The Bittersweet Taste of Orange

If you could write a letter to your younger self, what would you say? “It will get better”? “Don’t stress too much about fitting in”? “Yes, what you’re feeling is love, and that’s okay”? “The future is awful and sad and I want you to work tirelessly to make sure you don’t end up a regret-stricken wreck like me”? Orange takes this last approach, and the result is a series that I have a barrel full of mixed feelings about.

Spoilers and content warning for suicide ahead.

On the first day of the new school year, protagonist Naho finds a strange letter addressed to her, which was apparently sent from herself, ten years in the future. Naho is confused and dubious that such a thing can be real, but then the events the letter describes start coming true: the letter tells her that a new student, a boy named Kakeru, will be joining their class that day, and he’ll sit next to Naho. Naho’s friends will attempt to be welcoming and invite the new kid to hang out once school is over, but, the letter warns, they should absolutely not do that. Not that day, at least.

Naho soon realizes that the letters are full of specific advice from her future self, chiefly about things that Future Naho regrets and wants to change. These mostly concern Kakeru, since, as Naho is shocked to find out, ten years in the future Kakeru is no longer alive. In Future Naho’s world, Kakeru died—in an accident later discovered to be suicide—when he was seventeen, and she’s sending these letters back in time to try and stop that from happening.

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Can We Have Some Actual Male Friendships?

Representation is weird, readers. Since some people that enjoy a level of privilege also contend with marginalization, it’s difficult to say where we need to get better in our media. Despite men enjoying incredible amounts of privilege, we still have the task of dismantling toxic masculinity. While we are slowly but surely destroying the “no homo, bro” narrative of friendship, I would like to see more well formed male friendships in media that actually explore friendship and aren’t just used as passive plot traits.

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Throwback Thursdays: The Fox and the Hound

the-fox-and-the-houndOriginally, I was going to review Balto for this post, but as I’m still looking for my copy of it, I instead had to turn to yet another favorite movie of mine featuring a dog. The Fox and the Hound is a 1981 buddy film about a talking fox and hound and it is really sad to watch. I actually cannot watch this movie without crying. I mean, that might not be saying much, because the same is also true for the Pete’s Dragon remake, which also went out of its way to tug at my cold dead heartstrings. The difference here is that The Fox and the Hound actually deserves my tears.

Spoilers for a thirty-five-year-old movie up ahead.

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Movie Review: Beautiful

beautiful“What is beauty?” is a question that has been hotly debated for centuries. It is a word that means different things to different people. It is the same as “what makes something feminist?” Beauty pageants have a pretty bad reputation amongst feminist circles. While the contestants do have to perform a talent, they are ultimately supposed to look good in a swimsuit. They are judged for their beauty above all else. Beauty pageants have gotten a lot of coverage in the media. There’s just something about them that still interests people. That’s been true in the past, now, and even in Futurama. Season 2 episode 11, The Lesser of Two Evils, features the Miss Universe pageant. Unlike the current Miss Universe pageant, the “women” competing are actually from other planets. Even tough and cool Leela gets swept up in the frenzy and is accidentally crowned before the crown is cruelly taken away from her. The actual Winner of the Miss Universe pageant in the year 3001 is Miss Vega 4, Gladys Lennox, a giant amoeba.

There it is, Miss Universe. There it is, looking weird.

“There it is, Miss Universe. There it is, looking weird.”

However, the movie I am reviewing is not from the future, but has been greatly unappreciated for far too long. I am talking about the 2000 movie Beautiful, directed by Sally Field and starring Minnie Driver as Mona Hibbard, a woman who strives to become Miss America. A movie I believe to be feminist. Continue reading

Fanfiction Fridays: “Stupid” by disorient-me

Today I’m going to post something a little different from my usual fanfic fare. Oh it’s still Big Time Rush, of course, but for once it’s neither romance nor Kogan. “Stupid“, a oneshot written by disorient-me, is a story that was actually written for me, a fill to a request I had made on the now defunct BTR Fluff Meme on LiveJournal, and it’s wonderful.

One of the things I mentioned when discussing the characters on the show is how Carlos and Logan are often foils for each other, between Logan’s straight-laced and restrictive personality and Carlos’ wild inhibition and spontaneity the two make a great dynamic. They butt heads frequently on the show, probably more than anyone else in the band, so it’s important to see their more affectionate interactions which happen on the show, but not all that often.

I also love how much this fic applies to my headcanon of Carlos being this sensitive little boy who feels things much deeper than he lets anyone know because everyone thinks he’s just this wild ‘n’ crazy kid (TM) but he has shown he has the biggest heart and like most people with big hearts he’s very sensitive but his friends tend to forget about that fact because his main personality is so boisterous and he’s really just this delicate little flower and he needs to be taken care of sometimes and… and…

This fic establishes the closeness that’s hinted at between the two but not often fully realized on screen and I love it. All the relationships between the guys are so interesting on the show and I think the show does a pretty good job of presenting them, but of course fanfic fills that need to see those relationships expanded on beyond the constraints of the show.

Big Time Rush: The Show (Continued)

 

I finally get to talk about Big Time Rush again! After that self-imposed restriction of only talking about Halloween-y stuff last month I can finally post about other things I love which means getting back to BTR.

You were all waiting with bated breath, I just know it.

Last time I talked about the show I gave kind of a cursory glance to various aspects of it and today I’d like to dive a little more deeply into a few of the things I mentioned in that post.

One of the things I have loved about this show from the very beginning is the characterization. This is something I go absolutely crazy for in any media (be it television, literature, film, or theatre) and the writers of BTR put great effort into creating worthwhile, rounded characters in their show right off the bat. I’ve already talked about the four main guys’ basic character traits so today I’d like to talk more about their development along with the other characters in the show.

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Fanfiction Fridays: Hanging On (At the End of the World)

Whenever I hear the word “epidemic” in conjunction with post-apocalyptic stories I assume “zombies”. This story does not have zombies but I still chose to write about it as one of my Halloween-themed posts because it’s awesome and the collapse of civilization is still a pretty frightening subject so I think it counts.

Hanging On (At the End of the World) is an AU Big Time Rush fanfic written for this year’s Big Time Big Bang by author CerinityKS with artwork by teh_emowaffle.

WARNINGS: I must warn for violence, a graphic almost-sex scene, and mentions of offstage sexual abuse. It’s rated M for a reason, this story ain’t kidding around, but I think these situations are handled pretty well by the author.

The story follows the four friends as they deal with the aftermath of a deadly black market drug which causes either death or animalistic homicidal rages in its users. The premise has a very 28 Days Later feel to it and definitely has some similarities to other pandemic films but it doesn’t feel unoriginal and Cerinity’s writing is strong enough to make the story very much her own.

I wanted to finish introducing Big Time Rush the show before posting any fanfiction about it but since those posts have been put on hold in favor of my spooky October posts I had to give up on that hope. Thankfully the story is fully AU so it doesn’t matter too much if the reader is unfamiliar with the show’s canon. CerinityKS has written a piece that I believe is complete on its own and doesn’t rely very heavily on the reader knowing the characters beforehand since they have new backgrounds anyway.

The story involves shipping, namely Kendall/Logan (my OTP) and James/Carlos but what I love is that it’s still a story independent of these relationships. It’s not just relationship drama, it’s a story that has relationship drama included. The story gives focus to these aspects but it’s not just one character yearning for another and then confessing his love at the end. Instead, it’s a very character-driven piece which I absolutely love.