Fanfiction Fridays: “Grounded”

Grounded by tumblr author Jackasslow is a three-part Big Time Rush fanfic about two of my favorite aspects of the show: Kendall and Logan’s relationship and Mrs. Knight’s parenting.

The story begins with Kendall disrespecting his mother (bad move, bro) so she grounds him. He is grounded not only from the usual privileges like television and cell phone, but also from something far more important: Logan! This is extremely difficult for Kendall, and Logan too. To be honest, their attachment to each other bordered on unhealthy in the early days of this show, constantly needing physical closeness and reassurance from each other, and this story takes place during those young, clingy days of new love, so they’re not handling it very well.

The reason I enjoy this fic so much is because it highlights Jennifer Knight’s ability to handle her children. What I’ve always loved about Mrs. Knight is that she is not the absent, neglectful, overbearing, flighty, or otherwise ineffective parent that tends to appear in Nickelodeon shows, and most shows aimed at the teen/tween demographic. In most of these shows, if a parent is present (and many times they aren’t) they’re usually the butt of the joke in their magnificent ineptitude, but Jennifer Knight has been an exception to that rule since the beginning of the show. She demands respect from her children and the other boys in her charge and makes them take responsibility for their actions. She’s actually, you know, parenting. She doesn’t always know what to do but she manages, and that portrayal of a parent who disciplines and loves and struggles is one of the most unique and beautiful aspects of Big Time Rush to me.

Even though this story is primarily about Kendall, it’s the attention given to Mrs. Knight that makes it stand out to me. She is the one who gets the plot going and causes the personal growth in the main character which finally leads to the resolution. The story is also hosted on fanfiction.net as a single chapter rather than broken into three parts if you’d prefer to read there rather than on tumblr. Check it out; it’s a great little piece celebrating some of my favorite characters.

Nikki of ‘Switched at Birth’

I wanna talk about Switched at Birth again because something happened on this week’s episode that I was honestly shocked by. Legitimately shocked; I did not expect this to happen and I had no way of prepping for it.

Last season a character named Nikki was introduced, played by Cassi Thomson. The character is a love interest for Toby who meets her at church and the two start a Christian rock band. Nikki has taken a purity pledge and this coupled with her strong faith are points of mild contention for Toby who is not particularly religious. I expected very little from this character because the last time ABC Family tried to give us a Christian character concerned with chastity this is what we got:

^I stopped watching that show a long time ago so I don’t know if it ever got any better. I kind of doubt it.

Now it’s not like the shows are written by the same people or anything, and I have already been proven wrong by this show’s handling of potentially difficult themes, so why was I so quick to judge? I think because Christians are hard to write because they’re either sanctimonious paragons of virtue (a la 7th Heaven) or wicked, hateful stereotypes. Whether the writer is trying to portray them in a positive or negative light, they almost always become two-dimensional caricatures rather than worthwhile characters, so when this show introduced Nikki and her primary characteristic seemed to be “Christian with a capital C”, I was concerned. Continue reading

Switched at Birth

Switched at Birth- Bay and Daphne Kennish-VasquezSwitched at Birth is one of those shows that I initially wrote off but ended up loving once I gave it a chance. As you can probably guess from the title, the show is about characters who were switched at birth. Of course, the characters find out about their switch and drama ensues. This show airs on ABC Family, which hasn’t produced entertainment of particularly high quality as of late, so I was very skeptical when this show premiered.  I know the ~drama~ this channel likes to pump into its shows at the expense of character and story development, and the premise of this show set itself up for dramatic dramatized drama in spades.

I am glad to report that this show is actually fantastically written and, while it does dip itself into soap opera territory with certain plot elements, it is overall a very smart show.

The two girls switched are named Daphne and Bay. Bay (the brunette in the above image) is raised by the wealthy Kennish family consisting of Kathryn, John, and older brother Toby while Daphne (the redhead) loses her hearing as a child and is raised by a single mother named Regina Vasquez, whose estranged husband Angelo was absent for most of Daphne’s adolescence. The show explores some really intricate themes but especially the ideas of who these girls are, who they would have been, and which (if either) is who they are supposed to be.

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Big Time Rush: The Show (Continued Some More)

Ah yes, like a bad penny, my series dedicated to Nickelodeon’s Big Time Rush turns up once again! Continuing from my last entry in the series (all the way back in November, can you believe it??) I will be talking about character development in the show, this time focusing on the secondary characters who richly populate this show.

The first secondary characters to whom the show introduces us are arguably the most important: record producer Gustavo Rocque and his personal assistant Kelly Wainwright. The pair have been across the United States looking for their new pop star and the journey has worn on them so what we first see is a stressed exaggeration of their personalities, but we get a feel for them. Kelly is a capable young woman who is good at her job and getting work done. Gustavo is a pompous producer with a short fuse who’s desperate to get back to his glory days. Both are focused on their business and doing all they can to make their trip a success, though Kelly is pretty clearly the more competent of the two in that regard, so there’s a cautious “woop woop” in order for the empowered woman; hopefully she won’t be a cold stereotype of the Strong Female Character variety.

When the pair meet Kendall and his friends they don’t really know how to react to them. Gustavo tries yelling and intimidation, even though it continues to fail in getting results. I believe it was Einstein who said “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results” and by that definition Gustavo is definitely insane. His temper and futile attempts at control are often a source of comedy on the show, while Kelly tends to exhibit Only Sane Man qualities, especially in the early days of the show. I say “in the early days of the show” because this post is about character arcs and both Gustavo and Kelly have grown quite a bit from their introduction.

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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.

My Babysitter’s a Vampire

My Babysitter’s a Vampire is a made-for-TV movie which launched a half-hour TV series of the same name. It is aimed at teens and tweens and airs in the US on the Disney Channel, coming to us from our neighbors to the north (eh?) where it airs on Teletoon.

 

BEFORE YOU ROLL YOUR EYES

I know this is a kids’ show capitalizing on the vampire craze. I know, but before you rush to judge, I urge you to hear me out because this show is actually pretty awesome.

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