tv shows

American Gods 1/?: Thanks Bryan Fuller for my Life

It’s kind of ironic that the only show that I’ve bothered to stay caught up with during finals week and moving back home is the one show I haven’t said a word about on here.

American Gods. One of my favorite books by my favorite author, turned into a phenomenal show by one of my favorite showrunners. I really couldn’t have asked for a better team to adapt this wonderful novel than Bryan Fuller (Hannibal, Pushing Daisies) and Michael Green (Logan, Alien: Covenant), and of course Neil Gaiman himself (the author of the novel). These guys have done an incredible job adapting page to screen, as well as modernizing things (Technical Boy), and expanding on roles (Laura Moon, Salim, the Jinn/Ifrit).

I was, of course, wary of AG being adapted in any way, shape, or form, but Bryan and Michael (not to be confused with Bryan and Michael of Avatar: The Last Airbender haha) have done it good. I’ve joked to my family and friends that this show is “the only thing I care about anymore” and I really feel like it’s barely an exaggeration. Never have I seen a show so respectfully diverse, a show that uses sex in a positive and characterizing manner rather than for shock value or as an excuse to sexualize female cast members/characters (I’m looking at you Game of Thrones), or a show that is about so many things at once: fantasy, sci-fi, road trips, Americana, romance, immigration, life/death, political commentary.

I’ve made my friends watch the first three episodes before our semester ended and we all went home, and I think they’re all at least somewhat intrigued, none of them having ever read the book before. (I even changed my icon on tumblr to my favorite character, and the title of my blog to my favorite line from the book!) I’ve told just about everyone I know and love to watch the show, so I’d say I’m sufficiently obsessed. I’m, of course, even rereading the book, which I’m now almost done with.

I remember after I first read the book, I went around telling just about everyone I knew and loved then that they should all read it. They would ask me why, and back then little 9th grade me couldn’t put into words why I loved it so much (I chalked it up to my obsession with mythologies, but in reality it really was so much more). Now I know why I love it so much; AG is a story about so much more than it seems. Though it has plenty mature themes, it ultimately boils down to a man finding that he’s more than he thinks he is, that there’s a bigger picture, that things don’t have to be seen to be believed, that sometimes useless detours in life aren’t so useless after all. AG is a book I read when I was young (I mean, I guess I still am) and it truly shaped me into the young woman I am today.

So… thanks Neil, for all of That. And thank you Bryan Fuller and Michael Green for bringing it back up again, this time with an all too fresh relevance.

Advertisements
Uncategorized

I’m so sorry

Wow, it’s been so long since I posted anything of substance! I’m so sorry y’all. I’ve been gone due to school and then finals got in the way of everything, not just this blog.

I’ve got a post in my drafts that will take a bit of time, but hopefully I’ll get something out sooner than that!

Thanks for bearing with me!!

Uncategorized

bruce and jason’s ever complicated relationship vol. 1

So I’ve had minimal free time in the last few weeks (frankly I should be studying as I write this, but oh well.) but with what free time I have had I’ve been using it to reread some comics.

I’ve always loved Jason Todd, no matter what anyone said about him. As much as I love Dick Grayson, I can definitely relate to Jason more — not that I’ve died or anything…. In any case Jason has always intrigued me, especially in his journey after his murder and resurrection. Regardless of the writer, Jason has grown a lot since his Under the Hood arc in 2005/6, and I think it’d be a huge disrespect to him to reduce him to his anger and “daddy issues” — although he does tend to have a lot of both often times.

In any case, I was rereading Batman and Robin #20, which takes place pretty soon after Damian Wayne was killed off by his clone/brother and, arguably, his own mother, Talia al-Ghul. Jason and Bruce had always been on shaky ground after Jay’s death, especially after Bruce disappeared and Dick had to take on the mantle of the Bat and subsequently fired Tim and hired Damian to be the new Robin ( but I’ll go into that in another post).

This issue had one scene that especially stuck out to me and really emphasized how fragile Bruce and Jason’s relationship really is — when Bruce takes Jason back to the spot where he died.

tumblr_o85w67gTCj1qm38obo1_1280.jpg

It seems pretty unfair to do something like this to Jason; to make him relive such trauma. Bruce has always been a complicated character and oftentimes it’s hard for me to understand his motives, but like his adopted children, many of his issues and his emotional intelligence (or lack thereof) stem from his past traumas.

Here is Bruce, having lost a son very recently, taking a son he lost and then regained back to where he lost him. Talk about unique situations.

Bruce is either so blinded by his grief that he can’t see what he’s even putting Jason through, or he doesn’t give a damn. tumblr_o85w67gTCj1qm38obo2_1280 2.jpg

Jason, knowing how Bruce must be feeling to some extent, knowing that he’s reliving an incredible trauma, was ready to work with him. Jason was ready to put aside past issues and “stand by [Bruce’s] side” through it all. And then Bruce dragged him back to the one place he never wanted to revisit. Now Jay’s angry, he’s upset, he’s probably going through some sort of PTSD-related cocktail of emotions on top of it all. And yet he’s holding back. Why? Why would Jason feel the need to hold back against fighting Bruce when he’s this angry about being brought back to such a place?

After all this time, I think that Jason’s holding back proves that somewhere in his mind, he still does love Bruce. The man was a father to Jason for a huge portion of his life, and although their relationship is undoubtedly damaged beyond repair, Jason does still care about Bruce.

tumblr_o85w67gTCj1qm38obo2_1280 3.jpg

Bruce’s “I trained you better than that” hit me pretty hard. It seems more like Bruce convincing himself that he didn’t completely fail Jason, rather than reminding Jason that he can take Bruce in a fight. Bruce may have failed Jason in death but here he is reminding himself that he may not have failed Jason on every front.

tumblr_o85w67gTCj1qm38obo3_1280.jpg

So they fight. And in the end Jason is the one who stops it once Bruce stops hitting back. Bruce’s “I’m still standing” can probably be argued as slight-suicidal behavior, which Bruce has displayed before, and alludes to Bruce’s many other mental issues. He really wanted to provoke Jason into beating the shit out of him on the same spot where Jason himself was beaten to death. He really thought Jason would do something like that; Bruce misunderstands Jason’s feelings toward him in this moment, he misinterprets their relationship grossly in this moment. Although Bruce knows Jason isn’t above killing bad people, he intends to take advantage of this part of Jason to punish himself for failing both Jason and, most recently, Damian.

Some people may argue that Bruce is feeling worse about Damian’s death because he was Bruce’s “real” son, but to discount Bruce and Jason’s bond as Batman and Robin would be a huge disrespect to both of them. Bruce and Jason will always have a complicated relationship, one that is in fact broken beyond repair, but it is always more complicated than so many people realize.

cartoons

Are we finally going to address Sterling Archer’s PTSD this season? (spoiler warning)

I don’t know about y’all but I love FXX’s Archer. Season 8 started last night and I could not have been more excited! (That’s a lie, I’m slightly more excited for American Gods, premiering April 30th on Starz.) I really enjoyed the season opener and a few spoiler-y things resonated with me. So… SPOILER WARNING!

What struck me most about the season premiere was that Archer is now a WWII veteran. Mallory, or Mother, as she’s called this season, points out that he was an extremely distinguished soldier who fought in Normandy, North Africa, and eventually all the way to Berlin.

During the scene where Archer is climbing up crates to get a better look at the human trafficking organization, he flashes back briefly to climbing a rope ladder up the side of a ship, presumably sometime during his service. A few moments later he then sees that the Chinese women he’s observing are being trafficked into sexual slavery and nearly freaks out, reminding himself to calm down and keep his cool.

Later in the episode, Archer is in a fist fight with one of this episode’s bad guy gangsters and he flashes back quite violently, many times to a fist fight with a Nazi.

His flashbacks, from a cinematic perspective, are washed out and in a bland, almost-sepia color scheme, showing the audience that they’re from a past better forgotten.

There’s no doubt that a man like Sterling Archer has PTSD in some way or form. He’s been beaten, shot, stabbed, bullied as a child, shot, held captive, sexually assaulted, shot, lost his wife, and is a cancer survivor. You name it, it’s probably happened to Archer. Up until now, Archer – and by extent, the writers – has only dealt with his past issues through his heavy alcoholism and hedonistic behavior and habits.

But with this season titled “Dreamland” and being set inside Archer’s comatose mind, a lot more can be explored about the title character’s psyche. Archer showed awareness of Woodhouse’s death, with that event being the catalyst for the plot, and he also showed awareness of his own drowning (the artsy shot of Mother pouring whiskey into a glass and then dropping the ice cubes in), another real-life event that actually put him in the coma.

In this movie-esque, somewhat out of canon setting, Adam Reed and the rest of the crew have a lot more leeway to explore Archer as an already complex character and I think that it would add a lot to the already beloved show, in addition to allowing audience members to relate to Archer and his PTSD.