Saturday, January 29, 2011

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

I think too much. And I feel too much. The latter is a problem when watching and reading stuff. As exemplified by my reaction to finishing Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (TSCC) tv show just now. I cried, but not out of sadness, just a profound overwhelmingness. (this is a word! I just looked it up!) I’m gonna discuss spoiler type stuff here, so be warned. I have to discuss spoilers coz I have to discuss it all! This show was amazing. Joss Whedon-level amazing. I felt the same overwhelmingness (my new favourite word ;) after finishing Dollhouse. And definitely did not feel it with Battlestar. God, when I compare Battlestar to these two amazing shows, holy fuck does it suck! It wasn’t bad, but so... hmm... messy is the first and only word coming to mind. Messy story that let go of you too often. Didn’t keep you in and involved. Got too mean-spirited in moments for you to stay captivated. I doubt I’d say it was more realistic coz of that, coz TSCC was also gritty, also had human-looking machines that also felt and loved, but... hmm... this time I’m gonna use the word cohesive... that TSCC had a much more cohesive story line. Maybe coz TSCC’s existence wasn’t so stop-and-go with threats of cancellation all the time. (they just got canceled, no threats. :((( which really fucking sucks) Maybe coz the Terminator story lines have so much time-travel, and so many movie installments, that you have to be much more careful with how you write the story? My god, the Terminator stories has sooooo captivated me!! There’s not a single other movie series where I find myself constantly thinking back and referencing the previous movies. Which means every new movie or tv show I watch from that world, I review, and even relive a bit, the previous ones!! That might simply be coz with all that time travel the story line gets complex and you’re just trying to figure it out. But I feel it’s more than that... just a truly great, great story!!! Thank god there’s been so many movies and this tv show to explore it as much as we have!!!! :)))))

The ending... I was overwhelmed at seeing John reach the future, a point in the future before he’s the celebrated saviour of humanity. Where Derek and Kyle and Allison don’t know him yet, but he knows them. It especially felt overwhelming coz he lost them in his present... and god what a loss.... but here they are and he can be with them again. And it was overwhelming that Sarah chose to stay behind. But made sense. But how sad. :( And him jumping into the future to become the John Connor at age 16 makes a lot of sense. To lead, he has to be different, and this way one massive, huge way that he’s different is that he didn’t live through Judgment Day. And can retain hope and optimism and courage coz it wasn’t squashed by years of fighting and simply surviving. This obviously doesn't work with T3 but that movie can most gratefully ignored! ;) Although not a bad movie considering. Loved the female Terminator! The rest kinda sucked. And now I have to re-watch all of them and I’m looking forward to it!!! :))) I posted this on my Lady Knight Facebook page, but I’ll repeat it here, one of my most very fervent movie wishes is that if they make a 5th Terminator movie continuing the story of the 4th, that they pleeease not use Christian Bale for John Connor! When asked why I explained I am really sick of Christian Bale... he's just played his Psycho character in every role since! Emotionless and expressionless!!! More robot-like than the Terminator in the movie! And as a friend of mine put it: “Ya he's like Keanu Reeves without all the emotion.” !! Which cracked me up coz sooo accurate!! Hahahaha!! You know your acting sucks when it fails in a comparison to Keanu!! Haha!

So all round most amazing show!!! And I love all the actors and characters! Although I had misgivings about the tiny Summer Glau as a Terminator but she’s really good as an emotionless machine that is a bit more than the sum of its parts. And Lena Headey simply rocks and KICKS ASS!!!! And who would’ve thought someone from 90210 could act?! In a sci-fi no less?!?! Haha! Kudos to Brian Austin Green! :) And Shirley Manson!! Lead singer of Garbage was terrific!! Her first acting role and amazing! And wardrobe must’ve had her outfits designed! They were super unique and cool!

So this show was great, so was Dollhouse. One show I’d also say is objectively great was Rome. All three had cohesive, point-full, story lines which is what I think made them a million times better than something like Battlestar. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the show, but objectively don’t think it was as good as these. One thought is coz these three were all 2 seasons long only, and that it might be much harder to maintain a cohesive story line over more than 2 years? But no... Babylon 5 managed coz it had only J. Michael Straczynski writing it and he had a 5-season story arc in mind from the beginning which is a great way to do it. And Buffy and Angel stayed on track, although there were tons of filler episodes, but even those still advanced the characters which is as important. Signing off! Adios! :)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

George R.R. Martin sucks

Haha! Yessss! I chose a dramatic title to this post!! :) Also just a warning, there’s a bit of spoilers! But I just can’t bitch enough about him and Kate Elliot. I think I’m very bitter about them. They’re like ex-boyfriends from relationships that ended badly. As a reader, I feel these two authors disappointed and betrayed me. And hence now, years after we ‘broke up’ ;) I still feel that bitterness and disappointment. :( For George R.R. Martin it happened in reading Feast of Crows (which was now 4 years ago and still no new books!). I think the final straw was the killing off of Brienne, the only character I could find to identify with and relate to, and the bringing back of Catelyn Stark as some kind of vengeful undead creature?! What the fuck!? But many straws went into breaking this camel’s back. Despite all my feelings for Martin and his series, I will admit I am ecstatic at the thought of the Game of Thrones TV series they’re making out of his books!!! Because, despite my disappointment, it is still absolutely fantastic fantasy!! Which is probably why I’m so bitter now... only great love can lead to great bitterness I suppose?! Haha! :)

So after completing Feast of Crows, I realized it was over between me and George R.R. Martin. *insert melodramatic music here* ;) And in my desolation, I wrote him an email at the time, which I’m including here.

From: Ida
Date: February 1, 2007 7:57:14 PM EST (CA)
Subject: devastated

Dear Mr. Martin,

Not sure if you actually read this email or not or whether this email is just for the Ring of Ice and Fire but I really feel a need to email and this was the only contact info I could find. I guess I will start with the fact that I absolutely love your series of A Song of Ice and Fire. Absolutely amazing series and one that is classic fantasy/medieval which seems to be rare these days as more and more authors add twists and interesting ideas to classic fantasy/medieval world which are great but not the same. The series is very captivating, enthralling, engaging and I find it hard to put the books down once I start! Great story-telling, great characterization, great setting.

But...... sigh..... I am nearing the end of Feast of Crows.... and I am simply devastated. I was seeing the trend of your books and I've come to the point where I give up. I cannot read any more, they are just becoming too disappointing. What I'm bothered by is the lack of a solid storyline. A good story has a beginning, a climax, an end. This is feeling like its becoming like a soap opera.... where the writer has no interest in concluding, just continuing the story for ever and ever. Characters are killed off, new characters introduced, the story is not advanced. Or if it is the overall storyline is advancing soooo slowly as all the minor ones are being advanced but those minor ones feel so pointless. They might not be but they feel it because as a reader I'm not understanding where they tie in. Or using a story/character for chapters and chapters just to add one point to the main storyline is sooo distracting. Granted its an immensely enjoyable distraction but it doesn't feel like its going anywhere. Now I could maybe ignore the lack of a main storyline if you weren't constantly killing off characters. I'm at the point where I don't want to read because your characterization is so good I care about the characters but what's the point when they're just going to be killed off?! The majority of the characters from the first book are dead, right there is a lack of cohesion through the books! So every book seems like an overlap of some new, some old characters, and it almost feels like the new ones are brought it in to replace the old ones!

I know this style of writing will make more money as readers get hooked into never-ending series and eagerly await the latest volume but it's not very fulfilling. And you lose buyers like me as I won't be buying or reading any more after I finish Feast of Crows. All the big fantasy authors are like this... Robert Jordan, Terry Goodkind.... 1000+ pages/volume and they go to like 6-10 volume series, which means you need 6000-10000 pages to tell a story!?!? Well I give up, I want a story, not a TV show. I want to anticipate a climax and reach an end in a story. As of now you're planning for 3 more volumes? 3000+ pages!? What's the incentive to keep reading? Do you have a plan as to how you're gonna conclude this!? Any thought given to this at all? If you have a conclusion, do all the side stories and characters really further the story and help it reach that conclusion? Sigh.... it sucks.... I was willing to read your books endlessly, more so then any other long-winded author, coz they are absolutely amazing pieces of writing but lack of a main storyline is killing my enjoyment of them. I am now going to stick to series of max 3 volumes, or another great method that some authors do is trilogies where each volume is its own story with a conclusion, but the series is tied together by having the same characters and chronology. Just as good at hooking readers! You are the 2nd author I find myself giving up on that I absolutely loved and adored their first books. Ramblings that don't tie in are just a waste coz you can't care what happens to 20 characters.... you can only probably care for like 3-4 max.

Sigh..... sorry.... I had to rant. You have absolutely great books and great writing I'm just soooooooooo vastly disappointed that a plot tying all the books together is mostly ignored and for me that just ruins it.

Thanks for reading if you made it this far.

Your most devastated ex-fan,