alyndra: Dean Winchester in prison orange, wide-ass smile (Dean smile)
I'm gonna be a little snarky. Here we go.

All last season (after Charlie's death, tbh) I had a resolution to either skip or turn my emotions and my brain off for all episodes written by Bucklemming. I did not manage to skip any but resolving to have the lowest possible expectations at all times was immensely helpful and I highly recommend it. (I did not entirely succeed at not getting pissed off at all, but it was a very manageable level mostly confined to the midseason finale and the half-dozen fix-its required for 11x21.)

On a related note, they said on an episode commentary once that they each write half of each episode, and guys, I have started reliably picking up on the two distinct voices. One of these is actually a reasonably competent writer. The other is not. I will leave it for the reader to speculate which is which, since I don't know for sure.

But the first half of this ep was clearly badly written. I will admit it caught me a little off-gaurd, since they customarily do the third episode of each season. So without further ado: things which I would have been upset about had I chosen to bother to be upset about anything after seeing the "Written by…" credit, A Non-Exhaustive List:

Read more... )
alyndra: (SG-1 & Gate)
I keep hearing variants of the line "Why do the Atlantis people keep acting so STUPID" and I was thinking about it and it just clicked. They don't do contingency planning. SG-1 totally does it, not all the time but when they can, yeah, and you don't always see it but you see the results of it, when things go pear-shaped and they deal with it.

On Atlantis? Not so much. It's not necessarily that the plans they come up with are less wacky and improbable, it's that on SG-1 where the general tells the people who come up the latest insane plan "Okay, write it up, we'll do a briefing and see how many of the holes we can fill in and if there's any improvements we can make" while on Atlantis Weir says "But . . . well, if you have to, okay, do it." Which makes for a more action-packed TV show, but also we notice the change.

The thing is, I kind of buy it. Partly I associate that kind of competent contingency planning with the military, and it gets done when Hammond and O'Neill and Landry and Carter and Mitchell and even Teal'c and Bra'tac are in charge (although the Tok'ra contingency plans suck, that may be part of why Jack doesn't like them).

But Sheppard, he might not trust his superiors, but mostly he just doesn't ever think his own plans will ever go wrong. We do see him making good plans when the Genii are involved, so we know he can do it, but then he's always put a lot more effort into battling the Genii than we see out of him most of the rest of the time.

And Ronon's a lot younger than Jack or Teal'c, and also maybe more used to responding to the crisis of the moment, where you act or you're dead, rather than complex operations (though I haven't actually seen Sateda yet, sorry).

And Rodney, back when all his physics were still theoretical, used to have time to work everything out carefully and methodically and not miss anything, but since he got to Pegasus he's been flying by the seat of his pants most of the time and he might point out when they're screwed, but it doesn't occur to him to sit everyone down and talk it all out beforehand.

Elizabeth? Actually, I'm having a harder time justifying her actions than the rest. I guess the only thing I can say is that she really never was trained for this, and also the people peering over her shoulder are a hell of a lot farther away than they ever were for SG-1.

Also, Jack and Teal'c and even Daniel, though he puts a cover over it, I see as being pessimists. And Sam is maybe a bit of an optimist but she's also very practical, and would probably prefer the term realist. So they kind of expect to go down in flames, and plan accordingly. Whereas Atlantis, they are mostly optimists. So they expect, well, not to go down in flames, despite all evidence to the contrary. Which explains a lot, to me.

(I've seen most of the shows at this point, but not the SG-1 S9 or SGA S2, except for the last four episodes of each, and also not the episodes from two days ago.)
alyndra: (Default)
Okay, I realised what was missing from the last post, and it was my overall reaction to the book. I think in order to understand that, though, you have to understand what OotP was to me.

In retrospect, I was really wound up about OotP. I tried not to have a lot of specific ideas of what to expect, though of course I did, but my one great expectation was that JKR was going to surprise me. There would be a unique and brilliantly creative plot which nobody had predicted. There would be a fabulous and unexpected twist at the ending.

And it didn't happen. It just plain flat-out didn't happen. Instead we got a stupid prophecy, which half the fandom had predicted, saying that Harry and Voldemort were going to have to fight to the death, which the entire fandom, including most of the lunatic fringes, had predicted.

Even finding out what the Order of the Phoenix was -- a secret Voldemort-fighting group established by Dumbledore -- wasn't at all surprising.

Adding injury to insult, she killed one of my two favorite characters.

I can't say I disliked the book. Parts of it were enjoyable. But to this day, I haven't gotten around to reading it more than about three times. Compared to the number of times I've reread the rest of the series, that number is just pathetic.

Part of my reaction was that OotP was the first book that had come out since I'd discovered fandom. I had devoted way more obsessive thought as to what it would be like than to any of the the previous books. I had built it up onto a pedestal from which it could hardly help but fall.

This book, I went into differently. I had my ideas about what would or would not happen, yes, but I wasn't really attached to them at a visceral level. I was really surprised, actually, about how not-worked-up I managed to remain. So I got the book, read it through, but on some level I kept the attitude of, okay, whatever. JK's human, the book will go however it goes, and I'm just going to sit back and enjoy the ride.

Extremely vague spoilerish material; totally safe to read, but cut just to be on the safe side )

It'll be interesting to see reactions -- my own and others' -- to book seven. I'm a little afraid right now that I may not be able to maintain this nice detachment, but I guess I've got a couple of years to work on it. :g:
alyndra: (Default)
Ok, as I couldn't sleep, here's a more complete summary of events. First part has no spoilers, but there WILL be major spoilers later, under the cut.

I went to the midnight sale for this book, which has not happened before, but as siblings were flying back home in the morning, they obviously needed a copy of HBP to read on the airplane, so I bravely and generously volunteered to go get a copy for them, and while at it, one for me too. ;D So I got there circa nine-thirty, bought a small book for the waiting in line, and was out around twelve forty-five.

Came home and said to self, Self? The smart thing to do here is to leave the books in the bag, go to sleep, and read in the morning.

Self whined back, But I really really really want to read it! Pleeaase, just a little?

No, self, you know perfectly well 'just a little' will turn into 'the whole thing'!

Yes -- well -- it might not! And I really really want to read it!!


So I read the whole thing. Finished @ eight fifteen, then out the door to take Dad and sibs to airport, where we waited at the curb for my brother to finish the last five pages of a library book he'd checked out on my card here, and then said goodbye and drove home. Had to work from eleven to seven-thirty, but only got, I dunno, twenty minutes sleep before then. Came home, slept twelve hours, went to work again, read internet reactions, exchanged opinions with sibs (who had finished with a couple hours to spare on the flight using the special New HP Book Technique of putting the book flat open between them and holding some pages straight up in the air so that both could read at their own pace) and now am finally getting around to posting my own reactions to the book.



I may post more as I think of it, perhaps upon my second reading, but that's it for now. *waves merrily and heads off to bed*
alyndra: (Default)
OotP has some very useful spells in it. So it bugs me when I see the same old "he picked up his wand and threw locking and silencing spells at the door." Remember when we learned Silencing spells? We cast them on the things making noise and thus no more noise was made.

So unless we are dealing with one of those annoying doors which won't stop making lewd comments and belching loudly, a silencing spell is canonically a pretty pointless thing to throw at it. Most doors already are the silent type.

In canon, when people want to avoid being overheard, they cast an Impenetrable charm, which is presumably also useful in that objects and people cannot get through it, and so the occupants of the room are pretty much assured of privacy.

If this is not good enough, we might also remember Hermione's squelchy door-sealing spell in the DoM. (Colloportus, I think the word is.) And don't forget that handy spell for cleaning up messes, Evanesco. JKR provides us with some very useful spells, the least we can do is to use them.

"Locking and silencing spells" is just plain lazy writing. Pre-OotP it can be forgiven, but now that we know better, shouldn't our writing reflect this? Or is it a habit just too deeply ingrained to change?

Of course, this is the fandom which nine times out of ten willfully ignores the fact that Pepper-Up Potion has the side effect of making steam shoot out of its taker's ears. :/

[/ranty thing]

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