Sleepy Hollow: “Magnum Opus” Review

sleepy hollow season 2 bannerSleepy Hollow came back for another episode last night, and after three episodes in a row that I utterly detested, I found myself enjoying “Magnum Opus” a great deal. This time around, Moloch is still rising to power, Katrina remains the worst spy in existence, Hawley’s for once nowhere to be seen, and both Ichabod and the Headless Horseman work out their identity issues. Hit the jump to find out my thoughts.

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Trailer Tuesdays: Agent Carter

So we’ve been pretty excited about ABC’s new miniseries, Agent Carter, for a while. Even though there wasn’t much information on it, we kept seeing delightful tweets about what Hayley Atwell was getting up to on set. Soon it could reasonably be inferred that basically, Peggy Carter was going to have a lot of scenes where she kicked someone’s ass. And now, we’ve finally gotten our first look at the trailer for Agent Carter.

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Rin Plays Dragon Age: Inquisition: Initial Thoughts

Don't tell me how to live my life.  via redredribbon @ Tumblr

Don’t tell me how to live my life.
via redredribbon @ Tumblr

Due to technical issues and personal events, I have not been able to play Dragon Age: Inquisition to the lengths that I had expected. Yet even without these setbacks I wasn’t foolish enough to believe that I’d be anywhere close to done in time to write this first article (oh yes, there will be another one). Twenty hours into the game and having only really explored the Hinterlands—the very first area—I’m getting a good sense of what I’ll be in for, and I have to say that some problems aside, this is exactly what I wanted from this game.

Inquisition allows players to choose from four races this time around: humans, elves, dwarves, and the newest addition, qunari. Each race is reacted to differently within game so some inquisitors may be treated better if they’re human, others may gain certain notoriety if they’re qunari, and so forth. As is my MO with games that allow me the option, my first playthrough is as a Dalish elf rogue, so I’m looking forward to walking through the game with all that barely restrained prejudice coming from every human, especially from the Chantry, because who needs to believe in the Maker when you have your own set of cool Dalish gods. Just the person that should be leading the inquisition, right? Or, rather, I’m not the leader yet.

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Magical Mondays: Power, Privilege, and Morality in Tamora Pierce’s Circle of Magic Series

circle-of-magicEver since Saika wrote her Throwback Thursday on Tamora Pierce’s The Circle of Magic series, I’ve been excited about going back and revisiting them. As a person who loves YA, The Circle of Magic books are some of my favorites, and now that I’ve reread them, I can say that it is not only the diversity of the worldbuilding that makes this series unique; Pierce also does an excellent job building the magic of her world.

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Oh, My Pop Culture Religion: Charmed’s Confusing Afterlife

With feasts like Samhain and Day of the Dead, and with Thanksgiving fast approaching, November is a month in which thoughts often turn to family, both present and passed. Charmed, a show in which family was paramount, told the story of four sisters who were the latest and most powerful in a long line of witches. The show was often just as much, if not more, about the characters as sisters than as witches; yes, they cast spells together and fought demons together, but they also lived together, argued with each other, and remembered their lost loved ones together. What made this last point less powerful than it could have been was the confusing and inconsistent nature of the afterlife as seen on the show.

Charmed Patty and PaigeSpoiler alert for the whole series and its comic book continuation after the jump.

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Sexualized Saturdays: Man Tears, Female Desires, and Supernatural’s 200th Episode

supernatural sam and deanSupernatural hasn’t always had the best track record with its fandom. The show is about two cishet, white male brothers and their white-male-bodied, written-as-cishet angel friend, but its enthusiastic, mostly-female fandom has constantly reinterpreted the show as either a forbidden love story between two brothers (Wincest) or a star-crossed romance between an angel and a hunter (Destiel). This isn’t a unique problem—many shows with a primarily male ensemble cast have fans who ship one or more of the male characters together. However, the reaction to such shipping has been almost exactly the same across the board: discomfort verging on disgust. As New Statesmen writer Laurie Penny says of the BBC’s Sherlock, a show which is also about two white men:

The discomfort seems to be not that the shows are being reinterpreted by fans, but that they are being reinterpreted by the wrong sorts of fans – women, people of colour, queer kids, horny teenagers, people who are not professional writers, people who actually care about continuity (sorry). The proper way for cultural mythmaking to progress, it is implied, is for privileged men to recreate the works of privileged men from previous generations whilst everyone else listens quietly.

In short, it doesn’t seem to be fandom that these producers are uncomfortable with—it’s female fandom. Men can loudly proclaim themselves to be fans, geeks, and nerds in real life (J. J. Abrams, Mark Gatiss, Peter Jackson), and they can seek to recreate the stories they loved as children (Star Trek, Sherlock, Lord of the Rings). But when women want to recreate their own stories, they’re uniformly shamed for it.

Supernatural takes this general disregard for women even further—there’s hardly an episode where a (conventionally attractive) woman doesn’t die, and the main characters are misogynistic in both their dialogue and their actions. With this sort of background, it’s hard to believe that the 200th episode, meant to be an homage to the show’s fans, would be any good. Dean’s actor, Jensen Ackles, even gave an interview where he said “[The episode is a] bit of a throwback to the fans… some fans who may have had some interesting, objectionable ideas about the show, or maybe some complaints about the show, or whatever, might want to pay attention, ‘cause we might be calling you out on it.”

“Objectionable ideas” about the show? Given all of Supernatural’s history, it didn’t sound promising. Yet Supernatural’s 200th episode, “Fan Fiction”, succeeded in being an homage to its fans—and it also succeeded at legitimizing and celebrating female desires, something it has never done nor even shown the slightest desire to do in the past.

Spoilers for all of “Fan Fiction” below.

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No Really, Trust Me: Pan’s Review of Loki: Agent of Asgard #8

Strap in dweebs, it’s time for more of everyone’s favorite Norse trickster god—or rather, ex-trickster god, as a magic spell has now rendered em wholesome, family-friendly, and chock-full of vitamins for a balanced breakfast. As I mentioned last month, Agent of Asgard has gotten itself tied into yet another confusing, unnecessarily complicated Marvel universe event called Axis. In this event, some kind of villain boss fight that takes place in a totally different comic has caused a bunch of good guys to spontaneously turn evil, and a bunch of bad guys to turn good. While most Marvel characters can be easily polarized as “good” or “evil”, this is tricky ground for Loki to be on these days. Ey is no longer firmly in either Camp Hero or Camp Villain, so which parts of eir ambivalent motives have been affected by this spell are difficult to sort out.

Loki Flakes Breakfast Cereal: New magpie flavor!

Loki Flakes Breakfast Cereal: New magpie flavor!

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