tardis_stowaway: TARDIS under a starry sky and dark tree (merlin ot4)
Goddammit Merlin, all I want to do is love you.  Why do you insist on making that difficult and painful?
Spoilers for Merlin 4x09 and 4x10 )

On topics other than Merlin, back in the land where women exist and even get their own stories, here is a wonderful vid linked by [livejournal.com profile] ladymercury_10.  It's a medley of fairytales and Marina & the Diamonds music, and it's well worth your time.

tardis_stowaway: TARDIS under a starry sky and dark tree (merlin ot4)
Merlin is such a frustrating show.  Sometimes it can be so loveable, but far too many other times it makes me want to scream at the screen, and not in a good way.  This latest episode (4x08, "Lamia") was mostly in the latter category.

spoilers through Lamia (4x08) )
tardis_stowaway: TARDIS under a starry sky and dark tree (merlin/arthur)
So, I've been watching Merlin.  As long as I pretend Morgana is a completely different person than she was in the first two series, I'm enjoying it.  If I try watching it with no more than canon explanations for the changes in her character, I keep getting distracted by the urge to approach Morgana and say, "What, what, WHAT are you DOING?  Look at your life!  Look at your choices!"

My fanon is that sometime during the year she was with Morgause between S2 and S3, Morgana got attacked by an evil spirit or a magic user who had been horribly wronged by Uther or something like that.  The attacker imprisoned Morgana a long way away, magically impersonated her, and took her place.  That evil spirit or person with no ties of love to anyone in Camelot is who we've been watching for S3 and S4 so far.  The real Morgana eventually escaped her imprisonment and tried to get back to Camelot, but before she got there she realized that she quite liked the freedom of not being a noblewoman and not having to hide her magic.  She is currently living in a small village in the middle of nowhere, growing vegetables, helping the villagers out with small charms for healing and finding lost goats, and sometimes wearing fabulous dresses for no reason whatsoever.  Occasionally she dreams of Camelot and the nastiness perpetrated by her imitator, but the closest the real Morgana has come to being evil is deciding that it's Not Her Problem.

Meanwhile, back in the world outside my head, I have thoughts about The Darkest Hour (1 & 2). In no particular order:
SPOILERS for Merlin 4.01 and 4.02 )
tardis_stowaway: TARDIS under a starry sky and dark tree (formalwear 11/amy/rory)
I need to do a RL update at some point, but here is a short mostly-fandom post instead.

-I've started watching Fringe!  I'm only at 1X11, "Bound," so please no spoilers in the comments!  I'm enjoying it a great deal, primarily because Olivia Dunham is a grade-A BAMF.  I adore all the emotions going across her face, her dedication, her resourcefulness, that rare but lovely smile, and in general everything about her.  After so much time spent primarily paying attention to fandoms with male leads, it's SO refreshing to watch a show with a female lead that passes the Bechdel test in most episodes.  The plot seems to be getting better as it goes along, and I've heard that it gets better yet.  I really hope the future includes more Astrid, for she is awesome and deserves more to do than being a gopher.  Also, the credits feel like a lame rip-off of the X-Files credits, but whatever.  Olivia Dunham is way more important than credits.

-Less than a month until Doctor Who!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  (Yes, this news totally called for that many exclamation points.  Maybe more.)  I'm excited.  I've been trying to avoid spoilers like the plague, though I did watch the trailer.  It looks awesome, but I think I like the "1911 version" with ragtime music and grainy b&w footage even better.

trailer under the cut for the spoiler-phobic )
-I have a random desire to read some Merlin fic.  (By "random," I mean that I had Vienna Teng's "Harbor" stuck in my head, which made me think of [livejournal.com profile] kaydeefalls 's Gwen-centric vid to that song, which made me think of Merlin.)  Anyone got recs?  I prefer things the canon setting to modern AUs, though AUs relating to events are fine.  Encouraged, even, since canon in that show is frequently so unsatisfactory.  Any genre, any ship (other than fics that portray incest as a sexy thing...fics dealing with myth!canon messed-up Arthur/Morgana or fics written before we learned certain familial relationships are fine).  Female characters being awesome, fics giving S2 or S3 Morgana character development the canon never allowed her, and stories where the magic feels, well, magical are especially encouraged.

-On Saturday I went to a city-wide yardsale a nearby town was having where they encouraged lots of people to have a yard sale on the same day.  I meant to get some useful household stuff like an end table, a rug, wall-mounted hooks, maybe some kitchen things.  Instead I bought three books, a game of pictionary, a pair of shoes, and a Haagen Dasz bar (from an ice cream truck).  Oops. 

-Doctor Who!  April 23rd!  It's exciting enough to say again!
tardis_stowaway: TARDIS under a starry sky and dark tree (r.o.u.s. gwen/lancelot)
It really is incredible how Merlin can make me want to both flail my arms around in glee and bang my head against a wall (or better yet, scream at someone on the writing team) in frustration.  The S3 finale was a good episode, heavy on the glee and lighter than many episodes this series on the things that anger me, though the fail was definitely still present. 

SPOILERS for "The Coming of Arthur pt. 2," episode 3x13. Also, the length of this got a bit out of hand )
tardis_stowaway: TARDIS under a starry sky and dark tree (nice not being me)
Someday, I will make a post that is not largely about Sherlock.  Today is not that day.  New fandom has wrapped its tentacles around my brain in a major way.  Today, I have some recs for you.  Some of them are even about things other than Sherlock!

First, a piece of crack!fic that sent me into absolute fits of laughter:  Aptronyms by [livejournal.com profile] elapsedspiral .  This is a slight AU where, as the summary says, Mr Sherlock Holmes and Dr John Watson are characters created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle; Mr Sherlock Holmes and Dr John Watson are the unfortunate sods named after them.   When you get to the end, I hope you'll agree with me that we have a new catchphrase!  You'll know the one I mean.

Second, a delightful vid by [livejournal.com profile] humansrsuperior starring Sherlock's Coat of Great Sexiness.  I can't figure out how to embed this player, so here's a link to the relevant LJ entry.  All coat, all the time.  The vid is free of major spoilers, so if there is anyone reading this who is (a) still on the fence about whether to watch Sherlock, and (b) attracted to men and/or long, dramatic coats, this might convince you.  Watch it swirl!

Now, a Merlin rec!  I wanted to make sure all the Merlin folks on this list have seen [livejournal.com profile] rosa_acicularis 's  amazing Merlin fic, Goose Girl.  It's got richly layered emotions, plenty of Rosa's trademark wit, and a wonderful character who is sort of an OC and sort of someone you know.  There's also a fierce goose.  It's set post-S1.

Here's a fascinating NY Times article about a practice in Afghanistan of disguising girls as boys.  Some of them wear boys' clothes in order to work to help their families out with income, but others are presented as boys largely because of the social stigma on families without sons. Even when the child's original gender is an open secret among friends, there are still social benefits to simply appearing to have a son.  Most of these young people are supposed to revert back to femininity at puberty or when their parents arrange a marriage, with varying degrees of success and happiness. 

Now, a bit of yammering about my subconscious (you can skip if you like).  A few nights ago I actually dreamed I was in Afghanistan.  I don't remember any details, but I think it was in the context of visiting there rather than being Afghan.  I am somewhat concerned that my subconscious may be attempting to emulate John Watson in hopes that this will cause Benedict Cumberbatch to become my flatmate.  Sadly, it doesn't work that way.  At least strange dreams are preferable to a psychosomatic limp. 

Last night I had even stranger dreams.  Perhaps inspired by the lovely Sherlock/His Dark Materials fusion fic, "Theory and Practice," I dreamt about the Firefly crew in a universe where everyone has daemons*.  In a rare instance of awareness that I was dreaming, I kept realizing that my sleeping mind was assigning Mal a daemon that didn't quite suit him (golden eagle, then tiger) and insisting that the dream give him a  different one.  I wish I could tell you what brilliant ideas my brain eventually cooked up for who would have what species of daemon, but that got lost in the transition to the next dream.  (What would their daemons actually be? Mal, I think, would have a coyote.  River would be either a cat or some sort of bird, perhaps an owl.  Kaylee strikes me as an otter.  Anyone else have opinions?)

After half-waking, I transitioned to a school stress dream.  I haven't had one of those in a while, though I have teaching stress dreams not infrequently.  When I do dream about being in school, most often it's at the college level with some sort of test I didn't study for/paper I didn't write/classroom I can't find as the plot.  Last night, however, I dreamed about being in high school. I went to one of the classes assigned to me on the first day and was really upset when it was WAY too easy and beneath my level.  Everyone else in the class seemed ludicrously dumb. I was worried I was going to be stuck in that class all semester, bored out of my skull, and I had no idea where the office was or how to change my schedule.  My brain seems to think I need to do more with my life.

How about one more bit of Sherlock silliness for anyone still with me?  Sherlock demonstrates how to dance the robot.  It made me giggle like a crazy person.

*In Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy, daemons are external manifestations of a person's soul, taking the form of animals.
tardis_stowaway: TARDIS under a starry sky and dark tree (Time Lord moves)
 Just as Doctor Who is about to be done for a year, I am sadly at the end of available episodes of another show too.  Yes, I finally finished watching Merlin. Merlin spoilers through the end of S2 )

Day 14 - Favorite male character

This is another tricky one!  Declaring one a favorite feels like a betrayal of all the other characters I adore.  My preferences tend to shift with time.  I'm tempted just to say that the brief and hilarious appearance of Victopher on Dollhouse pwns all and be done with it.  However, I think I'm going to endeavor to make a choice.  First, let's hear it for some runners-up, in no particular order (and where they can be found):  Fox Mulder (X-Files),  Oz (BtVS), Captain Jack Harkness (your pants), Wash (Firefly), Spock (Star Trek:  TOS), Merlin (Merlin), Victor (aka Tony; Dollhouse), Spike (BtVS), Wilf (DW), Hiro Nakamura (Heroes), Sam Tyler (Life On Mars), Ianto Jones (Torchwood), and many others that I might list if you asked me on a different day. 

Those paying attention have probably noticed that one character is conspicuous in his absence from that list.  My choice for favorite male character is The Doctor. 
pics and some reasons behind the cut )
tardis_stowaway: closeup of Merlin's face with a half-smile (merlin)
Once again, my narrow viewing habits are problematic.  I haven't watched any shows that just started this season.  I guess I could list Moffat-era Doctor Who as a new show, but given all the Team Rusty vs. Team Moff growling that seems to be going on around the interwebs, I want to emphasize the continuity of DW.  Instead, let me discuss a show that's not new, but which I have just started watching this season:  Merlin.  It's new in the world of my brain, okay? 

more under the cut )
tardis_stowaway: closeup of Merlin's face with a half-smile (merlin)
I'm going to watch the latest Doctor Who later tonight.  Until then, let me interest about two or three people in my squeeing about Merlin.  (Note: spoilers for Merlin 2x04, "Lancelot and Guinevere," but I'm not bothering to cut because  it just aired in the US, and I think anyone who cares has seen it.)

I just saw “Lancelot and Guinevere,” which featured what appeared to be giant naked mole rats!  I bloody love this show!   

I was gleeful when Morgana distracted kidnappers with her beauty and then kicked ass.  Gwen showed once again that she is just ridiculously brave.   Morgana’s pleas for someone to rescue Gwen are the stuff of which femslash is made.

Lancelot is great, even if he does complicate my already complicated shipping preferences for the show.  He’s smart and full of chivalry (not to mention hot), but alas, I fear that his self-sacrifice in leaving to attempt to stay out of the way of Arthur’s feelings for Gwen will come back to bite them all in the butt.  (Side note:  I remember reading some retelling of Arthurian legend at some fairly young age and thinking how sad it was the Guinevere was supposed to choose between Arthur and Lancelot when she loved them both, and wouldn’t it be nice if she could have both of them?  And thus was my first OT3 born.  Then along came this goofy show, and suddenly it's OT-most of the cast.)

In conclusion, release the kraken man-eating giant naked fucking mole rats!

tardis_stowaway: closeup of Merlin's face with a half-smile (merlin)
I'm still not all the way caught up with Merlin, but I have a hankering to sample some fic and/or vids.  I just watched "The Nightmare Begins" (2x03).  Merlin-watching people on the flist, do any of you have any recs for fics, vids, etc. with NO SPOILERS past that point?  Or maybe something I can read after just one or two more eps?

I'm not picky about genre or ships.  Any shipping combination of Merlin, Morgana, Gwen, and Arthur is fine by me, as is genfic, though I suppose I'm most interested in some Gwen/Morgana.  Quality crack!fic would also be appreciated.

thoughts on the show )
tardis_stowaway: TARDIS under a starry sky and dark tree (briar rose on stairs w/candle)
Tonight I:
(a) finished and filed my taxes.  Go me! 
(b) ate a large bowl of ice cream, but I have a nasty sore throat so it's medically excused.
(c) squeed a bit at the fact that there is NEW WHO NEXT WEEK!!!!
(d) watched two episodes of Merlin, "Excalibur" and "The Moment of Truth."  A few random thoughts below.

Excalibur )

The Moment of Truth )
tardis_stowaway: TARDIS under a starry sky and dark tree (princess bride dread pirate roberts)
Having just watched Merlin S1 episodes 6 & 7, I get the feeling that if Arthur and Uther were alive today, they would be forever sending money to Nigerians they met online.  Those guys will believe all sorts of random strangers, plus Merlin's really bad lies.
tardis_stowaway: TARDIS under a starry sky and dark tree (donna+rose bench)
I went to see An Education today and really enjoyed it.  Carey Muligan is indeed outstanding.  Our Sally Sparrow totally deserves her Oscar nomination.  Her performance hits just the right mix of confidence and vulnerability.   Also, I was startled to see Olivia Williams, known to Dollhouse fans as Adelle Dewitt, in this movie too!  She wears some really bad glasses to play the hard-edged yet caring teacher, and of course she rocks. 

Following the lead of just about my entire flist, I've finally started watching Merlin.  I am currently five episodes in and having a grand time.  It makes Doctor Who seem based on rigorous logic, but it's far too charming not to love. The cast is absolutely gorgeous (and contains Giles!)  Merlin in particular is utterly adorkable.  Also, the slash doesn't need goggles.  (Seriously, Merlin thrashing around in a fever dream while calling out Arthur's name?  That has to be intentionally slashy.)   Part of me wants to rush through at top speed so I can be caught up enough to participate in fandom without spoilers, but part of me wants to go slowly to savor the pleasure of discovering a new series. 


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