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05 January 2007 @ 12:42 pm
Squeeing my way into 2007...  
So I've been on vacation mode and consequently have spent more than a normal amount of time in front of my ibook screen. Some of it was fannish catch-up; passing thoughts on various things cut-tagged below.

Peter was more bearable on second viewing, knowing that his plot goes somewhere. Mohinder was far less bearable knowing that his plot goes nowhere. Apparently I am intolerant of pointlessness. *g* Simone remains a very poorly written and implausible character, imo. I found myself enjoying Audrey and Matt more and Nikki a hell of a lot less. Rewatch only confirmed my opinion of her as a useless mother and a weak idiot. I really liked revisiting the scene where she visits DL's mother, since DL's mum tells it like it is: DL's a good guy and if he had access to 2 million, he'd have whisked his kid off to a heavenly life a long time before now.

I watched with a friend who warmed to Peter instantly and hated on Nathan. There was a lot of exclaiming and gesticulating at the screen about how Nathan was an unbearable asshole. It was most entertaining. *smug* She was getting sucked in by the end. ;-) Otherwise my reactions remained the same, but I picked up a lot more detail on rewatch and a lot of moments had far more resonance.

So, I've been meaning to put in the time with this show for some time, and yesterday I finally got a block of time to watch the first five eps. I'm hooked. But I'm still at the stage of finding it slightly odd that I'm hooked because there are a LOT of things that make me uncomfortable about this show. Firstly I don't really understand sports mentality. I especially don't understand how someone screaming in your face and telling you you don't deserve shit is a motivator to anyone. *scratches head* My reaction to someone yelling at me to do something is almost invariably a quiet 'no, fuck you very much' and instantly removing myself from the situation. So it's really hard for me to understand why these guys remain on the team. I keep reminding myself to 'factor in testosterone' to myself as I watch.

I don't really like any of the characters. Not completely. My favourites are probably the coach's family, the paralysed guy (simply because he hasn't done anything really horrible), the new Quarterback (gotta love an underdog) and (bizarrely) paralysed guy's best friend of extreme broodiness simply because he's so very hilariously fucked up. Everyone else increasingly annoys me--but in a very 'I must keep watching because you frustrate me so much I can't leave it hanging' kind of way. I especially hate the peppy cheerleader girl.

Other than that, my main reaction to the show so far has been overwhelming sadness. I'm not sure if this is intentional within the show or not, but I find it all so sad and bleak--this wasteland of a town and all these sad little people with their limited little lives. Imagine the best thing in your life being football! *shudders* And the religiousness squicks me out too and makes me even sadder for them--they are so desperate to believe that there's some meaning in their lives when clearly there is not. And a lot of the plots so far seem to be about extreme dysfunction with not even the glimmer of hope that things will improve. So it makes me very sad, and this seems at odds with the 'struggle against the odds' plot arc of the team rebuilding the season. But it does make it a whole lot more realistic and therefore at worst bearable, at best fascinating.

Hmmm. So, this show is very well made and I'm mesmerised by the performance of the lead actor, but serial killers are not really my thing. It's squicking me out but not in the way I expected it to. The whole 'serial killer with standards/as dispenser of justice' thing is interesting conceptual ground to cover. And Dexter is certainly fascinating and amusing--his self-awareness sells the character very well. However, I find myself very uncomfortable when Dexter's self-awareness falters. His relationship with his girlfriend is particularly hideous to me. So it's not the killing itself that squicks me out, so much as the deceit (and abuse) necessary to cover up his own peculiarities and pass as a 'normal' person. His relationship with his sister seems to have a core of genuine affection to it, whereas his relationship with his girlfriend is wholly repulsive to me--at least it seems so so far.

I imagine I'll watch a bit more, partly for the great performance, partly for curiosity, and partly because I like the character of Dexter's sister a lot. I hope we get more development for Deb. It's very early, so this show could hook me in despite the squicky, or it could trail off into something I'm not that interested in--not sure yet.

This has been wonderful holiday reading for me. It's been a long time since I first tackled this series, and I'm now reading on further than I have before. I'm somewhere in the middle of A Storm of Swords now, and thoroughly hooked (though I still recall supacat's warnings about book 4). For now, I find myself enjoying most of the plots, though Jaime, Arya and Tyrion's sections are usually the most fascinating. Daenerys is interesting as well, but sometimes the politics of her plot get a bit tedious. Davos bored me a great deal until he was made Stannis's Hand--now that set-up intrigues me a little more. Jaime is probably the most intriguing character of all and I found myself totally sucked in by his plot in the first half of book 3--his absence in Book 2 was very powerful as well--the way other characters responded to him as a concept rather than his presence. Arya is my second favourite but I have no idea where her plot will go now that she's been revealed as a Stark again. The supernatural elements are intriguing me more than they did on first reading, if my foggy recollections are accurate. The most successful thing about the series for me so far is the way Martin shows characters caught up in a whirlwind of events beyond their control--twists in destiny that none could have predicted and seeing how they cope with that. Must. Read. More.

But there is so much more to watch and read! *stares at pile of DVDs and books accumulated over the Christmas break*
 
 
Current Location: work (sadly)
Current Mood: lethargiclethargic
Current Music: In the morning, The Coral
 
 
 
Moonwitch Iconsmoonwitch on January 5th, 2007 02:33 am (UTC)
I'm not going to read anything you said cus I don't want to spoil myself, but is Dexter good?
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Buffy glowybop_radar on January 5th, 2007 02:34 am (UTC)
Yes, it seems good. Creepy but good.
Moonwitch Iconsmoonwitch on January 5th, 2007 02:37 am (UTC)
:D Yay. It's been rec'd to me before, and I trust your judgement when it comes to shows, so. XD
dianora: bsg lee karadianora2 on January 5th, 2007 02:35 am (UTC)
I love the GRRM books. Although I'm kind of bored by Davos, too, still. Meh. And while I loooooove John Snow, I find a lot of the stuff with the Wall boring too. But my only real problem with the books is that they're so unrelentingly dark -- nothing good ever, ever happens to these people. I'm all for angst and drama, but you have to have moments of emotional payoff from time to time in order to give the reader a break.

Other than that they're bloody brilliant. ;)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: books!!bop_radar on January 5th, 2007 02:43 am (UTC)
*nods* The unrelenting darkness is partly what I've been warned about. And while I really like dark, I do find him pretty unrelenting and I completely agree about moments of emotional payoff being required. His editor should nudge him a little, however the sheer scope of imagination is very impressive. The Wall can be a little dull, yes. I go back and forth with it.
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K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: books are lovebop_radar on January 5th, 2007 03:20 am (UTC)
Jaime losing his hand really 'got' me, in that I realised how attached I was to that character when that loss hit me really hard. And even then I think there is a sense that Jaime's on a journey, that the suffering he endures could be to a purpose. I guess I'm just hoping at this stage that it does lead somewhere--opinions on this seem to differ (and with an uncompleted series it's hard to say). And meanwhile his snark is glorious. Cersei, on the other hand, bores me because she's not clever.

Robb and Catelyn are both a bit dumb, imo. They're goodhearted but boring and definitely lacking in genius. The wolves suck me in pretty much wherever they are. Bran and Jon are being about equally emo at the moment, which could become tedious but as long as their plots don't stagnate for too long I think I'll be ok.

Since I haven't read up to all the bits you mention it's a little hard to say more than that right now! But I am encouraged about Jaime being a major player in book 4. That should keep me going...
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K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Bamber yellowbop_radar on January 5th, 2007 03:40 am (UTC)
Hee. That's ok. I knew I was running a risk with the whole 'halfway through' scenario. I must say the structure of the series confused the hell out of me. Book Three has TWO PARTS?! What the...? They are confusingly titled exactly the same way?! I ended up with one copy of the full book 3 and one of only the first half. Am miffed. Will sell it on. I gather Book 4 is the same two-part scenario?

I will look forward to reading your long posts on Jaime! :-D I am buoyed to continue.
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K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Leebop_radar on January 5th, 2007 04:34 am (UTC)
*furrows brow* Ok, I think I've got that straight now.

It's hard for me to imagine anyone loving Jaime more than Lee at this point in time. *clings to Lee* However, he IS entirely fascinating and original, and obviously I have a lot more to read of his journey!
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K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lois searchingbop_radar on January 6th, 2007 02:34 am (UTC)
I just read the bit where Jaime goes back and rescues Brienne from the bear pit!! I ONLY RESCUE MAIDENS!! *lol* It was so great!! *bounces*

Yes, it certainly is more comforting when you feel that the creator knows exactly what they're doing with your loved character. Niccolo was like that for me. He's still my ultimate fictional character, I think, and the fact that Dunnett had him so masterfully in hand was exhilerating. Having faith in an author is a good thing. My faith in Martin is growing.
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K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Tom's backbop_radar on January 6th, 2007 05:12 am (UTC)
Eeeeee!! *bounces with you* It was very exciting and great, yes. I loved his frustration with her as well--she should be attacking and he can't understand why she's not until he realises it's a tourney sword and then when Vargo says 'go get her then', he DOES, and I guess that's the first time he's really been a man of action successfully since he had his hand cut off, and it sort of shows that that part of him is still there. But he also has to be more cunning (like Tyrion) and he's still snarky but he tells Brienne the truth rather than be even crueller to her. His plan was pretty hilariously dashing too--relying on the archers to shoot. And his moment of sorrow for the bear was very charming! I'm sold. :D
dianora: wentworthdianora2 on January 5th, 2007 03:39 am (UTC)
I agree that Jaime's journey is from dark to light, and your third pargraph is obviously true, but that's not joy. Even human beings in the most grim of circumstances find and have moments of joy -- it's human nature. And I think that's what's missing, much of the time. For me, anyway. :)
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The First Evil: Lee - close-up - syliasyliasyliaasta77 on January 5th, 2007 03:12 am (UTC)
I've downloaded the first ep of Dexter to see what all the fuss is about. I hope to watch it this weekend.

Friday Night Lights is one of the best written, acted, and produced shows on TV. The characters I feel are the most complicated and realistic of any show. But I never feel compelled to talk about it. Maybe because there is nothing to really analyze. And while I like all the charcaters, accept for Lyla because the actress just isn't very good, I can't say I love any of them...yet. There was a moment in this week's ep where I felt myself maybe falling for Matt a little. ;)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Boppybop_radar on January 5th, 2007 03:24 am (UTC)
I know what you mean. I don't often feel compelled to talk about really brilliant shows either, whereas the flawed ones I pour over and over. ;-)

It certainly is incredibly realistic and that's hooked me in--it's indie-cinema-like in its realism and at least some of its production techiniques which is another major hook for me. And the complexity of the characters is starting to shine. I'm glad I'm not the only one who is enjoying it without having a 'loved' character yet.

I'll be interested to see what you think about Dexter. I was very impressed, but with a strong dollop of ambivalence still.
serenographyserenography on January 5th, 2007 03:51 am (UTC)
I can understand the difficulty with the FNL sports mentality. My son played football all through school and it did take me a while to adjust. But it really is portrayed more accurately than you might think. If anything, the FNL coach is far easier on those guys, and nicer, than real h.s. coaches tend to be. I really do enjoy the show - but I don't watch every single episode.
Oh! And I wanted to make sure you got my birthday wishes.
http://serenography.livejournal.com/19456.html?mode=reply
Hope it was a good one. *hugs*
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: KK cutie iconbop_radar on January 5th, 2007 04:21 am (UTC)
Awww, wow, I missed that! I'm still playing LJ-catch up! I'm so glad you linked me to it. Thank you, hon! *hugs*

the FNL coach is far easier on those guys, and nicer, than real h.s. coaches tend to be
Easier?! Nicer?! *falls over ded with shock* Actually the guys that get on the coach's case freak me out even more than the coach. But I guess they are all part of the same mentality set--negative feedback as motivator.
bluesuzannebluesuzanne on January 5th, 2007 04:49 am (UTC)
hehehe ohhhhh keep watching Dexter. It's amazing :D
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: House Cameronbop_radar on January 5th, 2007 06:40 am (UTC)
Will do! :-)
random_seriousrandom_serious on January 5th, 2007 05:11 am (UTC)
Re: FNL. You will adore Matt (the new QB) by the 10th episode, mark my words. The boy's so... hurty, and needing a hug. And yes, I don't get sports mentality, nor really appreciate it. I hate the entitlement and culture of "only winning matters" in sports, and I think that all that noise is making everyone forget why schools/ people engage in sports (health, bonding, stress relief, building self esteem and character etc.) and I hate the macho shit that can go with sports... and yet I love this show.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lex golden fieldbop_radar on January 5th, 2007 06:45 am (UTC)
Yes, my main complaint with sport is that it's frequently driven from a predominantly macho standpoint--winning is all, oneupmanship, etc. And I don't think there's enough acknowledgment that women respond to different motivators. FNL seems to demonstrate the ways macho sports culture sidelines women into 'support' roles very well--but neutrally--it doesn't appear to endorse or glamourise that situation, at least not so far. So I don't feel manipulated into endorsing a culture I dislike. But I'm wary.

I really liked Matt a lot until he went crazy with that bat on the car. And then I sighed and thought, ok, just another testosterone-driven dysfunctional kid. He's still more likeable than most, but he's frustrating me more now.
random_seriousrandom_serious on January 5th, 2007 04:53 pm (UTC)
Well, maybe I am a fool, but I can forgive Matt about the car thing. He's just got so much on his plate and he's stretched so thin he just snapped...

And yes, I hate the sport "values" where sportmanship is not encouraged and such things as honor, dignity, cooperation and respect are forgotten. So far FNL has indeed showed the dark side of sports very well, almost unintentionally, though. The same goes with what FNL depicts women's roles in sports as (or traditional roles in society/ life), or what viewers regognise as such, even if the viewers themselves were not familiar with such a (appalling) situation. Therein lies the danger, IMO: That the viewers just are shown a situation where things are as they are, and then viewers begin accept and expect it, rather than this division of roles be challenged and criticized, as it should be, and the viewers be given options. (In short I am agreeing with you.)

Later on in FNL I find it hard to stomach the... condescention with which women's sports/ role in sports in treated by the characters. Tami and Tyra are the only bright spots as they both challenge and bring to light the fact that sports, as depicted in FNL -and in rl-, are not just a positive. Also, I expect great things from Julie and the Coach/ Julie relationship/ dilemma where roles, expectations, conventions pull them both in different directions.

Here's hoping FNL don't let us down.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: TW smilebop_radar on January 6th, 2007 02:38 am (UTC)
Yeah, Matt's snap was believable. I was expecting too much of him, I think.

Therein lies the danger, IMO: That the viewers just are shown a situation where things are as they are, and then viewers begin accept and expect it, rather than this division of roles be challenged and criticized, as it should be, and the viewers be given options.
*nods* Yes, it's a fine line to tread. And when you have characters on the show being (for example) sexist, you can start to feel that the show itself endorses that viewpoint. So far, I haven't felt manipulated that way by FNL, but if it starts failing to deliver on its 'neutral lens' approach I'll feel let down. Though I must say I'm mostly very excited by it right now--I'm in that first flush of infatuation with a new show. *g*
random_seriousrandom_serious on January 6th, 2007 11:05 am (UTC)
I know the feeling. That show rocks so hard, but the ancipation of a let down is awful, too. (What can I say? I have been burned before.)
Kate: Dexter bloodmskatej on January 5th, 2007 08:09 am (UTC)
YAY! I am so in love with FNL it's ridiculous, but you already knew that.

W/r/t Dexter, KEEP WATCHING. I had the same reaction you did to the first few episodes, thinking I would never be able to care about any of the characters, particularly not Dexter, but it gets much better as the season goes on, and surprisingly, it becomes incredibly heartwrenching. The season one story arc is perfect.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Bop_radar TWbop_radar on January 6th, 2007 02:27 am (UTC)
*g* I will have to revisit your posts on FNL to read your thoughts on it. That's encouraging news about Dexter. I'll persist!
Parul: Heroes - Matt/Audreynakhrewali on January 5th, 2007 10:05 am (UTC)
Ha! Matt & Audrey are always enjoyable together.

Nathan seems to have made a subtle shift from ep1 to 11 and I think the audience's perception of him [well those who weren't already concinced that he wasn't a complete jerk] changed as well. And that's quite the thing to see, I must say. I love it that the TPTB can make people hate a character and then make them sympathise with him.

Peter has been making his own journey but I agree about Mohinder. I feel as though his character has potential but his plot seems to have come in full circle, really.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Nathanbop_radar on January 6th, 2007 02:25 am (UTC)
*nods* I agree--it's interesting to me that I hooked in to Nathan so early. I think the writers wrote it so that we'd dislike him to begin with and then see there was more to him over time. But me, I was hooked on him straight away!

Among the long list of things that I'd like to see on the show is some purpose for Mohinder. I enjoyed the dream sequences in India, but I still don't sense much forward momentum in that plot
Parul: Heroes - jailnakhrewali on January 8th, 2007 06:18 am (UTC)
it's interesting to me that I hooked in to Nathan so early.
ah I was hooked the moment he said "why the hell would I understand that you think you can fly" with so much annoyance in my voice, because that was just a logical thing to say! Plus I have propensity for going for the aloof, logical, unreadable characters on TV and in books: Nathan fit the bill exactly.

Among the long list of things that I'd like to see on the show is some purpose for Mohinder.
I think Mohinder would like that very much too. I wonder if the way we feel about him is supposed to be intentional? He really was quite aimless for the first half of the season and we felt he was aimless too which may have been the point :/
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Nathan Hirobop_radar on January 8th, 2007 09:33 am (UTC)
Yes! That was the moment that hooked me too!! *clings* I don't know if Nathan really fits my normal 'type' though I definitely prefer logical to waffly romantics, so he shone in that exchange with Peter! ;-)
Parul: Heroes - annoyed!Nathannakhrewali on January 9th, 2007 08:12 am (UTC)
LOL that icon = brilliant.

et tu boppy? *clings back*
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Nathan Hirobop_radar on January 10th, 2007 11:22 pm (UTC)
It is a birthday present from norwich36! *g* I looooove eet!