Archive for May, 2020

Media Update 5/7/20

May 7, 2020


Buzzfeed Unsolved: Supernatural

I was thinking about John Keel’s descriptions of Men in Black and I started to poke around for amusing alien docuseries. The first one I found was way too earnest and forceful. This one is lighter fare and a lot funnier. The series follows Ryan Bergara and Shane Madej of Buzzfeed as they travel and explore allegedly supernatural locales. They seem to focus on three major areas which are ghosts, demons, and extraterrestrials. Ryan is a true believer who freaks out a lot on location and works hard to try to convince himself and Shane. Shane is a skeptic and an adherent of science and practical application of facts. The only area that they are even remotely close to overlapping is with extraterrestrials. Shane believes that aliens are out there but doubts that they have visited Earth. The great thing is their chemistry. Ryan is excitable but not put out when Shane does not believe him. Shane is not a stick in the mud and is very willing to go along on any adventure that Ryan dreams up. They are a great team and allow the user to figure out which side they land on. Each episode is only about 10 minutes at most. I definitely recommend it and I will be following up on their other series.


DEVS

I had heard good things about this series from friends on Twitter and I am a big fan of both weirdness and Nick Offerman. The first thing I noticed about the show is how cool the visuals are from an art design direction. The show is beautiful but also eerie in its alienness. I was not disappointed if I wanted weird because I definitely got it. The show deals with bleeding-edge technology, some of which is stuff that maybe humans should not really dabble in. The show follows a mystery of a disappearance from a cult-like technology company. The show has an almost unbearable tension and a maddening mystery that I really want to get to the bottom of. Offerman is great as the charismatic yet creepy leader of the company, a shaggy-looking digital messiah and/or demon. Sonoya Mizuno is so excellent as an extremely bright young woman who is trying to parse what happened to her missing boyfriend. I definitely recommend this movie but it is not for the faint of heart.


The Endless

I had seen this movie sitting on my Netflix queue for a long time now. I had thought about using it for my yearly Halloween event but I kept setting aside. It is also not as much a horror movie as it is a science fiction thriller. There are definitely horror elements but it would not fit in as well with the usual October fare. This movie is about two young men who survived a UFO death cult but now want to investigate to see what exactly happened back then. The movie is very low budget which actually really adds to the creepiness. Writer/Director/Actor Justin Benson and Director/Actor Aaron Moorehead are great as the two brothers whose lives did not get any better after leaving a cult. The rest of the cast is full of eccentric weirdos who slowly reveal a bigger mystery to the brothers. The movie is also darkly comedic at times, blowing off a little tension here and there with some welcome humor. The music, cast, writing, and imagery lead to a crazy mystery that I found myself desperately curious about. I definitely recommend this movie.

Music of the Week:
High Visions – When I’m Dead, Just Throw Me in the Trash

Atsuko Chiba – Fata Morgana

Scary Potter – Wey

Lil Pøøch – Drag Me Down

Shampoos – Nightrider

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “Exploring the Strange”
– I watched more Prodigal Son Season 1
– I watched more Bojack Horseman Season 6
– I watched more Scream Queens Season 1
– I watched more Rizzoli and Isles Season 3
– I watched more Elementary Season 2
– I watched more Bob’s Burgers Season 10

A to Z Blogging Challenge 2020 Reflections

May 4, 2020

So another April has come and gone and that means another A to Z Blogging Challenge is over. This year I focused on writing 26 different fanfiction short stories from over 26 fandoms (more or less). I had a lot of fun. In past years I have done many different types of posts so it was nice to not have to change gears constantly. I did miss doing movie reviews but I do a whole bunch regularly in October and I can do them whenever. This was also the first year that I did not do my regular law blog entry. Similarly, I have some ideas for that coming up.

On to what I actually did this year. I wrote a ton of fanfiction, more than I have ever written before. I used to look at fanfiction as something that was pointless because you could not monetize it and it was not original. However, I now realize that there is plenty of creativity in playing with somebody else’s toys. You can build off the foundation the original creator left behind or you can smash it to pieces and start anew. You can rewind certain moments and provide a branching path different from canon continuity. There are a lot of possibilities.

Here are my favorite posts from this month:

Clear Skies – A Breaking Bad Story

I was challenged to write a Breaking Bad story and I had no ideas until I thought of my favorite character, Jane. She was a great character but since she was neither Walt nor Jessie, she was cannon fodder. She got a raw deal and I wanted to rewrite her ending while still being true to an addict’s journey. I wanted to disconnect her from the toxic world of Breaking Bad.

Deposition – A She-Hulk Story

There have been a lot of rumblings lately about a She-Hulk television show possibly being made for Disney+. I was a huge fan of the Charles Soule/Javier Pulido She-Hulk run and the Kate Leth/Brittney Williams run of Patsy Cline AKA Hellcat. I liked that both series dealt more with the fallout of superheroes and supervillains than actual crimefighting. I also had just finished listening to the excellent books She Said and Catch and Kill. It seemed natural that She-Hulk and Patsy would be involved in investigating the superhero side of the Me Too movement.

Iron Woman – An MCU Story

I really was kind of perturbed that they glossed over Pepper Potts gaining superpowers at the end of Iron Man 3. That was a huge deal and a huge change to the power dynamics in her and Tony’s relationship. Instead, they had it quietly disappear between movies. I thought it would have been more fun to have her actually have to deal with Great Power like Peter Parker and so many other reluctant heroes. Pepper has such a strong personality that I don’t see her backing down from that challenge ultimately.

Poor Unfortunate Souls – A Disney Crossover Story

I actually originally conceived this idea as a Star Trek/Disney crossover but it quickly got too out of control and the idea fell apart. Instead, I imagined a Crisis of Infinite Earths but Disney instead of DC Comics. I was inspired by Once Upon a Time, Descendants, and so many more crossovers but I wanted to put my own stamp on it. I actually did the second installment of this on Saturday.

Quiltbag Wizards – A Potterverse Story

Admittedly, this was written as a giant middle finger to JK Rowling who has proven to be very homophobic and transphobic. One great thing about fanfiction is being able to take somebody’s creation away from them and make it more positive. If Rowling wants to put down trans people and only mention gay people as less than a footnote, then we can write new stories contradicting that.

The Road Vlogs – A Supernatural Story

This was the only attempt at writing a story through a different structure. I imagined Charlie filming a series of personal vlogs as she traveled across the country as a hunter. Charlie also seemed to have an affinity for the strange that was different from the Winchesters. Her positive energy seemed to attract more positive supernatural experiences.

Some of what I wrote did not really work like I wanted it to but I never regretted trying. Some of it will be stuff I continue and some of it was a one-shot that I will leave as is. There are so many options in front of me. Thanks for stopping by if you stopped by!

Poor Unfortunate Souls: Hawaii Pt. 1

May 2, 2020

When Adam came to, he was far above the surface of the Earth. He could see a lot of water below him. His and Belle’s castle was well away from the sea so this was confusing. Below were a set of islands that were absolutely foreign to him. As he made these observations, whatever magic that was keeping him suspended in the air gave out and he started to plummet. He could feel himself panicking and flailing and then he stopped, it was not helping him. He took solace in the fact that Belle was nowhere in sight. He hoped she was safe. He wished he was stronger.

He hit the surface of the water hard and it hurt really bad. He might have blacked out again but he was surprised to wake up again, deep under the water. He started to paddle upwards as fast as he could, his lungs ready to burst. He broke through the surface and breathed in the sweet, sweet yet salty air. He struggled to keep his head up. His clothes were wet and heavy and so was his fur. His fur? He was stunned to see that the curse was back. Why was it back? He was grateful for the extra strength but he had fought so long to be human again. He roared into the night.

A few moments later, a boat appeared and a young woman reached down. He grabbed her hand and realized it was human again. He was so tired. He made it into the boat and almost immediately flopped onto his back, breathing hard.

“Thank you,” he said over the sound of the waves slapping against the hull of the boat. “Thank you so much for being here.”

“Rest,” the woman said. “I’ll get you back to land.” She started the engine up and Adam found himself drifting off to sleep. The movement of the boat rocked him to sleep and his last thought before blackness took him again was that he hoped this young woman was good with boats.

He had no idea how long it was before he woke up again. He was on a cot in a small house and he slowly sat up. He shook out the cobwebs in his head and looked around. The place was dim but there were a few other cots. Where was he? He started to stand up but a little girl appeared in the doorway.

“Don’t get up,” she said. “You’ve been through a lot. You need to rest.” She walked closer with a bowl of cooked and shredded meat. She held it out to Adam who took it gratefully.

“Where am I?” Adam asked. When he started to eat, he found that he could barely stop to get any words out.

“Welcome to Hawaii,” the girl said. “My name’s Lilo. What’s your name?”

“My name’s Adam,” he said. “I’ve never even heard of Hawaii.”

“Really? Where are you from?” Lilo asked. “Everybody’s heard of Hawaii.”

“I’m from France,” Adam said. “I’ve lived in the same place my whole life.”

“But I’ve heard of France!” Lilo said. “You’re not very bright, are you?”

“He’s not from your France,” a voice from the doorway said. “He’s from some sort of Other France just like I can’t find any familiar islands no matter how far I go.” All of a sudden Adam recognized her from the boat, the young woman who had saved his life.

“This is really super weird,” Lilo said.

“Yes,” the woman said. “It really is. My apologies, I didn’t introduce myself earlier. My name is Moana and, like you, I’m not from around here. I’m from Somewhere Else.”

“What does that even mean?” Adam asked.

“I’m not sure,” Moana said. “I’m sure magic is involved, though.”

Adam remembered the feeling of being magically suspended in air far above the water. “That definitely feels like the truth,” he said. “I have a little experience with magic but nothing like this.”

“Oooh,” Lilo said. “What kind of magic?”

Suddenly, a blue blur flew out of the shadows toward Adam and he instinctively reached out to stop it. He caught in his hand a little blue-furred beast that was excitedly gibbering. He realized after a beat that he had once again transformed to The Beast.

“Oh,” Lilo said. “That kind of magic. Stitch! Don’t attack strangers!”

The big-mouthed, blue-furred thing called Stitch looked at Lilo and wriggled out of Beast’s grasp and landed on the floor. “Sorry!” it said.

“Sorry about that,” Lilo said, patting Stitch gently on the head. “He gets excited when there are new people. Especially when somebody is as furry as he is. Stitch is an alien. From space.” Lilo pointed upwards and Adam could not fathom what she could mean. He found himself following her gesture upwards but saw only the ceiling. He shrugged.

“Are you not scared by my appearance?” Adam asked, his voice once again coming out in a deeper growl no matter how much he tried to make it sound gentle.”

“I have a lot of experience with transformation magic through my partner,” Moana said. “He’s out taking a shift scouting.”

“After dealing with aliens, I kind of accept just about anything,” Lilo said. “You also seem pretty nice.”

“Lilo,” Moana said. “Why don’t we let Adam here get some rest. Then we can give him a tour of the island and introduce him to people.”

“Okay!” Lilo said. “Nani’s probably wondering where I am anyway and Pleakley and Jumba will want to hear about another visitor.”

“That’s fine,” Moana said. “Just don’t tell too many people, we don’t need a whole bunch of visitors right now.”

“See you later, Adam!” Lilo said, not agreeing to anything. She ran off before anybody could say anything.

“Rest,” Moana said. “I’m serious. You’re safe here. We’ll talk more in the morning.”

“Alright,” Adam said and eased back into the cot. “Goodnight.”

“Goodnight,” Moana said and stepped out back through the door.


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