Log in

No account? Create an account
19 February 2012 @ 12:45 pm
Fannish updates  
This month has been kicking my ass. A big chunk of that is school/internship related, some of it is more personal/emotional, but what it comes down to here is me not being around much recently. Which, I know - practically every non-podfic post I make has to do with me not being around much. :/

But! I've been carving out some fannish time in bits and pieces (I believe the technical term is "self care"), and I thought I'd share what I've been into lately. (By lately, I mean within the last few months.) 

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. I'm currently at the start of S4 (about 5 episodes in) and oh my god, I had no idea. I grew up watching all the Trek shows, and I've always considered TNG my favorite. I remember watching DS9 when it aired, and I remember being bored by it. Too much talking, not enough wacky adventures. Now, though...I'm deeply impressed. I'll always love TNG, but DS9 is easily my favorite of the franchise. It may even be my favorite sci fi series (involving space travel) ever. It's such a smart show. I love that it incorporates the outsider's view of the Federation, and I love love love the way it examines cross-cultural communication and issues surrounding oppression and privilege. The show is driven by a revolutionary undercurrent, reminding us all that if our government doesn't speak for us, we have the power to speak for ourselves (although sometimes using that power involves great personal risk). The Federation is still assumed to be in the moral right (most of the time), but the audience is encouraged to question it. It quietly points out that a benign hegemony is still a hegemony. It's fucking incredible.

Also, getting into DS9 has pushed me towards DS9 fandom, where I've found some really amazing Garak/Bashir podfic and some gorgeous Kira-centered fic which I've put on my own to-record list.

The Vorkosigan Saga, by Lois McMaster Bujold. I picked up a copy of Young Miles at a bookstore in Boston in August, and ever since I've been working my way slowly through the Vorkosigan collections. Right now I'm reading Komarr, from the Miles In Love collection. This series kicks serious ass. It's also really smart, while at the same time operating as a fast-paced series of adventures. These books are really hard to put down. I've been reading them during study breaks and before bed as a way to clear my mind from school-stress and engage my brain something pleasurably tricky and entertaining. I love the way this series takes on all the common sci-fi tropes and then turns them on their head. The world-building is rich and complex, and the character develop and deepen from book to book. Parts of it are deeply moving. Take this quote from Cordelia Vorkosigan, from Mirror Dance: "It's important that someone celebrate our existence...People are the only mirror we have to see ourselves in. The domain of all meaning. All virtue, all evil, are contained only in people. There is none in the universe at large." Way to sum up my existential philosophy, Cordelia.

I've listened to some Vorkosigan podfic and liked it a lot, but I decided to put off listening more until I was further into the series. I think I'm about ready to jump back in.

Parks and Recreation. Yesterday I called this my favorite show on the air right now. It's not the show I'm the most fannish about, but yeah, it's my favorite. I usually like dark, twisty, angsty shows with a heavy dollop of action/adventure, space travel, time travel, or other super/sci-fi-natural plots, but Parks and Rec has stolen my heart. It started out as an obvious Office knock-off, complete with an ultra-dorky, uber-pathetic boss figure in the form of Leslie Knope. Which is why I initially didn't care for it. But then the tone of the show shifted, and Leslie became a quirky but capable and respected leader in her community. I laugh really hard in every single episode, and generally tear up once or twice, too. It's a good-hearted, sincere show. The friendship between Leslie and Ann is something really special, and every single character brings something unique and wonderful to the mix. You might start by laughing at them, but then something shifts, and your laughter takes on a particular kind of ache. And seriously, this is the show that gave us Ron Fucking Swanson. This is a man who is so secure in his masculinity and sexuality that he is able to openly show his respect for Leslie and nonchalantly accept the interest of all the men at the bar in the Pawnee's gay club without batting an eye. He and Leslie both create some fantastic launch-points for discussions about feminism. When I started watching this show, I didn't really like Amy Pohler or any of the characters she's played. Now, Leslie Knope is totally my hero.

Also, until last night I was two episodes behind. [SPOILER ALERT] The Parks & Rec podfic I recorded for the Awesome Ladies Anthology involved Ann wondering what it was about her and guys from City Hall, and  Leslie admonishing Ann (twice) not to date Tom. So imagine my surprise at nine o'clock last night when I discovered Ann starting to date Tom. I made this loud whooping noise and jumped up and down on my couch with my hand clapped over my mouth. Nickelhusband and the cats were nonplussed. Then I made nickelhusband listen to the podfic, and he responded, "Um...okay?"

Fringe. I've been on a mission for a while now to convert more people to this show. Like the Sarah Connor Chronicles, Fringe suffers from time to time from its struggle to stay on the air. I think it would have been better as a cable network series. But even with its flaws, this show knocks it out of the park more often than not. It's ambitious and subtly crafted, and the characters are amazing. I have a hard time picking favorites. I love Olivia, but then there's Astrid! Who does so much with so little! I was initially skeptical about Joshua Jackson as Peter Bishop (I was all like, c'mon, Pacey Witter. I know it's you.), but he won me over. And John Noble every week as Walter Bishop. In-fucking-credible. How he manages to be both the (extremely effective) comic relief and the most consistent open wound in the show from week to week is beyond me. The show addresses issues surrounding ability status, mental illness, and childhood trauma while exploring the relationships between memory, experience, and identity. And!! There's an alternate universe! And an alternate timeline! And MORE THAN ONE OF EVERYTHING! Pairings that I like include: Olivia/Peter, Olivia/Olivia, Olivia/Astrid, Olivia/Lincoln, Peter/Lincoln,  Olivia/Peter/Lincoln, Lincoln/Lincoln, Olivia/Lincoln/Lincoln, Astrid/Broyles, Walter/William Bell. I'm not sure who I'd ship Nina with, but you know what? Nina Sharp is a total BAMF. Confused by all those pairings? WATCH THE SHOW. (And, um, record some podfic for me. Please?)

Supernatural. Of course. My gateway drug to interacting with fandom. I still love this show. It's a complicated love, but it's love nonetheless. S7 has been a really pleasant surprise. I was okay with S6, but it was by far my least favorite season, and I didn't really expect the show to recover. S7 has been stunningly good. I'm usually running behind by about an episode (I watch Fringe live and record SPN), but I'm caught up right now, and holy crap. SPN is back to really working on the brothers' relationship. It's put them back in the context of their childhood (Bobby! <333 forever!), and it's struck a really wonderful balance between monster-of-the-week and season-arc episodes, using each side to take a closer look at Sam and Dean and how each one is carrying their load. Some parts of the show still piss me off, but then Dean pretends to smile, or Sam's brow furrows just so, or Sam watches as Dean laughs easily for the first time in weeks, or Dean flops face first into bed...you get the picture. I'm so happy I still get to love this show.

The Walking Dead. I don't actually have a lot to say about this. It's an amazing looking show, but not that well written. The comic book series is much, much better. I watch this show for the look of it, and for the tension in it. Zombies signify anxiety for me. I mean this literally - I have recurring anxiety dreams in which I'm hiding from the zombie apocalypse. I'm always hiding (not fighting), and there's always this crushing sense of inevitability. So, yeah, I don't watch this show before bed, and I try not to watch it when I'm already feeling a lot of stress, but sometimes it helps serve as a pressure-valve. And there was one moment in the first half of the current season when this spark flew between Shane and Rick, and I was all over that. I hope that spark returns for me. I watch this show faithfully, but I wish I liked it more than I do.

Um...I think that's it for now? I'm anxiously awaiting S2 of Sherlock, S7 of Doctor Who, and the return of Community. As the time and opportunity presents itself, I'm working my way through the writing of Maureen McHugh, China Mieville, and David Mitchell. I'm  several issues behind Buffy Season 9 and whatever the current Angel series of comics is called. I think the last graphic novel I read was Big Questions, by Anders Nilsen. I waited for that series to get collected and published for YEARS. So worth the wait! Oh, and Optic Nerve #12! Oh oh, and I read American Gods for the first time last month! AMAZE-SAUCE!

Man, fuck school. Who needs a career? Why do I want to "help people" anyway? I just want to sit around watching TV and movies, reading books and comic books, and living in a neverending field of fannish squee. WHO'S WITH ME?
cantarinacantarina1 on February 20th, 2012 04:12 pm (UTC)
You and somnolentblue are both rewatching DS9 right now and it makes me want to go back to it too! I've been a very long while. (Have you listened to "Exile" yet? I don't normally ship Garak and Bashir very hard, but this really, really works for me!) Also thinking of reading the Vorkosigan books - everyone seems really into them!

FRINGE. How do we get everyone hooked on Fringe? You got me into it, but I don't remember how!
nickelmountain: confident astridnickelmountain on February 21st, 2012 10:46 pm (UTC)
I love Exile. twilight_angel recorded all four of the DS9 fics written by thehoyden, and they're all fantastic. I actually rec'd Exile a couple of weeks ago. Such an awesome fic/podfic.

How DID I hook you on Fringe? Was it just that I refused to shut up about it? I remember bringing it up a few times when we were planning the KISSES fest. You were all, "Podfic, podfic, ladysex, podfic...," and I was all, "Podfic, Fringe, ladysex, Fringe, podfic, podfic..."

Does that sound about right to you? :DDD