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StrangelyLiteral's Activity

  1. StrangelyLiteral added a topic in Dusted   

    Dusted Hiatus Activity - The Passion of the Nerd + Vintage Dusted
    After a little bit of discussion over on the Twitter Announcements thread, a few of us have decided that we're going revisit Season 1 and watch and discuss The Passion of the Nerd Buffy analysis videos along with the vintage Dusted recordings - until Dusted returns. We are not trying to replace Dusted - we are just trying to keep the community engaged during the unfortunate but necessary restructuring of Dusted. This is also a great chance to talk about Season 1 and the origins of BtVS since very few of us were StoryWonk fans and forum members when Dusted first came out and missed out on those discussions.
    Discussions will take place on Monday and Thursday, in keeping with Dusted tradition.
    So for this coming week:
    Monday:TPotN: Why you should watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer (6 min video)Dusted 1: Yes, Really (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the movie)Thursday:TPotN: Welcome to the Hellmouth and The Harvest (4 min video)Dusted 2: No Skipping Ahead (Episodes 1 & 2, Welcome to the Hellmouth and The Harvest)My personal plan is to watch the episodes in Spanish with Spanish subtitles, since I've seen them so many times before, and because I'm trying to work on my language skills. I'm curious to see how much of what I love about Buffy comes across in a foreign language. 
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  2. StrangelyLiteral added a post in a topic Twitter announcements   

    I think their interests also balanced each other really well. I was really looking forward to hearing the back-half of season 6 discussed as a conversation between someone who ships Buffy/Spike and someone who just doesn't get it. 
    Obviously no one can truly replace Lani and her perspective, but I hope that whoever his new co-host(s) is, he finds someone who offers a good counterpoint to his perspective. People who disagree with each other (respectfully) are the most interesting to listen to.
  3. StrangelyLiteral added a post in a topic Twitter announcements   

    Things seem to be moving more quickly than anticipated.
    Even if we only do TPotN for a couple weeks, it'll still be a fun exercise. 
  4. StrangelyLiteral added a post in a topic Twitter announcements   

    I think we should do Monday and/or Thursday, just to keep with tradition. 
    Starting next week?
  5. StrangelyLiteral added a post in a topic Twitter announcements   

    This is a really good point to bring up.
    I think in general, yes, it would be really rude to hijack this forum to discuss a completely different podcast on an ongoing basis. 
     That said, I think this is a special case - I don't think we're saying that we're proposing making it permanent thing, or trying to build a new community here based on a different product. We're trying to keep the current Dusted community engaged with other content temporarily with StoryWonk is getting back on its feet. I think that's a completely different thing, and arguably benefits SW in the long term vs. just parasitizing SW resources.
  6. StrangelyLiteral added a post in a topic Twitter announcements   

    Nothing on Twitter, but Lani made an appearance in the Discord chatroom and said the following:
    "I know this is tough, but we're still figuring things out.
    Alastair gets back from Oklahoma on Wednesday and then we're going to start making plans.
    We likely won't be podcasting together anymore, but I'll be moving forward with some shows, and starting new ones.
    He'll be starting a new network, I think, for Story and Star Wars and his independent projects.
    In the meantime, your continued support makes it possible for us to get through this and rise from the ashes better than ever.
    Thank you so much for still being here.
    There will be good stuff coming down the pike. I'm just still reeling from it all, but there are plans happening in the background."
    My guess (just based on how difficult my friends' divorces and my own break-ups have been in general, no specific knowledge) is that it'll probably be at least a couple weeks before we get any real announcements about decisions, and probably a couple months before we see any new content.
    So I see some options.
    We could just wait for Lani to return in a couple months. There probably won't be much forum activity meanwhile.We could organize something to keep the Dusted community going in the interim. I'd be curious what ideas other people have for #2. Some things I've been toying with:
    We could organize a watch of the True Blood pilot and discuss it (at one point it was going to be a Dusted patreon exclusive episode)Same thing for other vampire-related lore (I'd be up for watching the Brad Pitt Interview with a Vampire, I've never seen it)Same thing for newer projects of favorite Buffy writers (ideas: Joss's Dr. Horrible's Sing-along-blog, Jane Espenson's webshow Husbands, the pilot of Marti Noxon's show Girlfriends Guide to Divorce, Joss's version of Much Ado About Nothing)We could try to round-up actual Buffy-related content. One option is some of the comics that don't depend on parts of BtVS and Angel that we haven't gotten to (i.e., not S8-10, but something like Tales of the Slayers, which was published in Feb 2002 and tells stories of slayers who came before Buffy. (Dusted's next episode would be about Gone which aired in Jan 2002, so we wouldn't be fudging the release timeline by much.)Meanwhile, here are some other places to get new content while we are waiting:
    Common Room Radio has a Firefly podcast going on right now, they're about halfway done. We could set up some threads in the "General Wonkery" section to discuss it and encourage Dusted listeners to migrate there.Several storywonkers have started their own podcasts in the past couple of weeks. I'll leave it up to them to post their stuff here and present it in the way they want to, but that's also an option.
  7. StrangelyLiteral added a post in a topic Dusted 148: Bring Your Shaman To Work Day   

    I don't have an answer to this, but that's exactly the kind of very good question I would never think to ask. 
    Even slayers with their enhanced abilities usually only last a few years before getting offed. He's just very meticulous and not very risky? Always has a horde of helpers around him who take the fall instead?
  8. StrangelyLiteral added a post in a topic Showrunners: The Art of Running a TV Show (2014)   

    I just watched it on Netflix and thought it was great. Thanks for recommending it!
    And now I just want to go watch all of Husbands. I totally forgot that Jane Espenson made a webshow, but it looks awesome. 
  9. StrangelyLiteral added a post in a topic We Used To Be Friends 54: The Many Emotions Of Logan Echolls   

    Great podcast episode, agree with basically everything that's been said re: Veronica and Logan, Mac, Keith and Landry, etc. I totally buy the scotch being a compelling reason for Keith to take the case. 
    As someone who has participated in biomedical animal research (and would do it again for the right project), the broad strokes of the story feel about right, and I think both the arguments for and against are reasonably made.
    I personally have an issue with non-vegetarians being against animal testing in general (more common than you might think). If you're going to support the killing of animals for something as banal as a hamburger, you better be able to deal with rats being used to save human lives. That said, I think there's a lot of room for nuanced positions about when different types of animal testing are appropriate and necessary (i.e., biomedical vs. cosmetics, primates vs. non-primates, debating the merits/cruelty/specific protocols of projects at the level of institutional review boards, as is currently done for all animal research).
    Additionally, pressure from the animal rights community has actually accomplished a lot of good in recent years and should be lauded for that. There's been a big movement to really make researchers justify why they need to do research on primates and phase it out wherever possible. In 2015, the National Institutes of Health (NIH - governmental funding agency for most biomedical research in America) phased out all chimpanzee research because they've come to the conclusions it's basically never justified.
    Regarding this specific plot, I'm pretty sure you would never do cholesterol research in monkeys. It's a very conserved pathway across all mammals, so rats should work just fine for 95% of what you want to learn. But I'm okay whistling past that because the rest of it works pretty well.
    <rant> I have a fundamental problem with the idea that no animal should suffer ever, particularly the bane of all environmental scientists, the white-tailed deer. Their populations have exploded over the last 30 years as we've suburbanized much of the landscape and gotten rid of the top predators that used to keep their numbers in check. They are literally one of the biggest threats to US Eastern deciduous forest ecosystems right now - a lot of plants (particularly spring ephemeral wild flowers) are going "locally" extinct because they simply can't exist in the landscape with the numbers of deer. In many places, there is basically no green vegetation below deer head height (aside from a couple unpalatable invasive species that we are trying to get rid of). The deer populations themselves are not particularly healthy in these places where they're out of balance with their food sources. And then even more importantly, there's decline of insects, and birds that feed on insects (many of which are endangered), that flow up through the food chain as a result of too many deer. And yet, most animal rights activists would rather have large numbers of plant and bird species go extinct and have an entire functioning ecosystem disappear from North America than shoot deer, most of whom would have been chased down and have their throat torn out by a wolf or cougar prior to modern times anyway. Not to mention the 200 human deaths and over $1 billion in property damage from vehicle collisions with deer every year. (I almost brought this up in the Willow-fawn issue over on Dusted but didn't, because it was more metaphorical than literal in that show, but I personally would have no issue killing a fawn, specifically). </rant>
  10. StrangelyLiteral added a post in a topic Dusted 152: Y’Know, For Spike   

    Speaking of D.A.R.E., did anybody else have the high school experience where the biggest and most notorious potheads would proudly and ironically wear D.A.R.E shirts (that I assume they bought second-hand a thrift store) because they thought it was hilarious?
  11. StrangelyLiteral added a post in a topic Unpopular opinion.   

    Thanks for sharing that! I agree 100% about the evolution of DB's acting chops. It's like playing Angelus loosened him up and made him much better overall.
    Unfortunately, I think DB being underwhelming in early S2 is part of what prevents me from buying into the Buffy-Angel relationship (also the fact that their connection is _super_ informed) and thus that season as much as some people.
    So, Season 6 is not my favorite season. (My list would be: 5, 3, 6, 7/4, 2, 1).
    But my favorite things are:
    - The Dark Willow storyline. I love how it's basically been foreshadowed since season 3. I love how much it plays on the deep characterization we have for her.
    - The Buffy depression storyline. I love the commitment to consequence from her being resurrected, and that they didn't just quickly return to the status quo after bringing her back. I love that they are actually addressing depression and how it can suck all the life out of life but in a way that is difficult to describe or put a finger on, so you are left wondering what the hell happened the first time you experience it.
    - The Buffy-Spike storyline. I like that it's dark and twisted and complicated. They're both using each other for different reasons, they're both benefiting in different ways, and they also both end up suffering in different ways as a result. It's an explicitly sexual but undefined relationship where they have a long and intense history and an intense emotional connection. They are on some fundamental level a great match and a terrible match for each other at the same time. Because of this, they both know that it's probably not a good idea, but still can't help but be drawn to each other. It's a unique story for TV, and one that happens to match my first sexual relationship fairly well (though mine was not quite so explicitly abusive).
    - The best Anya. Obviously I'm an Anya fan based on my name and picture. Season 6 has some of the series-best Anya.
    - The trio. The trio are not anywhere near my favorite big bad as far as execution goes or enjoyment of screen time, but I really appreciate what they were trying to do by highlighting misogyny within geek culture. I love it even more now in a post-Gamer Gate world. They were so ahead of the curve on that issue. 
  12. StrangelyLiteral added a post in a topic Unpopular opinion.   

    Totally fair. I'm cooler on the Buffy-Angel relationship than a lot of people, so I think I get less out of S2 for that reason. 
    Tell me though - what are the S2 highs that you love so much and why?
  13. StrangelyLiteral added a post in a topic Unpopular opinion.   

    I thought she was just saying that the production values, sophistication of storytelling, depth of character building, and ability to reference / build on past events generally get better as the show goes on. So, even a below average episode from later seasons can be as good or better as the better episodes from early on if you judge them by the same criteria. 
    I basically agree with her through the first 5 seasons (speaking on average - there's a lot of noise), though I think seasons 5 and 6 are on the same level, and season 7 is a small step down w/r/t storytelling and character, if not ambition. Even when a season 6 episode is "bad" (like this week's Smashed) I still find it much more engaging and enjoyable to watch - and a lot less cringey -  than most of season 2. Sure, the addiction storyline is heavy-handed, but it doesn't pull me out like shitty-Xander or shitty-Joyce or many of the lackluster MOTWs did. (That said, I like the trio and I like most of what happens with the Buffy-Spike relationship, and I can see how if you hate those things, it can ruin S6 for you.) I definitely appreciate what they were trying to do in early Buffy and what they accomplished at the time, and some of the individual scenes are stellar, but overall it's not as polished and sophisticated, and often has that cheesy 90's TV feel that the later seasons are lacking.
    EDIT: I feel like it's important to reiterate that the reason the later seasons seem stronger (to me) is largely because of everything that came before. Despite it's flaws, Willow going dark works so well for me because it builds effectively on everything we know about her from seasons 1 - 5. So in some sense, later episodes can achieve more because they have more material to work with. It's not quite "by definition" but it is a function of where they appear in the series. 
    That said, the list is L&A's list based on their primary values and what they go to Buffy for. If you fundamentally disagree on what makes Buffy good and what seasons are your favorite, obviously your list is going to look a lot different.
  14. StrangelyLiteral added a post in a topic Dusted 151: This Old House   

    Great episode of Dusted. The two different perspectives that Lani and Alastair each bring to the podcast are more important than ever, now that we've reached this clearly very controversial era of the show. 
    I know I probably missed my window to talk about something that's not Buffy + Spike, but I have a couple things to add about Amy. (Also, YES! to everyone who brought up the fact that Amy is depicted as being too good at magic based on the last time we really saw her in Gingerbread). 
    1. When Alastair was listing Amy's previous appearances on the show, he forgot to mention Amy's brief appearance in season 4's Something Blue when Willow says "The only real witch here is fuzzy little Amy. She's got access to powers I can't even invoke. I mean, first she's a perfectly normal girl. (Amy appears on the bed behind Willow and Buffy) Then, poof! She's a rat (Amy turns back into a rat)." (Screen cap: here since the allowable file size for attachments is now so tiny!)
    2. My favorite piece of Amy dialogue is this episode is not the "dead/rat" exchange, but Willow's response to Amy's comment about Larry asking someone else to prom: "Uh Amy, three things we have to talk about. One, Larry's gay. Two, Larry's dead. Three, high school's kinda over." I love both how it references the show's continuity and how it shows how much the characters have grown up over the past three years (and more generally how things that seem like the end of the world when you're young can seem so trivial looking back on them later). 
    Re: Spike and Buffy, I don't have anything to add that hasn't already been said upthread more eloquently and more in-depth. I love the variety of opinion represented here. For me, there is definitely something real between them, Spike's not just a placeholder, but it's also incredibly unhealthy and messed up. It doesn't really bother me because 1) evil vampire and 2) the show is pretty up front about the unhealthy/messed up part and doesn't over-romanticize it the way Twilight or 50 Shades does. I think the show is using their unhealthy relationship to tell some really interesting stories about the nature of love and evil, and how we deal with pain and depression. It's not a TRUE LOVE! story, it's obviously not going to end well, and that's actually one of the main reasons why I like it.
  15. StrangelyLiteral added a post in a topic We Used To Be Friends 53: GHB Tea   

    Great episode of WUTBF discussing the good and the bad of this episode.
    This was my favorite S3 episode so far - the style was great, the ratio of good:bad content was higher than most of what we've seen recently, and most of the bad parts were inherited from previous episodes, so I'm willing to forgive a lot (i.e., more than L&A) here. Honestly, I don't even mind the time jump that much because it's short, and it's mostly just a stylish musical montage. Since I've watched the series before, it doesn't frustrate me, it makes me excited that we finally got to the episode where we catch the rapist. 
    I love Parker saving the day and Logan pulling something classically Logan (finally!) at the end.
    I really hope that when the show is over, we can do a wrap-up episode where we discuss the series as a whole, because I really want to hear L&A (and forum members) address the question: Is VM a good show? Or is it a show that had a good first season? Can you be a good show that doesn't have any really good episodes? Seasons 2 and 3 of VM really make me wonder.