briarwood: Supernatural - Sam in 5.21 (SPN Sam 521)
First TV show I had self-insertion fantasies about:
Oh, good goddess! Dick Turpin when I was five years old. Or possibly four.

First fandom in which I interacted (online and in person) with other fans:
Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. That's what I was into when I first had regular internet access. I'd checked out Trek and X-Files on usenet before then but not really interacted.

Pairing in the first slash fanfiction I read:
Technically my very first was Picard/Borg. It was quoted in a tabloid newspaper article (most likely sans permission and it skipped over the good bits). Other than that one, I think it was Iolaus/Ares.

First RPS/RPF I read:
I have never read RPS and I never will. I have too much respect for real people's real lives for that.

First fanfiction I read that made me think, YES, this is exactly the kind of fanfiction I'd like to write...
Oh, man. I don't remember the title, but I'll bet any HTLJ fan on my flist will remember it. It was an AU of the episode Gladiator on the Iolausian site. Brilliantly plotted, hurt/comfort heavy on the hurt, and very angsty. There was a slash sequel, too, but it's the first story of the set that I remember.

Pairing in the first fanfiction I wrote:
Why assume the first fanfic I wrote even had a pairing? I'm pretty sure it didn't. Oh, wait. My earliest real fanfic was Robin of Sherwood, so technically it would have included Robin/Marion. It was gen, though. I didn't start writing het or slash until much later.

First OTP:
Jim/Blair. First and only OTP, really. I don't really get the OTP thing. There are pairings I can't see, and pairings I prefer, but it's very unusual for me to go for one pairing and be in a place where I can't stand to see either of them with anyone else. I like to mix it up.

First RPS/F OTP:
See above on both RPF and OTP. Well, okay, I will admit to slashing two of the male dancers on Strictly last season. But only in my head! And only because the BBC showed them slow dancing together! I mean, come on, what's a girl to do when it's that obvious?

First fannish friend I met in person:
I'm not sure. The first time I met fannish friends in person was at the HTLJ symposium (Queenie and Martine and Gharedsu and Ruric. A few others, but I don't recall everyone who was there), but I couldn't say who was the first I met there.

First character I formally roleplayed:
Uh. I dressed as Discord for a HTLJ con back in the day (no, you cannot see the pictures!), but that doesn't really count as role play. I never have role played fandom characters.
briarwood: Supernatural - Sam in 5.21 (SPN Sam 521)
Seen all over my flist lately :)

Go look at your blog/journal. Find the last Fandom-related thing you posted. The characters in that post are now your team-mates in the Zombie Apocalypse. How fucked are you?


My last fandom post was my big bang fic. So I am with Sam and Dean Winchester, Bobby, Castiel...and others. On one hand, I can be quite certain my team mates will survive the zombie apocalypse. On the other hand, the mortality rate among their friends and companions tends to be near 100%. So I'm probably already craving some nice, fresh brains.
briarwood: Brokeback Mountain - Shirt (Brokeback Shirt)
Movie meme snagged from [ profile] ghyste. Name you're favourite film starring...

20 names under the cut )

Want 20 names, too? Comment and ask (fair warning, though - I'll probably give identical lists to everyone who comments).
briarwood: True Blood - Bill and Sookie from S3 promo pic (TB BillSookie S3)
( The Days )

Day 18 - Favourite title sequence

I have to cheat on this one and pick two, because I just couldn't choose between them. Sometimes titles can be really irritating. Back when I used to tape every show I liked, I would routinely edit out the opening titles because I knew that when I re-watched them, it would swiftly become really irritating. Especially the opening titles with some kind of voiceover. As much as I got a kick out of something like "...a word in turmoil cried out for a hero. She was Xena..." the kick fades on the twentieth repetition, you know?

But I've found a new appreciation for these things, ironically, since so many shows seem to have dispensed with them altogether. And these two (which don't include voiceovers!), I never get tired of. Or...not yet.

The first is the title sequence from Alias Season Four. They only ran it for that one season.

Clip under the cut )

I just love the rapid flashes of all Syd's disguises over the years. Back when the series was airing, I tried every darn week to count them. I could never do it - not without cheating with freeze-frame :) This does what a title sequence should do: it sets up what the show is about. You see Syd not just in every possible alias, but in every facet of her personality. And how is it that one person can look so different in each alias, and be hot in every single one of 'em?

My second choice is probably more predictable: True Blood. Not only is it a great song, again it's the imagery I love, and the way it sets up the show.

Clip under the cut )

In many ways, the imagery has little to do with the show: I mean, very little that you see in the opening titles actually appears in the episodes. But in another way, it's perfect, because what it does is put the episodes into a context. The sequence shows you the world True Blood exists in, a real world as well as a fictional one. It sets the scene, creates the mood. Just perfect for this show.

[And how cool are these twisty cut-tags on Dreamwidth? Finally a cut does useful stuff!]
briarwood: (TTV Human Nature)
( The Days )

Day 17 - Favorite mini series

"Mini series" seems to mean different things on different sides of the pond. In the UK, a full series may be no more than six episodes, so there's nothing "mini" about Band of Brothers and similar. A mini-series, to me, is a self contained story in four episodes or less. And with that definition, I have no trouble at all picking out my favourite: Tipping the Velvet. (And look - I've got an icon for this one!)

Even if it wasn't an awesome three episodes, I'd be tempted to pick this for the sheer gall of a BBC series having a title that's a euphamism for oral sex. Times certainly have changed! But it is awesome. Based on the novel by Sarah Waters, it's a period, lesbian romance. Kinda Dickensian, actually, in that it shows you the underclass and class tensions of Victorian London...but with added sex.

Plot details under the cut )

A lovely piece of television.
briarwood: (HL Methos Gun)
( The Days )

Day 15 - Favorite female character

When I started this meme, I thought this should be an easy question. But the more I think about it, the harder it is to choose a favourite female character. There are so many to choose from. I love women who can kick ass: Xena, Buffy, Sidney Bristow, Sarah Connor, Aeryn Sun. I love women who are smart: Sam Carter, Willow, Lois Lane, Dana Scully, Wendy Watson. I love women who have the self-confidence to insist the world take them as they are: Inara Serra, Sookie Stackhouse, Starbuck, Cordelia Chase, Delenn. I love women who are strong because they are women and that's awesome: Mary Winchester, Ellen Harvelle, Joyce Summers, Kaylee Fry, Precious Ramotswe, Laura Roslin.

How do I choose a favourite from among all of them?

But I did come up with one. Not so much a favourite as a character who embodies all the qualities I'm talking about above: Highlander's Amanda.

Read more... )
briarwood: (SPN John Grey)
( The Days )

Day 14 - Favorite male character

I doubt it will surprise anyone that my favourite male character is John Winchester of Supernatural.

John is...John is just my perfect fictional character.

He's someone I love to write about, because although there are aspects of his life no amount of research will help me understand, on an emotional level I 'get' him. I know where he's coming from, and it's not far from the place all my fic comes from. So he's perfect for me. Don't get me wrong: if I knew the guy in real life I'd probably hate his guts, and I know for sure he'd scare the crap out of me. But as a voice in my head, as a TV hero or a character for me to write about, I'm crazy in love with John Winchester.

And here's where I get to wax lyrical... )
briarwood: Sentinel: My Kind of Justice (TS Justice)
( The Days )

Day 13 - Favorite childhood show

Dick Turpin was written by the same man responsible for Robin of Sherwood: Richard carpenter. IMDB says it began in 1979 and other sources agree, but that doesn't match my memory. I remember watching this show with my Dad and he died in April '79. Even if it aired in January '79, he would surely have been too sick by then to watch it with me.

But, memory issues aside, this was a really great television drama. First thing to note is that it's more a re-imagining of the legend than historically accurate. The real Dick Turpin was not a nice person, he didn't ride a horse called Black Bess and he certainly didn't ride from London to York in a night (that was someone else). He was hanged in 1739, in York.

This series begins a year later, 1740, with the premise that the man hanged in York was an imposter using Turpin's name and reputation. The "real" Dick Turpin returns to his old haunt in the south. He's a good guy who was forced into military service as a young man and who found on his return that the unscrupulous local landowner (with the Dickensian name Sir John Glutton) has stolen the land he should have inherited from his father. This forces him into highway robbery, but he has a bit of Robin Hood about him. In the first episode, he gets involved with an attempt to rescue a young lad who bungles a robbery in an attempt to steal money to save his mother's home, and winds up with an unwanted "apprentice". And that's your setup for three seasons of great, family entertainment.

I loved this show. I still do - they finally released the DVDs a few years back and it stands up remarkably well. Oh, you can see it was filmed on a low budget and the film isn't exactly up to DVD quality. The choreography of the fight and chase scenes looks forced to an eye accustomed to modern stunts and hand-held camera techniques. But the writing and the performances are still good.

The Characters )
briarwood: True Blood - Bill and Sookie from S3 promo pic (TB BillSookie S3)
That interview meme is doing the rounds again :)

How it works:
1. You comment on this entry.
2. I ask you five questions.
3. You answer those five questions in a post on your journal.
4. When people comment on that entry, you ask them five questions.
5. They answer those five questions in a post on their journal.
6. When people comment on that post, they ask them--

[personal profile] mab_browne asked me:

Read more... )

Right. I'm off to work on my TS Big Bang fic.
briarwood: Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Willow and Tara (BTVS Willow Spell)
( The Days )

Day 12 - An episode you've watched more than 5 times

Please. It would be quicker to list the episodes I haven't watched more than 5 times. Because I watch and re-watch the shows I love frequently. I replayed my ST:TNG tapes so frequently that even now when they re-run on Sky I can often name the episode from the first few seconds. I also tend to watch the whole canon of a show in a long marathon, even if it takes a couple of weeks; I only pick out individual episodes if I need them for a fanfic. So what have I seen more than five times?

All but the last season of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys; the first four seasons of Xena: Warrior Princess; all of Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine; all of Farscape; all of Alias; all of Ally McBeal; all of Hamish MacBeth; all of Robin of Sherwood (though a long time ago; I'm missing a season on DVD); all of Blakes 7 (again, not in the last decade); most of The X-Files (there are a few eps I routinely skip when I marathon); all of Buffy The Vampire Slayer; all of Angel; all of Millennium; all of Lois and Clark; all of Highlander and Highlander: The Raven; all of Babylon 5; Firefly; the first five seasons of Stargate SG-1; all of The Sentinel; seasons one and three of Numb3rs; all of Veronica Mars; two seasons of True Blood...

...I'm sure I'm missing a few. I'm just visualising my DVD shelves here.

I'm not up to five marathons of Battlestar Galactica yet, though I've probably seen the first two seasons more than five times. Supernatural is an odd one (for me) because there are episodes in the first three seasons I skip (Crossroad Blues because it hurts too much and Ghostfacers because it's a steaming pile of crap), but certainly all of season one would be on the list. Four and Five I have re-watched, but not five times. I can't just pick one episode out of all that. Yes, I'm a TV addict.'s more that I use TV as background noise the way a lot of people use music. So while I'm working at home or writing, I'll also be watching TV.
briarwood: Supernatural: The Winchesters (SPN Brothers)
( The Days )

Day 11 - A show that disappointed you

I hate to say it, but what other show can I choose here? Supernatural.

There are other shows I could say disappointed me. Shows that started off promising and just lost me somewhere along the way. But none of them have I loved as much as I did Supernatural in the beginning, and "disappointed" hardly seems an adequate word for the way I feel about the show now. Yet I'm still watching. I don't know if I'll watch next season...I'm not sure I can bear to get hopeful and be stomped on again.

I didn't watch the first season of Supernatural until after the finale. So I knew a little about what was to come, and I surely knew that the fandom was, shall we say, a little obsessive about slashing these two brothers. That's partly why I didn't watch earlier - not the incest thing (I cut my genre teeth on Robert Heinlein) - but the obsessive part. I didn't want to be stuck in another fandom with Danielites.

Anyhow, watch I did and I instantly fell in love with the show. Okay, it was a bit too testosterone-fuelled for my usual taste and I'm not a big fan of "kill it" being the solution to every problem. But still...I loved it. The show supplied a horror movie every week, it had an ongoing plot with actual layers and complexity, the characters too were many-layered and sure, the onscreen chemistry between the leads didn't hurt. I could certainly see where the incest was coming from in a way I never could in, say, Heroes.

I could go on for a long time about my love affair with Supernatural, but it's all there in my fanfic. I adored Sam. I liked Dean a lot. It took me a while to get a handle on John, but once it clicked, I was completely in love with him. So much so, that it didn't bother me when he died; the character may not have been present but he was still so essential to the story that for me he was still there.

I don't mean to say that the first two seasons were perfect - far from it. But the imperfections didn't matter to me because the stuff I loved was so much more present.

When did it change? Cut because this got long. )

Wow, that was cathartic. I feel better now :)
briarwood: Sentinel: "I must not put salt in Jim's coffee." (TS Blair Salt)
( The Days )

Day 10 - A show you thought you wouldn't like but ended up loving

Here's another easy choice: The Sentinel.

Like many TS fen, I came to the show through the fan fiction. Unlike many TS fen, I freaking hated the fan fiction!

Let me explain. The first fandom in which I truly felt like part of the online community was Hercules (HTLJ) and to a lesser extent its sister show Xena. When HTLJ was coming to an end, I sort of drifted into Stargate SG-1 because I saw a thematic connection: both were modern reinterpretations of ancient gods. I discovered I rather liked Stargate, and found the same kind of community feeling there that I'd enjoyed among HTLJ fen.

But there were these two characters who I emphatically did not recall from the TV show, who kept showing up in Stargate fanfic. Jim Ellison and Blair Sandburg. It wasn't unusual for the crossover label to be missing from these stories; I always skipped the ones that admitted it because I like to know both fandoms when I read a crossover. But these two guys just kept showing up. In particular, I loathed Blair because he talked like an illiterate teenager but context indicated I was supposed believe he was intelligent. And this 'sentinel' thing, I just didn't get it. Of course, fan writers generally do assume their readers already know stuff: it's one of the luxuries of being part of the audience you're writing for. And mostly it's fine. But all this wasn't Stargate.

Eventually, I figured out that Sentinel was a US TV show and these two interlopers in my fandom were coming from there. I figured there must be something in it since so many Stargate fen liked it. So I went to check it out and...blow me, it was a goddamned cop show! This made no sense. I mean, what were Starsky and Hutch doing at Stargate Command? Cops didn't belong there! Not even cops with weird powers and sidekicks who talk funny and can't decide if they're a shaman or an anthropologist. I am really not a fan of crime drama so at that point I gave the whole thing up as a mass mental abberration and resigned myself to hitting the back button any time I saw words like 'sentinel', 'Ellison' or 'Blair'.

But there was this one fic. It was a long-running slash series, not brilliantly written but very engaging, and I was really into it, following it as each new chapter was posted. I wanted to know what would happen. I really did. And the damn writer snuck in a Blair cameo. After resisting my desire to lambast the author for sneakily forcing me to read something so anathema to me, I sighed, bit the bullet and asked on one of the lists if anyone could point me to resources about this Sentinel show. Sheila generously offered to send me tapes of the whole series (wow, tapes - yeah, this was in 2001, way before BitTorrent came on the scene). Around that time, I lost my job so I had a lot of time on my hands. I pretty much mainlined those tapes in a week. Maybe less.

And I got to read that fanfic to the end.

And, since I had so much time on my hands, I watched those tapes again. And then I found this idea for a Sentinel fanfic worming into my brain. And I started writing.

And the rest is history, I guess.

To this day, there remain a lot of fandom tropes I just can't get on board with. I tend to hit the back button every time I see the word 'guide'. Because in spite of everything, what I fell in love with was the canon, in all its flawed glory. This crappy cop show with its babe-of-the-week mentality and its blowing-shit-up and its hero who can't keep hold of his gun, and those weird, out of place episodes with sprit panthers and South American tribes...I just adore it. I can't even articulate why. I just do.

But it still doesn't belong with Stargate :)
briarwood: Supernatural: Jo Fights Like A Girl (SPN Jo Fighter)
You know, doing this meme is really making me realise how many of my favourite shows are missing from my icon collection. I really must fix that. But, on with today's entry...

( The Days )

Day 09 - Best scene ever

This was an easy one. Although I'm not sure the sheer power of it will come across viewing the scene out of context, the absolute best scene in all of television (that I'm aware of) is the climactic scene of Babylon 5's mid-point episode, Severed Dreams. Even typing this now, I get a shiver just remembering it. Watching the scene never fails to make my breath catch. The thing is, so much builds into this moment, the context is everything. It's both a coming together of plot threads that had been building for more than 50 episodes, and a massive turning point for both the overall plot arc and many of the characters.

More explanation and clip under the cut )

Babylon 5 had its faults as a TV show, not least some seriously awful dialogue. But on one thing I can't fault it: this show always, always delivered on it's climactic moments. So many shows go for the big build-up and when the moment finally arrives, it is ultimately unsatisfying. Babylon 5 always delivered in spades. From this scene the stakes got higher, the shocks deeper, the climactic scenes bigger. But this is the one that I find most memorable. Nothing else, in any other series I've seen, comes close to the power of those two minutes of TV.
briarwood: (Dollhouse Sierra Blue)
( The Days )

Day 08 - A show everyone should watch

I've spent the past three days of this meme pimping Hamish MacBeth which I love because it's so quirky. It's quirky in a very British way.

Today I'm going to recommend a show that's quirky in a fandom-geeky way. That show is The Middleman. It only lasted one season, but while it's a tragedy that there'll be no new episodes, what's out there stands alone perfectly well. Aimed at a "family" audience, but jam-packed with in-jokes and references only the older generation will pick up, it's funny, exciting, heartwarming, optimistic and all-round brilliant. When I'm miserable and depressed, I used to turn to Ally McBeal, because the way she builds mountains of depression out of molehills puts my own issues in perspective. Now I turn to The Middleman first because watching a couple of episodes of Wendy Watson being awesome has yet to fail to lift my mood.

The basic concept is this: all those mad scientists and supervillains in comic books with plans to take over the world? They're really out there, they're really crazy and they really do want to take over the world. While there's no corresponding superhero in cape and tights, there is the Middleman: backed my a mysterious organisation which supplies his beyond-the-realm-of-science equipment and grumpy robotic secretary, the Middleman tracks down mad scientists, aliens, creatures from parallel dimensions and suchlike, keeping the world safe from threats it would never believe in.

It's a very cartoon-like show, both in concept and look. Dialogue is snappy and delivered fast: it shouldn't work, but somehow it does, once you get into the rhythm of it. And it's got geek references galore - the obvious comic superhero stuff, and nods to cult sci-fi old and new. But you don't need to get the references to enjoy it - I'm sure I miss a bunch of them.

The characters: Cut because this got long. )

All that said, I'm almost glad The Middleman was cancelled, because I think it would have had difficulty staying this awesome. Don't get me wrong - another season would have been amazing! But six of them...I don't see that working. Stuff gets in the way, writers move on, network bosses start to interfere or show-runners start to think they can do no wrong and end up doing little right. Middleman ended while it was still awesome and that's why it's a show everyone should watch.
briarwood: (LOTR FrodoSam)
( The Days )

Day 07 - Least favorite episode of your favorite t.v show

Still going with Hamish MacBeth as my favourite TV show, at first I thought it would be impossible to pick a "least favourite" because all 20 episodes are awesome. Do I pick the one with the shinty match, since the whole football allegory turns me off (and I still don't understand the significance of knitted ties - can anyone explain that joke, or am I not supposed to get it?)? But the ending of that one is so fantastic, with the chopper and Wee Jock doing the dog on the pitch thing. How about the one where Hamish takes a holiday - that's probably the least show-like of the episodes because none of the action takes place in Lochdubh. But it's still such a good ep, with Hamish pretending to be Jewish (because that's the only way to avoid picking sides in the Catholic vs Protestant debate at the dinner table) and bungling it massively. Or maybe the one with the religious fanatics declaring Hamish to be the Devil? The whole religious theme in that is irritating and the plot is confusing...but again, the ending, with the whole thing revealed as a scam to cover up the minister's gay love affair (with Zoot! And which ends well!) is just precious.

But when I reviewed my episode list, I realised I do have a least favourite, because I'd completely forgotten it. It's not a bad episode (although it does have faults), it's just...not memorable. That is the third season episode The Trouble With Rory. Read more... )

ION - yesterday was a better day. It's still too hot! But I found Magnums on sale in Tesco (3 for 99p!!!) so I bought a bunch and they didn't melt while I got them home. Sis and the Useless Fiance were staying the night elsewhere, so I had a nice relaxing evening. I even wrote fic! I need the weather to cool off a bit so I can stand to sit at the computer long enough to finish some artwork for Geonn (see, I haven't forgotten you!) and type up the fic I wrote.

And there's a circus in town! They're building the big top in the park opposite my office building as I type. I may have to go tomorrow evening - it's the first night so tickets will be cheapest. I can't resist a circus :)
briarwood: (UTS LifeYouDontHave)
( The Days )

Day 06 - Your favourite episode of your favourite TV show

I picked Hamish MacBeth as my favourite TV show, though I don't truly have a single favourite. I'll carry that through to this day and the next of the meme. So, what's my favourite Hamish MacBeth episode? There are only 20 to choose from, 19 if I count the two-part finale as one, and honestly I love them all.

But my favourite is an episode that has everything I love about the show: the quirky humour overlaying a serious message about one of the characters; Hamish being a good cop and simultaneously putting friendship and loyalty ahead of the law; and the people of Lochdubh having their own private mockery of the outsiders, who richly deserve it.

That episode is The Big Freeze. More details and download link under the cut )
briarwood: (SW Yoda Pissed)
( The Days )

Day 05 - A show you hate

This is an easy one, although I can't narrow it down to a specific title because they all blur together as one big ball of toxic evil. A show I hate? Reality TV. Specifically, reality TV that exploits ordinary people.

I'm fine with something like Celebrity Big Brother or I'm A Celebrity - Get Me Out Of Here! Uh...when I say 'fine' I mean I'd rather have experiemental anal surgery than actually watch them, but I'm okay with them polluting the airwaves as long as I don't have to be in the vicinity. The 'celebrities' involved in those shows by definition already know what it's like to be the focus of media attention. They know what they're getting into and they do it to further their careers. Fair enough.

But there are a bunch of popular reality shows that rely on taking (for want of a better term) civilians off the street and making entertainment out of their humiliation. This I find utterly reprehensible.

If I ruled the world for a day, getting rid of those shows and throwing the people who profit from them into a fiery pit would be pretty darn high on my agenda. (You know, after world peace and cleaning up the environment. And waterboarding George Bush.)

I mean, I get that The X-Factor and its ilk are giving talented people a shot at fame...although from what I've seen of them I'd question the 'talented' part. But why show the auditions? There's only one reason to do that: it's mockery of those people who took a shot and failed. And sure, some people go to the auditions fully aware that their only talent is to look like a tosser. I imagine a few people run a betting pool on how many notes they'll get to sing before being kicked out. But there are also people who believe in themselves and want the dream they're being sold so badly...and the show makes entertainment out of crushing them. The indescribably evil bastards behind the production make money by destroying people.

Big Brother started out as a potentially interesting concept. I still wanted to buy the Channel 4 head a copy of The Running Man with instructions to read, learn and inwardly digest, but what it became as the franchise went on was utterly indefensible. From an interesting, if exploitative, social experiment, it became a ratings-hungry monster, designing a 'house' with maximum mental (and physical) torture in mind, intentionally selecting contestants with diagnosed mental illnesses with an agenda to provoke mockery and hate, not understanding. They threw racial minorities in with racists, knowing full well what would happen. They ran a tick-box exercise to 'prove' they were taking care of people inside the 'house' while intentionally doing everything possible to make life horrible for them. And then they top it off by throwing them into a baying mob.

Why do I watch, if I hate them so much? I don't. Unfortunately, my family members do so I catch snatches of these things as I pass through the room, or when I'm trying to have a conversation. Hell, I've even tried to bring to their attention how wholly toxic this crap is, but I don't seem to have much success.

So yeah. A show I hate: Reality TV. We really haven't come very far since throwing slaves to the lions, have we?

(I will take a break from the meme over the weekend; back with day 6 on Monday.)


briarwood: Gal Godot as Wonder Woman (Default)Morgan Briarwood

January 2017

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