How To Get Away With Season 3 Dump

Shonda Rhymes‘ latest baby has been hitting hard on our nerves for two years now, warming our autumn and winter nights with lovers troubles, murder shenanigans and the never-ending feeling of “WTH” keeping us on the edges of our couches. Now that Season 2 is over, though, and the show has been renewed, How To Get Away With Murder is going to face one of the greatest obstacles on the path of any televised story: the Season 3 Dump.

Season 3 Dump is the on-screen equivalent of Middle Book Dump. It’s when plot, characters and writers’ ability prove how strong they truly are. Because the novelty of Season 1 is gone, and so is the thrill for the future brought by Season 2. I’ve seen lots of shows starting their downfall during Season 3 – maybe not in ratings, but in story’s structure and character’s building. Which is doomed to influence the ratings, by the way. Even the best shows can start a downward spiral, if they don’t find the perfect way to balance season-long arcs, characters’ arcs and episodes.

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What HTGAWM needs to do is expanding the blood range a little further from the Keating Madhouse of Murderous intentions. Didn’t you feel kinda stuck inside Annalise’s four walls, especially in the second part of the Season? It can be part of a show’s charm, but a procedural with a wide, interesting assemble cast? Well-developed side plots can add a lot to an assemble show. Everything can’t be always happening to the same characters!

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Orphan Black Season 4 Premiere – Clones are back in town!

I’ve waited a full year for this moment, and now it’s finally here: Orphan Black is back on BBC America! Season Four premiered on Thursday, April 14th, and it looks like yet another miracle has been achieved by this incredible show: show-runners who actually care about their audience’s concerns. And it pays off! Look at that, it can happen!

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Season 3 left the our favorite clones is some wicked positions. We found out about the clones’ origins and how the Clone Project was originally divided in two branches: Project Leda, the female experiment, the one Sarah and her sisters belong to, and Project Castor, the male branch. The introduction of the Castor clones in Season 3 was a interesting way to expand the world of the series, but it took time and space away from the Leda sisters and Tatiana Maslany’s impossible, amazing metamorphosis. The plot tangled up as well, with too many characters and story lines to keep up with in the span of 10 episodes alone. Luckily, show runners Graeme Manson and John Fawcett must have caught on with the fans’ mood, and the premiere of Season 4, The Collapse of Nature brought us back to the old core of the series: clones shenanigans and creepy murders.

In fact, the show went literally back to the start, because the episode was entirely focused on Beth Childs, the clone that we’ll mourn forever, and showed a glimpse of her life right before Sarah came in the picture. It was even more heartbreaking and captivating to watch, knowing that it was sort of a prequel, that Beth is gone forever. The episode also managed to tie up a lot of old lose ends from Season 1, and it brought the focus back on the Neolution movement, the big bad from the first two Seasons which seemed to have evaporated in thin air during Season 3. Least but not last, we also met a new rogue clone, MK, because there’s apparently absolutely no limit to Tatiana Maslany’s acting. Which is good and great and a godsend gift, if you ask me.

I have to say, I was a bit throw off by the lack of Project Castor and Season 3 references – with the exception of the last minutes of the episode, where we were back in the show present. I wasn’t a fan of the Castor plot, and I’m all here for going back to the Leda-filled good old times. I only hope Project Castor doesn’t become the new lose end, because there was a lot of good stuff in Season 3 too.

All in all it was an excellent season premiere. It’s good to have the crime side of Orphan Black back, and seeing Beth interact with some characters that are very much still around has put a whole new dept and perspective in Sarah’s past and present relationships with those same characters. There are some questions from Season 3 that needs to be addressed, but The Collapse of Nature proved me yet again that this show in handled by clever, capable and dedicated people, and I can’t wait to see how my favorite clones’ lives will evolve.

 

Reasons why the Stark kids convinced me to gave a chance to Game of Thrones Season 6

Have you ever felt sure your time with a particular story was over? End, period, goodbye and never to cross road again? That’s how I felt after Season 5 of Game of Thrones was over. I was disappointed with pretty much everything that I told myself “okay, that’s it, I’m done with the show, I’ll just wait for Martin-snail-pace publishing”. There were so many reasons I despised S5, mostly concerning the horrid treatment of female characters (I talked about my specific issues with the Sand Snakes here).

And look at me now: roped back in GOT madness by my beloved wolf puppies.

Continue reading “Reasons why the Stark kids convinced me to gave a chance to Game of Thrones Season 6”

Dornish Debacle – What We Lost with GOT’s depiction of House Martell

Season 5 of Game of Thrones marked the beginning of the uncharted territory that put book readers and non book readers on the same page – a non existent page, in fact. Season 5 onward, we’re leaving the books behind, because the books are over, since we’re still waiting for the sixth installment by good ol’ Mr Martin.Sand-Snakes-Season-5-Game-of-Thrones

As a book reader, I wasn’t particularly worried with the dive in unknown waters, because the show has been changing the plots since the beginning. I had previous issues with some of the changes, but nothing too unbearable. Then came Season 5 and my list of issues grew longer than Arya’s murder list.

I want to talk about the biggest issue I had with Game of Thrones Season 5. I want to talk about Dornish women.

HBO’s portrayal of House Martell in S5 was abysmal. In my humble opinion, it was one of the worst book-to-screen adaptation I had the displeasure of seeing, and I’ve seen a lot of horrid adaptions. Whoever was responsible for it took a cast of complex, compelling female characters and cut them down to a small group of cardboard copies of one single trope. That trope being the dreaded disease I call bloodthirsty badassitude. The trope that dictate how female characters can only be “strong” when they yield weapons and crave for blood.

Game of Thrones does invalidated this trope with some characters, I’ll give it to you. We’ve got Margeary Tyrell, with her cunning and the shameless use she does of her femininity to charm and plot. We’ve got Brianne of Tarth, a female warrior who’s still capable to be unsure and tender – but she’s still a warrior, isn’t she? She’s got a sword to fight with. Olenna Tyrell, yes, she’s a great politician, and Dany is doing great as a queen. And then we have Sansa, and Melisandre, and Catelyn.

But the presence of some incredibly complex female characters does not excuse the erasure of the Sand Snakes’s personalities and story lines. Mostly, because all of the previous awesome ladies are almost always isolated in their position of power. Melisandre and Dany are playing their game while surrounded by men; so did Catelyn. Margery and Cersei are antagonist, and Sansa is woefully pushed more and more in the victim role. The greatness of the Dornish women would have been that of a female-driven political plot portraying a group of women all engaged toward a similar aim.

I wish I hadn’t had such high hopes, to be honest. Prior to Season 4, I was terrified my beloved Martells would have been reduced to POC stereotypes and sex scenes. The sex scenes abounded, but I found Pedro Pascal and Indira Varma’s portrayals more than good, retaining all the quirkiness, boldness and unashamed love for life and for each others the original book characters have. It made me hope, it made me excited about the upcoming Season 5 and the action moving in Dorne. Season 5 dashed my hopes and made me question for real if I ought to keep watching the show.

Non-readers viewers are probably wondering what’s all the fuss about. Here’s what the fuss is about: the Dornish arc in the books portrays an incredible variety of awesome female characters. Here’s for what we lost with the on screen adaptation.

Continue reading “Dornish Debacle – What We Lost with GOT’s depiction of House Martell”

Clones Are Coming! Tatiana Maslany’s Emmy Nomination and the Wonders of Orphan Black

Tatiana Maslany has been nominated for the Emmys! At long last, one must add! Twitter and the WebSphere diligently lost his wits after this wonderful ball of sunshine finally started receiving the credit she deserves.

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This woman’s talent is so incredible, so outstanding, it’s pretty much scandalous this is her first Emmy nomination.

Still, here we are. Tatiana Maslany is finally nominated for an Emmy, thanks to her break-taking work in sci-fi tv show Orphan Black. Where she plays a family of clones. Yeah, you read that correctly: clones. This is a show about a bunch of women who finds out they’re clones, experiment under the collective name of Project Leda. Story wise, we still don’t know how many clones there are, but we’ve met six/seven of them. And Tatiana Maslany plays Each. One. Of. Them.

This woman doesn’t deserve an Emmy.

This woman deserves an award named after her.

Continue reading “Clones Are Coming! Tatiana Maslany’s Emmy Nomination and the Wonders of Orphan Black

Writing Women

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Screw writing “strong” women.  Write interesting women.  Write well-rounded women.  Write complicated women.  Write a woman who kicks ass, write a woman who cowers in a corner.  Write a woman who’s desperate for a husband.  Write a woman who doesn’t need a man.  Write women who cry, women who rant, women who are shy, women who don’t take no shit, women who need validation and women who don’t care what anybody thinks. [..]  Women shouldn’t be valued because we are strong, or kick-ass, but because we are people.  So don’t focus on writing characters who are strong.  Write characters who are people. (x)

I love this quote. I know, I know, it’s quite overused by now (so many gifsets, guys, so many; this one is my fav, I think) but I never get tired of re-reading it, paired up with different stories and different women.

The thing is, this quote is right. Spot-on, in fact.

I’m a reader and I’m a woman, and I’m sick and tired of reading about stereotipazed female characters. Expecially one people tries to deny the existence of a trope (and a good dose of sexism) by stating that “we’re making the female characters kicking asses like men do, why aren’t you happy?”.

The thing about this awesome quote is that it highlights something truly relevant: women are interesting in themselves; you don’t need women to emulate men to make them interesting.

The bad girl, kick-ass girl, fighter girl, yadda yadda – it’s a trope. It may have started right, a huge revolution, but now it has soccumbed to the Ever-Growing Tribe of Tiring Tropes.

I’ve read countless stories about kick-ass women going on wild adventures and dangerous wars and hunting monsters and avenging their dead relatives/lovers/puppies – which is … great? Alright, it is not great, violence is never great – but we are talking about the fictional reals here, so let’s say it is great indeed.

The thing is, we all know our cheers to the first warrior girls were due mostly because avenging and getting bloodied was something literature and movies and co. have always strictly associated with men. War and action have been mainly stuff for the longest time. Getting bloodied was men’s work. Saving the day was men’s work. That’s why it seemed strange (and awesome) when women started taking care of violent business too.

So, where’s the problem, you say. The problem is that that violent bloodied business is still seen as men’s work – and the epitome of strenght and power.

And a woman must attend to bloodied business to be seen as strong.

And that’s wrong.

It’s wrong. No, really, it’s just plain wrong. Because violence is no measure for strenght. It should never be. We can’t keep living by the rule that being strong equate to being violent. We’re going to torn humanity in pieces if we persist in thinking this (we already are, to be honest).

Violence does not equate to strenght. And strenght is not a fixed thing. It depends on situations and abilities and enemies.

There’s more strenght in questioning oneself than pointing a gun to someone’s head. It’s far more difficult to admit your fears and failures and work to improve yourself than hunting down a furry monster. Kindness is sometimes so difficult to dispense, and yet impossible to deny. Accepting your desires is a work-in-progress that all of humanity is familiar with.

Male and female characters (well, men and women in the real world too, let’s be honest) should never be afraid to express these kind of emotions. Violence and “badassery” are not the only interesting thing about a character (and a human being). Characters should be brave as well as scared, angry and sad and happy and complicated and conflicted. An emotional roller-coaster is way more interesting that always-fearless-armed girls.

And that’s why I love this quote so much. Here, go check out the complete, original one. Then make your own version. We will never spread this quote too much.

G.