Episode 1: Broken
We open with a character we don’t know or care about who goes about his hipster business in modern-day New York. A post card from Storybrooke, ME, appears in his window with one word scrawled on the back: Broken.
You guys are going to be SO SURPRISED about who this is.
We next go to some more characters we don’t know or care about in Fairy Tale Land: A prince or something cuts through some brier to get to a sleeping beauty, whom he wakes with a kiss–although the ensuing magical wave does not compare to the one that rolled off Snow White when Charming revived her. Following on his heels is an Asian warrior with a face covering so that we don’t know it’s Mulan yet, but we all have seen the Internet, so we all know it’s Mulan.
Back in ME, a drawn-out reunion scene occurs among the townspeople as they all realize how they’re related and love each other, etc. This goes on for what seems like a long time, with Prince Charming and Snow White embracing a lot and embracing Emma and embracing Henry. Then they get to the inevitable discussion: What to do with The Evil Queen. A bunch of townspeople want to kill her (can’t blame them). They debate this for a while; then Henry doesn’t want that to happen because “she’s still my mom.” What he means by this, of course, is that she’s still the best character in the show, and nobody would watch it if they killed her off. Charming gives the best reason to stop the townspeople from storming her door (other than her being the best character): She might use magic to kill everybody.
As I’ve noted previously, I often devour TV shows. My latest has been Once Upon a Time so I can watch season 2 as it comes out. I thought I might do some recaps of it, just for kicks.
First, let’s talk about how I (and all the girls I watch it with) call this show Xena Damages.
Because this show is all about badass ladies doing badass things in a badass, fantastical world filled with magic, overacting, and oddly poor CGI (à la Xena), but it is also about non-linear storytelling and an HBIC who wears delicious skirt suits, ruthlessly orchestrates people’s destructions, and rips people’s hearts out (à la Damages).
I’m always creepin’ ’round teh internetz looking for blogathons to join because, say it with me now, my blog is super lame. Well, I was looking the other day, and came across one that seemed kind of promising, but then I couldn’t think of anything to write about because I was only half interested in the subject; however, it did lead me to a link to a different blogathon that held a tad more interest for me. I started researching a little and realized I COULD POTENTIALLY WRITE ABOUT CLASSIC MOVIES AND/OR CAPTAIN JANEWAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So, without further ado, below looms my entry for Angela and her HollywoodRevue’s Paramount Centennial Blogathon.
Here’s my train of thought (disclaimer: history filtered through my brain):
Movie studios faced some tough times during the Depression. They had all this sound they didn’t exactly know what to do with yet. They had all these actors who were kinda broad and weird from silent movies. They didn’t have a strict production code to keep them from a million extraneous scenes of Marlene Dietrich swimming naked in ponds or Barbara Stanwyck taking off her stockings. And they were having trouble getting an audience because everybody was super poor.
So, in the early ’30s, Paramount looked to Broadway, found a gal with a hit show, and gave her a movie deal. That movie? She Done Him Wrong. That gal? Mae West.
Subsequently, Paramount’s financial troubles lessened.
Fast forward 60 years.
For a more thorough examination of this topic, please consult this fabulous video.
Oh, Captain Janeway. Girl got some hair. Sonnets could be written. But I’m not going that direction. Ima do a list of my favorites.
Honorable Mention: Evil Pompadour
Evil Janeway’s evil pompadour in “Living Witness”–with bonus evil glove and evil stink eye.
Most Prominent Appearance: ”Living Witness”
What It Says: ”Force must be applied without apology. It’s the Starfleet way.”
Why I Love It: It makes no sense to me that those future people would imagine her with that short, dark, kinda butch hair. Wouldn’t all records indicate that Janeway usually (as of Season 4) kept her hair frivolously long and luxurious? Whatever, though. Still pretty great.
John over at The Droid You’re Looking For recently did a post posing this very question, and it got me to thinkin’… I should do that post, too!
And, of course, because I can’t resist the juxtaposition, my matches will pit characters against themselves and actors against themselves. Everybody’s oiled up, and the mud is drying, so let’s get to the ring!
Annie Oakley vs. Annie Oakley
First off, we’ve got a lady who’s been played up one side and down the other–the heroine of the musical Annie Get Your Gun. The fighters I’ve chosen are Ethel Merman–the original–and Bernadette Peters–because why the heck not.
I didn’t see either of these productions first-hand, but I have heard the cast recordings, and I know how these gals act. So who can do what better than whom?
Ethel Annie vs. Bernadette Annie
They’ve both got chops, and they’ve both got big ol’ voices, but if it came to a punch out, my money always must go to Ethel Merman. Bernie’s got some toned arms, but Ethel was married to Ernest Borgnine for a while. Plus, Bernie’s version omits a song out of political correctness. You don’t win fights that way, Bernie.
Advantage: Ethel Merman
Some mild spoilers for Voyager (kind of), SVU (a little), and Damages (a tiny one).
I’m always looking for something new on Netflix. And I always want to start a new show that I’ve heard is amazing, but then I don’t. I end up going back to something formulaic and episodic.
The thing is, sometimes I’m just not ready to commit to something for eternity even though the idea of it consistently makes me put things of this nature in my instant queue–things with rich mythology and evolving characters and moral dilemmas and twisty political plots.
For example, currently I’m stuck mid-season 3 of Battlestar Galactica. I love the characters, and I’m intrigued by the story, and I want to know everything about the mythology, but I’m finding myself impatient. Which is totally weird for me. I love surprises! I can wait for almost anything.
But I love the ideas in the show so much that I went online to research other people’s analysis, and I ended up half-accidentally uncovering a lot of spoilers.
I know, Cylon Xena. That’s how I feel about it, too.
We’ve all got our “what if blah blah existed, wouldn’t it be the best thing ever?” lists. I present one of mine (what sequels/spin-offs I wish would’ve or still would happen), complete with infographics.
#5: Ruthless People The Musical
The Original: In Ruthless People, a sweet but slightly bitter couple hard-up for cash (Judge Reinhold and Helen Slater) kidnap the wife (Bette Midler) of the man (Danny DeVito) who made them poor. But the guy hates his wife and drags his feet giving them the ransom until he’s accused of her murder. Misunderstandings, mistaken identities, and hilarity ensue, all ending in a big-ole seaside showdown.
The Proposed Sequel/Spin-Off: Same plot, plus songs by Bette Midler and Mick Jagger. I’m debating whether it should be updated for the modern age. I’m leaning toward yes because the movie is the ‘80s-est thing to exist, so the musical should be the 2010s-est thing to exist—heavy use of iPhone, skinny jeans, and pop-culture references, I’m thinking.
Highlights include the hit songs “The Kidnapped and Gettin’ Buff Blues” and “If We Look Like His Parents.”
Why It Would Be Spectacular: I can’t think of a reason it wouldn’t be spectacular. Big budget production numbers. A gigantic cast. Clever songs. Sparkling dialogue.
In real life, bitches can grow tiresome, but on TV we can indulge in all our bitch fantasies by living vicariously through terrible people. Below is a listing of my top 5 characters in film and television that I would not get along with in real life because of their profound awfulness but whose profound awfulness is profoundly watchable.
Tie for #4 & #5: The Sugarbaker Girls (Designing Women)
Julia Sugarbaker (Dixie Carter) and Suzanne Sugarbaker (Delta Burke) in a typical tableau, with Julia reprimanding Suzanne and both of them wearing the absolute ’80s-est things they could find in their respective closets that morning
Re: Detestability: Julia’s a know-it-all progressive attack dog, and Suzanne is a self-absorbed racist.
Re: Lovability: For all Julia’s know-it-all shenanigans, once in a while, she goes on a tirade that’s spot on, and even when it’s not, it’s so eloquent and passionately delivered. Also, she has a lovely soprano singing voice. And fabulous clothes. Suzanne, on the other hand, is the most hilarious woman of the ‘80s. Remember that time she sang “The Name Game” as a good luck chant when she was gambling in Atlantic City? Remember that time she had a pet pig? Remember that time she shot Anthony?
I thought I should let you know before you heard it through the grapevine.
“Don’t prolong this, Al. Just tell me.”
The rumors are true: I’ve been cheating on you with another HBIC.
Who, you ask? I’m not sure I should say anything more. Of course, even if you wanted to do something about it, she’s way out in the Delta Quadrant–