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My thoughts Merlin Episode 408: Lamia, which I just watched (late, I know, that’s what happens when you have midterms on a Saturday).

On the plus side - knights, action, and whumped Merlin! ^_^ On the minus side - sexism and borderline misogyny! >.< )
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I’ve been trying to do long play-by-play reviews but I never get around to writing them up, so I think I’ll just stick to short over-all reviews, and I’ll back-post my other reviews when I get to them.

Episode Review of Merlin 405 His Father’s Son )
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I just watched Ep 403 and...

WHAT THE FUCK?

What the ever-loving fuck just happened?

Okay, this season, I was planning to just *NOT* do episode reviews, but after that whammy I don't think I can miss out. I'll post the reviews for eps 1, 2, and 3 soon enough.

In the mean time, a very general/non-spoilery Season 4 and Merlin Review:

I'm in the camp that says while Merlin has been going uphill in everything ranging from acting to filming to special effects since Season 1, in the writing department it's been nothing but downhill. Ever since the end of Season 3, they seemed to have been showing more awareness of their writing pitfalls, from shallow characterization to the way they write women, but the first three episodes are disappointing in that aspect. In light of these first few episodes and taking into account their stated expectations for Season 4, not only am I no longer hopeful, I seriously think these writers are biting off more than they can chew, and don't even realize they are choking as they are backing themselves into a corner.

I have been telling people that Merlin is an exercise in how a show can have shit writers and still be great if it's got everything else. It was only a joke until now.

I love the actors, the effects, everything else about the show - the actors' skills are absolutely superb in this episode. I only hope that in spite of the writing - which undertones from their pre-premier interviews suggest even they are unhappy with - they can keep this show afloat, them and the effects/production managers...because I don't see the writers being of any help any time soon.
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Every episode, I do a review/analysis of the individual episode and the characters within them. Now that we've hit the half-way mark of the season, I'm doing one for the season/show at large.

Warning: here be spoilers!

Analysis of the Main Characters )

So, that's where we're coming from.

This is where we're going:

Season 3 Analysis So Far )

Wild Cards )

You're playing poker with half the table wearing glasses and a bunch of wild cards in the deck. You know what's supposed to happen, you know the rules of the game, you can glimpse at what your opponent's cards are in the reflection of their glasses...yet you still have no fucking clue what's going to happen.

God, I can't wait.

...in fact, I won't. :) Speculation on the rest of Season 3 is this way!

Feel free to discuss here.
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So, now that we're half-way through the season, I decided some serious speculation was in order. Mostly rambly incoherence.

WARNING: Spoilers like whoa! I'll be talking a lot about speculation and spoilers mentioned from various sources and press releases, outside of just show trailers and visions from the Crystal Cave. If you don't like them, don't read below.

Looking Into The Crystal: Spoilers and Visions )

Speculation )

This beyond just playing poker with shades and a few wild cards - this is a deck of wild cards with a few normal ones thrown in! I can't wait.

Feel free to discuss and speculate here. :)
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I'm doped up on acetaminophen, dextromethorphan, phenylephrine, and antihistamines, not to mention I'm sick, so my review may be quite rambly and incoherent in comparison to what I usually write. So, yeah, sorry about that.

An epic episode with action, romance, and character development, with magic and mindfuckery abounding throughout the episode. )
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Okay, so, between some anonymous comments which I probably shouldn't have deleted but did anyway, and some messages I've gotten both on here and at FFN (no, I won't reveal identities of who or what), all over of the course of the last several months to about a half-year, I've been wanting to clear up a lot of stuff about my fics, my journal, and my personal life. I just realized it might help for me to do it all in one place.

On kinks, judgments, fics, and politics. )

Now that we have dealt with the directly-related-to-fic issues...

Fandom, and yes I've left it before - and I'll do it again if needs be. )

And lastly, my personal life.

Emphasis on the  )

TL;DR


  • Your kink is not my kink, so stop asking me to write it.

  • My personal preferences are not judgments of you, and they are not judgment calls in general.

  • My fics have intended meanings, and while how the meaning came across is always up for literary debate, the intention still stands. You have no right to claim you know what my intentions are - you are not in my head.

  • My fics do not necessarily reflect my political opinions or any other personal stances.


  • I am in fandom to enjoy myself by both reading and writing fic, and I have no compunctions about leaving without a trace if it stops being enjoyable.


  • My personal life is at my discretion to discuss. Whether or not you agree with it is none of your business, just like whether or not I have issues with your personal life, and/or how much you reveal or discuss of it, is none of my business.


*sighs* For the rest of you on my flist - you are all awesome people. I don't think I can say this enough, so I'll leave it at just once more: you're all awesome people.
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Clumsy princesses with epic horse-riding skill, forced marriages, tossed up romances, and badly, horribly hidden innuendo. This show is for either incredibly young children or incredibly immature adults, and I'm not really sure which one. :)

Violence and romance and sex, er, magic fights, oh my! )
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I get that the show needs comedy, but really...? )

Okay, so, this episode actually was quite good. I’m starting to actually have faith in the writers, again! \o/
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My deconstruction of Merlin Episode 301: The Tears of Uther Pendragon, Part 1. This review is a little rambly, as I can't actually come to any conclusions until the end of the episode next week.

Uther takes shrooms, Merlin and Arthur are still in the closet, Morgana is cold, colder, and coldest, and Morgause has a leather fetish. )
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So, before I start on that, a brief blurb on my personal history.

I don't really have much of an idyllic childhood, but then, many people don't. I dealt with it with poetry.

A lot of my poetry has violent and depressing themes. I'm not going to shoot out my school, or kill myself, or others. Please, do not take it seriously, just like people don't take my fic seriously - for me, the dark writing is a sign that I don't have problems because I have found a healthy outlet in which to release all that emotion - my writing.

Now, the poetry!

Poem Type Subject / Summary
War Couplet War, a war, any war - what you really need to know about it (a soldier's heart).
Freedom Monorhyme Quatrain Thought of the Emancipation Proclamation while writing this.
Do You Remember? Simple 4-Line Young love, honeymoon phase of love, early love.
Courage Haiku The real definition of courage.
The Truth About Men Simple 4-Line Comedic misandry (sorry, gents, I love you I really do).
Strange Species Simple 4-Line My perceptions of how humans are so easily capable of healing and of hurting.
Triple Limerick of "Love" Limerick Arthur/Merlin smut.
Epic Adventures in King Arthur's Bed Spenserian Sonnet Arthur/Merlin smut.
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So, my good friend [livejournal.com profile] arithilim recently wrote a post on the most common fails of fanfiction.

I, being the strange person that I am, went one step further - how to fix the ones she didn't give advice for, herself.

Starting every sentence with the same subject

It’s awkward and redundant. Switch it up. Add some variety. Invert. Add a clause. Whatever. Repetition for emphasis is good. Repetition because you only know one format of sentence structure is not.


To take her advice a little further, think about the way you're intending to write - usually a bit like the way you talk, right? Well, think about the way you talk - is it always the same format? Is it always the same structure? You also need to understand that you need different formats for different tones.

During fast paced action sequences, the stiff, simple structures mentioned as useful. During slow, languid scenes, you want to use more slower, elongated sentences. Work your way up and down the scale from there.

The story that just won’t die

Stories need to end. One fic cannot possibly have every important life event in great detail. It gets too long and drags on and on, and I get very bored. Just end it and go write something else. I know it can be tempting to just keep a story going, but really, it ruins it. HP fandom, I'm looking at you.


My simple answer: plot, damnit - plot your story before hand, from beginning to end, with the keyword being end.

The no good dirty rotten horrible day and other melodrama

Look, things can go wrong. Multiple things can go wrong. But everything in the entire world all colliding at once to create a giant swamp of melodrama ruins the angsty effect by making it look silly and exaggerated. Reign it in some and it becomes much more effective. More is not always better however tempting it might seem.


Impact and Temperance, they are your friends. If everything is going bad, it start to get difficult to figure out what's good, what's bad, and what's worse. Everything feels the same, and the angst and melodrama that's important loses its impact. You need to have some average things to be proportionate to the not-so-average, you need some good things to balance out the bad things, and you need some great things to provide contrast with the terrible things.

Otherwise, it all becomes one big, pointless blur of melodrama and angst.

Epithets

Just don’t. On very rare occasions it’s appropriate to have an epithet – perhaps when it’s used to emphasize something, to introduce detail, or to reference an unnamed/unknown character. Every sentence is not appropriate. It just makes your writing sound lame and makes me want to kill things. So please, just say no. If I read one more fic with 'the teen', 'the blond assassin', 'the blue-eyed prince', 'the older boy', or 'the noble Gryffindor', I will scream.


There are these things called pronouns. Use them, for they are your friends. Even if you're using the same pronouns (i.e. multiple men/women in the same scene, ect.), for the most part, you can use them in all the cases necessary - most people can usually figure out who's talking/doing stuff. In those rare cases where it's difficult, use their names.

And for the names thing - seriously, use them. So long as it's not like every other word or something, most people won't notice the names as repetition - their minds and eyes will gloss over it beyond simply recognizing who it is.

Only use epithets for emphasis, nothing more.
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So, to start with a technical side, I have been looking up the stuff in the commercial to see if they come from original legends. They do not.

Interestingly enough, though - while Medhir seems to be made up entirely, 'Idirsholas' could possibly have an Irish origin. Idir is a preposition meaning 'between', while 'sholas' means 'light', thought many phrases use it to mean 'life' as well. So, Idirsholas could possibly mean 'between lights', or at a stretch, 'between lives' - and maybe it's mean to mean both? I tried looking up Medhir, got nothing, and looked up 'me dhir' - me is a pronoun, but there is no dhir. Anyone have any clue, or is it just completely made up?

Also - anyone know if there's anything about undead knights or weird fires or whatever in Arthurian legend?

Anywho, Morgause is back, and all of Camelot is asleep - except Arthur and Merlin (and possibly Morgana). Merlin and Morgana are kinda easy - they're magic, so they're immune - and perhaps Arthur somehow fell under Merlin's protection, due to something involving proximity? A spell? Who knows.

Morgause seems to be willing to attack Morgana - or, those creepy knights aren't acting completely under Morgause's control. Hm...

Thoughts?
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So, mostly, we see Morgana being persuaded to betray Uther and get the Druids that crystal which will help them defeat him.

1.) Does she know what they're planning with it?

2.) Her eyes - they flash gold. Nimueh, Cedric - their eyes went black when they did magic. Morgause's eyes, who is a deliberately ambiguous though antagonistic character, when red. Mordred's eyes were screwed shut the one time we saw him do magic. Morgana and Merlin's eyes both go gold when they do magic.

Just something to keep in mind.

And, a meta on Morgana:

Everyone's been complaining about her being too passive and missing the Season 1 Morgana.

That's exactly the point.

In the last season, everyone loved Morgana - the adult female audience loved her as a feminist, the kid females loved her as a role-model, and the kid-males thought she was kickass.

So it sucks that she's going to be evil.

Notice how every episode that she's more and more passive in, we hate her more? Now are we going to feel so bad about her turning evil?

Keep in mind, my friends. ^+^

ETA: I looked up "the witch's quickening", which go no response, so I looked up "quickening": it's described as a state of pregnancy where the child shows signs of life that the mother can feel, i.e. kicking. Think this matters?

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