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20. [livejournal.com profile] pocochina prompted: Is there a pattern to what, if anything, inspires you to seriously revise your opinion on a narrative or character?

A compelling question.

MANY OPINIONS ON VARIOUS WORKS LIE AHEAD. Nearly all of them are shows that are no longer with us but I've whited out all the big things anyway because I'm feeling charitable.

So, I'm hurtling this towards "how do I decide that a narrative has Gone Bad". And there are certain things at play.

✘ A narrative and I will come to irreparable odds when something that is THE WORST IN EVERY WAY is believed by the writers to be NOT the worst in every way.

  • The list of reasons as to why the series finale of BSG was a joke is SO VERY GREAT, but chief among them for me is that the entire conceit of everyone ditching technology forever was profoundly stupid. And I can't in good conscience accept profound stupidity, especially when it comes out of the mouth of a character who is supposed to be intelligent. (When considering Apollo as a character I aggressively pretend the finale doesn't exist on account of that action on his part making NO SENSE WHATSOEVER.)

  • The HIMYM finale also has joint status of WORST ENDING OF A SERIES KNOWN TO MAN for reasons beauteously laid out here by P. Pretty much a manifesto for why I actively root for every fictional cis het woman I care about to end up alone, i.e. victorious.

  • I still can't forgive the epilogue of The Hunger Games for making Katniss have children she explicitly stated she did not want. I see a lot of arguments along the lines of "Katniss was only against having children because society was the worst --> society was no longer the worst at the end --> Katniss magically changed her mind". My friends, this does not fly. Unless a woman ACTIVELY AND EXPLICITLY WANTS TO BE A MOTHER, GET YOUR NORMATIVE PORTRAYALS OF MOTHERHOOD THE FUCK AWAY FROM HER NARRATIVE. #DEATHTOTHEREDEMPTIVEPOWEROFTHEWOMB

✘ I'm considerably less inclined to be kind to a narrative once it starts fucking over and/or fridging characters I care about:

  • I will probably never forgive series six of Doctor Who for existing, because -- LOOK AWAY, ELEONORE AND MYRIAM -- the damage it did to Amy in service of the main Doctor/River plot is near indefensible. On top of that, River's backstory was pretty much exactly the opposite of what I wanted to see (for reasons better put here), ergo not only was Amy completely fucked over for the sake of River's narrative but River also was fucked over by her own narrative (AYYYYYYYYY).

  • Season six of Skins was a shitsty from the moment Grace was killed off for no particular reason, and the rest of that season just followed suit.

In order for me to keep investing emotional energy then THE FAIL should at least be balanced out by redeeming qualities in the story.

  • This is the distinction for me between the above examples and, say, season four of Angel, which I still somehow enjoyed despite the assassination of Cordelia. The Angel-Connor relationship was on point (I realise the resolution in Home is contentious but within the story it made 100% sense), Wesley's development was on point, Lilah/Wesley was a gift from the Gods, the Jasmine arc was gr1000000, and also there was an apocalypse and a giant Devil beast and zombies -- what more could one want from life. Not that all of this makes what was done to Cordelia more forgivable. But I wouldn't decry the whole season as BAD STORYTELLING, THE END?

  • My Rage Will Go On over Tara Maclay, but I maintain that what BtVS did with most other characters in S6 (i.e. bringing them to their lowest points and, uh, making them all terrible) was on point.

But YMMV. If the way some narrative or other has treated your fave has made you so homicidal that everything else be damned I can't fault that life choice.

✘ When writers SHIP THE THING WRONG:

  • As I was just discussing with [livejournal.com profile] local_max re: the disaster that was season six of Dexter: As a card-carrying fictional incest enthusiast it pains me to have to condemn the revelation that Deb was subconsciously in love with Dexter ~all along~ but I wasn't here for that on account of there being no groundwork for that twist for five seasons. As far as my unfailing Sexual Tension Radar was concerned the Deb-Dexter relationship was exactly what it said on the tin. (Compare to: Cesare and Lucrezia, who were framed romantically from the first five minutes of that show. WE knew there was something ABNORMAL about their relationship before they figured it out.) As such I went from being invested in Deb and Dexter's siblinghood to dreading them interacting, and for the central relationship of the show this was UNACCEPTABLE.

  • Gossip Girl and I parted ways not long after Blair/Chuck was misguidedly upgraded to Epic Love status, as I have already lamented here.

As for characters... it's rare that I'll go from RIDE OR DIE to DEAD TO ME, but if/when I lose sympathy for a character wrt something or other it's usually because:

✘ X fucks up but the narrative doesn't acknowledge X has fucked up / doesn't correct X's fuck-up:

  • I KNOW I CAN'T STOP SHADING the season four finale of Doctor Who, but six years later and I'm still pressed about how Rose/Ten ended. So you're tragically separated from the love of ur life forever due to circumstances outside both your control BUT THEN two seasons later the love of ur life literally breaks down the wall between universes to get back to you -- so NATURALLY you pass on actually being with her and instead dump her with a clone of yourself and then fly away in your spaceship. Those are not the actions of a man who is serious about a girl, they're the actions of player trash undeserving of the BEACON OF GREATNESS that is Rose Tyler. And whatever, the Doctor is and has always been player trash, but you can't HAVE IT BOTH WAYS AT THE SAME TIME, DAVIES.

  • More reason to hate the BSG finale: Tyrol is one of the few characters ever who became instantly DEAD 2 ME when he strangulated Tory and then everyone around him said and did nothing about it. It's not even the spontaneous vengeful murder that made him DEAD 2 ME so much as the totally arbitrary lenience towards shitty behaviour, aka. "murderatin' is aight when THIS GUY does it".

  • The Dexter finale, a.k.a that time Dexter up and abandoned his kid and murderess gf to commit fake suicide and then become a lumberjack. Amazing.

✘ When X's existence ultimately plays into a noxious cultural narrative that the work supports because the writers are fuckboys:

  • I didn't always hate Ted Mosby's guts and if the last ten minutes of the HIMYM finale didn't exist I'd applaud his character arc. As it is, his remains the Nice Guy (TM) Fantasy Narrative to rule them all.

  • I'm struggling to think of an example that rivals that one tbh. I mean, it's not often that an entire narrative will appear to be about deconstructing something only to yell PSYCH!!!! in the last ten minutes.

So yeah, the above is not a COMPLETE list of narrative decisions that appeal to my shade (which, as perhaps noted over this last month, never ends), but enough of it for now. HAVE I YAMMERED ENOUGH FOR YOU, P?

+ For one of the other Alexes on my flist, belated observations on non-Western fandom stuffs:

This will be shamefully brief and undetailed since I marathoned that show last year and it all morphs into one big spiritual blob of TEARS OF BLACK MASCARA.

So, the most beautiful thing about Reply 1997 was its celebration of fangirlism, right? In that vein it was beautiful 2 me how much time Shiwon and Yoojung spent ogling idols together, and lining up for concerts, and occasionally getting into tiffs over biases. THAT WAS EXACTLY THE BASIS OF MY CLOSEST FRIENDS IN HIGH SCHOOL (only with Western rock bands). I can safely say the most religious experiences of my short life have encompassed losing my shit with the rl bff at some band's gig or other, a la Shiwon at H.O.T. So, yeah, as far as I'm concerned Reply got it bang on wrt teen girl gangs.

There's just... nothing like fandom, is there? It's really hard to put into words what a Bonding Experience it is to, like, share the same favourite band with another person. I guess it's not too dissimilar to being a fan of the same show, but it still feels like a whole different beast, because music is a whole different beast. And it's not just irl -- I feel like my fandom experience here Ascended to The Next Level once Eleonore pushed me into the abyss of kpop fandom. And this paragraph is getting dangerously close to displaying emotions, so suffice it to say: being a fangirl is the best thing I've ever done, being a fangirl with other fangirls is the gift that keeps on giving, and Reply 1997 Got It.

I suppose the media nexus of kpop fandom on this continent is this Asian music program on SBS. I have my beefs with that show from time to time, such as when it did a whole segment on the ubiquity of synchronised choreography in kpop that did not mention Infinite whatsoever (you can't just be like "SYNCHRONISED DANCING" and then forget that Infinite exists UNLESS YOU HAVE A BRICK FOR BRAINS). Still, I'm mostly glad it exists because it means I can have music brought to me rather than having to actively look for it all the time. Also, there's this thing where you can send in messages that are then displayed at the bottom of the screen while music videos are playing, e.g. "LUHAN OPPA SARANGHAE", and since idk TONS of people irl who buy Exo underwear, this is usually the extent of my real time interaction with Kpop Fandom.

That said, I DO know plenty of fellow Asian people who, as you might expect, also listen to Asian music and watch Asian shows! We don't, like, get together every week to sit around and gossip about dating scandals, though, regrettably. But when I get into convos about music or dramas it's usually a good time, and bitter arguments have been generally avoided. Except that a while ago I made the mistake of telling a family friend that I dig Taeyang's "Eyes, Nose, Lips" song but don't actually care for his singing in it, and then she unfairly accused me of only liking the song for his abominal muscle flaunting in the MV. I didn't know how to tell her that I don't find Taeyang an unattractive male entity but that I usually prefer to fantasise about dudes with a more equal ratio of abs::vocal skill. BUT THAT'S JUST ME.

On a final note, I remain pressed that big acts never come to the hole that is Adelaide -- and I don't have time/cash to just drop by Sydney or Melbourne willy-nilly. B1A4 was nearby a few months back but I was at the finish line of a thesis then and had to pass. Travesty. (Is this among the top five on my list of reasons I can't wait to get the hell out of here? YOU BET. I HAVE MY PRIORITIES IN ORDER.) Then you have, I don't know, Infinite's tour management or whoever the fuck apparently forgot that Australia exists AT ALL, despite them being certifiable rockstars and the fact that if they have a ticket-buying fanbase in the likes of Paris then they certainly have one here BUT W/E IDC.

In conclusion, have this photoset of Sulli and Krystal lookin' fly.

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