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.

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Dark Places, by Gillian Flynn – Yet another twisted masterpiece

I’m working Gillian Flynn in reverse – first Gone Girl, sensational bestelling movie-adapted third novel; then Dark Places, second coming of a newly-started author, apparently living up to the expectation of her debut, Sharp Objects – which I’m planning on reading ASAP, because few authors get me like Flynn can.

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The Uglies Trilogy, by Scott Westerfeld: The YA Dystopian Gem who was There Before Them All

Dawn raises over a not so distant future where calamities and man’s stupidity have destroyed much of the world we know. A city, filled with dormitories where teenagers reside en masse, awakes. A girl, named Tally, wakes up knowing one day less separates her from the day she’ll receive a standardized operation to make her “pretty”, part of the elite who spend days and nights in never-ending parties. But things start going awry for Tally from the moment her best friend Shay elopes …

Bored? Don’t be. This is only the premise to one of my forever-favorite dystopic stories: the awesome, praises-worthy Uglies trilogy by Scott Westerfeld. The books (Uglies, Pretties and Specials) came out in 2005/2006, years before The Hunger Games and the dystopian mainstream fashion. It became one of those silent winners, climbing best-sellers lists without getting the overwhelming fame very few YA series get. (Also, no adaptation. And that’s bad, because Westerfeld’s work would generally deserve more adaptations.) This a compelling series who gets way to little appreciation: it’s got good, conflicted characters, well-paced storytelling and a creepy, thought-provoking world building.

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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.

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Long Live the Mockingjay – Why Katniss Everdeen is the Hero We Need

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With the oncoming end of The Hunger Games cinematic saga, I fear the moment the spotlights won’t be on this incredible story anymore. It’s something that’s meant to happen to all movies/books/show: pages and episodes are over, the product in itself is finished. Of course, that does not mean the story is over. That’s what fandom is about! We make our favorite stories immortal, we keep them alive with our own products and our passion. I’ve myself had a Harry Potter relapse, this summer, and boy, isn’t the fandom always and forever in full swing?

So no, I’m not afraid The Hunger Games will die.

But I’m afraid a lot of people will forget about Katniss Everdeen. I want people to never forget about Katniss Everdeen, because Katniss Everdeen is the hero we need the most.

I remember, the first time I read The Hunger Games, what struck me the hardest was Katniss’s normalcy. She’s painfully, beautifully ordinary, and she never stop being so. She enters the Games to protect her sister, does her best to survive so she can go back home to her family, fights back when Rue is killed, fights to protect Peeta, and keep fighting and fighting, trying to overcome her terrible traumas, as long as she’s needed to help as many people as possible.

I want people to remember that Katniss Everdeen was never a special snowflake of awesome powers and ability, but a common girl from the poorest District of Panem, who did well in the Games because her long-dead beloved father had taught her how to hunt to feed their family. I want people to remember how Katniss Everdeen became a hero out of unselfish love. She only ever wanted to keep her family safe. She fights to save Peeta even when she’s sure he’ll be angry with her, even when she thinks herself unworthy of love. It doesn’t matter, all it matters to Katniss is protecting her loved ones.

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WICKED LOVELY or Five Books on Fairies with More Positive Role Models than most of your Favs

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Love triangles resolving in passionate relationships. A well-developed, both heartbreaking and heartwarming queer relationship between two important characters. Positive, in-charge female characters with well-fleshed, all different personalities. Siblings love. Sensual love. Romantic love. King-to-subjects love. All kinds of love. And did I mention the awesome, awesome women?

Is this real life? Is this just fantasy?.

Nope. This is Wicked Lovely.

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