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Tansy Rayner Roberts

Posts Tagged ‘watching’

ROBOTECH REWATCH 8 – Beauty Queens and Battloids

Saturday, July 19th, 2014

robotech rewatchRobotech will be rewatched after these messages! The message that this episode is trying to convey is mostly that it’s not a good thing to screen a big distracting beauty pageant during a major military operation, especially if all your pilots and air traffic controllers have the ability to change to the ‘beauty pageant’ channel during combat.

I really wish I was kidding.

This weekly rewatch of classic animated space opera Robotech is brought to you as bonus content for the Musketeer Space project. Thanks to everyone who has linked, commented, and especially to all 47 of my paid patrons. You can support Musketeer Space at Patreon.

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You Can Leave Your Hat On: the BBC Musketeer Edition Part II

Monday, July 14th, 2014

There are going to be three of these now. I’m not sorry.

This is an extra special Musketeer Media Monday month – I’m reviewing the whole Season 1 of The Musketeers (2014) across three blog posts. Check out Part I: Looks Good in Leather.

bbc-three-musketeers-2014promoI’ve come to the conclusion that the BBC series The Musketeers (2014) is largely about the hats. I’m actually fighting the urge to write Musketeer hat fanfic right now.

Seriously, the hats are important. They use their hats as umbrellas, when it rains on them. It rains on them a lot. I don’t know if that’s a Prague thing or if the directors are all very enthusiastic about wet Musketeers.

Each of the Musketeers has a special relationship with his hat. Athos uses his largely for slouching and hiding his feelings, and on one very memorable occasion, faked his own death for half an episode simply by pushing his hat a little further down his face. Aramis’ hat has a long enough brim that he regularly uses it to keep smoke and powder out of his eyes when shooting his musket. Porthos’ hat is larger and fancier than anyone else’s, just like his pretty armour.

D’Artagnan has no hat. That pretty much sums up his relationship to the rest of the Musketeers. He wants to be them, because they are older and better at everything, and they all have really great hats. He is occasionally allowed to borrow hats for comedy and espionage purposes, but otherwise… no hats for you, kid!

Sometimes, the hats are metaphorical.

There are spoilers in these episode reviews. The better the episode, the more spoilery I get. Read with caution, or just watch the show already.

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ROBOTECH REWATCH 7: Dating in Deep Space

Saturday, July 12th, 2014

robotech rewatchRobotech will be rewatched after these messages!

I’m enjoying the rewatch so far, not least because Raeli (Ms9.5) is enjoying it along with me. Jem (Ms4.11) is far less convinced, as the aliens scare her which necessitates a regular application of a blankie to the head. She starts perking up with interest once the lady aliens arrive, though…

However, this is not that day!

I’m doing my best to restrain the Minmei bashing (which is an essential aspect of Robotech fandom) because my daughters both like and identify with her. Also, it has to be said, she’s not the only female character who is regularly portrayed as a ditz… and let’s not even get started on the ridiculous inner turmoils of Rick Hunter, Drama Queen.

Minmei’s not the only airhead at this party, is perhaps my point. Though she’s the only one who has age as an excuse… that’s right, it’s birthday party time!

This weekly rewatch of classic animated space opera Robotech is brought to you as bonus content for the Musketeer Space project. Thanks everyone for your support!

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ROBOTECH REWATCH 6: Death by Flashback

Saturday, July 5th, 2014

robotech rewatchWelcome back to the Robotech Rewatch, the blog about the show that put all the wrong people in charge! This weekly rewatch of classic animated space opera Robotech is brought to you as bonus content for the Musketeer Space project. Thanks everyone for your support!

Episode 7. Bye Bye Mars

More months have passed.

Like the Wolf in Red Riding Hood, Breetai and Exedore’s Zendraedi forces drop out of hyperspace and get to Mars ahead of the Micronians, ready to set a trap for them as they bring their basket of goodies to Grandmother’s house. Most of the humans on the Mars outpost have already been wiped out by other Zendraedi forces, so it’s a good place to hide.

Exedore is horrified that Breetai has summoned Khyron’s forces for backup. By all accounts, this young blue-haired captain is too nasty for even the Zentraedi, with rumours he has killed his own men for looking at him funny. As soon as Khryon turns up, he establishes himself quickly as an arrogant little shit, who laughs maniacally at random intervals. Oh yeah, Breetai, no way this could possibly go wrong for you.

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ROBOTECH REWATCH 4: Welcome to the First Chinese Restaurant in Space

Saturday, June 21st, 2014

robotech rewatchThis weekly rewatch of classic animated space opera Robotech is brought to you as bonus content for the Musketeer Space project. Thanks everyone for your support!

Previous episodes:
1 – So Much For World Peace
2 – Who Put Pluto There?
3 – To Be In Love

Episode 5. Transformation

Living on a spaceship under siege is hard work! Minmei’s aunt and uncle bemoan the tight rations, and that gives Minmei a bright idea: let’s reopen the restaurant! She points out that there was food rationing during the last war, and her family kept the restaurant open then.

“But even though we’re lost in space, life can still go on as usual, can’t it?”
Minmei, Queen of Denial 2009

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ROBOTECH REWATCH 2: Who Put Pluto There?

Saturday, June 7th, 2014

robotech rewatchEpisode 3. Space Fold

Amazingly, the SDF1 manages to get into the air, hovering above Macross City. The aliens have gone quiet, and Gloval thinks they are just playing with the humans.

The bridge crew bat their eyelashes to show how confusing all this is for mere girls, and say ‘huh’ a lot. My new theory is that they are all spies. Maybe independent agents, like Charlie’s Angels, only with Uhura back on earth whispering “just keep repeating what the computer says and you’ll keep the top security clearance we need” in their earpieces every now and then.

Roy rescues Rick and Minmei, which seems like the responsible thing to do. He then attempts to lure them both into space, which seems odd. Rick has yet another “what’s the opposite of meet-cute” encounter with Lisa over the intercom, which consists of her being pissed off that an unqualified pilot “tricked” her into letting him into battle, and him claiming she’s an old sourpuss.

It’s pick on Lisa week! Roy thinks this is far too hilarious, and even Minmei gets in on the action, deciding that old women like Lisa get super grumpy at times.

Children, please. Someday, this lady is going to outrank you like whoa.

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ROBOTECH REWATCH 1: So Much For World Peace

Saturday, May 31st, 2014

robotech rewatchSo, Robotech. I’ve read and watched a lot of space opera over the years, but this cartoon is the one that first climbed inside my head. I’ve never watched the Japanese original, Macross. I have always meant to, but somehow never got around to it. Maybe after this rewatch is complete…?

I have read almost all of the Jack McKinney novelisations, multiple times. They’re really good. They are genuinely so much better than novelisations of an anime show dubbed into English should ever be expected to be. They fill in a lot of the blanks, extending the characterisation and backstory, and acknowledging the darker and more mature themes of the story more thoroughly than during the short episodes.

I was exactly the right age (about twelve I think?) when I first came across Robotech, and grew deeply attached. The combination of spaceships, politics and romance really appealed, and the serialised aspect hit all my most obsessive buttons.

“Robotech” is made up of three anime shows, dubbed into English and rewritten just enough to pretend they are all part of the same universe. I did not know this when I first watched. I didn’t know why each new series was so tantalisingly separate from the previous one, and where all the characters I liked had disappeared to. It bugged me for years, and only the books (and later, Wikipedia) helped me figure out how it all worked. In the mean time, I watched the later seasons closely, hungry for callbacks.

I tried introducing Raeli (now nine!) to the show a few years ago and she wasn’t interested. When the Musketeer Space milestone funded to kick off this Robotech rewatch, I gave it another go on the grounds that it would be much easier to watch that many episodes if my daughters were watching along with me.

We watched nearly 5 episodes in that first session. Raeli adores it. Watching it with a kid is great because it gives me that double perspective – the odd disconnect about a show that feels more adult than your brain tells you it should be.

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That Captain America Movie (and that imaginary Black Widow movie)

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

falcon-character-poster-for-captain-american-the-winter-soldierI didn’t expect to start caring about Captain America. Even when I started getting seriously into the reading of Marvel comics (something I’ve only been doing this decade as opposed to DC comics which first captured me back in the early 90′s), he was never a character that interested me.

It probably didn’t help that I read the Ultimates pretty early on, which didn’t just have the effect of ruining me for the ‘real universe’ versions of Nick Fury and the Wasp (just not as good), but also set in my mind that Captain America was a bit of a dick, really.

Reading the Civil War run of comics didn’t actually change my mind on that, so it’s not just the Ultimate universe’s fault. Like Superman, Captain America has a long history behind him of being the straightest guy in straight town, and it’s hard to get invested in that as a character.

And let’s face it, I met the Justice League parody of Captain American, General Glory, two decades earlier. I was never going to be able to take him seriously. (the one where Power Girl ends up trapped back in time as the replacement for Bucky/Ernie? Priceless)

The first Captain America movie was okay, but I was mostly in it for Peggy Carter. It was in The Avengers that I really started warming up to Cap, as the man out of time who doesn’t get any of the pop culture references. A brief cameo in Thor 2 (one of Loki’s disguises) made me realise – oh, yes. I like this character.

Then came Captain America 2 – The Winter Soldier. Which I flat out loved. There were so many things to enjoy in this movie! Sadly, the Winter Soldier himself was the least interesting aspect of the story, but I’m okay with that.

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Christmas Vids: A Regeneration Carol by Not Literally

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

The Trials of Turlough [WHO-50—1984]

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

1984Turlough was one of my favourites. I’m not sure why especially, except that he brought the snark better than anyone. Tegan would complain and shout a lot, but Turlough got to be witty and elegant in his resistance to the Doctor’s particular brand of virtue and heroism.

What is it about Earth people that makes them think a futile gesture is a noble one?

There’s a popular idea that classic Doctor Who companions always start out with pots of characterisation and then gradually descend into bland screaming girls until they are finally written out at the request of the actor. I’m not sure that’s entirely true for any companion at all – it is true that many get stronger scripts to start with than later, but it’s rarely such a linear progression as fans (and perhaps the actors) tend to believe. Sarah Jane’s feminism waxes and wanes rather than sliding in a downward spiral, and the same is true for Nyssa’s scientific know-how, Jo’s spy skills, and so on.

It is rare for extra backstory to develop after a companion’s first appearance – though it did happen to some extent with Ace, and with Tegan. Many companions started out with almost no backstory and… never got any more.

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