In the spring of 2009, I’d run out of Battlestar Galactica episodes to watch, and I was desperate for more sci-fi television. I’d seen the new series of Doctor Who around Netflix, and as a fan of Classic Who, I was immediately wary of the new series’ quality. But one night I got bored, and I clicked on an episode titled “Rose.” Four years later, and I’ve never been so glad to be wrong in my whole life.
As the Collectiva Diva and I countdown to the 50th Anniversary special of DW in our Doctor Who Week, we will be taking a look back at some of our favorite moments, characters and episodes in the rebooted and classic series. To start with, the Doctor who I feel needs a little more appreciation from the fandom (see what I did there?).
Sometimes a love story comes along that is perfect.
Sometimes a film meant for children makes you cry.
Pixar’s Up is both.
A four-minute montage in a ninety-six minute film may be considered to be a little long. Yet the four-minute montage at the beginning of Pixar’s Up neither feels too long nor feels out of place for such a short film. Montages have long been used to condense stories–to say a lot in a short amount of time. Jennifer Van Sijll in Cinematic Storytelling describes montage as being “created through an assembly of quick cuts, disconnected in time or place, that combine to form a larger idea. A montage is frequently used to convey passage of time, coming of age, or emotional transition.” The montage in Up begins about seven minutes into the film immediately following the wedding of Carl and Ellie, two childhood sweethearts. The montage cuts between short clips of their life together, compressing a span of fifty or sixty years into four minutes.
Episode 09×06 AKA the Episode When Cas Worked in a Convenience store
Cas is back. After the heart-wrenching, feel-stomping, episode 3, Cas has been on his own for the past few weeks, and let me tell you, the fandom was pissed. Whether you ship Destiel or not, last night the hashtag #profoundbond trended worldwide as SPN fans showed their support via social network for the friendship of Dean and Castiel.
The boys are back in the bunker, and SPN cutie Osric Chau is back too. Kevin has found a footnote to Metatron’s angel tablet, and he’s hoping that it will give them a clue as to how to re-open Heaven (implied: getting Cas his wings back). Unfortunately, they cannot translate the dead language, so Dean takes this as an opportunity to go hang out with his boyfriend to check out a potential hunt that Castiel called him about. The episode is split into two focuses (focii?); one plot focuses on Sam and Kevin as they interrogate Crowley for information on Metatron’s footnotes (love Mark Sheppard’s snark) and the other focus is on Dean and Castiel’s investigation of a few mysterious deaths.
As the prison-tribe begins to establish concrete roles in terms of leaders, nurturers and warriors, we see individuals strengthened by the choices they make. The expectations of life pre-apocalypse do not exist. Hershel is not just a veterinarian, but the group healer, with the patience and skills to help those in need; Maggie is not only the farmer’s daughter, but a warrior woman who protects the camp bravely and efficiently; Carl is not just a dumb kid mindlessly following around his mother, he is a savvy soldier who follows his father’s orders (much better than he ever followed Lori’s). Since the beginning of the show, audiences have watched racial, gender and ageist stereotypes shift as individuals in the group prove themselves able to accomplish more than pre-apocalyptic archetypes allow.
According to Lee Edwards in his book, Psyche as Hero (1984) “By the beginning of the twentieth century, novelists seem readier to abandon the project of entrapping the female heroic character and begin the task of inventing maneuvers whereby she can break out of familial, sexual, and social bondage into an altered and appropriate world” (16). Suzanne Collins’ “Girl on Fire” is a heroic alternative to limited female archetypes bound inextricably to traditionally assigned gender roles. Katniss is not tied to a matriarchal role, in fact, she cannot and will not bare children until social change is achieved in Panem. Readers encounter a love triangle of sorts, yet it is not central to the action. Katniss cannot settle into any role comfortably until she achieves social and spiritual growth and her journey is over. On her quest, the female hero must risk violating social norms regarding gender roles to fully realize her heroic qualities. Katniss must “incorporate change into [her] private life [and then] move with confidence into a newly constituted world” (Edwards 16).