Lost in Space Manifesto

Apr. 25th, 2019 12:09 pm
selenak: (Maureen im Ballon)
[personal profile] selenak
It's been a year since I marathoned the 2018 Lost in Space, which I loved. I just checked to see whether it was canceled or got a second season, and to my delight, the later is the case, though we won't get it until July, it seems. Which is as good a reason to rave some m ore about the new Lost in Space as any, and about why you should watch it, too, especially if you are on the look out for a new canon featuring not one or two, but an entire ensemble female main characters, estranged families findng each other again, cross species friendships, people being really competent at what they do, and last but certainly not least, an m/f long term relationship between partners that's not about getting together but how to live together.

So, what's the premise of the first season?: Robinson family plus supporting cast crashlands on dangerous planet, has to fix each other along with circumstances in order to survive. There are flashbacks and mysteries to be solved as well. Basically: Lost. In Space.

Do I need to know the original Lost in Space tv show, or the 1990s movie?

No, you don't.

When you say the main cast is mostly female, you mean...?

Maureen Robinson, genius physicist and engineer (my favourite!), Judy Robinson, her oldest daughter, a doctor, Penny, her second kid and the quippy middle child, and Dr. Smith (not her real name), con woman extraordinaire, main antagonist and very occasional ally. The male rmain characters are John Robinson (the only non-genius of the family, Maureen's estranged husband, a pilot) and their son Will (youngest kid). Of not defined gender, though Will calls them a he: the (alien) Robot.

Numbers don't mean the women actually get the meaty narrative stuff. Pop culture osmosis told me the original show was all about Will, the Robot and (male) Dr. Smith. Isn't this the case here?

No. Will and the Robot are an important part of the show, but Dr. Smith's main relationship with a Robinson turns out to be with Maureen. Who is the head of the family, and the one who pushes storylines forward - going into space was her idea, she figures out what's wrong with the planet (Maureen doing science is one of my favourite things about the show, and the icon displays one of the more visually spectacular examples, when she uses a balloon to go up in the air and check her theory about said planet), she figures out what really happened in the seemingly natural catastrophe that is making Earth increasingly inhabitable, and so forth.Judy and Penny are getting as much screen time and development as Will, get to save the day more often, and together they present different stages of growing up - Judy is a young adult who gets the "idealism clashes with reality" type of tales, Penny is a teenager and thus sometimes relates to Judy and sometimes to Will as a peer, and he rin-between-ness also means she's the one most likely to draw others out, and Will is a child with all the wonder, generosity but also unintentional self centeredness that can entail.

Let me guess. All these female characters are vey attractive and presented in various stages of undress a lot.

Yes to the former - it's still US tv -, no to the later. They all wear practical clothing appropriate to their situation (which is either crashed on a very dangerous planet or in space, meaning space suits and survival gear, respectively). This includes our villainess, who also at no point tries to seduce anyone by using her sexual wiles. (Her method of survival and advancement is more getting into people's heads and mess with same. )

I'm burned out by female characters first built up and then raped, or at least sexually menaced, or even getting killed. Does any of this happen here?

In a word: No. Again, this goes for all the female characters, heroines, villainess, minor supporting cast.

So far, so good, but I'm also primarily a shipper, not a gen person like you. What's the romantic potential?

In terms of "likely to be on screen or already on screen canon", Judy has some UST with smuggler-with-a-heart-of-gold Don West, and Penny has a brief teenage romance with a fellow survivor. But the main m/f ship of the show is John/Maureen, who start out estranged for reasons gradually revealed but re-connect emotionally in the course of the show. It's basically an "exes still carrying a torch get back together again" trope done right. Note: this does not happen in a Parent Trap way. The kids, who do their own reconnecting with John, leave their parents' relationship well enough alone.Also: John is played by Toby "Captain Flint" Stephens which was my original reason for tuning into the show last year.

In terms of "not likely to be screen canon but definitely great for fanfiction": Maureen and Dr. Smith have some serious foe yay going in the last few episodes of the season after Dr. Smith has been unmasked. Tropes canonically used are " enemies forced to work together" , "grudging respect", "outsmarting each other at different points" as well as "imprisoning each other and escaping another at different points".

I can't help but notice that the canon ships or likely ships are all het,while the subtext one is slash.

True. But Penny's first teenage fling (where btw she took the initiative, much like her Mom) is over, so who knows, she might acquire a girlfriendi in s2. Also: arguably the true heartrendering romance of the first season was the (asexual, don't worry) one between a boy and his robot (think E.T. with Elliot and E.T. for the type of story this was), so who knows what Will is going to be, orientation wise, once he grows up.

Okay. Is this a sci fi show where everyone in the future is a white American?

No. The Robinsons and Dr. Smith are, with the exception of Judy who is Maureen's kid from an earlier relationship (pleasingly, there is no difference John makes between his biological children and her) and placed by a black actress. But virtually the entire rest of the colonists who crashlandwith the Robinsons aren't. The ones we get to know best are a Japanese family (Maureen's scientific bff is the dad) and an Indian-or-Pakistani/British family (i.e. accent British, ethnicity of Southasian origin) (the leader of the community, Victor, and his son, Penny's temporary romance, belong to it), plus there's Angela, the survivor most traumatized by the original catastrophe at the start of the pilot, who is black and US American.

Now we've established there are no fridged (and/or raped) women: any other potential triggers I should know about?

Well, the first season puts our heroes through just about any surviving-in-dangerous-natural-situations suspense you can think of. The first three episodes, for example, milk the "crashed on a glacier with the ice engulfing them" scenario for what it's worth,and once they've left that behind, the joys of tremors, swamps and alien equivalents to dinosaurs await. I should add that the show doesn't forget adding moments of beauty and wonder among all the threatening environment, but what I'm trying to get at: if you, for example, are claustrophobic, what happens to Judy in the first two eps is probably going to resonate. Otoh, since someone asked in a comment to my original post on this show - there are no dead pets, don't worry. This includes the chicken.

You may love the estranged/dysfunctional familiies getting back together again trope, but I, for one, am fed up with jerks being forgiven just because they're related. Especially when the show doesn't sell me on these people not being better off far away from each other. What do you have to say to that?

That I empathize. There have been several instances in recent tv years where the balance between dysfunction and closeness/fondness for me hasn't worked, where I either didn't believe the people in question had ever been close in the first place, or that they should be, given how they were characterized. But with the Robinsons, I love that even at the start, at their most estranged, there's still mutual respect (very important to me when I want to root for reconciliation - do the characters respect or belittle each other?). And John, whose fault the original estrangement mostly is, really is shown working for winning Maureen and the kids back. He doesn't take it for granted he has a claim there. And he accepts Maureen's lead throughout the show. That this is a show whose main relationships are between family members who does entirely without that overused trope, the Mean Dad (tm), is another part of the attracton for me. (Not just in terms of John Robinson. Mr. Wattanabe, the Japanese scientist friends with Maureen, has two adult daughters he's getting along very well with. And community leader Victor might be somewhat harsh with our heroes at times - he and Judy have an pragmatism vs idealism/ good of many vs individual life fight at one point, for example - , but not with his son (Penny's fling). There isn't a Mean Dad (tm) around in s1.

Okay, I'll give it a shot. Where do I find this show? On Netflix, though given it's now a year old, there should be dvds as well.

Daily Happiness

Apr. 25th, 2019 01:02 am
torachan: maru the cat giving the side eye (maru side eye)
[personal profile] torachan
1. I ended up having a really long day at work today (about eleven hours plus an hour or so of doing work this morning at home before I actually went into work) but thankfully one person who's been on vacation for two weeks will be back on Monday, and one of the main reasons today was so long was that I've been having to cover for various of her duties and there's a lot to do on Wednesdays (on top of the things I actually had to do myself today).

2. There was free pizza at work today, arranged for by HR (they are trying to have more "appreciation luncheon" type affairs lately, which is pretty easy to do as before there were zero). There were some hiccups in the process (I would not recommend them using this place again, that's for sure) but it was edible if not great and was free, so nothing to complain about.

3. Sweetie cats sharing a sofa.

seperis: (Default)
[personal profile] seperis
Syfywire just pulled the article they put up a few hours ago, "Queerness and Death in the Magicians" and deleted the tweet that announced it. That's super not at all questionable and really normal.

Here is a tweet with screenshots of the article: Queerness and Death in the Magicians. It also looks like a PDF is up at the discord: https://twitter.com/coldwaughtersq/status/1121193198523756544

Note: this will definitely help settle the drama, by the way. That'll work.

ETA (7:30 PM CST): so that thread was deleted and so was my RT of it. Here's another one: https://twitter.com/thelaynierizer/status/1121206952028192768

ETA (7:59 PM CST): Full article now available on tumblr: https://three--rings.tumblr.com/post/184422544953/queerness-and-death-in-the-magicians

I am unspoiled for Endgame

Apr. 24th, 2019 04:13 pm
giandujakiss: (Default)
[personal profile] giandujakiss
And wish to remain so!

But just to double check - as I understand it, there are no post- or mid-credits scenes. Which I think is a wise choice given the movie's runtime of something like 3 hours.

Does anyone have any different information? Because otherwise, I'm just gonna leave when credits roll. To go to the bathroom, probably. And I don't plan to return.


Apr. 24th, 2019 12:56 pm
yourlibrarian: Robin sits on her nest (NAT-Robin)
[personal profile] yourlibrarian
1) Only a few episodes into Killing Eve and I suddenly realized that the fun of watching it was the same fun that Spike introduced to Buffy. Read more... )

2) Speaking of seductions, I really liked the second episode of Fosse/Verdon Read more... )

3) The last episode of B99 made me feel shippy about Kevin and Raymond :) At the same time I could not get into Amy and Jake's argument about having kids in the episode before it. Read more... )

4) Speaking of reproduction, we have robins right now trying to nest on our door wreath. We took the first wreath off the door and let it sit on the ground for about a week. We hoped they'd stop, which they did. However even after removing their nest-in-progress, when we put it back on the door, they started right up again.

We've just put up a new wreath and put a dead plant pot with their nest materials by the door. I sprayed the new wreath with a natural oil insect repellent so maybe that'll work? One door nest has been enough.

5) Some pertinent articles about the lack of diversity progress in entertainment fields: An exec who expected the investigation about Les Moonves' behavior to delve into racial discrimination at CBS found it was ignored, while the romance writers' field is diversifying a whole lot more slowly than fantasy and scifi. It astonishes me that there are still people who think these playing fields are even – it has to be a matter of deliberate ignorance because I don't see how it could be missed.

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Star Trek: Discovery S2

Apr. 24th, 2019 07:43 am
starlady: (crew)
[personal profile] starlady
I managed to avoid being spoiled for the ending, which I'm glad about. 

The future is not yet written )

Avengers: Endgame (Film Review)

Apr. 24th, 2019 01:58 pm
selenak: (Clint and Natasha by Corelite)
[personal profile] selenak
In which Scott Lang saves the universe, with a little help from his friends.

Spoilers are kidding, though Scott does have a relatively big part in the movie )

Beetroot lentil salad

Apr. 24th, 2019 01:02 pm
rydra_wong: Half a fig with some blue cheese propped against it. (food -- fig and cheese)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
1 tin green lentils, drained
circa 2 peeled cooked small beetroots, finely chopped (I use the pre-cooked vacuum-packed ones because they are a boon to humanity
circa 1/4 to 1/2 red onion, chopped
handful or two green leafy stuff (spinach, wild garlic, mixed salad leaves, whatever you have that can be eaten raw)
optional: hard goat's cheese, cubed -- as much as you want! keep adding until it looks right to you!


2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp cider vinegar
1 or 2 tsp wholegrain mustard
pinch salt, pinch black pepper
optional: 1 pinch to 1 tsp curry powder, depending on heat of curry powder and personal preference

Mix the dressing, pour over everything else. Lasts reasonably well in the fridge without going soggy (though the beetroot will start tinting the other ingredients pink). This is excellent with some eggs fried in olive oil and put on top.

N.B. I am ambivalent at best about beetroot, so anything that makes me choose to eat it has to be pretty good.

Daily Happiness

Apr. 24th, 2019 12:34 am
torachan: a cartoon kitten with a surprised/happy expression (chii)
[personal profile] torachan
1. I had super delicious chicken karaage for lunch. One nice thing about the long day of meetings is that since there's a set lunch break I'm more likely to actually eat lunch, and there are quite a few good options.

2. With all the driving I've been doing this month I'm set to get around $300 for my mileage reimbursement check.

3. Look at this Chloe tongue!

Lucy Mangan reads Antonia Forest

Apr. 24th, 2019 07:43 am
hunningham: Woman reading book (Reading)
[personal profile] hunningham
From Bookworm, by Lucy Mangan. She loves Forest's school stories; the enthusiasm and delight is such that I'm going to have to acquire and read for myself.
End of Term (and Autumn Term, The Cricket Term and Attic Term, which I would discover in due course) are technically school stories. They are set at Kingscote boarding school and the events the twins (Lawrie and Nicola) and their sisters take part in there include many of the standards: being unfairly left out of teams, getting (and not getting) parts in the school play, negotiating friendships, shifting loyalties and small treacheries. But there are no high dramas - no gorse-anchored clifftop rescues, no hidden heirlooms, no near-drownings, no mysterious figures who turn out to be long-lost uncles or overzealous guardians. Boarding-school-story conventions are in fact often lightly mocked. At one point, for example, Tim (real name Thalia - 'A muse or something, Mother would have it, though Father did his best') likens Nicola to a character being 'very, very competent and awfully, awfully keen'. Kingscote is not an idyll. Its pupils are not perfect and neither - more shockingly - are its teachers, whom the pupils see at all times with clear rather than ennobling/idolising eyes. Rowan, one of the Lawrie and Nicola's older sisters, describes her relationship with headmistress Miss Keith as 'delicately balanced on a razor-edge of mutual toleration'. A wonderful phrase that I took instantly to my heart and have used many times in life since, and it encapsulated what I was most drawn to about the characters and the writer - the cool command they shared, the slight sense of detachment from life in order to keep perspective on it. It was like a bracing plunge after the close, sweaty sauna of more traditional school stories. You emerged from a Forest novel - and I instinctively reach for that word rather than book or story because everything was as finely and accurately drawn as in any fiction for adults - as braced as you had been entertained. My mind felt keener and sharper after every reading. Maybe it even was.


Apr. 23rd, 2019 09:30 pm
anotherslashfan: sign reading f... (blotted out) censorship (fuck censorship)
[personal profile] anotherslashfan
Raising a toddler and posting here don't seem to really work well - this surprises no one, I believe.

Anyhow. I used to have my open tabs under control, now I have 43 of them, the horror! Most of it is thanks to the Guardian fandom which ensures my reading list is full of delightful fannish content every day. Seriously, if one isn't in the fandom already, just subscribing to [community profile] sid_guardian and seeing all the posts popping up can get you in the mood to join in. I mean, there's everything - the tiniest details of canon discussed, vids, fanart, fic, fans subbing and translating, icon battles, various episode reviews, ... Over 100 members, nearly 400 (!) entries to the comm already. Meanwhile, I haven't re-watched the show, yet, and am also still waiting to get in the mood to read all the excellent fanfic out there.

Instead I'm reading 杀破浪 Sha Po Lang by priest in Chinese (translation), and it's so hard! I re-read the first chapters in translation, though, and I do seem to get the gist, usually. What still impresses me most is the dark humour. The story's very engaging so far, I'm at the beginning of chapter 43 (of well over one hundred).

I was somewhere in the middle of SCI Mystery case 4 (about 1000+ pages in in my ebook version) when I abandonded it thanks to foxghost's enthusiastic rec of Sha Po Lang... I've watched the drama's first few eps, too, but stopped so as to avoid spoiling myself too much, that'd just discourage me from actually reading on. I have to say, SCI Mystery totally is the easiest Chinese text I've read, not including any textbook texts, of course. It also gives off extreme yaoi-tropey vibes. Reminded me of actual yaoi/shounen ai manga I read about 15+ years ago.

Via tumblr, I stumbled over Original Sin (subbed eps) and started watching. Good production value and it's very intriguing, but pretty dark and I was distracted by other things, which is my new theme. It's a wonder I ever finish anything these days.

Thanks to a primer, I also got into The Magicians at the worst possible time and watched up to season 2 ep 10. Now I'm not sure if I'll ever return to it (though it's more a matter of being able to bear it than one of protest), although it was the first show in forever to actually give me story ideas. It just seemed so promising for writing all the poly constellations, plus AUs are practically canon.

It's already been ages since I finished 魔道祖师 Modao Zushi (The Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation). I enjoyed it a lot - Wei Wuxian is one of the most engaging protagonists I've read in forever, so I already got hold of other books by the same author. Will get to them eventually - only about 800 pages left of Sha Po Lang. (I'm not crying, you're mistaken...) It should be great to read them if just to relax after getting through priest's style. I mean, the language is beautiful, I'm just in way over my head.

There are quite a few things I still want to post about but I'm tired, so this is it for now. Hi there to anyone who actually subscribed to me in the last few months! I hope I'll be able to engage more sometime soon. My toddler will go to daycare starting in May, so who knows - I might actually feel able to rub two brain cells together and write something more often then.


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