So, in idle conversation today, possibly partly inspired by the fact that I was beating up many mans in Arkham City challenges, velithya and I semi-plotted a moderately cracktastic DCU AU.|
In this one, Tim Drake, rather than simply being a heroic young badass, is in fact a badass young supervillain.
The reasoning goes like this:
Tim Drake is sufficiently awesome that, while still a child, he successfully stalked the goddamned Batman until he'd learned pretty much everything about him - including details that Batman's legitimate supercriminal enemies have yet to work out.
Tim Drake, essentially, out-Batted the Bat before he was old enough to vote.
Which means he could be a terrifying villain.
Since we're dealing with events surrounding Teen Titan types, clearly it has to be Kon who takes him on. (And because we're fangirls and adore Timmy, he'll have to redeem him with the healing power of his
cock good and true heart, etc.)
(You have no idea how long I hesitated about that sentence, because as a joke it amuses me - remember, narcotics - but my mother reads this occasionally.)
So, I've been mainlining Leverage lately. Because it is awesome. Really, it is, in so many ways - it's just really, really good.|
One of the reasons I like it is that it avoids lazy writing and cliché very carefully. The plots are brilliant and well-written, which is awesome, but I realised that one of the things I specifically appreciate it is all about the characters: it has something that few shows really focus on, particularly plot-driven ones.
Characters who love each other, but have zero romantic or sexual tension.
It's not that Leverage lacks these things; that tension between Sophie and Nate has been there since the first episode, and Parker, Eliot and Hardison form my second ever OT3 and my first non-canonical one. (The Doctor, Rose, and Jack? Canon. Totally canon.)
However, they all love each other.
One of my favourite moments in the series to date is a beautifully understated one late in the first season. For reasons I won't go into, Sophie is standing with a non-team-member dude, watching Parker interact with some other non-team-member folks. They are talking about Parker, and the brilliance of it is in Sophie's expression and voice. (Gina Bellman is a fantastic actress.) Her voice is in the character of her grift, her demeanour is professional... and yet, threading through her voice and radiant in her expression, she just looks utterly, utterly loving.
Sophie loves Parker utterly. She knows Parker's flaws and frailties, knows there are ways in which Parker can't be trusted not to go off the rails because Parker's, well, Parker. She also knows Parker is brilliant, the best at what she does, and respects that - but there is love. She cares.
Their relationship isn't sisterly, isn't maternal, it's just... love. Sophie loves Parker; Parker's not very good with human emotions, but in her Parker way, it is clear she loves Sophie back.
And yet, despite the fact that I really like f/f slash, I would not read Sophie/Parker, because it is just completely wrong, for me.
I find it kind of brilliant that those dynamics are there, threaded pretty much seamlessly throughout the show.
So, I gave a guitar to an eight-year-old today, and she loved it, which is pleasing. She likes the classical guitar better than she liked my electric guitar when she saw me playing it, even though she thought the amp effects were kind of awesome.|
Which is good, because a classical guitar is what she has, and also, I'm fond of her, but I am not going to let an excitable eight-year-old who picked up a guitar for the first time today play my genuine Gibson Les Paul Studio, because seriously.
Still feeling rather unwell. I slept terribly last night, because lying down made my lungs sad and my throat hurt and felt all swollen and it was all pretty miserable. I feel better now than I did last night but I intend to let my body keep recovering rather than pushing it, so I'm going to try and sleep and rest as much as I can.
I'm skipping episode 12 of Lie To Me because episode synopsis says it will be Very Bad for my mental health. I realised this immediately but found it strangely difficult to follow through with a plan of just skipping it. Required reinforcement from Chas (and I think, a little, from Dean, though I'd mostly decided when I mentioned it to her) to be able to make myself just go straight to episode 13.
Which is looking pretty awesome.
Right now I'm lying in bed watching it, but I think - if only because my lower back is getting grumpy about too much time in bed - I might later go downstairs, set up at the table, and start writing detailed recaps/meta of all the non-triggery-to-me episodes, because this show is seriously awesome and I don't feel well enough to write fiction right now.
So, getting triggered by episode 2 aside, I'm kind of in love with Lie to Me.|
It has exactly the sorts of things that I tend to like. Ten things to say about it:
1) Plots that revolve around sociopolitical issues that treat them with much more subtlety and complexity than is usual. (At some point I'll post spoileriffic meta on this stuff, because: seriously, it's kind of awesome.)
2) Every single character in this show is, on some level, broken. And it's handled really damn well. The character interactions are complicated, and it pulls off some really interesting dynamics. The show passes the Bechdel test with flying colours - and, hell, we have complicated friendships between men and women that aren't sexualised at all.
3) So, hey, the major characters include two men and two women. One of the women is Latina. She's not a stereotype, she's brilliant in some ways and flawed in others, but they managed to make her strong without being "feisty".
4) So, of the two "senior" (in the agency) characters, one is male, one female. The male is Cal, and he's messed up in the head, so his primary relationship outside the agency is with his daughter. His daughter is awesome - she's fifteen, so she does some teenagerishly silly things, but she's basically a good kid - and Cal knows it, and they have a good, yet not unrealistically flawless, relationship. The female, Foster, is married - her relationship is also not without its complications, but it's handled really well too, imo.
5) The two "junior" staff members, Loker and Torres, are both single. Both have been seen dating - Torres has been seen responding to (respectful!) overtures from two men, in the episodes I've seen so far, one white, one black. Loker's date that I've seen was with a black woman. The "inter-racial" aspect of these interludes isn't mentioned - it's just about attraction. (Did I mention that the men involved were totally reacting to her as an intelligent and charismatic woman, not just to omg a hottie?)
7) Which is not to say this show is all about some kind of post-racial utopia - in fact, this may be the first TV show I've seen that actually takes on the concept of implicit/aversive racism, the idea that subtle racism is alive and well and dangerous. Hell yeah.
8) No, seriously, complicated relationships. That don't need to be wrapped up for a Hallmark moment, that don't need to be sexualised, none of it. If I were to write fic for this show, so far, at least, I could only possibly write gen, or possibly BFF fic. God, it's awesome to see recognition that relationships between men and women can be strong with no sexual component.
9) As a rule, no-one makes an issue of the fact that Torres is beautiful. (Seriously, she's stunning.) Because the thing is that just about all of the interactions between the characters, they're at work, and so people are professional - and the unprofessional moments aren't about sex, either, even slightly. The one time I've seen Cal touch her, in an unprofessional way, he was pushing her away and that was it. Because what matters about her is that she's brilliant.
10) I've seen eight episodes so far, and not been disappointed. However, I am compelled to say, as much as I recommend it to people who like intelligent TV, if you have triggers, you might want to check spoilers for the plots in case they're dangerous to you. (I hadn't thought of this as an idea - after the triggering from episode 2, Dean said, "I hope you're checking spoilers for each episode to know it's okay for you to watch," and I said, "Hey, that's a really good idea," and Dean facepalmed.)