frayadjacent: Buffy smirking over Giles with quarterstaff (Xena: riding Argo)
Since I committed to posting pretty often in December, I better get back in the habit by continuing my 10 great characters meme. Today's character is Xena. So here are some things I love about her.

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.







frayadjacent: Buffy smirking over Giles with quarterstaff (Farscape: Aeryn determined)
Each day, write a post about one of your favorite women, trans*, and/or genderqueer characters. A tribute, a defense, an epic meta, a bullet-points list of why you love them, whatever you like! Or post a rec for a vid, fic, meta, or other fanwork that illustrates why you love them.

Last time: Sarah Manning

So, this is a bit of a risk because I still haven't finished season four and am mostly trying to avoid spoilers. That being said, at this point like 90% of why I watch Farscape -- as opposed to abandoning it and letting myself be spoiled so I can finally watch those vids I've been dying to see -- is Aeryn Sun.

Really, a huge part of what I love about her is in her season 1 arc. She starts off a loyal and ambitious Peacekeeper, one who will not just follow the rules but actively maintain the oppressive structures they serve. And in many ways she's happy. She resents, intensely, that she's forced out of it.

It's only her experiences on board Moia -- and over the course of a year -- that she learns better. She experiences a new kind of camaraderie. She sees how the Peacekeepers harm others, and she realises that she doesn't want to do that anymore. And she gives Crais one of my favorite speeches on any show ever:

Crais: I am still your commanding officer.

Aeryn: But I am no longer a Peacekeeper!

Crais: You are a Peacekeeper for life. On the oath you took-

Aeryn: Your oath means nothing to me! You made sure of that. You destroyed everything. I lost everything because of you!

Crais: Aeryn -Sun!

Aeryn: Do you know what I learned when I was away from you? Everything I lost isn't worth a damn. And I don't want to go back to your past.

Crais: I - ORDER - you -

Aeryn: You order me? (she takes his ident chip) You will never order me again.

Crais: I - will track you - down - and KILL you, Officer Sun! On that I give you my vow!

Aeryn: You know what I give you Crais? Your life. I will make you watch - your life. (and with that she powers up The Chair and sweeps the pots up and Crais screams and screams and screams as she leaves)


Sigh. Now that is a girl after my own heart.

Crais, as it happens, in many ways follows in Aeryns footsteps as a direct consequence of her actions at the end of S1.

I love Aeryn's relationships with the rest of their renegade crew, especially Pilot (god, "The Way We Weren't" hurt my heart), D'Argo, with whom she shares an understanding as a fellow warrior, and John. Though that last one is complicated for me because I don't really ship them. I like John fine enough -- actually, in his goofy moments he reminds me of my favorite cousin, who also sorta looks like him -- but I often feel like I don't really get what Aeryn sees in John, and at times it feels like she loves him just because he's the protagonist. Anyway, I digress.

I love how she struggles with her emotions. I love what a fighter she is. I totally love Aeryn Sun.
frayadjacent: Buffy smirking over Giles with quarterstaff (Orphan Black: Sarah damn right)
Each day, write a post about one of your favorite women, trans*, and/or genderqueer characters. A tribute, a defense, an epic meta, a bullet-points list of why you love them, whatever you like! Or post a rec for a vid, fic, meta, or other fanwork that illustrates why you love them.

My first post is about Sarah Manning, my favorite character in Orphan Black, and one of my favorites in general.

Sarah is not a typical protagonist, especially of a genre show. Most shows of this type would choose the cop, Beth, or maybe the corporate boss, Rachel, as the main character. But Orphan Black has somewhat marginalized these character types by killing one of them and making the other an antagonist. Instead, our heros are punks, people living on the margins of society and outside the formal economy.

Of course, like Mrs S says, Sarah found the punk music and subculture but ignored the politics. In her youth Siobhan fought for a better world, but not Sarah. At the start of the show she's fairly selfish, particularly in taking advantage of a suicide to run off with a daughter she's not prepared to provide a stable life for.

Over the course of the first season, Sarah learns to fight back, not just for her own interests but for others too. She finds a community of sorts, people she cares about and will fight for. She develops a stronger sense of morality and tries to do what is right and not just what is easy. And she maintains a strong distrust of authority, as opposed to Cosima and Allison who are more easily duped by Dyad's machinations.

I love how flexible and adaptable she is. This is something I often notice and admire in characters because it's a trait I lack. Now, it's pretty common for television to feature characters who can deal with change (Allison is a rare example of someone who can't, which I appreciate seeing!) because, well, they have to keep up with the plot. But with Sarah this trait is elevated to a strong skill, one that totally makes sense given her background and the kind of work she's done in the past.

I adore Sarah's relationship with Felix, which is sometimes tense but also the emotional bedrock of the show. He caretakes while she protects and defends. I also have a lot of empathy for her fraught relationship with Siobhan. There's a lot of sadness and anger and mistrust there as well as a desire to trust. And her love of Kira, and her desire to be the kind of parent to Kira that she never had, combined with her horrible circumstances and lack of experience, is very compelling. As is her fundamental sense of compassion, which she brings to her relationships once she is able to trust a little.
frayadjacent: Buffy smirking over Giles with quarterstaff (BtVS: Buffy and Willow Friendship)
OK, I'm gonna make this a meme; feel free to take it up if you want!

A ten day meme: each day, write a post about one of your favorite women, trans*, and/or genderqueer characters. A tribute, a defense, an epic meta, a bullet-points list of why you love them, whatever you like! Or post a rec for a vid, fic, meta, or other fanwork that illustrates why you love them.

Here will probably be mine:

Sarah Manning
Cordelia Chase
Tyra Colette
Aeryn Sun
Joan Watson
Joss Carter
Leslie Knope
Xena
Willow Rosenberg
Buffy Summers

(additional candidates: Poussey Washington, Hermione Granger, Siobhan Sadler, Dawn Summers)

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