Monday, February 18th, 2013

retsuko: (cool yuuko)
Waaaay too much TV lately, but all of it on the heels of some tough personal stuff, and soon to be followed by An Edifying Book Report. Also, one movie!

At the Movies:

Beautiful Creatures: So... sometimes I watch a movie or a show, and I wish the main characters weren't the main characters, and that a side character would step up and be the main character instead. In this case, it was Emma the librarian, played with steely layers of awesome by Viola Davis. The more I found out about her character, the more I wanted to swing the camera around to point at her and have her tell her life story. ("Hi, I'm a seer and unwilling-but-destined librarian for a group of quasi-immortal sorcerers who supposedly have a worldwide network with libraries connected via underground tunnels and I can talk to the dead. These quasi-immortal sorcerers drive me crazy with their self-righteous bullshit, but I take my work seriously, and I'll be damned if I give up anything before I'm good and ready to do it at the appropriate moment. Tea?") This isn't to say that the rest of the characters were bad or boring, but the teenaged love story paled in comparison to the world-building that struggled to take root in the background. I got the distinct impression that the authors of the original work had two goals in mind: 1) out-do Twilight with a better, slightly healthier romance, and 2) write up some cribbed notes from their best RPG sessions. Beautiful Creatures feels like a good role-playing game, as told by a storyteller who thinks that she/he had come up with something 100% original, when it's more like... about 50% original, but even the tried and true stuff was pretty good, so the players weren't complaining. The story unfolds in pretty standard teen romance fashion, but with the magic v. religion lens firmly in place, and with a villain who managed to be scary about two and a half times. The two teen leads were good actors and imbued the material with as much life as they could muster. The adults carried out their roles with varying levels of success, given the cheese in the settings and kudzu around them. It was a fun movie, a bit saggy in places, but I think it helped that I went in with almost no expectations. And I still wish I could have turned the story around to focus on the NPCs, er, side characters. Maybe rent it some night when you need something diverting and not too challenging.

On the TV:

Lost Girl, Season 1, and first episode of Season 2: I really, really enjoy this show, for a number of reasons which are too numerous and spoiler-rific, so are listed under this cut. )

All things considered, it's an excellent show, and one I'm glad to be able to watch most of on Netflix streaming.

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, Season 3 Finale: I really enjoyed it, mostly because it felt like a mini-Broadway musical, complete with songs about every mood and whim that took the characters along with the plot. It also addressed an interesting question about the world-building of the show itself, one that I've been wondering about for quite some time: if the ponies' cutie marks somehow are tied to their given vocations, what happens if you end up with the wrong one? (Why, yes, I have been putting far too much thought into a cartoon aimed at selling toys to girls ages 6-10, why do you ask?) That question wasn't really answered, but at least it was raised, and everyone got to sing, and the ending was sincerely sweet. I'm actually on board with the big plot development, and I wasn't thinking that would happen at all. A nice ending to a somewhat short and rather uneven season.

Adventure Time: Fionna & Cake, "Bad Little Boy": So, Donald Glover was PERFECT as Marshall Lee's voice, and I liked the twist on the original conceit of the episode. (Does this mean that we're going to see someone else write Fionna and Cake fanfic in the next installment? I'd love to see Princess Bubblegum's rejoinder to Marceline's assertions in this episode.) I also like that there was so much singing in this episode, although some of the songs didn't quite hold together the way I'd hoped they would--I was hoping for "happy earworm" and instead there was a great deal of "dueling dialogue through song" that I've already forgotten most of. Still, it was an excellent episode and makes me long for the day when Fionna and Cake is its own entity. (I also have to say that the funniest bit was that Pendleton Ward's voice for Lumpy Space Prince was exactly the same as Lumpy Space Princess's.) It made me want to dye my hair blond for Comic Con so I could cosplay as Fionna!

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