#yes I am rewatching the whole series again
i need to know RCG’s reasoning to have Frank be pretty much the only character involved with Mac’s coming out to his dad.
Like I know in “Being Frank” he was super irritated and put off by Mac - but like they always say they all hate him or that’s he’s annoying (granted they all feel that way about each other but also care about each so so so much)
And I know he’s the oldest so like generationally it makes “sense” for him to be homophobic and thus have this big epiphany of “I get it” (which genuinely makes me tear up every time because Danny Devito is an AMAZING actor.
I guess there’s a part of me that would’ve loved to see Charlie, Dennis and Dee witness this moment for Mac - like im sure off-screen they were captivated but seeing them react to it onscreen would’ve been EVERYTHING.
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(Here are several prompts bunched together, because I’m not always on Tumblr every day. But let’s gooo. \ o / Thank you, thatonedorkthatdraws, for the prompt list, and thank you, Amphibia fandom, for taking the opportunity to be so positive and supportive of the show and its crew in spite of the awful current situation.)
Day 1 - How did you discover the show?
I feel kinda bad saying that I don’t really recall how I first heard about Amphibia. XD But I think it’s very likely that it was just because after Star vs. the Forces of Evil concluded, I was keeping an eye out for another story-based Disney animated series, and here it was, and I loved it.
Day 2 - Character you connect with the most
Oh, hmm, this feels tricky. I definitely feel for Anne in a lot of instances, especially in how she’s now in a new place with new people, and how she realizes she no longer has to be the person she was expected to be before and now has the room to grow into a person she’s happier being. And I also really relate to a lot to Marcy’s social awkwardness because peopleing is harrrrd.
Day 3 - Favorite region of Amphibia
I have to say up front that the designers and background artists have done absolutely gorgeous work in this show, oh my gosh. ;_; Every place we’ve been to has been lovingly crafted, and each is beautiful and atmospheric in their own right and full of quirks and character.
That said, I still have to choose Wartwood as my favorite. It’s just so fun and rich and full of interesting people and places and still manages to feel grounded, no matter how many madcap escapades it endures. Wartwood and its inhabitants are both the characters’ home and our (the viewers’) home within the show.
(But additional special shout-outs to: the three temples, the magma-like swamp in “Barrel’s Warhammer,” Newtopia’s back roads, and Newtopia in general. The fwagon probably doesn’t count as a region, but shout-out to the fwagon, too.)
Day 4 - Favorite episode
How does one choose??? oTL I am genuinely lost as to what my favorite ep would be. xD I’d say that “Toad Tax,” “Combat Camp,” “Reunion,” “A Day at the Aquarium,” and the first two temples are strong contenders, though. But I would really need to rewatch the whole series again to make a clearer judgment (which I’d love to do).
Day 5 - Favorite aspect of Amphibia
I adore the character development, and how it’s done with such care and gradualness so as to feel consistent and real. Additionally, I love how character development is not limited to just the main characters! Characters outside the central group are treated with love, respect, spotlight, and development, as well, and in addition to the incredibly creative setting and all the mystery and hidden lore, it really conveys the feeling that this is a thrilling and thriving world, filled to the brim with fascinating people and history. And by the end, you know you’ll have grown to love almost every single character.
Hand-in-hand with the character development, I also adore the character relationships. The show takes such care to showcase how different characters interact with one another. Each major relationship--whether familial relationships or both wholesome and toxic friendships--are written and shown with great nuance. (The relationships in this show are probably the aspect that most resonates with me personally.)
I’d also be remiss not to mention how much I love this show’s humor, as well. XD I don’t normally think of myself as someone with a dark sense of humor, but this show is almost exactly my kind of dark humor. XD “Gosh, it’s been almost a full 15 minutes since we had an encounter with some kind of wild, fantastically designed, giant homicidal creature, I wonder how--AH YES HELLO HERE IT IS.” And there are also so many wonderfully ridiculous Muppet faces. And the TIMING of so many of these jokes, I love it so much. xD Amphibia has probably made me laugh out loud more than any other show I’ve watched in a while. The character-based humor, the story-based humor, the off-the-wall humor, the visual humor, the slapstick humor--it’s just so much fun, you all.
You CAN INDEED have BOTH so much laughter that your sides ache AND angst and heartaching tears in the same show!
Basically, Amphibia is superb, you all. I love it. xD More gushing to come on later days! Keep rocking. <3
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I’ve known about Steven Universe ever since it first aired. I saw gifs, fan pages, character designs up the wazoo. The show’s been in my periphery for as long as I can remember. I admired the art, but that was it.
There were a few instances where I’d try and get “into it”, but to no avail. The first chunk of episodes lack substantial plot, and, to be completely honest, I was bored. But now, amidst all the COVID chaos, my housemates decided to rewatch the series, and I happened to tag along.
Just as I thought, the same set of episodes tailored towards children. Eventually (I’d say half way through season 1), we began to see some plot points. This whole time I was desperately searching, wanting to know what makes this show so pivotal. Why it’s renowned over and over again.
It hit me at the end of some episode, I forget which one. The credits were scrolling, and I was crying. Why was I crying? These episodes are 11 minutes long. Why am I so emotional?
Steven Universe has a main plot, yes, but it’s not the fast paced action space traveling adventure I was expecting. The plot’s love.
That’s it! Love! Romantic love, platonic love, familial love. Mentorship, friendship, admiration, longing, grief...it’s all about love! Love in the big and small. The quiet days and long nights. It’s a show for everyone. A beautiful, touching reminder that we are here, on this planet ,everyday for love.
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5, 16 and 26 if you want to do them 🥺❤️
Thank you for the ask :)
5. 5 tv shows that cheer you up
I wanna write glee, but that only counts for certain episodes
Die Bergretter ( German TV Show about a mountain rescue team)
Die Rosenheim Cops ( German Police Show that my father watches and now we all love it and it is the only show i will watch live during the week when it is on, even after i moved out, it is hilarious and super corny)
16. How you wake your body up when it´s feeling tired, achy or needs a stretch
I have a routine for this from a trainer on youtube: La Thoma Gustin ( Yes it is Grant´s wife and I only found her because of him).
She is a physical therapist and is really good at reminding you of the proper form. Her workouts are amazing! i also wanna try her app but it is not available for android yet :(
26. A film you watched most recently that you could rewatch over and over again
Well, I watched Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets with my friends yesterday because we are rewatching the whole HP series.. So I am gonna cheat and say the HP movies because Chamber of secrets is not my favourite out of all of them :)
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Rules: answer the questions and tag 9 people you want to get to know better/catch up with!
Five songs I've been listening to on repeat lately:
Again - Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood Theme (like... the actual one by YUI and the three covers I have of it)
Beautiful Liar - Shakira and Beyonce
Down with the Sickness - Disturbed (it’s great for writing a gritty action scene)
Closer - The Chainsmokers ft. Halsey (+ 3 other covers, don’t ask me which one is my favorite. I love them all, that’s why I have four of them--yes, this is a theme with me)
Head Above Water - Avril Lavigne (actually, I have a whole Avril playlist that’s been seeing a bunch of airtime lately, but I am obsessed with this song)
Last Movie watched:
The Old Guard. It was a rewatch, as it should be.
My Hero Academia (new season started), The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Sword Art Online, just finished Sk8 the Infinity and Jujutsu Kaisen (both I highly recommend)
Audiobooks and podcasts count too, right?:
EOS 10 podcast - comedy far-future space thing. Quite fun
The Sandman- Neil Gaiman’s Full-cast Audio
Fix it Up - Mary Calmes (If you want an original slash romance author, Mary is my go-to. Her Marshalls series is my favorite).
Fanfics I’m “reading” (as in, I have their tabs open and I *will* read the newest updates/finish reading them, but I haven’t been reading much of anything the last several months) right now include but are not limited to:
Survival is a Talent and Rotten Work by @shanastoryteller
snipers solve 99% of problems by @silentwalrus1
Tagging... @noirangetrois (for the meme in the first place), @whoopsitswhump, @pepperonipaparazzi, @trustmeimanexistentialist and anyone else who’d like to play along!
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Guardian rewatch: episode 6
Episode 6 jumps us into the case of a disappearing woman, Zhou Weiwei, with the SID team being on the scene, taking the unofficial statement of her fiancé, Ji Xiaobai. While in terms of the actual investigation this case is even thinner than usual, thematically its juicy. It’s musing on the self, and how the self is defined in the eyes of the others; it actually has a grown-up real life take on an unhappy love story, and it can even be read as having pro-immigration connotations. This episode is telling the viewer that one is not entitled to nice things because they are a human from the human world, and there is no sin in wishing to take a chance to move somewhere you can see the sun.
From the very first scene, Zhao Yunlan, who always has been shown as hands-on with the investigation, removes himself from Xiaobai’s flat, claiming that he has to speak to someone. It’s obvious who that someone is; and we see that our Chief is starting to rely on Shen Wei as his consultant way before he ever offers him that job. There is no reason for Yunlan to seek the other man’s help; and yet, he will end up solving with Shen Wei by his side, and purely through Shen Wei’s ample advice.
Left with the worried, grieving fiancé of the missing Weiwei, Guo Chancheng suggests they take a stroll to calm down emotions, bringing himself, the man in question, and Chu Shizhu to his favourite place. He is, once again, being the sweetest, most lovely and considerate human being on this planet; and Chu Shizhu is starting to take his lead, listening, being a calming presence - even going as far as to softly offering Ji Xiaobai a beer.
Hearing the sounds of a magpie, harbinger of good fortune, Guo Changcheng becomes animated, dragging Xiobai up to make a wish out loud. Xiaobai, predictably, wishes for his beloved to come back home, and Xiao Guo gladly repeats this wish, strengthens it with his will. This is where he is in his element: making people better, giving people hope, using his massive heart to help those around him. Guo Changcheng truly is too precious for words.
“Kid. You never make wishes for yourself?”
“I do. When everyone is happy, I am happy as well.”
We see Guo Changcheng’s simple, pure altruism resonating deep within Chu Shizhu, reminding him of his little brother that he lost. Well, I say “little” metaphorically, as the two are twins. That’s right, Guardian has two sets of twins, probably because it does not want to waste its extremely capable main cast. I’m not mad at it.
Later that day, Shen Wei is conversing with a flower Yashou conveniently living on campus. I think she has a name, but I have a habit of calling her Bush Woman, because it’s what she is.
She is animated poorly, but at least she is animated at all: there will be a scene later in the series, in which she is played by a bush, being shaken enthusiastically below the shot. The actual conversation is about a person Shen Wei is looking for: he has received a tip from Butler Wu in the previous episode that one of commanders in the Underworld army had a child. Hoping that that child could give him a clue at to where the next of the Hallows is stored, Shen Wei is now looking for them. Naturally, the child in question is also the missing woman in question, but Shen Wei does not know that yet.
Their conversation is interrupted by Zhao Yunlan being sited on the bike heading towards the university. In the next scene, Zhao Yunlan is shifting uncomfortably at Shen Wei’s office door. Presumably, he has knocked, heard no response, and is just about to give up and go home. This is the moment Shen Wei opens the door from inside, greeting him. Did he teleport into his office so he could talk to Yunlan? Yes, yes he did.
Despite being more than capable of deducing stuff on his own, Chief Zhao brings in the pictures of the disappeared Weiwei to Shen Wei to analyse for clues. We know that Shen Wei is aware that there is no actual legitimate reason for Zhao Yunlan to seek out his help - because Shen Wei states as much, in the nicest way possible. Zhao Yunlan does not actually have a satisfying answer to that, and his response is mostly boiled down to shameless flirting.
And also doing throughly shameless things to a lollipop while maintaining eye contact the whole time. Because why not give our protagonist in the show about brotherhood the most homoerotic character quirk he could possibly have, right?
As Zhao Yunlan and Shen Wei continue discussing the case, it becomes more and more clear that they work together marvellously, going as far as finishing each other’s sentences. The body language also suggests that they are very comfortable in each other’s company.
Yunlan, who a few episodes ago would rather sleuth himself than ask people for clues, listens to the advise Shen Wei gives him, internalises it, and eventually uses it to solve this case. Scratch that, actually - he accepts it when Shen Wei pretty much solves the case for him.
Following Shen Wei’s words to the letter, Zhao Yunlan opens the portal into the magic dimension and discovers that there are, in fact, two Weiweis. The woman from the mirror - an Undergrounder, who left to live a normal life, and a human, who hid because she could not stand being unpopular, and now returned out of jealousy for her mirror counterpart’s perfect life.
It’s very hard to not sympathise with the mirror!Weiwei over the human one. All the former wanted was to live, and to love, and to be happy. All the later wants is to have all that without putting in any effort. Human!Weiwei does not truly understand that it takes more than taking to have a relationship, and there is nothing that would allow her to be entitled to happiness that she did not herself create.
Instead, she calls mirror!Wewei a monster, and the later snaps, creating a whirlwind of energy which threatens to destroy everyone in the mirror with her.
Unfortunately for her, one of the people she is threatening to kill is Zhao Yunlan, and we know how Hei Pao Shi feels about Zhao Yunlan’s life being threatened. This man, who does have a soft, squishy heart, and has previously allowed murderous Wang Yike to stay with her lover, all but snarls at mirror!Weiwei as he captures her.
The show treats hers and Xiaobai’s farewell as a true tragedy; it’s genuinely heartbreaking to see them cry, as we are shown flashback of their relationship.
In the past couple of episodes, we have witnessed a huge shift in Shen Wei. He may have been determined to detach himself and march onwards alone a short while ago, but he has also seen the SID being full of kind, righteous individuals; he has been begged to save an Undergrounder’s life; he has been asked for friendly support and advice by Zhao Yunlan, and so he, perhaps unwittingly, allows his Hei Pao Shi persona to soften. As he takes mirror!Weiwei away, he stops to have a little tiny heart to heart with Yunlan, saying that identity of a person lies in their heart rather than what or who they are physically. This is a very Shen Wei thing to say, actually, but it will be a while before Yunlan figures that one thing out. Two things on this scene:
One. The mask really does hide Zhu Yilong’s most prominent features pretty well, and to help the viewer understand how he could have been hiding his identity successfully for what could be months, the camera more often than not shoots Hei Pao Shi from a lower angle, and Shen Wei from the higher angle, or dead on, subtly reshaping the jaw line. It’s clever; as is often often the case with the camera work in this show.
Two. Isn’t it a little bit amusing how this ancient godlike being needs to fill in the paperwork in line of his duty?
As with Shen Wei’s advice earlier on, Zhao Yunlan takes Hei Pao Shi’s one to heart as well, and makes his way to human!Weiwei to make sure Xiaobai knows that she is not at all the woman he fell in love with and wanted to marry. He unearths her greed, jealousy and entitlement in full; in the end, this relationship cannot survive, because how could Xiaobai possibly stay with someone who does not know - someone who even is, in some ways, responsible, for his lover being taken away from him forever? As the couple breaks up, Wang Zheng and Sang Zan’s love song is playing in the background.
During this scene, the infamous “I would like to buy [this coat] for my girlfriend” moment happens.
As we know, he does not have a girlfriend. He may, however, have a boyfriend.
I really like the idea that he buys Shen Wei’s trench coats based on this. I really do. It is nice to see Shen Wei’s style starting to change dramatically as he and Zhao Yunlan become closer, of course, and I want it to be one of those deliberate coded messages Guardian is absolutely astonishing for. But at the same time, this is the jacket Yunlan is remarking on:
It sadly does not look anything like what Shen Wei wears. I will file this under “it’s true because the fandom said so”.
Later, Hei Pao Shi is having a conversation mirror!Weiwei, revealing that he knew her father, and getting a clue he was after. We are getting a lovely extreme close-up of his eyes. While the mask does not stand to scrutiny of close examination - seriously, they could have maybe put actual leafing on it! - I really love this shot.
At home, Zhao Yunlan is talking to Da Qing about his favourite subject, which is Professor Shen, and performing more shameless things to his lollipop while doing so. Brotherhood, my friends. This show it about bro-ther-hood.
Da Qing wonders if his friend has been bewitched by Shen Wei, because it is obvious that Zhao Yunlan does not shut up about the man ever. When asked whether Yunlan would arrest the professor if he were indeed from the Underground, Yunlan responds with a dismissive, almost affronted “He didn’t do anything wrong”. We are to understand, through Da Qing’s reaction, that this is extremely uncharacteristic of Zhao Yunlan to say something like this, and it is entirely reasonable for Da Qing to be concerned. We could extrapolate that Da Qing’s worried because if Shen Wei is dangerous, getting attached to him in such a blatant manner could put Zhao Yunlan’s career and life at a very great risk. So, Da Qing, who knows his friend very well, chooses to press all the correct buttons to kick-start his natural curiosity, and do some investigative work into Shen Wei.
Step one: break into his flat. As you do.
When we saw Shen Wei view the flat prior to moving in, it was shown already furnished, which is not entirely consistent with this tasteful, yet eclectic, furniture. I don’t know about you, but most flats I have rented have been furnished at IKEA. I can’t help but particularly admire his G Plan style mid-century side-board. And the fact that the man owns a gramophone, because of course he does.
Shen Wei’s book collection is wonderfully perplexing. I’m not surprised that he reads in English - he is educated, and Dragon City is explicitly shown as bilingual, seeing as signs and even gravestones are written in English. But choices were made with the selection of titles. Going off the English ones alone Shen Wei owns: three copies of the same book about architecture, a heavy looking tome on interior design, a tattered one on Van Gough, and the only non-fiction English titles in his possession are… Irvin Welsh’s Trainspotting and a novelisation of Rocky? The former is notoriously difficult read as it’s written entirely in the Scottish accent. The later is very difficult to find, as is often the case with unnecessary novelisations. Neither scream “Shen Wei” to me.
Apart from Shen Wei’s obviously fake book collection, we find out that he has some files on the SID. It should be a weird point of contention for Zhao Yunlan, considering that a) he also read Shen Wei’s files; b) he literally broke into the man’s apartment.
While Zhao Yunlan and Da Qing are still nosing around the flat, Shen Wei makes his way home, stilling at his door when he either sees that the lights are on (they won’t when he left), or notes with his Hei Pao Shi sense that someone is inside.
We, in turn, discover that he has sword replicas on his wall. The swords are obviously European, two of them are shorter, arming ones, and the one in the middle is a longsword with a hand and a half grip. All three have round pommels, downturned cross-guards, and the general shape most reminiscent of very Late Middle Ages (I would hazard at a guess and place them around second half of the 15th century). I wish we could have seen Shen Wei fighting with one of those at some point, because they would be wielded in ways very different from his own blade, but alas. The shield, by the way, has no business being hung together with those swords: it’s not only from a wrong era, it’s from a different part of the world entirely; my guess is that it’s a replica of a shield from the Tang dynasty.
Shen Wei senses Zhao Yunlan hiding on the balcony, and bites back a smile. Anyone else would be less happy to find out that their privacy being violated, but he is endeared at is the same way Yunlan was endeared at Shen Wei’s cunning during the prior episode.
After getting back to Zhao Yunlan’s own flat (possibly by waiting for Shen Wei to pretend to fall sleep), Da Qing and Zhao Yunlan move on to step two: contacting the Underground Regent about Shen Wei. Which is not as important a tidbit as finding out that Zhao Yunlan owns a swing.
Then, they move in to step three: the banner.
According to this article, it’s 锦旗, a traditional gift of gratitude. It’s addressed to “Dragon City University, Professor Shen Wei”, but is singed by “Zhao Yunlan”, without mentioning of SID or his position therein, implying that the gift is personal. The message reads “Helping people [is] helping oneself” and “conscience of the industry”. It’s extremely over the top, which both Shen Wei and Chu Shuzhi, tasked with delivering the banner, are aware of.
Shen Wei looks between tentatively amused and politely mortified.
Chu Shuzhi looks like holding this banner is the most excruciating torture he ever had to endure.
The banner, of course, has a hidden camera in it, so that Zhao Yunlan has a 24/7 feed from Shen Wei’s office. As he and Da Qing are watching the gift being hung, Da Qing is teasing Yunlan with Hei Pao Shi, who is surely the wrong man to tease him about.
In the next scene, Zhao Yunlan is at Shen Wei’s workplace again, and we discover from Shen Wei’s unpleasant boss that Li Qian has dropped out after her ordeal with the Longevity Dial.
From the way this is written and shot, I would surmise that Zhao Yunlan does not spring on the professor in a middle of an uncomfortable conversation, but rather has spent some time with him prior to it, volunteering to be moral support. He continues being a good friend by asking Shen Wei why he feels like he has to shoulder all of the world’s weight: it’s surprisingly insightful into a large part of Shen Wei’s personality.
There is little narrative reason for them to have this meeting, so I am choosing to believe that dropping in on Shen Wei randomly during lunch time is a habit Zhao Yunlan has started to form.
Finally, before the episode ends, we are privy to Shen Wei being the most polite, level-headed mugging victim. He hands the muggers his watch and money willingly, waiting for Zhao Yunlan, who is obviously stalking him, to show up and save the day. The muggers, enraged by his cool attitude, decide to shake him up, and, in the last seconds of this episode, the Pendant of Pining appears in shot for the first time.
Next up, episode 7: No, Shen Wei, It Wasn’t The Bears
Just a quick note to say that I’ll keep those recaps going, but I will have to slow down the pace at which I’m churning them out to one every three to four days. There are some real life things I’ve been neglecting last few weeks that I need to spend my time on; and I’ve also started a new show (Sound of Providence, not Word of Honour - my watching priorities currently lie with Zhu Yilong being awesome). So, if I’m quiet here for a few days, I’m not gone, just a bit busy.
ETA. Realised that I made a booboo when translating the banner. Fixed that now.
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A great message I got:
(1/2) Hello!! I'm a new tumblr user so I have no clue how to comment on posts LOL so I thought I'd leave my thoughts on the whole debut era soobin getting annoyed with kai situation: I think this was during the iconic gummy video where hyuka was clinging to soobinnie and binnie looked slightly annoyed. I was surprised going back and rewatching it because i’ve never again seen binnie have that kind of expression when kai clings to him.
(2/3) I think this was also the moment that caused a bunch of “moas” to start hating on hueningie for clinging to soobin (i put moa in quotes bcs i don’t think they’re real moas if they aren’t ot5 but anyways) This lead to kai stopping himself from being clingy to soobin when the camera was on and even in the most recent talk x today you can see in yeonjun’s vlog, kai and binnie are being clingy but the moment kai notices that yeonjun’s camera is on them he distances himself from soobin.
(3/3) A moment later however, when kai thinks the camera is gone he’s back to being clingy towards his gum. It makes me honestly a bit sad that this even happened but yeah. Soobin's also tried to combat this by being even clingier to kai and I think the situation made him mad too like imagine people sending hate to someone close to you for clinging to you... I think Soobin's tried his hardest to make it clear that he loves Kai's attention. But yeah sorry if this was too long ahahaha!
~I totally agree, that video and the US showcase series are the only times that I have seen Soobin act like that towards Hueningkai. Otherwise he has been nothing but totally in love with HK from my observations.
~Yes I have been a MOA since debut (technically beforehand but anyway haha) I remember the whole clinging controversy...horrible stuff. Poor Hueningkai 😩 Soobin has actually mentioned before HKs reaction to the situation and how sad it made Soobin. I wonder if this just contributed to Soobin being even louder about how much he adored his gum.
~Yes I noticed that moment in talk x today too!
Thank you so much for your message/ask!
I must say that I am so happy to write and research so much more!!!
Here have some clingy Soobin:
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The Weekend Warrior 3/19/21: SXSW, Zack Snyder’s Justice League,The Courier, City of Lies, Happily and More!
Remember a couple weeks back when I stated the plan was to bring back the Weekend Warrior as a regular weekly series again? Yeah, well if you looked for a column last week and wondered what happened, I just didn’t have time to write one. And I also just haven’t been able to get back on the ball in terms of writing reviews. It just takes a lot of time to watch all the movies let alone review them the way I did last year. I honestly have no idea how I did it last year, but things have been busier than ever at Below the Line, which does throw a bit of a spanner into any extracurricular plans.
The big event this week is the annual SXSW Film Festival, which I’ll be taking part in virtually, and somewhat tangentially, watching as much as I can while still doing other things. It’s been a while since I’ve attended SXSW in person, but it tends to have great docs, especially music docs. In fact, this year’s Opening Night Film is the documentary, Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil, about Demi Lovato’s drug overdose from 2018 and its aftermath. Other music docs of interest include Poly Styrene: I Am A Cliché, about the late frontwoman from early punk band X-Ray Spex through the eyes of her daughter; Mary Wharton’s doc Tom Petty, Somewhere You Feel Free made from archival footage of the late singer making his 1994 record “Wildflowers”; Alone Together about Charlie XCX’s pandemic record; Under the Volcano about George Martin’s AIR Studios Montserrat; and it gives another chance to see Edgar Wright’s excellent, The Sparks Brothers, which was picked up by Focus Features after Sundance. There’s also an amazing doc about Selma Blair’s fight with MS, Introducing, Selma Blair, which is equal parts heartbreaking and inspirational.
SXSW also has pretty solid Midnighters, and there’s a number of those I’m also looking forward to, including Travis Stevens’ Jakob’s Wife, starring horror legends Larry Fassenden and Barbara Crampton, who were so great in my buddy Ted Geoghegan’s We Are Still Here. (No coincidence since Stevens produced that movie.) And I hope to watch a few others like Lee Haven Jones’ The Feast, Jacob Gentry’s Broadcast Signal Intrusion, and Alex Noyer’s Sound of Violence. We’ll see how much I get to see this week, cause it’s a lot of movies over only a couple days, basically from Tuesday through Saturday.
Closer to home at the Metrograph, the still-closed movie theater is doing a virtual series called “Bill Murray X6” which has already shown Lost in Translation and What about Bob? With Rushmore screening until Thursday, and then The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou available through Friday. Become a digital member for just $5 a month! This past weekend I saw a really amazing 7-part doc series called Untitled Pizza Movie by David Shapiro. In fact, I stayed up late on Sunday to watch the whole thing since it was leaving the digital screeners, but it’s a very entertaining, intriguing and personal story about the director, his friend and partner in crime Leeds, who he went around to different NYC pizza shops in the ‘90s trying to find the perfect slice, and then they come across pizzaman Andrew Belluci at the world-famous Lombardi’s in Soho. The project that took over 20 years to make follows what happened to the three men, but mainly Leeds and Belluci as they have ups and downs that ultimately leads to Belluci starting his own pizza joint in Queens. Everything that happens in between is quite fascinating.
I saw a couple other movies this past weekend including Robin Wright’s Land, which I quite enjoyed, and the rom-com Long Weekend, which came out last Friday but I totally missed. Land is a pretty amazing directorial debut that’s mostly a one-woman show with her character alone in the wilderness until she runs into trouble and meets Demian Bichir’s kindly Samaritan and they become friends. Directed by Stephen Basilone, Long Weekend stars Finn Wittrock and Zoe Chao in what starts as a meet cute rom-com and turns into something much deeper with a couple sci-fi-tinged twists, a bit like Palm Springs, but much more grounded. I loved the two leads and how Basilone made a romantic comedy that actually was romantic and very funny, as well. Both movies I recommend.
Getting into some of the streamer offerings this week, ZACK SNYDER’s JUSTICE LEAGUE will hit HBO Max on Thursday, so we can finally see whether or not that extra money and work paid off. I’ll be reviewing this over at Below the Line, so won’t spend too much time here. I figure that anyone who has been waiting for this will watch it, as will anyone who has been curious about it. As you can read from my review, I was quite impressed by the film as an achievement in finishing what is clearly a far superior film to the 2017 theatrical release. Some of the highlights include great stuff between Ray Fisher’s Cyborg and his father, a far more fun introduction to The Flash that was cut from the 2017 release and just some insanely crazy good action. I can’t wait to watch the movie again.
Kicking off on Friday is the anticipated Marvel Studios series, THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER (Disney), bringing back the title characters played by Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan, who were introduced in one of the MCU’s better movies, Captain America: The Winter Soldier. I was sent the first episode and unfortunately, there’s an embargo until Thursday afternoon, but I do think that MCU fans are gonna be thrilled with the first episode, especially with the Falcon’s opening action sequence, which is like something right out of the movies.
Okay, fine, so let’s get to some new movies and some real reviews…
Probably the movie with the widest release this weekend will be THE COURIER (Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions), starring Benedict Cumberbatch, which I’m guessing will be in 1,000 or so theaters. The movie premiered at Sundance way back in 2020 under the significantly worse title of “Ironbark” with plans to release it later in the year, but then COVID happened. I’m not sure if Roadside Attractions planned for this to be an awards movie, but after a few delays, releasing it in mid-March just days after the Oscar nominations, I’m guessing probably not?
Directed by Dominic Cooke (On Chesil Beach) from a screenplay by Tom O’Connor (The Hitman’s Bodyguard… wait, WHAT?), this Cold War spy thriller set in the early ‘60s stars Cumberbatch as Greville Wynne, a British businessman who is coerced by agents from MI6 and the CIA (repped by Rachel Brosnahan) to smuggle Russian secrets from military man Oleg Penkovsky (Merab Ninidze). Greville’s trips to Moscow start getting more and more dangerous under the shadow of the Cuban Missile Crisis, and his wife (the always great Jessie Buckley) wants him to stop taking the trips. It all leads up to a pretty exciting second act as the KGB starts to figure out what Greville and Oleg have been up to and work to put a stop to it.
I have to admit that as much as I enjoy a good spy-thriller, a lot of this reminded me of Cumberbatch’s earlier film Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy – yes, the John Le Caree adaptation, which I was never a particularly big fan of. This has similarities in that it starts out fairly slow, making me think this might be one of those well-made, well-acted movies that are just plain boring cause the subject doesn’t interest me. I’m sure when this was greenlit, there was probably more relevance to the situation between the U.S. and Russia, although this is obviously a British production and maybe something better to watch on the Beeb than in a movie theater.
In general, the stuff with the two men and their families tends to be the best part of the movie. I wasn’t familiar with Merab Ninidze beforehand, but he’s a really good actor who holds his own in scenes with Cumberbatch. Although Cumberbatch’s performance is significantly better here than in The Mauritanian, that’s definitely a better movie, so even in the last act which sees Wynne in a Russian jail, it just doesn’t compare. This is the second film with Rachel Brosnahan in which she didn’t really impress me much after hearing how great she is on Mrs. Maisel. Even so, the movie did make me want to go back and rewatch the beginning again to see if maybe I wasn’t as focused on it, as it should be.
As far as box office, I don’t have much hope for this making more than $2 or 3 million this weekend, since it seems more like a prestige platform release that would have to build audiences from rave reviews or positive word-of-mouth. Coming out so long after its festival debut (kinda like that Thomas Edison movie a few years back) may have helped people forget about the midling festival reviews. Even so, this movie just doesn’t have much buzz or interest from #FilmTwitter who has had its tongue so far up the superhero movie ass this week between Zack Snyder’s Justice League and Marvel’s The Falcon and the Winter Soldier to pay much attention to this. (Hey, facts is facts!)
Johnny Depp and Forrest Whitaker star in Brad Furman’s crime-thriller CITY OF LIES (Saban Films), which is about the real-life search for the killer of the Notorious B.I.G. aka Biggie Smalls with Depp playing Detective Russell Poole, who ended up on the case in 1997, and Whitaker playing reporter Jack Jackson, doing a story on Smalls for the 20thanniversary of the unsolved murder.
Based on the book “Labyrinth” (the movie’s original title), it’s a story that takes place in two time periods, Los Angeles in the ‘90s after the Rodney King beating and L.A. riots and how it’s made the criminal element that surrounds rap mogul Suge Night. It begins with Poole investigating the death of a black police officer named Gaines, shot by a white police officer (Shea Whigham) in what is seemingly a road rage incident. As Poole investigates, he learns about police corruption in the force including a number of officers tied directly to Knight.
As Jackson interviews Poole to try and find out who killed Biggie, we flashback to Poole’s investigation and interaction with some of those corrupt cops and being put into extremely dangerous situations. The movie isn’t bad, especially the scenes between Whitaker and Depp, who gives a far more grounded performance than we’ve seen from him in recent years. Even so, the performance that really impressed me was Toby Huss as Poole’s superior, who just brings something new to the tough head detective role we haven’t really seen.
Regardless of what you think of Depp’s activities off-camera, this is a fairly solid crime thriller (as was Scott Cooper’s Black Mass), and though you never actually get to see Biggie, Tupac or Suge Night, it’s an interesting examination into a period in L.A. that seems so long ago but still rings true to what’s been going on in the last year.
BenDavid Grabinski’s HAPPILY (Saban/Paramount) is a dark comedy-thriller starring Joel McHale and Kerry Bishé as Tom and Janet, a happily married couple who annoy their friends by still having sex on the regular whenever they possibly can. In fact, their friends decide to uninvite Tom and Janet to their planned couples’ weekend because they’re so annoyed by them. One day, a mysterious man (played by Stephen Root) shows up at Tom and Janet’s house, one thing leads to another and they kill and bury him. Thinking that the man’s visit might be part of a friend’s prank, they go to the planned couples’ trip, trying to figure out if the prankster has gotten suspicious about what they’ve done.
For the sake of transparency, I met Grabinski at my very first Sundance ever as he was friends with some of my colleagues, but I never spent a ton of time talking to him. This film impressed me, since it’s a prtty strong debut from him, one that benefits greatly from a strong cast that includes Paul Scheer, Breckin Meyer (who I didn’t even recognize!), Charlyne Yi, Natalie Morales and more, making for a really solid ensemble dark comedy that reminded me of the tone of last year’s The Hunt or Ike Barinholtz’s The Oath or a great lesser-seen movie from last year, Robert Schwartzman’s The Argument. Dark comedy isn’t for everyone, and this is definitely a little mean-spirited at times, but more importantly, it’s very funny and tends to get crazier and crazier as it goes along.
More importantly, I loved Grabinski’s musical choices from Devo’s “Working in a Coal Mine” to not one but two OMD songs, and great use of Public Image Limited as well. The way Grabinski puts this together comes across like a hipper and fresher Hitchcock, and while it might not be for everyone, I could totally see this killing at a genre fest like Fantastic Fest or even this week’s SXSW. It’s clever and original and rather intriguing how Grabinski puts all the various pieces together.
Hitting Shudder on Thursday is Elza Kephart’s horror-comedy SLAXX (Shudder) about a possessed pair of jeans brought to life to punish the practices of a trendy clothing company, which it does by terrorizing the staff locked in overnight. Didn’t get to watch this before getting bogged down in SXSW but definitely looking forward to it.
Another horror film coming out this week is the horror anthology PHOBIAS (Vertical), exec. produced by the filmmaking team “Radio Silence” (Ready or Not) with segments directed by Camilla Belle, Maritte Lee Go, Joe Sill, Jess Varley and Chris von Hoffman. The stories follow five dangerous patients suffering from extreme phobias at a government facility with a crazed doctor trying to weaponize their fears.
Jeremy Piven stars in Paolo Pilladi’s LAST CALL (IFC Films) playing real estate developer Mick, who returns to his old Philly neighborhood and must decide whether to resurrect his family bar or raze it. I actually watched a few minutes of this, but apparently, IFC Films isn’t allowing reviews, so I have nothing more to say about the movie beyond the fact that it’s coming out on Friday.
Opening at the newly reopened Film Forum – currently doing a hybrid of in-person and virtual cinema – is Chris McKim’s doc WOJNAROWICZ: F**K YOU F*GGOT F**KER (Kino Lorber), premiering virtually on Friday. It’s about David Wojnarowicz, one of the loudest voices in the ACT-Up movement during the ‘80s who died of AIDS himself in 1992. (Correction: Film Forum actually isn’t reopening until April 2.)
A few other things this week include Aengus James’ doc AFTER THE DEATH OF ALBERT LIMA hitting Crackle about Paul Lima, a son obsessed with capturing his father’s murderer who has remained at large in Honduras due to a failed legal system. Because of this, Paul travels to the Honduras with two bounty hunters to find and capture the killer.
Lastly, streaming on Topic Thursday, there’s Parliament, directed by Elilie Noblet and Jeremie Sein, about a young man named Samy who arrives in Brussels after the Brexit vote trying to get a job into the European Parliament without really knowing how it works.
That’s all for this week. It might be a while before I can get The Weekend Warrior back into some sort of fighting weekly shape, but I’m doing the best I can right now, so let me know if you’re reading any of this.
Best Looks of Lizzie McGuire
Season 1 Part 1 (Episodes 1-8)
Lizzie McGuire, the series is on Disney+
Since they took away my reboot, I am indulging myself in a little nostalgia by rewatching every episode and judging the completely amazing and completely cringey fashion of the early 2000s.
Come judge with me!
Best look of the episode goes to Miranda.
This hair is seriously an entire look within itself but I just love this whole ensemble. This screams like I’m a 90s wannabe cool girl to me. The orange, the sleeveless tank, the khakis, the wristbands. Honestly, I love it.
S1:E2 PICTURE DAY
Best look of the episode goes to Lizzie.
This white sleeveless top actually is super cute, even with the paint on it. I would wear this now as a grown ass adult. Lizzie even paired this with a cute cheetah headband and as any 90s kid knows, cheetah print was the shit.
Also, sidebar that it’s one of the few times in the entire series you will catch Lizzie in a standard pair of denim and I cherish every moment this occurs.
S1:E3 WHEN MOMS ATTACK
Best look of the episode is going to none other than Mrs. McGuire.
That’s right, sorry kiddos but right at the beginning of the episode Mrs. McGuire is giving me the suburban housewife of the early 2000s energy I never knew I needed.
Seriously how cute is this? She’s even got the platform sandals. It goes along with the vibe of the episode. Moms are cool and moms can dress cool too. I want those sandals btw.
S1:E4 POOL PARTY
Best look of the episode goes to Lizzie.
She spends a sunny afternoon tie dying her bedsheets with Gordo in the freaking cutest overall look I have ever seen.
I would legitimately wear this. It’s such a casual, fun weekend day look I want it. If I was in my own backyard I probably would’ve opted to go barefoot but this look is really completed by the platform sandals so I’ll allow it.
Bonus points because I think her cute little side knots in her hair really pull this look all together.
S1:E5 I’VE GOT RHYTHMIC
Best look of the episode actually goes to and don’t hate me but I gotta give it to her, Kate Sanders.
I don’t really know why in this scene she’s wearing what I see as a whole, like winter wonderland look, like this feels like something they’d put a girl in a holiday rom com, but either way I love it.
It’s so pink and fluffy.
S1:E6 JACK OF ALL TRADES
Best look of the episode was a tough one because I wasn’t really in love with any of them but I’ll give it to Lizzie. (9:52)
I’m not a huge fan of the top, though I might have been when I was 12 and the hair is questionable but I’m here for the ensemble as a whole and for some reason I am always voting yes on black capris with sneakers.
S1:E7 HERE COMES AARON CARTER
Best look of the episode goes to Lizzie again.
Honestly, everything she wears in this episode is hella cute in my opinion but her video shoot look is amazing.
I wish I could pull off silver pants. Also, very impressive the stylist on “Aaron Carter's video shoot” in this episode apparently randomly had looks in Lizzie and Miranda’s sizes to just fully dress two completely new extras to the music video.
S1:E8 MISADVENTURES OF BABYSITTING
Best look of the episode is going to Lizzie.
This one is kind of a cop out for me because we only really see her top, but I like the top and she has this kinda high pony that’s split into 2. It’s all very late 90s and it’s working for me.
Keep an eye out for Season 1 Part 2.
If you’d rather watch than read, check out my youtube video of Part 1 where I talk about the clothes, but also the episodes a little more in depth.
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tagged by @morethanonepage by way of ‘mutuals feel free to do this’, but that totally counts and is also what i’m going to say bc i hate making people feel pressured to do these.so, mutuals or anyone i talk to on discord have at it!
star sign: virgo
time: 3:22 pm
favorite bands: catch me still stuck on h.i.m. and mcr like it's 2005
favorite solo artists: gonna go with two entirely different moods and say hozier and ashnikko, or at least that's who i've been listening to most lately
song stuck in my head: callout post for liam o'brien bc i looked at his vax playlists and i've been listening to what's up danger on repeat for like 3 days
last movie: uhhhh ...i think i watched let's scare jessica to death last month when i was pretending that the random horror generator podcast was actually gonna get me to watch movies again. other than that possibly when i rewatched the crow in october?
last show: last actual show i watched was probably when i rewatched the crow stairway to heaven show from the 90s back in october [i’m sensing a pattern here]. if you count critical role as a show though i've been on and off that since mid november and am in fact watching it now
when did i make this blog: may 2012, guess who was embarrassingly into the avengers
what i post: still a lot of tma art even though i've hated this whole season, some critical role stuff now, and always just a bunch of random art i like. non-fandom art is the interest that will never die.
last thing i googled: [company my dad worked for] retirement savings plan login
other blogs: i still theoretically run the joneliasweek2020 blog even though i don't think i've reblogged anything there in over a month, and i have textsfromtrc which was a raven cycle texts from last night thing from 6 years ago [which hilariously still sometimes gets notes]
do i get asks: nope. the only time i really got asks was when i was trc fandom, and also when i had a few random posts blow up so people decided they needed to send me anon hate. part of me is kind of sad about not getting asks but also i get stressed out when i rarely see i do have one bc my brain has associated tumblr ask with ‘someone is about to yell at you’
why i chose my url: it is *theoretically* prideful light in latin but i haven't taken latin in mmmm 13 years? so i don't know if it's actually right or not, it was the option that sounded prettiest though when i was trying to work it out with help from google translate so i went with it. the url i wanted last time i changed it was luciferlux but i can't have it so i went with this instead.
average hours of sleep: probably 8ish
lucky number: [shrugs]
Instruments: i used to play the piano and i played the saxophone for like a year
what am i wearing rn: my lucifer comics shirt and leggings
dream trip: traveling is incredibly stressful to me so whenever i think of something i automatically think of a reason why it would be Bad Actually, but i would like to go to Japan. and also back to Italy.
favorite food: pizzaaaaa
favorite song: i genuinely don't know how people can pick a favorite song. i'll just say either hozier's arsonist's lullaby or mumford & sons' broken crown bc those are the songs that would be on the playlist for literally every one of my favorite characters so they get a lot of play
last book read: the third animorphs book. yes i am reading animorphs for the first time in the year 2021
top three fictional universes: i think all my favorite universes are just like ...our world but with magic, but definitely the cal leandros series and the october daye series. also the wayward children series, which is kind of a cop-out answer bc that encompases literally all fantasy worlds but [shrug] what can i say, seanan mcguire knows how to make a world
favorite color: probably green and purple. and black, if you count that as a color
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BOLD IS THE PAST
warnings: small spoiler to the mandolorian, alcohol, language, pining
summary: during an interview you have to recall the first time you met pedro pascal.
authors note: ok so I asked earlier who would be down for some Pedro fics. and I plan on delivering a few. please don't get mad or hate on it because I am working so hard on these for everyone to enjoy. I am trying my hardest to keep it gender neutral (so if you see an error please send it to me) but the next few I post will kind of correspond with one another so I guess this can be seen as part one. ALSO I AM MESSING WITH THE TIMELINE TO FIT WHAT I WANT IN THESE FICS. If you wold like to be added to the taglist please let me know. but besides that enjoy and lmk what you think of it
taglist: @blackberries45 @queenbbarnes
You had your interview with Jimmy Fallon tonight. You weren’t nervous, you’ve been in the spotlight before. But no one ever knows what an interviewer might ask or bring up. All glammed up you waited for your cue to go on stage. Walking out there was a loud roar of cheers. Everyone was so excited to see you, I mean being in some iconic films you did have a following. Waving to everyone you rounded to Jimmy and gave him a hug of greeting. Sitting down you took a breath preparing yourself.
“Welcome, welcome Y/N. It’s been a good year since we’ve had you on the show. And dear goodness you did not stop working this past year.”
You nodded your head in agreement.
“Yes it’s been such an amazing year. Working on the last details of this movie, with award season, and I honestly loved every single minute of it.” It was true you were busy the past year however you were surrounded by amazing people and had such a great support team to help you through the tough times.
“Well congratulations, you’ve been such a favorite of everyone over the years. How did it feel to win during award season?” Jimmy had asked you.
“It was a dream come true. I wish I could relive that day. I cried like a baby when my parents called and congratulated me. And so many amazing people who I looked up too throughout the years came up and talked to me. It was unreal.”
“Congratulations again. Well I hate to bring this up but a month ago we had Matt Damon on, you two of course worked together on the Ocean’s franchise but before he left he told me to ask you something.”
“Oh no this is gonna be bad.” You said fearfully which made everyone laugh.
“Please tell us about the first time you met Pedro Pascal.” A loud cheer came from the audience when Jimmy had finished the sentence. You began to laugh and squirm in the chair.
“Can I just say I hope Matt’s daughter flushes his phone down the toilet tonight.” Jimmy laughed, he knew the story, a lot of celebrities were there when you and Pedro first met. It wasn’t a cute story, it was embarrassing on your end. But it was the first time you both properly met.
2018 Los Angeles, California
The Vanity Fair party. Wearing your signature lipstick, and you were wearing all designer, you loved to dress up for awards and parties like these. Smiling for the cameras, you were so excited to attend the party.
Once inside you were met with some friends and some idols. Matt and his wife, Luciana, walked over to you to congratulate you. You were offered the role of being a Disney Princess for a live action movie, of course Matt was one of the first people to know because he has been a mentor and friend of yours for years. Something you dreamed of for years, and it was now in your hands.
“I mean how do you feel?” Matt asked.
“Oh my goodness I checked the email a thousand times to make sure it was actually meant for me.” Matt had laughed.
“Obviously they would pick you, you were starring next to Hollywood’s biggest heartthrob. Me.”
“Honey hate to break it to you, but Y/N was the hearthrob not you.” Luciana said.
“So have you met anyone since we last talked?” Matt shifted to conversation.
“No it’s only been me, my pool, and my netflix account for--well it’s been a while.” You admitted.
“What have you been binging?” Luciana asked you.
“Well I started some series, but you know me and Narcos. That’s my favorite so I always rewatch it.” You said laughing.
“Oh yeah I saw that on Ellen. When you did the burning questions with her. My goodness I just realized when we first met, here you were this small thing who played the interest in movies but I mean look at you now, I feel like I’ve raised you.”
While you and his wife were laughing at her statement you felt this sudden push--it was from Matt. Not having anyone or anything near you to grab for you fell backwards. Feeling this coldness--someone had a whiskey with ice and you can now smell it as it fell on your shoulder. Two hands had caught you and looking up you saw him. Matt Damon just pushed you into Pedro Pascal. This motherfu-
“Woah you okay?” Pedro asked, helping you stand back up. Luciana now was slapping Matt for pushing you into Pedro.
“Sorry man, it's my fault.” Matt said, reaching his hand out for a shake. Pedro took it but he still had a hand on your back making sure you were fine. You looked around and noticed eyes were all on your small group. Luckily music was playing and there was more commotion on the dance floor. Sarah Paulson gasped and screamed your name.
“Y/N oh my what did Pedro do to you.” Sarah was now standing next to you. She quickly put her hands on your shoulders and pulled you for her signature greeting--kisses on the cheek.
“You know when I said to introduce yourself to Y/N I didn’t mean to throw your drink on them.” Sarah scolded Pedro.
“Oh Sarah it was-”. You began to speak but Matt interrupted you.
“It was my fault. Luciana an Y/N were talking about Narcos and my hand got the best of me and so I pushed Y/N into the star of Narcos.” Matt laughed and you gave him a death glare, knowing what his thought process was. Sarah caught on and gave him a fist bump.
You laughed but also realized there was still contents of whiskey on your shoulder. Pedro also caught on and grabbed the handkerchief out of his pocket and handed it to you.
“I never thought this would come in handy, but there’s a first for everything.”
“Thank you.” You said grabbing the small cloth out of his hand. You returned the cloth and noticed that Sarah was making moves towards Pedro but stopped suddenly when you looked up.
“Well I am in need of a new drink, care to join?” Pedro asked and you nodded. He stuck his arm out for you to latch onto and you both walked away together.
You had a frantic expression on your face. As you finished telling the story. Some aww’s were shared within the crowd but overall the world knew how you fell into Pedro Pascal because of Matt Damon.
“Can I just say, I was there and had no clue what was going on, I just Matt and Sarah laughing, and both Pedro and you were just like a bundle of nerves standing next to each other.” Jimmy said.
“Yeah I was like completely embarrassed and fangirling at the same time.” You confessed.
“So that was a couple of years ago. How are you two today?” Jimmy asked, hinting to the dating rumors.
“Well Pedro has completely turned me into a Star Wars nerd, and honestly being friends with him and just being around someone who is so caring and fun has just been amazing.”
“So the Mandolore King is not dating a Disney Princess? Like that is the ultimate couple goals, being both in the Disney franchise and being Disney royalty.” Jimmy said and the audience began cheering, loving the idea of you both being together. You just laughed and shrugged your shoulders. Jimmy and you wrapped up the interview. And you were able to walk back into your dressing room before you were pulled back out for a game of pour it out. Where you would be forced to expose more secrets in your life. Opening the door you were engulfed in two arms, he had picked you up in the hug, and was squeezing you. He was always so supportive and you both would go to each other's interviews and premieres.
“You did amazing babe.”
“I got to talk about you.” You said, he had now released you from his embrace and brought his lips to yours.
“The night I spilled whiskey on my future wife.”
“The night I met Pedro Pascal and it was the best night of my life.” You said before giving him another peck on his lips.
“You remember that whole night?” He asked you.
“Like it was yesterday.”
“A whiskey on the rocks and a dry martini please.” Pedro said to the bartender.
“So Sarah wanted you to introduce yourself to me?” You said alluding to what Sarah said when she scolded him for the incident. Pedro lightly chuckled, you could tell he was slightly embarrassed.
“Well I’ve been meaning to introduce myself because Sarah and you worked together and she loves you and talks so highly of you, but every time I’ve chickened out, I don't know why but I always thought we would meet somewhere, well more quiet.” You smiled towards him.
“Wanna take the drinks to go, and head somewhere quiet, I’ve also chickened out from introducing myself. It’s kind of hard to introduce yourself to someone when you’ve seen them have sex multiple times on your own tv screen.” Pedro had let out a laugh, knowing you were talking about him on Narcos. He grabbed the drinks and asked for two to-go cups, pouring them in, he handed you a cup.
“Where to then?”
“Let the driver choose. I’m in no rush.” You said which gained a smile from him. You both had left and got into your car, telling the driver to drive somewhere quiet. Throughout the car ride it was basic chit-chat. But when the driver stopped the car, you both realized he had driven out to Malibu. Pedro and you walked out to the sand and sat down and continued to introduce yourselves. Luckily it was midnight and no one was near to see you and Pedro in designer clothing sitting on the beach.
“There is no way you’ve watched Narcos four times. Each episode is an hour, how did you do it?” Pedro said as you confessed your love for his series.
“Planes, when sitting in for make up, and plus I always make sure I have at least a month off between projects, so I’ll try to watch Game of Thrones or The Office but I always turn back to Narcos.” You said earning another smile from him.
“You deserve an award for that.” He said.
“Thank you, you can add it to my small collection.”
“I went to Vanity with Sarah and on the way over she saw that you were casted for the Disney princess live action movie. That’s impressive.” He said.
“Oh please Mr. Tinman of Star Wars, I talked to Jon, and I am absolutely so excited to watch the series. When do you guys start filming season one?”
“Not for a while. I have to go back out to Hawaii in two months to finish some scenes for Triple Frontier, then I start on the set of tinman. But look at you going from a 2000’s classic heartthrob to so many iconic movies and now you're gonna be a Disney Princess. You, not your voice, you and your face.”
“Well filming in Hawaii should never be a problem, it’s more like a blessing in disguise. And you already have one anticipated viewer for Mr. tinman. But yeah I guess got lucky, and that I had such a great fan like you Mr. Pascal.” You offered a smile to him and he returned a smile to you.
“It’s crazy that our paths never crossed but here we are literally each other’s number one fans.” You said laughing and looking out to the ocean.
“I kinda don't want our paths to separate.” Pedro said softly, but you heard him. Grabbing your phone you handed it to him.
“I think it’s time we take our fan behaviour and turn this into a friendship.” You said, Pedro had now grabbed his phone and handed it to you. As you were putting in your contact information, a text popped up.
Oscar: You left with Y/N!! Amigo te miro haciendo movimientos!
You laughed reading it, which concerned Pedro but when you handed the phone back he noticed the text you saw.
“Sorry he’s like my brother and knows how I’ve chickened out so many times on introducing myself.” Pedro scratched the back of his neck out of embarrassment.
“It’s ok at least Oscar didn’t push you into me.” Both of you had now let out another laugh.
You both had decided to call it a night, Pedro insisted on having you be dropped off first. It’s so he knows your address, even though he could look it up. But when you both parted and he was back home in bed scrolling through your Instagram is when he realized how in love he was with you. A text from you reading--
Y/N: Thank you for tonight Pedro. I enjoyed our first introduction and getting to know the heartthrob behind Javier Peña.
He was in love with you and it was only your first introduction. But little did Pedro know you were across town doing the same thing, and thinking the same thing.
look at this babe ;)
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Round-Up Review: WandaVision (Spoilers)
Spoiler Warning: I am posting this review the Monday after the finale of WandaVision drops on Disney+, so if you haven’t yet seen the entire series don’t read on until you have.
So I was going to do a fully fleshed out review of the entire series of WandaVision, but just as I’m about to finish…Tumblr decides to freeze on me and I lose a day of work so I have now decided to work this review a different way and rather than giving a general reaction and going into a character analysis, I will be breaking it down into what I loved, what wasn’t there for me fully and where I feel we are going next.
So I could of very easily gone through this series episode by episode...but based on the fact that not only was this a play-by-play mystery with a lot more questions than answers each week, but also as the series progressed, particularly after Evan Peters arrived at the end of episode 5, the fan-theories and potential spoilers almost made me not want to know what was going to happen because the theories were becoming so grand that the series could surely never live up to expectations, which is why I feel the director of the finalé stated that fans may be disappointed...because ultimately I don’t think the finalé did live up to expectations. But these were expectations built up as an culmination of fan-theories, comic-book insight and also MCU baiting.
By MCU baiting, I mean that the creatives of WandaVision decided to be creative, and possibly playful, by including several red herrings that went absolutely nowhere but were the main conspiracy theories driving the fan-speculations and fake spoilers throughout the latter half of the series.
Dottie...who was she? Nobody important. Evan Peters...was he Quicksilver? No. Was he Mephisto/Nightmare? No. Was he important? Not really. Monica’s mysterious engineer contact, a fan-favourite character? Not even a character from the comics, I think.
Now that’s not to say this series asked questions that weren’t answered satisfactorily, but a lot of them seemed to build up to what is to come rather than giving us all the answers in this series. Is that a good thing? Yes because I feel this will make this series more rewatchable than I feel it already is. I for one of re-watched each episode at least twice sometimes three times each week leading up to the next episode and having just seen the entire series as a whole product I can safely say that characters and elements from this series going forward may have call-backs to the events of this series which will make for clicks, more views and more plays.
Speaking of watchability, can we talk about how interesting it has been to watch half-hour scheduled programming for 9 weeks like the olden days, and the fact we can call television life before streaming “the olden days”?.
But honestly sitting down, for me on a Friday morning at 9:30am without fail, to watch what began as a 25–30-minute MCU sitcom before turning into a 30–40-minute MCU mystery every week harkened back to my childhood and coming back from school to watch my shows which only aired once a week at that time. Feige’s and the creatives in the MCU brought back that feeling of nostalgia for me which I never really expected from a comic-book property.
Speaking of classic televisual viewing, I really enjoyed the standard sitcom setup of this series. I knew of all the referenced shows going in like The Dick Van Dyke Show, Bewitched, The Brady Bunch, Malcolm in the Middle and Modern Family, but it was also nice to see some standard sitcom tropes seen in the majority of sitcoms utilized throughout. From Agatha posing as the nosey neighbour to the fashions of each sitcom era and even the fourth wall breaks both from Billy in the Halloween episode in a Malcolm in the Middle spoof to the following episode literally titled “Breaking the Fourth Wall”.
Also, I will say here that all those MCU “stans” who are complaining they didn’t get the big grand beginning of Phase 4 that was promised to us by Feige as “something different”, the guy’s mantra is to keep it simple and the finalé was hardcore Feige. “Something different” was the set up and delivery of this slice of the MCU and some fans are still moaning about that so some people are just never satisfied.
What I Loved
Give Elizabeth Olsen awards for this season! Make gold rain down upon her! Honestly, I have loved Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff since her formal introduction in Avengers: Age of Ultron, but now we have formally been introduced to the Scarlet Witch she is not only the most powerful female if not character in the MCU but also the best character in the entire MCU to date.
Not only is this series personifying how an individual deals with their grief, but when you consider the fact that Wanda, who is by all accounts a 29 year old woman due to being blipped for 5 years, and has lost her parents at a young age, her twin brother at 25-26 so still a young age and then the first love of her life twice, first by her own hand and then by the Mad Titan so that initial sacrifice was for nothing, it’s just a lot to put on one individual with this level of raw power without expecting her to finally snap and create an alternate reality where everything is under her control.
The creation of her twins, who I will get into further down, was well done and, for want of a better word, organic for the series. But I did like how they showed the real-life struggle of not just having a new-born but having twins. Wanda is trying to maintain control of this world she has created as well as keep Vision in check, but also because the twins are seemingly not under her magical control, she must juggle maintaining the world and its people with being a new mother.
But the biggest crisis for Wanda comes in when Fietro shows up, I still do not believe she ever truly thought this was her dead brother resurrected. It wasn’t until he said “long lost brother” that he asked “Pietro?” and she spent the entire next episode interrogating him until the façade finally slipped and she decided he wasn’t.
After this, everything falls apart for her. Not only is her reality literally slipping with Vision at odds with her, the world constantly shifting between eras and her not understanding what is happening.
This is of course when she is confronted by Agatha Harkness who has not only taken her twins but also been fooling her by being “Nosy Neighbour Auntie Agnes” for this entire time when in reality she is a with from the days of the Salem Witch Trials who wants to understand Wanda’s true potential and then absorb all of her magic.
But when we got to see Wanda’s true potential as she went “Beast Mode” as the Scarlet Witch complete with stunning new outfit and crown, this levels the character up to that top spot in the MCU as the best and most powerful character.
I am excited to see where the Scarlet Witch’s potential will take her next.
WandaVision Love Story
I also really loved the fact that as well as a personification of dealing with Wanda’s grief, this series was truly a love story between Wanda and Vision.
From the first episode when we see them getting “married” and being that unusual suburban couple trying to fit in with seemingly everyday suburban life when the entire set-up is Wanda’s idyllic dream world.
As Darcy said to Vision, the love these two have is real. I did an entire post on why Scarlet Witch and Vision are the best MCU couple, and this series amplifies that. It becomes clear that these two are not actually married and in fact this Vision isn’t even the Vision we have seen developed through the movies, but he is a replication of Wanda’s true love and this is how she chooses to show it.
The fact they go through all of the typical newlywed couple goalposts of marriage, homemakers, kids, a dog, domestic disputes. It’s all there and feels so natural even though we are talking about the relationship a potential Nexus Being and a Synthezoid.
Their final goodbye in the series finale is honestly as heart-breaking as any love-lost in a tragic romance movie. Seriously how many more times is Wanda, and by extension the fans, supposed to say goodbye to Vision?
I love Kathryn Hahn, this series has solidified that for me. Not only is this the first live-action appearance of Agatha Harkness but also the way in which she was modified from the comics is in a way that I would be annoyed with any other way if not for the fact that it was Kathryn Hahn playing her.
Now yes, fans of the comics knew “Agnes” was really Agatha Harkness from the casting announcement, but the actual reveal wasn’t epic because we already knew, it was epic because of the way it was revealed.
“Agatha All Along” has honestly become one of my new favourite songs, it is such a catchy tune, incorporates a couple of classic sitcom nods and is very memorable.
But also, even the fact that the final line of “…and I killed Sparky too” has become so memeable without overshadowing the overall song is such an impressive feat.
The Lopez’s not only capitalise on their Frozen success but also Kathryn Hahn gets to show her musical talents by singing the actual song…it was just incredible.
But yes, Agatha being a villain, as she has been in the comics but not on this scale, was a great decision for this series because Kathryn Hahn managed to inject her own brand of cynical dry comedy with echoes of Cate Blanchett’s Hela to create a fully rounded menacing villainous character.
Not only do we learn about her origins of how she can absorb magic by murdering her entire coven, mother included, but also that she elevates that by being able to steal any magic, even that of the powerful Scarlet Witch, truly makes this witch a threat within the magical realms of the MCU.
Even though she was defeated I am thrilled she didn’t die, she has simply been taken off the board for now but is still able to be put into play if and when she is needed again, maybe in Doctor Strange 2 maybe sooner, who knows?
I have to say, I do not know much about Proton from the comics and genuinely though Maria Rambeau was a bigger character than she was, but considering they killed her off-screen during this series I don’t think she actually was.
I loved how the effects of the blip are still showing their repercussions as Monica returns after being victim to the blip and is immediately thrust into a chaotic post-blip world that echoes the real-world COVID-19 crisis I imagine.
From the start once outside of the Hex, Monica hits the ground running as both a SWORD operative and a self-assured hero trying to do the right thing by saving the town of Westview and Wanda while thwarting Hayward.
I really loved how her “Boss Lady” persona that Agent Woo grants her was very well realised because she did not take any nonsense from anyone. She got the Space Rover so she could attempt to re-enter the Hex, she attempted to reason with Wanda not once, not twice, but thrice.
And when the rover couldn’t penetrate the Hex, she decided to re-enter unprotected knowing what the barrier would potentially do to her physiology…and it did not disappoint.
Monica got powers, she got powers in a spectacular way. I loved how while she was physically struggling to break through the barrier, she could hear the voices of her nearest and dearest (archive footage from Captain Marvel) which spurred her on until she finally pulled herself together and became the superpowered individual she was always going to become.
But she didn’t stop there, not only did she try to once again confront Wanda who at this point was rather unhinged, but she didn’t take her threats lying down and instead tried to break into Agnes’ house before getting caught by Fietro.
However, once she worked out Fietro was really Ralph and was able to free him from Agatha’s control, she wasted no time in running off and making herself useful and just in time as she stopped Hayward from shooting the twins and assisted them in subduing the rogue SWORD agents.
As for Monica’s future, she has been drafted by that Skrull to join Nick Fury’s new team and may return to honour her late mother’s position as director of SWORD. All I know is her future is as bright and vibrant as the energy waves she can now see.
I love Wiccan and Speed so much, I love the Young Avengers so much, I love Wiccan and Hulkling’s relationship from the comics that is inevitably going to happen hopefully, but the fact this was the origins of all of that gave me everything.
Even before their birth, I loved how the pregnancy was making everything in the house go crazy. Some fans believe this was Wanda’s powers out of control due to pregnancy, I think this was actually Billy’s reality warping powers either acting from inside the womb or amplifying Wanda’s reality warping powers.
When the twins were in existence, I feel Wanda wasn’t prepared for what was going to happen. Billy and Tommy had their own minds and weren’t afraid to show them. Not only with finding Sparky but also with revealing their powers.
It’s fascinating as both these characters have the powers of either their mother or uncle, Billy has reality warping powers and Tommy has super speed. But while both got great chances to show them both in the Halloween episode and also in the series finale, I do believe we have only just scratched the surface of particularly Billy’s powers.
Of course they were always going to be lost at the end of the series, as they were in the comics when they were reabsorbed into Mephisto, in this instance they were seemingly deleted along with their father and the Hex…but then we hear them calling out to Wanda while she’s examining the Darkhold? Is this really them? Multiverse variants? What does all this mean? We need answers!
I was thrilled when I heard Kat Dennings was not only returning to the MCU but being part of different characters’ stories rather than just Thor.
I loved how Darcy was on it from the start by firstly identifying that she and the other three scientists in recruitment didn’t share any common field so that meant SWORD had no idea what they were facing, but then being the one to identify the broadcast of WandaVision.
It did truly feel like we were watching Darcy be us while she was watching the series, seeing her get so invested in the hijinks and the plot twists was very relatable. Kat Dennings sold that relatability just as she does in every performance for me.
Then her fan-girling over the wider MCU, Kat Dennings is a fan of the MCU outside of her own appearances, so the fact she confirmed Vision did not get blipped but actually died and also had that moment in first meeting Monica was adorable.
Also, the fact that Darcy was the one who figured out not only that Monica’s cells were being re-written but also that Hayward had nefarious intentions with wanting to track down Vision, it just gave Darcy a purpose in the series and almost made her invaluable. Monica and Jimmy don’t have the backgrounds to be the “person in the chair” but Darcy does, and I was happy she finally got the chance to showcase it.
Even when she was taken into the Hex and temporarily became the Escape Artist, she was still Darcy in a way, then she became Vision’s source of information and road trip buddy before being left on the side-lines only to then return and help defeat Hayward.
What Didn’t Work:
Too Many Red Herrings
As I said this series and the series creatives had far too many red herrings planted to either fool us or tease us without any solid resolutions.
The biggest one is definitely “Fietro” who as it turns out isn’t Multiverse Quicksilver from the Fox X-Men movies but is instead an in-universe actor named Ralph Bohner who was enthralled by Agatha to play the part of her husband and be her spy and lackey.
Honestly not only am I annoyed that Evan Peters was used for what was ultimately a boner joke, but also it does throw dirt into the wound as to the fact we may not be getting Mutants or the X-Men for a while yet in the MCU.
Then there’s Dottie...similarly to Fietro this could have been a smart way to bring Mutants into the MCU. While yes Dottie was believed to be Mephisto or a witch of some description, I was actually onboard with the idea that this was the MCU Emma Frost. It would have been poetic for Agatha Harkness to be working with Emma Frost to not only maintain her manipulation but also with Emma’s telepathic abilities but also potentially have Emma working as a double agent for the Hellfire Club who also want to harness the powers of the Scarlet Witch similarly to how they wanted to control the Phoenix Force.
Wanda in the MCU has already been compared to Jean Grey, so how about Scarlet Witch becoming the Black Queen of the Inner Circle?
Next, Ultron. A namedrop as many times as this deserves some sort of payoff. Ralph got his and it may have been disappointing but at least we got resolution. So why, when Ultron was named numerous times and we as fans even had Avengers: Age of Ultron being the next recommended watch for us at the end of every episode except the finale, did nothing come of it? If White Vision was voiced by James Spader I would have been happy.
Finally, there’s Monica’s engineer “guy”. We didn’t find out who this was because the contact Monica met with was an Air Force contact delivering the Space Rover, but who was the engineer who designed it? Why didn’t we meet him?
I personally feel this engineer is Reed Richards, there is obviously a rich history of space being connected to Reed’s origins as Mister Fantastic, we know the Fantastic Four are coming to the MCU, it would simply make sense to first introduce Reed as maybe a scientist for SWORD or Nick Fury’s team before bringing in the full team.
I know the other option is Hank Pym, but really if it was Pym then why couldn’t they just pay Michael Douglas for a cameo?
The Future of the MCU
So, what does WandaVision set up for the Marvel Cinematic Universe?
Well, we know that this is the start of the Multiverse Arc that will continue with Spider-Man: No Way Home later this year and conclude with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness next year. It is confirmed that Scarlet Witch will show up in the latter of those two movies, but we have no idea what role she’ll serve in Spider-Man.
The other story this series sets up is Secret Invasion which will happen during the series of the same name starring Nick Fury and the Skrulls and also Captain Marvel 2 which will not only feature Carol Danvers and Monica Rambeau but also the upcoming Kamala Khan aka Ms. Marvel. This puts three superpowered women in the same movie and possibly will be the nexus of the Secret Invasion storyline before the concluding movie being an Avengers level event.
Then there’s also Falcon and the Winter Soldier starting in a couple of weeks, that series will most likely connect to Black Widow due to including Yelena Belova but also because that was originally supposed to come out before WandaVision it is tough to see if it or any other upcoming series except for Secret Invasion will connect to this series.
And of course, there is the upcoming Young Avengers project, we have yet to get confirmation of if this will be a movie or a TV series but we know we are having the players put onto the board in Disney+ shows and MCU movies. We have Wiccan and Speed, we know we are getting Kate Bishop and America Chavez as well as already having Cassie Lang just recast for the upcoming Ant-Man 3 to hopefully finally become Stature, and while we have yet to get confirmation of Hulkling it is possible he will appear in Secret Invasion given the Kree-Skrull elements.
Overall, I rate this series a solid 9/10, this series gave me practically everything I wanted and there were many times particularly in the finale that I felt this was the best Marvel Television series. I still stand by the fact that I think it is but the red herrings of Fietro, Mephisto, Ultron and Monica’s “guy” meant I couldn’t call it a solid 10/10.
Regardless of that, I felt this series gave us something different in an MCU mystery, formally introducing witches into the MCU, the love story of Wanda and Vision was intoxicating, meeting Wiccan and Speed in the early years was glorious and honestly Wanda embracing her destiny and becoming the Scarlet Witch…if the entire series was at that level it would be a 10/10 across the board.
So that’s my Round-Up Review of WandaVision, what did you guys think? Post your comments and check out more Marvel Reviews as well as other TV Reviews and posts.
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Ranking every CC episode (except the specials)
You read the title! Every episode except the specials will be ranked here and now, by your truly. TW for swearing. Also, spoilers, obviously. Remeber these are all my opinions, and enjoy!
Episodes I don’t like too much/ Don’t watch:
54:The Candy Kingpin
I know, I know, probably an unpopular take. I don’t really like Dolph, and think the series could have done without his whole… thing. I like him as a character, sorta, but I also don’t really like him. I honestly forgot this episode even existed until I looked it up, and the only thing I remember was Gwen and David’s conversation. The whole story was… eh? Whatever, it was still fine-ish in the long run.
53: Reigny Day
Enough said. Everyone’s lowkey kind of a jerk in this episode, except for Neil and Max for like two seconds.Also, Dolph jokes. Don’t like it.
52:Cameron Campbell the Campbell Camper
This one was pretty meh. I, once again, didn’t remember it existed until I looked it up. It wasn’t Cam’s best episode (I’ll get to that later), and it was kinda bland. Bland doesn’t mean bad though, but it just wasn’t the best. Only thing I remember was the wholesome Dadvid moment and Max saying a funny line. Enough said about that.
51: Anti Social Network
Now, I wasn’t too sure where to put this, because this was in theory a good episode. I just don’t like it. I’m not sure why, but Max being a tiny perv is very funny to me, because that is exactly what a ten year old is like. I just didn’t really find it interesting or catching my attention, but it wasn’t a bad episode.
50: The Order of the Sparrow
I get why you like this, I totally get it. It’s funny and lots of Dadvid, plus Gwen singing for the first time. Honestly, Gwen singing and David’s mental breakdown is what got this higher than Anti Social Network, but it’s still racist. I get it, it’s comedy, but it’s still really… interesting. I know the CC people are trying their best, and it’s a delicate balance, but I still skip over the first few minutes.
49: Jeremy Fartz
We love a hilarious mess up, Max cursing, and David making fun of someone, but it’s also a really awkward episode? Like, it makes for a really good backstory for Jeremy and joining the Woodscouts, but it’s such an odd episode. Not bad, just odd. Whatever, I still like it. Sorta….
48: Fashion Victims
Oh boy, Russian Waifu comes back. I love Ainsley, she’s my precious baby and Max’s purified Doppelganger, and I love her so much. But Sasha’s not my favorite character in the show, and she got especially mean in this episode. I love the whole Vera thing, but really dislike this one. I watch it once in a while, but not too often. Also, we love positivity from Tabii and Erin.
We love Gwen blushing, improvement from Max, and making fun of baseball. But this episode really hit me with second hand embarrassment for both Gwen and Max. You know when you can’t sit through an episode without getting second hand embarrassment? Yup, that’s this one. I wanted the guy coming through the door to be David and I’m salty, ok? This is my list, and we stan Gwenvid on this account.
Dolph’s story was boring, Space Kid was great, We love ghost parents. We l o v e Slenderman! AU David in this household, and I want to see more of them. Oh yeah, outfits were great. Max is a baby in this episode, and I love his fear because it makes you see that he really is a little boy with feelings. I also laugh at everyone’s faces after Space Kid’s story.
Ok Episodes/ Ones I do like:
45:Preston Goodplay’s Goodplay
Oooooo, this is a tough one. I love Preston as a character, because I too am a theatre kid who dislikes most people and wants to be famous for her storytelling. I can relate. I love how David talks to him, and how Preston comes to his realization that he doesn’t need to please everyone. Also, canon French Speaking! David is canon. Amazing. He’s still Candian! Anyway, Clown College was odd, but whatever, I can roll with it.
44: The Quarter Moon Convergence
We totally saw Zemug and no one said anything. No one! Why was no one talking about this! We saw the elder god! Anyways, I love Harrison and Quartermaster working together. It’s funny, it’s clever, and I want to see more of it. I do not like the subplot with the other characters, and it really took me out of the main story. Other than that, pretty interesting idea, and I love my pure magic boy!
43:Who Peed in the Lake
Ew. That’s all I need to say about it. It’s extremely funny, I like the motives, and I love detective Max. However, Nikki and the final answer are disgusting in this episode. It gross, it’s gross, it’s gross, but it’s so funny. I know I have the humor of an eight year old, I don’t care.
I love how this episode was played out. Funny, clever, and overall pretty ok. Plus, guess who shows up? Dirty Kevin, my friends! Best trash boy :)
Overall pretty good! Not too many complaints, but not too many great things either.
41:The Fun Raiser
Hmmm… This was an… interesting episode. David and Gwen scheming is my new religion, and they are both idiots. Who the hell thought this plan was a good idea? David? I mean, he’s a little bit dipsy, but has SOME common sense. Gwen? Maybe, but you know, she’s logical. You know what? I’m being too picky. I love my dumbasses, they are the best. Also, Gwen sitting on David is everything I love in my life and everything I need. Harrison makes a very good point, Nikki probably found Jasper’s skull, and Max is my scheming child. Whatever, eh episode, love the plot, but I have cringed at it.
40: Foreign Exchange Students
Like I’ve said before, this episode is out of place. It’s not bad, it’s just… blandish. I know, I know, Russian Waifu was in it, but this episode was only ok. I love Vera and Brian, and the ending is super funny, but other than that, eh episode.
39:Attack of the Nurfs
I honest to gods forgot this episode existed. I ended up rewatching it, and had a few good laughs. Gwen in this episode, for the little time she appears, is so funny. David’s sparkle eyes always make me laugh, and Max ends up making me laugh most of all. Nurf takes “talking to yourself” to a whole new level, and I relate my man. Get that therapy!
38:Camp Cool Kidz
This episode is eh....? I love my tiny rebellious children, but I really hate Ered in this episode. It just feels… so unlike her. I get it, it’s the start of her ark, but really and truly I disliked her character in this episode. On the other hand, Nikki is me trying to flirt with other women. She’s my little baby Pansexual, and I love her to death. Honestly, I really enjoy Nikki episodes, so yeah. Also, the literal moment I began to love Gwen with the “Stab her bitch!” line.
37:Quest to Sleepy Peak Peak
Honestly, I almost never watch this episode, but I still really like it. Nerris’s lines, the battle between two magic folk, the one liners, the ending, oh it was really good. However, some of the parts were boring, it’s not the best, but it’s still pretty good. Whatever, I like Nerrison and magic, so boom.
36:Escape from Camp Campbell
Honestly, what a classic. First episode, Gwen being overall great, “No Running”, Max being a tiny Satan, Nikki and Neil being amazing. But, once again, it’s the first episode, which means some things aren’t the best. But! I do enjoy this one, and watch it sometimes.
Eh… It’s pretty ok. We love Harrison and Neil being jerks to each other, and we love Max having an identity crisis, but all I could really think through this was “Poor Max” and “This is a really stupid and petty fight”. It really is petty, which isn’t bad, but I feel like ti was an odd episode. Not bad, I thoroughly enjoy it, I just couldn’t swallow normal for a few days….
One I really like/ Second highest ranking:
34:Romeo and Juliet 2: Love Resurrected
Bon Bon~! Yay! We love David for having a Tinder, for Max’s amazing performance, and the drama! That being said, it’s overall a pretty good episode! Not the best, but pretty good!
Welp, I feel like you all know what I’m getting at. The jokes are well landed, Muack appears for the first time ( and steals the show, and that’s the tea), and my girl Nikki is so precious. Quartermaster is weird as hell, and speaking of which…
32: Quartermaster Appreciation Day
I know, it’s gross, it’s weird, I hate the relationship almost as much as I can, but this episode is so freaking funny. So many of the jokes are well timed, some classic lines come from this episode, and Quartermaster being his weird self is a major playing factor.
31: Space Camp was a hoax
More Gwen and David being two idiots sharing one brain cell? Hell yes, lay it on me. Space Kid is so funny, and his inner dialouge is fantastic. Also, Nikki cursing is incredible, even if it isn’t really on screen. Gwen’s line “Is this what success feels like?” is a major mood, and I just generally think it’s a good episode.
30: Ered gets her cool back
We love Nerris and Ered’s relationship in this household, ok? Older sporty sister spends time with dorky younger sister who has more common sense? Bigger sister gets better at being with other people and learns a lot form the experience? Nikki”s outfit? All major amazing things I love in this episode. But, the plot was a little eh, and I got second hand embarrassment.
29:Jasper dies at the end
All I have to say is H O O E Y
28:Cameron Campbell can’t handle the truth serum
Dolph’s autstic? Oh, ok, that’s pretty cool! We love representation. Anyways, this was an odd episode. Not good, not bad, just… odd. The therapy and plant jokes made my dad have to come in and check on me because I was laughing so loud, and most of the other jokes hit well. But it was… eh plot wise. It was pretty good joke wise though!
27:Journey to Spooky Island
Jasper, Quartermaster’s ahem… thing, and Max screaming were the best things in this episode. This episode is pretty great if I do say so myself, but this is ranked lower because I did not need to imagine Quartermaster like that. Excuse while I go burn out my eyeballs.
Fuck Pikeman. All my homies hate Pikeman. No seriously, he is my least favorite character on the show. His sexism and gross advances really get to me, and the way he treats Gwen is disgusting. Now I have that out of the way, I actually enjoyed this episode, except for Pikeman. Hot take, I know. I’ve seen the Pikeman X Reader stuff on Wattpad. Whatever, back to the topic. Episode was good overall, especially the lesson. Each person’s talents were fantastic, and the ending itself was great.
We stan business Gwen and her telling Nancy to shut up.I love the plot, forcing three people who usually don’t work together to solve a common problem. I love that, and it does make for an interesting story. However, there are some flaws to the episode, but it’s overall pretty fantastic!
24:Follow the Leader
Are you kidding me? This was a great idea. Funny, creative, inventive, and overall pretty good. Playing with how each character leads was a great idea, and very inventive to give them all a common goal. Why it’s so low is personal pettiness. Pikeman, and Jasper was probably on the island when it blew up.
Why is this so high up? *Looks at notes* Oh yeah, it’s so stupid I actually like it. No, but for real though, I know people don’t like this one as much as I do, but I think it’s pretty funny. Sure, dumb idea and kind of mediocore, but to me it’s so fun and entertaining. I’m sorry if you don’t agree, but you can make your own list if you’d like. It’s such a weird plot it’s entertaining. You get me?
I just really like this episode, no rhyme or reason. It’s really funny and romantic, and the interactions were so good. David and Gwen through this episode were amazing for the mere seconds they were on screen, but it was overall pretty good!
21: City Survival
I couldn’t remember much of what happened in this so I ended up rewatching it. We love Dirty Kevin, David’s reaction to the city, and David being a homeless twink. Gwen also has the fancy outfit in this episode, and I am all for that.
20: Cookin Cookies
Three girls accidentally start a meth lab and go all breaking bad? Hell yes.It’s funny, the completion of everyone getting father figures, and it’s an overall good idea. It’s creative, good, it’s amazing. I really wanted to know what the main three were doing though, I’m actually kinda curious. Anyways, good story, and very enjoyable.
19:Keep the change
I found this episode very entertaining! Dadvid, Campbell getting better, funny moments, and a good plot! It’s really a great episode, and establishes what the season will be about. In fact, I believe I have themes for all the seasons:
Season 2: Family
Season 4: Change
Ok, Ok, know, Dadvid, but really I feel like this episode is a tiny bit overhyped. I love the Dadvid, Candy and Carl (Except I really don’t ship Neil/Nikki anymore), and how Max’s … situation is handled. Yes, I am on the side of thinking Max’s parents are abusive or at least ignorant. They just don’t care, and that’s where Max’s attitude comes from. It was well handled, and I very much like this episode.
17:Dial M for Jasper
I love Jasper with all of my heart, and watching his backstory was both heartbreaking and amazing. It wasn’t what I was expecting, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Watching it made me hate Campbell more than I did, and I expect the episode where David finds out about Jasper would be heartbreaking. David most likely screams and curses at Campbell, and takes off. I’m hoping Gwen runs after him, but that’s wishful thinking.\
16:David gets hard
The ending is amazing, I love learning about Nurf’s trauma, and watching Gwen,Max, and David scheming is incredible. It was interesting to see Nurf's side of the story, and it was pretty good. Enough said.
Yes, it is high. The song is amazing, the plot is amazing, and Daniel’s stupidity is amazing. He is a very good villain, and it works with the comedy of the show. If everyone wants, I will write an essay on Daniel and what he means to the show. Anyways, good episode, funny and inventive.
Oh, what to say about this episode! I love Bon Bon, but her breaking up with David an hour before their date? Not so cool. Whatever. Watching Gwen comfort David made my day, my week, my month. It was amazing. The “I’m a girl” line was extremely funny, because me too Nikki. Me too. Anyways, loved it!
13:The Lake Lilac Summer Social
Oh, what an episode! Gwenvid, Makki (I sorta ship it? Eh?), love triangles, Gwen going ship crazy (me too, man, me too), and David being level headed for once. Uh, so glad this episode exists. Only bad part, Pikeman and Jeremy. That’s literally it.
12:Operation: Charlie Tango Foxtrot
The ending was gross, but whatever. No judgement. Funny episode, and I love how the experimented with the points of view. Petrol’s side was a nice gag and it was overall a good episode! No complaints other than the weird ending.
Honestly, this is a tie with the next one. It is a great look at what happens after all the kids go to bed, what Gwen and David have to deal with, and what goes on outside the camp. The Gwenvid is strong with this episode! It’s really funny and creative. Also, ChibiKawaiiCat97 is absolutely a real username out there, I’m sure it is. Gwen deserves all the good things.
Neeancy, my child! Yeah! Also, Neil cursing out of nowhere? Amazing. It’s so high up because it actually was the first episode I saw a clip off! It’s what got me into Camp Camp overall, but it’s not listed up there because I do like others better.
I know, not number one. It’s an amazing episode, with a great plot and a good lesson, but I physically cannot watch it without sniffling. Yes, I know, I’m pathetic for crying at this, but I really see the pain. You can feel the fear in his voice, and it always makes me so sad. Whatever, I still love this episode.
I mean, I have no rhyme or reason, I just love this one. I can’t even think of a flaw for this one! It’s kind of an amazing thing! A lovely episode with good visuals and amazing dialogue!
7:The Butter Fingered Effect
An amazing episode about change. I love Neil cracking, Ered becoming a nerd, Nikki becoming a scientist, and the counselor outfit swap. I appreciate Gwen wearing David’s clothes, because that’s amazing. I like the theme of change that fits with Season 4. Good episode with almost no flaws!
I love Max and Nikki interacting, trying to take care of the egg and Nikki basically having a panic attack. I just love Nikki episodes in general, ok? Don’t judge. Whatever. Preston and Nurf, were um, problematic, to say the least. Whatever, the ending was funny, and this episode is dear to my heart.
5.Camp Loser says what?
Wow… Gwen in a wood scout uniform is actually really pretty! Entire episode was pretty much a fanfiction come to life, and we love the team for that. Uh, I yearn for more fanfic like episodes. God, if you have followed me for long enough, you’d know I would love for the fans ideas to become canon.Anyway, good plot, glad Daniel came back in this way and Pan and/or Bi David is canon
4:Nikki’s Last Day on Earth
I wasn’t expecting that! Honestly, I didn’t see the twist and thought it was a good idea! Funny, creative, and shows off Max’s jerkiness. We love Max development and amazing plots. We also love a Mother and Daughter relationship between Gwen and Nikki. More of that please1
3:Gwen gets a job
This is so damn creative, I love this episode so much. Gwenvid fuel, Max being a terrible person, Gwen breaking down and David comforting her. I bet Gwen never heard a speech that encouraging in her life…
I know you thought this was going to be number one! Haha, tricked you! But really, this is an amazing episode. The way Gwen bonds with her father, the beautiful scene at the end, the background, everything. I love a good “Gwen is underappreciated” episode, and that’s why this gets second. Almost no flaws! Which leads to number one….
What an amazing episode! I have never seen “Shape of Water”, but this one is just incredible. Gwen is an underappreciated overworked mess, and she finds what seems likes the perfect option. But turns out it isn’t what it seems, and it’s amazing. Also, this episode has so much Gwenvid fuel, it’s amazing. The art is amazing, Gwen’s dress is amazing, it’s all perfect. No flaws here for me!
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okay well i currently have a list of ten of my faves of your fics so idk how i'm supposed to choose just one... but i'm really enjoying tribulation and i'm going to keep bringing it up so you update soon ;) and you know i also love / am still loving the whole meet the parents series! but really all of your fics are just fantastic and i have such a hard time picking which ones i love the most 😅
You are the kindest and make me smile so much 🥰. Thank you dear! And yes...I do have plans to finish both tribulation and my meet the parents fics lol. I need to rewatch the crossover episode soon so I can finish tribulation for your lol. Thank you again!
10 fandoms, 10 characters, 10 tags
Thanks @azorell for tagging me! :D
1. Supernatural – Dean. I’m not writing an essay again X’D
2. Bleach – Rukia. The first fictional character I ever related to (not the most, but as I said, I’m not writing an essay again). She was my… big sister figure as a teen. I love her and she’s beautiful and Kubo did dirty to you in the last few chapters, honey, you deserved better.
3. Star Wars – Ahsoka. She’s just the best. I remember watching the Clone Wars movie and thinking how annoying she was, but then the writing and the character development was so good, she quickly became my favourite character. What did we do to deserve you, Dave Filoni? You single handedly saved the prequel era and the whole franchise. (Also Rex, but one fandom-one character so…)
4. Stargate – Sam. My parents are big sci-fi fans, so Stargate was one of the first sci-fi series I watched as a kid (alongside Sliders), and I loved it the most. Sam was one of the first role models I ever had, because maybe she was the only female member of the SG1, but she was never less than them. She really was just one of the main characters who happened to be a female. In an interview Amanda Tapping said that the writers tried to make Sam more feminine, but Amanda told them to write her as they wrote any other character, she would add the femininity. She’s a soldier and a scientist and a badass who blew up a sun, she has no time for misogynistic bullshit X’D
5. Marvel -> Avengers Academy – Janet Van Dyne. I could’ve chosen MCU – Tony, but AvAc is (was TT_TT) THE healthiest Marvel franchise. The characters were well written, they actually TALKED with each other, and they were actively building bonds. I could also say Tony, Steve and even Loki with AvAc, but Janet. Jan. She’s THE character. Maybe I liked her so much because she reminded me of Stella from Winx. I even cosplayed her once. (No, there are no photos X’D)
Speaking of Stella…
6. Winx – Stella. Sunshine girl. Bit of an airhead. She may be a princess, but she’s princess-y in a very kind way. She doesn’t really care about status and she’s protective of her friends. (What the hell, Fate…) Maybe I liked her so much because she reminded me of Sailor Venus.
Speaking of Sailor Venus…
7. Sailor Moon – Minako. I think I have a Magical Girl type. (Should I also say that Cornelia was kinda my favourite from W.I.T.C.H., but I’ve only read a few chapters of the comics and only seen a few episodes of the cartoon series, so I can’t really tell?) I can’t decide which Minako I like the most. Manga Minako, 90’s anime Minako and PGSM Minako are all unique, can’t choose between them.
8. Mysterious Cities of Gold – Zia. Looking back, I think I liked her because she was a really strong character on her own unique way. Maybe she got captured a lot and fainted even more times, but she’s a proud Inka girl who would never betray her people and would do everything to keep her friends safe. I… have my issues with Zia in the new seasons, but that may be because I fixated so much on this series as a kid (I rewatched it like a hundred times until the VHS tapes lost their will to live) that I have a really hard time accepting the new seasons and their more modern way of writing. (I was honestly offended when Zia let that rabbit go in season 2 when they were hungry because ‘Oh! Poor rabbit!’, while old episodes Zia helped the boys hunt down a giant lizard that they then ate around a campfire.)
9. Voltron – Lance. Yes, Voltron. Legendary Defender. Only the first few seasons are valid, when the writing was still consistent. I still remember that sketch of Shiro and Lance holding up the LGBT sign, show runners! Damn you, show runners! They formed the wings of Voltron, you asses!
10. One Piece – Vivi. VIVIIIIII!!!!!!! TT_TT This scene will forever make me tear up. (One Piece tends to do that to me.) I am honestly afraid of what would happen to her in future chapters.
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WIG REVIEW: BRIDGERTON
YOU GUYS. I finally watched all of this show which the internet is really obsessed with. This also marks my very first trip to Shondaland and definitely represents all the things I knew Shondaland to be about: strong female lead, trash, intrigue, sex, race relations, more trash. THIS SHOW IS VERY TRASHY!!! It is mainly about the eight siblings in the Bridgerton clan except most episodes only include 7 Bridgertons because the mysterious and elusive sister Francesca is usually missing. I will be breaking this show down episode by episode, wig by wig, and also just how much I demand to know where the hell Fran is. Let’s discuss.
EPISODE 1 - Diamond of the First Water
Ok so the Bridgertons! There are so many goddamned Bridgertons. Apparently 8, but as I already said, they usually don’t count FRAN. Anyway, the Bridgertons are one of those weird families where all the kids have theme names - each kid has a name in alphabetical order which honestly does help me tell all these white dudes apart so I guess fine? Also the dad is dead and the mom is nice and wigless. So going from oldest, there is Anthony who has (real!) mutton chops and is super moody and is secretly banging an opera singer named SIENA who I hate because she’s annoying and everyone else hates because she’s not part of the aristocracy, then Benedict and Colin who are definitely interchangeable at this point, then Daphne who is the star of this season and essentially a Disney princess, then Eloise who is somehow if Demi Moore was flopped into a period piece (also: no wig) and also is THE FEMINIST OF THE SHOW and I love her, then the elusive FRAN, then Gregory who is a little kid and Hyacinth who is also little and precocious and reminds me of the wonderful show Keeping Up Appearances. AND THAT’S THE BRIDGERTONS!
At this point, the only Bridgerton to really clock is Daphne, again a total Disney princess in both appearance and characterization. She is plucky, pretty, and has eyes about 3 times larger than normal people. She is also about to be thrust upon the London season (which is what this whole show is about). Clearly the wig budget went entirely to her because she needed both updos and down dos and I guess various bangs in between. These wigs are serviceable but the lace front is not as prestige as it could be.
Anyway, all the girls of this season are presented to the Queen who - and I immediately am taking back what I just said about the wig budget - OWNS ALL THE WIGS. However, as large and as fabulous as these wigs are, we know them to be wigs within the narrative, therefore I will not be reviewing them. Also the Queen is black because we are living in a post-Hamilton world and Ok! We also meet the Featheringtons, a neighboring family to the Bridgertons and as far as I can tell their entire characterization is: Cinderella lite. There is a matriarch/evil stepmother (note: she’s the actual biological mother but might as well be an evil stepmother) and there are 3 sisters, two of which are definitely evil stepsisters, and the third of which is Clare from Derry Girls (if you have never seen Derry Girls, please stop reading this and go watch Derry Girls). Also! The dad is the colonel from Paddington 2 (if you’ve never seen Paddington 2, please watch it right after Derry Girls). All the women have terrible red wigs and the queen hates all of them, but chooses the fair Disney princess Daphne Bridgerton to be the diamond of the season, which is apparently something to aspire to. Oh and then the Featheringtons’ black and gorgeous cousin shows up and all the Cinderella clan freak out about it except Derry Girl because she’s nice.
And then! Enter DUKE who is the entire reason to watch this show because he is very very attractive and doesn’t want to get married and hm I wonder if he’s gonna end up with Disney Daphne. Also there is this basically Gossip Girl circa Regency England news rag by a mysterious Lady Whistledown who in voiceover is Dame Julie Andrews but no one knows who she is in real life and that’s gonna be a whole thing this season. Another thing I demand to know about: when do women decide to wear their hair down or not or wear a hat? There seems to be no rhyme or reason to this but Disney Daphne’s wig is definitely better when it’s down. Anyway, the episode ends DD (Disney Daphne - that is way too long to write so go with it) punching a gross old man she doesn’t want to marry and forming a secret union with THE DUKE where they pretend to be in love for their own personal societal protection and yes this is absolutely the plot of Can’t Buy Me Love.
FRAN WATCH: FRAN FOR LIKE MAYBE ONE WHOLE MINUTE OF THIS SHOW! She is in the pink dress and please remember what she looks like now because she’s about to disappear for reasons unknown for the rest of the season. WHAT THE DID ACTRESS WHO PLAYS FRAN DO TO INCUR THIS WRATH! THIS IS THE ONLY THING I CARE ABOUT IN THIS SHOW!!!
Episode 2: Shock and Delight
I know I’m not reviewing them, but the Queen’s wigs are pretty great even if we know them to be wigs! Also look at that dog!!! Anyway....this episode continues everyones’ total obsession with Lady Whistledown and no, we still don’t know who she is, but she has a lot to say about DD and THE DUKE who are now fake courting.
This episode provides a whole backstory about how THE DUKE came to be a rake who doesn’t want to get married. As with most bad life decisions, it is a result of an ASSHOLE DAD. The DUKE’S mother died during his childbirth and his dad was an absent jerk who could not deal with THE DUKE’S stutter as a child and basically disinherited him. Enter: Lady Danbury who is definitely LIFEGOALS because she walks around all the time with a cool cane, doesn’t give a shit about anyone but THE DUKE, and also cured him of his stutter (her wigs are also nice!) Anyway, just before THE DUKE’S father died, he told him that he’d never get married or have kids. SICK BURN and I wonder if this will all totally be undone by his growing devotion to DD.
DD and THE DUKE are absolutely the talk of the town and the Cinderella clan is OVER IT. They are also deeply concerned with their new cousin Marina’s bedsheets, which I guess were Regency era pregnancy tests because since they didn’t produce blood once a month THAT BITCH IS PREGNANT. Side note: I’m really sorry to all the chambermaids who had to clean bloody sheets once a month! I’m also really sorry for Derry Girl who deserves a better wig than this!
FRAN WATCH: NO GODDAMNED FRANS!!! Early in the episode, we are provided with a very flimsy and convenient reason for her absence: she’s away studying the pianoforte and man she’s gonna miss a ton of balls! THIS IS ALL HIGHLY SUSPECT! HARRUMPH!
Episode 3: Art of the Swoon
So it has been well established by now that Marina’s non-bloody sheets have made her a liability. However, she does have a babydaddy who loves her (but is off at war!) and unfortunately, she is part of the Cinderella clan who will definitely forge a letter from said babydaddy to break up with her so that she can reenter the season and get a damn husband before anyone can do the pregnancy math. It’s all very upsetting, but Marina’s not wearing a wig so at least her hair is nice? The Cinderella clan remain to be the worst (minus Derry Girl) and have the worst wigs (sorry, Derry Girl!)
Speaking of pregnancy math, no women on this show seem to know how procreation works at all and YIKES. Double yikes: THE DUKE fully tells DD how to masturbate in this episode and I was reminded that the source material for this series is definitely one of those books that Fabio could have posed for. Even more problematic: DD’s goddamned mini bangs! UGH WHY THO. Seriously, her wigs have some lacefront issues whenever any part of her hair is pulled back - look at the side of this thing! I realize that THE QUEEN needed a lot of the wig budget but ugh. Anyway, DD and THE DUKE are totally falling in love and at one point in this episode (GASP) even touch hand briefly whilst looking at a super romantic painting of a pastoral landscape.
MEANWHILE, the Queen’s nephew, who is an Aryan youth but STILL A PRINCE shows up and his #1 fan is this bitch above whose name is CRESSIDA because oh god of course it is. Her and her mother have the most outrageous hair this side of WEAVE WARS and I mean - sure why not? Evil women usually have tall or outrageous hair, historically. Cressida learned German just to court the Prince and he seems impressed until the Queen demands that he fall in love with DD and everything gets complicated.
FRAN WATCH: STILL NO FRAN TO BE SEEN ANYWHERE. This episode is full of a lot of pianoforte playing by DD which leads me to wonder if she, too, was once shipped off to learn the pianoforte for months on end or if it is just the plight of Fran.
Episode 4 - An Affair of Honor
I FINALLY CAN TELL THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE ELDEST BRIDGERTON GUYS! Anthony continues to be the old annoying one who still likes Siena (I HATE SIENA) and Colin is the kind of wide eyed not as old one but apparently Benedict is THE CREATIVE ONE. “Creative” as in...gay? OH GOD I HOPE. This episode involves his meeting with a male painter who invites him over for what Benedict things is just like...talking about paintings or whatever but is actually a half naked bohemian orgy. WHAT. Sadly, Benedict kisses a woman (or 2!) but I’m really hoping that he gets CREATIVE with who he ultimately gives his heart to. OH PLEASE OH PLEASE.
Still, the only diversity that Shondaland seems to be fully embracing is that of black and white. This entire season has been a journey into the alternate universe of multiethnic Regency England but unfortunately in this episode, they decided to try to explain that?!?!?! NO EXPLANATION NECESSARY PLEASE LET THIS JUST BE A FABULOUS BEWIGGED FANTASY TRASH WORLD. Can’t we all just live on the level of the Brandy Cinderella (which I have been rewatching with my daughter on DVD for years but is finally on Disney plus for all you peasants) in which Whoopi Goldberg and Victor Garber have a Philippino son and NO ONE CARES?! Instead, in this episode, Lady Badass Danbury explains to THE DUKE that because King George married a BLACK WOMAN AKA QUEEN CHARLOTTE, all black people were elevated in society. HUH?! Also does that math even clock when THE DUKE’S dad was definitely a duke possibly before the Queen was even married?!?!?! WHY ARE YOU TRYING TO EXPLAIN THIS WHY. Again, I am all for diverse casting but can’t we just live in this nice Brandy Cinderella fantasy world and/or a world like Hamilton where Lin-Manuel never once felt the need to explain multiracial casting? ALSO WHAT ABOUT OTHER ETHNICITIES?!!?!?!?!?!?!?!
SPEAKING OF HAMILTON THIS EPISODE INVOLVES A GODDAMNED DUEL. So. Prince Aryan gives DD a really expensive necklace which she wears to a ball but then gets the vapors from it (?) and runs away to the garden and takes it off and FINALLY EFFING KISSES THE DUKE! It is all very scandalous because women were not allowed to be alone in gardens with dudes they weren’t married to (THIS IS AN ACTUAL REGENCY RULE I THINK) but I was especially scandalized by the fact that SHE LEAVES THE EXPENSIVE NECKLACE IN THE GARDEN AND IT IS NEVER HEARD OF AGAIN AND I HATE WHEN PEOPLE TAKE JEWELRY OFF TO MAKE A POINT WHERE IS THE NECKLACE?!?!?! No one except me gives a shit about said necklace and instead stupid Anthony decides to duel his bff THE DUKE for DD’s honor because of the whole kissing in the garden thing and also definitely evil Cressida knows about this. WHAT.
FRAN WATCH: Where is Fran?!?!?! And does she have the necklace? Seriously WHAT HAPPENED TO FRAN AND THAT NECKLACE.
Episode 5 - The Duke and I
So the duel ended somewhat abruptly with DD announcing that she and THE DUKE would be getting married despite the fact that she assumes THE DUKE is not able to have children (and not that he is just spiting his asshole dad and therefore his and DD’s own happiness). As DD’s sexual awakening becomes more apparent every day, so does her damn wig. THIS WIG IS NOT AGING WELL YOU GUYS. WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS LACEFRONT?!?!?!
THE QUEEN, who has consumed the entire wig budget at this point and I guess I can’t be mad about it, is still kinda pissed at DD for not marrying her Aryan prince nephew (AND ALSO COMPLETELY LOSING EXPENSIVE JEWELRY OH NO WAIT I’M THE ONLY ONE WHO CARES ABOUT THAT).
It is left up to the Queen to arrange a quick marriage license for DD and THE DUKE before the evil blonde Cressida and her poodle hair can blab to London society (and most notably the still elusive Lady Whistledown) about the scandals of DD and THE DUKE in the garden which somehow two episodes later are still a scandal. I will say this about Cressida - I think they used her real hair and then plopped these outrageous poodle bows on top of it so she doesn’t have the same lacefront issues as DD and that should be celebrated, despite the fact that she is blonde and has big hair and is therefore contractually obligated to be hated by all.
ANYWAY!!! THE DUKE and DD get married but it’s all kind of awkward because both of them thinks that the other one doesn’t actually love them and oy vey and then they end up spending their wedding night at a goddamned pub of all places but it is there that they learn that THEY BURN FOR EACH OTHER and THE DUKE takes off his shirt and they have sex and yes this is the part everyone was probably waiting for. Also DD’s wig looks a fright.
FRAN WATCH: ABSOLUTELY NO FRANS EVEN AT HER OWN SISTER’S WEDDING. The whole family Bridgerton gathers outside the house to see her off with THE DUKE except NOPE NO FRAN. IS THE PIANOFORTE MORE IMPORTANT THAN YOUR SISTER’S WEDDING?!?!?! A sister’s absence has never been so outrageous at a major life event since when Elsa missed Anna’s coronation at the end of Frozen 2 and YES I JUST MADE THAT COMPARISON.
Episode 6 - Swish
Ok so enough about DD and THE DUKE, right? Jk Jk I’ll get to them but this episode is really, for me, about my love of Derry Girl and just how much she is slighted both by true love and this awful red wig. Bridgerton’s deer-eyed Colin decides he is in love with pregnant Marina despite the fact that Derry Girl burns for him (and also knows that Marina is tricking him into this marriage). It is all very heartbreaking and would have played much better had Derry Girl had a better wig. In the end, Lady Whistledown writes about Marina’s secret pregnancy and Colin avoids this marriage of nonsense but still sees Derry Girl AS A SISTER GODDAMNIT COLIN.
Absolutely every other part of this episode is about DD and THE DUKE having sex. They have so much sex you guys in so many locations. THE DUKE basically owns Downton Abbey and also apart from the sex in this episode, the storyline kind of diverges into a Downton-like narrative about farm tenants and farm fairs and little dirty children that rich people wish they could have IF ONLY THEY HADN’T MARRIED A DUKE WHO CAN’T HAVE KIDS.
BUT WAIT! Not only does this episode include an outrageous amount of sex scenes with DD’s increasingly busted wig but also every damn sex scene ends with the pull-out method (YES REALLY UGH). This leads DD to seek sex ed counsel with her ladies maid (who somehow makes the journey from London to Downton Abbey but not to that one sex pub?) This leads to a really gross scene of DD basically raping (YES REALLY) THE DUKE such that he doesn’t pull out and OMG WHY AM I WRITING THIS UGH THIS STUPID SHOW.
FRAN WATCH: NO FRANS STILL AND I’M KIND OF WISHING I COULD LEAVE THIS HORRIBLE SEX ED STORYLINE AND GO PLAY THE PIANOFORTE WITH HER PLEASE.
Episode 7 - Oceans Apart
Remember the Cinderella clan? Well guess what: THEY’RE BROKE! Turns out the colonel from Paddington 2 has a crippling gambling problem and now no one has dowries or money to spend on new ugly dresses. ALSO! Now everyone knows that cousin Marina is pregnant and my husband and I really theorized that DD’s need for a baby and Marina’s need to get rid of hers and the Cinderella clan’s need for money would gather together in a perfect storm of secret baby purchasing and sadly we were wrong but I do think this is a stronger storyline than most found in this episode.
There are many parts of this show which have disappointed me (subpar wigs, upsetting lacefronts, lost jewelry and family members) but I’m probably mostly sad that “creative” Bridgerton Benedict is likely not gay. WHY!!! Still, we get a pretty nice scene with him and his male painter friend, who definitely IS GAY and how he’s not allowed to be gay in Regency England (I now pray for an alternate universe Regency wig drama wherein the king marries a man and elevates all gay men socially - MAKE THIS HAPPEN NETFLIX). ANYWAY! Benedict is actually carrying on with everyone’s favorite dress designer who Eloise Bridgerton (nee Demi More Bridgerton) suspects might be Lady Whisteldown (SPOILER SHE’S NOT).
It occurs to me that I haven’t spent enough time talking about my favorite Bridgerton (other than FRAN), Demi Moore. This chick was clearly born a few centuries too soon, speaks like she’s been smoking her entire life, and just does NOT WANT THE PATRIARCHY AND I GET IT. In this episode, she gets a makeover that I’m not mad about except for Regency England’s insistence on small curly bangs. These are much better than DD’s from previous episodes since Demi Moore doesn’t have a wig but still: PLEASE NEVER BRING THIS LEWK BACK. Also this lewk was reserved for THE OPERA (UGH YES SIENA WAS THERE). THE DUKE and DD are back in London and pissed at each other (rightly) because of not knowing enough about sex and/or marriage rape depending and it’s all gonna come down to whether or not DD gets her period. SHE GETS HER PERIOD AT THE OPERA AND I HAVE NEVER SEEN SO MUCH BLOOD ON A PRESTIGE TV SHOW AND THAT INCLUDES THE TIME LORD CRAWLEY BARFED BLOOD ALL OVER DOWNTON ABBEY. Also: Marina tries to kill herself with poison tea. THIS SHOW!
FRAN WATCH: Fran is never coming back and omg can I go where Fran is?
Episode 8 - After the Rain
Marina obviously does not kill herself with poison tea but does convince herself and others that she aborted her baby (spoiler: SHE DIDN’T). Derry Girl is still very supportive despite her awful wig and DD somehow inserts herself into the narrative to save the day in trying to locate Marina’s babydaddy vis a vis this truly amazing scene wherein Badass Lady Danbury has a married ladies gambling parlor. SCATTER MY ASHES HERE AND PLEASE LET SEASON 2 OF THIS SHOW ONLY EXIST HERE. Back to the babydaddy, turns out: HE’S DEAD! It’s briefly sad until his very nice brother shows up and does the noble thing in asking Marina to get married which IS A VERY GOOD OFFER CONSIDERING HE IS NOT A DEER EYED BRIDGERTON OR A TERRIBLE OLD MAN. She still declines (UGH) because she thinks she’s not pregnant but in the end, she does get married to him because she is pregnant. Congrats? Also Deer Eyed Colin decides to take a gap year or whatever and travel the world and Derry Girl is sad about it. Also biggest spoiler of all: DERRY GIRL IS LADY WHISTLEDOWN! I mean...duh but also GET THIS BITCH A BETTER WIG. Oh! Also the Colonel from Paddington 2 contrives a really stupid boxing scheme to get money and gets himself killed and WHAT IS TO BECOME OF THE CINDERELLA CLANS AWFUL HOUSE OF UGLY DRESSES?
Meanwhile, DD and THE DUKE are trying to fix their stupid marriage and NOTHING CAN FIX THIS WIG. THIS WIG HAS HAD TOO MUCH SEX AND NEEDS TO BE RETIRED. I REPEAT: THROW AWAY THIS WIG. In other non-sex news, DD discovers all of THE DUKE’S sad childhood correspondence to his dad and also throws a ball that is somehow semi-outdoors and ends in rain. THE WIG COULD BARELY WITHSTAND NOT RAIN YOU CAN IMAGINE HOW BAD IT WAS IN THE RAIN. Anyway whatever, somehow the rain made everyone realize that marital rape and promises to dead asshole dads don’t matter and let’s just be together and have kids. OK? The show ends with DD giving birth and THE DUKE suggesting that they continue the stupid Bridgerton tradition of naming kids alphabetically. UGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
FRAN WATCH: THE ONLY THING THAT MATTERS IN THIS WHOLE STUPID SHOW AND PARTICULARLY THIS ONE STUPID EPISODE IS THAT FRAN COMES BACK!!!! FRAN!!!!!!!! Clearly, Fran has SEEN SOME THINGS in her days away practicing the pianoforte but not one of them was learning the pianoforte because in the brief 5 seconds she plays the pianoforte....bitch cannot play the pianoforte. DD is much better at the pianoforte and truly...WHAT WERE YOU DOING FRAN WHATEVER WHO CARES WELCOME BACK! YOU HAVE NO WIG AND YOU DIDN’T HAVE TO ENDURE THIS DUMB SEX SHOW AND OMG FRAN TAKE ME WITH YOU I LOVE YOU FOREVER.
Oh wait...right...the wigs. Despite the queen’s truly truly truly outrageous wigs, evil Cressida’s weave wars and stupid Anthony’s muttonchops, I cannot give a pass to DD’s increasingly terrible lacefront and dried out sex wigs to say nothing of Derry Girl’s supbar red wig of nonsense. NO THANK YOU PLEASE.
VERDICT: DOESN’T WURQ
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hi so i.found ur blog and its honestly like a breath of fresh air to look at so if its ok i might just fuckin,,vent here.
so. ik a lot of other people have been talking abt how pof was really straining to watch and i am.very late to the party but i need to talk abt it bcz holy fuck. when i first watched it i was in a way better place mwntally, also the general excitement of wow,content kinda overrode the headache and the eye hurty and the just. bad. but i was rewatching it recently because i was basing a fic off it and i just. i couldnt finish it because all of it was just so much and there was no fuckin warning?? so that was pog ig
next thing because i have. a lot of thoughts. ive been in the fandom for not-very-long, i joined in the middle of 2019 or something.and it just kinda sucks because im only still here for the fandom. i love the series but i can only watch dwit and compilations of logan/roman being sad so much before i can basically recite them off the top of my head. but i reallyreally love writing for the fandom!! it makes me so happy to do the writing, its just the fact that im not as invested with the series that makes me feel,,idk man guilty ig?? anyway thats too deep for a rant so im.a move on
god so tw me not liking post aa virgil and me talking abt toxic friends but hoooly fuck man. i just. pre aa virgil was fun because he was snarky and sarcastic and i could actually stand the nagst because his character made sense?? he was the 'bad guy' and he wasnt as woobified back then and he was honestly a solid vibe. but post aa virgil gives off the vibe of that one friend who fuckin, gets angry at you when you bring up any of your mental health issues and then blames their outburst on their mental health issuea and its like?? no i hate that character dynamic. people say bad things when the feel bad, sure, ik i have, but its the vibe of 'im gonna threaten you and then blame it on my mental health but if you so much as look at me wrong while ur having sensory overload or something i will smite you with the force of one thousand suns' and i am just.so tired. also ithink someone else said this but we should just call the series 'virgil sanders and the rest' because thats what it is now ksbdjqkbsq
also (all ofthese are my opinions btw and im not trying to say im rigbt im just tired honestly) the way. in pof the way patton's whole thing is 'you need empathy' is not funky fresh for both people with low empathy and high empathy 😎 bcz ppl with too much/too little empathy are always told theyre 'cold' or that theyre 'oversensitive', the whole 'there is an average amount of empathy and if u dont have that fuck you actually' is icky and bad and gross. i do think patton's character is really well done in the series but that episode jjust personally. ick.
and finally the moment uve not been waiting for bcz this is probably really tiring to read but the moment youve been waiting for-fwsa.just. why. its cute and stuff and i love nico. nico is a vibe. also bathroom man john is great. but shouldnt roman still be on shit terms with thomas?? like lk we're just gonna sweep away the whole 'i thought i wad ur hero' shizz? cool cool, glad to know romans arc still aint happening. also i get it, we needed to cement that virgil is a light side now. but like..did we?? actually bcz this is so long im gonna send in a second ask (im sososorry if this clogs up ur ask box if u tell me to stop i will i just. many thoughts) abt how even though i hate virgil, his arc should have been done. so differently. just gonna put like,, a mushroom emoji here so u can put the 2 asks together if u want 🍄
You’re always free to vent here! Sorry it took so long to respond but life has a cruel habit of getting in the way of things I need to do.
So for starters, the POF problem should be talked about more so I can assure you that you’re not late to the party. It never really got the amount of attention it deserved so I am more than willing to bring that back up and trust me, you’re not alone.
And again, you’re not alone in this either! Plenty of people still enjoy creating content for these characters. You don’t have to feel guilty for not finding the actual series interesting because honestly, I’m kinda losing interest too. But I still love these characters and I love that the fandom is still creating stories with them through different mediums.
Honestly I agree with just about everything you said about Virgil and I do eventually plan on tackling a lot of this in a future post. You know, if I ever force myself to just sit down and write the dang thing...
Oh my gosh I’ve been waiting for someone to talk about this because that whole thing about empathy in POF really ticked me off because you’re absolutely right, not everyone is 100% empathetic, and some people can be empathetic to a point where it hurts themselves. Like I get what they were trying to say but it came across as, well, like you said. “If you’re don’t have this exact level of empathy then eff you I guess you’re a bad person.” Maybe that actually wasn’t their intention but it sure came across that way and maybe I’ll go into it a little more in another post because now that I’ve been reminded of it again I kinda wanna talk about it more.
Okay yes, FWSA on its own is a good episode. Heck, it’s one of my favorites. It feels closer to a season one episode than ATHD that’s for sure. The problem with this episode isn’t the quality but the fact that it comes right after POF. And I’ve basically gone over this in my “Problem With Asides” post and how it affects both Roman and Virgil’s current arcs so I won’t go into much more detail here but just know that I pretty much agree with all of this.
Also don’t worry about cluttering up my inbox. It’s here for people to share their thoughts and that’s exactly what you’re doing! Hope to see your part two soon mushroom anon!
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Too many thoughts about Zoro/Luffy (Zolu)
If you follow me (which I frankly do not assume you do XD), you know I’ve picked up One Piece again after a couple years away, and I am ecstatic that Luffy and Zoro had multiple minutes of screentime together at the beginning of the Wano arc.
Rambling about One Piece as a whole would be much, much too long (and involve far too much dwelling on Nami’s ever-growing attributes), but I find myself with quite a few thoughts about my OP OTP. Too many thoughts, you might say.
SPOILERS up to the end of Wano’s first act, but not the big major one you’re thinking of.
I didn’t start out shipping Zolu. I didn’t ship anyone, in fact, which was highly unusual for me at the time (and still is). My slow-burn-style italicized “oh” came near the end of Alabasta, when Smoker asks Zoro why he rescued him and Zoro simply says he did it because Luffy asked him to. That was when I realized Zoro would do anything for Luffy.
Back in the day (~2006/7), I didn’t read fanfiction. I was completely over the genre and complained that once you’d read all the fanfic for one show, you’d read the fanfic for all of them. Plus, I was super-picky about characterization. Doujinshi, on the other hand, were easier for me to accept and I devoured everything from the only Zolu circle being regularly translated into English, Royal Garden. As far as I’m concerned, everything they wrote is canon and I really wish they’d kept writing doujin past Alabasta. I would commit small crime to get their takes on Thriller Bark and 3D2Y.
It’s hard to find good characterization in any fandom, but I think it is especially hard for One Piece, and worst of all when it comes to Luffy. Fanfic authors love their introspection, angst, witty phrases, mounds of adverbs... and none of those really work with Luffy. Luffy runs on almost pure instinct, and that turns out to be the antithesis of common fanfic style.
Zoro isn’t as hard to write, but he’s still very tough. Like Luffy, he’s direct af and solves most of his problems with muscle. Not really the best POV character for describing much of anything unless it’s swordplay.
Don’t get me started on the varying choices regarding Luffy’s mental age. For some reason, a lot of people write him like he’s five, which is not great generally and particularly squicky in a romantic fic.
tl;dr Good Zolu fanfic is a rare and precious gem, even moreso if you’re looking for one that doesn’t focus on explicit sex.
Speaking of explicit sex (this is Tumblr, after all), I am somewhat confounded by how many of the top Zolu fics are actually Zoro/Luffy/Sanji or Zoro/Luffy/Law or whatever. Like, I get it, those are the most popular other characters right now, but really? Really? (I also don’t think Zoro would be inclined to share.)
Right, getting back to canon. Shipping anyone in One Piece is an exercise in patience, and frankly Zoro and Luffy have more time together than most other OP ships. But like any shonen ship, each “OMG they love each other” scene is offset by about a hundred scenes of fights, other characters, “comedy,” more fights, powering up during fights, etc. ::sigh:: Hence my occasional forays of desperation into fanfic and doujin.
But the scenes they do have, short and few though they be, are intense. Not always in the dramatic sense (although holy cheese that Thriller Bark ending), but they’re just so perfectly in sync with each other or happy to be together or communicating with little or no words at all and it’s just good.
Which is why I was So. Angry. we didn’t get a proper reunion scene after 3D2Y. I waited literal years for that, took solace in that at least Luffy was so happy to see “Zoro” (Mr. 2) in Impel Down and we saw Zoro (as part of the crew montage) reading about Luffy in the papers and having feelings, but I wanted a reunion. Instead, we got “comedy” featuring the fake Strawhats and Zoro being lost again. Booooooo.
Zolu moments have been thin on the ground since Sabaody, but man, remember when we got them more than once every two arcs? Luffy rarely shows any kind of fear or concern about his crew (which is fine, he trusts them to take care of themselves and they do), but when he found Zoro unconscious in Skypiea and lost it? When he thought Zoro had betrayed him at the beginning the Grand Line and lost it? Imagine if he knew what really went down after Thriller Bark. I want him to know, but Zoro would never, ever tell and Sanji respects him too much to either. Only way I see it happening is if Kuma lets something slip some several arcs hence. (Assuming Kuma is capable...)
Then there’s Zoro and his unflinching belief in Luffy. The rest of the crew has had doubts from time to time, but never Zoro. Except. That time when he tried to cut off his own feet in Little Garden to escape the wax and get to Luffy. But as soon as he knew Luffy was okay, his focus changed to posing for his wax statue.
They’ve vibed since the very beginning. All the other crew members took more convincing, but Zoro? One quick bargain with Luffy and that was that.
How did they get together? In my imagination, there was never a big confession or even a little discussion. They just went with their instincts and started platonicaly napping together, then things developed from there. No need to talk about it, and presumably they’d just whack each other over the head if they didn’t like whatever. I think if anyone asked them if they’d had a “talk” or “discussed their feelings” or whatever, they’d either be shocked at such a weird question or else assume they had talked without realizing they hadn’t said anything out loud.
Still, it’s good Zoro and Luffy don’t just have each other. Without the crew they wouldn’t survive, or wouldn’t survive well. My favorite fanfiction/doujin is when the author paints the Strawhats as essential characters to the story. Luffy needs his whole family, not just Zoro. And while everyone else on the ship has an assigned role of obvious value (cook, navigator, sniper, etc), what’s Zoro’s? You wouldn’t know it from a glance, but it’s protection. He looks out for everyone like a mama bear with three swords.
Hey, remember back when the most dramatic event in the series was Usopp’s departure? Remember how Zoro got Luffy and everyone else through that with tough love, and then made a rare exception of telling Luffy what he had to do if he wanted Usopp back? And how Luffy listened, even though it was incredibly hard for him? Zoro puts the crew above absolutely everything but Luffy and his dream.
Thriller. Bark. Oh my god, Thriller Bark. The arc I hated until we got to the ending. I don’t even want to get into it despite the spoiler warning. If you know, you know. ;_;
And then Zoro’s efforts during Sabaody... ;_; That stretch of episodes just ripped my heart right out of my body. And I’d thought Water Seven was dramatic...
Where was I going with this? Right, anyway. I just really love these two idiots. They’re a very rare ship dynamic for me. Superficially they look like other popular pairings - cheerful Shonen Jump protag and his grouchy best friend/rival - but they’re really just two muscleheads driven by their ideals (protecting those weaker, freedom for all, consuming enormous amounts of food) and not much else. They’re not especially complicated people, and where many of us Tumblr denizens lie awake at night with a million thoughts in our heads these two are out like a light together.
Sidenote: because they’re so uncomplicated, they don’t have so many hangups or prejudices, which means they (particularly Zoro, due to his backstore) are the most respectful to women in the show, at least of the more prominent characters.
Despite my use of the word, they’re also not idiots in the way that term gets thrown around in ship dynamic discussions. Yes, Zoro gets lost as the plot requires and Luffy has trouble keeping his mouth shut, but neither of them is in any way stupid. Think of how Zoro handled his fight with Pica, thinking through possible attack sequences. Recall how Luffy has constantly come up with new tactics on the fly, including some ingenious ways to make use of his rubber body. Being forthright and uncomplicated does not an idiot make.
All this is why I was so, so happy to see them reunited again for the first time in a long time in Wano. Did you notice the pink color in Luffy’s cheeks that sprouted upon spotting Zoro? I sure did, because I rewatched that reunion and hug far more than any 30 seconds of animation deserves. Their utter delight in seeing each other again, and how they immediately fall right back in sync. Zoro doesn’t even question Luffy carting around a kid, he just adopts her straightaway too and is equally invested in getting her back from the kidnappers. When Kaido blasts that mountain... imagine if Luffy had thought Zoro was still on it. The arc really might have ended right there if that was the case.
And that’s why I still stick with One Piece, 950+ episodes later and suffering through prolonged fight scenes, disturbing villains, and one-note women. (Technically two notes if you know what I mean, wink wink, nudge nudge, sigh sigh) When Oda-sensei decides to show emotion, he doesn’t go by halves. He goes just as hard as Luffy when he sees one of his crew members cry. Even in the littlest scenes, the feelings are so strong as to be nearly tangible, and that’s not just between Luffy and Zoro. Luffy and Nami, for example (obvs I don’t ship it romantically, but they’ve got probably the second strongest bond in the crew), or Zoro and Sanji’s intense rivalry, exemplified by the Davy Back Fight. I don’t particularly like Brooke, but there’s no way I can keep from crying when he sings “Bink’s Sake.” When Oda-sensei called his manga a “romance” (in the traditional sense) he was exactly right. It’s about feelings and ideas and being swept away in a story. I love that so much. Just like Zoro totally loves, completely Luffy and Luffy loves him right back.
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FEATURE: Why Early One Piece Remains So Magical
If you go back and rewatch episodes from One Piece's early years, there's a vibe that can best be described as "breezy." Not that the series doesn't have its emotional, heartbreaking moments (it has a bunch) but there's a sense of meandering delight. You know when you wake up in the morning on a day that you have all to yourself? That feeling of "Well, what am I going to do today?" That's the feeling I'm talking about. Early One Piece has a lot of that.
First, I should clarify that when I talk about "early" One Piece, I don't mean specifically pre-time skip. I actually mean the story up until about when the Going Merry gets its viking funeral. The adventure up until that point had been full of hints and nods and little tangents about where it could go, but it's when Garp arrives, reveals his connection to Luffy, and then basically lays out the schematics behind how the world works and who the Emperors are that suddenly One Piece begins to fall into line a little bit.
For me, that's where early One Piece definitively ends. I'm not saying that the stuff to come after it is worse in any way. Far from it. There is so much joy and cool stuff to be found in arcs like Thriller Bark and Sabaody and Marineford and Whole Cake Island and Wano. One Piece is still an engaging, enrapturing story, and I sincerely doubt that I will ever quit it. It's just a different kind of story.
A lot of this has to do with how the series allocates its goals. In early One Piece, the main overarching goals are "find the One Piece" and "ensure Luffy becomes King of the Pirates," and both of them are approached very loosely. There's a real "We'll get there when we get there" attitude. In fact, most of the major arcs from this time period — Arlong Park, Alabasta, Enies Lobby — don't take place due to any grand plot machinations. The story does not push them to the forefront. Rather, they happen due to the Straw Hat Crew wanting to take care of one of their own. They are the main thing going on, yet they are totally character-based, and in that way, almost happenstance. Luffy does not strive to take down Arlong or Crocodile or Rob Lucci. Rather they get in the way of his beloved crew member's happiness, and he can't abide by them.
Also yes, Vivi is a Straw Hat.
Fast-forward about 15 years and we're dealing with the team-up to take down Kaido and the discovery of the Poneglyphs. These have personal ramifications, but they're very narrative-based. Definite things in the plot will happen when they are completed. For me, this is exciting in, again, a different way. For a long time, the Straw Hat Crew was kind of aloof to their accomplishments. They stopped a warlord from over-throwing a kingdom and released a sky nation from the grips of a megalomaniacal tyrant and declared war on the World Government just so Robin could live freely. Then they sailed away like "Yeah! That was fun! Break out the meat n' booze!" Now, they're very aware of their impact on the world. They are major players who recognize their roles.
In the first Wano opening "Over The Top," the wonderful Hiroshi Kitadani croons, "I have to get there because I want to get there first." But in "We Are!", the first-ever One Piece opening, he sings, "Compasses and such will only hold us back." Obviously, I doubt this was deliberate, but it's kind of indicative of the aims of these two sections of the One Piece timeline. One is about explicitly getting somewhere. The other is about getting somewhere ... sort of.
Of course. none of early One Piece would be possible without the talented folk behind it. Having previously directed on Sailor Moon, series director Konosuke Uda oversaw the series until midway through the Enies Lobby arc, during a time when the character designs were often less formal than they are now. Noboru Koizumi's beautiful characters seemed to burst with enthusiasm and feeling, their faces tailor-made for the expressiveness required of the series.
The late Michiru Shimada worked on many scripts and her work remains consistently underrated for just how well she translated Eiichiro Oda's big character moments to the screen. Nami's "Help me?" Luffy waving the flag for Wapol and Chopper to prove that it didn't break? Zoro declaring that he will never lose again after his loss to Mihawk? Shimada had a hand in turning all of these from unforgettable manga scenes to unforgettable anime scenes.
Meanwhile, directors like Hidehiko Kadota, Junji Shimizu, and many others ensured constant energy. And finally, you had Shiro Hamaguchi, who after composing the score for a little game called Final Fantasy VII, gave One Piece its iconic music. Early One Piece is full of wonderful anime creators and I implore that you look them up and see what they each bring to the table.
I think early One Piece's mix of playfulness and amazingly touching emotional moments is why it remains so rewatchable for me. At the point of this writing, it's almost 1,000 episodes long. Under most circumstances, that would be too high of a hill to climb. But those first few arcs present a world I want to be in, a world so comfortable and exciting that the episode number doesn't matter anymore. It's a testament to their power that so many fans have stuck around this long. Early One Piece, y'all. There's just something about it.
Daniel Dockery is a Senior Staff Writer for Crunchyroll. Follow him on Twitter!
Do you love writing? Do you love anime? If you have an idea for a features story, pitch it to Crunchyroll Features.
By: Daniel Dockery
Hello again! Long story short, previously I had watched Supernatural until the very beginning of season 12, because I found out what happened at the end and at that time, I just knew I wouldn’t be able to take it. Now that I’m rewatching the whole series I figured I’d might as well just keep watching what I didn’t anddd it hasn’t been much easier haha, I cried a lot and immediately started writing this, even before reaching the end of S12, so yeah that’s how bad I wanted my heart not to ache as much. Anyways, for those same reasons, I didn’t know about “the Empty” and perhaps a few things don’t make a lot of sense but I tried them to, sooo, hope you enjoy :-) Plus, some usual disclaimers: English is not my first language, any feedback is welcome, etc. <3 Ly all <3
Pairing: Crowley x Reader
Rating: T.- Angst, fluff
Word count: 3.7k+ words (yes, I got a little carried away)
Summary: you somehow get trapped in Purgatory and find Crowley
Warnings: SPOILERS AHEAD, SET AFTER SEASON 12, veeery slight smut, nudity(?), cursing
You don’t know how you got here. Everything’s dark. Like, pitch dark. The sounds are terrifying; growls and screams all along, sounds of beasts. The smell of blood and death ahead.
Come on, think. What’s the last thing you remember? You were under a witch spell. Scratching and killing any single thing that got on your way. You had claws.
You begin to walk, but the creak of the dry leafs beneath you is noisy around here, red eyes surround you and you’re forced to run in the only direction that seems viable.
Legs trembling, you reach a clear spot between the woods. Where are you?
“Hello darling” a voice with a british accent behind you startles you. You turn around ready to fight. A man in a ragged suit, covered in dirt and blood raises his hands in surrender “Relax, I’m not here to fight”.
“Who are you? Where am I?” you demand taking a few steps backwards. He gazes at you curiously.
“You’re... well, we are in Purgatory, love” he reveals and you freeze.
“No... no that can’t be right” you mumble, more to yourself than to him “Humans don’t go to Purgatory”.
“That’s exactly what I was wondering. Fancy explaining?” he says in a smug tone. You eye him untrustfully.
“Who are you?” you ask a second time. He looks impassive.
“Name’s Crowley. Who I am doesn’t matter” he answers cuttingly “What matters is... how and why did you get here?
You shift uncomfortably, laying your weight first in one foot and then the other.
“A witch casted a spell on me. I don’t remember much after that... just that I... had claws, and fierce, sharp teeth” you explain careful not to reveal too much information.
“Ah, yes” he nods and chuckles slightly “Nasty spell, that one. Never figured it sent you to Purgatory being a human, though”.
“Me neither, must be the type of spell” you murmure, when you hear sounds coming from the woods again. Crowley takes your hand.
“Come with me” he says, and with little to no other option, you accept nervously and start walking right behind him.
You’ve been a hunter your whole life, that is, until you stopped a year ago. You were tired, of the running, of death following you around, of the loneliness. But of course you never knew when, nor how, to fully stop.
Crowley and you walk in silence, but the foggy ambiance and the sad landscape begin to make you uneasy.
“How long have you been here?” you ask him, voice almost echoing amongst the trees. A few crows on the distance take flight and their croaks reach your ears, making you shiver.
“Time doesn’t exist here” he explains after a few seconds “I don’t know how long it’s been”.
You nod quietly.
“Why are you helping me?” you sincerely wonder. He stops dry and turns to you.
“Am I?” he asks back, eyes in a little bit of annoyance. You shrug and he sighs, suddenly a dull aura washes over him “I’ll explain when we are somewhere safe. We’re almost there, just, hang on for a little longer, Pet”.
You accept and start walking again, when you hear a strange hiss. Sideways, you get to see a vampire aiming for your neck. You hit it with a branch near you, but in response it throws you across the woods, hitting your back with a tree. Pain strikes you out, you’re barely able to get up, the adrenaline of hunting coming right back to you, ready to keep fighting, when Crowley beheads it from behind with a machete.
“My, my. What do we have here?” he says in amusement, eyeing you “I know that look. That pose. You’re a hunter. I knew no common human could take that lightly being killed by a witch and going to Purgatory”.
Before you can even answer he grabs your arm, prompting you to keep walking.
“Easy there love. If that one found us, that means there’s more to come. We’ll chat when we’re safe” he states and you nod, following him.
You don’t know how much time passes. It feels like ages walking. Everything starts to look the same. You and Crowley reach a darker area.
“Does this mean it’s sundown?” you ask innocently. Crowley chuckles.
“No. Nothing like that. There’s no such thing as sundown here. Everything stays the same. There’s no day nor night” he explains “No, this place is just where I come to get some rest when I can. It’s usually lonesome, but I try to keep moving anyways”.
“It’s weird but...” you begin “I don’t really feel sleepy... I’m tired yeah but-“
“We don’t sleep here. We keep moving, fighting, killing. That’s the punishment” he says while climbing up a tree, not bothering to look at you “Come with me”.
You sigh, and follow him once again.
When you’re both far up enough, there’s no other option than to lay as close as you can to him, so neither of you fall down. You cuddle up in his chest. He doesn’t say a word as you do so, just slips an arm behind your waist so you don’t lose balance.
“So” Crowley finally speaks “A hunter”.
You sigh once again.
“Retired. Sort of” you try to tell and he chuckles.
“I have it on good source there’s no such thing as a ‘retired’ hunter”. He’s not wrong.
“Yeah well, that was exactly my problem” you say, closing your eyes for a second, but damn you, you can’t feel sleepy not even trying “Name’s (Y/N), by the way. You never asked”.
“I figured you wouldn’t tell me if I asked” he guesses and you half smirk “I’m planning on keeping the nicknames either way”.
You roll your eyes.
“Never told you not to” you tease and now he’s the one to half smirk “Who’s your ‘good source’?” you ask changing the subject.
“The Winchesters. You must have heard of them”. You’re not quite sure but it seems to you there’s a hint of nostalgia in his voice.
“Doesn’t ring a bell” you confess muttering, the darkness suddenly weighing on you. You cuddle up to him even more.
“It doesn’t?” he interrogates incredulously “That’s... weird. To say the least”.
“Very” you agree. You thought you knew every hunter in the country.
“They’ve stopped one or two little Apocalypses” he tells you. You laugh lowly.
“I’m guessing you were good friends” you assume, and you don’t know it but Crowley’s heart breaks a little.
“More like archenemies” he reflects after a few moments, but you don’t believe him for a second.
“You’re not serious”.
You stay quiet with this last statement and opt to stay silent in his arms, as the minutes pass.
“I think I can help you go back” he murmurs. You frown.
“I don’t know much, but the same good source... told me there’s a way out. A portal back, if you will”.
“That’s just a myth” you say, a sparkle of hope shinning through nonetheless.
“It got them out” he says, referring to his friends.
You huff and shrug shortly afterwards.
“Well if you’re gonna help me go back” you talk distracted drawing circles in his chest “You can get back too right?”
“I don’t know if it works for demons”. You gasp, you thought he was just a common... well, human.
“Demons don’t go to Purgatory” you mumble, which makes him exhale absently.
“Apparently I did”.
His confession puts you in alert, you still don’t understand, but you know now’s not the time to discuss it, now you need to survive, and that’s not going to happen without Crowley. You’re tired, confused, and besides, at this point, being dead, in freaking Purgatory, you couldn’t care less about what he is.
Your body begins to feel drowsy, you haven’t closed your eyes at all and the lack of movement feels paralyzing.
“Ready to get moving love?” Crowley asks you when he feels you shifting. You nod and disentangle yourself from him, slowly getting down the tree.
What seems like days, or maybe even weeks, you spend it together. It’s getting tiring. You’ve found better weapons but it feels as if you’re just walking in circles. Maybe you are. You enjoy Crowley’s company, but there had been hunts, or more like survivals, you’ve been about to give up. He has noticed and has saved your ass more times than you could count.
“I can’t do this anymore” you tell him one day while you’re next to a river, getting freshed up. He sighs.
“We’re almost there (Y/N). Humans don’t belong here. The portal will spit you out the moment we get to it” he explains carefully.
“And I suppose you want a ticket out” you mock but he looks you in the eye, dead serious.
“I don’t expect you to take me with you” he admits and takes you by surprise, his expression makes you gulp so you nod silently. He sighs again “I’ve done horrible things, love. Things you can’t even imagine. I’ve killed, I’ve kidnapped, I’ve tortured”.
“But you’ve changed” you dare say, a slight smile appearing on his lips “I love it when you smile”.
This time he grins naturally. You’re about to say something else when two asteroids of black mud drop to the dirt right next to you.
“Bollocks” Crowley mutters “(Y/N) run!”
You start seeing how the strange goo takes human form, whilst you step backwards to stand behind Crowley.
“Go for the head” he indicates quickly, before whatever the things that you’re facing come right at you.
You fight until they are beheaded on the floor. Crowley takes your hand, moving you away from the scene so no more of those find you.
“What were those?” you say as Crowley pushes you to keep moving, your eyes in shock looking at the scene.
“Leviathan. I’ll explain later, now we’ve gotta run”.
You reach a safe spot in the woods and cover yourself in leafs as camouflage.
“Crowley” you mutter almost inaudible “What the hell?”
You are laying next to each other, his body almost melting in yours because of the need of heat and compact.
He begins sighing, and tells you all about his life. His time as a human, as a demon, the Winchesters, Apocalypse, the angels, leviathans, him as a blood junkie, the need of love, of comfort and feelings.
You listen expectantly, you had never thought you’d see that side of Crowley.
He finishes the story telling you about Lucifer and the Cage, how his ego, and his need for revenge, wanted to win, to see Lucifer suffer.
“So... King of Hell huh?” you mock, speaking when he’s done, he just huffs playfully “But neither of those things were all that made you sacrifice yourself, were they?”
He chuckles and shakes his head lightly.
“I’d like to think after that the Winchesters finally saw that I was on their side” he admits “There was a time you wouldn’t see me fighting, I would be the one to witness the fights and do nothing... maybe God is punishing me for that”.
“Maybe...” you say “Damn it. I should’ve quit hunting when I could”.
“Why are you telling me this anyways?” you continue timidly.
“I’m getting you out of here, (Y/N). I figured, we’re just a few more hours until we get to the portal... what is a little more softness from my part?”
“Why?” you still demand “Why would you help me if there isn’t anything in it for you?”
“Because it’s the right thing to do” he says with a serious face.
You keep talking for a while. You tell him a bit about your life, hunting, family, friends... and he listens attentive, stroking your hair as the words come out of your mouth.
Afterwards, you stay silent, leaving the conversation at that. It’s been a few rough days (if you can call that days), and you two have shared more than enough to each other.
“(Y/N)...” he calls your name quietly “Before we leave, there’s something I need to do”.
“What is it?” you say lifting yourself up a bit to look him in the eyes. His scruffed beard almost grazing your chin, his eyes looking at your mouth.
“Care to guess?” he says as he catches your lips in a gasp, you part them and begin exploring his mouth, letting his tongue dive into yours, deepening the kiss.
The heat is consuming the both of you, desperation and need for contact, for love, catches you two off guard, wandering for more. Your hand roams across his chest, grabbing him and closing any single distance existing in between, and then travels to his crotch. His on the other side, moves to your hair and pulls you to him, his other hand tightening on your waist, an eager grasp, but he stops you right there.
“(Y/N)” he says softly “I... we can’t”.
“Why not?” you say confused, still kissing his neck and jaw.
“We could get killed” he explains holding you gently, making you look at him “We need to keep moving, we’re almost there”.
“What if I never see you again?” you ask, voice cracking. He gives you a light, sad smile.
“Hopefully, you won’t” he jokes, embracing you tightly. Sideways, you get a peek of what you think it’s a tear leaving his eye.
You get up feeling heavy. This place has weighed on you but so has the fact that Crowley seems decided to stay behind, and you’ve come... to love him, actually.
A few hours walking pass. The forest is in absolute silence, monsters just in the distance.
Suddenly, an electromagnetic force starts calling your senses, you feel drawn to it.
“We’re almost there” you tell him, knees beginning to feel weak after all the walking, the fighting. You feel like you’ve been swimming non-stop all this time and just now you are about to touch mainland. Crowley smiles and nods, sensing you’re probably right.
Finally, the portal appears in front of your eyes. Blue, electric lights, the end of the tunnel.
Crowley stands close behind you, waiting for you to go, suppressing the need to cry and scream and curse at watching you leave.
Unexpectedly, you turn to him and grab his hand, pulling him with you.
“You’re coming with me” you tell him with one foot on the other side of the almost closed portal.
“Are you out of your bloody mind?!” he yells “You don’t know if it’ll work!”
“I have to try!” you yell back almost in a sob, and with one last pull, Crowley’s inside the portal with you, it closes instantly and spins you around for what seems like eternity.
You wake up in a field in the middle of nowhere. There’s no road, no signs, no nothing. And Crowley is nowhere to be seen.
“Damn it!” you scream at the sky in tears, realizing the portal must’ve bounced him right back at Purgatory. Or maybe even some place worse.
“Quite the temper, haven’t we?” a voice coming from behind some bushes startles you.
You can’t believe it.
It’s really him.
“Crowley!” you say running to him. He picks you up in his arms and hugs you as if he hadn’t seen you in decades.
“Hello, darling” he greets softly leaving you on the ground, wiping the tears off your cheeks with his thumb.
“I thought I’d lost you”.
“Well, no. Apparently you’re not so lucky” he mocks and you laugh, smacking him lightly on the chest.
“So” you start “What now? Can’t you use your demon powers to zap us out of here?”
He makes a thoughtful face for a second and then shakes his head.
“I think they’re gone” he confesses.
“What do you mean gone? As in gone-gone?” you interrogate in surprise.
“Yes as in gone-gone” he admits rolling his eyes playfully “I don’t understand why I...”
“Maybe you’re getting a second chance” you tell him with a grin, which he returns but it’s not quite sure about “Whatever, we’ll... we’ll figure something out”.
Now’s the time to keep walking, this time hand in hand, no weapons needed, until you find the main road and manage to sneak into the back of a truck.
When you get to the civilization, you politely ask some woman on the street if you can use their phone to call some pals. They send you some cash so you can go back home.
You get to your apartment after what appears to be a lifetime, though your friends tell you it’s just been four months since they last heard from you.
Both you and Crowley strip out of your dirty, ragged clothes and get into the shower together, washing down the dirt and blood, but it’s more than that, it’s a new start.
You get Crowley a towel to dry himself, which he does with you sitting on his lap, drying yourself as well.
“What’s next, Kitten?” he asks when he’s finished, wrapping his arms around your waist, seeing as you drop the towel to the floor.
“Well no more hunting, for starters” you declare and he chuckles “Apart from that, I have no idea”.
You stop to think for an instant.
“Does this mean you’re entirely human?” you ask shyly. He looks at you, a mix of fear and hope in his eyes.
“Shall we find out?” he interrogates and you nod, placing your hand to his chest, relaxing the moment you sense his heartbeat “Go get the holy water, Pet. We should be sure anyways”.
So you test him with holy water, salt, a demon trap, and even a demon knife you had laying around. He’s human.
The two of you grin lightly and stay embraced for a while in the couch, taking in the scent of the other, still naked.
He stays quiet for a bit, but then clears his throat and speaks again.
“Do you mind if I use your phone to call my... Moose and Squirrel?” he asks, tone a bit shy.
“Be my guest” you say smiling, lifting up from him so he can put an oversized old robe you had on and call his friends.
You hear some rings through the phone.
“Funny” he says lowly “Says none of this numbers exist”.
“What?” you say frowning “Try again”.
He does but the machine keeps telling him the same.
“Well, maybe they ditched their phones?” you presume “They’re hunters, wouldn’t be uncommon”.
“No, I suppose it wouldn’t” he reflects.
“Have you got an address?” you ask “If the Impala hasn’t been stolen, we could pay them a visit”.
He nods still a bit confused.
“The Impala?” he questions carefully.
“Yeah, my car”.
He goes silent again, but sighs and shrugs shortly afterwards.
“Do you have any clothes that’ll fit me?” he says doubtful.
“Yeah, I must’ve somewhere”.
You look through the drawers and find some men clothes. Must be from a friend, or an ex-boyfriend or something.
“Hopefully this’ll fit” you say handing him over a pair of black jeans, plain black t-shirt and black shoes. He sighs.
“We’re going shopping after this” he declares starting to change, you laugh and roll your eyes.
When you hit the road, the address he gives you seems oddly familiar, but you decide not to ask questions just yet, and instead wait to see what happens.
You feel safe with him on the road. His hand on your knee while you drive and his absent stare on the highway.
You get to the place and... you weren’t wrong, this is your old grandparents house.
“Crowley...” you begin as he gets out of the car and towards the door “What are we doing here?”
“We...” he says as he tries to open the door, and can’t but notice this place doesn’t look quite similar to what he remembered, and it hasn’t even been that long. You frown and take out the old keys to open the door. He stares at you in shock.
“My grandparents used to live here. Men of Letters and all” you chuckle opening the door, Crowley has gone silent. You turn on the bunker’s lights and inhale the book and dust scent.
“This whole time, it was you” he acknowledges but you don’t understand.
“What do you mean me? What are you talking about?”
“I think... I think the portal bounced me to another dimension, to your dimension, just like I was telling you” Crowley tells you after putting two and two together.
“Oh” you finally understand “Oh”.
Inevitably, your heart fills with worry. You don’t want him to leave.
You get back to the car and just sit there, trying to process what just happened.
“We should go back to you place” he mutters after a while “It’ll be easier to decide what to do”.
You nod and start the engine on.
When you’re back at your apartment, everything feels kind of different, there’s a heavy tension coating the room.
“I’m gonna change into something more comfortable” you state heading for your room. When you’re stripping out of your jeans, Crowley enters your bedroom as you put some pajama shorts on and losing the bra without taking your t-shirt off. When he sees you, he walks slowly over you and with a playful look pulls you to the bed with him. You begin to stroke his hair while he’s laying on your chest.
“Crowley” you mumble, unsure about what you’re about to say “Maybe we can find a way back. To your friends I mean”.
“Who says I wanna go back?” he says frowning “I was tired of having a bunch of demons on my tail the whole bloody time anyways”.
“But aren’t you going to miss them? Sam and Dean? And Castiel? And your mother?” you say worried, it’s not like you are pushing him to leave, it really isn’t, but you don’t want him to stay if that means he won’t be happy. He already knows that.
“Mother is dead as far as I know, as for the other three Hardy boys... they’ll do just fine without me” he says a bit nostalgic but giving you a genuine smile “Besides, I have you now, haven’t I?”
You smile back and nod.
“Then I have everything I could possibly want or need right here” he declares, turning to kiss you
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