October 2015



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Bits and bobs

I have a new icon. Which I adore. *points and giggles*

I also have a new desktop image on my laptop--and instead of my programs being on the left side and icons of projects/work on the right, I've had to move them all to the left-hand side. For some reason, that makes me feel like I've got a lot more to do. What's with that?

This week I've been mainlining Merlin fics. I do love this crack-fed fandom, but I have a low tolerance for fluffy, and too many of these stories threaten to strip the enamel from my teeth.

And yet finding these two gems has been worth it: Waldorph's All the Laughter From Before (Summary: It's pretty, but very distressing. And lo, all is sunshine and daisies... and death, but what can you do?) and headspin_x's In Your Fire, And In Your Flood (Summary: There are moments when Merlin can't tell if he is awake or dreaming; can't quite decipher the slight difference between the two shades. The lines are starting to –). They are very different stories so I shouldn't lump them together like this, other than that they've made me feel similar emotions -- basically, intense flailing and the certainty that I should give up writing altogether because I will never, ever approach anything as complex and layered and ... fuck, I almost used the word transcendent in relation to fanfic, which is just wrong, but these two stories have a beauty that I know I'll never be able to match. And I love that and hate it all at once. But. You should read these stories, I'm sure they'll amaze (and hopefully inspire) you too.

In much, much more frivolous news, you have to read Ask Captain Jack. This is why the Internet exists.

And I watched the new Skins today. Not loving it. The previous season was over-the-top in what the kids got away with, sure, but I never felt like the adults were treated as such one-dimensional characters. (Or am I just blinded by S2 and forgetting S1?) I'm not giving up yet -- I couldn't believe how happy I was just to hear the theme song -- but I hope they can rein it in a bit next time.

Now off to watch the new Shameless. How I've missed my telly!


AHAHAHAHAHA, best icon evar! (I'm almost all the way caught up, yay)

I just can't bring myself to watch the new Skins, unless they cough up a decent gay character, it just ain't happening for teh Johnny.

There are some gay characters tho, a girl (Naomi) who seems very promising and a guy who introduced himself as "I'm So-and-So, and I'm gay." So we'll see what they do with it. It's so hard not to compare them to the others, tho. I miss Sid like crazy.

Shameless tho ... I hate what they did with Ian. WTF? He'd better come back soon, after a trip to Ibiza where he rediscovered his gay identity. That just pissed me off something majorly. And talking baby got on my nerves. But they did win me back in ep2. I really cannot believe I love the Maguires so much. I initially despised them and their caricatures, and now I want Paddy to be my dad!

OK, and Merlin -- what do you think? Are you loving the unicorns and rainbows and kittens that dance together whenever Arthur makes Merlin smile?
I'm also incredibly pissed about how they handled Ian in the opener, wtf y'all?! But yes, the Maguires make up for it. I think they snuck up on me as well, because in the beginning, Mickey was the only Maguire I could stand (I'm still waiting on a ride in the pink limo). But seeing the 2nd episode this morning, it's like a big, insane family reunion!

Hopefully, the writers will bless us and bring Ian back towards the end so he and Mickey can finally get civil-unioned already, and my little heart will be satisfied :D
WTH was that all about? Giving him a second chance? *headdesks* And him actually wanting to take it? For fuck's sake. I'm all for amnesia stories but they could have done so much more ... Ian starting to notice guys more, slowly realising that the family was lying to him, coming out again. But no! I was really, really angry at the end of it.

And it really made me miss Kash, who yes, could be a real ass, but I think was also good for Ian in a lot of ways.

No way Ian and Mickey will ever end up together. Have you forgotten THE DOG? *dies* Ian never will!!
Have you forgotten THE DOG?

See, that's where the amnesia might work in our favor, LOL!
*cackles* Yes! You're so right! *gives you a gold star and a writing job with Shameless*
OMG the icon is spectacular! *applauds*
Thanks! It makes me laugh so hard!
Oooh, also- Ciaran Griffiths (Mickey) when he was on The Bill, AWES.
OMG so different!
Your icon has me laughing uncontrollably!
Me tooooooooo!
Hahahahahahaha!!!! I LOVE your icon!!!

Hmm. Shameless isn't quite as good this year, I think. I still miss Veronica and Kev. Mmmm, Kev... I'm intrigued by the Merlin love. I'm going to download it when I get home and watch it this weekend. My current problem is that we just got satellite tv installed on Sunday and I can't seem to drag myself away from re-runs of DS9 and Angel. I love Ben Sisko. And David Boreanaz. Oh the pretty...
Oh, yes, Veronica and Kev are sorely missed! I don't think any women on the show these day compare to Veronica (although the disco scene in the 2nd ep gave me a fond flashback to the very beginning when she and Fiona met Steve). But like I was saying to [info]omarandjohnny above, the surprising thing with Shameless for me was how my impression of the Gallaghers changed so drastically. Even in the first ep of this season (which really pissed me off for what they did to Ian), I realised that I'd missed them!

Pleeeeeeease watch Merlin and fall in love like I did. I think it will definitely satisfy your need for pretty. Longcoats and armour and unicorns, oh my!
Funny icon is funny! And oooh, fic recs. Can I read these without having seen the show? (I've dl'd S1, but malware is preventing me from running any .avi files. For some bizarre frakkin' reason. It's totally hijacked my system, the evil bastid.)

And you are so right, stuff like ask_captainjack IS why the nets exist!
Yes, these are both good ones to read without the show -- they do refer to the legends, but there aren't any details you need to know except that Uther has outlawed magic in Camelot and Merlin's hiding it. But I'm sure you already knew that.

GAH! Bad malware!!! There is such a special place in hell for people who code that shit. *sends Captain Jack to shoot them in the face*
I thought I would drop a comment to say hi, and do you mind if I friend you? I've been finding a lot of good Merlin fics from your recs and enjoy reading what you've written also.

Oh yes, BY ALL MEANS! I'm sometimes afraid nobody on my flist reads them because there are so few Merlin fans here. But the show just makes me squeeful and I have to share. You're very welcome here! *friends you back*
I don't know how anyone who sees the show can't become squeeful, simply because it is made of the biggest win!! I'm reading so many Merlin fics lately, I think it might be taking over my life... oh well *shrugs*

Oh. Waldorph's fic made my eyes sting with tears ;_; I actually kinda wished Merlin stayed dead >_>

Your icon: Is it referencing a song?
Oh no, Merlin can't stay dead! *wibbles* Arthur needed him too much! Amazing fic tho, I thought, even if it did rip my heart to pieces.

The icon, yup, it references Sarah Silverman's "I'm Fucking Matt Damon" song (which was then followed up by the hilarious Jimmy Kimmel's "I'm Fucking Ben Affleck.
Exactly because I was all teary-eyed I wanted Merlin to stay dead. Um. The whole "balance" explanation just seems like a cheap deus ex machina. Which is exactly Ep. 13...(which I still haven't watched).
Hunith did die, but I wasn't invested in Hunith in the fic.

I did suspect that Merlin won't stay dead because of the summary--at first I wondered if Gawain = Merlin.

AHAHAHHA Cameron Diaz' expression = FTW.
It was a bit deus ex machina. Ep. 13 doesn't quite go down like that, but there's an element of it. And I do wish that they'd killed someone else in it instead of who they eventually did. (Cryptic non-spoilery comment is cryptic.)

Those vids just make me giggle insanely.
I have been thinking more on this and the question of whether Uther's death and restoring the balance is a deus ex machina trope. The more I think it, the more I think it's not. Merlin cannot die -- I mean, that's the legend anyway, obviously that's not the way they're playing it on the show bc it would destroy the suspense (and all those lovely scenes of the boys risking their lives for each other) and maybe it is true but Merlin doesn't just realise it. (Which is why, I think, Nimueh doesn't take his life in the finale.) So restoring the balance just really triggers Merlin's awakening.

I'm not 100% sure that's what the author was doing, of course, but it did make me think.

that one where Merlin died except not really

Your icon. I must swipe it and use it on LJ. (Because the "Merlin's Balls!" one is used by an increasing # of people and distressingly cause me to go "That's me!")

After thinking about it, "deus ex machina" is not quite the right term to use.
Partly my quibble is leftover from HP fandom that characters who die cannot come back to life. (Except as an Inferi, which is all sorts of awesome and disturbing. Harry/Inferi!Draco >=D)

My lingering dissatisfaction/quibble with the fic:
- Merlin coming back to life = the easy way out.
- The ending is all happily tied up (Gawain as a Merlin stand-in, Uther dead, blah blah)

I think I would have been happier with the fic if:
a) Merlin stays dead, or
b) There's a longer conflict/angst/what-have-you, and Merlin coming back to life doesn't suddenly translate into JOY JOY JOY All-is-right-in-the-world
(e.g. Gawain v. Merlin showdown, Arthur being in denial for longer, idk.)

Of course I recognize that's just not what the fic _is_
And I'm guilty of my own everything-is-happily-tied-up fic endings...

Have you read Cinnamon's Beautiful World and [info]mahaliem's A Slytherin in Gryffindor Clothing?
Trying to exlain my quibble better but I don't want to spoil you.

Re: that one where Merlin died except not really

I'm guilty of being one of the ones with Merlin's balls, just because it makes me giggle insanely when I see it. That look on Arthur's face... *giggles just thinking about it* But feel free to snag the adorable hoodies, I have the creator credited in my user pics (can't remember offhand who it is).

I have read Beautiful World. I don't know if I've read the other.

Don't you hate it when a story doesn't go where you want it to? There are a couple of HP stories that I just want to grab and shake and fix.

But I do think there's a big difference in the HP and Merlin/Arthurian verse: in HP, eternal life is a no-no, just something sought by the bad guys; in Arthurian legend, Merlin is immortal. He can be hurt and made vulnerable and even made impotent (the whole "treeing" thing) but dying is not an option.

Beautiful World

*g* It was my LJ default icon for two months (and I was safe because only a few of my LJ f-list are into Merlin) but then I started having "That's me!" reactions, hahaha X-D

It is a priceless expression, hee. FratBoy!Arthur is fun <3

Draco hits his head and wakes to find himself in another world where he's a Gryffindor and Harry Potter is a Slytherin.
I have a quibble about the ending, but otherwise it's a perfectly fun story. (Mahaliem's funny stories = gold, her more serious stories are more hit and miss.)

In Beautiful World (incidentally the first HP fanfic I read & the one that sucks me into the fandom), it would've been a cop-out if they've found a way for Harry to live--no matter what obscure magical explanation got toted out.
The premise of the story is: Lily's sacrifice is the only thing keeping Harry alive; Harry doesn't value his life, and Draco keeps inadvertently saving him.

So if Draco has found whatever Dark magical means to save Harry, it would have been in violation of the story premise.

Haha, yeah...the pitfalls of a WIP--author's writing style/worldview/fanon interpretation changes, author gets sick of the story, author feels bad at leaving the story unwrapped, author frantically finishing the story before new canon comes out... @_@

Re: that one where Merlin died except not really

(split into two comments because I'm a bit anal particular that way)

made impotent (the whole "treeing" thing)

Okay the first time I read this I thought you meant sexually impotent X-D
That's actually an interesting fic idea ahaha.

I would argue that immortal!Merlin is not necessarily canon of BBC Merlin, seeing how loosely they've been following the legends. And I've read one Arthurian adaptation (a recent novel) where Merlin comes in different incarnations, but s/he retains all the memories from all the previous Merlins.

Idk, I think I can buy HP characters having eternal life, Merlin and/or Arthur permanently dying, etc. as long as it doesn't violate the story premise.
I may be in the minority, but I think there should be MOAR Dark/Evil!Merlin fics (so far I've only found one). And there should be at least one "Five Ways Merlin Doesn't Die" fic.
Ask Captain Jack is so awesome, thanks for the link!
You're so welcome! It always makes me laugh!