Tag Archives: series

Diversity is more than skin colour and sexual orientation

This is a translation of my guest post for the Bücherstadt Kurier’s event „#kunterbunt: a feast for diversity„. You can read it in German on their page here: Diversität ist mehr als Hautfarbe und sexuelle Orientierung.

Illustration: Worteweberin Annika

It is a fact that we need even more representation of great female characters and people of all ethnicity and sexual orientation. We are all aware of this and something that I would only like to mention here to a limited extent.
If you like, you can read about why we need superheroines and how few all-female teams exist in my superheroine nerd week.
Instead, I want to draw attention to something that I take for granted, but that is still unthinkable in our media culture:
The positive representation of people who are different from the norm.

A while ago I wrote on my blog about the cancellation of a few tv shows and what I suspect behind them, as they all had something in common: they were different.
In the series there were great female characters (Agent Carter :'( , Girlboss), a colorful, queer mixture of characters (Sense8, Shadowhunters), overweight teenagers who felt comfortable with their pounds (Huge), unusual narrative styles (Galavant, Undateable), and and and…
Nevertheless, they came to an abrupt end.
Even favourites of the public like Lucifer stood briefly before their demise and I suspect the ratio of 6 women to 3 ½ men, plays a not insignificant role here.

So what’s the big deal about telling those stories?
Why must a story about someone in a wheelchair always be a tragicomedy (The Intouchables, Me Before You)? Why do people who don’t conform to the norm always need a makeover to feel better (The devil wears Prada and tons of other „chick flicks“ – and why are they even called chick flicks if there are men who like to watch them too?)? Why can’t stories about realistic people simply be told, as it is already the case in various (mostly self published) books (like e.g. in The Supermamas)?

I like to look at other projects of actors and actresses that I liked in a series or a film. Recently I „binged“ Gotham and informed myself about the actor Anthony Carrigan. I noticed that his appearance in the series is not cosmetic, but that he suffers from Alopecia areata, an autoimmune disease that has caused him to lose all facial hair (hair, beard, eyebrows and eyelashes). I didn’t even notice that he has no eyebrows and eyelashes, well, not conscious until I actually paid attention to it …
What I’m getting at is: I saw an interview with him on YouTube, and the basic statement didn’t leave me alone:
When he still had hair, he was typecasted for the „Pretty Boy“ role, without hair he is offered fewer and almost only bad-guy roles. An offer of a romantic leading role would surprise him positively.
And my wheels start turning right here. Why? What’s so bad about not giving such roles to a great actor just because he lacks facial hair?
Without thinking about it for long, I could think of several settings where it could work – and none of them would be on the sickness or Nazi track.
As a member of the metal and nerd scene it is simply incomprehensible to me that no scripts are written that would make such a role possible for him – and it itches my fingers to let the plot bunnies come closer, which are already staring at me from afar. After all, people who have the same hobby meet there and (superficially) it’s all about that and not about what someone looks like.
To get a complete picture, I looked at the series The Forgotten (also discontinued), in which Carrigan played the role of the charming semi-playboy (aka the „Pretty Boy“). At that time still with fuzzy hair and a subtle beard. And again and again I found myself wondering: Would the character also work without hair? Part of me says no, because the character is designed for this very pattern. The other part, who knows the bald, kind-hearted metalheads and short-haired/thinning IT guys in real life, says: of course, if the role is played authentically, it doesn’t matter if it’s with no hair.
Another aspect I paid attention to when looking was due to his own statement that he had become a better actor by accepting his illness. And I have to agree to that. His presence as Tyler Davies has absolutely nothing of the brilliance he brings to roles like Gotham’s Victor Zsasz or Barry’s NoHo Hank. Somehow you can tell that he was not feeling well.

At this point, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that you rarely find bald heroes. Luke Cage and Capheus from Sense8 are probably the better known examples besides Kojak and the Kriminalist (criminalist – a German crime show).

For women, of course, it’s completely different. The only bald women I remember in recent years were mostly cancer patients and only Miss Rosa from Orange is the New Black had gotten a reasonable (pretty cool) characterization outside her illness.
And that’s just wasted potential. In every direction…

But even with hair you can quickly get cast into questionable roles. Also famous for Gotham, Robin Lord Taylor has made his mark with his magnificent portrayal of Oswald „Penguin“ Cobblepot. The character is considered a gay icon by fans (I myself see him more as asexual/demiromantic, but that’s another topic), is allowed to appear eccentrically in a fur-covered coat and with elaborately styled hair and has a fascinating depth. Feels like a knighthood for the queer actor. However, some stages in his career suggest otherwise. In various police dramas his characters were accused of assaulting women and homosexuals.
The cynical part of me suspects that he got these roles because of his light eyes and (usually) blond hair. You know, the (other) Nazi cliché…

I find it a shame that mainstream media repeatedly insist on the same clichés and thus discourage other important projects that dare to take steps in modern directions from early on. I am thankful to all self-publishers who publish a book in which an outsider has the title role. I especially think of the fairy tale adaptations of Märchenspinnerei, where the otherwise hushed up topics of bullying, suicide, abuse, PTSD and much more are dealt with. Or the countless web comics, which also cover such topics (Strong Female Protagonist, Namesake,…) or web series like The Gamers, which offer a platform to the nerds of this world.

We need more of that. More in bookshelves and series.
Life isn’t perfect, so we should stop chasing after these illusions.
Life puts you in a wheelchair, makes you lose your hair or makes it grow in uncomfortable places. It makes you skinny or round as a ball, makes you feel good, or makes you need mental care. No matter in which variant it hits you, above all it makes you you who you are and that should also be granted to fictional characters.

Because imperfect characters are way more fun.

Pia Zarsteck/Bücherstadt Kurier

Anne

P.S. No plot bunnies were harmed in the creation of this article. They have kept a sufficient distance.

What’cha Watching Wednesday #15: Cancellations

I still don’t really have a plan for this year, procrastinated most of my remaining holidays instead of finishing anything. Yet, that let me to muse about some things I watched.

WWWWhat is this about?

Every other Wednesday I will publish a post in which I talk about (the latest or any episode of) a series or a (series of) movie(s).

In most cases this will be a collection of thoughts that cross through the different media.

You’re warned: There might be Spoilers.

Let’s start

One of the things I procrastinated with was Scorpion – a show about a group of geniuses accomplishing quite implausible feats – and as I’ve mentioned in previous installments, do I enjoy checking out other things interesting actors were in. In this case: Ari Stidham aka Sylvester Dodd (and I’m still not over the fact that he looks older than me in the show, but is ~two years younger than me in real life …).
Looking through his IMDB page I discovered a show that again reminded of something that seems to happen to me a lot:

I find an interesting show and then it’s cancelled.

The show I decided to watch was Huge, about a camp full of overweight teenagers trying to loose weight. At first I only wanted to watch the first episode to see if it was as tropey and full of cliches as I anticipated. Turned out it wasn’t. Turned out it had great characters and a well balanced way to deal with the teenagers different problems, which weren’t solely their weight. Insecurities, gender-identities, trust issues and many more. Sure most of the stuff wasn’t fully covered and only hinted at, but what can you expect to be accomplished in ten episodes that only run 35-40 minutes each? (Do I need to mention that I binged it in half a day – only paused for teatime cookies and dinner?)

Sure not everything was perfect. The revelation that one of the characters is asexual could have been more than just a passing note basically declaring „Nothing will happen between us, because I’m not into that sort of thing“, which would also have been more sincere if the character didn’t look like she was swooning over the other character most of the time (I know, you can be ace and still be in love with someone, but in this case it seemed only like a lame excuse to not have those two characters hook up.)
And don’t get me started on the movie from movie night … that horrible Ghost-Twilight thing of a crappy love story … I only know, that if I would have been there to watch it, I would have found a way to excuse myself from it … it was just so … wrong … I don’t even want to think about it …
I’m just glad the Bachelor – version they showed seems to be fake … though I wouldn’t put it past American television to have a show like that …
I just really hope those two things were intentionally exaggerated.

Anyway, this isn’t the first show I watched that got cancelled – and it probably wont be the last.

Agent Carter, Galavant, Undateable, Sense 8, Girlboss, …, they all suffered the same fate.

But why?

Why do incredible shows get cancelled?

There is one thing that all of the shows I mentioned above have – more or less – in common: Progress.
They aren’t your run off the mill show. They aren’t procedural cop show number 5364. They are different.

They have strong female lead characters, diversity, humor, critical topics, unusual concepts and many, many more things, but it doesn’t matter. It’s either not enough to make the average viewer enjoy it or the networks place the shows in slots that would basically make them invisible. All in all it’s not enough to continue.
And that’s the worst thing about it. Even if the fans love it, it doesn’t mean the networks will continue them, because they don’t have faith in them.

And here’s how these shows went down:

Agent Carter, an incredible show about an incredible character in its first season, got changed into a show about a woman finding love again in its second season.

Galavant, a fun musical extravaganza that didn’t take itself too serious and made some questionable choices in the second season. It simply stopped when it got interesting, when we finally would have had the chance to see the grown Tad Cooper

Undateable, used many tropes and wasn’t always funny, but they clung to life with the live improvisation strategy towards the end of their run, but it didn’t help them.

Sense 8’s fans managed to get them a last finishing hurrah, but after that we won’t see them again. We won’t know what will happen with Hernando and Leto, with Nomi and Amanita and all the other Sensates … it’ll be over …

Girlboss retold the success-story of self-made woman, but show wise, we’ll never know how and if Sophia accomplished her remaining goals.

And Huge? Put in a slot that barely anyone could properly watch, it ended before it really began. There are so many open plot lines, it’ll probably take a post of its own to just discuss those – and I’m fairly certain someone else already did that. We’ll probably never know what changes lie ahead of Alistair, what becomes of Will’s and Becca’s friendship and so on …

It’s frustrating, it’s annoying, but – with the exception of Sense8 and some other miracles – the average watcher doesn’t have a chance to change anything. The more I think about it, the more I’m grateful for Zombie Orpheus Entertainment/Dead Gentlemen Productions that JourneyQuest and The Gamers are fan funded. That we help them directly to make the magic happen.

Nearly forgot, there is something even worse than simply cancelling the show:

Broadcasting cancelled shows in other countries.

Agent Carter, ForeverMoonlight and a couple of other shows not running on Netflix, where they usually get a German dubbing by default, were for example broadcasted in German television. Imagine the frustration of finding out that, no, there will not be another season of that show you liked!

A part of me understands this last attempt at grabbing audiences and maybe, maybe another small chance at a continuation of the story. But seeing as it might take a year and more from the original broadcast to the broadcast of the translated version I don’t think this is a lucrative endeavor.

The other part of me just considers this to be awfully cruel. Just make even more people suffer from the decision to cancel the show …

What (cancelled show) were you watching?

What episodes (or movies) did you enjoy/dislike throughout the weeks/months?
Anything you’d recommend checking out?
What was the most frustrating cancellation for you (except Firefly, please …)?
Let me know in the comments below!

Final Words

If there is one thing I could wish for my birthday (today), then I might wish for some of the more amazing shows (Agent Carter, Sense8) to be continued or at least a more resolved (Huge).

See you around,

PoiSonPaiNter

What'cha Watching Wednesday #14

I know I said, I didn’t want to blog for a while, but these thoughts won’t leave me, so I’ve decided to do another of these in the new version I mentioned last time.

WWWWhat is this about?

Every other Wednesday I will publish a post in which I talk about (the latest or any episode of) a series or a (series of) movie(s).
In most cases this will be a collection of thoughts that cross through the different media.
You’re warned: There might be Spoilers.

Let’s start

with a question this time:

What do the creation of an online shop for vintage clothing and a senior internship program for an online clothing shop have in common?

They’re both about clothes, duh.
No, that’s not what I was going for.
Both stories, the first one presented in the Netflix series Girlboss, the second in the movie The Intern, are surprisingly feminist. They don’t do everything right, but it’s a start. 😉

Why is that?

  • Both shows portray the life and work of a woman striving for her own dream – which in both cases is about selling clothes, but well.
  • In both shows there are several other named female characters (even more so in GB), that talk tons of other things that are not boys. So they both pass the Bechdel Test.
  • They show different sides of the female lead: Strength, cunning & stubbornness, but also vulnerability & love.
  • They didn’t change themselves for anyone (especially not Anne Hathaway’s character whose character in The Devil wears Prada disappointed me on this).
  • They are not perfect and aren’t portrayed that way. They are human.

And probably some other things someone better equipped to spot these could tell you. Since I’ve learned about the Bechdel Test I kind of started paying more attention to it – while watching, reading and writing. We are so used to all these female troupes that it’s refreshing to see things handled differently. Netflix does a better job at this than the studios that put together The Intern – maybe mostly because it’s based on a book by a real person and they’re doing a pretty good job at diversity anyway, even if they then cancel the promising shows like this one – and Sense8.
Anyway, there are some quite promising things in these two and it’s nice to see that there is at least some change once in a while.

What surprised me most

Girlboss is a horrible title. I didn’t want to watch it because it sounded girly and just like another „chick-flick“ with no story other than girl meets boy and is eternally happy. Oh dear, was I wrong. After I came across it again and again on Netflix I decided to watch the Trailer and I did not expect what I saw. It actually made me curious about the show and I binged it during the course of a weekend. Yes, it’s that good.
The cast was diverse, the majority of the few (~six) male characters where gay, otherwise oriented or (in the boyfriends‘ case) eye candy. The females were all over the place, as two headstrong-eccentric-„Love-You-In-Case-I-Die“-bff-„sisters“, as mothers, as barmaids, as musicians, as IT-girls, as annoying customers and so on… The usual „balance“ was tipped off and it was brilliant. Sure the main character is still a very annoying and exhausting person, but hey, at least she’s a person and not a cardboard cut out like so many before her. 😉
Even while told from the male perspective it sounded interesting enough to see Robert De Niro be Anne Hathaway’s intern. When the story began it felt like Hathaway’s character was in a relationship with one of her co-workers, turns out she was a married mother of a little girl and even my fears for her ending up cheating on her husband with said co-worker were diminished as the husband was revealed as the cheating party. Sure it’s annoying that there has to be a conflict through someone cheating on the other, but the solution – also in Girlboss – was interestingly handled.
There was also some nice scene where De Niro’s character reminded Hathaway’s that she’s the  feminist of the two of them and how incredible the stuff is she accomplished. Which she actually acknowledged and made her decision for herself and not to please others.

What could have been better?

You probably noticed the criticism already: Tropes.
The Intern has more of them then Girlboss, but they are there and often quite annoying. I didn’t need the elderly female intern with no clue even how to drive. I didn’t need the barely characterized seductive masseuse. I didn’t need the clueless nerd-boy being forced to leave home. I didn’t need the eccentric, potentially gay, artist living at home with his overly supportive mother.
And most of all: I didn’t need the cheating husband/boyfriend.
Why does every (fictional) success story of a woman involve the man feeling left behind and in need of a different companion? Is it really that bad for a them that the other one becomes absorbed with fulfilling their dream? Do they really crave attention that much? (I know this is also a problem with male success stories, but those wives are usually portrayed as not that faithful to begin with…)
I’m pretty sure the stories would have worked well without (most) those (artificial dramas)…

What were you watching?

What episodes (or movies) did you enjoy/dislike throughout the week(s)/month(s)?
Anything you’d recommend checking out?
Let me know in the comments below!

Final Words

I’m by far not a feminist blog, but I felt the need to introduce you to these two shows, simply because they surprised me that much. If you want another example where it’s even more obvious try the Spanish „No Filter“ (also on Netflix) or if you like it a bit more modern: Roller Girl with Ellen Page.
I’m going back to preparing for my vacation.
See you around.
PoiSonPaiNter

What’cha Watching Wednesday #13

As I’ve been putting up finishing this for quite a while now, I think, it’s about time to face the truth:
I’m bored by this segment.

I don’t really want to get rid of it entirely, but I do think I prefer doing it similar to what I did with the The Gamer’s saga and Attacking the Darkness.
In this one I’ll give you a brief overview of the backlog and starting with the next one the „Specials“ will be the normal version – hence the change of numbering, even if this one would have been #11. You will still get the occasional movie review, but I think I’ll use this segment more for talking about several things at once and not focusing on one thing alone as I do in those.

WWWWhat is this about?

Every other Wednesday I will publish a post in which I talk about (the latest or any episode of) a series or a (series of) movie(s).

In most cases this will be a collection of thoughts that cross through the different media.
You’re warned: There will be Spoilers.

Let’s start

JourneyQuest

A while after the successful Kickstarter for Season 3 I just had to re-watch the first two Seasons of JourneyQuest and with that link included I’ll leave you to read what I already wrote about this incredible show with many female leads, incredible characters and a hilarious and interesting story line.
By the way: In this campaign you had the chance to coin a new Orcish Word, which I didn’t do, I went for the „Bardic Immunity“ Badge instead. 😉

As I’ve already helped with the subtitles on Attacking the Darkness, it was a no-brainer that I’d also apply for Season 3. Let me tell you: It’s an epic (pun intended) Season and I’m proud to be a part of it, even if it’s only through contributing to the subtitles (Episode 5 and 8 are completely translated by me, Episode 9 until ~3/4 minutes and there are edits by me all over the place 😉 ). 🙂

Glitch

Another gaming related web series that was partly created by ZOE, featuring at least four of their returning cast members (Jesse Lee Keeter, Conner Marx, Brian S. Lewis and Trin Miller). The series is about a young Game Tester (Glitch) who’s bored with his life and wishes that it would become more like a video game – which of course becomes true, but different then he expected, as now he occasionally gets stuck in Glitches. The idea is fun and it has some funny moments, but also some really strange and weird ones. It is especially strange to see Keeter, the Glitch actor, out of his Rilk costume (though I have to admit, it took me a while to recognize him in The Gamers: Hands of Fate too…).

And now for the other stuff I watched in bulk, but was too lazy to discuss:

When you start a series, you have to catch up with new stuff, so of course I watched Orange is the New Black Season 4, started with Lucifer Season 2, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D Season 4 (even if I forgot to talk about Season 3 – Episode 10-17 somehow) and Elementary Season 4 and continued with Marvel’s Netflix adventures and Luke Cage Season 1.

I think, I don’t need to discuss the horrible twist we saw in OITNB, it’s been discussed enough and I still think that losing Poussey (especially that way) was a bold, yet somehow necessary, move to stir up some things that are rarely talked about. She’ll be missed in the coming Seasons… (Did anyone read the book and knows if this really happened?)

Just as bold was the whole story telling of Luke Cage. I loved it. A cast true to the demographics of Harlem (even if that meant I had to watch it with subtitles, as I did not always understand people, but that’s a small price to pay), strong female leads that aren’t just there for the eye candy, important topics, no focus on unnecessary sex- (the one that we saw was an interesting contrast to the ones on Jessica Jones) or fight-scenes, everything that was said/done got straight to the point, interesting, multifaceted characters and all in all just an incredible narration (If your German is good enough, check out Joseph’s great review here: Luke Cage). The only thing I missed were comments regarding the Hulk who „broke Harlem“ during his last visit, though that was probably already water under the bridge.
As I summarized on Twitter, I’d quite like a show with this premise:

Daredevil’s theme song, Jessica Jonesdiversity & Luke Cage’s storytelling. Anyone knows something like that? 😀

S.H.I.E.L.D. and Lucifer had some nice turns this Season (Ward finally gone, Ghostrider, Uriel & Mom, telling Linda the truth), but haven’t gotten much different to what they showed last Season(s). Elementary is basically the same old story, but a nice diversion.

In addition to that did I also complete Dead Like Me (including the Movie), Lost Girl and got up to date with The Librarians. Where the first two had interesting premises the result was soon boring and weird (never entirely got over „Der Waffelhaus“, that grammar mistake just makes my skin crawl…). Both shows could have been something great the Grim Reapers and the Succubus? Yeah, that made for interesting story material, but it focused too much on trivialities and too little on actual character development. After Rube was gone Dead Like Me went downhill, probably even before that. Just like Lost Girl made a dive down with the whole Hades-thing and love-triangles/rectangle-thing and Bo’s horrible case of Main-Character-Syndrome, it got annoying after the second iteration of her saving the day because of … reasons … Other than that was it a great show, with a relatively diverse cast and an interesting premise. Even if again all the characters I liked either ended up dead or leaving the show…

The Librarians on the other hand still needs to find its footing. It’s fun and I really liked the movies preceding it, but there isn’t much in terms of character development. What little they had was either retconed or undermined by other actions. And the Point of Salvation was one of the better time-loop episodes I’ve seen so far and a prime example of what I just said. Both Season finales (And the Loom of Fate and And the Final Curtain) had me on edge and it’s generally great story telling, if I would get some deeper connection to the characters (and Agent Baird – I always want to hear/read Bard somehow – wouldn’t turn into a lovesick puppy whenever Flint is around…)…well, we’ll see what Season 3 brings.

I also tried Alphas for two episodes (two-parter unfortunately), but it didn’t quite catch me. My venture into Hemlock Grove lasted for Season 1 and the first Episode of Season 2, but I haven’t continued yet. Maybe it’s partly due to the fact that I want to know how it’s written after Season 1, as I’d like to see if the twist is as well written, as it is portrayed and partly because that ending was kind of good and I’m not sure I like the turns made in that first Episode of the second Season. Maybe I’ll try continuing one day, who knows.

When I’m not catching up with up-to-date shows I started watching Castle. Before I’ve only seen a few Episodes here and there when I was at my Dads at the right time, but now I’ve seen Season 1-4 and a couple of Episodes of Season 5, but I’m currently taking a break as a part of me is afraid to see what will become of Castle and Beckett and how it’s handled, while the other one wants to finally finish the Advent Calendar I have planned for this year. >_<

Hence my Tweet:

Is it weird that I started watching a show about a writer doing research, while I should be writing myself?

Different movies

Most of the movies in this list came through Netflix. I just scrolled through different categories and decided to watch them on a whim. This way I watched No Filter – I believe – my first Spanish movie (with subtitles) and I was highly surprised and amazed by the concept of a timid woman just blurring out everything that was on her mind. Some people need to do that more often. 😉 It was refreshing and well made, a recommendation for everyone who wants to try something different. 🙂

I also discovered Ellen Page’s Roller Girl and Tallulah through this. Roller Girl was great and it just shows that sometimes being yourself means becoming someone entirely different and that’s absolutely okay. More people should watch it. 😀 The pretty much only thing I got from Tallulah was an earworm of Sonata Arctica’s song by the same name. It was strange, jumpy, yet still well played, but not really my kind of movie.

Neither was The Fundamentals of Caring which felt like it wanted to capture the success of Intouchables, but failed pretty horribly. I did not want to see a five minute scenery shot of a boy peeing into a beautiful lake … Most of it felt forced and meh, not even close to the French stories‘ atmosphere.

Aside from new discoveries did I also re-watch some „old“ favourites. Namely Alfie and Avengers. Honestly I have to say that I did not remember Alfie as dark as it was and with a look into the Behind the Scenes stuff regarding the original version, I now know that it could have been worse. It’s a fascinating character study and known far too little. Unlike the other that is part of a high grossing franchise. I just felt like re-watching it.

It was a tiny bit a preparation for Doctor Strange that I saw in cinema earlier this month, but not really. The movie is visually amazing. The story is nothing new, Doctor Strange reminded me a lot of Cumberbatch’s other roles (mostly Sherlock though), but was still filled with some funny jokes and stunning visual effects (though – unlike Ghostbusters – they didn’t use the coming-out-of-the-screen 3D effect, at least not that I noticed… 🙁 ). My favourite was certainly the Cloak of Levitation. 😀
Only downside for me was, that you couldn’t really grasp the time line. Some say the initial accident takes place during Iron Man 2, potentially making the „man with the twisted spine from experimental battle armour“ the one from Hammer Industries – which is denied by Marvel – otherwise this could be Rhodey after Civil War, yet he is seemingly too old and it’s also denied or unconfirmed. We also see the Avenger’s tower which wasn’t really like that during the time – it wasn’t even Stark Tower back then if I remember correctly. If it all takes place after Civil War then the training sequence is far too short. Sure Strange might be skilled and desperate to learn, but mastering something in a couple of months, when he isn’t really mastering his own hands after weeks/months of surgeries and mistrials? Sound unreasonable to me – and I know we’re talking about magic, but come on…have at least SOME realism here….
(Again, if your German is well enough, check out Joseph’s review: Doctor Strange).

On an unrelated note do I now own an official movie poster after participating in a selfie-competition by Marvel and the KaDeWe (Kaufhaus des Westens, Mall of the West) Berlin. >_<

What were you watching?

What episodes (or movies) did you enjoy/dislike throughout the week/month(s)?
Anything you’d recommend checking out?
Let me know in the comments below!

Final Words

I hope you enjoyed this little look into the different stuff I watched throughout the last months.
Which version of the WWW do you prefer? The one were I split everything or were I focus on something?

No idea when I’ll even make one of these again, but make sure to keep an eye out for more information on my Advent Calendar. 😉

And I’m off now to attend the advanced showing of Fantastic Beasts and where to find them with Unmei and one of her friends as a birthday present for her. 😉

PoiSonPaiNter

What'cha Watching Wednesday – Special: Evil RPGs

Well, I spontaneously decided that you’ll get another Special instead of the usual update, as I am a) too lazy to finish that one and b) have too much to say about one of the films which will also c) lead to a Lost in Translation post (potentially next week).

WWWWhat is the WWW generally about?

Every fourth Wednesday evening I will publish a post in which I collected the thoughts I had throughout the week(s) while watching the latest or any episode of a series or maybe even a movie.
Depending on how my time allows it, the comment will also be for those that I watched that day.
You’re warned: There will be Spoilers.

Introduction

Last time I told you about The Gamers, this time I want to talk about some other projects Zombie Orpheus Entertainment (ZOE) is involved in – or created.
The movies are connected through the cast and crew, but still have a different approach to the same topic. But read for yourself.

Dark Dungeons

This short movie tells the story of Debbie and Marcie who come from a Christian background but are drawn into the depths and evilness of the world of RPG. Though through their ordeals and the loss of Marcie, Debbie finds her way back to Jesus.
Anyway.
The movie is based on the tract Dark Dungeons by Jack T. Chick LLC (from 1984) that tells the same story in an abbreviated version and therefore has some really strange views on the whole matter of what RPGs are really about.
It has a lot of „WTF“ moment, where you’re not entirely sure what you should think, especially when Roleplayers are put on a pedestal that is usually occupied by the sports-teams, people are chanting „RPG“ and are so deeply engrossed in the game that they forget reality. At the same time – especially the latter – it is something that could be true. People could lose themselves in a fantastical world and it’s a bit frightening to see it escalate like that on the screen – even if you still can’t take it too seriously. Not uncommon, however, is the portrayed fear that playing RPGs and letting your imagination grow through it is a gateway to hell and even though I’ve never experienced that first hand, do I know the weird looks one gets when you try to explain what it is your doing (and of course all the media hysteria towards it whenever something goes wrong…). It’s usually frowned upon to participate in such things, because their childish and ridiculous, so seeing it be the „in“-thing on a campus is kind of incredible, yet still really weird, as it’s portrayed so over the top that it’s not believable any more. Though I do believe the latter stems from the tone of the original tract that portrayed it similarly.
It’s interesting to see the two main characters switch personalities throughout the movie and the gaming Mistress is positively frightening, just as some of the other characters were slightly psychotic, very strange and stuff (I guess, I still don’t really understand the part with the Chuthulu-cult… guess that was a bit too much for my taste)…
Regardless of the characters involved do I believe that the most horrible scene of the whole thing was the book burning (which is especially weird, if you think about the fact that someone dies in this movie o.O). Everything hurt when I saw those beautiful (and expensive) things thrown into the fire…I guess I myself am too deeply involved to be unfazed by this. 😀
To sum this up: It’s a very weird and very strange movie and you should watch it yourself to make your own opinion – and to have a little more fun with:

Attacking the Darkness

Attacking the Darkness (AtD) is the first Mockumentary ZOE created that was filmed on the set of another feature film (guess which one ;)). It documents the trials and errors of a very Christian couple that is filming their own independent feature film to show the horrors and evils of gaming, especially RPGs. But they soon realise that film making is not really an easy business…
The movie was released for a week during the Kickstarter campaign (and is currently only available on private setting – so thanks to Producer Chris Ode for giving me the okay to include the link here) to help fund the DVD production and I took the chance to watch it.
Later on a few poor souls that volunteered to help with the translation received a link again. Well, who am I to pass off the chance to add German subtitles to something that I’m sure some of my friends (with less English knowledge than myself) would certainly enjoy? 😉
Anyway, (and I’m basically rephrasing a comment I made on one of the Kickstarter-Updates) when I watched the film during the trial run, it was okay, but not more.
Now that I’ve went through it minute by minute, I’ve seen way more stuff that makes it incredibly special. Things you don’t catch through casually watching it.
It was a lot of work, it was a bit annoying (especially the puns were hard to translate and this’ll be the topic of the Lost in Translation post I mentioned), but was totally worth it and I started to appreciate this film even more for all it’s hidden complexities.
As it is a Mockumentary the movie is told by either showing interviews with the different characters or their interactions as filmed through different cameras while „filming“ the movie.
This also means that the following very confusing description applies: The actors from AtD play the actors hired to play the characters – who incidentally are the same people/characters in the other movie – in the movie „Attacking the Darkness“ whose filming is documented in AtD. I really hope I got that right. >_<
Additionally, were most – if not all – of the interviews improvised, meaning that at least the actors who portrayed the main characters Harmony Hope and Brady made up everything they said in their interviews on the spot and the camera just kept rolling. The movie feels kind of similar to what you know from „Behind the Scenes“ stuff, but as the topic – and some of the characters – can be quite over the top, you never really forget that this is all make belief.
The characters themselves range from totally adorable (Lucy and Pastor Doug) to absolutely frustrating (Harmony Hope) or questionable (Pastor Canon, Godrick), but all so very realistic and refreshingly human, with a lot of puns, jokes and very human reactions.
My highlight certainly was when „real Gamers“ were introduced to the set and one of them turned out to be Gary from The Gamers (From what I read during the campaign, was there also a scene with Lodge, but it was cut because it made things too complicated). 😀 Though it is weird to hear Christian Doyle’s voice in almost every interview – except the one with his character – but not really know if it is Gary asking those questions after realising how much fun he could have with the creators of this movie or just a random interviewer that just happens to sound like him – which Gary’s questions in the interview would suggest as he talks to Brian Lewis (Brady) and wouldn’t say those things to the Producer.
[Edit: I just found this Tweet again that I do not want keep from you:

Yeah, I’m really good at (mis)reading stuff…]
All in all does the movie have several moments that are just really funny or absolutely adorable – the whole sub-plot with Doug and Lucy was adorable and provided quite a few funny moments and I do believe „Cheesus“ is still one of SaJaehwa and my favourites, even if it was tricky to translate – , but also some very questionable things (one word: credits).
One of the gaming unrelated things I appreciated most was that one of the pastors – Doug – was not portrayed as religious dimwit – which is most likely thanks to the fact that the actor is a real life pastor (Doug’s whole journey and story line was great and reminded me somewhat of Coelestin’s in Warlords – just with way less physical pain). 😉
Apart from the fact that the English „pastor“ is a very confusing term for me (it is the translation of both „Pfarrer“ – catholic pastor/priest, that’s not allowed to have a family AND „Pastor“ – evangelic pastor, that’s allowed to have a family), is the portrayal of clerics in modern media usually quite frustrating.
When I was preparing for my confirmation (Yup, I’m actually Evangelic – or Protestant or Lutheran or however you translate „evangelisch“) we had two incredible pastors in our and the neighbouring parish: Funny, open minded, musical and not too stern and focused on teaching us the religious aspects of our belief. They didn’t tell us that we needed to do this-and-that to be good Christians, they simply gave us a good example of how to be a good person. I still occasionally remember the hiking trip to Norway with them and if it weren’t for the few prayers and some biblical stories and songs you wouldn’t have thought this to be a religious group trip (Incidentally was this also the trip that turned the son of one of the pastors into a Metalhead – thanks to me and Avantasia – as I learned years later from Lil‘ kat, when we discovered that I „knew“ her best friend :D).
Anyway, what I want to say with this is: I get that it’s fun to ridicule religion/religious belief and that there actually are a lot of people in the profession that deal with things like Pastor Canon does, but in the end it’s people like Pastor Doug who actually help people through their difficulties, that show them that religion can be a good thing. And I think it’s incredible that they included him in the cast – even if in the beginning he seemed to follow Canon a bit too closely for my taste, but I do blame that on Harmony who wanted to hear such ridiculous prayers…
Either way, he came into his own and to answer ZOE’s question from another of their Kickstarter-Updates again:

„(Also, for those of you who have seen the film, who would want to see a Gamers special episode with Pastor Doug and Lucy leading an RPG session for the youth group?)“
Do I want to see more of the characters that easily became my favourites?
Hell – I mean – Oh, yeah! 😀

What were you watching?

What episodes (or movies) did you enjoy/dislike throughout the week/month?
Anything you’d recommend checking out?
Let me know in the comments below!

Final Words

I hope you enjoyed this little look into this special project and are at least a little curious about what I’m going to tell you about creating the German subtitles for Attacking the Darkness. 😉
I’ll probably share this post again, when I receive my copy of the movie (with „my“ translation on it 😀 ). 😉
PoiSonPaiNter

What’cha Watching Wednesday: The Gamers-Special

Instead of my usual What’cha Watching Wednesday I’d like to focus on a certain project of Zombie Orpheus Entertainment (ZOE) and Dead Gentlemen Productions (DGP) that I re-watched since the last instalment (The other stuff will be included in the next official one).

WWWWhat is the WWW generally about?

Every fourth Wednesday evening I will publish a post in which I collected the thoughts I had throughout the week(s) while watching the latest or any episode of a series or maybe even a movie.

Depending on how my time allows it, the comment will also be for those that I watched that day.

You’re warned: There will be Spoilers.

Introduction

All the stuff listed below are „Fan supported“ and „Creator distributed“, which means they were financed through Kickstarter campaigns or continued support over their creators Patreon pages (ZOE, DGP). There is no TV channel/network or huge sponsors behind it and the fans‘ praises and complains are heard directly by the people involved – not that there is much to complain about…
People can also be directly involved, depending on their pledge-levels in the campaigns. They can become extras, producer for a day, chat with the cast/crew and other stuff. During the productions people are also allowed to announce a „Red Card“ – that they acquired during the campaigns – that sends an actor or other part of the production into a 5-min time out when they said or did something offensive. 😉

Anyway, let’s take a look at

The Gamers Saga

When I first watched JourneyQuest I soon discovered The Gamers: Dorkness Rising and was easily taken into it, before I realized it’s part of a larger story, but let me start at the beginning…

In 2002 a group of independent film makers got together to create something very special, a story about gamers, with gamers, for gamers that turned into a whole saga consisting of so far three feature films (The Gamers, The Gamers: Dorkness Rising and The Gamers: Hands of Fate) and an in progress series.
The respective stories follow a group of table top gamers (one in the first one, one for part two and three) and their campaigns, but instead of just talking the audience through what the characters are doing, the actors also take up the roles of their characters and show what is happening during the game, sometimes narrating or commenting it with gaming terms (Attack names, „Critical Hit“, etc.).

If you ever participated in a table top round, be it D&D, Pathfinder, DSA (Das Schwarze Auge)/TDE (The Dark Eye), Shadowrun or one of the many other RPGs, you’ll soon be engrossed in this universe. The characters act natural, the jokes are funny and the more you get involved, the more fascinating it gets. You can also see the increase in production value and lessons learned from previous endeavours. It’s great to follow the paths they took (this pun was not intended, but worth keeping, as the game they play is – based on? – Pathfinder) to create this saga and certainly worth many, many re-watches.

But let me tell you a bit about the stories of the different parts…

The Gamers

In the first part the group of gamers plays its way through a campaign with unusual methods, like thief Nimble sneak-attacking/backstabbing someone with a ballista, the Mage of the group being replaced by another one that is accepted on the spot and all the while annoying their poor dorm mate that just wants to study. In the course of their quest to defeat The Shadow! The Shadow? The Shadow… the gamers ultimately lead their characters through a portal into their own/our world, where the characters end up slaying them (their players).

It’s basic, it’s simply, it has quite a few stereotypes, but it’s still not over the top and quite enjoyable and of course the begin of something special. 😉

The Gamers: Dorkness Rising

Part two follows a new group of gamers lead by Lodge, who just wants his friends to finish a run for once, so he can turn it into a new module for the game. After some failed attempts they decide to add more players to the group, which are Joanna a newbie gamer and a NPC-character Lodge himself plays. With some difficulty (Gary wasting Level 4 spells on frying innocent NPCs and constantly forgetting that he’s actually playing a female; Leo’s bard that keeps dying, when he isn’t seducing random NPCs) they manage to beat the campaign that Lodge has designed. Though as the reward Joanna chooses for their quest enrages one of the gamers (Cass, Joanna’s Ex and the I-beat-every-game-there-is min/max wannabe-leader of the group) he storms off and leaves the group, while the rest remain dumbfounded.
Alas the others do not share his view and quite like the decision and want to know how the story continues, supporting Joanna and her way of gaming.
When Lodge finally releases his campaign Cass returns and reluctantly congratulates him and asks if he can return to the group, which the former accepts, but still leaves him standing, so Cass can apologize to Joanna.

This one went deeper than the first one, we learned more about the characters involved and got to like them. I really do enjoy Garys way of solving problems in-game, they are just absolutely hilarious at times and always totally chaotic. Even if I like all the gamers, he is kind of my favourite…
I really enjoyed the resolution of the „gamer girl“ sub-plot. The way they supported Joanna was just incredible and I like the characters even more for it. This part basically made me fall in love with the saga – though JourneyQuest is still a tiny bit above it. 😉

The Gamers: Hands of Fate

Part three takes a different turn. As life gets in the way of their actual gaming the members of the party started other adventures (Joanna and Lodge became a couple, Gary and Leo are busy with work), but here especially Cass learns the hard way that some games aren’t as stupid as they look from afar. Leo hosts a Card Gaming competition in his shop and Cass mocks it, but wants to immediately hook up with the only female gamer, who flat out rejects him and tells him the only chance he has to get a date with her is, if he gets her queen on the throne. Naturally Cass accepts the challenge and lets Leo guide him into the game „Romance of the 9 Kingdoms„; a story line based, user influenced card game; and ends up hijacking Lodge and Joannas trip to GenCon to include their whole group so he can participate in the tournament that would decide the fate of the story line within the game. Throughout Casses games we learn that the characters within the nine kingdoms have a mind of their own and slowly but surely become aware of what is happening to them. With some funny side stories (Joanna over-reacting over a ring she found in Lodges pocket, Gary exacting revenge on a mascot of a TV show that caused the cancellation of one of his favourite shows and Leo just trying to keep his people in check – and stumbling across a murder that is told in a novel where I’m not entirely sure if it’s tie-in, but sounds amazing…) the story culminates into an interesting, but foreseeable ending – at least on the card game story line – that I don’t want to spoil here. 😉
Finally a year after the Con the group manages to game again and continue their quest in the dungeon of The Shadow! The Shadow? The Shadow… yes, the same one.
In a cruel turn of events the gamers are transported into the realm of the game, while their characters appear in their world.

With the additional gaming world and the focus on the card game this part feels different than the previous one. It’s kind of strange for me to watch as well, as Cass is the most annoying character of the group, but I like how his ego gets a damper after the whole ordeal. I just really enjoyed the character development this Season – even if Joanna was the difficult one this time around. It’s also great to see that most of it was actually filmed at a con – even if I’m not entirely sure if it was the real GenCon and or the „fake“ ZOE Con, I lost track of what stuff was used from where [Edit thanks to Andi Dopieralski, see comments]- and it makes me want to attend an American con even more (we do have some Comic Con mock ups by now in Germany, but I don’t think they are anywhere close to the originals, I’ll find out in October).

Well, and this is where everything changes…

The Gamers: The Series – Season 0

It begins with a short that shows the old characters introducing themselves to the new ones which sets up the events of future Cross Over story lines (The Gamers was produced by DGP, the other two by ZOE).
The series 0 (zero not O) itself shows what happened to the original characters that got stuck in our world (at least they will as soon as the last part is released).

It’s a nice change of pace as the characters are narrating their fates that are visually shown. I already liked Nimble in the original movie (hello, ballista?), but his short made me like him even more, elven archer New Moon just has the most ridiculous short and I’m not entirely sure if I completely understood the one for the mage Magellan… The one for warrior Rogar is yet to be released, so I can’t say anything about it.

I’m really looking forward to the continuation of the series, where both stories connect…

So if you liked what you read – and maybe watched – so far, make sure to check out the Kickstarter DGP is running right now to fund the first episode of The Gamers: The Series! It will be a 45 min long episode that starts setting up the path that leads to The Gamers 4 (another path joke, I’m sorry…kinda…): The Gamers: Episode 1.

Natural One/Humans & Households

These two are also part of the Gamers universe, but more like add-ons than necessary to understand the whole plot.

Natural One takes Gary and Leo to Canada so Garys (possible) future brother-in-law can face his „Trial of Initiation“ in order to be allowed to marry Gary’s sister Monica. This time the game they play is set in a Cyberrun universe, but the concept is the same.

It is possible that this story is a prequel to ZOEs show Rude Mechanical, but I haven’t gotten around to actually watch it to make sure.

Humans & Households goes the other way round and shows a group of fantasy-gamers play a mundane game set in our world, where they have to survive crossing a street full of cars and house guardians (a very cute dog) and the simple fact that everything sounds too good to be true („The key is in the letter box“ – „It’s a trap!“).

While they’re fun, they’re not as great as the other parts as they’re too focused on being stand alone, but that shouldn’t stop you from checking them out as well. 😉
H&H is especially funny considering that they basically show how weird gamers act in a given situation (see trap-dialogue) and their kill-first-ask-questions-later mentality.

What were you watching?

What episodes (or movies) did you enjoy/dislike throughout the week/month?
Anything you’d recommend checking out?
Let me know in the comments below!

Final Words

I hope you enjoyed this little look into the universe of The Gamers and maybe you find it in yourself to help them continue to make this incredible show. I certainly did. 😉

Now I’m off to translate a few more minutes of Attacking the Darkness between sneezing, coughing and trumpeting (aka loudly blowing my nose).
Yay, for the Festival-flu…

PoiSonPaiNter

What’cha Watching Wednesday #10.1

As I told you, am I trying to get a proper schedule for this thing.
Lately I was more into watching then writing so a lot of stuff has piled up since the last time I did this, but as it is quite a lot I’ve decided to make this the update #10.1 and put some of the stuff – mostly the movies I’ve seen – into the separate post that might or might not be published next week.

WWWWhat is this about?

Every fourth Wednesday evening I will publish a post in which I collected the thoughts I had throughout the month while watching the latest or any episode of a series or maybe even a movie.

Depending on how my time allows it, the comment will also be for those that I watched that day.
You’re warned: There will be Spoilers.

Let’s start

Supernatural – different episodes

As Unmei was catching up with the series in German, I simply couldn’t help myself to invite her over to watch Changing Channels and The Real Ghost Busters together – from the amount of times I mentioned these episodes it’s pretty clear that I quite like them.
Supernatural is a series that goes to a lot of dark places, so the humour in it makes it even more worthwhile and these two episodes are some of the prime examples for this.

As I wanted to find out something about the table in the Bunker I also re-watched Slumber Party a while back. I never quite understood why they had to include Oz as another dimension and then basically drop the whole concept again afterwards (with exception of a brief mentioning in There’s No Place Like Home) and the story felt a bit filler-ish, but it was interesting enough on it’s own to learn a bit more about the Bunker and it’s history.

Heroes Reborn

When they announced that there would be another dive into the world of Heroes I was both thrilled and suspicious. The latter was heightened when it was clearer and clearer that a lot of the old cast would not return. Still, I wanted to give it a try and checked it out after missing the initial air date…

Let’s say I kind of understand why it was already cancelled after this one Season. It was interesting, but also really confusing at times. If you saw the initial show you’re used to jumping between characters and story lines, but the connections here seemed way more implausible than there.
The characters weren’t as thought through as the initial cast, I missed a lot of actual character background or development and smother bridges between them, not to mention proper motivation.
It felt rushed and without heart.

It didn’t help that the old characters were either never mentioned again (Sylar? Peter?), killed off off screen or turned into side characters and plot devises (Noah, Hero), with Matt’s turn being one of the biggest WTF-moments.

Everything simply felt like: We want to give this one last try, but we aren’t actually trying.
I do believe they tried to catch new audiences with the exclusion of the old stuff, but as a continuation it just felt too distanced from it.

Still, not everything was bad. The whole premise with the solar flare, the time travel aspect and the way the special people were treated after Claire’s declaration felt natural in a very frightening way. The camera shots and the new abilities were interesting and quite impressive – even if they felt a bit too powerful at times.

If you want to visit this world one last time: Check it out.
If you’ve never ventured into it: Stick to the old stuff until you get there.

Agent Carter – Season 2*

Where the first Season of this show was incredible, this one had a few very frustrating additions.
The last few episodes of the previous Season dealt with Peggy’s feelings for Steve Rogers and how she finally let go of him, but that is no excuse to plunge her into a love triangle … though she doesn’t really notice this herself until it’s pointed out to her towards the end of the Season.
But the audiences sees it all, the flirting, the awkwardness, the mere focus on something that should get way less screen time (I do believe I’m not romantic enough to enjoy such things).
The Geekmom’s put it into interesting words in their article: What’s killing Marvels Agent Carter – go have a look at it!
Yet, it redeemed itself when Jarvis and Peggy discussed this matter, with Peggy clearly stating that she didn’t want this.

This Season also had a few more comedic elements in addition to the quite grave story line. My highlights certainly were the interactions between Mr. and Mrs. Jarvis, such lovely and incredible people to have/protect ones back – or deal with your Flamingo. 😉

Apart from the focus on Peggy’s love life was the whole premise of this Season quite interesting. A lethal substance, another hidden organisation and incredible characters doing their best to fulfil their respective plans. Peggy is as charming and amazing as ever and I wouldn’t mind seeing her journey until the foundation of S.H.I.E.L.D. and even then I wouldn’t mind seeing more.
I just hope they don’t let it drift further away from the initial awesomeness of the first Season.

Galavant – Season 2*

As I happened to finish Season 1, when Season 2 was just waiting around the corner it was easy for me to continue with this glorious piece of entertainment. It’s just so much fun…

The narration this time around was a bit weird though. It dragged on until the last few episodes where then suddenly everything happened at once.
Still, it offered a chance for some much needed character development, even though the focus was turned away from the actual titular character onto the former „villain“ King Richard, which I don’t mind, as he is way more fun than Galavant anyway. 😀

I’m not quite sure about the the inclusion of Roberta though, as that part of the story felt rushed and was quite frustrating in regards to her attitude, which basically translated to:
„I don’t want to see you die“, so I’m going to the island of crazy cat ladies instead of fighting alongside you to help you prevent your death…
She was a capable fighter after all, at least that’s what I understood from her introduction.
That’s really a wasted opportunity for a another kick-ass female warrior like Isabella – though that doesn’t mean that I felt more connected with her this time around.

Another down point was also that they changed the actor who played Galavant’s father and it was no longer Anthony Steward Head, but Greg Wise. 🙁
Not that that made the episode any worse, it’s just always weird to exchange an actor like that.

My highlights of this Season were Richard’s displays of his naivety/ridiculousness. I really loved the scenes with the Pony with Horn and the dragon Tad Cooper is an awesome addition to the team! 😀
But there were a lot more great and fun scenes, even if a few were a tat bit too weird and/or weirdly transitioned. And you still shouldn’t think too much about the story itself, as that is basically run of the mill fairytale story telling.

Still, I really hope they’ll continue making Seasons for this one, as it’s simply feel good television at it’s best.
If you feel down, go watch Galavant, it’ll cheer you up! 😀

* I wrote the text for Agent Carter and Galavant before it was clear that both shows would get cancelled, but I didn’t want to edit them.
Let me just say: It’s the first time I was up to date with a show that got cancelled and it feels really strange knowing that you like a show some supervisors in a TV channel don’t like enough to continue investing in. Both shows are amazing in their own regard and it’s a pity we won’t see more of them unless they get picked up by a private channel-thing like Netflix or Hulu.
I certainly wouldn’t mind that. 🙂

Elementary – Season 4

This Season was a bit strange.
After the quite spectacular – for Elementary – finale it seemed like this one dragged on quite a bit.
The  addition of Morland Holmes felt strange last Season already, but now we saw way more of him. Not just because he stayed „because of the relapse“ and doesn’t even mention Mycroft until episode 9, but his story line gets stranger and stranger.
I get that he has a lot of influence and is willing to go to great lengths to get what he wants, but did they need to take up a whole Season to show that and subsequently make him Moriarty’s successor?
They pretty much just wanted Sherlock to have a proper adversary again, but that this would turn out to be Daddy Holmes is quite a far stretch – even if his son is a genius.
I understood why Tony Currans character got jealous and wanted to eliminate his competition.
But the whole thing still felt forced…
Equally forced felt the inclusion of Mittens – Sherlocks new girlfriend.
It’s great that they address a lot of mental problems within the show, but they pretty much want to stir the viewers away from the typical JohnLock that comes with the story – even if in the case of Elementary they turned John Watson into Joan Watson.

All in all a quite strange Season with not really any memorable cases.

Undateable – Season 3, Episode 10-13

For some reason did I think that Undateable was already over in December, but apparently it wasn’t and still had some episodes left, even if SaJaehwa had to tell me that. 😉

I stand by my earlier claim that this is simply is a fun concept show and I wouldn’t mind it being picked up for another Season.

Sense 8/Orange is the new Black – different episodes

Since we decided to now get a proper Netflix account I re-watched a couple of episodes of these two shows that I previously had only seen with missing subtitles. It’s great to now have the possibility to do so. 😉

Daredevil – Season 2

Speaking of Netflix: Of course did I also watch the new Season of Daredevil…

Like Agent Carter this Season wasn’t as good as its predecessor, but it was still well made.

The inclusion of The Punisher made for an interesting addition to the cast and storyline, while Electra seemed a bit out of place, to top that off with all the other stuff going on it just felt like too many topics mashed into too few episodes.

Matt’s character development was all over the place, yes he had to deal with stuff from his past, but did he have to turn ever which way the wind was blowing?
Some of the decisions he made were reasonable – saving people for their own sake – some weren’t – neglecting his duties as a lawyer and bailing during important meetings, regardless of his initial promises.
So this was quite a frustrating turn for a formerly interesting character.

Karen stayed pretty much the same, even if it felt a bit weird that she’d get accepted into Ben Urich’s old job so easily. And the weirdly hinted affection towards the Punisher was strange too.

Speaking of which: He was amazingly portrayed. You could grasp the inner conflict, but also see the blood lust and skill behind his killings. I’d even go so far as to say that his fights were more fascinating than Daredevils, especially, as he so nicely put it: When he knocks people down, they stay down.
The fights of Daredevil are interesting, but it does get quite annoying that his opponents always get up again for another round…

As for other annoyances: The whole hand-thread felt too rushed, too overly complicated and weird. Just as Electra and Stick themselves. I think within the first few minutes of her appearance I was already done with the former. She’s just not the kind of person I’d get along with, so watching her is difficult for me.

The one that surprised me the most this Season was Foggy, but here I’m simply quoting my comment from Geekritique’s Review:

To me it seemed like he was one of the most reasonable people this and the previous Season.
He made his choices – even if they hurt him – to stay away from Matt, but still protect his secret; to choose the law above the vigilantes; to stand up to his best friend and tell him what he thinks of his actions.

Of course he gets back to him or is afraid something happened to him, but you can’t completely erase a bond of friendship like they had in a matter of hours or days.

Yes, he’s the happy-go-lucky comic relief, but he is also a compassionate and caring person that uses his jokes to cheer up other people intentionally.
Yes, he’s afraid to go to court without Matt, but they’ve always been a team and he is used to being the man in the background, so stepping up to the front row was a huge and terrifying step for him – that he mastered incredibly.

And I really liked the “twist” with his meeting with Hogarth.
Maybe through working with Jessica he’ll understand Matt better, who knows?

Eastwick/The Class – Season 1

As I said did I enjoy The Punisher’s portrayal quite a bit, so I looked up Jon Bernthals other acting jobs. Which in turn brought me to the two one Season-series Eastwick (based on the novel The Witches of Eastwick) and The Class (basically a prolonged class reunion sitcom). In both series he was not at all like Frank Castle, he was pretty much the jock that didn’t want to grow up from High School.

The series themselves were (more or less) interesting, especially Eastwick.
Pretty much everyone knows the movie version with Jack Nicholson, Cher, Susan Sarandon and Michelle Pfeiffer, but this was still a refreshing new take on things.
It was also fun to see so many different actors from other series/movies in so different roles. Only now writing this part, did I realize why Rebecca Rominjin’s artistic Roxie looked so familiar, but of course she’s Mystique from the early X-Men movies. Then there is also Kat who is a timid turned confident housewife here and a ruthless Blutbad in Grimm and so forth.
I wouldn’t have minded the series to continue, but it did drag on quite a bit, especially when it came to the women discovering their powers and then rushed into things towards the end without much explanation. A lot of things were quite stereotypical and over the top, but the charm of the atmosphere and chemistry between the characters made up for it quite a bit.

The Class was one stereotype after the other as well and while it had a few good jokes and a few nice characters the overall story line was quite obvious and boring at times. Still, as the episodes were only ~20 minutes long it’s one of those easy watches no one really cares about. Plus-side: Sean Maguire was incredible as Kyle.

Moone Boy – Season 1-3

I’m not sure how I discovered this one, but it’s really funny.
I knew (and liked) Chris O’Dowd from(/in) the IT-Crowd, so I couldn’t help myself checking it out as the series sounded fun.
The story is set in the 80s/90s and follows young Martin Moone throughout is everyday adventures in a small town (Boyle) in Ireland which aren’t as normal as this sounds. Quite the contrary. Martin is the youngest sibling in an otherwise all female household (except his father, whose opinion doesn’t matter as much as he’d like to think), with three older sisters that couldn’t be more different (the Goth, the church-goer, the chubby one) and has a lively imagination and view on things. So it doesn’t come with a surprise that he has an imaginary friend called Seán Murphy (portrayed by O’Dowd) that does not always manage to stop him from doing extraordinarily stupid things.

It’s strange, it’s weird, it’s funny and you’re pretty much grinning throughout the whole episode. It doesn’t always take itself seriously, but that it is capable of doing that is brilliantly shown in the Season 3 finale.
It’s a lot of fun even if it is sometimes quite hard to understand the Irish accents of the actors – at least it is for me.

Many of the adventures are supposedly based on O’Dowds own experiences growing up in Boyle, so I’m not entirely sure what to think of that. 😀

Lucifer – Season 1

Somehow I got my hands on the trailer for this series and as soon as the Pilot aired I couldn’t help myself but to watch it three times.
It was just that good.
Unfortunately could the Season not uphold the standard they set up with this episode and it tuned down from „wow“ to „okay“ quite soon.
The characters were interesting and Lucifer himself fits easily into the line of characters I prefer watching (see here), but their actions soon became repetitive and it dabbled on like that until three quarters into the Season.
Then finally came the twist and the story picked itself up again, pushed the cop-show aside and gave us something interesting that makes you want to see how the story will continue with the next Season.

Even with the sometimes rigmarole story the actors played their parts quite well. I tried to remember what Tom Ellis was like as Robin Hood in Once Upon A Time (the first one, before Sean Maguire took over the role), but I failed because I was pretty much taken in with his charisma, snark and darkness that brought the childish, but devilish character to life. He did a fantastic job at that, even if some of Lucifers antics were quite annoying, but I don’t blame such things on the actors portraying them. Just as I wouldn’t blame Lauren German’s (I’m still not over her surname) for Chloes antics and wide-eyed reactions, but with a character like Lucifer you hardly can do anything else but stare in disbelieve.
The other characters didn’t really get that much screen time, but used what little they had quite well (I still can’t believe Amenadiel is played by the same guy that played Robin Wood in Buffy – I remember him looking different o.O ).

The highlights certainly were the moments Chloe and Dan’s daughter Trixie appeared, but Mazikeen and Dr. Linda were quite great too.
And not to forget: This show has an interesting sound track (devil-themed) and a really cool opening, even if it is quite short.

Some things were easy to see through (Lucifer’s only vulnerable while Chloe is around), others were a bit more complex (Dan was behind the shooting), but the strangest turn of events was that the angels have a mother that is/was locked up in hell. >_<
I don’t know the DC/Sandman-lore enough to know what that is about so that at least leaves me curious (and confused).

But it did make me do two things:

#1 I started reading the Sandman comics (currently at Chapter 41, which means I’m done with Fables and Reflections and A Game of You)

#2 I watched

Constantine

I do consider myself a Marvel-person and don’t really have that much connection to DC except an occasional watch of a movie or episode, so I was quite surprised to find a character like John Constantine amongst their roster.
It’s been years since I watched the Constantine-movie with Keanu Reeves, so I had pretty much a clean slate again in regards to the character.
Not that Matt Ryans portrayal of the character had anything in common of what little I remembered from the movie.

His Constantine was dark, witty and didn’t give a damn about most of the things he had to face and it was fascinating to follow. Though I do admit that some of the stuff didn’t really sit well with me.

It was weird that the character introduced in the pilot wasn’t seen afterwards, her replacement Zed felt like a mix between wannabe doe-eyed love-interest, damsel-in-distress and something that could have become an incredible psychic force. Could have been, as this was again a series only lasting one Season, though I wouldn’t have minded a couple more as it was a nice, darker alternative to other series.

Even in this short amount of time her male counterparts were better formed, had deeper backgrounds and were easier to connect to – especially Chaz (who falls again into the category „Oh, I like him“ – „And he’s dead“, but luckily with a twist 😀 ). I don’t know if this would have changed with the story lines they wanted to tell with upcoming Seasons, but well, we’ll probably never know…

I’ll probably also never know why I expect the character to be pronounced „Constantin“ (tin as in teen) and not „Constantine“, but that might have to do with my own language background – and possibly the movie where they used the German pronunciation…

As I quite enjoyed Matt Ryan in the role I looked a bit into his IMDB and Constantine’s Wikipedia page and soon found that there was a Constatine/Arrow Cross-Over episode (Haunted) which of course I then watched. He felt different – more tired – in it but it was nice to see that they bothered to bring him back instead of giving someone else the role. Maybe through this we’ll actually see more of him (even if it was said that it was a one-time-thing)?

I also watched the Torchwood episode Meat again, as I couldn’t remember seeing Ryan there, but of course, if you’re used to seeing someone with dyed blond hair and only saw them with their natural dark hair colour briefly that’s to be expected, I guess. It felt that his accent was even thicker in Torchwood than it was in Constantine, but Welsh is still a bit more understandable than Irish…

Criminal Minds: Red Team/Criminal Minds (The Fight)

Another thing I watched was the Criminal Minds spin-off Red Team, with Ryan as one of the major side characters. It was an interesting twist to the cases and procedures I knew from the „mother show“, but at the same time a bit more repetitive.

A lot of either series is done through talking, but I never noticed this much re-talking through a case in the other series. I never really connected to any of the characters, they didn’t only distance themselves from each other, but also from the audience and that’s not really a good premise to keep going (which they didn’t as the series was done after one Season as well).

I liked that they added Garcia from the original series to the mix, yet it felt a bit strange that there was otherwise no connection to them – though it was also weird that she was the only one suitable for their needs and had the time to help them anyway.

All in all: Interesting concept, mediocre realization.

Misfits – Season 1-5

As I said did we get a proper Netflix account so I had the chance to watch the five Seasons of Misfits. I had heard good things about it from Black Kat, but never got around to watch it.

It started off as a quite interesting twist on the whole „accidental superpowers“ thing and I really liked that the powers reflected the different personalities of the characters, but it drifted off into banality and who-is-shagging-whom, climaxing with a guy that could literally fuck away other peoples powers (and yes, that pun was necessary…).

The initial cast was entirely switched out by the fourth Season (similar to what happened with Being Human), but they never really build up the new ones and just added one after the other in addition to many new side characters.

They made a few strange choices (the time-travel-love-thing between Simon and Alisha), had lot’s of dirty humour (especially when they switched from Nathan to Rudy in the role of the annoying side-kick), but still managed to get a few interesting story lines (The Guy in the Mask, the Lactomancer, Rudy’s third personality).
And of course the „running gag“: The killing of probation workers.
Though by the time they got to the fourth one it was weird to see how cold and apathetic they handled the whole killing and burying bodies thing … It was also strange that they buried their own loses amongst the other people and didn’t give them a proper funeral.

Lot’s of stuff was left unexplained (Were Jess‘ and Finn’s powers still their original ones and what character trade made them get those? What did they and Rudy actually do to get into community service? Most of all: What the hell was that storm? … ) and there was only one time where they had to actually face consequences, but still got away with it.

As time travel is involved it also had the obligatory „I’m going to kill Hitler“-episode and while it was interestingly executed, I do have to say that I do not believe the British Isles would be allowed to keep speaking English … (and lay off on the Hails). But that’s a topic for another day.

The acting was incredible. Simons change from creepy kid to decent hero felt a bit rushed at times, but still natural, as if he had had it always in him. Rudy’s split personalities were also easily to distinguish by mere body language and way of talking and that’s just the best of them.
What was funny for me was my first encounter with Kelly.
My first thought when I heard her was „Heh, she sounds like Tom“ (Tom being Michael Socha’s Werwolf character from Being Human), followed by „wait a minute – did that just say Socha?“ when the amazing intro played. That made me look her up to see if they were related (as she also looks a lot like him) and yeah, now I know they’re siblings. 😀

Long story short: The first Season is good, two and three are okay, the rest is meh.
You can watch it, as it still has a few interesting things (and Rudy Two is frankly adorable), but the overall story is boring.

Different movies

The different movies I’ve seen will be covered in a separate post.

What were you watching?

What episodes (or movies) did you enjoy/dislike throughout the week/month?
Anything you’d recommend checking out?
Let me know in the comments below!

Final Words

I hope you enjoyed this little look into the different stuff I watched throughout the last months.
Fingers crossed I’ll manage to put this out more regularly, it’ll be much easier that way.

See you around,

PoiSonPaiNter

On a Side Note #4: The Schedule

As you might have noticed did I manage to write – lo and behold – one measly post in Mai.
I had planned more than that.
I wanted to finish another What’cha Watching Wednesday, I wanted to continue my travel log from 2014, I wanted to continue the Fanfiction stuff, that’s been waiting since December and many more things.
But I didn’t do any of it.
Instead I went to couple of things, binge watched a couple of series and was basically not in the mood to write anything.
Since I ended The Weekend Guess my motivation to write something regularly dropped immensely (I haven’t even gotten around to add the other question-collections…).
I can’t even figure out what I would like to do on a regular – weekly ? – basis.
It should be something that takes as little time as the guess, but is just as entertaining/interesting.

What to do?

I can’t make a weekly song-suggestion as I partly did that in the first segment of the Guess and DarkFairy is doing a great job at that already.
I don’t really want to answer questions on a weekly basis like the Montagsfrage (Monday Question) or the Gemeinsam Lesen (Reading Together). Both are great opportunities to think about stuff you usually wouldn’t think about, but they’re also difficult as you kind of have to come up with something to stay in the loop.
With the Reading Together there is also the problem that you have to be reading something to be able to properly participate and even if I got a more or less regular reading habit again, this feels forced sometimes, especially as I’m only able to write the post properly in the evening after work.
Besides Monday and Tuesday are days where my motivation to do something useful after work are even worse than usual. But maybe I’ll still restart doing the Reading Together at least, who knows…
I’m currently considering to start a new segment for the weekend, where I talk about the many series I’ve watched (Series Satunday), but that would not fit the bill of an easy weekly post – and I would probably run out of series and motivation quite soon – like I did with the WWW.
Which in turn I thought about trying to do bi-monthly or monthly, depending on how much I watched, as it is quite some work to put down all my thoughts.
I don’t know if anyone would be interested in „Found on the Internet“ post, where I talk about stuff I came across.
I’m not even sure I’d like doing that.
I probably would rather share it through Twitter and Facebook than blog about it.
I’d also like to continue introducing people to Webcomics I’ve read or the language stuff I started way back and I think that might be more interesting than the „random stuff from the Internet“-thing.
There is also a lot of stuff, I still want to talk about that I haven’t gotten around to write about. So it seems like a proper schedule for all the longer stuff is in order.

So, this is the plan

Every second Wednesday there will be a post:
One week a WWW, one week a Webcomic (Webcomic Wednesday, so to speak).
Starting: Next week with a WWW (not sure yet, if I give you the complete one or a split version, of what I currently have)
Every other Monday there will be a post about a Concert or Festival I’ve been at – the Music Monday, even if some will still be called In Concert/At the Festival.
This way I hopefully get on track with my logs about them and maybe even talk about a few interesting long players (again).
Every other Tuesday or Thursday there will be either a post about my travellings – the Travelling T-Day – that’ll cover random stuff from the On the Road category, as well as actual travel logs or a Translation T-Day, covering the Lost in Translation stuff, I still want to talk about.
Maybe I’ll really go for the Series Satunday as well, but I’ll see how the stuff above will turn out before I make a final decision here – though the LiT stuff would fit here as well.
There is also another idea for the weekend that I’ll present you on Sunday (there’ll also be another Your Picture – A Story over at DF.PP Entertainment by the way).
I really hope I can somehow pull this off. It’s so frustrating that I can’t manage to keep up a decent schedule, so I felt it was necessary to give myself a kick in the butt to change this.

What do you think?

Does any of this sound interesting/boring?
What would you like to see more of?
Let me know! 🙂
PoiSonPaiNter

Lost in Translation: The Wesen of Grimm #2

Even though I am still not caught up with the show – again -, I’ll continue with looking at the different names for their Wesen in terms of what they really mean and what they should have been called to turn the names/terms into proper/actual German.
This is of course not meant to offend anyone involved in the show, but as a German native that really likes the German language, this just bugs me whenever I watch the show and they use it.
But let’s have a look at the different words, so you can form your own opinion.

Jägerbar

Another frustrating thing about Wesen-names in Grimm are the missing dots (Umlaut), as the German bear is still a Bär after all.
But even with the Umlaut the word doesn’t make more sense.
Though, first let’s have a look at the actual term before we get into that.
Jägerbar consist of the words Jäger and Bar, while the first is the German term for hunter the second – without the Umlaut – is the word we use for bars/pubs, turning the name of a creature in the name of a pub for hunters. If you go a step further and use the Jager-version (Jagerbar) that I’ve seen on a picture, you get an even more alcoholic meaning (Jagertee is an alcoholic beverage created by hunters)…
Other meanings of Jager also include the name of a certain sail or the offspring of a Jaguar and a Tiger. 😉
Still, I don’t think either of these were the intended meaning.
So let’s add the Umlaute and make it Jägerbär (as they are named in the German version).
Here we now have Jäger and Bär, the Hunterbear, which feels a bit redundant as bears – from what I know – are natural hunters anyway…
In addition to the double meaning there is also the Roh-Hatz, the initiation ceremony of the Jägerbars, but before I get to that I feel the need to digress into the plural of bear…
One bear is a Bär, two bears are Bären, to create plurals we barely add an -s at the end of a word, we are more friends of the -e/en (incidentally the German plural of Bar is Bars too, but I guess that’s because we took that word from English), therefore the actual plural would be Jägerbären, which sounds even more ridiculous.
Anyway, let’s take a look at the raw-Coursing, which is the literal translation of Roh-Hatz. Just like saying the bear is a hunter the creators of these words felt the need to accentuate that what you are hunting/coursing is raw (meat). I would never have guessed that.
For clarification a Hatz (Coursing) is/was a kind of hunting (alternative translation Raw-Hunt), where three or more dogs chase after a certain prey to catch/kill it – much what the Jägerbars do with their human prey – but it is mostly forbidden to do that any more.
Still, it’s a fitting name for the ritual – at least the Hatz part.
I’m still certain that if you only used variations of  Bär and Hatz you’d have basically the same things.

Ziegevolk

This is one of the names that miss a letter to make it understandable for a German native, as the grammatical correct way to write Ziegevolk would be Ziegenvolk, meaning a population (Volk) of goats (Ziegen) or goat-like things (similar to what I told you about the German name of the Hässlichen last time – alternative meaning of Volk: nation).
Speaking of German names; in my initial Grimm Review I wrote a bit about the Ziegevolk:

The “Ziegevolk” […] became the “Ziegendämon” (Goat Demon”), while still portrayed as the original version in the Grimm Diaries

I do believe the demon sounds a bit more fitting, yet I don’t really see them as demon’s either. Still, Ziegenvolk for me sounds like a herd of these Wesen and not an individual.
Interestingly the plural of Ziegevolk seems to be Ziegevolk as well even though the plural of Volk is Völker (nations -> Ziegenvölker), which strengthens my association with the word being used for a herd.
As I’ve already mentioned the Grimm Diaries, let’s have a look what their entry actually (frustratingly) reads:

Die Ziegevolk, die manchmal auch als Bluebeards, sind eine Ziege-wie geschopf, das sah ich mit meinen eigenen Augen in München im winter 1805. Scheinen sie nicht gewalttatig. Die Gefahr kommt aus ihre instinktive Notwendigkeit der Rasse und scheinen sich nicht zu kummern. Menge uber die Qualitat.
Sie haben kurze Hörner wie eine Ziege.
Why frustratingly?
I’m literally covering my eyes at this monstrosity over here, as it sounds like a translation run through Google translate… – I only understood part of it through thinking the English-way and reading the translation provided on the Wiki itself (Ziege-wie? o.O ZIEGE-WIE???!! Seriously?! o.O ).
Well, this is how it should read:
Version 1 (changes in [ ] -brackets):
Die Ziege[n]volk, die manchmal auch als Bluebeards [(Blaubärte) bezeichnet werden], sind eine [ziegenähnliche G]esch[ö]pf[e], d[ie] sah ich mit meinen eigenen Augen in München im [W]inter 1805 [gesehen habe]. S[ie s]cheinen sie nicht gewaltt[ä]tig [zu sein]. Die Gefahr kommt aus [der] instinktive[n] Notwendigkeit der Rasse [sich fortzupflanzen(?), es scheint sie nicht zu stören] und scheinen sich nicht zu kummern. Menge [ü]ber die Qualit[ä]t.
Sie haben kurze Hörner wie eine Ziege. (<- The only correct sentence…)

Version 2 (easier readable version):
Die Ziegenvolk, die manchmal auch als Bluebeards (Blaubärte) bezeichnet werden, sind ziegenähnliche Geschöpfe, die ich mit meinen eigenen Augen in München im Winter 1805 gesehen habe. Sie scheinen nicht gewalttätig zu sein. Die Gefahr kommt aus der instinktiven Notwendigkeit der Rasse sich fortzupflanzen, es scheint sie nicht zu stören. Menge über die Qualität.
Sie haben kurze Hörner wie eine Ziege.
English:
The Ziege[n]volk, sometimes referred to as [Blaubärte (Bluebeards)], are goat-like creatures as I saw with my own eyes in Munich in Winter 1805. They do not seem to be violent. The danger comes from the necessity of the race [to repopulate, which does not seem to matter to them]. Quantity over the Quality.
They have short horns like a goat.
I still do not know what they mean by „necessity of the race“ I do believe there are a few words missing like „to reproduce“, „to repopulate“ or something similar to it that’s why I added the „fortpflanzen„, which is the German term for it, but the last few sentences of that paragraph are lacking any kind of information anyway, so it’s all a bit of hit and miss here (with more miss than hit to be honest).

So, yeah: Missing letter, completely wrong description, right now I feel like they don’t even care about being anywhere near correct usage of the language…
Not to mention the absurdity that is their Geruck gland, which would actually be the Geruchsdrüse (smell gland, the s being a letter indicating that it is a gland for smell). I’m aware that the English pronunciation of the German ch sounds like a ck, but spelling it out does not improve this.
Though, I do have to say that I like the Bluebeard connection as that is quite an interesting Tale (if your German is good enough) in itself.

Reinigen

Where Hässlich was based on an adjective Reinigen is based on a verb, which makes as much sense – or not. Anyway etwas reinigen means to clean something and as Reinigen are based on rats, it seems to be quite a far stretch as rats usually aren’t really associated with being clean, even though they are in fact quite cleanly (reinlich). Still, Reinigen to me feels like someone has to clean something up (Grimms cleansing the world of Reinigen perhaps?) and not like the name for a species – or whatever exactly a Wesen is.
In German they tried a different approach by calling them Nagerstein. It makes just as much sense.
Nager or Nagetiere is the German term for all kinds of rodents (including rats, mice, guinea pigs,…), as for the Stein (stone): No idea how that happened. I know Stein is occasionally used as reference to places, but I do not see any reason why this would be in the name for this Wesen. Besides: Nagerstein either sounds like a weird village or something for rodents to chew on.
For some reason the word „Ratigan“ is stuck in my head when I think about these Wesen, I know it’s the name of a Disney villain, but well, it does seem more fitting than Reinigen…
Interestingly enough the Reinigen have two other terms associated with them: Reini-bashing and Riesen-Ratte. The first is basically a word play on Reinigen-bashing, so not much to do there.
The Riesen-Ratte is a strange „spelling“ of Riesenratte or riesige Ratte (basically meaning giant/large rat, the first being actual animals). The term is used for several Reinigen merging together into a giant entity to attack a foe. An alternative name for this is Rattenkönig (rat king), which in folklore and real life is basically a bundle of rats whose tails are intertwined, so they didn’t do that much wrong with this one at least.

Eisbiber

There is not that much I can say about Eisbibers, accept that it feels like another redundant name and the plural being wrong, again.
While beavers (Biber) aren’t that much known to live in ice (Eis) water and are more common in rivers, one can argue that the water in the river is indeed quite icy, so you’d at least have some reasoning for the name (and actual beavers mate during winter when their dams are frozen over). Still, as with the German version of Hässlich (Rattentroll) you could also argue that it sounds that there are more kinds of Bibers (Flussbiber/Riverbeaver or Tropenbiber/Tropicalbeaver, perhaps?).
Then again, we don’t really know the ancestral family tree of Wesen, so who knows?
Like I said before is the German plural rarely formed with an -s and in case of the Biber it even remains the same word.
Incidentally – and on an entirely different note – do I remember a trip from primary school where we took a river tour and one of my classmates asked whether we’d see „Bibers, Adlers“ and others using the wrong plural for either of them. I do believe Beaverers and Eaglerers would be a sufficient way of showing what Bibers and the like feel like to a German native.

Bauerschwein

Another missing letter here with the Bauerschwein as the grammatically correct usage of Bauer (farmer) would be Bauern- (as in Bauerntöpel/farm idiot or bumpkin), making it Bauernschwein, the farmer pig – or peasant pig as it’s officially translated. You could use this word to describe them, but you don’t have to. It sounds like it’s describing an animal on a farm and not a creature walking around outside of them, but that seems to be a basic issue with these names.
And just like I said before: It also implies there are different kinds of pigs (Schweine).
Which might be the case as there is the mention of a Wild Schwein (actually Wildschwein, meaning wild boar), but no one is entirely sure if Monroe simply used a different name or is actually referring to a different Wesen…
Though there could be an entirely different take on the word Bauernschwein as well, as Schwein in German – just as pig/swine in English – doesn’t only stand for pig but also for nasty person and thus making the name refer to a nasty farmer or even farmer bastard (farming bastard? bastard farmer?). Not entirely sure, but this seem to be a more fitting usage to their character, even though it’s basically an insult.

References and Notes

Well, that’s it already.
I hope you enjoyed this little excursion into the usage of my native language in this particular television show.
My major source for names and appearances of the different Wesen is this  Grimm Wikipedia and obviously my experience with the show itself. (Did I ever mention that I really like Wikipedias? Oh, yes, I did.)
As you can see from the title is this post part of the Lost in Translation-series. If you’re interested check out what other shows toy with the German language or culture. If you watch/ed a series or movie where German was/is involved, let me know and I will check out if they have done it justice.
Do you have a Wesen or phrase you want covered? Let me know and I’ll make sure to add them in one of the next parts.
Otherwise I’ll just keep going through the episodes adding the new Wesen to the list.
PoiSonPaiNter

What'cha Watching Wednesday #9

As part of the Nerd-Week I present to you the ninth instalment of the What’cha Watching Wednesday, which again obviously covers more than one week.

WWWWhat is this about?

Every other Wednesday evening I will publish a post in which I collected the thoughts I had throughout the week(s) while watching the latest or any episode of a series or maybe even a movie.
Depending on how my time allows it, the comment will also be for those that I watched that day.
You’re warned: There will be Spoilers.

Let’s start

Supernatural – different episodes

Since the last time I guess I watched a few episodes, but I can’t really find them in my chronic…what I do remember is watching Tall Tales and The Monster at the end of this Book in German with Unmei. Both episodes are amongst my favourites, but it’s still weird to hear Sam and Deans German voices…(Chuck’s, Gabriel’s and Cas‘ aren’t that strange, but those two definitely are…)
A couple of weeks ago, Wren and I discussed me watching a couple of episodes in German and to pay closer attention to the translation. I didn’t manage to do much in that regard, as I was far too busy with my Advent Calendar, but I did find a few interesting changes in those two episodes above, but I’m nowhere near completing anything. When I do, it’ll probably be part of the Lost in Translation-series.

Doctor Who – Season 9, Episode 4-13 + Christmas Special

I don’t really want to go into too much details regarding the different episodes. In a way they were all incredible and I partly discussed this over at Geekritique, so to quote myself:

[T]hroughout the whole series I was torn between enjoying the episode and wondering what was going on, so the final[e] was both satisfying and utterly frustrating. 😀

Why was I frustrated by the finale?
Well…I for one enjoyed Clara’s death in Face the Raven. It was great closure. She finally overdid it, all her yearning for adventure and not caring for the consequence had finally brought her into a situation that was out of her hands.
And then The Doctor had to go spoiled child on the whole thing, go back and save her. As that was one of the topics of this Season, we more than once learned that that too has consequences. E.g. saving Caecilius – the one that frowned him his face – caused mayhem in Torchwood, saving Ashildr created another immortal (seemingly even a more powerful one than Jack Harkness) and now, through saving Clara he nearly caused the end of the universe.
So in a way I’m frustrated that he was so obsessed with her to even go down that road, but relieved that he now shares Donna’s fate regarding his memories.
Personally I do not want to see a Spin-Off with Clara and Ashildr.
The Husbands of River Song on the other hand was quite a great Christmas Special. It had a lot of laughs, a lot of emotions and was a great closure to Rivers storyline (like Last Christmas and Face the Raven could have been for Clara). The interaction between River and The Doctor was great and I wouldn’t have minded to see more of it, but that is probably quite unlikely.
All in all did I enjoy the Season. The topics were darker (and there was quite a high death-count) and it was a bit annoying that pretty much every episode had a life-or-death-situation, but it was still interesting. Now I’m curious what the next Season will bring.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – Season 3, Episodes 2-10

I’m not entirely sure what to think of the Season so far. It was thrilling, exciting and a lot more, but it still left a bitter taste.
Why? Because after finally killing off Ward he is brought back as new vessel for Hive (if I read that correctly). I really hope that thing didn’t take up his attitude, as that would be really frustrating…
It was great to see some character development for Coulson, though it is a drastic change, but a welcome one. Every character – except Ward, who simply walks in circles – has had some development this Season and that’s great. I’m just afraid that the story line with the Inhumans and everything goes too fast before the actual MCU movie will air in 2019(?)…

Deadbeat – Season 2, Episode 7-13

Sooo…I’m caught up with this show now and I have to say the ending was kind of surprising. Though it seems that he will have a new ghost that will be following – tormenting – him next Season…
I’m still not sure what to make of it, but I liked how there at least was a bit of character development in the last few episodes.

Undateable – Season 3

A Season full of Live-Shows, there is only one thing I can say about this: Justin credible, I mean just incredible – sorry couldn’t resist the pun. 😉
But seriously a bunch of comedians and actors performing live in front of an audience is just a lot of fun to watch. The jokes and the story might not be the best, but the whole package is what makes this show enjoyable.
And there are a few gems in the jokes, especially when they mock each others projects. Or when they mess up and try to work their way out of a fiasko of sentence. 😀
One of my favourites from A Box of Puppies walks into a bar is definitely:

Summer, Fall, Winter, Spring. I just hope we get to do this for a few more Seasons.

From what I know they get the storyline and a few additions the others don’t know, but everything else is improvised. I think that is a great concept that very well should go on for another few Seasons. 😉
Though it does remind me a little of the Schillerstraße a German comedy-show that put different comedians into a situation before a live audience and while they played out the rough plot (there was no script and they all had to improvise) a game-master gave them instructions that they had to include into their play like „hug that person without warning“, „imagine there is something in your shoe“ and lot of way more ridiculous stuff. Ah, I miss that show… had to watch an episode after writing this back in December, but I wont go into more detail.

Reaper – Season 1/2

For quite some time now I wanted to finally watch this show that I enjoyed watching when it first aired in Germany. Well, after finishing Deadbead, I just went for it.
It has a lot of ups and downs, open story lines (whatever happened to Cady? Did she really just went to New Mexico and never returned?) and quite misogynistic plot lines, even if a lot of it was used as obvious clichés that was disappointing.
The show walks on the thin line of being utterly ridiculous – over the top acting and plots – and being incredibly dark, while dabbling more into the former than the later, but those dark moments are what make this show special. I can’t really describe it, but the characters grow on you, even the minor ones like Gladys and Tony – who are pretty cool.
In the two Seasons Sam had the most character development and part of that was quite, well, scary the more the Devil tried to pursue him and drive him towards the dark side. Though I really didn’t like the Sam is the son of Satan storyline – see Cady – and am glad to read that the producers had something else in mind. Check out this interview from 2010 if you don’t know yet: How Reaper would have ended.
I certainly wouldn’t have minded a continuation.

Jessica Jones – Season 1

Describing what it was like watching Jessica Jones seems difficult. I do get why people call it feminist or even go as far as to claim that it’s sexist towards men, but it’s so much more than those labels put onto it. It deals with many important topics in incredible ways, has many great characters and their interactions are natural and understandable, though for me personally a few things went too fast, but I guess that’s life. I also couldn’t care less about the different sex-scenes, but I always consider those to be annoying as they don’t really get the story forward, even if they – as they do in this case – advance the characterization.
(VERY) Unusual for me is that I like the main character, especially because she reacts so understandable and normal. She’s not over the top, she’s not able to solve stuff because she’s the main character, no, it’s because she’s determined and willing to do whatever is necessary so other people don’t have to suffer like she did. And that is awesome.
If more series and movies followed the example of the storytelling done in this Season we’d have an incredible change in the industry, though I guess that’s more or less wishful thinking.
I enjoyed the nods towards the larger MCU and Daredevil and I’m curious how it all will continue.

Galavant – Season 1

As you know have I joined Twitter recently and there I saw stuff regarding this show that I hadn’t even heard about before. So I watched the trailer, couldn’t stop grinning and had to check it out. What can I say? Who could resist Timothy Omundson as singing King Richard in a ridiculous „comedy extravaganza“? 😀
No seriously, about half of an ~20 minute episode is taken up by musical numbers, but they’re not always light-hearted numbers. Oh, no, no, no… I think my personal highlights were two peasants (Chef Vincenzo and handmaiden Gwynne) singing about their horrible lives and short life expectancy and deciding to spent the rest of it together and squires singing about their masters, but the guest-songs by Ricky Gervais‘ and Anthony Stuart Head’s characters were also quite fun. Or other really fun numbers where the characters tell each other what they actually think.
I guess the weirdest thing is that everyone is so okay with people randomly starting into songs – though some complains are made. 😀
The characters might not be the most creative ones, but they’re fun and not always entirely what they seem to be and that’s enough for a serial like this.  They’re enjoyable and dorky and fun, so what else do you want? So far the Chef, Gareth and of course Richard (it’s in the name, really) are pretty much my favourites and Galavant himself and especially Madalena quite on the other side, though I’m not so sure where to put Sid and Isabella… We’ll see if that’ll change with the new Season….

Once Upon a Time – Season 5, Episode 1: Dark Swan

At some point I tried catching up with OUAT again, but I kind of didn’t get past the first episode. I liked the twist that the Dark Ones dagger is the tip of Excalibur, but it is also a bit disappointing that they included yet another connection. Just as they re-used the whole „we get back to Storybrook and don’t know what happened“ – though I enjoyed that even the characters commented on that. Still, I’m curious how Dark-Emma actually came to be and stuff, but I still haven’t gotten around to watch it.

Psych – different episodes

I really felt like watching Psych again, especially after watching Galavant and reading about the connection from one of the movies I’ve watched.
Psych is simply one of those shows that you can watch time and again and it remains funny. The characters and the interaction between them, the stories, basically everything. It’s a pity the show is over, but it was an incredible ending. Besides not many shows can pull of a Musical Episode like that (even though that was a Season prior to the series finale). 😀

Sherlock – The Abominable Bride

This was an incredible special, especially as from all the promos you’re made to think that it solely takes place in 19th century London, but no, we get titbits that actually move along the current day story line and that is just amazing.
I enjoyed it greatly – even though I should probably re-watch it due to the lags in the stream – and it was great seeing all those characters again and this time in a new, but still similar setting and way.
I really liked the underlying storyline with the women of the show and Molly Hooper posing as man was a really interesting addition that nearly had me fooled as I wasn’t sure if it was her or not. And of course Moriarty and the whole explanation of how he survived ingrained into the old case.
I just really liked this special…

Different movies

I’m not sure I’ve watched that many movies these past few months. If at all.
I know I re-watched Mara, but I’ve told you about that one on Monday.
After the last HGWAnime we watched About a Boy and were quite fascinated by the fact that Nicholas Hoult’s face didn’t really change that much during the last 10+ years. 😀 It’s a fun movie, a bit weird at times, but still quite fun, but that’s British humour for you I guess.
Well there also were the Christmas movies – I tried finally watching The Grinch in English, after only knowing the German version, but simply didn’t feel like it -, but I don’t really want to got into details here, as there were too many. When I’m at my Dad’s place I watch WAY more TV then when I’m in my own flat (like 90% more, as I rarely even turn it on).
Aside from that did I check out Lars and the Real Girl after reading that the titles of Supernatural’s LARP and the Real Girl and Psych’s Shawn and the Real Girl derived from it. It’s quite an interesting piece, calm and slow, but a good pace for the topic. After Coming Down the Mountain it’s another piece that deals with mental illness in a sensitive way. It’s well-played and one can only hope that in real life people would react like the family and friends of the titular character in helping him overcome his delusion instead of condemning him.
For some reason I also decided to watch Revenge of the Nerds Quadrology with Curtis Armstrong, but I guess that was mostly due to the title, this is Nerd-Week after all…
The whole thing kind of left me with mixed feelings. Though that might be due to the fact that being a Nerd has changed over the decades since those four were created. The portrayed characters were awful (embarrassing) stereotypes and each movie followed the same pattern and frustratingly one of the main characters (Lewis) always goes back to his mindset from the beginning of part 1 – except for the last movie – and denies what he actually is. Some of the character concepts were quite advanced for that time, but still not fully fledged and that’s quite unfortunate.
Somehow I believe that you couldn’t make movies like that these days, but I guess that’s what makes them so unmistakably retro – or whatever you want to call it.
Still, I’m not entirely sure, but I might have seen one of the movies before – especially the second one seemed familiar at times – as I’m not entirely sure if they aired in German television. Though from the titles you wouldn’t even be able to recognize them as sequels (<translated> German titles: Die Rache der Eierköpfe/<The Revenge of the Eggheads>; Die Supertrottel/<The Supermorons (?)>; Operation Kleinhirn/<Operation Cerebellum>; Chaos Kings). From what imdb tells me they went straight to VHS and the first was released in 1986 in Western Germany – which means I didn’t have a chance to watch that one back then, because even if I had been born, I would have lived in the GDR. But one can never be sure what some channels dig up…

What were you watching?

What episodes (or movies) did you enjoy/dislike throughout the week/month?
Anything you’d recommend checking out?
Let me know in the comments below!

Final Words

I hope you enjoyed this little look into the different stuff I watched throughout the last months. Maybe I’ll get around doing this more frequently this year, who knows.
See you tomorrow,
PoiSonPaiNter