Feel free to to post my vids, post critiques, analysis, etc, and use them in transformative works. I would be honored if anyone engaged with my fanworks in these ways. But please refer people to the individual vid post or this post if you do so.
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In all my vids I warn for graphic violence, sexual and domestic violence, and major character death. I also warn for stuttery cuts and bright flashes (which are more likely to appear in my vids than the above). I welcome any questions about content of my vids as well as recommendations for warnings I haven't used; feel free to PM me here or gmail me at frayadjacent12.
I'm slowly adding subtitles to all my vids; if there's a vid you want subtitled right away, please let me know and I'll get to it first thing.
I kinda want to reread a beloved series right now. I'm thinking either Harry Potter (have read all the books twice except book 1, the last reread was ~5 years ago) , The Hunger Games (I read all 3 books once about three years ago), or the Steerswoman series, which I only read for the first time within the last year but I already miss them!
This is going to be less US/Australia and more Seattle/Melbourne. And despite fairly different histories, the two cities are a lot alike. In many ways Seattle is more like Melbourne than it is like, say, Atlanta or Detroit or just about any rural area in the US. But I'm here to talk differences, not similarities! So here are some (mostly) little ones.
Landscape and climate: I heard that Melbourne's climate was similar to Seattle's, but Melbourne is a fair bit warmer and has way more interesting weather. I mostly prefer Melbourne on the weather/climate front, though summer is too hot at times here. Fuck 40 degrees. But generally, weather-wise, there isn't much to miss in Seattle.
However, I do miss the evergreen trees and the mountains and the hills, god I miss the hills. I've never lived somewhere flat before, and it just felt so *wrong* when I first moved here. Like it bothered me way more than I can possibly explain. Now I'm used to it, and it is pretty nice for cycling! But I still miss hills.
On the other hand, Australia has gumtrees. They are about as tall as the evergreens and they're beautiful colors and they smell amazing. I am a big fan. And what Australian mountains lack in height, they make up for in...aspect ratio? There are lots of cliffs here that, outside of Melbourne, make for some striking landscapes and coastlines. I thought it would be like the little roundy mountains like the east coast of the US, but it's quite different.
Birds: I miss the sound of seagulls. Melbourne has them, but they're a different kind and make a terrible screeching noise. But overall Melbourne wins on that front: Australian magpies make a lovely sound, currawongs are the weirdest, and there are parrots. Parrots! It's great.
Food: I really miss those bourgie ass convenience foods, like fancy box Mac N Cheese and frozen veggie sausages and just about everything one can buy at Trader Joes. And Amy's (Annie's?) goddess dressing. I've become a homemade salad dressing guy. Also Mexican food, and it's hard to find black beans and good salsa or Mexican hot sauce. Banh mi and sushi are available here but not nearly as much as in Seattle, or at least there isn't nearly as much in the areas I go to. Um also I really miss Grape Nuts. /o\
My favorite new foods I've found here are mostly sweets. Pavlova is pretty much the greatest thing ever, and I like lemon lime and bitters a lot too! Oh and chai lattes, which are liquid dessert. So foamy. So much honey. Yum. Also Chinese dumplings are way more common in Melbourne than Seattle and are probably what I go out to eat the most for.
Melbourne has, on average, better quality produce, I guess because most of the stuff is probably grown closer to here than in Seattle?
Both cities are convinced they have the best coffee outside Italy (or Ethiopia). They're pretty similar tbh.
Beer! There are way fewer varieties here (though there are good microbrews and honestly I think Seattle's going a little overboard with the hops these days) but they are soooooooo expensive. I pretty much never drink beer anymore. D: D: D:
People: People are a bit friendlier in Seattle. I do sometimes miss being able to make eye contact with people in public and not feel like I've invaded their sanctum sanctorum. I have some friendly neighbors but none of them are from Australia.
Wages: I make about 50% more than I would for the same work in the US, and Mr Adjacent (who works in child care) makes almost twice what he made there. The cost of living here is higher, but not that much higher. I know plenty of Australians struggle financially, but it's been better for us here, especially with Mr Adjacent working in an industry that pays super low in the US.
Buffy Summers: For the ways she both resists and embraces her calling. For her kindness. For her determination. Because I love her sweet, silly early season self and her relatively hard, battle-worn late season self. Because she loves cheesy puns and figure skating and has a stuffed pig named Mr Gordo. Because the mission matters to her. Because she gets a visceral joy from slaying, and she knows that if she wasn't the Slayer, she'd lose an essential part of herself. Because she loves as deeply and brightly as the First Slayer tells her she does, and she expresses that love most fully not to a boyfriend, but to her sister.
Because her lot fucking sucks, and when she realises she can change it, can share her power and responsibility, she does.
Willow Rosenberg: I don't admire Willow the way I do Buffy, but I feel a lot of affection and sympathy for her and am in awe of the quality of her character arc over the show's seven seasons. Willow is intelligent, hard-working, ambitious and arrogant. She's insecure and in need of approval, and unlike Buffy and Tara, she doesn't have a super strong internal moral compass. She wants to fight the good fight alongside her friends, but she also wants to be important. She doesn't want to be wrong about anything ever, because if she isn't perfect then who will ever love her? If her friends don't need her, why would they want her around? She's at once complex and multifaceted yet very consistent. Sometimes she makes me angry, sometimes she makes me sick, but she is so very human and beautifully written and performed.
Cordelia Chase: it's possible I have a soft spot for pretty girls with hidden depths. She makes me laugh, she plays off other characters in a group incredibly well, and I love her transformation from selfish oblivious rich girl to a member of the team in Angel.
Tara MacLay: she brings a strength and emotional maturity to the Scoobies that no one else on either show possesses, with the interesting possible exception of Oz. The support she gives Buffy from "The Body" to "Older and Far Away" is wonderful and I love her so much for it. You deserved better, Tara.
Anya Jenkins: this last one was tough because I also love Dawn. Which matters more, my involuntary empathy for Dawn and admiration for how she grows in later seasons, or how much Anya makes me laugh? The episode "Selfless" was the eventual tiebreaker. Hands down my favorite character study episode -- when the character being studied isn't Buffy anyway.
Honorary mention (in addition to the one for Dawn) for Faith Lehane. She's a fantastic character, though funnily enough my favorite incarnation of her is on AtS S4/BtVS S7, when she's all emotionally mature and repenty. And when she arguably gets the least narrative attention.
siria asked: if you could live anywhere in the world, where would that be?
I go a bit back and forth on this one. A lot of days the answer is that I'd go home to Seattle. My mom is there, my family is in the region, Mr Adjacent's family is there, many of my friends and most of my closest political comrades are there. I miss them all terribly. Plus Puget Sound and evergreen forests and mountains and hills.
I'm feeling that even more now, when many of my friends back home are in the streets protesting police brutality and racism. It's isolating feeling, to be on the other side of the world where my political connections are tenuous. Activism is very important to me and it's hard to be so far from people I spent years building with.
But, then again, sometimes I think it would be cool to live somewhere with really great public transportation and an existing (and non-vanishing) social safety net. Bonus for a rural landscape that hasn't been totally blighted by shit zoning laws. I've been to the UK twice now and both times it's felt very much like somewhere I could live, though the short days in winter would be hard -- Seattle is bad enough on that front. I haven't traveled much in the rest of Europe but there is a not small chance that my next job will be in the UK, Germany, or France, unless I say 'fuck it' to an academic research career and move back to Seattle, an option that is definitely on the table. Perhaps my next job will be in Hamburg or Toulouse and I'll find it's the home I never knew I had, but I don't know much about those places now, besides that they sound nice.
I also spent two weeks in Darwin, Australia, last February and I loved it so much. You'll be hearing more about that when I answer umadoshi's question about my favourite kind of weather, but I also really liked the vibe of the town. It was very relaxed and just...easy to be in. I definitely daydreamed about staying.
TL;DR: at this point in my life, given my not huge range of world travel experience: if I could up and move my family and friends anywhere with me, I'd probably choose a UK city with a decent left political scene and some climate scientists.
I carry on about my love for my primary ship, Xena/Gabrielle, fairly often, at least for my level of dreamwidth talkiness. So I'll just say a few things that I love about this ship.
The first reason is that it's femslash, which I tend to go for more than het or guyslash (with the general acknowledgement that I'm not super shippy generally, and also the hopefully obvious caveat that I'm not criticising het or guyslash, just saying that it doesn't usually hit my buttons). Another reason: the characters have great chemistry together.
But the bigger reasons have to do with the kind of epic love story that Xena: Warrior Princess tells. Xena and Gabrielle's relationship is built on the kind of trust that comes from years of fighting alongside each other, seeing the best and worst in each other, and changing each other.
I also love that, while things like jealousy and insecurity exist in their relationship, it's not the primary source of drama in it (they're much too good at communicating for that, plus, like I said: years of trust). Their drama mainly comes from the ways that Xena's past comes back to haunt them. From their need to constantly negotiate the tensions between their love for each other, what kind of people they want to be, and what kind of people the world requires them to be.
I'd love to find an ace reading of Xena/Gabrielle, that presents their relationship as a powerful, emotionally strong and deeply committed asexual one. I think that would be cool. I think some of the Xena/Gabrielle "friendshippers" are probably homophobes and some of them are probably coming from a perspective like that one.
Other ships I like:
Root/Shaw from Person of Interest, my only antagonistic ship. Those two have amazing chemistry. (I stopped watching mid-S3, but goodbyebird's cap posts of Root/Shaw sometimes make me want to start again).
Buffy/Spike, but ONLY in season 7, and I like it as much as a non-sexual partnership as anything else. Their "I've seen the best and worst of you and fought at your side" thing is somewhat similar to Xena/Gabrielle in its appeal, though to a much lesser degree for me.
Mulan/Aurora in Once Upon a Time. I haven't watched since the mid-season hiatus last year, so my most recent thoughts on this one are that they disappointed me, but for a while there they were the butch/femme ship of my heart.
Willow/Tara, in seasons 4 & 5.
M'Lila/Lao Ma, in an AU where they both live. My only ship that isn't canon or super strong subtext, and entirely born out of vidding Become You and realising they'd be awesome together.
I feel like I should note that Tammi/Eric in Friday Night Lights would be my ship, except their ongoing conflict about how they prioritise Eric's career over Tammi's hits me way too close to home. It's well-handled by the show, but their relationship is often painful for me to watch.*
All in all, I'm a pretty boring shipper. I don't like relationship dynamics that seem unhealthy to me, I'm generally not into hateships, I am mostly delighted by loving, supportive, long-term (would not need to be monogamous, but usually are) partnerships. Especially if they are between women. I think this is related to why I have so few ships. ;)
*For the record, this is not an issue in my current relationship. I am one of the very few women scientists I know with a male partner who prioritises his career after mine.
[Please note that, while there isn't a lot in the way of plot spoilers below, there are spoilers for things that many people really enjoy discovering as they read. If you haven't read at least the first two books but are considering it, I'd give this a pass for now.]
I have to admit I haven't given this question as much thought as I could, mostly because world building isn't something I pay a ton of attention to when I read. Not that it isn't interesting or important! But unless it hits one of my specific interests -- how does this economic system work? does their weather/climate make sense? how is race socially constructed in this society (and what does it mean if it isn't)? -- I don't notice a lot. That being said, I was mostly happy with the world-building in the Steerswoman books, and I'll talk a little bit more about why.
First off, the world that we are introduced to in the first book has some pretty cool features, namely the existence of the Steerswomen themselves, but also the general lack of sexism in the broader society. Women are warriors, soldiers, sailors, farmers, merchants, and even wizards. I feel like a lot of fiction, but this is probably more true of film and television than books, create societies that they claim are nonsexist, but utterly fail to actually show that. Having not just the two main characters be women, but also having many of the people from all walks of life that they encounter also be women was incredibly refreshing to read. As was the general respect given to Rowan and Bel by most characters. They didn't have to constantly prove themselves to people who didn't think women could be strong or smart.
(Sadly, the same cannot be said for representation of LGBTQIA characters or orientations, sadly.)
But when I think about the world-building in this series, I don't think so much about descriptions of the landscapes and social structures as I do the slowly unfolding discovery that the world is not what it seems, and in fact the book is not even the genre we thought it was. Of course this has huge ramifications for the landscapes and social structures and technology and everything else, but it plays out differently than in most books I've read because of the way that the reader is discovering things alongside the characters, as well as being given exposition about the world that the characters already know.
Speaking of exposition, the steerswoman, with her emphasis on seeking and sharing information and thinking things through carefully, is a nicely non-clumsy voice for explaining the world to readers. She's kind of like Giles that way. :)
Anyway, I liked how aspects of the world building that initially seemed incidental, such as the units for distance used by different peoples, turns out to be important clues. When Rowan uses miles and feet, I didn't really think anything of it, but later when Bel uses meters and kilometers, the world they are in suddenly seems connected to the world that we are in in a very different way than I originally imagined. The world at the start of the book seems like a less patriarchal version of the sort of mythic vaguely late feudalist or early capitalist Europe that is standard fare in many Western fantasy novels. By the end of The Outskirters Secret, it seems much more likely that their peoples are the cultural descendents of Europe and the people that Europe has colonized.
The reason I put it that way is because while the names of characters and towns suggests western European origin, the range of skin color and hair color and texture that various characters are described as having, along with a complete absence of discussion about race, hints to me that this is meant to be some sort of "post-racial because everybody is mixed race" (or, I suppose, "everybody is mixed race because we're post racial") world. Which is not something I'm super fond of, but I'm glad at least that many characters are described as dark-skinned. And perhaps I'm being ungenerous in my interpretation.
Also, I know this is not important to very many people, but I have to give Rosemary Kirstein a shout out for some very impressive dynamic meteorology in The Outskirters Secret. Her descriptions of what kind of weather would be caused by a very intense heating of a huge strip of land was pretty on point. I secretly wanted a short story where Rowan establishes the first steerswoman school of meteorology after those events! And actually speaking of weather and world building, it is a bit funny that the Steerswomen are documenting every change in every stream but don't seem to have any weather stations. I would think at the very least they could manage a mercury or alcohol thermometer and a wind vane in each town. And I do remember some generally confusing inconsistencies in what kind of knowledge and technologies Rowan's people had, although I can't think of any examples right now.
At any rate, there are still so many unanswered questions in that series, many of which revolve around the origins of Rowan and Bel's societies and how they came to not only lose a lot of technology but apparently forgot that they ever had it. (Along with, of course, what the hell Slado is up to, but that doesn't fall under world-building in my head.) I have to admit that I had hoped that after four books that I know more about the world and its back story then I do, but I also have faith that it will all be explained in due time. Assuming anyway that Kirstein finishes the series. In the meantime, I am thoroughly enjoying the discussion on James Nicholl's reviews. As well as being reminded that I should re-read these books because I've already forgotten a ton.
Ugh sorry if I sound full of myself. I missed you and am glad to be back. And excited for all the December posts coming soon!
Favorite books you read this year?
Ha ha ha, is this a leading question? The answer is definitely The Steerswoman series, by Rosemary Kirstein. Though I read some others I liked, most notably Gullstruck Island by Francis Hardinge, The Steerswoman really won my heart. It was so full of love and sympathy for its characters. Like I was just swelling with indescribable love for so many of them! Bel, Steffie, Rowan, Zenna, so many Outskirters whose names I can't recall right now...<3 <3 <3
Its world was so refreshingly lacking in patriarchy. It had accurate meteorology! And the journey of discovering what the world was really about has been so great. I loved reading Rowan's thought process and working through the reasoning with her. I can't wait for more! Also I can't wait to re-read all the books; I have a feeling I'll be coming back to all of these. And maybe when I do I'll have more intelligent things to say, mostly I want to flail at them right now. And as I was writing this and thinking about tomorrow's post I started reading James Nicholl's review of The Outskirter's Secret and later (I never did read those reviews when reading the books) and now I *really* want to re-read. Speaking of ...
Are there any books that you always return and reread?
Not really, not since I was a kid. However, I tend to return to the same authors time and again. Almost all of my fiction reading from age 18 to about 24 was Ursula K Le Guin. I lived in a college town with a fantastic used bookstore that had almost everything she'd ever written on its shelves, and between that and the library I managed to get my hands on her entire oeuvre prior to 2004 or 2005 (when I stopped reading her new work). I discarded a few of her early novels -- I think I read Rocannon's World, her first novel, but neither of the two that came after despite having paid money for the trilogy. More shockingly, perhaps, I threw down The Left Hand of Darkness in disgust with her insistence on using male pronouns for characters who had no gender. I never got more than about 50 pages in, and never tried it again. Later I felt partially vindicated when I read an essay where she self-criticises that choice.
But I did reread most of my favorites: The Dispossessed, The Earthsea Cycle, The Telling, The Compass Rose, The Birthday of the World, and A Fisherman of the Inland Sea. The last three of these are short story collections; many of the stories are set in the Hainish universe, which I love and always longed for more of. And the last book contains what's likely my favorite short story ever: "Another Story". And The Birthday of the World contains a story set in the same world as The Left Hand of Darkness, but with a more thoughtful presentation of sex, gender, and pronouns, and it's a wonderful story.
As much as I loved Four Ways to Forgiveness, I was never able to reread it because it's so violent.
I got rid of almost all of my books, including all of my Le Guin, when I moved to Australia. Writing this is making me wish I had her stuff on hand, and it looks like a lot of it might not be available digitally. Oh well.
I've also reread the Harry Potter books and His Dark Materials, but again, only once. And Octavia Butler's Parable of the Sower and Parable of the Talents are high on my reread list. I have a strong impulse to return to fiction I know I love and an equally strong feeling that I aught to be more open to trying new things; the result is a stalemate where I don't read as much fiction as I used to.
Though part of it is also that I enjoy non-fiction as well. But I'm even less inclined to re-read that. :)
1. What do you think the five most important SFF/genre shows for television newbies trying to get into visual media are (bonus from renay!)
2. First book you can remember reading?
5. Favorite "comfort food"?
6. Favorite type of games?
8. What's been your best fandom experience to date? What made it great?
10. Do you read comic books? Why or why not?
14. Favorite science show/book?
16. If you could be a FTL, indestructible spaceship, where would you go?
18. Things that aggravate you the most?
20. Favorite food or type of cuisine?
21. What superpower/ability would you most like to have?
22. Favorite period of history? (Like, if you could go back and visit any place/era as a ghost, where & when would you go?)
24. Your favorite fictional world -- and would you want to live there if you could?
26. Favorite fictional critter?
I love the Hunger Games, but I don't love it the way I love other books and movies and television shows. I don't love it for the characters -- though there are many that I like, or admire, or care about quite a lot. I love it for the story, the themes, for what it does. (Not to say that I don't find much to love in story, plot, and theme in other media, but in The Hunger Games this plays a much more prominent role vs characters than in anything else I love.)
( The Hunger Games is the multi-million dollar franchise of my marxist anarchist heart. I'm only slightly kidding. )
( An aside about movie Coin vs book Coin. )
Though a few weeks ago I was listening to Neko Case's Blacklisted, which I hadn't heard in some time. "Tightly" came on when I wasn't expecting it, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that I wasn't haunted by images of "Under Stars" the entire time. So I guess it can wear off eventually. After two or three years. If you never re-watch the vid. /o\
Speaking of Indigo Girls and Xena vids I have made to their songs, I occasionally consider a post-series Gabrielle POV vid to Dairy Queen until I remember that it would break me. This song came on my mp3 player a few weeks after I watched "Friend in Need" and there I was, tearing up on the bus. Which is funny: that song used to make me cry because it reminded me of my ex-gf. Growth, maybe?
Sometimes I think I really should have just made a Xena fanmix and not a vid series. But I'm committed now.
Xena is ultra-competent. After the episode where she takes down an army, there isn't a whole lot of tension over whether she'll win most of the time. Instead, we get to enjoy the pleasure of watching her beat everyone all the time (sorta like early Veronica Mars, or every white male action hero ever) and the tension derives from her changing relationships, especially with Gabrielle, and from her figuring out how she can fight the good fight after all the evil she's done in the world.
What's more, Xena takes great pleasure in her competence. And that's a joy to watch.
Xena is morally sophisticated. In the early seasons, both Xena and Gabrielle treat Gabrielle as Xena's moral compass, and at times she very much is. But while Xena learns compassion and a desire to do true good from Gabrielle, she doesn't forget how people like Caesar or Ming T'ien or even random warlords function. If she wants to do good in the world, she accepts that she might have to do violence against people who will harm many more if she doesn't. In many ways she has a stronger moral compass than Gabrielle, whose naivete leads to some horrible mistakes early on.
Xena is open and honest with those she trusts. Which means that Gabrielle knows just how much she means to her. <3
Xena doesn't let herself do manpain. Xena has hurt a lot of people, and of course after her moral awakening she feels terrible about it. But while the narrative may at times focus on Xena's guilt and regret more than it does on the pain she's inflicted, Xena herself never does.
Xena is charismatic. I mean look at this face: ( Xena's face: in love, in battle, in silliness )
She makes the show *so fun* to watch. And of course there's the little matter of Lucy Lawless's voice. It's a good voice.
Last year I did the December posting meme in January because I had out-of-continent visitors for much of the month, but this year I can do it at the same time as anyone else! So:
Pick a date below and give me a topic, and I'll ramble on. It can be fandom-related or not. Pretty much anything you've ever seen me post about unlocked, or comment on in other venues, is fair game. If a topic is uncomfortable for me (too personal or potentially identifying) or simply something I know very little about (unfamiliar canon, say), I may ask you to make a second choice. If you want to request more than one topic feel free, but in the unlikely event that I get more than 25 or so requests I may pick and choose between them.
(Wording snagged and adapted from various versions of the meme, but mainly renay's.)
ETA: If you want a really specific date, keep in mind that I'll post on the day you request in my time zone -- nearly a full day ahead of North America and half a day ahead of Europe.
December 1: books (chaila)
December 2: worldbuilding in The Steerswoman books (frith_in_thorns)
December 4: favourite ships (endeni)
December 5: if you could live anywhere in the world, where would that be? (siria)
December 6: Top 5 Buffyverse women (kikimay)
December 8: US/Aussie living (st_aurafina)
December 9: BUSY WEEK, NO MORE POSTS
December 10: Elementary: Joan, Marcus, fic (akamarykate)
December 11: Top 5 changes you'd make to Buffyverse canon (velvetwhip)
December 12: BUSY WEEK, NO MORE POSTS
December 15: Catherine Weaver, Savannah, James Ellison and John Henry: the OTHER family in The Sarah Connor Chronicles (selenak)
December 16: Indigo Girls (raven)
December 18: dead vid bunnies (rbfvid)
December 19: vids that inspired me most (rbfvid)
December 21: favourite weather (umadoshi)
December 24: Climate change (isis)
December 27: Xena fic (luzula)
December 28: Sarah and Mrs. S (goodbyebird)
December 30: Offline
December 31: Offline
Anyway, I've forever wanted an Anya "I'm so pleased" icon because that phrase, with her voice saying it, is always in my head. So I made a couple today and they are meh. It's hard to see her face -- 100x100 is so tiny! But if I cropped more you wouldn't see the money and her funny hand gestures.
I'm not fishing for complements! If anything, I'm fishing for patient explanations as to what I'm doing wrong. Maybe it's my cap choice.
(BTW, that first one uses a texture that someone else made -- goodbyebird, was that you? I'm sorry I didn't take note to properly give credit! Not that I'm doing much with these.)
ETA: I worked a bit more on the second one -- brightening it up around her face, fiddling with the background, tilting the text, and I do like this better. Huh.
And sometimes I find something made in 2007 or 2012 and I love it and want to leave feedback! But that seems potentially awkward or possibly unwanted. So I don't. (Also I have to admit I use this is as an excuse as much as areason.)
So, a poll! If you create fan works, do you like getting feedback/comments on old stuff, and if so, how old?
What type of fanworks do you make most?
other or a combination
How do you feel about feedback/comments on a fanwork you made 6 months to a year ago?
Great! Comments are love.
Eh, I'd rather they not. I'm over that thing.
It's fine as long as it isn't concrit -- I already know what's wrong with it, thanks.
It's not as great as more immediate comments, but it's fine.
Something else I will tell you in the comments.
How do you feel about feedback/comments on a fanwork you made 1-3 years ago?
Great! Comments are love.
Eh, I'd rather they not. I'm over that thing.
It's good as long as it isn't concrit -- I already know what's wrong with it.
It's not as great as more immediate comments, but it's fine.
Something else I will tell you in the comments.
How do you feel about feedback/comments on a fanwork you made more than 3 years ago?
Great! Comments are love.
Eh, I'd rather they not. I'm over that thing.
It's fine as long as it isn't concrit -- I already know what's wrong with it.
It's not as great as more immediate comments, but it's fine.
Something else I will tell you in the comments.
Fandom: Orphan Black
Song: "What's Mine is Yours" by Sleater-Kinney
Characters: Sarah Manning, Felix Dawkins, Siobhan Sadler, Kira Manning, Helena
Summary: Let's wreck their precious, perfect town
Much thanks to violace for beta and cheerleading!
Content Notes: Uses scenes through S2, but spoilers are more of the character/relationship variety than the plot variety. Lots of speed changes, stuttery cutting, flashing lights, spinning camera. Institutional violence. Violence and gore typical of the show, but I think the most...um, memorable violence/gore scenes have not been included. Feel free to ask specific questions about content.
Download: 139 Mb 720p | 76 Mb 480p
Subtitles are included in the download .zip files. To use subtitles, remove the name "Big" or "Small" from the end of the movie file name. You can delete the .srt file if you don't want subtitles. They are also available in the streaming versions.
Streaming: Youtube | Vimeo
( Lyrics )
Also, I hadn't realized that Rygel had been the one to break them out of their cells! Good for him. Now he's done like five things I approve of. (I am not a Rygel fan.)
Oh, and the PKW was pretty good too! Some silliness, but also some really fun comedy and action for Aeryn. I felt like she got more agency in the PKW than she did in, like, all of S4, so that was cool too. And I finally found out where the "shooting makes me feel better" line came from -- I always assumed it was from S1 and I'd missed it.
Um, there were a few moments that also made me very sad. I won't say which.
Also I've now watched all the Farscape vids I know about (so, like eight) and they are great. I still never know if people appreciate comments on old vids, which I then often use as an excuse to not do it, but...I might be leaving comments on some of your old vids, folks.
My Orphan Black vid is basically done, but my brain has decided that I have to color and gamma-correct basically every clip. Probably overkill, but it is *so* satisfying to adjust the black levels and see how much prettier the image becomes.
Festivids! I am Festivids-adjacent again this year, which means that if you want to squee/rant/ask for beta at me, I'm up for it!
ETA: I tagged this entry with vidding: history because that topic makes up the bulk of the discussion in the comments.
First things first: if you really don't like camp, you probably shouldn't watch Xena. You could maybe try my Top 5, but it probably just won't be for you.
On the other hand, if you loooooove camp but don't want to commit to the longest curriculum, feel free to comment and I can write up another list of favorite funny/campy episodes. My orientation is more toward a few of the dramatic plot arcs, Gabrielle's pacifism arc, and Xena/Gabrielle. Obviously this is a YMMV situation.
Also -- some of you probably know Xena better than me! If you see any lapses in good judgement, please let me know and if I agree I'll change it!
I've included content notes of a kind for some of these -- please feel free to ask for more details about specific episodes:
*r: racism of some sort. Included in this is depictions of groups coded as "primitive" or indigenous, generally played by a mix of indigenous, non-indigenous POC, and white actors -- however, this applies to any episode that the Amazons appear in, and I haven't noted it for all of those episodes, only the ones where I find it most egregious. I also note *r for orientalization of Middle Eastern or Asian characters.
However, it is common for Xena to disproportionately cast Maori actors to play "dumb" villains of the week (as opposed to epic antagonists like Caesar or Ares). I haven't noted this as it is very common and I haven't watched all of these episodes recently.
*dv: partner violence
*c: episodes that are particularly campy *and* not essential to an ongoing plot or character arc.
( Lowest commitment: Top 5 episodes for non (or not-yet)-fans )
( Low commitment: the highlights )
( Higher commitment: most of the important plot and character arcs, as well as the best stand-alone episodes )
( High commitment: all the major plotlines and character arcs; I've just removed what I consider the worst episodes. )
Lately I've felt weirdly listless on weekends, like I almost wanted to go to work because I didn't know what to do with myself. I was feeling bored and unmotivated, and to top it off the last few weekends I've had headaches which make a lot of my hobbies tough. It's nice to be genuinely enjoying the time off.
And my fannish goal is to finish my Orphan Black vid, if not this weekend then by the end of next week.
I didn't give this show the attention it deserves and requires. I watched it over the course of something like 2 1/2 years -- I watched the first half dozen episodes of season 1, waited more than a year, watched up through the start of season 4 off and on over about six months, hated early season 4 and took at least six months to get through the first 12 episodes, and have watched the rest of season 4 this week. Furthermore, I often had one eye on Twitter or something else while I watched, which is not my normal way of watching tv AT ALL, but I developed the habit during some boring/bad S1 episodes and never fully shook it. So now I feel like there's a lot I missed, thematically, character-wise, and in terms of plot. I already feel like I need to rewatch.
I was thinking the other day about what it takes for me to fall in love with a show, and at what point in the show that happens. My favorite shows are Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Xena, and Friday Night Lights. I fell in love with the last of these immediately, and the love uh, *almost* never faltered (coughmurdersubplotcough). Conversely, Xena was a show I enjoyed, but no more, until the final season, when I really fell hard for the Xena/Gabrielle pairing. Now I see the entire series through the lens of what the last season did in terms of their relationship (and what seasons 3 & 4 did for Gabrielle's character) and I love it all. Buffy was somewhere in between. I loved it a lot the first time I watched, but it wasn't until I started rewatching (and rewatching and rewatching) and discussing it that I got really into it.
I bring this up because I suspect that Farscape, like Xena and to some extent Buffy, will be a show that will impress me most when viewed as a whole. There has been a ton of narrative follow-through in these last few episodes. Like people told me when I started, shit *matters* on Farscape. I've been enjoying that a lot.
In terms of character, some of my favorite things include the radiant Aeryn Sun, as well as the way the show has depicted the impact of imprisonment and homesickness on the characters. I've mostly enjoyed their interpersonal dynamics. Relationships are fraught and tenuous, but for good reason. The plotlines with Crais, Scorpius, and Talyn have been interesting and I've liked them quite a bit.
However, I do wish the show was more of an ensemble, because I don't really connect to John Crichton the way I'm supposed to. I feel for his homesickness, I like his sense of humor and kindness. But I was also endlessly frustrated with everyone insisting that he was ignorant, that his ideas were bad and always went wrong, that he wasn't the hero we the audience were expecting him to be, when the narrative quite frankly kept making him pretty much exactly the hero we expect. The show put a lot of effort into telling us that John wasn't your usual sci-fi hero, but it did not succeed at showing it. Like even though he didn't earn or want it, he still spends most of the show as the most important single person in the known universe, and it just grates on me.
Also, I know this is pretty random, but remember in an early episode where there's a flashback to John's life on Earth, and a moment when he was about to propose to his girlfriend, but then she told him she was going to grad school or medical school or something instead of following him and building her career around his? And so he gets the super sads and is totally betrayed and doesn't propose and we're all supposed to feel bad for him? I cannot emphasize enough how much I fucking hated that, how close to home that shit is for me, and I think it's why I basically didn't like John for a long time thereafter. I know it's not a particularly strong argument, but the point is that so much of the show revolves around John, a character I've come to care about and like, but it took a damn long time due to some basic smart white guy tropes that the show fell into that I find particularly annoying. And I wish I'd seen more time spent on other characters, especially Aeryn (though she got a fair amount) and Chiana and D'Argo. Also I really, really liked Jool and her brattiness and ridiculous scream and super smartness. I'd have really loved more Jool.
Anyway this is not my final word on Farscape, I obviously, I know there's a lot to it that I've straight up missed and I'm looking forward to exploring it deeper through vids and some meta and rewatching certain episodes. I'm happy to take recommendations for fanworks including meta! And to know other people's thoughts.