Netflix’s A Series of Unfortunate Events is a Faithful, but Inconsistent, Adaptation

I’m of rather mixed feelings about Netflix’s newest original series, A Series of Unfortunate Events. If I take it at face value, it’s a very faithful adaptation of the book series, and it’s honestly an enjoyable way to spend eight hours. Neil Patrick Harris does a fantastic job as Count Olaf, and slips into and out of each of Olaf’s disguises with a whimsical flair that makes the unfortunate events of the series seem drearily entertaining rather than just dreary. Though it seems at times darker than the book series, much of the acting is clearly meant for a children’s demographic, as the characters go through the plot reveals with all the suspense of a Scooby-Doo-esque “I would have gotten away with it too if it weren’t for you meddling kids!” And the runtime, though a little bloated, allows a lot of time for the adult actors to make their shenanigans funny. I really enjoyed watching this series. However, in adapting the book series to Netflix, a few things were expanded on that ended up making the story’s internal logic a little, well, unfortunate.

Spoilers for the series (and some mild spoilers for the books) after the jump.

Continue reading

Fanfiction Fridays: counting seconds through the night by cafecliche

There are a lot of things I could have done over the winter holidays, but instead of doing any of those things, I re-watched Yuri!!! on Ice and then started watching the dubbed version just to see if it was any good. (Verdict so far: not bad, but I still prefer the sub.) One thing that really struck me in these re-watches was Yuuri’s anxiety. On my first run-through, I thought that he just had performance anxietyit wasn’t until I’d watched it again that I realized he actually had an anxiety disorder. Yuuri describes himself as a dime-a-dozen skater despite making it to the Grand Prix Finals, he doesn’t understand how five time gold medallist Viktor Nikiforov could be interested in him despite his being able to skate Viktor’s free program flawlessly, and he can’t see that his friends and family support him and believe in him despite there being ample evidence of it.

hashtag #relatable

Way too #relatable (via ineffectualdemon)

Yuri!!! on Ice’s depiction of anxiety and mental illness was done just subtly enough to feel natural without beating the viewer over the head with Yuuri’s concerns. Most importantly, Viktor and Yuuri’s relationship showed something that’s rarely seen in a fictional romantic relationship: Yuuri’s anxiety doesn’t just up and disappear now that he has a significant other, and in fact, some of the things Viktor tries to help Yuuri end up not helping at all. Today’s fanfic expands on some of those themes in a sweet, yet realistic, story.

Spoilers for all of Yuri!!! on Ice after the jump!

Continue reading

Trailer Tuesdays: Netflix’s A Series of Unfortunate Events

Welcome back to the blog, everyone! I hope everyone had a great time over the holiday break, whether with family, friends, or just chilling by yourself. Before we went on vacation, the trailers for Netflix’s A Series of Unfortunate Events came out, but it wasn’t until the break that I actually got some time to sit down and watch them. Now that I have, I’m pretty excited about the series—to an extent.

Continue reading

Web Crush Wednesdays: Les Normaux

webcrush picSomething about the holidays always makes me want to watch a romcom, but unfortunately, almost all of today’s romcoms feature two cishet white characters falling in love, and after years of suffering through these plots, they’re just not appealing to me anymore. Fortunately, in today’s world, there are more and more romcoms featuring queer characters—just not on the silver screen. Today’s web crush is a cute, fluffy webcomic that needs a little bit more worldbuilding but still showcases some fun slice-of-life queer love stories.

Continue reading

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender Is Beautiful, and Definitely Strange

I’ve always loved wingfic—that is to say, stories about people with wings—ever since I was very young, and so when someone recently recommended me a magical realism book about a girl born with wings, I immediately snatched it up from the library. Unfortunately, I quickly realized that despite the actual wingfic part of the book, the rest of the book wasn’t something I was particularly into. The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender, by Leslye Walton, tells a story about lust, love, and loss, but fell somewhat short when it came to making the book more than an exercise in good prose. Spoilers after the jump.

Continue reading

Representation Requires Characterization: Why Your Black Leader Is Not Revolutionary

Sometimes talking about diversity in media seems like a really bad game of “spot the minority.” Countless TV shows and movies have had just one visible person of color in their casts, if at all, and we’ve currently reached the point where a number of movies have one white woman and one Black man and are content to call that “diversity.” Whatever little progress we’ve made, it’s become clear that even if we include people of color in our stories, we’re still not dedicating ourselves to telling their stories.

If there’s a token minority in a story, it used to be that they were the villain or helpful sidekick; nowadays it’s more likely that they are the leaders of the group. At first glance, that sounds like a good thing—showing that people of color can be competent in places of authority can only be good, right? Maybe so, but we inevitably see a large number of Black leaders, not Asian or Middle Eastern or Latinx leaders, and, again inevitably, these Black leaders are often the only Black characters or characters of color in the story at all. This phenomenon ties into a number of tropes and poor writing choices that highlight the insidious problem of having your single solitary Black man or woman be the boss or leader for your ultimately white protagonists.

seraphina_picquery_fantastic_beasts

Definitely an example here.

Continue reading