owlmoose: (stonehenge)
We finished Season One last night, and holy forking shirt. I am so eager to see what comes next.

Anyone want to talk about it? Spoilers in the comments, yes please.
owlmoose: (Default)
Dark and gritty Oz-inspired TV series: not sure if want. But The Mary Sue's enthusiastic review is promising. Anyone watching? Any thoughts?

For reference, I enjoyed Wicked as a musical but HATED the book, largely because it had no sense of wonder whatsoever, and that is an absolute must in an Oz adaptation for me. I read the books many, many times as a child; I like the classic movie well enough but find the differences from the book jarring (especially the end).
owlmoose: stack of books (book - pile)
I wrote an overview of my year in reading and watching stuff for [community profile] ladybusiness. You can find it here. I also set some annual reading goals for the first time ever; we'll see how that goes.

Although you can likely infer some of my choices :) this is not a proper Hugo recommendation post. Look for one of those later this month, after I've got more short fiction under my belt. But considering this your reminder that 2017 Hugo nominations are now open!
owlmoose: (yahtzee - out of context)
Using the same template as last year.

Your main fandom of the year?
Gotta be Critical Role (see below).

Your favorite film watched this year?
The new Ghostbusters. Arrival was objectively a better movie, and I have more fannish attachment to Civil War, but no other movie was quite as much fun.

Your favorite book read this year?
In the Labyrinth of Drakes by Marie Brennan, the fourth book in the Lady Isabella Trent series. I love the directions this story took, and the way the ending has set up the final book in the series. I also need to give a nod to the last Temeraire book, for providing a satisfying and surprising end to one of my favorites series of all time.

Your favorite album or song to listen to this year?
If I'm being honest, probably Hamilton again.

Your favorite TV show of the year?
Either the final season of Agent Carter (sniff) or the most recent season of Orphan Black, which returned to form after a slightly off third year. Honorable mentions: Luke Cage, the current half season of Agents of SHIELD, Top Chef season 13.

Your favorite video game of the year?
I haven't played many games this year. The only one that really sticks with me is Solstice, which I mentioned in my mid-year roundup, the new game from the makers of Cinders.

Your best new fandom discovery of the year?
I think you already all know the answer to this one: Critical Role. My first new fandom in the last couple of years, I spent the second half of 2016 watching the series, then re-watching it (I caught up to the most recent episode and then re-watched it a couple of days ago), wrote a handful of stories, and basically became completely consumed. A part of me is glad that the rewatch is over so I can have my life back. A part of me wants to go back and start all over again, again.

Your biggest fandom disappointment of the year?
US presidential election season finale Agent Carter not being renewed for a third season. :(

Your fandom boyfriend of the year?
Matthew Mercer. Is it weird for your fandom boyfriend to be a real person? But it's true -- Matt's performance on Critical Role, both as DM and as a large percentage of the cast, is a huge part of the show's appeal to me.

Your fandom girlfriend of the year?
Peggy Carter, forever.

Your biggest squee moment of the year?
"Anything can happen in the woods..." (Spoilers for Critical Role Ep. 72)

The most missed of your old fandoms?
Oh, I don't know, all of them? I feel very out of touch with fandom right now. But at least lately, I suppose I'm most disconnected from Dragon Age. Maybe it's the lack of new content, and also I basically quit all my replays when I started spending all my free time on Critical Role instead. Now that the catch-up project is over, I hope to get back to that.

The fandom you haven't tried yet, but want to?
I never did get started in Supergirl or Star Wars, despite my interest. Solstice might have some possibilities, too.

Your biggest fan anticipations for the coming year?
Star Wars: Episode 8. The final Lady Isabella Trent book, and the last of the new N.K. Jemisin trilogy. The Defenders on Netflix.
owlmoose: (coffee)
I spent all day watching the new Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life with friends. Because we took a number of breaks for chatting and eating -- because how can one watch a bunch of Gilmore Girls without a corresponding spread of snacks? such coffee, popcorn, blueberry pancakes, more coffee, french fries, and corn dogs, which would have been the more appropriate burgers except it was raining, so our hosts couldn't use their grill -- it's late enough that I don't feel like I have time to write up thoughts up in more detail, but overall I can call myself content. It felt very much in the spirit of the original, and I was pleased by where all the most important relationships -- Lorelai and Rory, Lorelai and Luke, and Emily with her daughter and granddaughter -- ended up. More later, I hope.

Supergirl

Oct. 12th, 2016 09:54 pm
owlmoose: (B5 - Ivanova)
Finally got a chance to watch the season premiere of Supergirl. An intriguing start to the season, and Tyler Hoechlin made a great impression as both Superman and Clark Kent. But...

Cut for spoilers. )
owlmoose: (quote - i can fix this)
Thanks to the recommendations and enthusiasms of MANY PEOPLE (you know who you are), I took the plunge and started watching Critical Role, a Twitch show in which a group of American voice actors play an ongoing Dungeons & Dragons campaign. Chances are, the foregoing all you need to know. It's exactly what it says on the tin. If it's not your kind of thing, you'll know right away. If it is, you'll probably be like me and get sucked in, completely and immediately.

The downside: this is a deep, deep rabbit hole. It's an ongoing show, there are already over 60 episodes, and the episodes average three hours in length (a few are shorter, many are longer). There are skippable bits, outdated announcements at the beginning and non-game business at the end, but it's still a ton of content. Fortunately, thanks to a suggestion from [personal profile] seimaisin, I was able to skip a chunk of episodes at the beginning -- I started with episode 14, then jumped ahead to episode 18 and started watching from there. Normally, I have a hard time coming in on stories in the middle, but Ep.14 starts a breather period between the end of one arc and the start of another. The new arc starts in earnest with Ep.24, which I gather is the latest place you can really jump in. Although I normally hate coming in on the middle of a story, I've found it much less of a problem here. I think this is largely because the group had been playing these characters for a couple of years before the show started, so it's literally not possible to start at the beginning.

I'm about halfway in -- I most recently watched Ep.34, which I assume was the climatic battle of the Whitestone arc, although who knows what surprises are left in store -- and am thoroughly charmed by the cast, the characters, and especially the DM, and I can't wait to see where all this is going.
owlmoose: (lost - sawyer)
I haven't done much in the way of best-of lists in the past, but it seems like a good idea, especially if I decide I want to make a more thorough list at the end of the year. It would be a lot easier to write these kinds of posts if I remembered to update Goodreads in a timely fashion. Maybe making regular list posts will get me into the habit. All releases are 2016 unless otherwise noted.

Books and Comics )

Movies, TV, and Other Media )
owlmoose: (marvel - peggy hat)
I just posted a article on the second season of Agent Carter to [community profile] ladybusiness. The second paragraph includes minor CA: Civil War spoilers, and of course many spoilers for the season throughout. Check it out!

http://ladybusiness.dreamwidth.org/2016/05/18/closing-the-file-on-agent-carter.html
owlmoose: Closeup of Melinda May (marvel - melinda may)
Supergirl was renewed for season 2! Hooray! It will be airing on The CW, which seems like a better fit than CBS anyway.

Agent Carter has been cancelled! Boo! So much for my favorite show on television, by like a lot. Also reported today was news that the Bobbie Morse/Lance Hunter spin-off won't be moving forward, leaving Agents of SHIELD as the only Marvel show on ABC.

These two announcements came within hours of each other, so I experienced a bit of whiplash this afternoon. So disappointing. My dreams of a golden age for superhero ladies on television, shattered. Because of course we can't have more than one TV show about female superheroes of entirely different genres, tones, and target audiences. Meanwhile, we can have as many shows about white dudes who kill people but have lots of angsty manpain about it as we want. Goody.
owlmoose: (quote - flamethrower)
I never did catch up on the third season of Sleepy Hollow. And now it's sounding like I never will.

A pity -- the show had such promise, and although the second season was a mess, the partial reset at its end had me somewhat hopeful for the future. (I didn't hate Katrina as much as some fans did, but the character had nowhere left to go long before her exit.) But clearly that was all squandered. At least I can free up some space on my DVR.
owlmoose: (towel dog)
Eh.

I mean, okay, that's an overstatement, but I've never felt the fawning love for this show that we see in some corners of fandom, especially not in comparison to the other Marvel TV properties -- yes, even Agents of SHIELD, although I accept that one might be more a matter of personal taste. The first season was all right, this second season was all right, but both seasons made choices that actively bothered me, and I'm not convinced that either a third season of this show or bringing the characters forward into The Defenders will confront my questions and concerns to my satisfaction.

Anyway, here are my main issues, under a cut for all the spoilers.

Manpain and more manpain, manpain galore. Also the things I liked. )

Oscar

Feb. 28th, 2016 11:03 pm
owlmoose: (quote - B5 avalanche)
I don't always watch the Oscars, and not at all for the last few years, but I was curious to see how Chris Rock would handle hosting duties in the context of the all-white acting nominee controversy. Overall, I thought he was quite good -- he confronted issues of racism and blackness all night, and he pulled none of his punches. Although I also felt like there were a couple of missteps (the bit about men and women being treated differently on the red carpet comes to mind, as does how close he came to suggesting that African Americans are no longer facing "real" problems and therefore have time to spare on diversity in Hollywood), I'm actually hard pressed to think of a better host, given the circumstances.

Other things I liked: the shout-outs to climate change, anti-racism, and sexual abuse in various winners' speeches, Louis CK's thoughts on the power of documentaries, Joe Biden speaking up about sexual assault followed by Lady Gaga's moving performance and the bravery of all the people who stood with her, Spotlight winning best picture (it's a REALLY good movie -- if you haven't seen it yet, you should), all the awards for Mad Max: Fury Road (although I'm sad that George Miller didn't win for directing, at least he received a lot of recognition via his team), and the fact that we can FINALLY retire the "sad Leo wants an Oscar" meme. Nothing against DiCaprio -- he's a great actor, and by all accounts he put in a worthy performance (I haven't seen The Revenant and don't plan to, since it's not my kind of movie) -- but I grew tired of the meme awhile ago. There are plenty of other great actors without Oscars who are possibly even more deserving, and I am more than ready to move on, please.
owlmoose: (marvel - peggy hat)
My first official post for [community profile] ladybusiness is a look at the first five episodes of Agent Carter Season 2. Short version: a lot of fun, some great new female characters, maybe not perfect, but I'm enjoying the heck out of it.

I should probably have linked this here before it went out of date, with two new episodes this week, but better late than never? ;) I expect I'll have more to say once the show is done.
owlmoose: (coffee)
Title: Acts of Love
Fandom: Gilmore Girls
Rating: G
Wordcount: 943
Characters: Luke Danes/Lorelai Gilmore
Spoilers: Yes, for the whole series but especially the last few episodes.
Notes: When the possibility of a Gilmore Girls revival was first rumored (it's still not confirmed as of this writing, but circumstantial evidence continues to be solid), I decided that it was time to watch the series again, not least because I never finished it the first time (I stalled out early in season 6, not because I wasn't liking it but because I had to set it aside for something else, and just never got back to it). It had been long enough that I thought it made sense to start over again, and I enjoyed it very much, even the controversial Season 7. I came out the series 'shipping Luke/Lorelai and Rory/herself, and although I don't know that I'll ever write fic for it again, this missing scene from the series finale has been buzzing at me since I finished a few days ago. So I wrote it down.

'I just like to see you happy.' )
owlmoose: photo of little owl in a stocking cap (owlhat)
Not a whole lot to report, really. We spent the last few days alternating between getting out and doing stuff (the Asian Art Museum, the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park, lunch out both days), and staying home and hiding from the rain (which is pounding on my roof right now).

I also managed a fair bit of reading today. I finished House of Shattered Wings by Aliette de Bodard (which I liked, but not as much as I wanted to), read volume two of Wicked + the Divine (excellent, if not quite as amazing as the first, which I really wish I had read before last year's Hugo nomination deadline -- it would have bumped Sex Criminals, easy), and caught up on the last several arcs of Gunnerkrieg Court (consistently excellent -- I need to figure out which of them were published in 2015). I find it somewhat amusing that two of these works involve the fate of Lucifer as a significant plot element, if in very different ways.

Tomorrow is an off day for me, although I do have a chorus rehearsal. And then Agent Carter is back on Tuesday! I can't wait.
owlmoose: (science)
Maybe a month or so ago, T got an email announcing a pre-sale of tickets to "An Evening with Neil deGrasse Tyson". It sounded like fun, and we had no known conflicting plans, so we decided to go despite the lack of details about what, specifically, the evening might enail. The show was tonight, and it was just as great as we hoped it might be.

The first thing Dr. Tyson did after taking the stage was point out how trusting we were, to buy tickets and come out to the theater based on such a vague program title. The second thing he did was take off his shoes. And then, sock-foot, he introduced the topic of his talk: "An Astrophysicist Goes to the Movies." It was a fun journey through the science of film, television, and a surprising number of beer commercials, what they get wrong, and what they get right. He talked about some of his more infamous run-ins with Hollywood and fandom -- his tweets about science errors in Gravity and The Force Awakens, getting James Cameron to change the erroneous night sky in Titanic for the 3D rerelease (although he tells the story somewhat differently) -- but there were some unexpected topics, too, like the topography of underwear in Zoolander, clever uses of surface tension in A Bug's Life, and how a mathematical equation helped enhance The Expendables 2. And he was hilarious throughout, as well as informative. If you ever get a chance to see him, I recommend it highly.
owlmoose: (cats - lexi innocent)
I haven't seen these making the rounds really, so I'm answering the same questions as last year (plus adding in one about videogames, which was sorely lacking in the past).

Your main fandom of the year?
Even split between Dragon Age and Marvel.

Your favorite film watched this year?
Star Wars: The Force Awakens -- yes, really. I need to see it again. Mad Max: Fury Road is probably an objectively better film, but nothing made me happier than watching a new good Star Wars movie.

Your favorite book read this year?
Uprooted by Naomi Novik. Runners-up include Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear and Black Wolves by Kate Elliott.

Your favorite album or song to listen to this year?
I started trying to research this question, then realized that the answer is obvious: Hamilton.

Your favorite TV show of the year?
Agent Carter just nudges out Jessica Jones and Supergirl. Agents of SHIELD was also really good this year.

Your favorite video game of the year?
Broken Age. Also, the Dragon Age DLCs Jaws of Hakkon and Trespasser, which significantly improved the Inquisition experience as a whole.

Your best new fandom discovery of the year?
I haven't gotten into a new fandom in awhile. But Star Wars and Supergirl are both nudging at me a little bit -- we'll see whether anything comes of either. It was nice to rediscover how much I enjoy the Star Wars and Superman universes.

Your biggest fandom disappointment of the year?
Avengers: Age of Ultron. I was able to mostly enjoy the movie as I was watching it, but the further distant I get, the more I'm bothered by its many flaws. If the film franchise keeps drifting this far from my interests, I may start focusing on the MCU TV shows, which were much stronger than the movies this year (even given my ambivalence toward Daredevil).

Your fandom boyfriend of the year?
No one in particular? I did write rather a lot about Alistair from Dragon Age, though.

Your fandom girlfriend of the year?
Peggy Carter. Close second: Kara Zor-El Danvers.

Your biggest squee moment of the year?
The opening chords of the Star Wars theme, ringing out in a darkened movie theater.

The most missed of your old fandoms?
I found myself thinking about Final Fantasy XII a lot this year, in part because of the word about an impending HD remake.

The fandom you haven't tried yet, but want to?
As I mentioned, Star Wars and Supergirl (particularly Kara/James) are both tapping at my mindspace. All it wants is a strong plot bunny.

Your biggest fan anticipations for the coming year?
Attending my first WisCon in May!

In terms of media: Season 2 of Agent Carter. Luke Cage. Captain America: Civil War (although the anticipation there is tinged with more than a little dread). The next season of Orphan Black. Star Wars: Rogue One. The sequel to Court of Fives by Kate Elliott, which I think is supposed to come out in 2016. I'm sure there are other books I'm anticipating, but I don't follow upcoming releases closely enough to know what they are offhand. Solstice, which is the new game from the makers of Cinders -- I know a lot of folks have played this already, but I kept forgetting to pre-order and now it's too late. Maybe Kingdom Hearts 3 will appear next year? We can only hope.
owlmoose: Closeup of Melinda May (marvel - melinda may)
Today, I am thankful for Jessica Jones, which I just finished. I thought it was excellent, and I hope they give her a second season. I will have more thoughts when it isn't 12:30am.

Also I am thankful for family, and turkey, and that the desserts I made all went over well, and that I broke wordcount minimum on my Dragon Age Reverse Big Bang (though there is still a fair amount of story left to go). And, as always, for all of you wonderful people, both those I've met recently and those who have been around awhile. Thanks for coming around and sticking around. :)

I hope everyone who celebrates had a lovely Thanksgiving!
owlmoose: (avengers - natasha)
Watched the first two episodes. Very promising start! Not a whole lot to say yet, especially without massive spoilers, but I'm looking forward to the rest. T is enjoying it, too.

Jessica is a fantastic character: dark, difficult, screwed up, but basically a good person -- not the type of lead role that a woman often get to play. She veers quite often into anti-hero territory, and although I'm on record as being tired of the brooding loner trope, seeing it in a woman is kind of refreshing. Also, the density of female characters is excellent, as is the variety and importance of the relationships they have with each other.

Kilgrave is possibly the scariest, most messed up villain I have EVER seen. So far, they seem to be handling the consent issues (as seen in the trailer) quite well, although I don't hold myself out as the last word on that. This is the thing I'm most hoping they don't screw up. So far so good.

I could raise some concerns, but for now I'm happy to just watch and see where everything goes. Maybe I'll go start another one right now.

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