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Thursday, November 3, 2016

Links and Updates

Now that Halloween is over, Christmas seems closer than ever – and with that, the New Year. Let's face it: 2016 has been a bit of a disaster, and though I try to focus mostly on popular entertainment on this blog, that hasn't been particularly stellar either. If anything, 2016 will be remembered in fandom as the year of reboots, remakes, and killing off female characters.
There have been a few exceptions: Constance was granted unexpected clemency on The Musketeers, and the writers of Orphan Black backtracked on their decision to kill off Delphine. As well as that, two lights shine hopefully on the horizon: Princess Moana and Jyn Erso.


I'm SO excited for a Polynesian princess, and even though the trailer seems to be cut to showcase Maui (can't scare off that male audience, can we) I'm pretty confident Moana will be the focus in the movie itself.
This is the trailer that gives the most details about Jyn's life and circumstances, so it's at this point I'll be avoiding any and all forthcoming promotion. There's always a danger of overhyping yourself with blockbuster movies, but I have good vibes about this one, and as I've said before: it really captures the massive threat the Empire poses.
(This is usually the time in which I post my Woman of the Month instalment, though I've decided to hold off until I've seen Moana – I'm pretty confident that she'll be the ideal Miss November).
This year three of my favourite shows came to an end after their third seasons, and though I wasn't as disappointed by The Musketeers as others seemed to be, the Penny Dreadful finale was a hard pill to swallow and the final episode of The Fall even more so; ending in exactly the way I had hoped and prayed it wouldn't. I'll have more to say about it in my next reading/watching log, but for now it seems that the curtain has not yet closed on Penny Dreadfulit'll continue in comic book form.
It pretty much confirms my suspicions that John Logan was informed very late in the day that there would be no season four, as there were so many plot-threads left over from the final episode: Dracula, Mr Hyde, Catriona Hartdegan, Imhotep, the Egyptian prophecy, etc. That said, it's very difficult to imagine any continuation of the story without its centrepiece Vanessa Ives, which begs the question – will it resurrect her or simply retcon the finale moments of the last episode?
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Some links to interesting articles:
My fascination with the relationship between creators/fandom is discussed in Vox's Creators of Popular Media are Becoming Increasingly Wary of Their Fans, which points out very eloquently why writers/artists both love and fear their fan-bases.
I haven't watched Outlander since the first season, but its fandom is a spectacle unto itself. Unsurprisingly the wank is centred around whether or not the two main actors are dating in real life, a question treated by tinhatters and antis alike as The Most Important Thing Ever To Happen In The History Of Human Events. And just when you thought it couldn't get any more bizarre, William Shatner gets involved.  
(Though my favourite bits are the weirdly personal passive-aggressive comments directed at actress Caitriona Balfe; it's like fans are genuinely insulted that she rejects the fantasy life they've projected onto her).
It's a few years old now, focusing mainly on seasons one-through-four, but Overthinking It has a fantastic essay called Is Doctor Who Bad For Woman? The short answer is not really, but it explores things such as wish-fulfilment, gendered power dynamics, the thin line between companionship and romance, and even religious analogies. It's really very good.
And if you enjoyed all THAT, check out Mike Hill's lecture on Spielburg's subtext in Jurassic Park, arguing that the entire movie is a metaphor for two people preparing to become parents.

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