I’m pretty sure that Matt Bomer is the most attractive man on television. White Collar season two starts in less than two weeks! There are ads all over the subway–it feels like they decorated just for me.
Here is a fic in which John Crichton attempts to explain the plot of Hamlet to the crew of Moya. It’s got perfect character voices and is awesome.
I’m currently listening to Blind Spot by pdragon76, read by twasadark. There is so much fantastic well-written hurt/comfort gen in SPN fandom. ♥♥♥
This review of Avatar: The Last Airbender is one of the funniest things I’ve read in a while:
Another one of the ways in which this movie pokes fun at the very idea of epic fantasy: the endless confusing voice-over, in which tons of important story developments happen off-camera while we’re looking at a picture of a tree or a CG mountain. Because why do we privilege the story of the hero’s progress over the tree?, Shaymalan asks. Why does the original Star Wars insist on showing us Luke Skywalker training with a lightsaber, instead of telling us that Luke Skywalker trained with a lightsaber while showing us a tracking shot of some rocks? Why pretend that one thing is more important than the other thing? Why pretend that any of it has any meaning? As a wise man once wrote, “A menu is as good as a myth.”
Also, if the original Star Wars had given us a tracking shot of rocks, with a voiceover explaining that Luke was learning to use a lightsaber someplace else, it would have freed up more screen time for Luke to stand around shouting, “JAWAS! THERE IS SAND UNDER YOUR FEET!”
Did you read that zombie AU recap of the neverending tennis match over at the Guardian? That was hilarious, too.
The other day I was so upset by this example of misogyny in Supernatural fandom that I thought I might quit watching the show. Not really in protest, because my watching or not makes no difference whatsoever, but because things like this make me feel so sick that it kills my ability to enjoy the aspects of the show that I do love. (Link via cofax7; more discussion in comments.)
Then today I saw the raging cesspit of homophobia in many of the comments to this doctorwho entry and was reminded that it’s not just SPN fandom that has problems. *sigh* (How can people say “they erased the queer because it’s a family show” and not realize how grotesquely homophobic that statement is?)
I’m almost tempted to watch when Torchwood returns, even though I freaking hate that show. They’re bringing Gwen back and not catering to their fandom misogynists–see SPN? It can be done!
(I want Russell T Davies to run every show ever. *misses him*)( confused ramble about problematic media and whether to watch it )
I went to the White Collar Comes Clean event at the Paley Center last night, which was kind of fun. I was a little out of it, though, because I’d been in the middle of reading a Dark Angel fic (via my smartphone) and couldn’t really focus on anything but wanting to get back to it. I am honestly a little bit concerned about my sanity. (It wasn’t even a particularly *good* Dark Angel fic, but it was an incredibly satisfying one in which Max recognized that Logan was a boring douche and that Alec was totally and completely awesome, and then Max and Alec had bantery romantic adventures together.)
Anyway, there are pictures and write-ups of the White Collar event here. I got there late but ended up in a lone seat in the fourth row. It would’ve been more fun if I’d known someone there and had someone to talk to. The audience was full of fans and must’ve been 90% female; the woman sitting next to me spent most of her time primping and leaning forward, blocking my view.
Marsha Thomason probably did the most talking of any cast member, and there was a very moving question from an audience member who talked about how inspiring it is to have a lesbian character of color as an accepted member of the team. Also, I realized why her dialog delivery seemed so stilted in the pilot–she’s English and was struggling a bit with the US accent. I definitely think she improved in her second episode. She was a lot of fun at the event.
Willie Garson closed the event with a surprisingly moving and thought-provoking speech about how television shows couldn’t exist without their fans, and how they become fan-driven as time goes on. It was interesting because it hit me how much more fan-driven and collaborative TV is than many other art forms, especially now that the Internet facilities so much two-way communication between show and fandom. This can be bad, obviously, if a show panders to the lowest common denominator, but it can also be really cool as canon takes on a life of its own and reacts to what fans love, and I think it’s a big part of why I keep returning to television as my fannish focus despite its many flaws. It’s a lot like a concert in a way, that when it’s good it’s a shared experience between artist and fan and each heightens the others experience. TV is like that symbiotic artist/fan concert experience, drawn out over months or years instead of the space of a few hours.
There was also some talk about how character-driven the show is and how Neal and Peter love each other (complete with Bomer/DeKay hug) but it wasn’t anything I hadn’t heard before in other interviews.
At the end, they gave out White Collar cookies. (Someone posted a photo here.) I couldn’t resist taking one because I wanted the label, although now I’m going to have to find a non-vegan to feed the actual cookies to. :P
Dreamwidth now has expandable cut tags–you just click them open while reading your flist and don’t have to open a new tab. It’s awesome. I’m starting to seriously think about closing my hosted blog and moving over there permanently.
* New White Collar promo. It’s mostly old footage but it sure does make the show look sexy. (Where’s Elizabeth, though?)
* I GOT A SECOND ROW TICKET TO SEE JOHN SIMM IN HAMLET! :)
Now I just have to figure out how the hell I’m going to make a detour to Sheffield on my way from NYC to Paris (for the Lymond thing). It’s looking like I can fly from JFK to Manchester and take a train to Sheffield, see the play, take a train to London and spend a day there, then take a train to Paris. Icelandair is currently showing round trips from JFK to Manchester with a return from Paris to JFK for about $700 total–that’s a better price than I expected, although I’m a little iffy about the stopover in Reykjavik.
(Does anyone out there have experience with any of this–is that a sane plan or would you recommend something else?)
* jaydk and I went to see Metropolis at Film Forum. The restored footage was way cool, but the image would’ve been better if we’d waited for the DVD. Movie theaters have pretty much lost their allure now that I have a giant television.
* We also got tickets to see Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, which is um, a political satire in the form of an emo rock musical? I don’t know, but it looks fun.
* Stone Temple Pilots are touring, but they’re not playing NYC proper. I don’t want to go out to Jones Beach, but maybe I’ll go to the Borgata in Atlantic City. Apparently there’s now a train that goes there from NYC, and the Borgata is a good venue–it’s small and GA and half the crowd leaves in the middle to gamble, which means I can usually get right up front (I saw Depeche Mode standing in the third row there). But on the minus side it’s a long trip, it’s expensive, and they have a new album which means I’d have to stand through a bunch of new songs that I don’t care about. Hmmm.
* I did get a ticket to see “BlackDiamondSkye” at Madison Square Garden, which is Alice in Chains and the Deftones apparently? I dunno, I couldn’t resist seeing AIC at MSG, even though this is probably too much dude music for me, and I really don’t like the new AIC songs.
* rm has been posting interesting thoughts on season six of BtVS and, man, thinking about that era brought back all these unhappy emotions from seven years ago that I didn’t even know I still had. I reassert my vow never to become so negatively emotionally involved in a fandom again. (Note my complete lack of posts about Moffat’s Who.)
* USA released three network promos featuring Neal and Peter from White Collar. I don’t know the characters from the other shows, but yay for more Neal and Peter!
* Some clueless pro writer posted a screed about why fanfic sucks. Old wank, I know, but it’s inspired some lovely counterarguments that have reminded me how wonderful fanfiction is, both the art form itself and the community around it. Here is a really lovely ode to fanfic from pandarus.
* There’s this discussion going on in the feminist blogosphere about “Dude Music” and the comparative lack of respect female musicians and fans get. It’s incredibly interesting if you’re into rock music, and if you’re not it’s still very relevant, since it highlights a whole lot of the subtle ways that sexism works. I found it absolutely fascinating, because I’m definitely someone who grew up with a very male-dominated playlist–I’ve been working to understand why and to be a fan of more female musicians. Anyway, read the discussion in this order:
* Rare Film of Ronald Reagan, James Dean Unearthed. Is it wrong that I kinda wanted to read a slash version of this after I watched it?
* Bowie Dance Ride in NYC today. “Participants are encouraged to dress up as their favorite Bowie character and pedal away, Ziggy Stardust–style.” Uh, seriously?
* Iron Man 2 tonight! I can’t wait. This whole Supernatural obsession was incredibly well-timed; it managed to prevent me from clicking any of the Iron Man 2 spoilers that have been all over my reading list this week. :)
* I walked across the Brooklyn Bridge last night (exercise! fresh air!) and then went home and cooked a real dinner (roasted acorn stuffed with spinach cous cous and topped with toasted pine nuts). And then I sat down to watch Just One Episode of Supernatural. And… ended up watching four. So much for functioning like a sane person.
They were good! I enjoyed them. Maybe my previous feeling of disillusionment was just a fluke. Maybe by lowering my expectations I was better able to focus on what’s good. Maybe I was just saddened by the prospect of not staring at Jensen Ackles’ adorable freckles for the next two days, so I appreciated these episodes more.
My thoughts:( this is not actually about 4x11; it's about why I love the movie The Legend of Billie Jean )
( this is actually about 4x12, and the worst line of dialog I've ever heard )
( 4x13 )
( 4x14 was really good! )
( and another thing I like about Supernatural in general )
So, um, I kind of seem to have started watching Supernatural.
I’m afraid that jaydk is going to disown me as a friend.
We went to Ford Lauderdale for the weekend, which was fun. We got a cheap vacation deal–flew direct, stayed in a hotel on the beach with a decent pool and a pool bar, and basically just relaxed for three days. The weather was lovely. We got around via the water taxi, which stopped right near our hotel and took us downtown for only $7 after 7pm (where I managed to survive via that old desperate vegan standby, veggie sushi). The water taxi itself was quite fun, as it involved a narrated tour past the absurd, ostentatious, and often quite lovely mansions of the rich and famous which perch over the waterways. Aside from that, the public transportation was so terrible–every time I leave New York it hits me how absurdly car centric the city planning of most of the USA is. It didn’t have to be this way, and it’s sad, and thank god I live in NYC.( and I started watching Supernatural (please don't read this if you don't want to read criticism of SPN or if you're going to lose all respect for me for watching it) )
* I began a re-read of Dorothy Dunnett's Checkmate (the last book in the Lymond series) during vacation, since it's the one that takes place mostly in Paris and I'm headed to Paris in October for the Lymond fan gathering, LeSpit. (Talk about high and low art--going from Checkmate to Supernatural I literally felt my brain melting out of my ears.) Checkmate's never been my favorite--I think I've usually got Dunnett fatigue every time I've gotten to it before. Jumping into it with fresh eyes was a revelation--it really works much better if you treat it as a standalone, with the previous novels as background but with its own locations and characters and plot points. Instead of being frustrated with having to get to know new characters AGAIN when I really just want to know what's going to happen to the characters I already care about, I found myself enjoying this one in its own right for the first time.
* My cats were so happy to have me back. Angel sat on my lap for all eight Supernatural episodes, and Lucifer's been sleeping on my pillow with his arms wrapped around my head.
* I saw Hole at Terminal 5 last night. It was terrible--they played for less than an hour and seemed to put in very little effort. It was nice to hear a snippet of "Pretty on the Inside," but aside from that, they only played three songs from Live Through This (all singles) and nothing else from the olden days. Man, I'd kill to hear "Drown Soda." None of their new stuff was particularly impressive, and Courtney mostly seemed bored. (On a shallow level, her plastic surgery just bothers me. Her old nose was fine! I thought she was so hot when I was a kid. *sad sigh*)
It was also exhausting--to be in the front I'd had to stand for 2.5 hours through two opening bands (the first terrible, the second decent) and then put up with a batshit mosh pit (people kicking and hair pulling to get to the front, big guys trying to bodysurf over small women--to the dude who tried to use my head and neck as a springboard during "Doll Parts" [seriously, during "Doll Parts"?!], I hope you die in a fire, and also OWWWWW).
Oddly enough I was at the same venue, standing in the same position, for Alice in Chains a few months ago, and their moshpit was nowhere near as life-threatening. Since when are Hole crowds nastier than Alice in Chains crowds?
* Just bought tickets to the midnight opening night showing of Iron Man 2 in IMAX. OMG CAN'T WAIT.
* This fantastic Doctor Who vid has been all over my flist: Tenth Doctor: The Musical by di_br. Awww, I miss Ten. (Thus far I haven't read anything about Moffat's Who that's made me want to watch.)
* This post about protagonist privilege by londonkds is fascinating. I can see in it an explanation for a lot of my frustrations with BtVS (as someone who loved Anya and Spike and was incessantly frustrated by them being distorted and deprioritized in order to "teach lessons" to the "real heroes") and I can also sooo see this as one of the major flaws of the Lymond Chronicles, even though I love it to pieces anyway. (It's much more pleasant when your favorite character is the hero, which is a big part of why I don't allow myself to get fannish anymore about anything in which my favorite character is not the lead--it's just maddening to realize that your favorite can be ruined at whim in service of the lead character's "growth.")
* My favorite clip of Jon and Stephen on The Daily Show (the one with Prince Charles and the banana). I dug this up the other day for a friend who hadn't seen it and am posting the link in case anyone missed it--it's awesome.
So um, in case anyone was wondering, Matt Bomer and Tim DeKay are real. I can confirm this because I just walked past them on the street.
I’m so embarrassed that I’m excited by this, because it’s just a TV show and they’re just actors and whatever, I know it doesn’t actually matter, but apparently I just can’t help being a fangirl at heart because OMG I JUST WALKED PAST MATT BOMER AND TIM DEKAY *SQUEE TIMES A MILLION*.( Location spoiler, cut for the ultra spoilerphobic )
But then he continued tweeting pictures of them there today and I'M ONLY HUMAN OKAY. Specifically, I am a human fangirl. I get an hour lunch break--I could walk over there, see them filming, walk back, and still have time to get lunch. And it's a beautiful day. The temptation was too much.
So I walked over, thinking it would be cool to see them filming because when I see the episode I can look back and say "Hey, I saw them filming this." I love their location shoots, how beautiful they make NYC look. And okay I was hoping to maybe see Matt or Tim but, y'know, I don't like to get my hopes up.
Anyway, my timing was perfect. I walked over wondering if they were even still there and as soon as I got there I SAW THEM. I didn't have to lurk or anything--Matt Bomer and Tim DeKay were across the street from me, waiting for the same light I was waiting for. So I briefly contemplated waiting on the corner and watching them walk past, but that would be creepy, so when the light changed I walked with it and walked right past them. Matt was eating an apple, Tim had his jacket slung over his shoulder, they were both carrying script pages, they were talking to each other animatedly, and they both looked gorgeous. I walked right past and tried not to grin like an idiot.
Afterward I walked by where they'd been filming and then walked to the grocery store where I picked up some vegan food to take with me to Fort Lauderdale tomorrow (oh yeah, I'm going to Fort Lauderdale tomorrow!), and made it back to work within my allotted hour.
I did get a photo on my phone (hopefully without them noticing, I really didn't want to disturb them) since it took a long time for the light to change. This isn't interesting compared to Eastin's tweets, but take it as proof that I'm not randomly making shit up. Click to embiggen.
( Matt Bomer and Tim DeKay across the street from me )
Last night we had a SuperVegan meeting at ’sNice Brooklyn, after which I walked to the Q train at Atlantic Avenue (what a hellhole–the Ratner-created megamall and the nightmare traffic, I mean, which mar an otherwise decent area).( White Collar S2 location spoilers )
I love Jeff Eastin for tweeting these pics. It's ridiculously fun to figure out where they're filming today, knowing that in a few months I'll get to see how it all fits together in the completed episodes.
* Incidentally, if you're interested in living in the Williamsburg Savings Bank, there's currently a 366 square foot studio with a Brooklyn view on sale for, ahem, ~only~ $285,000.
So the cast of White Collar did this event at the Paley Center the other day, which you can read about here (you should at least should look at the photos, because Matt Bomer is so ridiculously beautiful that it’s not even fair).
But anyway, two things that stood out to me:( vague spoilers for season two )
( spoilers for the season one finale )
I like it because:
1) I can actually hear this dialog coming out of the actors’ mouths. It’s very well-written and sharp and even matches the characters’ speech patterns.
2) It’s more in-character than most Peter/Neal fic. Neal is driven by his id, but Peter thinks about consequences. It’s all about the push and pull between them, Peter trying to get Neal to think responsibly and yet often seeming to want to be pulled where Neal leads him, despite his objections.
3) There’s an inherent edge of darkness that this fic captures while still remaining true to the banter and humor that makes us love the characters. They have so many reasons not to get together, so many power and trust and communication issues, and oh yeah, the fact that getting caught would destroy both their lives.
4) The fic also manages to be hotter than 98% of what I’ve read on the kink meme recently, despite being PG-13. The writer does such a great job of building up the glances and little gestures that show us how much need and desire is going on beneath the surface. And she just writes the physical interaction so well–this fic is basically just kissing, but she describes hands and head tilts and fast breathing and heat and just totally captures the way it really feels to kiss someone you desperately want for the first time.
(It’s a sequel to Lucky Man which is also good and only 1,500 words, so read that one first.)
I’m having some sort of values dissonance with parts of White Collar fandom. I keep reading these critiques that are like “Neal Caffrey is a thief, he’s selfish, he’s messed up, he has serious ethical and emotional problems!” and I’m like… yeah, and? Why is that bad?
Perfect characters are boring. Flawed characters are interesting. Why do people want flawed characters to be “fixed”? Presumably its those flaws that draw people to the characters in the first place. Real people are flawed and complicated, and they may grow up and deal with their problems in better ways, but people don’t become perfect. They keep most of their core issues throughout their lives, and the people who love them love them anyway. And of course, plenty of “flaws” are just personality traits that can be expressed in both positive and negative ways–take away the personality trait because you dislike its negative expression, and you lose the positive aspects of it, too.
I mean, yes, Neal Caffrey is a con artist. The Tenth Doctor was an arrogant know-it-all, Logan Echolls was a bully, Brian Kinney was an asshole, Sirius Black had the emotional maturity of a sixteen-year-old, Spike used to kill people and drink their blood, Jaime Lannister fucked his sister and threw a seven-year-old out a window, and Methos was a Horseman of the Apocalypse (hahaha, oh, Highlander, I miss you). I probably wouldn’t want to know any of these people in real life, but this is fiction–the more complicated and fucked-up they are, the more interesting they are to play with as characters.
This seems to come up in every fandom I’m in, to the point where I start wondering if there’s something wrong with me, like am I missing some core ethical understanding that comes naturally to other people? But, um, no, it’s just that fiction =/= reality, and I wouldn’t want it to.
Anyway, in other news:( I went to see the Runaways and Kristin Stewart was awesome as Joan Jett )
( then I went to see Strange Days and it was fantastic on a big screen )
( and I saw Alice in Wonderland, which makes three films that pass the Bechdel test in a row! )
( then I got nostalgic for Doctor Who and watched Boomtown and missed the Jack Harkness I actually liked )
( and watched some Farscape which I've grown increasingly convinced actually was the best sci fi show ever )
So you know when you’re in that super-enthusiastic phase of a new fandom where everything’s shiny and new and you just want MORE? I’m in that voracious stage with White Collar right now, and I have to say, reading everything is maybe not the best idea. Clicking the links to the pit of voles or to the squicky kinkmeme prompts — I have to stop. I’m going to ruin it for myself if I keep doing this. Because, people, seriously, NEAL CAFFREY IS NOT A FOURTEEN YEAR OLD GIRL.
(Don’t get me wrong; there is a ton of good!fic out there, too. I’m saving my personal recs here.)
Also, does anyone else find that when you’re reading a fic that’s set in Peter’s car, you find yourself waiting for the awkwardly-inserted Taurus ad? And it kind of feels like something’s missing when it doesn’t show?
… Or probably that’s just me.
Last night, I watched White Collar 1×13 twice in a row, and then spent a full hour watching a goofy internet Q&A with the lead actors.
It’s time to admit the truth: I officially like White Collar.
Oooh, it’s so fun to have a fandom again!
Here are the things that I like about it:
* It’s character-driven. The plots are an excuse to explore Neal and Peter and their relationship. (Which is good because characters are way more interesting than plots, and also because White Collar’s plots kind of suck.)
* I love Neal and Peter and their relationship. They have a fantastic dynamic. Last night, Tim DeKay said that their relationship is a mix of father/son, older brother/younger brother, old married couple, and professional equals who love working together and have their own language that only they can understand. Which, yes, that’s it! The equals with their own language thing, even though they have power imbalances in other areas of life. It’s the key to nearly every ship I’ve loved: Doctor/Master, Sirius/Remus, Brian/Michael, Fraser/Ray, Sam/Gene, even Sharpe/Harper in a way. Or Jaime/Brienne, who work together brilliantly and understand each other better than anyone else, even though they suck at communicating.
* Their interactions get better with each episode, as the actors grow into their characters, and the writing is also getting sharper.
* Matt Bomer is insanely gorgeous. I could just stare at him all day. (I know, I didn’t think so at first, but he grew on me. He’s still too Hollywood-perfect, but his eyes are lovely, and the character is such a great mix of slick/charming and messed-up/vulnerable…)
* They have promo photos like this. Look, I’m only human, okay?( spoilers for 1x13 (slash and woobification) )
* The writers do a great job of interacting with their fans. I've really been enjoying following WCwriters and jeffeastin on Twitter. I particularly love the script screenshots that Eastin is posting.
* This show makes NYC look so pretty. I was at this penthouse apartment the other day whose huge bedroom window looks right out at the Empire State Building, and I just about died of jealousy. But anyway, um, watching White Collar in high res on my giant flatscreen TV is almost like having a view.
* My expectations are low, so the show is unlikely to disappoint me. It's not particularly progressive, but it's not terribly offensive either. It's not stunningly dark, or brilliant, or interesting, but it's not incredibly stupid or annoying either. It's just kind of there, and pleasant, and Neal is gorgeous and it's fun to watch him and Peter interact. There's no stress over how the writers might Ruin Everything or how the other fans are Getting It Wrong, because... it doesn't really matter. This is the least invested I've ever been in canon and, oddly, the most I've ever just plain enjoyed it.
I am maybe kind of a little bit obsessed with White Collar.
I still don’t think the show is that good. There is nothing intellectually stimulating about it… and yet it is pure emotional crack.
It’s not even the slash that has me hooked (although if you look at it through slash googles, it’s incredibly slashy). It’s more the way it explores trust and vulnerability. The writers keep up a fantastic balancing act, developing the relationship between Neal and Peter while keeping them wary of each other. Each is taking a huge risk by trusting the other; either could hurt the other deeply by betraying that trust. They both lie to each other, and at any moment, Neal could run, or Peter could put Neal back in prison. And they’re both constantly aware of the potential betrayal, but they want and need each other enough to risk it. That’s the core of the show, not the silly plots-of-the-week or the MacGuffin Kate.( spoileriffic )
Um, hi. I’ve let myself get out of the habit of posting. Again. (Sorry.)
I actually have been reading my friendslist, though. (Some of you will have noticed totally random comments from me over the past few weeks/months.) *waves*
I miss being in fandom; I just don’t have much to talk about. Mostly I’m worrying about real life stuff: money, and possibly moving again, and my cats’ health, and work, and… it’s just depressing, really.
But I do have a few fannish thoughts on my mind! I have mostly been occupied with:
* David Bowie, of course. I’m up to Heathen, from 2002. It’s fantastic! I can’t believe it came so late in his career! The cover of “Cactus” is awesome, and “Everyone Says ‘Hi’” is very moving. I’m hesitant to listen to “Reality, though, because it’s the last one and (unless he comes out with something new *fingers crossed*) once I hear it, this whole Bowie odyssey will be over. *sniffle*
* I started watching White Collar. I haven’t watched a current American TV show in years; I guess I kind of missed the experience? I chose it for utterly shallow reasons: I saw the ad on the subway and thought the guy looked hot in a Brian Kinney way. (He is cute, but alas, nowhere near Brian Kinney.)( vague spoilers for White Collar )
* Robert Downey Jr. Sherlock Holmes really was awful, despite the fantastic chemistry between Downey and Jude Law, but the Iron Man 2 preview got me madly excited. I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed the first one; I ended up rewatching it something like ten times in January.
( vague spoilers for Iron Man )