The Man in The Blue Box

Many girls have the fantasy of a mysterious stranger coming in to their boring work-a-day lives and sweeping them off their feet to a world of adventure or excitement or other things.

For a very long time, for me, that fantasy belonged exclusively to this actor:

That’s Milo Ventimiglia. He was Rory Gilmore’s kind of boyfriend for two and a half season and then he was a superhero…kind of. Then he was Rocky’s son. During all of that, I used to imagine him coming to my town, being broody and perfect and smart and us running away together.

I bet you had stupid fantasies when you were a teenager too.

Anyway, recently, Milo has been displaced. By this man:

That’s The Doctor. In the Tardis. The difference between my Doctor fantasy and my Milo fantasy is pretty minimal, except for that the Doctor involves more time travel and alien fighting, and less sex. (Please note that thanks to Peter Petrelli, there was still some time travel with Milo, and as long as it’s the David Tennant version, there’s some sex with The Doctor, just you know, less of each.)

With The Doctor, it really is all about the adventure of it. I think that, along with how GD endearing he is, is why Doctor Who has been a successful television franchise for over 40 years. I love the way he gets all quippy and adorable, and how he knows everything. I love the fact that he’s a pacifist superhero. (And not in a Batman, “I won’t kill my enemies, but I don’t have to save them either,” way, like a real, he’ll go out of his way to keep everyone safe way!) I love how Doctor Who manages to tackle huge issues like racism, sexism, homophobia, war etc. without ever coming off as preachy or heavy handed. And it can be funny at the exact same time.

I think without even trying I can count the number of my fangirl friends who want to run away and be the newest companion to The Doctor. Even if it’s in a totally platonic way, (like Amy Pond or Donna Noble) or in a kind of romantic that develops into a totally romantic way, (Rose Tyler), or as a tortured unrequited crush (Martha Jones, Jack Harkness), or as an epic only true match for him in the Universe (River Song, allegedly, I’m still not sold on this).

I can’t wait to see how we meet the next companion, except for that I’m afraid it will mean we’ll lose Amy and Rory to something horrible.

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Earth’s Mightiest Heroes

OK, so now that I’ve gotten past my gushing, I’m going to actually talk about The Avengers, as a film and what I thought of it.

Can I preface this review with the fact that there will be spoilers? OK, cool. Preface number two, I am a huge Joss Whedon fan, OK? I think he’s amazing. However, unlike a lot of Whedon fans, I don’t feel that the man can do no wrong.

In fact I spent a lot of time cursing the fact that I’ve watched most of his work while I was watching The Avengers. I bet a neophyte wouldn’t have even noticed this stuff. But a lot of my enjoyment was tempered by the fact that we had seen most of it before. We’d seen it on Buffy The Vampire Slayer, AngelFirefly and in the film Serenity. We’d seen it on Dollhouse. It was distracting. Luckily, because he wasn’t the boss of this world, we were saved from a heinously depressing Joss Whedon ending. But his fingerprints are all over this baby.

Let’s start with the beginning. The movie opens with Loki, talking to some other people, about how he is going to invade earth for them. Let’s make that clear. There is a larger villainous force at work than just Loki. Something that maybe could be callled a big bad. That’s Whedon cliche number 1.

Then while Nick Fury and film universe only characters Agent Coulson and Agent Maria Hill, and Hawkeye and Dr. Eric Selving talk about the Teseract. Then it lights up and Loki comes through and hipnotizes Hawkeye and Dr. Selving, after making some vague comments about how he’s going to free them from the illusion on freedom. Yes, mind control is a main function of the plot. As is a benevolent villain. That’s Whedon cliche numbers 2 & 3.

Loki steals the Tesseract and blows up S.H.E.I.L.D. base. This is awesome and involves many car chases.

The next thing we see is Black Widow tied to a chair being interrogated by Russians. She is being snarky despite her desperate situation. Agent Coulson is badass and calls one of her interrogators and asks to speak to her. After he calls her back to S.H.E.I.L.D . She then jumps up and beats the crap out of three men who are significantly larger than she is. She walks away with a smug look on her face and says something quippy. That’s Whedon cliche number 4.

Oh, also she wasn’t wearing her shoes. So, you know point for his foot fetish.

Anyway, the team gets together, and Ironman makes lots of quips and Gwyneth makes a cameo appearance (also barefoot!) and we learn that Pepper Pots and Agent Coulson are buddies! We also learn that Tony is not a fan of this. And Agent Coulson is named Phil. Which is weird. He also has a GIANT fanboy hard on for Captain America. Which is sort of adorable…when you think about it. Plus he gets all babbly, and he and Maria Hill work as our team member audience surrogates, that is, non powered/special people who are still a part of the team for some reason. In Whedon land, we call them Xanders or Wesleys or sometimes Inaras. That’s Whedon cliche number 5.

While capturing Loki, Thor diverts them. He and Loki have a chat where Thor tries to reach his humanity by using sentamentality. (Yellow Crayola Crayon!) This does not work. Then Thor, Captain America and Ironman fight and are awesome. That’s Whedon cliche number 6.

Later, there is a discovery that the massive institution that has them organized has been lying to our heroes the entire time. Because S.H.E.I.L.D. is trying to make weapons with the Tesseract energy! For some reason, they all think this is bad, because I guess, Captain America and Ironman are pacifists now? Whatever, it’s Whedon cliche number 7.

They scatter in the fight that comes, and they fix Hawkweye. Then Loki kills Phil Coulson and the team rallies around his memory, and Nick Fury makes an epic speech about why they have to do this. That’s Whedon cliche number 8.

Anyway, they rally and fight and then in a display of girl power, Black Widow figures out how to stop the portal that the weird Lizard people came through.Of course the shadowy organization that controls S.H.E.I.L.D. decides to nuke New York to contain the threat. That’s numbers 9 & 10.

Ironman decides to sacrifice himself to stop the apocalypse by flying the nuke into the portal, because sure. He is unable to connect with Pepper before he dies. This is Whedon cliche number 11.

Uh yeah, this is where we get glad that Whedon is not the boss of this world. Because here’s the thing IRONMAN CAN’T DIE BECAUSE THEN THE ENTIRE MARVEL FILM UNIVERSE WOULD FALL APART AND BE TERRIBLE. So, yeah, then the Hulk wakes him up from unconsciousness and we see news clips about the ambivalent response to world saving that has gone on. That’s Whedon cliche number 12.

Look, I”m not saying that it wasn’t a good movie. It was a really good movie. I’m just saying that as a fan of both Joss Whedon and The Marvel Film universe, I was really, really distracted.

Assemble The Man Candy!

Unemployment does have some benefits. Not the least of which is having loads of free time throughout the day to go see movies that you didn’t get to see when all of your friends did because you were attending a bridal shower for your cousin’s fiance.

That’s an oddly specific example I know, but that’s the reason why I didn’t get to see Joss Whedon trots out his aresenal of plot tropes with Marvel Superheroes… I mean, The Avengers it’s opening weekend. I did however wake up this morning feeling more than a little blue, so I decided to take a subway up to Union Square and coughed up $25 (Ticket, Small Popcorn and Medium Diet Coke) and sat down to enjoy some superhero fun time action.

And to oogle.

Mostly the oogling.

Here’s the thing with the Marvel Studio movies, I love them. I think they’re immensely fun and well executed. I love the quippy dialog, fast paced sequences and the amazing way they’ve linked all of the films together (despite there being 3 different Bruce Banners). But the thing that I love the most, are the beautiful, beautiful men that are commissioned to play the superheroes.

Of course I cheered when Ironman took down the terrorists who imprisoned him to build a bomb. But not quite as much as I did when Tony Stark smoothly whisked Pepper Pots out onto a balcony in a tux and told her he had feelings for her.

I loved it when Dr. Bruce Banner decided to become the Hulk and fight The Abomination. But not as much as when he was running around a jungle half dressed.

Captain America fighting Nazis. Yay! Captain America running in a wife beater through Brooklyn. Super yay!

Thor…Thor.

Sorry, I got lost for a minute there.My point being, that I’m a fangirl, and fangirls like to see really hot guys. It helps when they’re fighting bad guys (dragons in midtown, or whatever those were), and bantering with each other.

The Avengers did not disappoint on that front. I spent so much time trying not to giggle as Thor…Thor…OK, look when I think about Chris Hemsworth’s performance (abs, arms and long blond hair) I have trouble creating a coherent sentence. It was the same in the movie Thor.  

I also love seeing the great Mougar (Male Cougar) Robert Downey Jr. do his thing, I’ve had a crush on Chris Evans ever since The Nanny Diaries, (seeing him and Scarlett Johansson together again, however limited the capacity was wonderful), and Mark Ruffalo is dreamy in a scruffy wonderful way.

The Avengers totally delivered on the man candy front. In other ways it was deeply flawed. I’m just saying that they have something for every girl, (or inclined guy) to fantasize about. For me it’s Thor.

Seriously, guys, the arms, and the hammer, and the whole Norse God thing…I melt just thinking about it.

Lies Musical Theatre Told Me Part 1: Vive La France!

I’ve spent a lot of time around musicals in my life. As a result of that, I’ve internalized a few things.  The problem that I’ve found is that some of the things that I, or at least my subconscious thought were facts, are actually, kind of bullshit. And when I look back on them, so many of them are musical theatre’s fault. So I’ve decided I’m going to do a series of posts about the kind of lies I’ve internalized based on those ideas. The first one being:

French people sing all the time

There are about twenty five million musicals that take place in France. Seriously, Cole Porter alone wrote like seventeen of them. Then you factor in the more modern things, like Les Miserables, Phantom of The Opera, The Scarlet Pimpernel, and Sunday in The Park With George. Then you add in the movie musicals, like Gigi, An American in Paris. Basically it adds up to one thing, the French must sing like, all the time right? Apparently they don’t. Apparently, like most other peoples of the planet earth, the French do not walk around in large well-choreographed production numbers. I find this utterly heart breaking. Because all of these shows that I love LIED to my FACE.

Les Mis is the main culprit in this, to be honest. Somehow, the Paris student uprising of 1832, known as the “June Rebellion” should be epically scored. And it should be amazing. Honestly, I truly believe that if I got in to the TARDIS and went back to June 1832, I would see students running through the streets, distributing fliers and shouting that “the beating of their hearts echo the beating of the drums.” It just feels so real.

Of course what actually happened that June was that a few fires were set and barricades erected and everyone (except Victor Hugo) promptly forgot anything happened.

The Phantom of The Opera gets sort of an exemption because it’s about an Opera house, and if there’s something that I’ve learned in all of my years of theatre geekdom is that performers love to sing randomly. Seriously, my friends and I have been known to stage numbers everywhere from dorm rooms to diners.

The Scarlet Pimpernel gets exception because it’s awful and I’ve only ever met one person who likes it. So it doesn’t get much attention. I do love that book though.

And finally, last but certainly not least is Sunday in The Park with George. I love this show, although I’ve never even seen it. Because unlike the others I’ve listed here, Sunday is not an epic, nor does it take place in the 20’s. It’s an avante garde Sondheim musical about the nature of art, and family, and love. It’s also amazing. So if even an impressionist painter, Georges Seurat and his 20th century fictional descendant George sing constantly surely all of the French do.

Unfortunately they do not…

It really is unfortunate.

Greeting From This Corner of The World

Hi there!

If you found this blog, chances are we’re friends. Or you googled and somehow discovered me. But let’s start with why I’m doing this.

I’m in my mid twenties, newly unemployed, giving up my apartment to move back in with my parents (I’m being a responsible adult, and yes, it does suck!) and I have a lot of time on my hands, which I haven’t had in quite a while, what with school, and work always getting in the way.

Because I’m a massive nerd, with an obsessive personality who has always wanted to be a writer, I’ve decided to channel my excess energy and time into this. A new blog. I’ve tried blogging before with limited success, but this time, I’m really giving it a shot. This time, I’m focused. This blog is about my dorkiness. And not just mine, all girl’s like mine.

I’ve called it “The Fangirl’s Dilemma” because that’s what it’s about. It’s about the hard core dilemmas that face dorky girls everywhere. You know what I mean, werewolves or vampires, Sam Seaborn or Dan Rydell, David Tennant or Matt Smith. You will know where I stand on all of these issues, and more. If you decide to keep reading.

That is what I want to talk about. That is The Fangirl’s Dilemma.

If you’re not interested, then you know nothing, Jon Snow.