The Huntsman: Winter’s War

The Huntsman: Winter’s War (2016) by Cedric Nicolas-Troyan

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Well, here we are again and you may wonder why. Why, after hating Snow White and the Huntsman so much, would I watch it’s prequelly sequel? It just shows that I really want to like this franchise. I have failed once more, or maybe the movie makers have once again failed me.

Here’s what happens:

thehuntsmanandtheicequeen1The Evil Queen, Ravenna (Charlize Theron), has a sister: Freya (Emily Blunt). Freya resists her magical powers and falls for a young man who is already betrothed to another woman, but he still gets Freya pregnant and later kills the child, seemingly because it interferes with his marriage plans. Freya, of course, kills him, freezing him to death with a single scream over her dead daughter.

In order to not live under her sister’s thumb, she goes north, builds an ice fortress and an army from the young people of the countries surrounding her own – she kidnaps them, kills their parents. She explains to them that love is non-existent and that they’re far better off with her. She’s freed them from the illusion of love and they’re trained to be her army of huntsmen.

One of them is Eric (Chris Hemsworth) whom we have met in the first film, another is Sara (Jessica Chastain). They fall in love and are then seperated by the ice queen, Eric thinking Sara dead while she thinks he abandoned her. Seven years later, after the Snow White-thing happened, they meet again to secure Ravenna’s mirror.

Doesn’t sound too bad, does it? Well, the trailer looked great that’s why I watched this one. Another great trailer, another disappointing movie. Another failed attempt at feminism, too, though it’s not the main focus of this movie.

My problems with it stem less from the story and once again more from the underlying thehuntsmanandtheicequeen5messages. While the makers of The Huntsman seem to have taken advice from the makers of the show Once Upon a Time and screwed continuity, it’s not the worst they did. But let me tell you in detail.

For me, it all started with the question: so, Freya is Ravenna’s sister, where did she come from? It could be explained away, of course. She’s younger, she wasn’t kidnapped with Ravenna and her creepy brother, they reunited later, whatever. But then, they never even mentioned the creepy brother in this one, even though he could have been part of the narrative in the past. But they just dropped him. Okay.

But what about the fact that we last saw Eric eye-shagging Snow White across the throne room, and suddenly he finds out his wife isn’t dead? Shouldn’t that be awkward? Obviously not, because Snow White and the Huntsman were, it seems, never an item. He works for her, as a good huntsman would, and later swears to his wife that he was always true to her. Yeah, well… okaaay. So, continuity was thrown out the castle window, that’s mildly annoying, but whatever.

thehuntsmanandtheicequeen4This franchise boasts with its feminism. Look, it says, all the strong women we have, and women in power positions, too. And strong fighters. Seeing Jessica Chastain whup some serious Hemsworth-ass you would agree, but then, am I the only one thinking it kinda weird that the male population of the conquered countries outweighs the female population by about 6 to 1? Which means, far more male Huntsmen than female. And there goes your feminism. They try to present it in front of the camera, but then fail to employ just as many female extras as male. Why? Probably so that the male audience doesn’t feel uncomfortable by all those feisty women fighters. FAIL!

You probably think: oh, stop whining. Both evil queens are female! Yes, they are. They’re also evil and must be overcome by the good male. I’m not saying I didn’t appreciate the effort they made of having three male heroes (Eric and his two dwarf companions) match with three female heroes (Sara and two randomly encountered female dwarfs). I do, but then, matching them is what they do, because every female becomes an instant love interest for the males. And here’s a theme that really rubbed me the wrong way: heteronormativity.

Having Freya fall for this young princely guy in the beginning is to be expected, it’s part of the plot. Having her become pregnant, that already seems problematic. It’s a Fairy Tale, girls who just give it away won’t be available for Happy Endings; her daughter dies, it was all a plot by her evil sister who feared the beauty her niece would become (they could have come up with a different reason here, but I guess why fix what’s not broken).

Ravenna still doesn’t seem overly interested in the kings she marries and keeps killing them. I appreciate that the movie makers are consistent here and pretty much still portray Ravenna as a lesbian. An evil lesbian, of course. Freya is less easily categorized, though. Of course, having had sex with a man before marriage does make her a sexual deviant of sorts, but the way they stage Sara’s ‘betrayal’ of Eric, it looks a little like Freya took advantage of Sara in more ways than one. It’s free for interpretation, but the looks that pass, the timing of Eric asking if Sara has been truthful… it lends heavily to the idea that Freya and Sara hooked up at some point. But since the whole situation, the Huntsman being Freya’s slaves (whipping scars included), is emphasized, it’s not Sara’s fault.thehuntsmanandtheicequeen2

And here we have another problematic topic: slavery. If we place The Huntsman in its original time and place, we could argue for indented servantry, I guess. But the movie makers push the story here, including black children in the kidnapped mix. Going back to the Brothers Grimm, this would have been fairly unlikely, but American Fairy Tale telling has always taken liberties, so let’s say it’s a liberty they took here. They made one of the kidnapped black kids a recognizable character, Tull (Sope Dirisu), marking him with an ice burn to the face, so he might be recognizable to the white audience (that’s not racist at all!).

You know, at this point, it’s not difficult to see why this movie made me so mad. I was surprised by my reaction, but I do feel it’s justified. The movie tries so hard to make things right, but in execution fails miserably. The main evil character is a lesbian obsessed with her beauty, her sister has sex before marriage and loses her daughter as a price for her indiscretion, the ‘dwarfs’ are being played by tall people, and the black character gets a mark so that we may not confuse him with the two black extras. Oh, and of course, everybody good is also inherently straight, even though one of the male dwarfs shows his affection through verbal abuse – never mind, he’s still a better choice than the supporting female friend!

I mean, seriously? And you thought this was representative, feminist Fairy Tale-ing? Actually, it’s abusive, is the nicest thing I can say about it. And again, the acting of the main players is SO good, the movie LOOKS good. Jessica Chastain can actually pull off a fighter that’s a worthy opponent of Hemsworth… but it’s all wasted on a movie that both demonizes or redicules diversity.

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As part of an obsession: Camp

Camp (2003) by Todd Graff

camp1You may have noticed a slight change in the look of my blog, the header is different. This has something to do with my current obsessions: Pitch Perfect and everything Anna Kendrick. And when you’re obsessed you make poor choices – one was watching this movie.

Camp is about just that – in both meanings of the word. A summer camp full of music enthusiasts meet to hone their talents in acting, singing, and dancing. And these kids are certainly talented. But the story that is being told has little to do with what goes on on the stage. Vlad (Daniel Letterle) is kind of an oddity: he’s straight and he still likes to flirt with his gay roommate Michael (Robin de Jesus) sometimes. Michael is thrown because Vlad is cute but also very active with the ladies in the camp – especially Ellen (Joanna Chilcoat) who has some insecurities of her own and is coincidentally Michael’s best friend.

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There are other kids as well, of course. One is Fritzi (Anna Kendrick) and Fritzi has a crush on Jill (Alana Allen). But Jill is a bitch and uses Fritzi as her personal doormat until the younger girl cracks and starts to sabotage the pretty girl who gets all the good parts just because of her looks.

The problem I had with this is rather simple: why make a movie with multiple queer characters, that is called Camp of all things, and then make the biggest part of it about the budding romance between Vlad and Ellen? There was potential there and it was certainly hinted at. But Vlad’s bisexuality never really materialized, he’s more of a tease than an experimental guy. And the makers took the conventional way out. Another thing: while the gay male teens are positively (if stereotypically) portrayed, the lesbian (if we can call Fritzi that) gets the weirdo treatment and then turns mean… certainly, she is talented but look at that temper! Oh, please. Her sexuality is more of a fetishized wet dream than part of her personality.

camp2The acting all around wasn’t as good as it could have been but the story is the major let down of this movie. While it is willing to promote queerness in teens it still pushes heteronormativity down our throats via its two main protagonists and when even Michael jumps onto the bandwagon (if only for one night) things get a little out of hand. There’s an ambiguity at work here that makes me admit: yes, these are kids, their sexualities aren’t set into stone, experiementing is a healthy thing… and I certainly agree with this take, however, it seems that the queer teens are lured into straight experiments more than the straight teen into gay experiementing. The ambiguity is actually a double-standard.

A word to Anna Kendrick: she was amazing. Her role isn’t very big but her character is certainly the most memorable and I was blown away by her performance of Ladies Who Lunch from Sondheim’s Company – the man makes a guest appearance as himself by the way. You should check it out on youtube, it’s a killer. The movie is not, though.

Star Camp / Camp

Snow White and the Evil Queen

Snow White and the Huntsman (2012) by Rupert Sanders

I am not sure what Hollywood’s current fascination with fairy tales is all about. Two Snow White-movies and Little Red Riding Hood, not to mention other mythical creatures that haunt us since Bram Stoker… I would like to blame it all on Stephenie Meyer but I guess that would be too easy.

And the premise (or the trailer) of this one was quite good: Snow White as independent amazon-like figure who will fight the evil queen with a sword – and looks awesome in chain mail. Who didn’t want to see it after the first glimpse of the trailer. And then, of course, tumblr was all aglow with bits and pieces of interviews with the female leads – who flirted shamelessly (with each other). After that the rest of the world (or was it only the lesbian world?) was enchanted and rushed to the movie theaters.

So did I. And as mostly everybody else I was disappointed. It actually has me believe that Hollywood should just produce trailers and leave the actual story to our imaginations. Then we can use platforms like these to talk about our various versions of a movie and not complain about an actual production – because let’s face it: that happens more and more often.

I don’t want to go into the details of why I think Hollywood produces so many bad movies right now, let’s discuss instead why Snow White and the Huntsman is one of them.

Fairy tales do not easily adept to feminism, that is a basic truth, as mostly these stories were there to scare women off. Not just off seeking a different aim in life than marriage (because marriage obviously makes a princess out of any girl) but off seeking an independent sexuality. And I am not talking only lesbianism here as you might think, I am also talking about women wanting to experience an orgasm… women were there to fulfil male sexuality not establish an own sexuality. Women who tried that were deemed witches (not just in fairy tales but in medieval Europe as well). This is what the beginning of Snow White and the Huntsman tells us as well. Ravenna (Charlize Theron), the evil queen, gets married to Snow White’s dad (Noah Huntley) and poisons him in their wedding night. But the poison does not kill him, Ravenna does as she plunges a knife into the man.

Let’s talk about the obvious symbolism of this act. Wedding night constitutes the first time man penetrates woman. Ravenna turns it around (literally as she flips her new husband over and straddles him) and penetrates him instead – with a knife to his chest. She explains this to be her feminist manifesto against the injustice of women having to be beautiful while man only having to have a penis.

Of course, there is some truth behind her reasoning. But it is so obviously done as if to say: look, we make women in fairy tales feminist and strong women now, we are not sexist, men do understand woman’s need for independence (the makers and shakers of the film are mostly male). Yeah, well, and no! Especially since they make the evil queen not just a feminist, they make her a lesbian – and quite deliberately so. You think I am delusional?

So, during the wedding night, Ravenna penetrates her husband – put in here one of the early sexolgists, and you have the typical penis envy scenario. She keeps a beautiful young girl (Kristen Stewart) prisoner in a tower, not killing her (and if you wondered what her brother [Sam Spruell] has to do with the story at all, why not see him as her male alter ego so that she can watch Snow White…), she sucks the life out of young women with a kiss (yes, I know, they finally refrained from executing the kiss but what do you think it stands for? CPR?) – this takes us back to 19th century “lesbian” literature that protrays lesbians as sucking the life out of young (and straight) women using a higher social standing (hello, queen) to seduce them (the vampire myth is linked to this, as well). The queen wants the heart of the fairest of them all – do I really have to point to the symbolism of the heart? Ravenna coaxes Snow White into sharing her first kiss with her – in the guise of a man but still… why not just plunge a knife into her (also note that Ravenna never actually kisses the king but she kisses his daughter – what does that tell us?)? And finally: Snow White’s last words to the evil queen – ‘I can’t give you my heart’ – in a movie that is so forceful with it’s many symbols… I guess, this last line seals the deal.

So, here we have another dead lesbian, a witch, an evil woman. Sure, they try to build a little story around her vanity and her strangely symbiotic relationship with her brother but that is more confusing than anything else. Just because your mother tells you that your beauty is your only worth, does not make it right to suck the life out of female citenzry and land.

But let’s come to our damsel in distress who is also more of a fake feminist and more of a virginal (and Christian) standard. The girl has been in a tower for a decade, no one knows she’s alive and no one (especially not the audience) knows why she’s still alive. Maybe so that the queen’s brother has someone to peep at other than his sister (that guy creeped me out). Her beauty does not just stem from her lovely red lips, the black hair and the white skin, it is mostly an inner beauty (here they went all out with the beauty-comes-from-within-message that Hollywood sells so well…). Albeit the fact that she has spent the last ten year in a prison cell, she is in pretty good shape when it comes to escaping the castle (I especially like the sliding into the… medieval canalization thingy). Make no mistake, she’s a feisty one but she is also not quite the amazon princess the trailer makes her out to be. ‘Cause her main fighting skill is a move the Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) shows her early in the film and, of course, it is the way she finally kills the queen (this is foreshadowing waving at you).

Don’t get me wrong, Kristen Stewart sells this girl well and, I guess, compared to Bella Swan every girl is a feminist but still, the message does not sail. Why? Snow White is a virgin, stays a virgin to her death, is awakened by true love’s kiss (from the Huntsman), and, as far as we know, stays a virgin until she is crowned (I must say, though, that this crowning scene had me a little confused – and not just because of the head-nodding at the very end – but she is wearing red and she and her huntsman have a little bit of an eye-shagging accross the entire room… this could mean that they have been intimate, but the fact that she is crowned and not married at the end of the movie could also mean that she will be one of those “virgin queens” history has invented as another means to suppress woman’s sexuality).

On the whole the movie overdoes it’s showy feminism when it is about beauty but forgets about setting female sexuality free. It also mixes too many mythical tropes. I mean, we knew there would be dwarfs (because, hello! it’s Snow White!), but then there were fairys, and then there was a shiny white stag (if it had started speaking at one point, I would have left the theater), there was witchcraft and then there was Snow White, reciting a Holy Father in front of her fire place while holding voodoo dolls (or something). And this already freaked me out after half an hour. It was just overdone.

And don’t get me wrong, the movie was visully stunning, it looked gooooood. But other than that… and this is especially sad when you look at the acting. I mean, KStew was great, she really was, but even Charlize Theron, who I consider a very good actress, overacted. At some point in the movie I stopped thinking of her as evil queen and thought of her as the drama queen…

There are still so many thoughts in my head about this movie: what they did well, they overdid (like slowmo… why did they need it 1.5 hours into the film to tell us that, yes, Snow White is the heroine?!), what they screwed up, they really screwed up (that whole brother figure was a disaster!), and then they put a quasi-amazon village into the film and neither did these women help Snow White hone her fighting skills nor did they show much resistance against a handful of guys raiding their village in search for Snow White… the only good thing about that was Rachel Stirling as the amazon queen (or whatever you want to call her) – I actually sat in the the theater and said: is that Rachel? (the guy next to me probably wondered if I was talking to him, who Rachel was and why he always had to sit next to crazy folk at the movies…).

So, there you have it. Another movie which could have been great but wasn’t…

From my DVD collection: Johnny Guitar

Johnny Guitar (1954) by Nicholas Ray

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(that’s the German dvd-cover – with the German subtitle ‘Wenn Frauen hassen’ [trans. ‘When women hate’] – and yes, that is my ugly orange carpet)

So, last night I surveyed my dvd collection and thought it would be fun to watch Johnny Guitar again. I may have been a little wasted – only a little – but I was still right: it was fun.

A couple of years back, I was supposed to do a presentation about this movie. I didn’t quite do the movie justice. But sometimes you are so overwhelmed by a good movie that you hardly know where to begin. Yes, there was the aspect of McCarthyism, of denouncing someone to save one’s own skin but this movie is about so much more than that.

What is truly remarkable is the chemistry/antagonism between the two female characters, Vienna (Joan Crawford) and Emma (Mercedes McCambridge). The story is conducted around the premise that Vienna had a thing with The Dancin’ Kid (Scott Brady) who Emma has a thing for as well. But The Dancin? Kid is not husband-material, so Emma denies her attraction and is instead determined to pin some crime on him. When her brother is murdered, it gives Emma the opportunity to do just that and destroy Vienna in the process. Vienna could be the first of many settlers to flood the territory where railroad tracks are already being built. But Emma is a rancher and she doesn’t care to  share her land with “farmers.”

Easy enough. But Emma is actually so poisonous and murderous – especially toward Vienna – that one can easily interpret her hate for the other woman as attraction. We could argue that she and Vienna had a thing and that The Dancin’ Kid interfered. And, no, I am not the first to suggest such an intepretation. It is surprising to have a Western with two strong female characters. Vienna is wearing pants, and one of her employers suggests that she shows a great amount of male characteristics. Of course, these are not really male characteristics, they are just characteritics men don’t want women to have, like determinism to do whatever it takes to make their business successful, a head for business. The character Johnny Guitar (Sterling Hayden) is, of course, the ploy to make a real woman out of Vienna once again because she has only turned into this half-man because he had left her.

But, as I said, the real attraction of this movie is the chemistry between Joan Crawford and Mercedes McCambridge who play the love/hate between Vienna and Emma to the max.

Mercedes McCambridge makes a great opponent. Emma is mad, there is a wild flicker in her eyes, she absolutely lost her marbles. Her voice is so intense, it’s scary. And you finally understand the saying about a woman scorned… and I don’t know if you have watched Welles’ A Touch of Evil (I have and I consider it one of the worst movies ever) but her role there is only described as Gang Leader – a male role for a female actress and this was 1958, people. And she looks it, too.

Well, if you have a chance to watch Johnny Guitar, do. It’s a classic and a good one at that.

Back to tv: AMC and Santa Barbara

[For those who do not know this, AMC is the abbreviation for All My Children, a daily soap that has been on American tv for more than forty years – so, why don’t you know that?!]

So, thanks to afterellen.com, I have a new obsession: Minx. Minx is the portmonteau for two characters on AMC, Bianca Montgomery (who is called Binx by her sister Kendell) and Marissa Tasker – played by the equally beautiful and charming actresses Christina Bennett Lind and Sarah Glendening respectively. Just look at them:

ADORABLE!

It is a lesbian storyline on a daily show (unfortunately after 41 years, AMC has been cancelled and will end by the end of this week) which is a big thing. I don’t know if you have ever followed an American “story” but it is usually a heteronormative – and often a homogenous – space in tv and there are not many exceptions. Of course, Binx has been out for some time (she came out back in the days when Eden Riegel still played her) and has had some relationships with women but most of those seems to have played out off-screen and in Paris. This time, it’s on and it’s on tv and it’s lovely and heartfelt and adorable and actually well written.

Soaps are not always praised for having realistic portrayals of anything or anyone, let alone lesbians, but this one is actually really good. And so is the acting. I was surprised myself when I first watched a clip.

The concept of soap operas is not a new one in my life and I was so obsessed with one when I was a teen that I never got over the recasting of one of my favorite characters. Watching the Minx storyline on AMC, made me realize that I actully missed having that connection to a “ship.” So, I got into a youtubing mania and dug up some old footage of Julia & Mason from Santa Barbara.

Coming out as a lesbian, one is always looking for clues that may have told us that we were homos before we came out. And I naturally assumed that Nancy Lee Grahn was the real – the only – reason I shipped Julia and Mason. It is so easy to forget that there were actually two people in this that I adored, two characters that fascinated me. Watching those old Santa Barbara clips made me realize why I fell for Lane Davies just as hard as I fell for Nancy Lee Grahn: he was witty, charming, had the most soulfoul brown eyes, and he was tall and lanky and I really dug him with a beard… yeh, I had a crush on that man and today I am not ashamed to admit it…

I am being nostalgic again, very sentimental. So, I spent my time watching youtube videos (I have been watching about 14 hourse of Minx vids in one night, so, obsession is the right word for it) but I am aware that this is not as it used to be. Comparing those feelings I had when I was 14 to what I am feeling now, now falls short. No more sweaty palms in anticipation, no more tears, no more heartbreak when I miss an episode… still, Minx makes me squeel in delight and make snarky comments at Marissa’s ex-hubby JR (Jacob Young).

Being part of a fandom today is certainly different from being a fan before the invention of the internet. I know that, I am a Xenite still and always. But it is a little overwhelming to be able to watch Minx make out in HD and then going to watch Julia and Mason’s (awesomely silly) wedding vows that’s been copied from a video tape that’s more than 20 years old. Ah, the wonders of modern technology never cease to amaze me.

Since AMC is picked up by an internet broadcasting company, there is still hope that we may watch them for a little longer. But knowing what is sometimes done to soap supercouples, I am not even sure  I want to stick around and see them get broken up again – loving a soap couple is not for the faint at heart, and I feel that I may be one of those.

And here’s a great idea for a t-shirt…

[It reads (front): TEAM MINX, (back) #lesbianbatsignal It’s okay to put it up…]

Update: The first episodes of Prospect Park’s All My Children will be broadcasted this spring – and Eden Riegel will return as Bianca Montgomery. Since the storyline picks up five years from when it ended, there’s no word of whether Minx will return… and if who will play Marissa.

Back to tv: South of Nowhere

You may not know this but I loved South of Nowhere – or as little of it as I was able to download from the net. I have only watched the first season but it was a great show that unfortunately only made it through three seasons.

This was a show that never made it to the German tv screens and it really is a shame because as far as drama goes, and teenage struggles, and sexuality among teenagers, it was really good. The good news is, they want to make a movie out of the show and they (cast and crew) want you to watch these two videos – that is, 100.000 of you until April 27 (thank you to afterellen.com).

So, here you go, watch:

and:

Well, I hope the movie will come, this all looks really good (I can’t fathom how much I missed those characters – except for Glenn, of course).

Looking Backwards: Xena… again.

You may have noticed by now that a) I am a sentimental fool and b) I don’t care who knows it. Well, the mood struck me again and I am now watching Xena’s third season which is also – despite season six – my favorite. And I am once again finding out why that is…

And yes, The Debt is still my favorite two-parter. Strangely enough, I cannot feel quite as warmly towards the The DelivererGabrielle’s Hope-desaster. I mean, and I didn’t know before: these two episodes simply suck. It is no wonder I could not remember much of these while reminiscing – I do that quite a lot, sentimental fools do.

And next I watched The Debt and I was so enthralled and  so happy… This is excellent tv, people. Actually, it is the best. They don’t do that anymore, they are not that daring, that brutal, that chokingly honest. And I could be wrong but I think, The Debt is the first time Gabrielle drops the three magic words into Xena’s lap… ohhhh, that is so cute!

I think The Debt filled a certain gap even in the story of Xena and Gabrielle where Xena told a story to her friend, where Gabrielle felt she had to safe her friend. It was role-reversal and then there were the flashbacks of Xena being seduced by ultimate goodness (does anyone else read the flying scene as sex scene between Xena and Lao Ma?). The story moved me back then, it still does…

There were other highlights following The Debt but they seem to be in the same realm of sexy, and mischievious, and xenite pleasure. I mean, Gina Torres abs in The King of Assassins (whatever else you might think of the episode, having two Joxers and all… and tooooooo little Xena and Gabby once again delivered as hapless little blond – and she’s actually getting blonder as the season progresses, isn’t she?), for example. Man!

Okay, the picture has not the best resolution but I guess you still get my point. And then there was the chemistry between Cleo and Xena… oh, please ladies, get a room already (the flirting between Cleo and Auto was not quite as pleasant, you can be straight and subtle, folks…). Then came Warrior… Priestess… Tramp and having Lucy act her full scope of comedic talent was a sight, but, hell, I think Gabby had it for Leah. I mean, think about it: as gorgeous as Xena but, for a change, Gab can take care of her… well, she had her hands all over her in any case.

Okay, I think, I’ll stop now… it’s just, looking back, even with all the fanfiction I have read… these two are still there in the middle of my creativity, teasing, flashing smiles, gorgeous… yeah, I definitely stop now! And watch The Quill Is Mightier, so I might be back later and tell you about it.

Nice weekend, all!

RMB: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Back in the days I have probably watched each Buffy-episode only once… except for the sixth season which I have on cds (yes, cds). Now I have just watched the first season and man, how much one forgets. For example, that you can get addicted to a show like Buffy.

Even with all this hair (there’s really a lot of hair in those first twelve eps) it is a great show. Sure, it is pretty much “demon of the week” mentality but the legendary one-liners (each and every one you could print on a t-shirt), the chemistry, the nerdiness… and rewatching I even like Angel (a little).

I never liked Angel – or Cordelia for that matter – and I was actually relieved when he got his own show which I never watched. And when he took Cordelia and that weird Windham-Price (was that even his name?) with him I was really glad.

But back to Buffy. I spent the last few days watching the first season and it was great – I said that already. But what really got to me was the chemistry between Buffy and Willow. I actually see some subtext there… weird since every time they talk to each other it’s about “boys.” Maybe it’s about the way Willow pronounces “boys” – is she trying to convince herself that this topic might interest her? Then again knowing Willow’s way this kind of thinking is probably not surprising.

Well, this is also the first time I am watching the first season in English and I am as always amazed at how much better it is to the German dubbing (not that it was bad in this case, it is actually okay other than with Xena which was mainly horrible – the translation was, the voices were okay). With Buffy there are so many popcultural references and you don’t get all of them in the German translation.

I am looking forward to watching the whole show again although that won’t be for some time since money is always a factor (I hate it when they not only make the dvd boxes expensive but on top of that make two boxes out of one season – I am not sure they do this elsewhere but they do it in Germany, it sucks.

I am looking forward to meeting Faith again, and Tara… some of the greatest stories already come back to haunt me and I would like to watch them all right now… and then there is always season 7 which I have yet to watch. Did I mention that I never watched season 7 (except for the first three episodes)? Well, Whedon killed off Tara in season 6 and so I lost interest. I am loyal like that and it was not like anybody except Buffy ever came back from the dead (okay, many others did come back but it was usually as vampires and that did not make them quite immortal with Buffy around, if you know what I mean)… Tara was my favorite at the time, I had already lost Faith…

Well, it is good reminiscing every once in a while. Now I am going back to my paper. It’s Sunday, a good day to going back to something you have once loved, whether just remembering it, or maybe re-watching it. Sometimes it is also good to remember that tv did not always suck (pun intended).

Back to TV: Glee

It has been some time since  I first wrote about Glee and I may not be as undevidedly positive about it anymore. But I still like it a lot and I especially liked it today (living in Germany has its drawbacks especially when it comes to TV, let me tell you). I like how tv can emotionally drain you and Tuesday’s episode of “Glee” did just that: it drained me. Or more acurately this face

broke my heart.

Y’know, I never liked Santana much. Sure, she is hot, and her story line with Brittany was always a lesbian highlight, still… Santana, too bitchy, too typically bi-curious. And then she came out as “don’t put a label on me” and it just got to me.

Two weeks ago I had a blog entry about “Glee” planned. It was entirely Rachel’s fault, seeing her in flannel made me think about her sexuality and on how gay she really is. So I thought about how gay the show was and how gay every single one of the characters was and I actually made a gay-meter (no, I do not have any other hobbies, I fill my time with thinking about how gay tv show characters are… not really, only when I cannot sleep). And guess what, Santana actually scored lower than Rachel while Brittany was just topped by Kurt (I did not include Blaine since he’s not at McKinley). Well, I guess I was wrong about Santana…

Several times after having watched the episode this morning I have thought back on that heartbroken face and it actually made me incredibly sad. I never thought Santana could do that to me but I guess it is a credit to Naya Rivera’s acting skills and in moments like this I appreciate acting and the significance it has within culture – and that culture as thus has value in my life.

Glee is a great show. Maybe I am going to come back to it and write about it’s sociological value as comment on today’s (American) society but today I just want to say that it made me feel – as trivial as that may sound – and I am grateful to be able to hold on and cherish this (I get so sappy sometimes but I am sure you know what I am talking about).

Pretty Little Liars – Follow-up

Have you ever noticed how people in TV shows and films always knock, like there was no door bell? What is that all about?

Anyways I though I come back to you on the topic of Pretty Little Liars or short the PLLs. Here is another visual, just so we don’t forget what they look like:

So, they have been back for some weeks on your tv screen and it’s getting weirder and weirder – which is not to say that it’s bad. It isn’t. The girls are likable – though still all suspect -, so are the boys who play their love-interests/suspects-of-the-week/dickless boyfriends (that last one I borrowed from Heather Hogan – I bow to her genius), and, of course, A is still vicious, and glorious at it.

I still like Emily best; but then who wouldn’t, they actually show her more in her swim suit these days than in anything else (I am so glad the actress is old enough so I can say this without perving).

But another part of enjoying the show so much are the recaps on Afterellen.com by Heather Hogan. I may not catch each and every reference to American culture but I do get some and think they are hilarious. Heather Hogan is hilarious, sometimes I enjoy her recaps more than the actual show… okay, the visual is better on the show… and did you see Aria in that skimpy little red dress – or Spencer with a tie… I am not saying anything about Emily and swim suits again, no, I won’t.

Read the recaps here.

Okay, I was looking for one of Emily in her swim suit and found one of Shay on a Harley – I get distracted too easily!

What was I gonna say? Oh, yeah, good show, quirky, glammy, with just the right amount of dericulousness to love it… and I do love it. It’s one of my three favorites now… I will tell you about the other two, too. Soon.

P.S.: I must confess that I have a crush on Caleb. I could say that it is because he looks and dresses like a lesbian but I won’t say that. Instead I would suggest it is because he is so wonderfully butch compared to dickless Sean.

As of this weeks episode I figured it out: Caleb IS a lesbian (and I guess, so is Toby…). Maybe I haven’t been paying attention but the only time I read about one person asking another: “Are u sure?” when they were about to have sex was in Xena-fanfiction, and Xena-uber-fanfiction (spreading through all genres, I swear!).

P.P.S.: Regarding A – I figured out there must at least be 4 or 5 As. Think about it, u have to have at least four to stalk each PLL and possibly one who does all the other mischief, keep an eye on parents etc. Anyways, now that Paige kissed Emily A probably already has a picture of it… hmmm… I wonder which parent is gonna get mail these days. Will we have another girl outed by photos sent by mail, a certain redhead, for example?