I suppose there is something to be said about the idea of Frank-n-Furter in a passing-straight relationship with Rocky. On one hand, it does normalize a transwoman and cisman heterosexual relationship, but yeah, I also see how that social-normalization also erases the queerness of it. Either way, I think the reviewer's point was that there were a lot of levels in the Frank-n-Furter change and it seemed like they could have put more thought into it.
Also, regarding the rainbow flags: again, there was both something embrace/normalizing about it, and something kinda hokey about it, especially considering that these are alien characters with an entirely different concept of gender/sexuality that's not necessarily connected to the US-Earth-based LGBTQ movement (in-story, I mean).
I guess it's all stuff worth talking about. That's nice, anyway, since it was otherwise kinda meh.
@2 Thanks -- It's possible that I miss a few details as I type away fervishly! Sadly, while it might remove some gripes, I don't think either detail fixes the mess.
@3 Yes, that PRISONER episode is also a favorite of mine! I totally understand the meaning behind the anvil/hammer metaphors. I just don't see how it specifically related to this episode in particular, beyond that, well, I suppose that literally any conflict can be broken down into "the one that does the hitting" vs "the one that gets hit." But that's kind of generic — unlike, for example, that episode of THE PRISONER, where its a motif throughout the episode that then gets profoundly inverted by the end.
Not that I'm trying to compare THE PRISONER to GOTHAM because really, that would just be unfair (which is not a slight against GOTHAM — most shows are nothing compared to THE PRISONER).
@3 I enjoy it when there's drama and stakes and when it feels like there's actual consequences to actions. This is often seen in moments cpmmecting to the larger season story (if one does exist), but it's not necessarily because I need it to be a BREAKING BAD-sequel drama; those parts just tend to have weight (although I get frustrated that they're so few and far between).
I generally love everything about Bruce & Alfred, and Selina Kyle is usually enjoyable as well. Bullock and Falcone are always delightful to watch, even though I wish that Bullock was given more to do. Modena Baccarin could charm the pants off of a brick wall, I just wish she was given a chance to charm humans and not brick walls.
@4 What specifically did I miss? I am admittedly simplifying things, because it's hard on both readers and myself when I write overly-detailed 3000 word recaps (which I've done), but if there's anything you think is objectively incorrect, please specify.
@5 I'm glad someone appreciates my sacrifice!
How about "The Third Policeman" by Flann O'Brien? Some of Pynchon's work could fall into this category as well (an argument could be made for "The Crying of Lot 49" or "Inherent Vice," certainly).
@2 I do often worry that I'm being too harsh on the show, mostly because haters who hate just to hate really bother me. I try to stop myself and say, am I judging this show for what it is, and not what I want it to be? The problem, though, is that I'm not convinced that 'Gotham' knows what it is or wants to be.
For what it's worth, I have studied a lot of dramatic storytelling, and I like to think I know a thing or two about it, so that even when I don't personally like something, I hope I'm still capable of objectively judging its merits. Which is precisely why I tend to be harsh on "Gotham." I realize that there are plenty of people who enjoy it for what it is, but I consider my job here to be an objective criticism of the show's merits and values -- in which case, its flaws are many.
All that being said...I am similarly intrigued by your meta-perspective, and the very postmodern ways in which perspective affects content.
@7 Yeahhhh my only real ongoing grudge with the show is that "The Rising Darkness" feels like a vague, generic Big Bad. Perhaps next week will surprise us though!
@1 You're right, I can't believe I forget to mention how much I loved that cigarette-lighting moment with the prayer candle. Probably because I didn't want to ramble any longer about how much I loved the episode (also I had snow to shovel...).
Oh. Right. Somehow I just did not absorb that (it's sometimes easy to miss things when you're writing notes as you go)
@1 Glad to be of service! I am a martyr for you!
@2 I got that point. I just feel like this show would be interesting if it was willing to go darker (or go anywhere, for that matter). Jim has done some soul-seeking in every episode, and reached the same conclusion every time.
Clearly you're much less than cynical than I am :)
@1 That ambiguity is exactly what I love about the movie. We can't know what the scientists in the future actually know, or what their real agenda is. Is that really Jones sitting next to Peters, or just someone who looks like her? How come one of Coles' flashbacks showed Goines, not Cole, in the Hawaiian shirt? Can the future be changed, or do the scientists just need to locate specific information (i.e., a pure sample of the virus) in order to fix the atmosphere in the future?
I've seen some theories that the past can be changed in the 12 Monkeys universe, but that the scientists very carefully manipulated and curated events so as not to lose their positions of power in the future...
I will concede that Drew Powell did a great job with the Butch subplot (especially as a reprieve from Jada's scene chewing). I genuinely didn't know what Butch's game was. But I'm not convinced it was dramatically necessary; it felt like it was there to take up time, because they had to do *something* with the mob war subplot.
It's very possible that I was wrong, in which case, my theatre degree is truly going to much worse use than I had previously realized :-/ (no really, I could be wrong. I'll double-check when I have a chance)
In general, I'm just glad we're talking about the treatment of black male characters on this show (which clearly has a good track record with women of color, especially AAPI women), because even if it wasn't a racist decision per se, it does have unavoidable racial implications. I don't envy the writers being in that position, where an actors' other commitments lead to a decision to kill the character off, and probably knowing full well what that backlash is going to be. Rather than that being an excuse or justification, I think it's important that creators of all kinds consider the wide-ranging implications of all kinds of diverse representation. Of course, sometimes you still have to, erm, bite the bullet and go with it anyway, even if it might cause some controversy.
Mostly, I was just disappointed that Fitz going off on his own to set the bombs in the tunnels didn't lead to Fitz running into KreeZombieMack, and then helping rehabilitate/un-brainwash his friend -- in return for the help that Mack has given him. Missed opportunity there, Marvel!
@8 I was going to include that but...it was stupid. You're right, Corrigan was there at the ceremony, then we see him get back in the car and drive to meet back with Zed again. I assumed that Constabtine called him, wanting him to see the magic first-hand, but that was definitely glossed over. And you're right, there was no reason given why Corrigan was there but Zed & Chas were not.
So I just ignored it :-)
To be clear, the writing of the line "What's altruism?" was indeed heavy-handed and obvious. But Donal Logue sold it in such a delightful way.
@6 The CPS form was in the bag of bundled money found on Lt. Cranston's body, not Danzer's. And it was there because they had to connect the walk-in role of Cat's CPS counselor to the Ballonman, obvi.
Oops, not sure why I wrote "Neal" instead of "Kean," but I knew what I meant.
As for Lamond, I get the reference, and thought it was spelled that way as well, but the credits had it listed with a "d."
And I guess the hunger strike counts, but it didn't strike me as being quite as serious (no offense, Bobby Sands! Totally different!).
@ChristopherLBennet I completely understand the reasoning behind depicting Bruce's actions as they've been, but it's still rubbed me the wrong way. However, I think you just articulated it in such a way as to get me on board with it, particularly with the Bat-obsessiveness. Well done. Maybe my issue is more with the grown-ups who are being a bit too lax towards his blatant cries for help.
(and also, agreed on the frequent telling-not-showing)
So to note, it's better for me to wait and watch this show on Hulu/iTunes than to try to watch it live and keep notes, lest I make an error. Good to know! (and rest assured, next week's recap-review will be much briefer)
Jonathen Lethem's "Gun, With Occasional Music" is a great example (although it's generally considered "literary" fiction instead of "genre" fiction — but hey, psuedo-science drugs and talking kangaroos and artificially evolved grown-up babies? I think that counts as sci-fi).
Thanks for the heads-up, Moe! I'd much rather credit you than the lousy hard rock band that posted it on Facebook.
1. Nothing at all about WINTER SOLDIER.
2. Honestly, I was pretty surprised at some of the jokes they got away with (I generally assume that PG-13 is violent, or inappropriate language, but rarely both together). If that's something you're concerned about, I wouldn't recommend bringing your son.
That's because you did! Everything up through Star-Lord putting on his prison clothes (~3:30) is exactly as it was in that preview. After that, the time in the prison is obviously trimmed in this preview (by, oh, about 13 1/2 minutes).
1. What was with the awkward contrived product placement when Lola was in freefall? Oof.
2. Oddly, I actually felt like this episode had some of the best SCIENCE! writing on the series so far.
3. Coulson indirectly ordering his own memory manipulation has shades of DOLLHOUSE — but also makes the dramatic tension of the situation moot for the reasons you mentioned.
4. Regarding privatized security through Stark Industries: Is this show going to turn into a political thriller about privatization vs public funded in a superhero world? Because that could actually be a fascinating exploration of modern politics...
5. Hail Piedra.
@rufusprime I'm not saying it can't tie-in. I'm all about that. What I AM saying, is that it can't just rely on the movies and try to tip-toe carefully around their plots. Ya know -- like a living, breathing comic book. So you can read/watch this one comic, and still have a complete story, but then there are little shared threads that go between the other ones, and if you consume them all, you get a larger picture. But as it is right now, 'Agents of SHIELD' is just filling in the cracks of time between movies, with no actual consequences for its characters or its plot.
Ya know, I was trying to give Whedon/Tancharoen/et al the benefit of the doubt, but I think you just proved that I proved otherwise, so you're right. That I'm right. The first time. Right?...OR AM I, and now I'm switching allegiances because I'm a secret agent and this is all about propaganda? Hrmmmm....
Yeah, I think the showrunners were unfortunately saddled with an impossible task. I don't begrudge them anything (after all, I did write a power-pop song about my love for Maurissa Tancharoen). The fault lies more specifically with Marvel Studios than with Tancharoen, Whedon, or Bell. So I guess what I'm trying to say is "Blame Jeph Loeb."
Some of that is likely my wording, and not as much in the book. The book does a great job of not gendering "geeks" (or really defining "geeks" very much at all). But, as I said, it does take the position of Herero male. In some of those advice sections, it gives suggestions for all kinds of women or romantic partners, acknowledging that some might be "geeks," and some not. I guess what I was trying to get at is that, you're right, that dichotomy IS problematic, and that this book actually (at least in my reading of it, as a heterosexual male feminist) tries to acknowledge that problem and discourage that behavior. It explicitly says that women can and are and will be geeks, just the same as men, and that it's not right to judge or exclude them. I think it was just my own sampling and syntax which made that unclear (although again, this is clearly coming from my hetero perspective, which is clearly susceptible to error)
Great piece about a great story. I personally, however, disagree with your assessment of the two endings. While they definitely share a concern for social justice and an end to fascism -- and I definitely felt myself emotionally swept up during both climactic explosions -- I think graphic novel V was all about anarchy, a world of no rules, no government ("the land of do-as-you-please," if you will), while movie V represented a socialist mission, where everyone was united together and working together to achieve harmony. One is a esque left wing political view of a governed utopia, while the other is a hard right view of no government, no restrictions, and pure individual freedom and responsibility.
Certainly the political clock starts to swing the other way at a point, so those two philosophies do more in common than their hard right and hard left positions might suggestion, but they're still significantly different revolutions.
@Colin @Fresh0130 Yes, yes, I know I left out Luke Cage. But I'm hoping that J. August Richard's character fills the Luke Cage role (even if his name is different -- although he could certainly change it!), and then later he can team up with Danny Rand. See? I got it all planned!
I'm sorry to hear that casual human errors instill you with such frustration. However, when I went back to correct my egregious mistake, I could not find any instances of "solider/super-spy" anywhere in the article. There was a single occurrence of "solider/secret agent life," which I did fix, but I'm not sure if that's what you were referring to, unless you made a typo in your criticism of my typo. If you can tell me the precise location in the article where this "solider/super-spy" error exists, I will gladly correct it. Thanks.
@sushisushi Yes, I've noticed that my attempts to use the broad strokes of archetypes to draw thematic connections did not play quite as intended. I think my little self-conscious jokes meant to poke fun and acknowledge what I was doing actually did more harm than good, and I can see how that happened. Ah well. Live and learn.
@JennyGadget As someone who tends to take great offense at "Plastic Paddy" portrayals, I am mortified that my own writing would come across that way to someone else. I was attempting to use cultural types as a way to explore fictional archetypes of vampires, without reducing my own heritage down to a mockery, and if you think I failed, then I apologize. Maybe it was my attempt at humor that came off wrong there -- that I was in fact at the pub while writing this article, and I did in fact order another beer at that point in writing. I was trying to be self-depracating there, calling myself out on perpetuating that same stereotype. But I don't think I reduced anyone down to the mockery level of obnoxious cartoonish drunks -- my intention was to connect alcoholism / addiction with these characters, in the same way that I connected religion to it. I mention Catholic Guilt as well, but I meant no offense there to the Protestants (my Stoker comment was meant to be tongue-in-cheek), nor the Jews, nor anyone else.
I hope I'm understanding here what it is that offends you and responding appropriately, because again, that was absolutely not my intention. I actually very much wanted to write an article relevant to St. Patrick's Day that avoided the obnoxious Green-Beer-And-Leprechuans-Oh-Blimey-Top-O'-T'e-Mornin'-ness that otherwise fills the internet around this time every year.
This certainly makes some valid points about compelling dramatic storytelling. I actually enjoy GIRLS quite a bit, but it's also a very different show from DOCTOR WHO, and while I agree that the characters' actions on GIRLS are often very realistic, I think that applying that narcissism to DOCTOR WHO would do as much harm as good, if not more. There are plenty of times with Amy would disobey The Doctor, for example, and end up unexpectedly turning the tables and helping save the day through her disobedience. DOCTOR WHO is so much more epic in scope, than the small, focused drama of GIRLS, so there's much less room for characters to make the same self-involved mistakes. What if Mickey had cheated on Rose, so then when her and the Doctor went back to Earth, she decided to get revenge on him by blowing off the Doctor and having sex with a random guy in a bathroom stall, and then Rose isn't there to help the Doctor, so now the Cybermen win? It's a big difference.
That being said, I do agree, for example, that teasing out the Amy-Rory breakup would have been great drama, but that also goes against Moffat's plans to make each episode into a "mini-movie" this season, and do away with the longer story arcs. It's two very different approaches to storytelling that aren't easily reconcilable.
True. But Dick has perhaps had the greatest quantity of widely recognized film adaptations of his work, so he gets points for that anyway.
I never said he was a Marxist. I said that the play explored themes of class that reflected the Marxist-Leninist philosophies of the time, but I never claimed that the artist and the art were interchangeable.
This is an impressive analysis you've pieced together here. I remember sitting in a production of the staged version last October (that was actually set in a rock club setting), and as I experienced the show all around me, I was realizing just how much of a dramaturgical mess the latter half of it really is. It's a fact I've always known and never minded, but noticed it especially that night (some of that might be in the difference between the play and the film, of course, but I really feel that the story meanders after "Hot Patootie" and then just kind of throws an explosive orgy at the wall to see what sticks). But you've really found a way to make some sense out of all that delightfully wonderful madness, making me wonder if I've been wrong. Well done!
According to the stack in my longbox: it's BATMAN #654 -658, #663-683, and #700-702, plus BATMAN & ROBIN #1-16, THE RETURN OF BRUCE WAYNE #1-6, BATMAN: THE RETURN one-shot, BATMAN, INC. #1-8, BATMAN, INC.: LEVIATHAN STRIKES! one-shot, and the New 52 BATMAN, INC. #0-16.
As for what ORDER to read them in? That's an entirely different question.... (BATMAN #701 & 702 take place between / during #681-683. And that's before the time travel stuff started)
@sabbx Morrison's run has also seemed to imply that Damian is a test tube baby, and/or that Talia raped him, but since Morrison was trying to reconcile all kinds of continuity, I'm going to assume your marriage argument is correct as well. So I guess she technically raped her husband and stole his sperm to make a test tube baby?
@EmmetAOBrien I realized that as I combed through all of my single back issues to write this. There's not even a single discernible order in which to read the entire run, which is narratively intriguing but also kind of frustrating.
While Rory & Amy's double-suicide had me in tears, I definitely agree with all of the complaints about internal story logic that came into play in the end.
One of my biggest issues so far in this season though? Moffat's insistence on telling things instead of showing them. I liked the idea of Amy having slight crow's feet on her eyes -- but I couldn't see them. In fact, despite it having been 10 years since "The Wedding of River Song," Amy & Rory both still have the same haircuts, and neither one has gained any weight. Nothing to physically indicate that they have aged, even slightly. This being a television show, this kind of oversight strikes me as a little lazy (and certainly nitpicky on my part, but still).
The other example of this: the Doctor "erasing his identity" from history. We saw an example of this in "Asylum of the Daleks," but otherwise, we've just been told a few times that "Oh yeah, people don't know who the Doctor is any more," but I've been having trouble believing / understanding that as well. The fact that they addressed it in this episode in regards to River's time in prison has also bothered me: if the Doctor has been erasing all record of his existence from time, why would River have ever been arrested for murder in the first place, if he never existed as far as anyone knew?
I saw Charlie's murder coming from around issue 4, and I sincerely hope that it sticks this time around, for all of the reasons you mentioned.
However, I find it strange (or perhaps strangely poetic?) that Xavier was also killed at the end of Messiah CompleX -- the storyline that first introduced Hope Summers to the world -- and then again now, at the resolution of the First-Mutant-Since-M-Day/Phoenix storyline that has had Hope at its center. That time, Xavier was brought back the very next week in X-MEN LEGACY, and Marvel didn't even both pretending it was going to stick (and it ended up resulting in what I would still insist was one of the most original postmodern superhero deconstructions in a long time, as Mike Carey had Xavier travel around and re-collect the memories of his life from other people. Of course, he hasn't really done anything since then, up until now...)
And yes, mead is THAT delicious. Mmmm.
Personally, I'm biased towards The Cyborg Head of Stan Lee: