tori_angeli: (uptonogood)
I was watching the commentaries for season 2 of Leverage when I realized that not everyone watches them for the same reason.

I sometimes hunt down and read interviews with actors.  I was wondering why I do this when I hate remembering an actor's name while I'm watching them play a character.  Associating that face with a real person messes with the escapism.  But simply, it's for the same reason I watch commentaries: I'm hoping people will give little insights or tidbits into the characters.

I think it's left over from writing fanfic.  You know how even the tiniest bit of information is something that helps you map out the whole?  I collect info almost obsessively.  I don't even write fanfic anymore and I HAVE to have as accurate an image of these characters as possible in my head.  I HATE the idea that I'm misunderstanding something.  So now I know which Leverage actors are the most chatty about their characters (and spoilers *coughTimHuttoncough*) and which voices on the commentaries belong to which character-knowledgeable people (John Rogers FTW).  It occurred to me that I'm a little weird when I started to realize not everyone in the fandom had read/heard this little insight or that little insight and have only had the show--actual canon--to figure things out by.  The tidbits I've found?  Could be changed at any time.

That would suck.
tori_angeli: (sterling)
Leverage fandom, hypnosis is not brain rape.  Neither is suggestion.  Granted, neuro-linguistic programming doesn't really seem like a nice thing to try out on your friends, but it's still not brain rape.  Apparently, it's planting a suggestion in such a way as to make someone think it was their own idea.  Not that big a deal when the suggestion is "pour me tea," and surely it wouldn't work if the suggestion was "jump off a cliff or do something else harmful."

Also, any woman with a good enough sense of self-preservation not to date a self-destructive man should be lauded, not criticized for "not accepting him as he is."
tori_angeli: (hardisoneliot)
I was going over old LJ entries and found this meme.  I remember having so much fun with I about passed out.  So I'm gonna do it again--this time, with almost twice as many fandoms.

Name a character I know and I'll tell you three (or more) facts about them from my own personal pseudo-canon.

Fandoms I know:
Lord of the Rings
Whedonverse (BTVS and ATS)
Usagi Yojimbo
Final Fantasy 4-9
Chrono series (Trigger and Cross)
Star Trek (any series or film except TAS)
Samurai Champloo
Fullmetal Alchemist (first anime)
Vorkosigan Saga
Order of the Stick

If you pick a character I did last time, I'll probably just repeat what I said in that entry.  No limit on characters you can pick.  Tori is bored!
tori_angeli: (uptonogood)
Spoilers for a future episode of Leverage ahead.  I don't know if ANYONE on my f-list (besides Aub, who's never on LJ) watches this show, but I have to get this off my chest.  Keep in mind that this is just venting my terror, not predicting what will happen.  None of this is meant to be taken particularly seriously, and mild annoyance at some news about my favorite television show is, ultimately, not the only emotion I'm venting.

What are they thinking?

Oh, I know what they're thinking: FANSERVICE.  They're thinking fanservice!  Usually they manage to do that with short moments, but THIS?

Seriously, peeps.  If you're a fan of Christian Kane and want to hear him sing, buy his freaking album.  Or watch that one clip from Angel over and over again.  Please don't pester the (ultra-kindly accessible) producers and writers into giving his character a song on the sho--crap.

I know, I know I should trust the writers to keep it from being too wildly out of character.  It's just that said writers (and the producers, and the actor) have said that Eliot singing isn't really...plausible.  At all.  They ruled out the possibility of it happening a long time ago.  Are they finally caving to fan pressure, or have they found a way to slip it in without making me want to flatten my face against the top of my desk until my sinuses cave in and the bones in my nose spear through my brain?

It wouldn't be nearly as freaky if they hadn't JUST had an episode centering around a (different) character's musical talent.  And it was a REALLY GOOD episode.  Really, really good!  Having ANOTHER character pose as a musician two episodes later has the potential for disaster.  Not to mention what happened last time Eliot discovered a hidden talent--he became nearly insufferably smug about it (see, they named this sandwich after him, so it was obviously a pretty big deal).  We REALLY need a repeat of "The Three Strikes Job?"  Really?  'Cause we already had that episode as well.  Repeating two episodes in one?  Really?

Not that that's what this will be like.  These are really good people working on this show, and they've never put out a bad episode.  How many shows can you say that about?  Not many.  I doubt they'd betray the awesomeness inherent in their work just to throw out some cheap fanservice.  Not without Serious Meddling on the part of the network.

...PLEASE let there be no Serious Meddling on the part of the network.  If that's what this is, we're all screwed.

I am going to go absolutely batshit insane if anything else pops up in my life that is more important than a TV show.
tori_angeli: (deathlikesymptoms)

The first two or three minutes of season one, episode one of TNT’s Leverage introduces us to an alcoholic who used to be an investigator for a massive company that insures art.  Used to, because as soon as his son took ill they refused to cover a treatment that could have cured him.  Now he is childless, divorced, unemployed, and utterly without direction.  His name is Nate Ford, and his case is infamous.
After taking up an offer from someone who claims to have been robbed by a rival company, he is grouped with three thieves he has chased in the past.  We know their names and specialties and the fact that they all have distinct personalities.  That’s about it.
Okay, to be fair, we know Parker (no other name given) stole a stuffed rabbit and blew up a house when she was a kid.  We know Alec Hardison once hired a bunch of girls to dress up in gold bikinis a la Princess Leia and fight with light sabers (GEEK PRIDE!).  Eliot Spencer’s flashback reveals that he retrieved a baseball card by beating up a host of guys with guns and didn’t even spill his coffee.  Later on, when we meet future team mom Sophie Devereaux, it’s revealed that she and Nate have a long history together.  Since this initial introduction, we have learned very little else about any of these characters’ pasts.  But exactly how much does that detract from the experience?
The fact is that we’re dealing with amazing characters and a cast with absolutely incredible chemistry, but what part does their past play in all that?  The writers of the show try quite consciously to leave most of their backgrounds as blank slates, but are they really doing themselves any favors that way?  It would probably be more problematic if they weren’t revealing the characters’ hidden depths in such a way as to keep background information secret.  It’s an interesting take on character, and one most authors wouldn’t dream of.  After all, what is a more ripe and easy source of depth and angst than a dark, secretive background that’s revealed almost first thing?  The fact that the writers of Leverage are able to create such fascinating characters without falling back on background alone is very telling, and other writers and shows could learn from this example.  After all, in the end, the show is about the characters as they are, not as they used to be.  So why are fans crying for more background information?  Well, there are two reasons.

First of all, the audience expects to have background information on the characters they love.  It’s not a sense of entitlement that causes this so much as out-and-out curiosity and love for the character.  We want to meet Nate’s father not because it's convention, but because we love Nate and want to know as much about him as possible.  We like hearing that Hardison was a foster kid and Eliot used to be claustrophobic.  We take joy in the information and devour the tidbits each episode throws at us.  If you’re dating someone you’re really interested in, you want to see their baby pictures and hear their parents talk about them.  It works the same way with characters.

Second of all, we want character background because, frankly, it’s essential to the character.  It’s not that a character’s history is useless when it exists only in the mind of the author, but the audience needs to be able to place the current story in the context of the character’s life.  For example, Parker, who has one of the most fleshed-out backgrounds on the show, has a clear motive for staying with the group.  We understand, because we have the context of her history, why these people are so important to her and that this is very much a unique life experience for her.

However, the amount of background we know has little to do with this.  Technically, we have “enough” background on Sophie simply because we do understand the events of the series in the context of her life.  All the same, we have very, very little information about her history.  Contrast Eliot, who we have even less on, and whose motives remain a mystery even though we see many, many facets to him.  As a result, he may be the character hardest to relate to on the grounds that we don’t have the context with him that we have with the others.  Does that make it meaningless when we see him compassionate, angry, or annoyed?  Absolutely not.  It’s still character depth, it’s just out of context.

Nonetheless, character background is not the only thing that makes a good character, as Leverage shows very well.  What relevance does Parker's past have when she and Eliot are acting like little kids together?  Do we have to know who Sophie's parents were in order to relate to her identity crisis?  Do we need to know, this moment, what landed Hardison and Parker in foster homes when they were kids?  Not really.  What’s important is that they have that common experience, even if they were different experiences, and can connect to each other on a deeper level than before.  When Eliot chooses to champion a young victim of child abuse, does his motivation come from his past or from his own capacity for compassion?  The important thing is that he is compassionate, and that this is a tender side of him we’ve never really seen before.  I actually prefer to think he, like most people, finds child abuse reprehensible without having to dig up some dirt from his past.  It speaks more to the type of person he is that he finds it horrible without having to be shown firsthand.

The fact of life is that who you are right now is not who you were years ago.  Authors who fall into the trap of defining a character strictly by their past should keep this in mind.  People change, grow, slide down the slippery slope, and change even more.  Their past is past, the road that got them to where they are, the road that has branched out and will continue to branch out into other roads, a network of choices and experiences.  Leverage makes the important statement that a character, and indeed a person, is not limited to what they have previously experienced.  Our stories are still being told, and so are theirs.

tori_angeli: (sulu)
I decided to write some stuff about a few characters I just love beyond all reason.  They're from varying media and varying fandoms.  Not all of them are even necessarily my favorites in their respective books, movies, TV series, or whatever else.  They're characters I find to be utterly timeless, complex, and beautifully fleshed-out.  I'm intending no bias toward a particular medium, so there will be characters from webcomics, video games, and what else have you.  I figure I'll post these ravings as I write them.  If you want to find new characters to fall in love with, you can read these as I post them.  So here are the first three.

Captain Samuel Vimes )

King Edgar Roni Figaro )

Elu Thingol )
tori_angeli: (chibiraph)
One of the best xkcd comics ever.
tori_angeli: (fanficwriter)
This may be the weirdest thing I've ever said.

Not all Sues are bad.

Whew!  A character can be surprisingly complex, interesting, and extremely likable.  They just happen to have godlike powers, hyperintelligence, a way with animals, no flaws to speak of, and a photographic memory.  Therefore, a character (like Citan, from Xenogears, and I hesitate to use Himura Kenshin because I'm not really that far into the series but he sure strikes me as fitting this) may technically qualify as a Mary Sue (or Gary Stu) but they're so well-done as to be AWESOME.  Especially if it's implied that they were not always Sues (much like Kenshin, and exactly like Citan), that they've had a change of heart and can still recall how far they've come.  When there's implication of previous character development, the lack of flaws and idealization almost seem incidental, especially if they're justified in the plot (used not as an easy way out of tough battles and situations, but as an indication that they have worked hard to come this far and they are in a position that could reasonably be held by someone of their obvious gifts).  The perceived perfection may come from audience ignorance (meaning lack of knowledge, not any fault) alone, if we only glimpse what's underneath their appealingly mysterious exterior.  Sue-ness must be handled with delicacy and anyone who can pull off a really good one is an author deserving of highest praise.

So in short, just because a character doesn't have any flaws that WE perceive doesn't mean they're "boring."  It generally means we don't relate to them as much, but not every character needs to be that way.  Sometimes we gotta have someone to look at and go, "I want to BE that person!"
tori_angeli: (splinter)

I’ll say it straight out, with no shame: some of my favorite characters are undeveloped.


A problem that’s going around is the use of the term “developed” as a synonym for “well-rounded” or “fleshed-out” or “realistic” when applied to a character.  The term “character development,” when used properly, indicates that a character changes over the course of the story, for the better or for the worse.  It’s part of the character’s story, not the author’s abilities to write a good character.  So when people say a character is “well-developed,” they probably mean something else.


Why am I nitpicking?  Because I think that, similarly, the term “static character” has negative connotations.  “Static” does not mean “shallow,” “simple,” “stock,” or “boring.”  A static character is merely a character who does not change over the course of the story.  This lack of growth (or corruption, or redemption) can be part of the character’s appeal.   A lack of change in the character can be compensated for by revealing aspects of the character’s personality as the story goes along, as if the audience is getting to know the character the way they would a person.


Take, for example, Bob Cratchett.  Bob is a static character.  There is very good reason for this—he is already a decent person, and is not the man in need of character development.  He is an unfortunate and very sympathetic character.  He doesn’t need to change because we still see him shift through many emotions.  After Ebenezer Scrooge gets his character development, we are overjoyed to see Bob Cratchett getting what he is due (a raise, a merry Christmas, medical attention for his baby boy, etc.).  We identify with him as a struggling, working-class father and husband.  The fact that he doesn’t change is a good thing, because he is a character who is, in the beginning, in stark contrast with Scrooge and the yardstick (or meterstick, for the sensible metric-system-using peeps) against which we can measure Scrooge’s development.


We can learn from examples like the one above that static characters are necessary for most works of fiction.  So complaining that a character “doesn’t change or learn anything” isn’t necessarily a valid complaint.  Sometimes a character’s lack of ability to change can speak against them as a character (especially if the character is a villain), but it can also speak for them (if the character is able to resist corruption, although presumably if one is tempted and resists, they have grown stronger from it and are therefore dynamic).


I’m gonna take an example from an opera, because I can.  In Don Giovanni, the title character is resolutely static, given multiple chances to repent and refusing every time.  His valet, arguably, is the only dynamic character in the opera, growing from a gleeful accomplice to a horrified, repenting man who generally must be forced to obey.  It’s a rare example of the protagonist being a static character, even if Don Giovanni is a villain as well as a protagonist, and his unwillingness to change is the entire point of the opera.


Other really good static characters:


-Faramir and Aragorn from The Lord of the Rings (the book, not the movie)

-Adrian Monk (for most of the series)

-Captain Jack Sparrow in the first movie only—the one that made him popular—after which he got some GORGEOUS character development

-A great deal of popular JRPG characters (such as Sigurd, Jessie, and arguably Citan from Xenogears, Ayla of Chrono Trigger, and half the cast of Final Fantasy VIII)

-Nearly EVERYONE in the Quest for Glory series except for Katrina

-Michelangelo from many incarnations of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (though he’s more dynamic in the comics and the 2003 animated series).  Also Splinter.


In short, a static character is not necessarily a “flat” or “bad” character (though there’s a place for flat characters as well), just one who happens to come out of the story with the same traits they had going in.

tori_angeli: (bored)

I always think it’s essential to look back on history and see where we came from, the mistakes we’ve already made, and how not to make them again.


On a smaller scale, I think it’s interesting to look back at the lineage of a long-popular video game series and make note of what worked, what didn’t, and which parts were the most awesomest.  Seriously.  Kefka vs. Sephiroth debates should be FUN.


Sadly, I can only talk about the games I’ve actually played, and I can’t count III because I only got so far into it.  Same goes for X.  Here are some thoughts on the ones I have played.  Because LJ sucks, I'm posting this in two parts.  Here's IV-VI.  Minor, some moderate spoilers ahead.



Final Fantasy IV )


Final Fantasy V )


Final Fantasy VI )


tori_angeli: (Default)
Sorry, TMNT peeps, I've been so immersed in music--which is what I actually do--that all my fanfic projects have sort of come to a halt. It's not that I don't plan to work on them sometime, but I've finally started writing music again, and I want to keep doing it while the inspiration lasts. I always get frustrated when someone leaves a great project unfinished to pursue original projects that I will probably never get to see. Really, if I had proper recording equipment and a voice that could shift from female to male, I'd share my music projects, too.

Right now I'm working on a musical. I'm really, really excited about it and wish I could say something that would make it, like, make sense that I'm working on it and not fanfic. I feel so horrible for leaving anyone hanging.

That said, here's the status on each of my unfinished multichapters.

Counterplay (TMNT) is just way too epic. I plotted a zillion little things out and got overwhelmed. That's why I haven't updated it in over a year. I might consider working on it again if I had a cowriter to share the load with. I'm almost ready to shove my notes on it into someone else's hands and tell them to have a blast with it.

Unafraid (TMNT) is written about such a personal subject that I have a difficult time writing it unless I'm in a very particular state of mind. I think, for the most part, that it has served its purpose already. It's an unfinished story, but everyone knows how it's going to end and it helped me get some "things" out there. I haven't heard of anyone longing for it to be finished, so I'm going to assume I can work on it as it comes to me.

Katra (Star Trek XI) is the one I keep wanting to write again, and it'll probably be updated again before either of the others. It's just now gotten to where it feels like it's getting good, and I don't want to leave it there. I still get the itch to write it now and then, return to the characters and bring their story full circle. There are some exciting things coming up.

That's pretty much it. Sorry it's been so long.
tori_angeli: (chibiraph)
I'm gonna talk for a second about something that bugs me increasingly as I leaf through the Samurai Champloo fandom. If you are not familiar with SC, all you really need to read to get what I'm saying is this:

People don't usually fall in love with people they dislike and disrespect without major self-worth issues. It happens in fiction all the time, but not generally in real life.

Now on to the geeky stuff. Spoilers ahead.

SC is 100% about a three-way relationship between three lonely characters. Mugen, having never had a healthy relationship (friendship or other), actively pushes people away with snarky comments, insults, and open hostility. Jin, having never had a friendship at all (he says this himself; I assume Yukimaru doesn't really count as a peer, therefore presumably isn't someone he could personally confide in, especially since he was so concerned with being an older brother/role model to him), is so completely unpracticed at personal relationships (friendship or other) that he ends up deflecting people with his impeccable formal social mannerisms. Fuu, having no one since her mother passed away, is ready for genuine connections and actively pursues them with the boys. Mugen pushes her away, insulting and devaluing her (even though he grows genuinely fond of her, he has no idea how to express it). Jin deflects her, responding to her inquiries and attempts to converse with his stoic catchphrase, "Hmm." Mugen and Jin clash completely, and sustain a mutual vow throughout the series that they will be the ones who kill each other.

In the end, however, they find that their experiences have led them to genuinely care for each other. Mugen goes so far as to drop arms in front of a deadly enemy to save Fuu's life. Jin also saves her, stating that he has never had anything to fight for besides himself--until now. Mugen and Jin, finally able to duel after fulfilling their promise to Fuu to help her, are unable to kill each other as they've been waiting to do. The whole series is wonderfully balanced this way, and all three relationships are well-established.

At one point, in one line in one episode, it is implied that Fuu is falling in love with one of them. Before and after that line, there are no real indications given as to which guy this is. It's beautifully ambiguous, so that the viewer can imagine her ending up with the guy of their choice--if they even care about that. It's yet another lovely, balanced aspect to the show, not its sole purpose.

The SC fandom seems to take it as canon that Mugen is the guy Fuu is falling for. This is not based on "word of god" or anything else substantial, just the general impression people have between the two of them. That would be fine, if it didn't completely rule out the credibility of people who kinda think it makes more sense for her to be falling for Jin. See, in stories, the romantic leads often have conflict. They "hate" each other at first, only to realize that their hatred is merely burning love/lust and live happily ever after. This is used to great effect in Much Ado About Nothing, where the only thing that kept Beatrice and Benedict from going mad for each other was their stubborn refusal to see how perfect they were for each other. Still, if one person constantly derides and demeans another, it's a safe argument to be made--unless stated otherwise--that a healthier relationship might be in order. Jin is really sweet to Fuu in the later episodes, and genuinely concerned with her spiritual well-being. Fuu feels safe to confide in him things she's afraid Mugen would make fun of her for. She feels physically safe around Mugen and trusts him (most of the time) to protect her, but the only positive interaction they seem to have (when he's not saving her life) is in one episode where they're making fun of Jin together.

Not that Fuu/Jin is any more canon than Fuu/Mugen, but I think there's a good argument to be made for writing or supporting both. It's worth reiterating that the show is about a three-way friendship, not a woman caught in a love triangle struggling over a decision. I think my problem tends to be more with the fact that people have embraced that "love of rivals" idea to the point where rivalry has become an "obvious" sign of love. I sure don't want a relationship like that.

EDIT: It may all be due to my extremely strong dislike for this particular trope.
tori_angeli: (Mikestars)
I know a Chevy Impala is not everyone's dream car--not if it comes from this decade, anyway--but I've wanted one for a few years. They're good cars.

So my 1997 Intrepid is dead. (How dead is it?) It's so dead, I left it with my parents when I left after Thanksgiving and borrowed their Honda. They've been renting a car ever since while the mechanic tries to save the Intrepid. It seems to be a lost cause. My mom isn't even sure if they'll be able to get it up the hill to their house, though my dad thinks she's exaggerating. Well, it was a good, solid car for more than a decade. It deserves a rest.

So my mom texted me yesterday with pics of a 2004 Impala they found. They're friends with the dealer and got a great deal on it. Like, serious. Sunroof, geniune leather seats, stuff like that. It's the car the dealer and his son use to trek around town whenever they need to leave the shop. The dealer liking the car that much is usually a good sign.

Yeah, it's my car now.

This wouldn't happen if my dad hadn't JUST gotten his inheritance from his mother, who died over a year ago. Since I've been supporting myself with a part-time job, car payments would have been hell to try to make without the help of my parents, who aren't a lot better off than I am. Well, I've got amazing parents, because they're paying for most of the car up front. I don't have to go bankrupt or miss a day of work for not having a vehicle, AND I have a vehicle that will last me a while.

God is good.
tori_angeli: (usagi)
I am going to marry Russell.

That is all.
tori_angeli: (fanficwriter)

The problem with fanfic writing is the fact that many canons, sooner or later, simply run out. In the case of TMNT, no worthwhile new stuff besides a few sporadic comics has come out since the last movie. It's pretty much been a two-year dry spell. After that much time, writing from the same material over and over again starts to feel a little stale. Ideas run dry, and authors lose interest when all inspiration is two years old.

Ending this fandom famine is beyond the power of the fans themselves—at least, we cannot influence each other enough to revive the fandom as a whole. The event that will inspire TMNT artists and writers again will be the introduction of new, quality TMNT canon. The upcoming movie might do it. I doubt Turtles Forever, as good as it looks, will do it because it's barely even advertised, and the only people who will know to watch it will be kids and hardcore fans. It's only showing once, to boot.

I wonder what would happen if fans started sending letters and emails to Nickelodeon, expressing hope that they will take the franchise in the right direction and specifying what that right direction would be, citing examples of the first comics and the new animated series' first four seasons. I wonder how they're supposed to know the Turtles fanbase has grown up unless we tell them.

I wonder how many people would be interested in a spam project like that. I could do a little research to find contact information, write up a couple generic letters for people who have no time to write one of their own, things like that. The hardest part would be getting the word out. Still, if it's spread to enough people, it might yield some interesting results.

As older fans, we still remember the sense of mystery and imagination the turtles' adventures on the shadowy streets of New York City inspired in us when we were children. I know we want to have that again.
tori_angeli: (Mikestars)
Thank God I live in a city that people book tour dates in.

This was my first time seeing So You Think You Can Dance live, but the people I went with said it was the best show yet.  Lots of humor (including the really clever and hilarious use of Jeanine and Phillip's notorious Russian Folk Dance).  Marvelous dancing.  Some of the routines were even better live than they were on the show.  I'll run through a few of the highlights and try not to spoil much for people on my f-list who might be going to the show later on.  I won't run through ALL the highlights, just the ones I have comments on besides "OMG %(*&@)@(*%&@)%@* SO AMAZING!"

First of all, Caitlin and Phillip had more to do than I expected.  They were introduced as "special guests" and were clearly outside of the top ten, but they still came out to introduce the routines at times.  Caitlin had her Bollywood with Jason, and Phillip had his hip-hop (not the chain one) with Jeanine.  I swear, everyone had a 30-second solo as usual except for Phillip, who must have been given a full minute.  He was a blast and nearly as charming as Evan (yes, Evan is even more charming live).   I was pleased to see he kept up with all the other dancers in the group routines--he must have been practicing since he left the show!  I was also pleased to see Jason with so much to do, as he was only beginning to blossom when he was cut from the show.

Hokay, the actual routines.

1. Jeanine and Phillip's hip-hop
I remember how she was so nervous on the show because she'd never done hip-hop before.  She was still hard to look at when Phillip was clearly the experienced one, but she was definitely a lot better than she was on the show, and they seemed to be having a bit more fun.  I still liked the chain dance better. XD

2. Caitlin and Jason's Bollywood
I admit I didn't like this when I saw it on the show.  I love Bollywood, but I thought they were too out-of-sync.  This time, however, they were smashing.

3. Kayla and Kupono's Contemporary "Vampire Dance"
I love this routine beyond all imagination.  This was the dance where I suddenly found Kayla being one of my favorites.  Honestly, she and Jeanine really did make up my top two girls, but I kinda wanted Kayla to win.  She is the most amazing performer, and Kupono just...AHH!  That said, the routine was even more chilling and exciting to see live than it was on TV.  The kind of electricity and chemistry (I hate using that word, but it's so true of them) that they have as a couple doesn't transmit quite as much until you've actually seen them.  Seeing it live also lets you see what the cameras edited out--close to the end, when they're holding hands and, well, shaking violently somehow, they're taking slow, heavy steps forward, not just standing there.  On the show, we didn't see below their waists during that part.

4. Melissa and Ade's classical pas de deux
Romeo and Juliet.  I loved Melissa in this one, and I do love Ade, but he was a little shakier than she was, seeing as how she's a trained ballerina and he's not.  I wasn't crazy about it on the show, but it was so sweet to see live, and it was easy to tell how much of a dream come true it was for Melissa to dance the role of Juliet--she was really into it!

5. Kayla and Jason's "Zombie"Hip-Hop
No eye paint for Kayla! T_T

6. Jeanine and Jason's "Necklace"
To look at it, it was probably the most difficult routine of the night, just because they keep passing the necklace back and forth.  They visibly struggled with the timing this time, and it left me wincing.  I love the routine, and I love these two dancers, but this was definitely sloppier than it was on the show.

7. Janette and Brandon's "Thief" Jazz
No stairs!  But still very cute and charming.

8. Anything Janette Did
It's only AFTER the show that I see why she was Mia's favorite.  Something about seeing her live, although I knew from the beginning that she could do anything.

9. Jeanine and Brandon's Paso Doble
AUGH IT ROCKS.  So much more electrifying live.  I feel that of any of the girls, Jeanine is the most likely to be able to pull off a paso doble.  I really think that she tops the other ladies as far as sheer physical strength goes, which makes her such a great match for Brandon in routines like this and "Battlefield."  And Brandon, of course, is just unbelievable.  Always knew he'd make the top four.

10. Kayla and Kupono's "Addiction" Contemporary
Again, even more amazing live.  Kayla is just like no one else.  The one thing they changed was that she actually walks away at the end, instead of standing there with her arms hanging loose and looking completely wasted.  I kinda liked it the first way better.

11. Melissa and Ade's "Breast Cancer" Contemporary
Okay, I am finally a true believer.  On the show, I was kind of rolling my eyes and thinking Tyce DiOrio was just trying to outdo Mia Michaels in the "empathy for the plight of the messed up person" department, but I must have missed that he was writing the dance as a tribute to his close friend who was dealing with breast cancer.  Seeing the dance live did make me cry.  Melissa and Ade were so beautiful through the whole thing, and it felt like being shocked every time he forced her back on her feet.

Between routines, the dancers came out and announced the next routine.  The best at doing this, in my opinion, were Randi and Phillip.  They were both personable and made the scripting their own.  Kupono was also delightful.  I did have to put up with hearing one of the people I went with calling Randi "fat" (Randi, if you haven't seen the show, is the thickest-set girl, very curvy and gorgeous but not bird-boned like a few of them).

Anyway, it was an amazing night.  I'm still processing the awesome of it all.  There were a lot more routines than the one I listed, and they were all just superb, but those were the ones I clearly remembering having thoughts on.

tori_angeli: (chibimikechucks)
You know, all things considered, despite the current lull in fanfic, now is a pretty great time to be a TMNT fan.  Winny and I spent last night working out how to play the new TMNT Smash Up game, and it rocks.  Hard.  Splinter is the fastest character, by the way, while Don might be the hardest-hitting.  Once you start getting used to each character's strengths and weaknesses, they're all fun to play.  Haven't unlocked any of the other characters, and neither Winny nor I could bring ourselves to play April since, realistically, all the other characters should be able to kick her butt.  If we unlock the Fugitoid, maybe we'll pit him and April against each other.  Until then, no.

On a related note, crocs are not cool.

Mike and Splinter were probably my favorites to play (which is funny, since they're characters I play in an RPG my friends and I have going) simply because they're FAST.  They go crazy-fast and hit so many times the other character doesn't even have a chance to get up and hit back.  Raph is pretty fun, too, and after getting used to him, so is Leo.  Don is fun for completely different reasons--his range is NUTS.  He can hit like six people at once.  Leo's range is almost as awesome.  Splinter has this fantastic rush move that's just devastating and you can start out a good ways away from someone before BAM.

And now I have devolved into fangirl babble.  Ahem.  Excuse me while I retrieve my dignified, aloof persona from the drain.

Thumb pain seems to respond to Ibuprofen.  I spent all of yesterday trying to remember not to type--something I can't do today because of RP tonight.  But said digit is pretty well-rested and hopefully ready for the big night.  Playing video games last night didn't help a lot, but fortunately it was my left thumb doing most of the work.  Amazingly, this game has been released for PS2 AND Wii, and I happen to have a PS2.  I have ordered it.  It is highly recommended.  Tons of fun.  All kinds of badass moves.  Like, you can actually grab someone's wrist as they try to strike you and flip them to the ground.  Stuff like that.  It rocks.
tori_angeli: (chibiraph)
So after I purchase a (quite lovely) ergonomic keyboard and mouse, I seem to be having trouble with my right thumb.  It hurts like heck when I tuck my thumb into my palm--something most people do when making a fist or grabbing something--or when I put any kind of pressure on my thumb, like if I grip something.  The PLACE it hurts is on the inside, where the ball of my thumb meets the rest of my hand.  Typing does not seem to bother me except when I hit the space bar, and then only if my thumb is too curved inward.  Using a mouse kinda bothers me.  That thumb is also kind of weak and a little difficult to manipulate during delicate tasks.  Sometimes the pain radiates all the way up to the tip of my thumb or down into my wrist.  Has anyone ever heard of something like this?  I'm suspecting the new mouse is giving a tendon some issues.  Altogether, it's driving me insane and making it difficult to use a computer.  I might run out and grab a wrist brace, just to try to keep all my fingers in a natural position until it settles down.
tori_angeli: (fanficwriter)
I was trying to figure out what is wrong with my TMNT fanfic-writing mojo.  I'm getting excited about TMNT again, what with some new issues of Tales that are amazing as well as the new anniversary special.  But when I try to write fanfic, it feels like touching burned skin to make sure it's healed and finding it still hurts.

That made me plunder my head for the reason I write fanfic, and the reason I keep despairing at writing for TMNT.  It occurred to me that I really don't consider a creative work successful until it means something to someone else.  For about a year, probably longer, most reviews received in the fandom are short "I like it!  Update soon!" reviews that give no indication of whether or not the reviewer remembered the fic after they navigated away from the page.  Getting practically nothing but those kinds of reviews really started leaving me cold, like I'd lost my touch, or like I was no longer needed--obsolete, somehow, or at least I'd lost any sort of unique fingerprint.

But then there were those few reviews that really sounded like they were interested in the fic.  I need to focus on THOSE readers and write for them.  That would get me back in the game, even if I was just writing for two or three people.  I could really ENJOY writing TMNT if I remembered that I was writing for people who found meaning, or at least entertainment, in my stories.  The fact that those people are vastly outnumbered by "Update soon" people just made it harder to remember they were there, and I really apologize.

...I have FIVE multichapters to finish--three in TMNT, one in Star Trek, and one in Elfquest.  But Endgame is SO CLOSE to being finished, maybe I'll start with that.
Page generated Sep. 26th, 2017 07:58 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios