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# Tired, cranky and slightly sick with a cold. Yesterday I woke up and my voice was almost completely gone, but I still had to croak at 150+ customers for eight hours. Did I mention tired? God, do I ever hate Christmas. I can already feel depression setting in once the stress will let up a bit after the holidays.

# Also, on a more general note, when did my life become so stressful to begin with? I did another translation job in late Nov and a few more pages in Dec, I even sent off an application for a secretary-type job that sounded both interesting and doable a couple of weeks ago, although seeing as I haven't heard from them since, that probably came to nothing. (Stupid brain with its stupid, impossible-to-stop hopes. Damn you, self.) And I signed up for a bookkeeping class starting mid-Jan, which I can't say I'm particularly enthusiastic about, but at least it's something to put in my resume. I really want nothing so much as a couple of weeks off, no studying, no worrying, just watching DVDs and writing meta and going for walks. Sometimes I don't even recognise myself any longer. On the one hand had it feels as if I'm getting more confident, as if things are moving towards a change, but it also feels like I'm losing myself... I feel so shallow and stupid.

# TV: - Merlin: I should probably wait for the final episode, but at this point I very much suspect it's going to be too handwavey for my taste. I never liked old!Merlin, and if that's who he is going to be from now on, I'm not sure they can sell this in any way I'll be interested in. I guess I've been lucky so far with shows like Torchwood where I could follow the writers' vision through all turns and changes to the end; in the case of Merlin I can only assume I saw something in S1 that never existed outside my head to begin with.

Towards the end of S1, after The Labyrinth of Gedref and To Kill the King, I wrote that 'after suffering through the frustration of watching Smallville for five seasons with Lex going to hell no matter how hard he tried, after JW and his penchant for torturing his characters, Angel, with everyone going to hell in an even more literal sense, or even Torchwood's often quite unrelenting existentialism it's such a nice change to have a show that's filled with really nice moral dilemmas, a dash of darkness, but still has you happy, instead of depressed at the end of the episode.'

When I look back at that and all my S1 reviews and meta four years later, I'm actually a bit bitter — both about my own naivety and all that wasted potential. What's more, if they're going to deliver a sort of happy ending, which they probably will, considering the air-date of the last episode, I'm not sure I still want it. SV was painful to watch, but even so on some level it felt cleaner in comparison. I don't mind fucked up relationships, but they need to be equally fucked up. Lex and Clark's lying was mutual, mutually understood and mutually resented and occasionally regretted, as well as sufficiently motivated by their respective situations and characters. More importantly, it had its consequences. Merlin and Arthur's relationship, with the exception of a few S1 episodes and the occasional moments where Arthur instinctively reacts to Merlin's authority when Merlin choses to let it shine through, never had even that much equality, and this has very little to do with their different social status. Now granted, Arthur's behaviour towards Merlin remains rather appalling almost right to the end — never in the very long history of the show's misplaced so-called comic relief has the 'humour' and the 'banter' between Merlin and Arthur been quite so stale and out of place as in With all my Heart —, but regardless my sympathies lie more with Arthur, who for years has been manoeuvred into situations, and now ultimately a war, without ever being allowed to make an informed decision about the fundamental underlying problem.

I liked when in The Drawing of the Dark Kara refused to compromise and rejected Arthur's offer, because it needed to be said that Arthur in fact did continue his father's policy, or at least not break with it, even if he was less fanatical and occasionally took pity on the individual. One could even agree with her that he deserves what's coming if it weren't for the fact that Merlin never let him see the truth, at least twice lying outright, and not just by omission, in crucial situations. Now Merlin's reasons for lying are understandable enough as long as Uther was alive, and I don't think Arthur would have blamed him for that, but already in Sins of the Father his decision keep Arthur in the dark and take his agency away from him, while understandable on some level, was at the very least morally questionable, and it makes me sick that the show will probably never call him on it.

Back then Morgana could probably still have been saved, too, but instead we got season after season, episode after episode after episode after episode of manipulation and lies and unnecessary complications that could easily have been avoided if Merlin had told Arthur the truth about magic back in S2 or at any point after Uther's death. Elyan might still be alive, and how many others? It's insanely frustrating that very likely this is never going to be addressed. I disliked the plot twist with possessed!Gwen to the point of almost quitting the show (*), but the one thing that would have made this storyline at least remotely tolerable would have been if they'd drawn a deliberate parallel between Morgana using Gwen as her puppet and the fact that Merlin had been pulling Arthur's strings just as much for a much longer time, albeit with more benevolent intentions. But once again that didn't happen and it's highly unlikely that it ever will. Every now and then there is an episode like The Disir that seems to call into question Merlin's actions and I get my hopes up that the show is willing to take a more complex stance after all, but at this point I suppose it's going to be a it-was-all-for-the-best-anyway-all's-forgiven reveal of Merlin's magic, with a clear line drawn between the old (young) Merlin and the reborn old Merlin without Arthur being given time to really think about what happened around him over the last years.


(*) I adored their friendship back in the early seasons; they were so lovely and shippable back then. But of course there can be no real friendship between women, it's all either rivalry or manipulation or for evil, evil purposes. Whereas Merlin manipulating Arthur is (apparently; I'd love for the last episode to prove me wrong) fine and dandy and only for the best of the kingdom. Gah.




- Elementary: still watching when I remember to, but neither the characters nor the plots really engage me.

- What I actually have been mostly enjoying is, God help me, Wizards vs Aliens. Yes, kid's show, more so than the SJA, yes, the premise is complete crack and I'm still not very fond of it, and, yes, rather lacking in female characters (*), but while I didn't like 1/2 and 6/7 very much, 3/4 was great fun, 4/5 touching and not bad at all, 9/10 definitely the best and most grown-up episode so far with an interesting moral dilemma, and 11/12 wasn't bad either, with some lovely moments.

(*) Case in point, it's really hard to care about Tom's budding romance (if you want call it that) with Katie, when Katie turns up every third episode for a couple of minutes while at the same time in 9/10 Tom is siding with Benny against his own family, his own interests, and then willing to sacrifice himself so that Benny gets a chance to fix things and doesn't have to live with the guilt of killing the Nekross, or in ep 11 Tom rushes straight off to Benny, quite literally away from Katie, pouring out his heart about his dead mother and seeing her (ghost) again. (So apparently the actors are 21 and 18 respectively rather than actually 16, but that's still half my age on average, so I'm really, really not shipping them, but this said, Fall of the Nekross is slashy10 in a really adorable puppy-ish kind of way.)

Also? Magic reveal 20 minutes into the first episode. Thank you.


# Picture spam, mostly to cheer myself up, because between translation jobs and Christmas baking and the weather I haven't been outside in weeks. It's all covered in snow now, although apparently it's going to thaw over Christmas. These are from Nov 11th, and I still remember that it was such a peaceful day, the changes of autumn already mostly over, the leaves dry and shrivelled on the ground, everything settling in for winter...



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And a week later....


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Date: 2012-12-31 11:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] green-maia.livejournal.com
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful photos. The one of the path through the spruce (I think?) trees, leading into the forest, the light through the green branches...and the mountains...and the last one of the trees silhoutted against the mountains and the sky...

I haven't seen Wizards vs Aliens (as far as I know, it isn't available over here yet)...I think I would like it.

I hope your cold gets better soon, and that you get some post-Christmas rest, and that the new year will be as free of stress as possible.

*Hugs you*

Date: 2013-01-01 01:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] solitary-summer.livejournal.com
Thank you so much! :)

(Another New Year resolution is to post more frequently again. It's really a shame... my first page goes back until June.)

Wizards vs Aliens is cute, but really kind of children-orientated and a bit silly. But also kind of adorable. And sad is it is, there is no show right now that really interests me, or more importantly engages me emotionally...

Прекрасные снимки.

Date: 2013-02-03 10:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] denki-gisi.livejournal.com
Особенно удачны серо-голубые горы в стыке с перламутрово-розовеющим, от восходящего солнца, небом.

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