Meme Day 3

Feb. 6th, 2014 08:05 pm
kungfuwaynewho: (luther alice)
Day 3 - Your favorite new show (aired this tv season)

Cool!  Read the meme wrong!  So yeah, this show aired last season, whatever.  Maybe I'll do another picspam for Brooklyn Nine-Nine, which is my favorite new show from this season, at some other point.

But today we're talking about Hannibal!  Not just my favorite new show, but as far as I'm concerned, the best show on TV right now.  If you're at all familiar with the Hannibal Lecter mythos, you know that a story about him is going to be dark, depraved and gruesome.  So it may come as a surprise to hear that Hannibal is arguably the most beautiful show at least currently airing, perhaps ever.

That's quite a claim, I know.  I have never seen such detail in production design, from the regular sets to location shots; the costuming is absurdly gorgeous; don't even get me started on the cinematography!  I have watched many a feature film with not even close to this amount of attention paid to shot selection, framing, color grading, lighting, etc.  For instance, Hannibal is often backlit, which causes a sort of angelic glow around him (also known as Rembrandt lighting).  It softens the edges of his silhouette, giving him a slightly-otherworldly appearance.  But he's often backlit without any kind of key light or fill light.  His facial features end up obscured, his expression ambiguous, his eyes dark and unable to be read.  The effect is to dehumanize him, but in both positive and negative ways - he is beautiful, and he is terrible.  Subconsciously, the viewer is both attracted and repelled.  Is there any better way to depict a character like Hannibal Lecter?

I could go on and on about how absolutely perfect this show is.  Actually, I will go on a little bit more.  Many wonderful, complex female characters - who are all different from one another.  I think a lot of shows have heard about having "strong female characters," so they write a couple iterations of the same 2D female character who is played by a physical waif but is shown beating people up.  Not so on Hannibal.  Bryan Fuller even took a male character from the books and made her a woman to make the gender balance more even.  (Speaking of Bryan Fuller's awesomeness: he has vowed to never have a rape storyline.  Ever.)  It's also a very smart show.  They will cut from A to D or sometimes even, like, F, and trust the audience to figure out the steps in between; after years and years of police procedurals, we know how these stories work.  So Hannibal cuts out all that stuff and concentrates on everything else: what kind of toll does investigating these kinds of crimes take on people?  In the very first episode, Will Graham must make a snap judgment in an incredibly difficult and tense situation.  He deals with that decision and its after-effects for the entire rest of the season.  It's not just glossed over, and it's certainly not glamorized.  As over-the-top as some of the murders and staging can be, there's a huge amount of attention paid to the psychology of murder.  Which makes sense, considering the title character...

As for Dr. Lector, what I found perhaps most astonishing is how well Hannibal was able to take a character who was so well-entrenched in the public consciousness, to the point that he wasn't even really scary anymore (who among us hasn't made the fava beans and chianti joke?), and make him so completely brand-new.  And yet still the Hannibal Lecter we all have come to know so well.  It's a testament not just to the writing, but most especially to Mads Mikkelsen, who is able to do so much just by the tiniest quirk of the corner of his mouth, just a slight tilt to his head, just a knowing look in the background of a shot as other characters speak.  He is, quite simply, a revelation.

I am going to put my picspam behind a cut, however, because I know Hannibal isn't for everyone.  It is an extremely dark and violent show.  I've selected a few compositions that I find incredibly beautiful, but they are disturbing, and I don't want to upset anyone who doesn't care for that sort of thing.

Hannibal picspam )

Day 3 - An unamused gif


Sep. 12th, 2012 10:07 am
kungfuwaynewho: (bsg oath lee kara)
I've been coming home the last few days and watching a random episode of Battlestar Galactica.  Out of all the shows I've ever loved, it's strange that it has become my comfort show - especially since the episodes I generally like to watch are the darkest and what you would think to be the least comforting.  I'm sure there's some kind of psychological who-zit thingy that explains it or whatever.  Last night I watched "The Oath," which is just perfect.  It really is.  It made me think that maybe the goal of any show is to reach a point where you can have an episode like that, so dense, every single character playing their parts, even the tiny supporting and recurring characters.  Where even the setting becomes a character, integral to the plot and the mood.

And I was thinking about how that episode wouldn't work if, in some way, Gaeta wasn't absolutely right.

As much as I've enjoyed Fringe (though not so much last season), and shows like Community and Parks and Rec (though sitcoms aren't quite the same for me), I haven't loved a currently-airing show since BSG the way I still love BSG.  I miss it.
kungfuwaynewho: (bsg baltar bored)
ETA: I did have the trailer here, but NBC already yanked it.  Because those are the command decisions networks make!  "Hey dude, let's make a teaser trailer to promote our new show."  "On it, bro."  "That looks great!"  "Oh no, people are watching it on the internet."  "Well take it down, obvs, we don't want anyone to watch it."

Sigh.  I'm sure it's already been reuploaded, so just try searching for it.

[ profile] ufgator1977 posted this earlier today - I hadn't seen it yet.  I am very conflicted.  On the one hand, this looks amazing and very cool and look at all the spaceships and Cylons and yay!

On the other hand, I still blame this show for the cancellation of Caprica.  And to me, you can see that network decision-making process explicit in this trailer.  Caprica failed not because the network jerked it around, put it on a long hiatus, changed the premiere date with little advance notice, etc., but because it had girrrrrls in it!  Yuck!  And people were talking all the time.  About stuff!  But Blood and Chrome is going to succeed because it's about boys!  Who fight!  And shoot things!  And blow them up!  Pew-pew, ba-dow ba-dow! 

And then I watch the trailer again.  Because it's cool.  (And why will no one let themselves understand that girls like shit blowing up, too?)  And then I remember my poor dear Caprica, whose last chunk of episodes I still haven't watched because I was so bummed by the cancellation that I couldn't bring myself to do it.  And this way, I still have new Caprica to (someday) watch.

But I miss BSG and this is kinda like new BSG.

kungfuwaynewho: (b5 garden talk)
What are people's thoughts on Real Person Fiction?  Have you read any of it?  Does the very idea of RPF squick you out?  Do you think less of a writer who tries her hand at RPF?  Is there some RPF pairing you would want to read or even write but don't?  Do you have an unabashed love of RPF (and don't care who frakking knows)?

I'm not saying yet why I'm asking!  But I am curious.
kungfuwaynewho: (b5 londo bw)
My local writer's group decided to make writing resolutions for the upcoming year, which I thought was a neat idea.  Here are mine, and just coming up with them really focused me on how much I want to do, which in turn will focus me on time management, which is always good.  These are roughly in the order in which I'd like to finish them.

Writing Resolutions 2011 )
kungfuwaynewho: (b5 john smiles)
When you talk about TV, usually you talk about canon.  What actually, factually happened in the episodes.  Some people expand canon to include what the writers/producers/directors/actors have to say.  Some include books or comics or other non-TV stories.  Some include generally accepted interpretations of subtext - for instance, neither actually says it, but it's clear that John and Delenn are in love with each other well before the end of S3; raising that point would almost always be considered consistent with canon.

What I want to talk about is fanon.  The things fans come up with on their own.  I'm not particularly interested in fanon that contradicts canon; that's just being an obstinate fan who ends up bitterly hating the source material.  But those little details that people come up with to flesh out the universe, be it in meta or fiction or something else, that may or may not end up becoming generally accepted.  [ profile] nhpw brought this up the other day, about how in fic, you see a lot of "Sheridan is a god in bed."  That's definitely a fanon thing.  We (unfortunately) never learned on the show itself about his prowess, so that's an interpretation that was left up to the fans.

What fanon things do you accept yourself?  Which ones do you hate?  What's your own personal crazy fanon?  Me, for instance, I like to imagine that Sheridan listened to classic rock growing up because that's what his great-granddad listened to - remember, "As my great-granddad would have said, 'cool'"? - and that when his parents were running around doing diplomat-y stuff, he stayed with relatives.  He probably got shit for it at the Academy.  But when he's in his office, late at night, doing boring paperwork, he just rocks out to "Carry On My Wayward Son" or something.  Nothing in canon contradicts that, so I'm free to believe it as much as I want.

Also, when I imagine events S5 and later in my head, I can just pretend he doesn't have his stupid goatee and ugly brown hair; that is contradicted by canon, but since it's just in my head and I'm not doing fanart, I think it's okay.

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