4/21/17

Oooooooh, I kissed a boy tonight. Several times. ;))))))))))))

Relax, it just was for a play. XD

But seriously, my life has been going GREAT lately. The opera at my college (which I was a lead in) is finally over, yay. I got cast as Mistress Quickly in Henry V, which is a small but awesome role (not many lines to memorize, phew). Last night, I got an award from my college’s arts department as the theatre major with the highest GPA. B) Oh and also, this guy told me, “you really have no idea how beautiful you are, do you?” I don’t like him that way or anything, but still, praise is always nice.

Do you know what my mom said to me the other day? I was talking about how when I’m in a room with a lot of people, I feel awkward because I feel like people are staring at me. She said, “well, for one thing, you’re stunningly beautiful, which is unusual for a fat girl. And secondly, you’re kind of a force to be reckoned with.”

Actor. Writer. Director. Singer. Generally brilliant all around. l kinda get what she means.

Oh, boy. Now I’m getting the big head. You know what? I’ve had this inferiority complex for so goddamn long, it’s NICE to actually feel good about myself for once. I’m not gonna be ashamed of it. – TRL

On fair Vulcan where we lay our scene…

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One of Star Trek’s most famous episodes is “Amok Time”, in which seemingly unemotional science officer Spock undergoes pon farr, a biological mating ritual that Vulcans go through every 7 years. But while the plot focuses on Spock’s marriage to fellow Vulcan T’Pring, I say that “Amok Time” is actually a retelling of Romeo And Juliet. But the love story isn’t between Spock and T’Pring. It’s between Spock and Captain Kirk.

First, let’s establish some roles. You may think that, since Spock is the one engaged to a person he’s not in love with, he’s the Juliet of this scenario. But I think, actually, Jim is Juliet and Spock is Romeo in this case.

So, the story. R+J begins with Romeo pining for a girl named Rosalind. Similarly, Spock is longing for T’Pring so he can mate with her. Rosalind has spurned Romeo, just as T’Pring ends up spurning Spock for Stonn. It’s important to note that in R+J, Romeo’s feelings for Rosalind are presented more as lust than love. Spock barely knows T’Pring; their bond is solely physiological, not mental or emotional. But Juliet makes Romeo forget all about Rosalind…

…and this time, it really is true love.

(Spock is so overjoyed when he sees Jim alive in this scene, he literally twirls him around.)

(And I know that R and J’s romance is emblematic of adolescent idiotic love, but make no mistake, they are soulmates. “Star-crossed” means doomed – doomed to fall in love, and doomed to be destroyed. The forces of the universe literally pushed them together. And according to Gene Roddenberry’s novelization of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Jim is Spock’s t’hy’la, a Vulcan word for “friend, brother, and/or lover” –  it’s basically the Vulcan equivalent of soulmate. So, yes, Jim is Spock’s soulmate.)

Meanwhile, Jim is forced to choose between his orders, or saving Spock’s life, much like Juliet’s loyalties are torn between her duty to her family and her true love. There’s even mentioned that T’Pau turned down a seat on the Federation Council, so while it’s not exactly like Spock’s clan and Starfleet are feuding, they are, respectively, the Montagues and Capulets of the story. And like Juliet, Jim ultimately choses love over duty.

Spock, like Romeo, is forced into a fight that he doesn’t want to be in (except it’s with “Juliet” and not Tybalt). And Jim, like Juliet, ends up faking his own suicide by taking a drug given to him by a trusted friend to solve the problem. Romeo and Spock are both despondent at their beloveds’ deaths. Romeo kills himself and Spock is prepared to hand himself over to authorities for murder (killing a commanding officer is a court martial worthy offense in Starfleet, so Spock is therefore committing suicide by cop). Luckily, in this version of the story, Juliet awakens and gets to stay with Romeo.

Let’s talk about the fight scene. Spock is literally in a “fuck or die” scenario. In Shakespeare’s time, people commonly associated death with sex. The French term for sexual climax was even called le petit mort, or “the little death”. The Italian madrigal, “Baci, soavi e cari” by Claudio Monteverdi, is basically about a person saying the kisses of the person they love make them feel like they’re going to die (read: have an orgasm). This pops up in Shakespeare’s works frequently as well. In R+J, the two young lovers perish after consummating their marriage. Jim “dies” during his fight with Spock. Remember, Spock had to have sex to survive pon farr, but he never actually got laid…or did he? Some moments in that fight scene sure look homoerotic… x

Maybe he got laid after all. 😉 -TRL

Is Making Sulu Gay Homophobic?

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GAYS: THE FINAL FRONTIER!

Last year, the third installment of the Star Trek reboot series, Star Trek Beyond, raised a big stink because writer Simon Pegg decided to make Helmsman Hikaru Sulu canonically gay, with a husband and a daughter. People objected to making Sulu gay because they felt it was homophobic to make a character gay just because his original actor, George Takei, is also gay.

I would like to say that, personally, I have no problem with Sulu being gay whatsoever, obviously. Representation is important, especially in such a universal cultural phenomenon like Star Trek. Maybe Pegg just wanted to sexually diversify the crew of the Enterprise and Sulu was the logical choice.

(Later edit): However, I’ve read that George Takei disapproves of the development, so…

But going back to logicalness…if he wanted to make someone on the Enterprise gay, there was a certain pointy eared science officer he could have chosen instead…

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I am just saying, the whole “I must suppress my human emotions” thing is totally a euphemism for staying in the closet. (Let him marry Kirk already. It’s been fifty years. It’s time.) -TRL

Buffy Best To Worst – Season 2

**Spoilers for season 2 of Buffy if you haven’t watched it.**

#19: “Go Fish”: ugh. It’s so bad. It’s probably the worst episode of Buffy – or anything – ever (except for maybe “Where The Wild Things Are”). I mean…fish rape????? Uuuuuuuugh. For such a good season, it’s such a turd. It’s totally skippable, if y0u’re not OCD about seeing every episode.

#18: “Killed By Death”: this episode is just unnecessarily gross. Der Kindestod is even more horrifying than certain grinning, suit wearing floaty monsters from season 4. And the child acting is a little too convincing. Plus, Buffy’s fear of hospitals just seems to have been made up for the sake of the plot (although, if you’re reading ahead, say, in season 6, it makes a little more sense). It’s pretty mediocre; it only stands out because of the horrifying monster of the week. The two shining moments are Cordelia, as usual, hitting the nail on the head about Buffy “needing a monster to fight so she doesn’t feel so helpless” (Cordelia is so understatedly brilliant), because tact is just not saying true stuff, and a defenseless Xander standing up to Angelus to defend Buffy. Yes, it was another faux-white knight moment for the Xan-Man, but remember, this was more than just Xander’s racism/jealousy at play here. Angelus had just killed Jenny Calendar in the previous episode. No doubt the rest of the gang was still mourning her and feeling a bit bloodthirsty. I get so pissed off with Xander sometimes, especially in season 3, but I have to remind myself, going back over the high school seasons, that Xander grows as a character and won’t always be that awful, mean high school boy.

#17: “Some Assembly Required”: this episode and the next one are the episodes I consider straight up filler. It’s an interesting idea, obviously a play on the Frankenstein monster and his bride, but it was just such a cheesy episode. It would have belonged in season 1 better, I think.

#16: “The Dark Age”: this one is just like SAR above; an interesting premise, poor execution. It is nice to get some insight into Giles’ life as “Ripper”, but this episode just didn’t do it for me. Probably a matter of taste.

#15: “Ted”: now we’re getting into the episodes that are bad but in a funny way. Let me put it out there right now: Joyce’s new boyfriend, old Jack Tripper…is a robot. There. That’s the twist. And if you’re older than seven, you probably saw it coming from a mile away. However, it does touch on a topic that will be revisited in all seriousness in season 3: what if a Slayer, a supernaturally enhanced superhuman, killed a normal human being? What would be the repercussions? Buffy, being a moral individual, immediately feels regret for what she’s done and confesses to the police. Now, granted, Buffy probably didn’t intend to murder anyone, she just wanted to rough Ted up a bit. And to be fair, he was a grown man getting physical with a sixteen year old girl. If Buffy wasn’t the Slayer, she might not be able to defend herself. But Buffy, having the advantage (Ted being a robot aside for the moment), doesn’t have the right to manhandle a normal person like she did. Luckily, Ted wasn’t really dead – or human – and Buffy gets a pass. This time.

#14: “Bad Eggs”: if the plot of this episode seems familiar, it’s because it’s basically a fusion of Alien and Invasion Of The Body Snatchers. I like this episode. It’s amusing, and a little bit suspenseful. And the Gorch brothers are fun idiot villains. By the way, if the running theme of sex for this season wasn’t clear before, it should be fairly blatant in this episode. Buffy misses Sex Ed and the lecture on the consequences of teen sex, for one, and the monsters of the week take the form of eggs, the symbol of human fertility, and the big mama is basically a giant vagina with teeth that swallows a man whole. Meanwhile, Buffy and Angel are getting cozier and cozier. They make out against a headstone reading “In Loving Memory” that the camera lingers on. Yikes.

#13: “Reptile Boy”: this episode is fluffy and light and just a bit of fun. Cordy and Buff invade a college frat party, Xander get dressed up in drag, and Buffy kills a giant snake monster. Again, the sex theme is heavy here. Buffy and Cordy getting drugged and chained up in the basement for the Makita demon to eat by the frat boys is an obvious parable about date rape. Not to mention that the Makita (named after a brand of tool, aptly) is a giant penis that Buffy, er…circumcises. But rape undertones aside, it’s a fairly fluff episode. Also, it goes to show that whenever Buffy acts like Cordelia (representative of her past “normal” life before Slayerdom – metaphorically speaking, like a child), bad things happen.

#12: “When She Was Bad”: after watching Passion of The Nerd’s review of this episode and then reading Mark Field’s in-depth guide, Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Myth, Metaphor, and Morality, I understood the point of the episode I’d missed the first time through I watched. Buffy returns from a summer away from Sunnydale and is inexplicably acting like a bitch to her friends. She’d been killed by the Master in the last episode of the first season, and had gone through trauma she needs to confront. But remember, Buffy’s self-sacrifice is symbolic of her committing to her destiny: Slayerdom. Growing up. Xander and Willow are still in their “kid” phase and Buffy sees them, and Angel (because remember, Angel, being a vampire, can never “grow up”), as not understanding what she’s going through, which is why she tries to push them away. Meanwhile, Giles (her mind) is what Buffy sees as having pushed her into her destiny before she was ready to accept it. And the one who forces Buffy to face her issues is none other than Cordelia, her mirror, the symbol of her old life. So now I get the point. This episode still isn’t as resonant with me (even though I’m a 20 year old college student), but I ranked it higher on the list because I feel like me not getting it is my bad, not the writers.

#11: “Inca Mummy Girl”: Oz! Hooray! IMG, like “Reptile Boy”, is another fluff piece which I enjoy. I gotta say, Xander gets some of the best centric episodes, as you’ll see when you get to my number five item. It’s fun, it’s a little heart wrenching, and Buffy saves the day in the end. Nuff said.

#10: “Passion”: I’m surprised Passion ended up so low on my list. I feel like it should be higher up because it’s so important, but this is due to my own preferences, so whatever. Anyway, so it’s just after Valentine’s Day (when Angelus is notorious for wreaking especially sadistic havoc), and Angelus decides to toy with Buffy and her friends. The whole drawing people as they’re sleeping thing is super creepy, but I think what officially wigged me out was Angelus’s assault on Willow’s fish. I’d like to mention: I like fun villains. And Angelus is fun. He enjoys being evil; he gets off on it. And in the end, he kills Jenny Calendar – doesn’t even drink her, just heartlessly snaps her neck – and arranges her in Giles’s bed as the final offense. I feel like I should have been sadder about Jenny, but the fact is, she was an underdeveloped character. I didn’t care when Spike roasted the Annoying One, and I didn’t really care about Jenny. She was cool, but she was little more than a plot device. I only mourned her because Giles did. The significance of her death only makes Angel a corporeal killer in the eyes of the viewer. There will be no coming back from this. By the end of the episode, Buffy declares that she thinks she’s ready to do what she has to do.

#9: “What’s My Line”, Part 1 and 2: these episodes, once again, explore the idea of Buffy’s identity as the Slayer, a topic we will revisit over and over (buckle in). WML contains a lot of golden moments: Willow and Oz finally meeting, Xander and Cordy making out in Buffy’s basement, Buffy kissing Angel in vamp face (which Darla said she would never do); I even kind of liked the scene with Dru torturing Angel. Not that I want Angel to suffer, obviously, but you think about it from Dru’s perspective: this is the man who killed her entire family and tortured her until she became a creature of pure evil like himself, and now he’s good and fighting against her and Spike. Of course she’s pissed. And then, of course: “I om Kendrah. Te Vampeer Sleeyir.” (Okay, I’m sorry, but that accent is so fake. I mean…”cheek fie-eet”!) It brings up an interesting idea: Kendra is here now, and is obviously more dedicated to the cause than Buffy, so why couldn’t she take over and be the Slayer and let Buffy live a normal life? Well, it’s like Kendra says just before she leaves: “You act like Slayin’s a job. It’s not – it’s yah life.” And it’s true. Buffy can’t escape her destiny, no matter what. Growing up isn’t optional. The only thing we can do is accept it or we become objects in the universe. Accepting unchangeable facts of life isn’t weakness. It’s what we do to deal with those facts is what makes us truly strong. There’s two really great quotes about choice in this season that you should pay attention to: Buffy’s speech in “Lie To Me”: “You have a choice. You don’t have a good choice, but you have a choice“; and a line from the demon Whistler’s line that I’m posting at the end of the post under “Becoming”, Parts 1 and 2.

#8: “School Hard”: this is a FUN episode, in which we get the introduction of Spike and Druscilla. The whole episode is just brilliant. It’s good pacing, action packed, and obviously an homage to the movie Die Hard. I can’t pick what I like more: Spike’s swagger, his and Dru’s creepy yet tender affection, Angel pretending to be Angelus and offering up Xander to Spike as a snack, Buffy and Spike’s “will we need weapons” scene, Joyce finally standing up for Buffy…but I think my favorite part was Spike throwing a caged Annoying One into the sunlight. I actually cheered at that part.

#7: “Lie To Me”: this is such an important episode in the whole series. Like I mentioned above, it sort of sets one of the mission statements for the show: “You have a choice. You don’t have a good choice but you have a choice.” Buffy’s friend Ford is an important avatar for Angel and his character arc later in the season, but the words Buffy tells him will come back and resonate in a pivotal moment for her. Plus, it’s a Spike and Drusilla heavy episode, which are always fun. Okay, so the vampire wannabe cult is a little bit lame, but for me, it’s a enjoyable episode over all. I crack up every time at the scene where Angel is dissing the groupies, then one dressed exactly like him walks past. And Chanterelle, the blonde girl from the wannabe gang, will be a sort of important character later on, in the first episode of Buffy season 3, “Anne”, and later on Angel: The Series.

#6: “Phases”: I love Oz-centric episodes, and they’re few and far between. Oz is such an intriguing character. He’s the most relaxed of the Scoobies, but inside him he’s got this raging monster. Some people think this one falls flat after the emotional circus that was the “Surprise”/”Innocence” two-parter, but it’s one of the ones I look forward to personally. Kane the werewolf hunter is pretty lame with his stock character sexism, but otherwise this is a great episode. And the last scene between Willow and Oz is so adorable.

#5: “Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered”: like I said with IMG, Xander has the best one-offs (with the exception of “Teacher’s Pet”). This is definitely one of them (it’s a close contest between this and “The Zeppo” in season 3 to be totally honest). I always love the love spell trope (as long as no one gets used against their will and the spell caster learns their lesson, of course). Amy from “Witch” is back, and Cordy continues to reveal her hidden depths. The only complaint I have is that, according to Giles, Angelus is his most sadistic and destructive on Valentine’s Day, but Angelus doesn’t actually really…do anything? Yeah, he tries to kill Xander, which would have been really cruel to Buffy, but he originally went to the Summers’ house with the intention to kill Buffy. So what’s so special about that, exactly? It’s not the great act of pure evil I expected from Angelus. One would think some torture would be involved first, like the stalking he does in “Passion”. I think they were scared about making our pal Angel too evil, only giving him a few sparse moments like when he snapped Jenny’s neck, or crushed Buffy’s heart in “Innocence”, or tortured Giles just for fun. Angelus is supposed to be all big and bad, and I would have liked to have seen more of that.

#4: “Halloween”: this is one of the most iconic Buffy episodes, and for good reason – it’s awesome. It’s on most people’s lists for “favorite episodes”, mine included. It’s just pure fun. Soldier!Xander, ingenue!Buffy, ghost!Willow, Oz making another cameo, and of course, Cordelia in her cat suit. I don’t have much to write about this one, but it’s just really good.

#3: “I Only Have Eyes For You”: since this is a list being made according to my personal preference, and I’m a sappy romantic at heart, IOHEfY naturally ranks high on the list, and in my opinion is one of the best one-offs of the whole series. It’s one that I’d gladly go back and watch just for the hell of it. It probably doesn’t hurt that it’s bookended by the two clunkers of the season, “Go Fish” and “Killed By Death”. The metaphor for the episode, the ghost lovers being mirrors for Buffy and Angel, can be a little in your face, but not in a bad way. It’s totally logical, and you don’t really understand the poetry of it until the culminating scene taking place in the school with the possessed Buffy and Angel. The only complaint I have really is the parameters of James’s supernatural powers. Telekinesis and possession are par for the course for ghosts and poltergeists, but where did James get the power to summon the bees? Or transmogrify the students’ lunches into snakes? In this sense, it seems like James has whatever superpower the writer gives him so that it’s convenient for the story. But I’m willing to overlook some silliness or plot holes if the episode is overall good, and this episode overall is very good.

#2: “Surprise”/”Innocence”: now we’re finally getting the meat of the season. The arc of season 2 is Buffy sleeping with Angel, Angel losing his soul, and Buffy being forced to essentially take down the man she loves. Now, I don’t think Joss is trying to send any negative messages about having sex, or even having underage sex (because technically Buffy is only 17, and Angel is an immortal 20-something). I think he was trying to make commentary about losing yourself in your passions and losing focus on what is truly important. Take the arguably two most iconic teen romance stories, Romeo and Juliet, and Twilight. In both stories, the teenage lovers completely lose themselves in each other and their relationship. Being in love is fine, but when being in love with someone is your only character trait (*cough, cough* Molly Hooper *cough*), you as an individual disappear. Instead of taking agency and trying to resolve the conflict between their families, Romeo and Juliet are so wrapped up in their tragic love for each other, that it ultimately leads to their self-brought demise. William Shakespeare says it in the very beginning of the play: “From forth the fatal loins of these two foes/A pair of star-cross’d lovers take their life;/Whose misadventured piteous overthrows/Do with their death bury their parents’ strife.” The whole point of R+J is that teenage love is hormone-fuelled idiocy. And similarly, Buffy loses herself in her passion for Angel. The back half of the season is about Buffy having to rebuild herself now that she no longer has her boyfriend. This isn’t to say that Buffy is weak when she’s with Angel – a woman loving a man isn’t inherently weak. But she neglects her responsibilities (“Bad Eggs”) because she is too absorbed by him. Season 3 is more about Buffy finding herself again, but everything post “Innocence” gives her the building blocks for that reclamation, culminating in her ultimate sacrifice in “Becoming, Part 2”.

And the episodes are both so well done, “Innocence” more than “Surprise”.  The scene where Buffy finally finds Angel(us) again after sleeping with him feels like a gut punch, the way Angelus slyly uses every tool at his disposal to utterly destroy Buffy. Angelus is my favorite Big Bad of the entire Buffy pantheon because he’s so diabolical and all the time while wearing the mask of our beloved Angel. It’s the third greatest landmark of the whole series, in my opinion, apart from the end of season 5 and the next item on the list…

#1: “Becoming”, Parts 1 and 2: season 2 contains two emotional wallomps (three if you cared about Jenny Calendar), and this is the one that totally breaks me every time. I’m of course talking about Buffy being forced to murder her true love. Having to kill Angelus would already been traumatic for her, but having to kill Angel is just so much more brutal. So much more in fact, that she runs away from Sunnydale, since she’s been thrown out by her mother, kicked out of school, and it seems to her that her friends are rooting for her to murder Angel. Admittedly, I don’t much care about the vampires’ evil plan, but as always, the greatness lies in the characters: Angel’s backstory, Angelus torturing Giles, Spike and Buffy’s reluctant collaboration, Willow’s creepy sudden possession by magic, Buffy “coming out” to Joyce as the Slayer and her monologue about how she’d prefer a normal life but that’s simply not in the cards, Xander’s Lie, and of course the heartbreaking scene of Buffy having to kill a newly-resouled Angel. Also, one of the most adorable and unusual friendships in all of Buffy, Spike and Joyce.

There are two things that always stand out for me in this two parter – the part during Buffy and Angelus’s epic duel where Angelus seemingly has Buffy defeated, with his sword to her face.

Angelus: No weapon. No friends. No hope. Take all that away, what’s left? *pauses, then makes to stab Buffy*

Buffy: *calmly grabs the sword and looks Angelus in the eye* …me. *butts Angelus in the face with the pommel of the sword*

(God, I just want to stand up and cheer at that scene.)

And then, Whistler’s voiceover, which I mentioned above:

Whistler: Here’s the thing: there’s moments in your life that make you, that set the course of who you’re gonna be. Sometimes they’re little, subtle moments. Sometimes they’re not. Bottom line is, even if you see ’em comin’, you’re not ready for the big moments. No one asks for their life to change, not really. But it does. So, what are we, helpless? Puppets? Nah. The big moments are gonna come, you can’t help that. It’s what you do afterwards that counts. That’s when you find out who you are.

Sherlock vs. Hannibal

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**Spoilers ahead for Hannibal, as well as Sherlock.**

Hey, guys! You know that show about solving crimes where the two male leads are really gay for each other and they have a cop friend who is so done with everything and there’s an iconic scene about falling off of high stuff and all the seasons end on huge cliffhangers and the last episode kind of ends abruptly but left the internet in an uproar?

So to heal from my extreme disappointment of the last season of BBC Sherlock, I’ve been delving into NBC Hannibal to cope. It’s not the best substitute because while it is a mystery thriller revolving around the Very Heterosexual Friendship of two men, Johnlock is about two broken men who are best friends and heal each other, while Hannigram is, as I’ve mentioned before, about a psychopathic cannibal preying on the fragile sanity of an already unstable criminal profiler to turn him into a killer like himself – not exactly the poster child for a healthy relationship.

But you know what’s not a unhealthy relationship? Hannibal creator Bryan Fuller and his Fannibals. Unlike certain showrunners I could name, Fuller actually owns up to the homoerotic subtext he purposely puts into his show – and never shames or ridicules fans for shipping Will and Hannibal. Hell, he does it for us!

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Yeah, it’s really great. Especially opposed to –

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Like, REALLY, Mark Gatiss? REALLY? Was that comment absolutely necessary????

Sherlock is a testosterone-fueled, white-washed melodrama that started out amazing, and then got so far up its own ass it became a gross parody of itself. Its ultimate lesson is that you should forgive your abusers and that if you’re different, you don’t deserve to have love, no matter how much of yourself you’ve given for it (Mary very nearly kills Sherlock and John welcomes her back with open arms and Sherlock’s evil sister Eurus gets a hug from him even though she murdered his childhood best friend and almost does the same to John; meanwhile, Mary dies and John nearly beats to Sherlock to death even though it’s not his fault at all). Hannibal is a gorgeous piece of art that unapologetically paints a destructive love story in all its twisted beauty.

So yeah, Hannibal and its creators are the best. I highly recommend it.

A Comparison Of Unfortunate Events

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**Spoiler free!**

As a child, I was a huge reader and re-reader, especially of one book serial by “Lemony Snicket” (Daniel Handler) called A Series Of Unfortunate Events. I think I have may read the whole series through even more times than I did Harry Potter. I also rewatched the 2004 film version starring Jim Carrey many times (to be fair, I didn’t own that big a collection of DVDs and VHS tapes back then and Netflix didn’t yet exist).

And speaking of Netflix, I was very excited when an actual series with the entire story, all 13 books, was announced to be aired online. I waited in anticipation for months. So when the series was posted about three weeks ago, I devoured the first eight episodes like the Lachrymose leeches did poor Ike Anwhistle (too soon?). So I thought I’d write a post comparing the 2004 Nickelodeon movie to the 2017 Netflix series.

The direction for both adaptions is somewhat Burton-esque (Helena Bonham Carter even made a brief, faceless cameo as the Baudelaires’ mother in the film). The movie is reminiscent of Edward Scissorhands in style (especially costume); the series more like Big Fish. The movie definitely took its own path, plotwise, but seeing as it was adapting a 13 short novel series (well, the first three books) into a 110 minute movie, it was really good, and earnest. Plus some of the original scenes that weren’t pulled straight from the book (like Klaus’s “this is not home” monologue) are really well written. Meanwhile, the Netflix series is pretty true to the books (except for Violet’s pink dress from “The Bad Beginning” – Violet canonically hates pink), and is a real treat for someone who’s read them over and over like I have. We actually get to delve deeper into the mythos of the secret society V.F.D. in a way the film couldn’t do, although I have to admit, part of what made the books so enticing was all the mystery and suspense behind it. The series just gives it all away up front. We even get to see Lemony Snicket’s face, whereas in the movie, all we got was a voiceover and unrevealing shots of Jude Law. I’m not saying you have to have read the books to understand or enjoy the Netflix series, but it’s clear that it was designed for fans of the source material. One thing I thought was interesting was that the series borrowed the spyglass from the movie, even though it was never in the books.

The acting in the movie is clearly superior. The child acting from the Netflix series tends to fall flat sometimes, like participants in a middle school play. Neil Patrick Harris’s Olaf is clearly a replication of Carrey’s portrayal, spliced with Barney Stinson and Doctor Horrible (maybe some Dougie Houser on the side). What I’m saying is, NPH is playing NPH playing Jim Carrey. I was delighted at the diversity in the series, however (Sir and Charles confirmed as a gay couple, finally!); it was a pleasant change from the pasty white complexion of the movie (even Cedric the Entertainer was white). I was so excited when I realized that Mr. Poe was being played by the same actor who played Mr. Trick from Buffy The Vampire Slayer. The actors playing Uncle Monty and Aunt Josephine from both adaptations, respectively, differ from their counterparts yet are delightful to watch in both cases. I found it amusing that Catherine O’Hara, who played Justice Strauss in the 2004 movie, played Dr. Orwell, the optometrist/hypnotist, in the Netflix series. But I have to say, I think the best actor in the entire series is Patrick Warburton. I’d only ever seen PW in frat bro roles like Puddy on Seinfeld or Jeff Bingham from Rules Of Engagement. But it seems like Warburton was the only (adult) actor in the series who was playing it straight the whole time. I have to admit, I always did envision Lemony Snicket with a British accent (like Jude Law’s portrayal), but Warburton’s ironic deadpan really sold me on his performance. Oh, and the genderless henchperson. I love he/she/them too.

There’s many great things to love about both the movie and the series. I thoroughly enjoy both adaptations and would highly recommend either one. The score to the movie by Thomas Newman is one of my all time favorites. And the Netflix series, since there are two fifty minute episodes for each book, explain a lot of things that the movie – and the book series itself – didn’t address. Like, why did the employees of the Lucky Smells Lumbermill stay there when all the pay they received for their work was coupons and gum? Or how did Count Olaf, a man who is clearly an enemy of the Baudelaire parents, end up with custody of their children?

However, if ever another version of A Series of Unfortunate Events is made, can we have an actually scary Olaf? He terrified me as a child, and I’m sorry, but Neil Patrick Harris is not scary. ~TRL

Johnlock Fan Fics Masterpost

This is a list of fics (by me) about Sherlock Holmes and John Watson. The not shitty ones, anyway. (They’re arranged by adaptation and date published.)

Victorian/ACD canon

The Detective’s Wish – T, 600 words. After having sex, Holmes tells Watson his dearest desire. Victorian attitudes, snuggling, and Watson being a romantic sap.

A Great Heart, As Well As Of A Great Brain – NC17, 2600 words. Takes place after the canon story, “The Adventure of the Three Garridebs”. Holmes was so afraid he’d lost his Boswell, and shows Watson how glad he was that the doctor’s bullet wound was merely superficial. Hurt/comfort, domestic fluff, and fellatio.

The Case Of The Bohemian Bachelor – T, 1600 words. Watson ponders why there are no women in Holmes’ life. He eventually figures it out.

Good Morning, John – G, 200 words. It is a cold January morning, but luckily Holmes has Watson to keep him warm. Snuggling!

The Thoroughly Imbecilic Scotland Yard – G, 404 words. Lestrade has no idea what’s going on. And he probably doesn’t want to. Oblivious!Lestrade, Holmes’s utterly bitable skin, and Watson being a trashcan as usual.

BBC Sherlock

Sanctuary – G, 900 words. John goes to the library for some peace and quiet and comes into contact with a very interesting librarian. Pre-slash, alternate meeting.

Time Of My Life – NC17; 8 chapters, 30k words. While spending a summer at a camp with his alcoholic sister, John Watson falls for a beautiful dance instructor. A fusion with the movie Dirty Dancing (don’t worry, John and Sherlock are in their 20s, no underage).

Five Endearments John Watson Calls Sherlock Holmes And The One Sherlock Calls Him – T, 700 words. 5+1, pet names, fluff, domestic.

The Guy In 221B – T, 4k words. John’s upstairs neighbor plays the violin. Sherlock’s downstairs neighbor has a gorgeous singing voice. Together, they make beautiful music. But will they ever meet face to face? Alternate meeting, Sherlock being adorably shy, classic rock, flirting, and eventually making out in the laundry room.

Scarred – T, 18oo words. John catches Sherlock with his shirt off one day and finally learns about what happened to the detective in Serbia. Sherlock’s scars, John’s bullet wound, hurt/comfort, and Sherlock confessing his love. Plus sonnet 116.

Sweet Caroline – T, 6600 words. Someone is killing engaged couples in London, and Sherlock and John have to pose as fiancés to each other to catch the culprit. Based on ACD’s “The Solitary Cyclist”. Fake relationship that culminates in a real love confession.

Curiouser And Curiouser (And Definitely Not Boring) – T, 1200 words. A brief fusion of BBC Sherlock and Alice In Wonderland.

The Greatest Of These – NC17, 5k words. A “Reichenbach Fall” fix-it. After seven weeks of being “dead”, Sherlock comes back to John. A teary reunion, love confession, and sex.

On The Edge – NC17, 1034 words. Porn without plot. John and Sherlock having kinky (consensual) sex. Handcuffs, edging, spanking, soft dominant John.

Oh, I Think That I Found Myself A Cheerleader – NC17, 1050 words. Porn without plot. Sherlock in a cheerleader costume and ladies’ underwear having sex with John. Teenage AU (NOT underage; they’re both 18).

Sweet – NC17, 520 words. John gives Sherlock a cute nickname (and morning head).

Dare Not Speak Its Name (series) – M, 6 works, ~5000 words. A series of six stories about John and Sherlock pining for each other and eventually getting together spanning over the events of series 3 and afterward (not series 4 compliant). The missing gay bar scene from stag night, Harry Watson, villain Mary, Moriarty, and a happy ending.

The Closest Thing To A Friend – G, 1000 words. An alternate way “The Great Game” could’ve gone. In short, Sherlock is shocked to learn that John has been the mysterious Moriarty all along. Crack treated seriously.

The Singing Detective – M, 11 chapters, ~22k words. Based on ACD’s “The Dying Detective”. John is a new father and unhappy in his marriage while secretly pining for Sherlock. Meanwhile, Culverton Smith has drugged London’s tea supply, and now people are randomly bursting into musical numbers. That’s right – it’s a Sherlock musical. (Villain Mary, Parentlock, background Lestrade/Molly, and a happy ending for everyone…except Mary.)

He’s All That – T, 9 chapters, ~15k words. When John Watson, captain of the rugby team and most popular guy in school, gets dumped by his longtime girlfriend Mary, he makes a bet that he can get Sherlock Holmes, ballet nerd and most unpopular boy in school, elected as prom royalty in her place. But there’s a catch – John didn’t expect to fall in love with him. A fusion with the 1999 teen romcom She’s All That.

Shower For One – NC17, 1700 words. Porn without plot. Sherlock has a fantasy about John in the shower, but sometimes fantasies can become realities. Sherlock wanking and John being a total sex god.

Dopplegangland – NC17, 5 chapters, 8500 words. While on vacation in Scotland, Sherlock meets a very flirtatious photographer who looks exactly like his flatmate and best friend who he’s secretly in love with. John, who is also secretly in love with Sherlock, is not amused. Crossover with Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (and Cabin Pressure!). Dopplegangers, jealous John, wonderfully trashy Iain MacKelpie being a shameless flirt with Sherlock, and John and Sherlock finally quit being idiots and just confess their feelings already. Oh, and sex. Lots of sex.

Angel Of The Battlefield (series) – NC17, 4 works, 7307 words. A series about soldier John Watson, who was killed in battle, then rescued from Hell by a beautiful angel named Sherlock (Destiel, anyone?). Mostly just porn, though.

At The Mercy Of The Gods’ Design – M, ~3000 words. The goddess of love, Irene, holds a grudge against the son of the queen, Sherlock. So she casts a love spell on the queen’s young consort, John, Sherlock’s friend and stepfather. A Johnlock retelling of Phaedra and Hippolytus. No incest or pedophilia or anything squicky, and a happy ending.

“military men making love” – NC17, 2000 words. Sherlock finds John Watson and James Sholto’s sex tape. John finds Sherlock wanking to it. SHERLOCK’S MILITARY KINK.

Human – G, 343 words. John holding Sherlock while he’s asleep and admiring how beautiful he is.

My Hero – T, 2500 words. Sherlock is nursing a huge crush on his mild-mannered flatmate. Meanwhile, the local superhero seems mighty infatuated with Sherlock. Too bad John won’t show interest like that. Super!John and Sherlock being sweet and wonderful.

Chain of Command – NC17, 2574 words. Sherlock/John/James Sholto. Sherlock has a naughty dream about John and his ex-lover James. Polyamory, light BDSM, submissive Sherlock.

In Sickness And In Health – T, 1300 words. It’s Sherlock and John’s wedding day. But of course, disaster strikes. (John gets into an auto accident on the way to the chapel and he and Sherlock just get married right there in the hospital room.)

It’s A Love Story, Baby, Just Say Yes – T, 2319 words. Sherlock and John were best friends as children, and had a favorite game where Sherlock was a damsel in distress and John was the knight in shining armor. But they drift apart and when Sherlock is all grown up, he realizes he’d quite like to be kissed by the handsome knight. Slight song fic, slight 5+1. Kidlock, Teenlock, puppy love, bullies (not John), happy ending. NO underage.

Duck – T, 12 chapters, 2722 words. Taking place after “The Six Thatchers”. Sherlock suddenly has a boyfriend, John refuses to talk about anything, and Mary isn’t such a martyr after all. Not series 4 compliant but sure as hell better than TFP.

Mirror Mirror – G, 1138 words. John introduces Sherlock to Star Trek: The Original Series, and Sherlock points out some awkward parallels to themselves, and Kirk and Spock. Who are obviously in love with each other, according to Sherlock. Johnlock and Spirk in one fic, a bit meta. Crack.

The End – T, 300 words. In which the events of “The Final Problem” were all a dream. In fact, the whole show after “A Study In Pink: Gay Pilot Edition” was a dream. If you hate series 4/TFP as much as I did, you might like this salty little ficlet. My last BBC Sherlock fic ever.

Bonus

The One Fixed Point – T, 1300 words. Holmes and Watson are soulmates, no matter the universe. (Multiple iterations of Holmes and Watson, including BBC Sherlock, Elementary, the Guy Ritchie films, and even The Great Mouse Detective.)