TV MEME: Day 09 – Best scene ever

Well, this one was hard as hell.

I kept trying to think of my favourite shows, my favourite episodes within these show, the best scenes within those episode, but shows don’t really work that way. After all, the best scene ever could be buried in a terrible episode of great show, or a great episode of a terrible show. Who knows!

Then there’s the classic best scenes ever that you’ll see on countdowns, tv lists, and those are overall amazing and even great scenes, but to each his own and what not.

For me the best scene ever was a hard pick, I went through all the shows I could think of, and just in general key moments in shows that struck me, and I came to final decision as I typed this post, but first, I’m gonna tell you about the other scenes that made the cut. In no particular order, these were scenes that I loved for varying reasons.

  1. LOST – The Constant. Penny and Desmond’s phone call. A classic, a masterpiece, it makes me fucking cry. It’s a beautiful scene about hope, perseverance, belief,  love, the Christmas fucking spirit, and genuinely it’s one of the purest, most impacting moments in the show.
    https://youtu.be/51yTvw8Qubs
  2. The West Wing – The Stackhouse Filibuster. Will the Senator yield for a question?” Again, and incredibly emotional and powerful scene about a lot of the same thing stated above: perseverance, belief, support, and the power of grandfathers.
    https://youtu.be/hKTH1YXbO7M?t=2m43s
  3. Doctor Who – Vincent Van and the Doctor. Vincent Van Gogh visits the gallery. Now, while I’ve watched a good chunk of new Who I’m not an overall fan of the show and rarely stick with it for full seasons, I tried my best in season five, when it was reaching it’s height of social media presence and popularity, but I’m not the person to go to if you want to talk Who. However this episode is considered one of the best of series five, and possible of all the new Who episodes, and with good reason. It’s an incredibly beautiful and heartfelt episode that deals with mental illness, depression, passion, pain, art, wonderment, hope. And it all culminates in this final scene of the Doctor taking Vincent Van Gogh to the future and showing him a gallery at the Musée d’Orsay.
    https://youtu.be/ubTJI_UphPk

And now my pick for one of the best scenes ever.

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Buffy – Becoming Part 2. Me. Look for twelve, maybe thirteen year old Ari, Buffy was already doing a lot things for my emotions and all Joss’s faux feminism fuckery aside, he really did give us an iconic show with a great female lead character. This moment is amazing and great because the whole episode everything has been apart around Buffy, the love of her life has lost his soul and wants to end the world, and all that stands between him and victory is Buffy herself. The sword fight is great, but that moment where Angelus seems to have her beat, and until this moment Buffy has been struggling with a lot of the consequences of Angelus’ actions towards her: she’s been kicked out of her house, her friends are hurt or dead, and the world is end. She feels beaten, she feels hopeless, but in that final moment where Angelus thinks he’s won, Buffy remembers that she’s not beaten, he’s not broken, she still stands. Alone, but strong and she keeps fighting. For baby feminist in the making Ari this scene was so important and amazing to watch. (Annoying the clip below is in Italian as I couldn’t find it in English, ofc.)

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TV MEME: Day 09 – Best scene ever

TV MEME: Day 08 – A show everyone should watch

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Avatar: The Last Airbender.

I mean, what can I say about this show that hasn’t been said by better and smarter people than more. This show changed the landscape of American cartoons and didn’t even know it was doing it. This show was hands down the best show airing during it’s time. Not the best kid’s show, not the best animated series, but the overall best show airing on (western) tv of it’s time.

The plot, the storytelling, the characters, their emotional arcs, the heroes, the anti heroes, the villains were all executed pretty near flawlessly. The only fault I can think the show had was the lack of LGBT+ representation, but then Legend of Korra takes care of that! No episode feels like a filler even the filler episodes, which they did that, but even in those episodes the character development was magnificent. At no point does the plot feel lost within it’s own story, and as it developed as they created a character that was all about hope, peace, redemption, and they realised they could just have them kill the bad guy at the end, they fixed it by expanding the story and backstory of the abilities of bending.

I’m pretty sure everyone already knows what Avatar is, but in case you don’t. It’s set in a fantasy world based on several Asian cultures in which we have four civilisations: The Fire Nation, The Air Nomads, The Water Tribes, The Earth Kingdom and each nation, all with their own distinct cultures have individual who can manipulate said elements. Within these four nations each generation… a slayer is born. Not really, but pretty much the same thing. Each generation an Avatar is born, or reborn, as it’s a cycle of reincarnation. The Avatar can manipulate all four elements. The Avatar goes through cycles starting with Fire-Air-Water-Earth.

A hundred years ago the Fire Nation got a little bit of a ego and decided that they’d take over the world (here’s where I wanted to link a clip of The Mummy Returns but the internet let me down) and everyone thought the Avatar would be the one to save them.

Unfortunately, he was twelve, scared, and stuck in ice. Until two kids from the Southern Water Tribe find him.

Aang, an Airbender, is our hero, but we don’t just follow his growth into becoming and accepting his position as the Avatar, we follow everyone around him. We follow Katara, a novice Waterbender and one of the youngest feminists that has portrayed on screen, and her brother Sokka, a non-bender and our comic relief grow and become more than Aang’s sidekicks on his story. They each get their own emotionally fulfilling and complex arcs. We watch them meet Toph, a young blind Earthbender, who is too amazing beyond words and who becomes even more amazing beyond words. We see this kids not only master their skill sets, but become extremely important figures as they expand upon what we thought we knew. Yes, including Sokka, who even though he’s not a Bender doesn’t mean he’s not without value and skills of his own.

We also have some of the layered anti-heroes and villains in Zuko, Azula (his sister), Iroh (their uncle), and Azula’s friends, Mai and Ty Lee. First, before I get into Zuko, I have to point out how amazing it is that the show had Azula, Mai, and Ty Lee, three young girls be their most successful antagonists to Team Avatar for pretty much two of three seasons of the show. Also their development is some of the best, especially Azula. Very rarely do we get to have female character with the depth and complexities Azula has. Now, for Zuko, he’s an equally important and complicated character. They both battle with the need to have their father’s esteem and respect. There has been many a meme about Zuko’s hunt for honor. But unlike Azula’s whose main mentor has been their frankly megalomaniacal father, Zuko’s mentor is their Uncle Iroh. A gentle but powerful man who sees the dangers and flaws within the Fire Nation he so proudly fought for. A lot of Zuko’s arc is about self doubt and self acceptance, similar to Aang’s, about the kind of men they want to be.

And about saving the world.

But as important as that is: after all that’s the big goal, the story of Avatar shines because how much care they took developing their characters and their relationships. It makes you root for them, be mad at them, care about them, think about them. How much care it took in it’s production, truly learning about the Asian cultures they would incorporate into the world they built. It didn’t hurt the animation was beautiful either, but it’s really the balance it struck in it’s storytelling and production that makes it such a standout.

Honestly, I’m not sure what why I didn’t pick it as my favourite show after writing this. Maybe in alternate universe I did.

Oh and it’s sequel Avatar: The Legend of Korra is also worth a look. The storytelling isn’t as tight in my honest option but Korra’s journey is just as valid and important as Aang’s, dealing with even more of emotional, physical, and spiritual struggles.

 

TV MEME: Day 08 – A show everyone should watch

TV MEME: Day 07 – Least favorite episode of your favorite t.v show

Sorry, they’ll if you’ve been waiting for me to continue this, but my work schedule is back to being hectic! I’m still planning to finish this but I feel some days will get a bit more spaced out again.

Now.

THIS SHIT IS HARD.

I was talking to one of my roommates as I pondered this and she said “it’s easier to remember your favourite episodes of things” and that’s so true. Also, with Leverage being my favourite show it’s harder to think about it’s flaws because I remember so much of it fondly. That’s not to say it didn’t have flaws. It could have done with more actors of colours in main roles or more — any? — LBGT+ representation. It also didn’t have the zip! and pop! that a lot of show are required to have, but I think it made up for that with really excellent storylines.

That’s why it’s so hard for me to think about my least favourite episodes because even episodes I didn’t 100% enjoy, there was something that happened within in for the development of the story or characters that stood out more.

I will say that when thinking about my least favourite episode and trying to narrow it down, I thought about episodes where a plotline frustrated me or the character development annoyed me. In the end, they focused on Nate. Nate, as I mentioned before, is my least favourite of the leads. Nate, however is a great character, so even in episodes where I got exasperated by his plotline I could still see and accept interesting character choices were happening. But my main problem with his episodes, was even in moments where he should have lost, he won. Okay, staying as spoiler free as I can get, Nate is a brilliant man, and he has lost, he’s lost big time, he’s also an addict. All three of these aspects make up the core of his character and I think that’s why the show has him so intent on winning. Even when he’s “losing” he’s still ultimately gonna win. Even when his addiction should make him struggle, he still manages to be smarter than everyone else in the room. It becomes a little annoying. I think the moment it bugged me the most is where he tell Hardison he’d never been a good Mastermind because he didn’t think about the people in the con enough. There’s a whole video game analogy here about the Rage Quit. In the end, you can view the whole exchange as a learning experience for Hardison, but yeah, it let a bad taste in my mouth.

Similarly, in another episode Nate hypnotises Hardison without his consent, which I do find that Nate is harder on Hardison than he is on the others. He loves Hardison like family, but yeah. When you consider Nate’s family history and father-son relationship with his own father, and his son, a lot of choices make sense, but they are sometimes still pretty terrible choices. Later when Nate’s dad comes in for a few episodes, again, I don’t mind my particularly interested in their drama, but the episodes themselves have some great moments I’ll think about and second guess myself.

Which is again, the frustration and beauty of me picking a least favourite episode.

So here’s a shortlist of episodes in which I find Nate’s win a little too convenient for him or he acts like he’s somehow better than someone else who has proven to be just as good as him:

  • The Gold Job. This is the episode I mentioned above where Hardison takes charge of the team for a job, and is ultimately shown/told that he’d never been a good enough Mastermind by Nate.
  • The Three Card Monte Job. First episode where Nate’s father comes in.
  • The Radio Job. Second episode where Nate’s father comes in. Like in the one above, while interesting I don’t find their relationship something I care to watch that much. In some ways Jimmy brings out the worst in Nate.
  • The Three Days of the Hunter Job. Background: Sophie takes lead on the job and from the beginning it’s grating the way he talks over and tries to take over Sophie’s position as Mastermind. Do you see a theme? The con also involves pushing their mark to have an emotional breakdown, which yeah, the mark was a shitty person, but that’s going a little too far, in my honest opinion. ETA: Someone also reminded me that something similar — the team playing around too freely with someone mental and emotional state — happens in The White Rabbit Job.

But the thing is with all these episodes? I still really like 80% of them.

Again, Leverage is genuinely a good show, with flaws, but no necessarily entirely flawed episodes. I probably should do a rewatch and then maybe I’d have a better answer.

TV MEME: Day 07 – Least favorite episode of your favorite t.v show

TV MEME: Day 06 – Favorite episode of your favorite t.v show

Finally, an easy one!

Granted, Leverage has so many episodes that I love, but my favourite one is “The Rashomon Job”. Not only does it use one of my favourite story telling devices, but it’s super fun, a flashback, and highlights a lot of what is great about the show.

The premise of the episode is pretty simple. It’s a flashback episode about the time Sophie, Eliot, Parker, and Hardison tried to steal a fancy historical dagger. The twist? They all do it the same night. The plot twist? They actually didn’t manage to steal the dagger and actually prevented each other from stealing it. The plot twist to the plot twist? Nate had been there that same night and the real thief was… Well, you’ll have to see the episode.

What makes the episode great and why the Rashomon filming style fits so perfectly to it, is that none of them knew each other that night five years ago. The differing perspectives show not only how they viewed themselves then but how they first encountered each other without noticing it later on when they started to work as team. Part of it is done in the first perspective: Sophie’s, by the use of having different actors play her teams part. It also allows some comedy on how they each viewed the situation at hand. Each of them making themselves the “heroes” of each perspective, and sometimes hilariously undercutting and remembering the others as they learn who they were that night. A great running gag is Sophie’s accent that everyone remembers different, in various states of ridiculousness. Gina Bellman is an underrated star for doing all the accents she does on the show, but more so for all the terrible accents she does in this episode.

Another clever thing in the filming style of the episode is how they deal with the narration as almost everything is a flashback. Each flashback starts in the present and as we move to the flashback, Nate joins them for some scenes in which the person in the flashback, Hardison for example, explains to Nate, our flashback ghost, what’s going on.

The episode also showcases how good these people were when they were working solo. Each had a solid and good plan for stealing that dagger. The only reason none of the plans work is because they all inadvertently sabotage each other.  It also highlights how much better they are as a team too, because each time we cut back to the future as each person is retelling their version of that night the camaraderie is always presented. They get frustrated with each other for messing up their plan, but underneath it all there’s a level of amusement and intrigue of the entire situation. It also shows how much they’ve grown from who they were, from solo con artists and thieves, to a family of well con artists and thieves.

Watching these character act against each other, but still weirdly like a team is amazing to watch. Truly a great 42 mins of tv in terms of storytelling and entertainment.

 

 

TV MEME: Day 06 – Favorite episode of your favorite t.v show

TV MEME: Day 05 – A show you hate (except hating requires me to care so more like actively dislike)

To be honest, there’s not a lot of tv I hate. There’s tv I dislike, or very actively dislike, but if hate? I’d have to still care about the show in some way to hate it.

However, I do have a short list of show that frustrated me to no end. A deep deep frustration as close to annoyance and hate I get with tv. Let’s talk about them and why.

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Note: all of these show I’ve stopped watching because of the reasons that will be give. I don’t care if things “have gotten better” because a general rule of thumb with tv is that if the flaw with the tv is entrenched in how it tells it’s story and treats its characters odds are that while things may have gotten better on the surface, when you look at what’s really happening things are still as bad as before.

Arrow – now this is a show that started out okay. It was going to be another superhero show and I love superheroes. The CW started with a relatively good choice for a hero tbh. The Green Arrow, Oliver Queen, was introduced in Smallville and became a fan favourite. It also helped that as one of the more prominent members of the Justice League you felt it could connect to a greater universe but not have to rely on Batman, Wonder Woman, or Superman to lead the DC line up. After all Smallville just ended, getting Batman on TV was hell thanks to the movies, and before the movie this year everyone was afraid on how to approach Diana.

Oliver was a safe bet. He’s a human member of the league, his backstory has a similar structure to Bruce Wayne’s, he’s already been introduced by way of Smallville. His partner is one of the more iconic and famous female superheroes: Black Canary aka Dinah Lance.

And here’s where we start getting into our problems with the show.  The treatment of Laurel Dinah Lance is absolute bullshit. As our female lead, she looked to be having a complex, complicated, unkind at times, but empathetic storyline and superhero character development on par with Oliver’s, but fandom didn’t like it. That makes the show and showrunner’s sound weak, doesn’t it, but in this day and age showrunners and studios listen to social media a lot and that’s where fandom lives. Sometimes they listen to the loud members of a fandom, who aren’t necessarily the right people to listen to. I’ve said this before. By doing so they pushed Laurel’s development into the backburner while they focused on another female lead, not a bad thing, I’m always for female characters getting developed. But the problem here was: the show never had a plan or, really, a full character for Felicity.

Look, I can admit the early interactions between Felicity and Oliver were cute and I really enjoyed them. And I’m a die hard Green Arrow/Black Canary fan. Go back on my tumblr long enough and it’s there, but as the show started to develop Felicity/Oliver, they slow made more and more of Felicity’s character about her relationship in relation to Oliver and not about Felicity’s character herself. Laurel at least was treated as a full fledged character, even if shoved aside and ultimately killed for Oliver’s manpain. (An action that bit the show in the ass that they ended up retconning it.)

They aren’t the only female characters that were treated unfairly in this show. I could go through the list of the women that have died for Oliver’s “emotional development” *cough*manpain*cough*, but I’m not going to. I could also go through the list of actors and character of colours treated like disposable sidenotes, but again I’m not going to because I’m going to focus on how it treats John Diggle like an afterthought. I love John and the John/Oliver relationship can be truly wonderful to watch, but John’s plotlines are always shoved aside too. Before I stopped watching, every plot line he had was treated like a Very Special Episode instead of a continuing arc for a lead character.

And finally Oliver’s character just became the reductive anti-hero, who’s baseline characterisation seemed to be Chris Nolan’s Batman from the Dark Knight trilogy, who is always living out the same plot line over and over: being the Green Arrow makes it hard to live a life as Oliver Queen. Which will he choose to be? The flashbacks also got a bit tiring by season 3? 4? I forget when I officially stopped watching. Because the issue with the flashback is that they only allow for Oliver to really have a present and developing backstory. All the other characters have to share the remaining parts of the episode both for current and past character and story progression.

In the end I felt the show wasn’t really going anywhere interesting with any of the characters and killing of a female character to make their fandom happy? Well, yeah, outs.

The 100 – I mean this show, took asshole behaviour to the NEXT LEVEL. I’ve pretty much gone over a few of the reasons why stopped watching and supporting the show despite still enjoying the majority of the characters.

  • [From my WWSROU post] Lexa, a lesbian character and fan favourite*, from The 100 was killed. If you didn’t already know this, I’m sorry for the spoiler. This happened after a season (and I’m going to be harsh here, because I witnessed every moment of this) of it’s fandom being pretty much gaslighted by the show’s creator who alluded to fair and positive LGBTA+ representation and behind the scenes fan pictures showcasing her during the filming of the season finale. Long story and spoilers short: Lexa was shot, she died, but they were dealing with a Matrix like world in plot at the time and her imprint still existed with it.
    *it should be noted she was not one of my favourite characters. In fact, while I liked the concept of her character and the development of her relationship with Clarke, I never warmed to the character. And the reason would be:
  • Lexa was also brown face. Or as Jennifer Lawrence once called it “oh they just put a whole lot of bronzer on”. Look at Alycia Debnam Carey as Lexa and then out of character. Lexa might have been a good character but she was the product of a racist show and it showed. Suddenly the leader of a group of people who are mostly people of colour is a white girl, with a really nice tan. A tan they did lessen later on, but still it was there at the beginning when they wanted to imply that Lexa was on some level a person of colour. And then to add injury to insult, they killed off one a woman of colour, Anya, played by Dichen Lachman who is a Nepali-born Australian actress. She was killed off for shock value when parts of the writing team changed, but also before the promised storyline she was meant to have with Clarke and bridging the Arc and the Trikru, but then that’s exactly what Lexa and Clarke’s arc became. I loved Any and found that to be an incredibly insulting end to her character.
  • Because you’ll notice that the show starts off with elevating it’s white characters and forcing it’s POC characters into roles where they’re just supporting the white character’s choice. In this case, mostly Clarke. Putting her in the ever terrible White Saviour position that shows really need to learn to step away from. I think it’s only in season four, from what I’ve heard that the show finally stop putting the characters in a position where they default to Clarke’s leadership wholeheartedly. Namely Bellamy and Raven, two poc characters played by two poc actors. Bellamy, while the show tried to pawn him off as white, couldn’t erase the fact that Bob Morley is Filipino and fandom wouldn’t let them forget it either. Raven played by Lindsey Morgan is a get ready for it: a darker skinned latina. Trust me, a rarity in Hollywood. In season 1, all three developed a sort of triumvirate for the Delinquents. A dynamic that I was very much into and that I wanted to preserve in my mind even as the show really showcased that as much as it said it cared about this triumvirate, what it showed is that Raven and Bellamy would slowly default more and more to Clarke, and the narrative would make this happen, even when it made no sense.
  • Also Lincoln and his storyline and the treatment of Ricky Whittle by the showrunner. I won’t go into that mess, Google is our friend, because that personal off screen stuff. However, the treatment of Lincoln and other black characters on screen was never positive. Lincoln for one was treated with the “Wild Man/Tarzan” archetype in relation to Octavia’s “Damsel/Jane”. He was never really given a full storyline of his own until the arc that lead to his death. Which was one of the ugliest written scene ever. And incredibly insensitive, but because it happened after Lexa’s death, and the character that died was a black man, [from WWSROU] this was received with less of an impact because sadly in media the unfair and violent death of POC, especially black men and women, rarely get more than a blink and shrug.Before that in season 1, Wells a young black man, who was portrayed as kind, smart, political savvy was killed by a young girl as a result of something his father had done back on the Arc. This was all done to “teach” a lesson about the grey morality of these kids and what happens when an “innocent child” kills another innocent child. Smarter people than me quit the show the second it happened.
  • All in all, as much as I loved the setting of the story of this show, and a lot of the characters – I’m like Rose and the triumvirate of Bellamy, Clarke, and Raven is my Jack, okay! – I just couldn’t keep watching a show that was so tone deaf and racist. Though don’t tell them that, the showrunner and writers are very sensitive and will say you’re insulting their pure intentions.

That was a lot of words, but I still have two more shows that really fall near that hate line.

Big Bang Theory – look, the fact that this how is about laughing AT nerds, geeks, fannish culture, instead of with it was the true downfall of it. Anyway, it’s such an empty show without soul.

Supernatural – speaking of soulless writing. Not only is this show terrible to it’s women, LGBT+ characters, and people of colour, it’s become so incredibly boring and repetitive that I can tell you that they’ve once again devoted a season to fighting Lucifer, just like they did… seven? eight? years ago. Every main character, good or bad, on this show is a white male and if they’re not well, don’t get attached they’ll be gone before the season is up. IT NEEDS TO BE CANCELLED.

Now, here’s a show I stopped watching for similar reasons, haven’t gone back to but I feel I would actually enjoy again:

Marvel’s Agents of Shield – Clearly I haven’t watching it in ages, but everything I hear about Daisy Johnson and her character development makes me excited and happy, and Chloe Bennet is an angel that deserves all good things. The show I feel tends to have a couple really good episodes in the midst of a lot mediocre ones, but when you hear good things about a character you love, you wanna support them! Also Mack is great! I’m super excited about Yo-Yo because LATINA SPEEDSTER!!!!! But I still haven’t forgiven them for Tripp, and I’ve never been into Fitz/Simmons even if I can admit Elizabeth and Iain’s chemistry is fantastic.

UPDATE: I forgot Dollhouse. which does kinda feel a bit like a hypocritical answer, bc I did watch every episode of that show… maybe i skimmed the finale. And was very into a ship of the show, plus Amy Acker’s character was my fave, and there were a lot of underrated performances. So “hate” feels like a false word. BUT, this show’s premise was terrible, glorifying rape and a company that was essentially sex trafficking. However, I did partially allow what I enjoyed of the show to override all the things that were terrible about it. So yeah I’ve hated it more as I’ve grown and learned. It was in part why The Sarah Connor Chronicles was cancelled and I’ll never fucking forgive that.

TV MEME: Day 05 – A show you hate (except hating requires me to care so more like actively dislike)

TV MEME: Day 04 – Your favorite show ever

There’s the shows I feel I could say, the shows I done the Most for in fandom, but really the first show that popped into my head was Leverage.

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This show is truly good and great. It sets up one of my favourite tropes in fiction: found family and builds and builds and builds upon it. All the characters are treated fairly and equally, all the relationship between the character develop incredibly honestly and organically. The continuity is amazing. Every character is clever, competent in their own skill set and learn from the others, yet that never undermines the others skill. The all build on each other.

The premise is also great. It’s originally based on the British show Hustle about a group of criminal who use their skill to help people who have been taken advantage off from assholes, to be frank. They’re a bit like Robin Hood, except cooler.

I had a friend on tumblr who ran an amazing Leverage blog, full of meta on character interaction, relationship development, #competency kink, and I can’t remember the name right now, but it was amazing and my go to place to follow the show was still on and later when I’d do my rewatches. But since I can’t remember right now, let me talk about the show in my own messy way.

The thing about Leverage is that it took it’s time. It didn’t rush character development or relationship development. It was about growing with the characters as they matured and became better version of who they already were. They changed, but not really, because they stayed who they were but their demons were lessened, their loneliness forgotten, the hearts open more, they just became more. They also at first fell into classical character archetype, helpfully pointed out by the show itself: mastermind, grifter, hacker, thief, hitter, and even at the beginning of the show they flipped aspects of those archetypes and kept on remoulding them. To explain the greatness of each character, their growth, their interrelationships with each other would take me forever, so I’m just gonna summarize best I can, NO SPOILERS~

The fact that all these characters come from criminal backgrounds, have tons of issues, substance abuse problems, and in some cases very dark pasts would make it seem that this show is super dark, but it’s not! It’s a show about healing, finding people who love and support you, and become family.

The one that brings them all together at first is… well an asshole who screws four of them over, so it falls to Nate to round up his fellow screwed partners, Hardison, Eliot, and Parker, and adds a Sophie. Nate himself is a broken man. He’s suffered a great loss, that could have been prevented by people he knew and trusted, and they didn’t help him. So he spiralled down and hard. Meeting this team is his first step into recovering a sense of self and stability. Is he a good man who plays a being a criminal or criminal who played a being good man? That’s the crux of his emotional arc for a lot of the show, and it makes him go through it. It doesn’t make it pretty, but it makes it honest.

There’s Hardison, our hacker, our tech guy, robbing banks via the web. In most other shows the hacker is an an awkward, shy, usually not super attractive. Hardison is none of those things, he hacks banks to pay his family’s bill, he’s 100% the most handsome man in the group, he’s confident, funny, an extrovert, kind, warm, ambitious and adorable.  The other being Sophie, and I’ll get to her in a second. Then we have Eliot, our hitter. The brawler, the soldier of fortune, the one with the darkest past, whose demons haunt him, but they don’t define him. Eliot uses his ability to kill, to protect and believe or not nurture. He cares deeply and he’s incredibly empathetic and emotionally intelligent. He’s not a wall of muscle, he’s sensitive and protective and works to keep others safe in any way he can. He’s one of the more emotionally stable in the group.

Then we have Parker, our thief, our dangerous little ball of social awkwardness, gymnastic skill, fearlessness, and casual callousness. Out of all that, it’s the callousness that changes the most, that’s hiding someone who doesn’t realise she wants or needs family. Parker become more of who is already is, showing a sharp mind, an ability to grow into someone who’s not afraid to trust. That’s the thing about the show it never asks the character to change, to become more palatable version of themselves, but to grow.

And finally, we have Sophie. Sophie, who is probably the most stable person on this crew, and our grifter. The femme fatale. Who is the kindest, warmest person on the crew. She is the matriarch, the one who “they trust to make sure they’re all okay” (thanks Hardison for the quote). She’s the best liar in the world and has the truest heart.

Apart they are already interesting people, but together? They become so much more. They’re a force to be reckoned with, a family that would do anything for each other, who love and respect each other, who are dangerous and deadly in their own right, and yet some of the most compassionate people in the world.

The recurring cast is great, too. Mark Shepard’s Sterling, the Sheriff of Nottingham to their Robin Hood crew, who you love to hate and hate to love. Jeri Ryan’s Tara, who shows up when Gina Bellman takes some time off due to her real life pregnancy, and makes Tara, a character who most would be annoyed with for “replacing” Sophie into a great character of her own. Maggie, Nate’s ex, who the whole crew ends up loving, and so do I. And many more actors from the scifi genre that make me so happy to see.

The show itself plays with the heist and noir genre on the surface, and then adds a bunch more in from mockumentary style episode like The Office, to episodes that highlight classic filming styles like the Rashomon effect (one of my favourites!), constant undercover work, fake outs in which learn the truth later, classic tv tropes episodes like On A Plane, Gender Separated Team Time, an actual Bottle Episode, and many others.

Basically, if you haven’t watch Leverage, find it, sit down, and enjoy yourself!

TV MEME: Day 04 – Your favorite show ever

TV MEME: Day 03 – Your favorite new show (aired this t.v season)

Here’s where I expose myself as a basic binch, I haven’t watched a lot of the new big shows, I barely remember what was new this tv season. I just don’t always have the time to watch everything I want to watch and even some that I started I just haven’t had the time to finish, either because of time and headspace and they require much more of me than I’m willing to give at time.

But here’s a show I did give my time to and that made me happy:

Still Star Crossed. 

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Granted this might be a bit of a cheat because it’s more of a summer show, but whatever, my blog my rules. It is a delight! Based on the what if… the story of Verona continued after Romeo and Juliet’s death. How do their family’s deal with their deaths, the mystery around it. It deals with the arranged romance of Benvolio Montague and Rosaline Capulet as a way to tie the family’s together and force them to stop fighting each other. But also they have a political mystery to solve because political intrigue is always fun.

It’s only four… five? episodes in and ABC messing with it schedule hasn’t helped it any, but I adore it. It’s super cute and light. The drama of it is a bit soapy, a lot Shakespearean (duh), and based around miscommunication and romance. This is everything summer tv needs!!! Honestly, ABC, why do you hate yourself?

The show is not only great for those aspect, but the casting is wonderful. A truly diverse cast and not just diverse for equality points (see The 100, because while diverse the POC characters tend to get shafted in terms of importance in the narrative. See Supergirl,  that undid a interracial romance “because it felt forced” then immediately set up a white male lead for Kara. But I’ve talked about this before.). This show is diverse because it is diverse. It’s one of the few shows that I really felt did colour blind casting. It’s unapologetic of having actors and characters of colours. They don’t explain why Rosaline and Romeo are black, but Juliet and Benvolio are white. They just are.  The best way to describe the genius they did with the casting is remind you of Brandy’s Cinderella. These characters just are. Like the fucking world is.

Now, to the meat, the good stuff. The romance.

It is so good! It’s giving me every romantic trope I love. Enemies to friends (to lovers?) Working together to solve a mystery. Hurt, broken, lonely people finding a partner in another. Partners!!! Arranged marriages turning into mutual respect. And so many more. It doesn’t hurt that Lashana Lynch and Wade Briggs have fantastic chemistry and do some reason gazing at each other and their micro-expressions in scene feed so much into their characters. But that’s not all. Lashana Lynch’s Rosaline is so great. She’s proactive, compassionate, witty, smart, and protective. She’s beautiful, for sure, and it’s so refreshing see a dark skinned black woman be the main female lead and main romantic lead. Wade Brigg’s makes Benvolio more than another Montague boys, here he’s gentle, kind, loyal, deeply hurt by his family dismissal of him (similar to Rosaline’s relationship with her aunt, who verbally abuses her), artistic, considerate, empathetic. And they balance each other so well and develop an understanding of each other, but they challenge each other. It’s a really lovely dynamic to see unfold. I just really love them.

The rest of the cast and characters are as wonderful to watch. Princess Isabella’s clever politician stuck in her role as woman in court, doing her best to get things down from behind the scene. And as the latest episode has hinted, possibly gay. To which, YAY! GAY PRINCESS! Prince Escalus’, Rosaline’s old paramour, struggling with his duty are current ruler of Verona and a man still in love. The Capulet and Montague uncles (Juliet and Romeo’s fathers played by Anthony Stewart Head and Grant Bowler.) are more familiar characters: the powerful patriarch not wanting to lose their power, but also grieving fathers in their own right. Livia Capulet, Rosaline’s sister, who is as gentle and kind and clever as Rosaline, but softer, a bit more of innocent as Rosaline has kept her more protected of the harsher things in life. Count Paris, who lives! But also is now driven with true anger towards Romeo, who is still dead, and the Montagues. Also one of the more interesting and complicated characters: Lady Capulet. Who is harsh, cold woman, that does not love her nieces Rosaline and Livia, but cannot get over her daughter’s death. Who will not believe the story she’s told and fights and plots against the Montagues and her own husband to find out the truth and hurt them.

The interplay of all these relationships make for such fun show to watch because there’s a little bit of everything and a lot of romance, adventure, and fun. Exactly what I’ve needed this tv season.

Other shows that’ve aired this season that I’ve enjoyed:

  • Riverdale, but part of my enjoyment of this has been watching it with a friend. The show is an over top teen drama, but enjoyable in it’s own right.
  • American Gods, is great, beautiful, but slow. It’s very character based and I feel because of the nature of the book, chose to extended certain paragraphs or minor backstories into entire episodes.
  • Little Witch Academia. SUPER ADORABLE LITTLE ANIME.

And here are three shows I either never started or haven’t finished, but plan to because they interest me a lot.

  • Big Little Lies. Haven’t started it.
  • Westworld, I started and was enjoying it a lot, but I lost momentum when watching and found myself lagging behind. I need to catch up.
  • The Handmaid’s Tale, another show I started, but I don’t really feel it’s a show for me. I find the story it’s telling to be incredibly important and I might go forth and watch it all one day, but who knows. I do think it’s an interesting to watch especially with today’s political climate.
TV MEME: Day 03 – Your favorite new show (aired this t.v season)