off – that was no time at all. Fergie and Diana both gave it longer than that.”
That made sense when we spoke: what’s 18 months to get used to your in-laws? It’s the blink of an eye. But making the briefest survey of the kind of coverage Meghan received, the vehemence and double standards are breathtaking. It also goes some way towards explaining why she couldn’t just give it another year: the press seemed to be whipping itself into a frenzy; every negative story generated 10 more. If she ate an avocado, she was “wolfing down a fruit linked to water shortages, illegal deforestation and all-round general environmental devastation”. If she used lily of the valley in her bridesmaid’s flowers, she was potentially risking the lives of tiny children. She was portrayed as having bullied Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, to the point of tears over flower girl dresses for the wedding (the opposite was true, she told Oprah, God knows what was the root of all that) and routinely disregarded the Queen. And before very long, she was in despair. So you have to wonder, what is a reasonable amount of despair for a person to live with, and to what purpose? When were the smears ever likely to end? Do you have to be Californian and touchy-feely to ask whether that intensity of hatred is worth it, just to have people who will open your curtains and run you a bath?
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Harry put it surprisingly strongly, when he said he’s “acutely aware of where my family stand and how acutely scared they are of the tabloids turning on them”. In this he gave the kindest possible reading of the situation, not a family closing ranks against its own, but one cowering in terror and simply not strong enough to protect itself. Whatever the truth of that, the individuals and their possible shortcomings are less interesting than the central question, which is not why Meghan and Harry left, but why any of them stay.
Certainly, the most shocking part of Oprah’s interview were the revelations that Harry was asked by unnamed members of his family how dark his first child’s skin was likely to be – and that, whether relatedly or not, they discovered that Archie would not have a title or, accordingly, any security. So. Many. Questions. Not least, how was Harry supposed to make a guess at his unborn son’s skin colour? But panning out to the general vilification of Meghan, the she-said-he-said mysteries that remain become more or less irrelevant. Irrespective of which earrings she wore and who she got on with or didn’t in the royal household, it was impossible to ignore from the start of the couple’s relationship that she had become the cipher for racial slurs that were, in general terms, unsayable.
Kehinde Andrews, professor of Black studies at Birmingham City University, traces the timeline: when they first met, the Daily Mail imagineered a “satirical” scene in which the Queen meets Meghan’s mother, who’s “straight outta Compton” living in a “gang-scarred home”. Upon the occasion of their marriage – another revelation of the interview is that they actually married three days before that ceremony; I’m not sure how important that is in the grand scheme of things – there was an outpouring of colour-blind celebration. That “just showed how little understanding we have of racism,” Andrews says, “if you think that Meghan Markle would make any difference at all. The monarchy is probably the primary symbol of white supremacy in the world; the idea that one black woman could make a difference to that is just facile.” He compares her fall from grace to that of Barack Obama, “the early celebration, racism’s over, which then switches to: ‘This isn’t about race, this is about you being problematic.’”
When you look at the build up of negative press, it was focused on Meghan as aggressive, bullying and angry, with a secondary motif of her being inauthentic and devious and having hoodwinked Harry, who is typically portrayed as the hapless idiot in what has unfolded. “No one’s called her a racial slur,” Andrews says, “but you can see the stereotypes, she’s basically being treated like most black people in elite white institutions.” She doesn’t belong there, so she must have used cunning to get there, and naturally she wouldn’t know how to behave once she arrived.
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Let’s not pretend rich people don’t also kill themselves or experience depression’ ... Meghan during her interview with Oprah Winfrey on Sunday. Photograph: CBS
Here the idea that her predicament was in any way similar to Diana’s or Fergie’s comes apart. Yes, it would be a difficult adaptation for anyone, to suddenly be subject to protocols in which their individuality counted for nothing and all that mattered was the birth order of their spouse. But there was a particular timbre to the coverage of Meghan, that she was matter out of place – and what you’re dealing with there is not so much a hierarchy as a caste system.
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In the end, Prince Charles probably emerges worst from the interview, with Harry’s disclosure that his father stopped taking his calls. Prince William comes off relatively unscathed; the Queen, likewise. The damage done to the institution is that one person leaving breaks the spell, and you wonder why, if they are all “trapped”, as Harry says, they can’t just … change. But the hangover from the affair is the tenacious media vindictiveness that, once it finds its target, doesn’t seem able to let go. We accept it as a caper, a game, but the despair it causes is real.
— The Guardian USA | Zoe Williams @zoesqwilliams | Monday, March 8, 2021
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New British TV Series from 2020: BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Sky Dramas and More
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On top of the British series that returned in 2020 (His Dark Materials, Ghosts and Inside No. 9 to name just three), below are the many new UK TV series we welcomed in 2020.
You’ll find true crime series, contemporary thrillers and the usual hefty number of literary adaptations and period dramas. Here’s the same for all the new British comedy we enjoyed in 2020.
Obviously, with Covid-19 delays having taken at least a three-month chunk out of production on all continuing and new dramas since mid-March 2020, there were serious delays to many planned shows, but a good number of new arrivals still managed to make their way onto screens.
All Creatures Great and Small (September)
Filmed in the Yorkshire Dales in autumn 2019 is a new adaptation of the memoirs of rural vet James Herriot (real name: James Alf Wight). Airing on Channel 5 in the UK and on Masterpiece on PBS in the US, this series stars Samuel West, Anna Madeley and Dame Diana Rigg, with newcomer Nicholas Ralph playing young vet James. A six-part series plus a Christmas special has been filmed, timed to mark the 50th anniversary of the first book’s publication. Expect warm-hearted stories of animal frolics and local characters.
A Suitable Boy (July)
Literary adapter extraordinaire Andrew Davies (Les Miserables, War & Peace, Pride And Prejudice) is back on the BBC with the first screen adaptation of Vikram Seth’s 1993 novel A Suitable Boy. Making her television debut is acclaimed feature director Mira Nair (Monsoon Wedding, Queen Of Katwe). A Suitable Boy is a coming-of-age story about university student Lata (played by Tanya Maniktala), told against the backdrop of newly independent India in 1951. The official BBC press release describes it as “a vast, panoramic tale charting the fortunes of four large families and exploring India and its rich and varied culture at a crucial point in its history.” Here’s our spoiler-free review.
Adult Material (October)
This Channel 4 drama takes on the UK porn industry and the complex relationship between sex, money and power. Written by Skins and The Smoke’s Lucy Kirkwood, the four-part miniseries stars I, Daniel Blake‘s Hayley Squires (in a role previously given to Sheridan Smith, who left the project due to conflicting commitments) as Jolene, an experienced porn actor and mother of three whose on-set friendship with a young woman leads to a complex examination of her own work and home life. With warnings of adult and sexual scenes, here’s the official trailer.
Baghdad Central (February)
Based on the thriller of the same name by Elliott Colla, Baghdad Central is a six-part Channel 4 commission written by House of Saddam and The Last Kingdom‘s Stephen Butchard. Set in Iraq shortly after the 2003 fall of Saddam Hussein, it’s described as “part noir detective drama, part Le Carre and part Green Zone“. With a cast led by Waleed Zuaiter (Omar, Altered Carbon), it’s the story of a quest for justice in an almost lawless society. Bertie Carvel co-stars, with Doctor Who and Tin Star‘s Alice Troughton as the lead director. All six episodes are currently available to stream on All4.
Belgravia (March)
Written by Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes and based on his 2016 novel of the same name, Belgravia is a six-part period drama set in 19th century London. Expect toffs and treachery in a story about society secrets on the eve of the Battle of Waterloo. Among the fine looking cast are Tamsin Greig, Harriet Walter, Tara Fitzgerald, Philip Glenister and Alice Eve. It aired in March on Sunday nights on ITV1.
Black Narcissus (December)
This BBC commission was announced back in 2017 and we finally have some info on it. Adapted by Apple Tree Yard screenwriter Amanda Coe from Rumer Godden’s 1939 novel (which was previously adapted for cinema in 1947), three-part series Black Narcissus stars Gemma Arterton as Sister Clodagh in a Gothic tale of “sexual repression and forbidden love”. Set in the 1930s, it’s the story of a group of nuns who travel to Nepal to set up a branch of their order, and Sister Clodagh’s struggle with her attraction to a land agent, against the backdrop of the tragic history of a Nepalese princess. Diana Rigg, Jim Broadbent, Gina McKee and more join Arterton. Filming began in Nepal and the UK in October 2019, and back in January the BBC included it in the year’s ‘New for 2020‘ trailer.
Cobra (January)
New political thriller Cobra arrived on Sky One and NOW TV in January. From The Tunnel and Strike writer Ben Richards, it stars Robert Carlyle, Victoria Hamilton and David Haig as, respectively, the PM, his chief of staff and the home secretary. It’s a six-parter promising “high stakes politics and high-octane action” about a team of experts and crisis responders attempting to bring society back from the brink of collapse. A second series was ordered by Sky in February 2020.
Deadwater Fell (January)
From Humans screenwriter Daisy Coulam, this new four-part Channel 4 drama aired in January this year. Set in a remote Scottish community, it explores the aftermath of a heinous crime – a family is murdered by someone they know and trust, sending ripples through the supposedly idyllic town. David Tennant leads a cast including The Good Fight‘s Cush Jumbo and The Bay‘s Matthew McNulty. It’s an excellent, if difficult watch (read our spoiler-filled reviews here), and is currently available to stream on All4.
Des (August)
ITV has included this three-part true crime drama in its autumn 2020 schedule, so it looks like there are no delays here. Des stars David Tennant and is inspired by the real story of serial killer Dennis Nilsen, who murdered several boys and men between the years of 1978 and 1983. It’s adapted from Brian Masters’ book Killing For Company, and will be told from the perspective of three men – Nilsen, DCI Peter Jay (played by Daniel Mays), and biographer Brian Masters (played by Jason Watkins) – and explore how Nilsen was able to prey on the young and the vulnerable. See the first trailer here.
Dracula (January)
The Sherlock showrunners Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss reunited to bring another 19th century fictional icon to life in Dracula, which aired on BBC One over New Year and Netflix. Danish actor Claes Bang played the title role alongside Dolly Wells and John Heffernan in the miniseries which comprises three ninety-minute episodes. Moffat and Gatiss promised to “reintroduce the world to Dracula, the vampire who made evil sexy.” Job done. Read our spoiler-filled reviews here.
Flesh and Blood (February)
Filming on new ITV four-part drama Flesh And Blood got underway in June 2019, with an enviable cast led by Imelda Staunton, Stephen Rea and Russell Tovey. It’s a contemporary story of three adult siblings shocked when their recently widowed mother falls for a new man, bringing into question everything they thought they knew about their parents’ 45-year marriage. Staunton plays the family’s neighbour, who harbours an unhealthy obsession with the unfolding drama… Think dark wit and the unearthing of long-buried secrets. It’s available to stream on ITV Hub here and here’s our spoiler-filled episode one review.
Gangs of London (April)
Filmmaker Gareth Evans came to everybody’s attention with 2011 Indonesian-set action flick The Raid. In April, he made his TV debut with this Sky Atlantic/HBO co-production. Gangs of London takes place in a version of modern London torn apart by international criminal organisations. You can expect assassinations, intrigue, expertly choreographed fight scenes and full-muscled action from this excellent new drama. All nine episodes are available to stream on Sky and NOW TV. Read our reviews and interviews here.
Honour (September)
Keeley Hawes’ production company is behind new two-part ITV drama Honour, which filmed in autumn 2019 and is due to air this autumn. Based on the real-life so-called “honour” killing of 20-year-old Londoner Banaz Mahmod, “murdered for falling in love with the wrong man”. It comes written by Vanity Fair‘s Gwyneth Hughes and stars Hawes as DCI Caroline Goode, who investigated Mahmod’s disappearance.
I Hate Suzie (August)
Billie Piper has co-created this original Sky Atlantic comedy-drama with playwright Lucy Prebble, who adapted the Piper-starring series Secret Diary Of A Call Girl in 2007. It’s a story about a celebrity (Piper) whose career is threatened when she’s hacked and a personal photo leaked to the public. The Crown and Lovesick’s Daniel Ings co-stars. Piper is terrific in it and it has plenty to say on fame and the nature of modern celebrity. With adult content, see the first trailer here. It starts on Sky on Sunday the 27th of August, with all episodes available on NOW TV.
I May Destroy You (June)
The latest from acclaimed writer-actor Michaela Coel, creator of Chewing Gum, is a 12-part half-hour series exploring sexual consent, trauma, recovery, friendship and much more. Formerly under the working title of January 22nd, I May Destroy You is a BBC One/HBO co-production set and filmed in London, and stars Coel in the lead role of Arabella, a celebrated young novelist who suffers a sexual assault that causes her to reassess her life. Joining Coel in the cast are Weruche Opia, Paapa Essiedu, Aml Ameen and a host of new and stage talent. It aired in June on BBC One and stunned just about everybody with its frank, poised brilliance. Watch it here on BBC iPlayer.
Industry (November)
Another Bad Wolf production, this one is on its way to BBC Two and HBO in the US. Eight-part drama Industry comes from new writers Konrad Kay and Mickey Down, and is directed by Girls’ Lena Dunham. Taking on work, money, power, greed and loyalty. It’s about a group of graduates competing for places at a top firm in the cut-throat world of international finance. How far will some people go for profit?
Isolation Stories (May)
UK channels responded quickly to the unusual demands of making television during lockdown, with BBC stalwarts Have I Got News for You and The Graham Norton Show continuing but using remote video link-ups. In May, ITV aired the first lockdown drama with anthology series Isolation Stories. The episodes are 15 minutes long and depict the experience of lockdown on a variety of characters played by Sheridan Smith, Angela Griffin, Robert Glenister, David Threlfall and Eddie Marsan. Watch them on ITV Hub here.
Life (September)
From the writer of Doctor Foster comes a new six-part hour-long drama for BBC One. Life tells four separate story strands about the residents of a large Manchester house divided into flats. The cast includes Alison Steadman and Peter Davison as a married couple rocked by a chance encounter, Adrian Lester and Rachael Stirling are a couple whose marriage is threatened by temptation, while Victoria Hamilton plays a woman whose life is disrupted by the arrival of her teenage niece. Currently filming in Manchester, “LIFE explores love, loss, birth, death, the ordinary, the extraordinary and everything in between”.
Little Birds (August)
An original six-part UK drama coming to Sky Atlantic, Little Birds is creatively adapted from Anais Nin’s collection of erotic short stories of the same name. Set in Tangier in 1955, filming took place in Andalusia and Manchester, with Juno Temple playing the lead role of Lucy Savage, a young women trapped by society who yearns for an unconventional life. It’s an erotic, political exploration of sexuality against the backdrop of colonial rebellion, and all episodes are currently available to stream on NOW TV. Read our spoiler-free review of all six episodes.
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The Best TV Shows of 2020
By Alec Bojalad and 9 others
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The Best TV Episodes of 2020
By Alec Bojalad and 8 others
Miss Scarlet And The Duke (March)
This six-part co-production written by Trollied’s Rachel New and starring Peaky Blinders’ Kate Phillips aired on Alibi here in the UK. It’s a one-hour series set in the 19th century about London’s first female gumshoe, Eliza Scarlet (Phillips), a woman who takes over her dead father’s detective agency, aided by Stuart Martin’s ‘Duke’. One for fans of Aussie period detective series Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, perhaps?
Noughts + Crosses (March)
Malorie Blackman’s hugely successful series of Young Adult novels have been adapted by Being Human’s Toby Whithouse for BBC One. The six-part series is set in a world where racial divisions are turned on their head, and two young people from different backgrounds battle through separation caused by power, politics and prejudice. All episodes are available to stream now on BBC iPlayer. Read our episode one review here.
Normal People (April)
Filming took place last summer in Dublin, Sligo and Italy for Normal People, adapted by Sally Rooney from her 2018 publishing hit of the same name. It’s a 12-part drama for BBC Three and US streaming service Hulu, starring new(ish)comers Daisy Edgar Jones and Paul Mescal. Directing is Room‘s Lenny Abrahamson and Hettie McDonald, telling an intimate story about a relationship between two young people – Marianne and Connell – stretching through their university years at Trinity College, Dublin. Available now on BBC Three and Hulu, read our spoiler-free review and more.
Penance (March)
Three-part hour-long drama Penance aired on Channel 5 this March. It’s an original scripted drama for the channel, and stars Neil Morrissey, Julie Graham and Nico Mirallegro in a psychological thriller about grief, manipulation and morally murky relationships. The story revolves around the Douglas family, reeling from the death of their son, and a young man they encounter at bereavement counselling with whom they become entangled.
Quiz (March)
Adapted from James Graham’s acclaimed stageplay of the same name, Quiz is the story of the Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? 2001 cheating scandal in which Major Ingram and accomplices were accused of cheating their way to the show’s top prize. Human chameleon Michael Sheen (Frost/Nixon, The Damned United) pictured above, plays quiz host Chris Tarrant, with Ripper Street‘s Matthew Macfadyen playing the accused Major in the three-part ITV/AMC drama. On directing duties is Stephen Frears, who recently directed excellent comedy drama State Of The Union and Russell T. Davies’ A Very English Scandal. Read our reviews here.
Roadkill (October)
Veep‘s Hugh Laurie is going back to politics. Acclaimed screenwriter David Hare (The Hours, The Reader) is behind a new four-part political thriller for BBC One. Roadkill is the story of Peter Laurence (Laurie), a conservative minister with his eyes on the top job who attempts to out-manoeuvre the personal secrets threatening to wreck his public standing. Peaky Blinders‘ Helen McCrory is set to play prime minister Dawn Ellison, with Westworld‘s Sidse Babbett Knudsen also appearing. Filming began in London in November 2019 and we’re expecting it to arrive later this year.
The Salisbury Poisonings (June)
An episode in recent UK history – the 2018 Novichok poisonings – is translated to the screen in three-part factual drama The Salisbury Poisonings, which filmed in 2019 in the Wiltshire cathedral city. The BBC Two drama focused on the impact of the chemical attack on ordinary people and public services in the city, and boasted a terrific cast including Anne-Marie Duff, Rafe Spall, Mark Addy, Johnny Harris and MyAnna Buring. It was co-written by BBC Panorama‘s Adam Patterson and Declan Lawn. Read our review here.
Sitting In Limbo (June)
A new feature-length film tackling the shameful political Windrush immigration scandal aired on BBC One in June. Sitting In Limbo is inspired by the true story of Anthony Bryan’s struggle to be accepted as a British citizen, despite having lived in the UK since emigrating to Britain as a child in 1965 with his mother. Written by Bryan’s novelist brother Stephen S. Thompson (Toy Soldiers, No More Heroes), it’s a deeply personal and powerful ninety minute drama about the devastating human toll of the foreign office’s ‘hostile environment’ tactic. Casualty‘s Patrick Robinson and Save Me‘s Nadine Marshall star. 
Small Axe (November)
An anthology of six hour-long stories set in 1960s – 1980s London is on its way to the BBC and Amazon Prime Video from Steve McQueen, the director of Twelve Years A Slave, Hunger and Shame. Small Axe started filming in June 2019 and boasts a terrific cast including Black Panther and Black Mirror‘s Letitia Wright, and The Force Awakens and Attack The Block‘s John Boyega, with Malachi Kirby and Rochenda Sandall. The first of the anthology’s five stories, all of which are set in London’s West Indian community, will be told across two episodes. See a teaser for the first, ‘Mangrove’, here. The title is inspired by the Jamaican proverb about marginal protest challenging dominant voices, “If you are the big tree, we are the small axe”. The first three episodes are due to open the New York Film Festival on the 25th of September 2020, though it’s currently unknown how the ongoing pandemic will affect the event.
Talking Heads (June)
Nothing to do with the NYC post-punk band of the same name, this remake of Alan Bennett’s acclaimed Talking Heads monologue series featured an all-new cast and two new monologues by Bennett. Originally broadcast in 1988 and 1998 and featuring a host of acting talent including Julie Walters, Maggie Smith and Patricia Routledge, the new Talking Heads starred Jodie Comer, Maxine Peake, Martin Freeman, Lesley Manville, Kristen Scott Thomas, Sarah Lancashire and more. The episodes are available to stream on BBC iPlayer in the UK, and were filmed using the standing EastEnders sets.
The Windermere Children (February)
This one-off feature length BBC Two drama delved into a little-explored part of English history – the child survivors and presumed orphans of the Holocaust who were granted the right to come and live in the UK following World War II. The Windermere Children tells the story of one coachful of young refugees brought to Lake Windermere to be rehabilitated through nature. Romola Garai, Tim McInnerny and Iain Glenn star in a screenplay from The Eichmann Show‘s Simon Block and directed by Any Human Heart‘s Michael Samuels.
The End (February)
This ten-episode series aired on Sky Atlantic and NOW TV. The End is created and written by Samantha Strauss and stars Harriet Walter and Frances O’Connor in the story of three generations of the same family dealing with the thorny issue of dying with dignity. O’Connor plays a palliative care specialist opposed to euthanasia, while Walter plays her mother Edie, who feels strongly that she has a right to die. Complicated family dynamics meet complex moral issues. See the trailer here.
The English Game (March)
Netflix bagged itself a Julian Fellowes-written drama earlier this year, this one about the birth of football. Set in Northern England in the 1850s, The English Game tracks the development of the beautiful game with the help of a cast including Line Of Duty’s Craig Parkinson, The Virtues’ Niamh Walsh, Kingsman’s Edward Holcroft and Game of Thrones’ Charlotte Hope. It arrived on Netflix UK in March and reviews were… not kind.
The Luminaries (June)
Eleanor Catton’s novel The Luminaries won the Man Booker prize in 2013, and this June, arrived on BBC One. The six-part drama, available to stream on BBC iPlayer, boasts a strong cast, with Penny Dreadful‘s Eva Green and Eve Hewson taking lead roles in the 19th century New Zealand-set tale of adventure and mystery during the 1860s Gold Rush. Read our spoiler-free review here.
The Pale Horse (February)
The brilliant Sarah Phelps (And Then There Were None, The ABC Murders, Witness For The Prosecution, Ordeal By Innocence) is back with another Agatha Christie adaptation for BBC One. This time it’s 1961 novel The Pale Horse being adapted for the screen, a story where superstition and witchcraft meet rationalism and murder. In the cast for the two-part mystery thriller are Rufus Sewell (The Man In The High Castle), Kaya Scodelario (Skins, Pirates Of The Caribbean), Bertie Carvel (Doctor Foster, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell), Sean Pertwee (Gotham) and more.  Read our spoiler-filled episode reviews and more.
The Nest (March)
Line Of Duty‘s Martin Compston joins Sophie Rundle in new five-part BBC One thriller The Nest. Filmed in Glasgow and written by Three Girls‘ Nicole Taylor, it’s the story of a wealthy couple struggling to have a baby who enter into a surrogacy agreement with an 18-year-old girl (Mirren Mack) that spirals into unexpected territory. The series arrived in March, and here’s our episode one review.
The Singapore Grip (August)
A bit of class here coming to ITV with an adaptation of JG Farrell’s World War II novel The Singapore Grip. Playwright Christopher Hampton, whose previous screenplays include Atonement and Dangerous Liaisons, has adapted the story for a six-part series set against the backdrop of 1940s Japan. It stars Luke Treadaway and Elizabeth Tan, with David Morrissey, Charles Dance and Colm Meaney. The series is due to air in Australia this July, and will arrive in the UK in autumn.
The Sister (October)
Neil Cross, the creator of Luther and Hard Sun, has a new drama on the way to ITV. The Sister, formerly titled Because The Night, is a four-part murder story “which exposes the quiet terror of a man trying to escape his past,” and comes inspired by Cross’ 2009 novel Burial. The psychological thriller is about Nathan, whose world is rocked when a face from the past suddenly appears on his doorstep. Russell Tovey and Bertie Carvel star. It’s due to arrive on ITV this autumn.
The Stranger (January)
Announced in January 2019 and arriving on Netflix a year later, The Stranger is a Harlan Coben thriller made for UK television. Nicola Shindler’s British production company RED (The Five, Safe) have once again turned a Coben novel into a twisting, turning UK series. This one’s about Adam Price (played by Richard Armitage), a man with a seemingly perfect life until a stranger appears to tell him a devastating secret. Things quickly become dark and tangled for Price and everybody around him. Read our spoiler-free series review here.
The Tail Of The Curious Mouse (December)
When children’s author Roald Dahl was just six years old, so the story goes, he persuaded his mother to drive him to the Lake District so he could meet his hero, writer-illustrator Beatrix Potter, the creator of Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddleduck and many more beloved children’s characters. The welcome he received, however, was less than warm. This one-off drama (Roald and Beatrix: The Tail Of The Curious Mouse) stars Dawn French as Potter and is made by the production team behind Sherlock and Dracula. Expect it to arrive this Christmas.
Trigonometry (March)
All eight episodes of this new contemporary drama are available to stream now on BBC iPlayer. Trigonometry comes written by playwright Duncan Macmillan and actor-screenwriter Effie Woods, and provokes some fascinating questions about modern love. It’s the story of Gemma and Kieran, a couple who decide to ease the financial burden of their London flat by taking in a lodger who soon becomes entwined in their relationship. Is life as a ‘throuple’ sustainable? Could it be the way forward?
Us (September)
A four-part adaptation of David Nicholls’ novel Us is on its way to BBC One. Tom Hollander and Saskia Reeves star as Douglas and Connie, a couple whose marriage is on the verge of falling apart when the family take a long-planned holiday touring European cities. London, Amsterdam, Venice, Paris and Barcelona will provide the backdrops to this humorous, poignant relationship drama from the novelist behind One Day, Starter For Ten and Sky Atlantic’s recent adaptation of the Patrick Melrose novels. The Killing‘s Sofie Grabol and Agents Of SHIELD‘s Iain de Caestecker also star. 
White House Farm (January)
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This six-part ITV true crime drama tells the tragic story of 1985’s White House Farm murders, the Essex killings of multiple members of the Caffell and Bamber families. Based on research, interviews and published accounts, it’s written by The Slap and Requiem’s Kris Mrksa, and directed by Little Boy Blue and Hatton Garden’s Paul Whittington. Freddie Fox plays the role of Jeremy Bamber, who is currently serving a sentence for the murders, with Stephen Graham, Alexa Davies, Mark Addy, Alfie Allen and more among the cast. Read our spoiler-filled episode reviews here.
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the world is fucking ugly
Growing up, I never had much friends, let alone real friends.
But I got used to it anyway, however, I do not deny the loneliness that strike at times.
Being alone sometimes can be great, therapeutic even. But alone is not equivalent to lonely, for loneliness feels different.
Awfully different.
I will never put aside the fact that my family loves me. My parents have done their best in assuring I had the education I needed, my sisters have played their part in making sure I am well taken care of during my childhood when the King and Queen were away.
Yes, I know. My family loves me and that has never changed.
Unfortunately, it took me my entire teenage life and my early 20's to realize that... Sigh. How do I even say this in a rather... humane way?
It dawned upon me that, while I had been well taken care of physically, my emotional and mental well being at home were seemingly abandoned.
I grew believing that men don't/shouldn't cry.
I grew up believing that the elderlies are always right.
I grew up believing that others always have it worse than my problems.
I grew up believing tons of bullshit that have been fed to me to the extent it shaped into the kind of person with a certain mindset, where in this current society that's striving to be healthy, in all aspects, that's unhealthy. The mindset.
I grew up without the presence of even an I love you, I'm proud of you, You're the best from my family, and it's even awkward to imagine getting these kinds of love from the house now.
Realizing I never had enough, or shall I say, the kind of love that I wanted at home, I seek them somewhere else.
Through friendship. Through relationships.
In which both have their own fair share of failures.
Failures that have turned me into the kind of monster (some may say good man) that I am, today.
In my early 20's, I noticed I suck so hard in socializing, particularly in big groups. I think I still am, today. Where I am less than 3 months away to turning 28.
All my life, I have only one friend that have gone through thick and thin with me.
One friend that have been in and out the mud with me.
One friend that have seen me laugh the hardest and cry the worst.
Her name is Anne.
And I love my friend, so much. Without her, I don't think I'll ever make it.
She means a lot to me and I'll take a bullet for her just to make sure she's all right. Literally.
Throughout so many temporary and seemingly-forever friendships, I only have Anne, till today.
Maybe , just maybe, I am socially awkward and I am not good in socializing. In being humorous, in being the star of the group.
The kind of friend that shines the brightest? Impossible.
Relationships have been a real pain in the ass for both me and the exes.
All my exes have their flaws, like all human does.
But 2 of them, were precious gem.
Let's just call them N and J.
N got away when my ego completely killed the relationship, while J got away when my mental health that has been barely taken care of deteriorates over time.
And consequently consumed the relationship as well.
We could've make it till the 6th month. Almost.
And as of today, it dawned upon me that I have failed to seek the kind of love that I have been longing for. In family, friendships, and relationships.
I know, I know. Love yourself before you love someone else.
And believe me, I tried. I tried, I fucking tried but I just can't see anything in me that's worth loving. Perhaps I need someone who genuinely sees the kindness and the good in me and always remind me of them, just for the sake of reassurance.
I don't even know how to love myself when growing up, everywhere I go, people dislike me, people distance themselves for me, sometimes for no obvious reasons.
And the people who had done so, and is doing so,
I HATE ALL OF YOU.
Maybe I am never good in socializing, maybe I'm not humorous enough, maybe I am not good looking enough, but I don't deserved to be abandoned! I feel like an outcast.
I've sometimes imagined myself indulging in a life of crime. And I always tell myself, maybe I will be this extreme when life hits hard. When I really really have no one else, maybe the demise of my parents that's followed by the crack in sister-brother relationship, and perhaps, another destined failed relationship.
Because I don't trust the world. I don't trust people! Given how many times I have been abandoned and feel like an outcast, I repeat, I do not trust anyone.
And thanks to my trust issues, I push people away too.
So tell me, how do I love myself, when I don't see anything that's worthy in me to be loved for, to be celebrated for?
If I am really that good of a person, why would people, everywhere I go, just wanna fuck with my feelings?
One fine day, if I ever fall into the life of crime, it'll involve all of you, who have abandoned me and make me question all day where have I done wrong and less. I'll take your life away, because what you all make me feel right now is hellish.
I remember all of you. I have grudges that date back to primary school.
The kids that stab my eyes with a color pencil and stained my shirt with another color pencil? Yes, I remember you all.
The neighbor that called me names and make it like a sin to be half Chinese, and threw sands at me when I was just cycling alone? Yes, I remember you too. You're just a few houses away from me, and you don't have to try to be nice to me now because I have never forgotten how insulted you made me feel!
The bunch of so called gangsters that beat me and made me shook when I was surrounded by more than 15 guys in the basketball court just because I talked to your girl? Where are you now? A mob boss yet? You're all just a piece of cow dung.
One fine day, when my sanity gives up, you're all dead. Or at least I'll make your life hellish. And the people who outcast me for no obvious reasons, you better pray I stay sane my whole life.
Because believe it, insanity is just one bad day away from sanity. And I've had tons of bad days that I vividly remember, till this day.
And when I'm arrested or prosecuted for the crimes that I picture I am capable of doing, the world will point their filthy fingers at me because to them, this is an act of insanity, and the people that cause this, die a martyr. Die a victim.
You all suck. The world is ugly.
Fuck you, world. You made me like this, you filled my life up with fucked up people and now I am the bad one?
Fuck you. You're ugly.
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