Some geekiness: Thor 2, Stargate Universe, Once Upon a Time
I guess the big news is the new Thor trailer
To which my major reaction is What the hell have they done to Malekith? This is what Malekith looks like in the comics
and this is what he looks like in the trailer
Why? Are they afraid we won’t know he’s evil unless he’s ugly? Concerned they’ll end up with another Loki on their hands with everyone fangirling the wrong bloke? If so, they should put some thought into making Thor himself more interesting, because I generally don’t end up on the side of the villains unless I’ve already dismissed the heroes as not being worth my while.
Which, you know… God, Thor, could you be any more offputting? “Hello Jane, you haven’t seen me for years, you’re coming with me to Asgard and I’m not even going to ask if now is a good time.” “Hello brother, I despise you, come and help me save all the things I love, and when you try to turn the situation to your own advantage, I will kill you.”
I always used to derive the only pleasure I ever got from James Bond films (of the classic Roger Moore era) by hoping that this time the villain would give him the kicking he so richly deserved. It’s pretty much the same for Thor, I live in hope that one day Loki will really show him what humilation means – because the three days he spent with Jane in film 1 was not it.
Thor represents privilege piled upon privilege – white, male, warrior, prince, hero, god. For me, having been born a second class citizen by virtue of my sex, Loki’s struggle to get someone to take him seriously despite being born wrong is much more easily empathized with. There is a vicarious delight in watching him not let the bastards grind him down.
On a happier fandom note, I managed to finally catch two shows I hadn’t managed to see when they were first out – Stargate: Universe, and Once Upon a Time.
I’m surprising myself by loving Stargate Universe. I was on the verge of never watching it again after the first episode I saw (which was the one in which they have to find lime to renew the air-purifiers), but something kept me hooked. I liked the fact that the entire plot of this episode involved such a non-glamourous but vital task. It was refreshingly realistic for space opera. Plus I had an argument with DH over whether Dr. Rush, the rebarbative scientist, was going to end up as a bad guy or not. He was on the side of ‘Rush is obviously going to turn out evil.’ And I was on the side of ‘Nah, people will realize that his apparent cold heartedness is actually only a concern for the big picture, and he and emotion-driven military leader Young will end up working together like Spock and Kirk.’
So far it seems that we were both wrong, which I think is marvelous. Rush and Young have both turned out to be morally ambiguous ruthless gits, and I am very much enjoying the Rush and Young show.
I can’t quite see what all those other people are doing on board, mind you. I suppose there’s Chloe, the damsel in distress, Eli the author self-insert (plump geek boy saves the day on a regular basis?). There’s TJ, the potential love interest for Young and… and there are some other people, who I’m hoping will become relevant later.
I feel bad for liking a show where there aren’t any main female characters at all, and the real interest of the thing is watching the power struggle between the man of science and the military man. But it’s done so well, and I care about both of them so much that I can’t really mind. (Seriously, Thor, you need some nuance, like these two.)
Once Upon a Time, I’ve only watched one episode of this, and while it was pleasant and surprising to watch a questing party comprised entirely of women set out to battle a female villain, what was with the relentless focus on family? The whole “OMG, I’m barren, it’s the worst thing in the world. I’m so ashamed, I can’t tell anyone.” “Never mind, we can fix it by magic if I, an older and therefore expendable woman, sacrifice myself for the purpose.” “Huzzah, now my life is worthwhile!” really bugged me. I felt embarrassed and apologetic on behalf of women everywhere who either can’t have or don’t want children.
And you know, it would be really nice if some of this plethora of female characters was interested in something other than their family. So far only the evil queen is interested in anything outside her home, and she’s evil… So I don’t think this is quite as progressive as it maybe thinks it is.
At any rate, I won’t be watching again. I’m going back to watch Young and Rush dither over whether to kill each other or not, while trying to get around the fact that a small community of people on a knife edge of survival would really be much better served if they learned to work together.