There is a cake I'm not supposed to know about tonight, I think, but that's all. Everyone forgot that it's my actual birthday today until after they left, so I got two texts and two calls to tell me after they all left, heh.
I watched the first seasons of How I Met Your Mother, and Big Bang Theory over the last couple of nights. (In between wine and brownie-cake and such. So I was a little wheeee.) You know what my main observation is after watching them? I fucking hate laugh tracks. Seriously, they're like a bizarre hold over from television past that doesn't make any damn sense now. Someone laughing doesn't make me want to laugh any more than if there wasn't a laugh track. It does not make the jokes funnier, and it makes the unfunny jokes stand out more as unfunny because there's hyena laughing going on for no damn reason. Blech. (I don't watch many sitcoms, so it stands out like a sore thumb for me.)
But yeah, other than that so far I enjoyed both shows, but liked How I Met Your Mother more. I put the rest of them on the Netflix, so I'll watch more before forming a final opinion. So far though, my favorite bits were Robin and Barney bromancing, and Sheldon's weirdness in general.
Sometimes the attitude toward women on both shows bug me a little though. More on Big Bang than on HIMYM, if only because it's not acknowledged as creepy as much as Barney generally is. Or maybe that's why, I'm not actually sure, it may just be that I find HIMYM funnier in general so far, so I'm more tolerant.
I think I'll do more ladies now! I'm going to do Fantasy/Horror ladies today, and dump them together since vampire-type stories are pretty much fantasy too, just horrory fantasy.
"No I am. Look, I swear that I am! Ok, but it's just I haven't been in the sun for days, and everyone's at the swimming hole having fun and Matt is there and he finally told me that he loved me but I've been blowing him off and now *you* want me to eat bunnies and I'm kinda freaking out ok? And now you're laughing at me."
"That doesn't vary much from your worried vampire look, neither of which vary from your hey-it's-Tuesday look."
"What is this, a threesome now? You and the Salvatore brothers?"
Caroline is the shallow, vapid blond head cheerleader character. This is NOT my type of lady, generally. I gravitated instantly toward Katherine, when she was first mentioned on Vampire Diaries. She was the manipulative, game-playing, smart, capable, powerful, scary bitch. I LOVE that type. Caroline seemed like a fluff teenage kind of character, there mainly to contrast with the heroine, to show how much more depth/maturity she has. So I dismissed her pretty early on.
Except I was SO WRONG. Caroline has had a huge story arch. From the start, she showed this charming vulnerability. She was always second choice, always struggled when things came easily to her friends. The person she cared for the most, whom she considered to be HER best friend (Bonnie) considered someone else her best friend. She was running a race she never got to win, but she was determined, she was smarter and kinder and more stubborn than she ever gave herself credit for.
And all that just showed up more obviously when she was turned. As a vampire, she was still being used, still a pawn, but you saw signs of her growing, starting to find her own confidence and spine and learn to deal with this new life she had. Through it all, she's tried to BE a good friend, even when those around her weren't doing the same, and she became the emotional heart of the show. Damon screwed her around mightily, and the consent issues that stem from that will probably never be REALLY addressed because the compelling is a standard plot point for vampire lit/shows now, but she's handled herself with class, and she's growing and changing and becoming so awesome that she's now my favorite. I love her more than Damon and his snark, more than Bonnie and emo!Jeremy and Katherine and EVERYONE. Because Caroline is AWESOME.
"Even though I was born blind, I've never had any problems seeing!"
"Yeah. The worst thing about being in disguise is we don't get the hero worship any more. I miss the love."
"I'm going with Zuko! What? Everyone else went on a life change field trip with Zuko. Now it's my turn."
"People see me and think I'm weak. They want to take care of me. But I can take care of myself *by myself*!"
"Hey loudmouths! Maybe we should be a little quieter when we talk about taking out the Firelord."
"I am the greatest Earthbender in the world! Don't you two dunderheads ever forget!"
Toph is the greatest Earthbender who has ever lived. She's a tomboy, she's gross, she's smart, she's blind and she never for a moment lets that get in the way of ANYTHING she wants to do.
In the Avatar world, Earthbending manages to evade being the boring element because the Earthbenders are badass in general, and they do innovative, awesome things. They were the only holdouts against the Fire Nation, they are tough and they are stubborn. (They are also pretty screwed up, but still.) And Toph is, at twelve years old, BETTER THAN ALL OF THEM.
She's got some of the best one-liners in the show, and her rare moments of vulnerability are heart breaking. But it is impossible to watch Avatar and not come away thinking that Toph is awesome. Katara and Suki are also badass, for the Team Avatar ladies, but Toph is my favorite.
"I don't have sob stories like all of you. I could sit here and complain how our mom liked Zuko more than me. But I don't really care. My own mother... thought I was a monster... She was right of course, but it still hurt."
"I can see your whole history in your eyes. You were born with nothing. So you've had to struggle and connive and claw your way to power. But true power, the divine right to rule, is something you're born with. The truth is: they don't know which one of us is going to be sitting down on that throne, and which of us is going to be bowing down. But *I* know, and *you* know."
"Captain: Princess, I'm afraid the tides won't allow us to bring the ship into port before nightfall.
Azula: I'm sorry, Captain, but I do not know much about the tides. Can you explain something to me?
Captain: Of course.
Azula: Do the tides command this ship?
Captain: I'm afraid I don't understand.
Azula: You said "the tides would not allow us to bring the ship in." Do the tides command this ship?
Captain: No, Princess.
Azula: And if I were to have you thrown overboard, would the tides think twice about having you smashed against the rocky shore?
Captain: No, Princess.
Azula: Well, then, maybe you should worry less about the tides, who've already made up their mind about killing you, and worry more about me, who's still mulling it over…"
I really wasn't going to do two Avatar ladies, but I couldn't resist. Toph is my favorite lady on team Avatar, but on my God, Azula. She is MY TYPE. She is incredibly competent. She is smart. She is ruthless and cunning and she is a crazy, power hungry bitch. And I LOVE HER.
She's also incredibly awkward in social situations. A fourteen year old villain who has no idea how to relate to people, and is hopeless when she tries. Azula's motives don't really start to come clear until the end of the series, and her ending was one of my few quibbles with the series. (I loved it, I just would have liked it to be telegraphed/foreshadowed a little more strongly, or worked up to a bit more slowly.) She craves power, but also validation for her abilities - which are pretty amazing - and her victories.
Azula is the scariest damn fourteen year old EVER, and I love her. (I also liked her ladies, Mai and Ty Lee, and loved their storyline and what happened.)
who endeavored most stubbornly not to behave.
So I cut off a finger or two with a knife
and threatened to slaughter his child and his wife.
Then I stripped him down naked and strapped to a horse,
I dragged him through miles of rabble and gorse.
Poured salt in his wounds and rolled him in rubble,
that was the last time he gave any trouble."
"Hurry up and torture me before I fall asleep and miss it."
"If you get yourself killed trying to rule the world, I will personally break every bone in your body."
While this series was another male-hero series that more or less revolved around the straight white lead, it did pretty well by the women. They had the sexy dominatrixes, true, but they were also pretty powerful and respected, and the other two most powerful types (Confessors and the Sisters) were all ladies too. So it did better than I expected going in.
I liked Kahlan, but Cara with her scarred past and emotional walls and struggle to admit to her own feelings and loyalties - I loved her. (I also shipped the hell out of Kahlan/Cara, not gonna lie.) She wore leather and kicked ass and she was pretty much loyal until the end of the world, even if she had to have screwed up self-justification to do it.
The bad girl struggling to change sides and find herself is another type I love (Hello, Faith from Buffy), and Cara fit right into that, and she was my favorite part of the show.
"See how calm the surface of the water is. That was me once. And then....(throws the rock in)....the water ripples and churns. That's what I became."
"If the titans caught her we could be facing thousands by now. On the bright side if anyone can stall it’s Gabrielle."
"My name is Xena. I´m a problem-solver."
"Sometimes you have to have patience with things that annoy you."
She's XENA. The show was ridiculous about 80% of the time, but it was FUN, and Xena was pretty badass and amazing. She was Lucy Lawless, who I watch and love in pretty much everything. (I watched Spartacus: Blood and Sand and More Blood and Hey Some Tits and Then More Blood for her. . . only one episode, but STILL.) She was pretty much a femmeslashy icon, even if they never just came right out and said her and Gabrielle were together, as far as I know. (Which they SHOULD have.) She can kill anything you point her at, and do it with a leather mini skirt and a frisbee. She's THAT badass.
I vaguely remember when the Xena spinoff was being discussed a whole lot of "can a woman carry an action show?" articles and discussion, and I'm pretty sure Xena went on to have better ratings and a longer run than Hercules. She's still an iconic character and no matter how wildly inaccurate or improbable her show was, it was still pretty damn awesome.
"This isn't just your war, this is war. Now something big and bad is coming and it's coming fast, and their side holds all the cards. Now, at best all we got is us. Together. No secrets or half-truths here.
"You got me, Jo. And you're right, this is important. But I will not leave you here alone."
Supernatural has a HORRIBLE track record with women. They're demonized, fridged, marginalized, or ignored, for the most part. In a show that's resurrected each of its male leads several times, and several white male costars, the ladies are never brought back. Few of the females on the show stick around long enough to be memorable. (And the one who stuck around the longest, I couldn't stand. Which was an unfortunate personal taste thing, since I found both Ruby incarnations completely uninteresting.)
Ellen wasn't an exception, since she and Jo both got pretty shafted, but she, at least, managed to be awesome. She was a fierce mother, and a badass hunter given a reason to leave her bar, which she ran on her own and had a ton of mostly-male hunters who drifted through completely cowed. (Including Dean.) She was hot, she was capable, and she did exactly what she had to do, every step of the way, even when her choices sucked. Ellen is STILL on of the characters I most regret not getting to still watch on my TV.
"I have a question. Why are you guys in wetsuits and I'm in this Honey Ryder "Thunderball" nightmare?"
"Uh, the Boy Scouts called, they want their family counseling merit badge back."
"See, that's why I'm an artist and you're a soulless android from outer space masquerading as a cranky librarian."
This probably should have gone under Sci-Fi, but I forgot, so she's going here. The Middleman was a short-lived, silly show that had a punchy, kitschy feel to it. It was silly, it was a little old-fashioned feeling. It was punchy and it was very, very well-done and a ton of fun. And Wendy with her deadpan reactions and badass capableness was a big reason why the show worked and was as fun as it was.
Her relationship with her roommate and best friend Lacey remains both import to her, and important to the show, which was refreshing to see, and she and the Middleman's utterly different styles but strange similarities made for a great partnership and dynamic.
Wendy was never phased by the weirdness she got thrown into, and while that blaseness could have been irritating, she managed instead to make it a quirky, fun part of who she was. She was also our entryway character into the world, since we learned as she did, and usually the entry character is a little wide eyed, but Dub-Dub was completely okay with everything that happened, and for some reason that vaulted us right into enjoying the weird world along with her.
I have been typing this all damn night, so I go sleep now and tomorrow I will fix the horrific typos that are inevitably all over this post.
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