Merry Christmas and Happy Stalking: It’s Love, Actually Time of Year!

It’s Christmas! So let’s discuss the second most important thing about Christmas after the birth of Christ, that being terrible Richard Curtis film Love, Actually. Love, Actually is apparently a holiday thing across the English-speaking world and possibly beyond (it’s very popular in Australia, to the point where haters are oppressed by friends and family).

Anyone who’s watched Love, Actually knows that it is loathsome because every woman who isn’t a maid or a secretary ends up humiliated and miserable and every woman who openly wants sex is an evil harlot complete with devil horns. In addition, almost every character lives in a middle-class paradise, with stainless steel refrigerators in every kitchen and tasteful record or art collections on every wall. The poors don’t have lofts and floor-to-ceiling windows, which is how you can tell they are unfortunates. It’s all ridiculous and induces vomiting of candy canes and chocolate oranges. These flaws have been documented at length. Continue reading →

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A Theory About Backstories

Gwen C. Katz

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I finally saw Pacific Rim and, alas, it’s not a major triumph for women’s representation by any means.  But it did make me come up with a new theory relating to male and female character backstories in action/war movies.

Mako Mori and Raleigh Becket both have backstories.  Mori’s starts when she’s a little girl, as she’s chased by a kaiju which is killed by Stacker Pentecost, who then adopts and raises her.  Becket’s begins when he’s already an adult and a Jaeger pilot.  It shows him piloting with his brother, who is killed in combat.  There are similarities–both have family members killed by kaiju–but the differences are notable.  Mori’s backstory primarily addresses the question “Why does she want to be a Jaeger pilot?”  On the other hand, Becket’s backstory primarily addresses the question “Why does he have emotional damage?”  His backstory doesn’t explain why he wanted to fight the kaiju…

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Grimdark Antidotes: Castle Waiting

Dear reader, it occurs to me that I’ve been focusing a lot on grimdark lately. This blog has become a depressing parade of misunderstood powerful loners raping and killing everything they meet because, duh, they have to because it’s a nasty world out there!* However, I haven’t spent much time writing about fantasy works that don’t involve eleven-foot long bloodrogue swords and multiple orifice violation for funsies.

Let’s fix that. Continue reading →

I Watch Downton Abbey to my Eternal Shame (spoilers ahead)

Do you like mudkips Downton Abbey? I watch it off and on, and was lucky enough to see the this series’ finale as broadcast in the UK, a whole six months or so before Americans who don’t understand torrenting will be able to see it. A whole glorious hour-and-a-half of drama! So I watched it, and–misery! Nothing happened! I spent time that I could have spent drinking and talking to actual people watching that! Is there any way to leave Downton Abbey, or is waiting for an interesting plot point like waiting for Godot? Continue reading →