amandaink: (Default)
I feel like this needs its own post because I have so many feelings. I just watched it via Youtube because, you might not know this about me, but I love musicals and I’ve loved Legally Blonde since I was in middle school. I knew that they had made a musical but I waited until tonight to go and search for it. But I did get there, you know, eventually. So let’s talk about the pros and cons. Warning: potential spoilers.

Pros:
♥ The music was awesome. If there isn’t good music then a musical wouldn’t be worthwhile and there would be no pros. End of.
♥ Enid got a bigger role and some awesome comic relief. Furthermore, she might have provided comic relief but she wasn’t treated like a joke.
♥ I loved the Elle told Vivian that girls needed to stick together and that Vivian echoed that sentiment at the end.
♥ Emmett gets more character development and backstory. This is one really strong improvement over the film since in the movie he’s a bit of a boring nice guy.
♥ The scene from Brooke’s workout video was especially catchy and fun.
♥ The women of Delta Nu were the classic Greek chorus. How clever.
♥ SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS: Elle pops the question to Emmett. I’ve always wanted to see the woman pop the question instead of the other way around.
♥ Maybe some of the scenes weren’t as powerful but it definitely kept the spirit of the film alive.

Cons:
♥ I didn’t like the fact that Emmett was the one who motivated Elle to take law school seriously. This was one of the best scenes in the movie. I liked Elle working to reach her potential on her own.
♥ Chutney’s confession scene was nowhere near as awesome and dramatic. And the weird switchover into the bathroom setting was…um, weird. And unneeded. I also kind of felt this way about Elle’s personal essay scene…it was just…a little too out there.
♥ I HATED what they did to the scene with Warner and Elle near the end where she turned him down politely after he acted like a total asshole to her. Her line was much better in the film: “If I’m going to be a partner in a law firm by the time I’m thirty, I need a boyfriend who’s not such a complete bonehead.”
♥ Why’d they have to go and cut out Professor Stromwell? She was one of my favorites.

So all in all I didn’t think it was quite as good as the movie but it’s great in its own respect and the music was awesome. I’m going to buy the soundtrack. There wasn’t a song I didn’t like.

If you want to watch, and you should, start here:



Shouldn’t I be working on my NaNo novel?
amandaink: (Default)
I just finished an enthralling re-read of one of the most divisive classics in the English language. The Catcher in the Rye is one of the most hated and most frequently banned books due to its foul language, its misanthropic narrator, its depressing storyline, and its otherwise “inappropriate” subject matter. It’s also one of the most widely assigned books on high school curriculums.

Now, I love The Catcher in the Rye. If I got my shit together long enough to create a List of Top Five Books of All Time, it would probably be on there. Hell, it’d be on my Top Three even. The reason I’m here rambling at you is because every time I see someone say in a book discussion, “I hate Catcher because of [insert your own myriad of criticisms here]” I feel motivated—no, obligated--to justify my love for this novel with a long-winded and emotional and scatterbrained response about Why This Book Is Awesome.

And so this post is just extrapolating on my love for this book so I can have it coherent and in writing. It’s in no way meant to change your negative opinions but it might help you gain some insight into why this book is as well-loved as it is. Let me say quickly that this entry does consist of a short discussion of possible sexual abuse (nothing graphic). So if this is a trigger for you, click back or proceed with caution. Also, all of my quotes are from the 1991 Little, Brown mass market paperback edition.

If a body catch a body comin' through the rye. )
amandaink: (Default)
It might just be me, but as someone who hangs around review communities (for stimulating discussions) and sporking communities (for shits and giggles), I've found that the term 'Mary Sue' has lost its meaning somewhere along the way. It was a pretty elastic term to begin with what with the plentiful crop of types to choose from and the lines that blurred between, well, a powerful character and an unrealistically powerful character. But there are Sues and Stus out there and there are several ways to identify them.

But Mary Sue is a spectrum, not a dichotomy. So in some cases when someone cries "SUE!" someone else might be inclined to say, "I disagree with your assessment, good sir/madam." Some characters have Sue traits. Some good characters have Sue traits. But does that make them Sues? Well, in my opinion, no, but as subjective a term as Mary Sue is, someone might say that no good character could possess a Sue trait at all. I would say, "Your favorite character was marked at birth as the Chosen One, has the dead parents angst going on, got selected as the youngest Quidditch player in a century, often gets to flout the rules with little to no consequence, routinely saves the day, and is generally well-liked by everyone but the bad guys. Those are all Sue traits and yet Harry Potter is not conventionally considered a Sue." (“You’re calling Harry Potter a Sue!” someone yells from the back row. “Read my paragraph again,” I respond.)

The one thing I've noticed lately is that people tend to lose sight of what a Mary Sue actually is despite the broad definition. People use Mary Sue when they simply mean a flat character (which a Mary Sue often is, though these things are not synonymous). Or they use it simply when they mean, "I don't like this character and that makes her a Mary Sue, right? RIGHT?" No, it doesn't. Sometimes people don't want to expound on Sueness. They're in a main character position, they get screen time, and I disagree with what they do or how they are portrayed. Isn't that enough? Bad Character = Sue. Original Character in an Already Established Universe = Sue. New Girl At School Who Has a Mysterious Secret and Snags the Heart of Male Character A = Well… probably a Sue.

My other problem with the Mary Sue spectrum is the misogynistic structure it creates. The Mary Sue’s BFF, the Gary Stu, does get face time but nobody goes into a movie or starts a book expecting to meet Gary Stu. But when a medium has a female protagonist it seems going in examining her for Sue traits is the savvy thing to do. More powerful than the men in the series? Must be a Sue. Hypercompetent at what she does? Sue alert. A crush on the super attractive male protagonist who has some romantic subtext with Male Character B? SUE. (And a whore for good measure.)

The same treatment is rarely—if ever—given to male characters. I once saw a compelling argument (alas, I don't have a link) that stated that if Harry Potter were a female character then the books wouldn't have half of the fanbase that they do now. Why? Because Harry would be labeled a Sue of course.

Another example most of us can relate to: we all agree that Bella Swan is a Mary Sue—every other time I see a Twilight discussion I can always, always count on "lolol sparkly vampires" and "that Mary Sue bitch Bella Swan." But it's so rare that I see Edward get tacked as a Gary Stu even though he so obviously is. It’s no secret that a good portion of fandom gets its jollies demonizing female characters. (And, unfortunately, it’s a common hallmark of my fellow slash fans.) But the Mary Sue archetype has become so ingrained in the fandom mindset that any strong female or any prominently featured woman or any girl that gets the guy is likely to be scrutinized for their imperfections and then painted over as too perfect, too strong, too magical, too easily forgiven.

It’s lost its meaning. It’s become a catch-all for an unlikable character and, too often, it stands in for critical analysis. Female characters I find generally likeable or well-rounded are getting the shaft for their perceived Sueness. In some parts of fandom, it’s morphed from a legitimate complaint into a witch hunt. I, personally, will not be using it from here on. I know it would be ridiculous to expect everyone to follow suit but I’m adamant in my belief that it’s a term that hurts more than helps. The most I can hope for is that it falls into disuse as the internet and fandom evolve.
amandaink: (Default)
A few months ago a friend and I were discussing who we would want to be cast in a movie version of Good Omens and it spiraled into one of those conversations that might cause anyone observing to edge away a bit. We were laughing but it was srs business sort of laughing.

Now that it’s being made into a TV show I thought I would document the opinions that I put forth right here. If you happen to be reading this, o saintly television personnel, then don’t be afraid to take these suggestions to heart. I, as an eighteen year old fangirl who has seen some TV in my lifetime, know what I am doing.

Now onto the dream cast. )

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December 2011

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